1098: Climate Grief

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 46m
December 27th, 2018
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Executive Producers: Baronet Sir Anonymous Chiner, Anonymous, Baronet Sir Mark Milliman, Kyle From Cincinnati, Sir Michael Halbe, Randall Schaible, Christopher Bede, Archduke Sir Thomas Nussbaum

Associate Executive Producers: Sir David Drews, Sir James Williams Knight of the Paradise Star, Roy ten Have, Fakeologist

Cover Artist: Darren O'Neill

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
2:38
JCD's TWiT Appearance
Woodstock
4:48
Funny Computer Ads in the NA Newsletter
Woodstock
6:33
Trump Criticized For Not Visiting Enough War Zones
Woodstock
7:39
Untitled
Woodstock
11:59
Russia Launches Hypersonic Missile
Woodstock
16:10
US General Services Administration Plans Big Move in E-Commerce
Woodstock
18:04
Democrats Criticized Obama For Not Pulling Syria Troops in 2011 and 2014
Woodstock
22:46
Protests in Tunisia After Journalist Set Himself On Fire
Woodstock
25:31
The Democratic Republic of the Congo Postpones General Elections in Three Areas
Woodstock
27:38
Real Issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo General Elections
Woodstock
31:56
Wesley Clark on Syria Withdrawal: "Did Erdogan Blackmail the President?"
Woodstock
35:52
Mattis Served on Theranos' Board of Directors
Woodstock
39:19
Washington Post: "Assad's Government is Doubling Down on Executions of Political Prisoners"
Woodstock
40:05
Turkey's Threats Against Greece
Woodstock
41:01
Poland Seals Deal to Buy Liquefied Natural Gas From US
Woodstock
42:08
JCD's Delayed Christmas Celebration
Woodstock
42:41
2020 Election Candidates
Woodstock
55:00
Stocks Rebounds After Trump Tweets to Buy the Dip
Woodstock
1:02:00
Credits
Woodstock
1:28:21
AC Starts Using the InterPlanetary File System
Woodstock
1:33:38
Gatwick Airport Traffic Disrupted by Drones
Woodstock
1:40:01
FTC Warns Consumers About Netflix Phishing Email Scam
Woodstock
1:41:07
Gift Card Scams
Woodstock
1:46:38
Swedish Teen Schools World Leaders on Climate Change at COP24 Climate Summit
Woodstock
1:49:19
Climate Grief, the Growing Emotional Toll of Climate Change
Woodstock
2:03:02
4 Cancer Charities Are Accused of Fraud in 2015
Woodstock
2:04:06
Banks Manipulated Foreign Exchange Market in 2014
Woodstock
2:05:39
New York Magazine: "How Much of the Internet Is Fake?"
Woodstock
2:07:19
Donations
Woodstock
2:16:15
Title Changes
Woodstock
2:18:07
New York State Senator Dies of Sepsis
Woodstock
2:19:09
Congress Exposes Repeated Violations of Smith-Mundt Act
Woodstock
2:21:28
Democracy Now Talks About Weapon Manufacturer Boeing
Woodstock
2:23:38
Economics with Richard Wolffe
Woodstock
2:28:19
UK Bans Puppy and Kitten Sales by Pet Shops
Woodstock
2:29:32
Pet Owners Ruin AC's Pet-Friendly Apartment Building
Woodstock
2:31:12
Ford Enters Austin E-Scooter Market
Woodstock
2:35:53
Commercial Whaling to Resume in Japan
Woodstock
2:37:10
Most Plastic Pollution in the Ocean Comes From Asia and Africa
Woodstock
2:39:30
US Weather Report
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2:40:18
End of Show
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TODAY
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IPFS Testing
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JCD on TWiT
Stop saying: "regular people" …. Normal people etc.
How Trump gave away his secret war zone trip - POLITICO
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 21:22
President Donald Trump has been broadcasting the possibility of an upcoming trip to a war zone for weeks, both in public and in private. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo
White House
The president's trip to Iraq was supposed to be a surprise. But the White House couldn't keep the sensitive trip a secret for long.
The tweets stopped and soon the jig was up.
President Donald Trump's trip to Iraq this week, his first to a war zone as president, was supposed to be a surprise. But the White House couldn't keep the sensitive trip a secret for long.
Story Continued Below
After tweeting more than three dozen times over the last four days, Trump ceased his rapid-fire online missives on Tuesday night. By Wednesday, the president was nowhere to be found, without any scheduled public events. There was no uniformed Marine standing outside the West Wing, normally an obvious signal that the president is in the Oval Office. White House officials went silent. Soon, amateur aircraft watchers were tracking a Boeing VC-25, the military plane that serves as Air Force One, flying over Europe.
It wasn't the first time aviation obsessives had flagged possible signals that a president might be headed to a war zone. But the real-time tracking of Trump's flight, paired with Trump's Twitter disappearing act offered the strongest hint yet that he was finally making the trip.
Past administrations have taken extreme measures to keep presidential trips to war zones secret, fearing serious security risks if they're made public. Journalists traveling on the trips must agree to strict embargoes barring them from reporting anything until the president is out of harm's way. Often, the trips are so hush-hush that reporters are only allowed to tell their spouse and one editor that they are on the way to a war zone, where they sometimes have to rely on satellite phones to relay the news back to Washington.
But the age of secret presidential jet-setting is rapidly coming to an end, as amateur flight trackers send news of unidentified military aircraft crisscrossing the globe in real time via Twitter.
And while the White House prevented major news outlets from publishing stories about the trip before they made an official announcement, it couldn't stop rampant online speculation.
The fanatic community of flight trackers were the first to report that Trump appeared to have taken off from Joint Base Andrews around midnight on Christmas on a Boeing VC-25A, one of the modified Boeing 747s that serves as Air Force One. The plane was not using the tradition Air Force One call sign, but was instead dubbed RCH358. "Reach" is a call sign often used by military cargo planes.
An aircraft spotter in the United Kingdom identified the trademark 747 Wednesday morning, and snapped a photo. CivMilAir, a Twitter account that tracks military aircraft, retweeted the image, setting off a flurry of speculation among plane watchers worldwide.
Further complicating the efforts is a president who can't seem to keep a secret. Trump has been broadcasting the possibility of an upcoming trip to a war zone for weeks, both in public and in private.
''No, I'm going to a war zone,'' Trump shot back at a reporter last month when he was asked whether he was afraid to make such a trip. He told The Washington Post in a November interview that he would make the trip ''at the right time,'' perhaps even before Christmas.
In an interview with journalists traveling with him in Iraq, the president signaled his frustration with the secrecy surrounding the trip, adding that previous planned trips had been scuttled because word began leaking out.
Asked if he had concerns about making the trip, Trump said, ''Sure. When I heard what you had to go through?''
He added, ''I had concerns about the institution of the presidency. Not for myself personally. I had concerns for the First Lady, I will tell you."
Trump then described the security precautions Air Force One takes when landing in a war zone.
"If you would have see what we had to go through in the darkened plane with all windows closed with no light anywhere '-- pitch black," he said
The prospect of a surprise trip to Iraq or Afghanistan has kept the White House press corps on edge for weeks. At one point, rumors circulated that Trump had ditched reporters and departed for a war zone while he was alleged to be golfing at his Mar-a-Lago club over the Thanksgiving holiday. And there were whispers that the president was tacking on a covert trip to Iraq or Afghanistan on his return trip from the G-20 in Argentina. Both sets of rumors turned out to be false.
Despite all the rumors, the specifics of Trump's trip were closely held.
The trip was kept off the White House's official travel log, but by Wednesday afternoon, West Wing aides got word that the president was en route to an unknown destination and would not return to Washington until Friday, according to one of those aides.
The surprise trip occurred on the fifth day of a government shutdown, with several federal agencies shuttered and neither the president nor congressional Democrats have given any indication they are any closer to reaching a deal to reopening the government than when it began.
Eliana Johnson contributed to this report.
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Plunge Protection Team
Trump Urges Americans To Buy The Dip; Voices Confidence In Mnuchin, Powell | Zero Hedge
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 15:24
Stocks may have finally found the catalyst they need, if only for a brief relief rally.
Almost ten years after president Obama marked the bottom of the financial crisis, when on the day the S&P hit 666, the president gave the green light to buy stocks on March 3, 2009, saying - rather bizarrely - that "what you're now seeing is profit and earning ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal if you've got a long-term perspective on it", president Trump also urged Americans to buy the dip when on Tuesday he suggested that the recent swoon in the stock market is a buying opportunity for investors.
"We have companies, the greatest in the world, and they're doing really well," Trump told reporters at the White House on Christmas Day. "They have record kinds of numbers. So I think it's a tremendous opportunity to buy. Really a great opportunity to buy."
Trump's invocation to BTFD came one day after the most violent Christmas Eve selloff on record, and the day when the S&P fell not only to its lowest level in 20 months, but also slumped into a bear market. For Trump, the stock market has served as a barometer on his administration, and while he was pointing out virtually every major uptick for the past two years, the recent plunge has infuriated him, leaving him mute on any market-related topic.
But a more important catalyst for a potential Wednesday rally came when Trump appeared to back off on his demands that the Fed stop hiking, which culminated with Trump reportedly seeking to fire Fed Chair Powell and speculation that if the market does not stop falling, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin may also be on the chopping block.
Alongside urging Americans to BTFD, Trump expressed confidence in the Treasury secretary and the Federal Reserve, in an attempt to calm financial markets further roiled after a recent Bloomberg report that the president had discussed firing the central bank's chairman over raising interest rates.
Asked about Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, Trump said the central bank is ''raising interest rates too fast'' but he has ''confidence'' that the Fed will ''get it pretty soon.''
Trump was also asked if he has confidence in Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who sparked a market panic on Monday with his late Sunday statement in which he said he had called the CEOs of the top 6 banks to make sure bank liquidity levels are fine (prompting a frenzy of question what he knows that the rest of the market does not) and followed it up with a call with the Plunge Protection Team on Monday, which however failed to prevent one of the worst one-day routs in history .
Trump's response: "yes I do, very talented guy, very smart person."
While answering questions from reporters at the White House after addressing U.S. armed forces members on a Christmas Day video conference call, Trump also said the Fed is hiking borrowing costs because the "economy is doing so well" - which is accurate, however it is the market that is spooked by the aggressive tightening - adding that U.S. companies are having ''record kinds of numbers'' and it's a ''tremendous opportunity to buy.''
The remarks represented Trump's first expression of public support for Mnuchin and Powell since Bloomberg reported last week that the president has discussed dismissing Powell who was recommended by Mnuchin. Overnight, Bloomberg also reported that the president also weighed dismissing Mnuchin, while another said that Mnuchin's tenure may depend in part on how much markets continue to drop.
Trump's Oval Office remarks on Tuesday contrasted with an angry tweet on Monday saying "The only problem our economy has is the Fed. They don't have a feel for the Market, they don't understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders." Previously, Trump had unleashed a litany of complaints about the Fed's rate hiking pace, as summarized in the chart below, raising concerns that the Fed may lose its "independence" if Powell is seen as folding to Trump's demands or if Trump replaces the Fed chair as a result of the recent market drop.
Trump's latest remarks on the Fed may be seen as bullish by the market as they alleviate somewhat concerns that Trump would try to remove Powell, even if the president didn't explicitly say that he won't fire the central bank chief. Mnuchin said in a pair of tweets Saturday evening that he'd spoken with the president about the matter, and he quoted Trump saying he didn't believe he had the authority to remove the Fed chairman.
"Well, we'll see," Trump said Tuesday when asked about his confidence in Powell. ''They're raising interest rates too fast. That's my opinion. But I certainly have confidence. But I think it will straighten. They're raising interest rates too fast because they think the economy is so good. But I think that they will get it pretty soon. I really do. I mean, the fact is that the economy is doing so well that they raised interest rates and that is a form of safety in a way.''
Trump's "safety" comment is a reference to the Fed's ability to lower rates from higher if and when the economy starts contracting, giving the economy a greater cushion in case of a downturn. This is also known as the "hiking rates now to lower them later" approach.
Incidentally, according to the Fed Funds market, as of Monday's rout, the odds for a January 2020 cut are now higher than for a hike, indicating that the market is now pricing in an easing cycle and/or a recession starting in just over one year.
Syria/Turkey
In Syria, Assad's government is doubling down on executions of political prisoners - Washington Post
Mon, 24 Dec 2018 18:20
BEIRUT '-- As Syria's government consolidates control after years of civil war, President Bashar al-Assad's army is doubling down on executions of political prisoners, with military judges accelerating the pace they issue death sentences, according to survivors of the country's most notorious prison.
In interviews, more than two dozen Syrians recently released from the Sednaya military prison in Damascus described a government campaign to clear the decks of political detainees. The former inmates said prisoners are being transferred from jails across Syria to join death-row detainees in Sednaya's basement and then be executed in pre-dawn hangings.
Yet despite these transfers, the population of Sednaya's once-packed cells '-- which at their peak held an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 inmates '-- has dwindled largely because of the unyielding executions, and at least one section of the prison is almost entirely empty, the former detainees said.
Some of the former prisoners had themselves been sentenced to hang, escaping that fate only after relatives paid tens of thousands of dollars to secure their freedom. Others described overhearing conversations between guards relating to the transfer of prisoners to be killed. The men all spoke on the condition that their full names not be disclosed out of fear for their families' safety.
According to two former detainees who have passed through the Damascus field court, located inside the capital's military police headquarters, the rate of death sentences has sped up over the past year as the attitudes of court officials hardened. These two men had each appeared twice before a military field court judge, once earlier in the war and once this year, and were able to compare the way this secretive court operates.
''There was no room for leniency on my second visit,'' one man said. ''Almost everyone in that room was sentenced to death. They were reading the sentences aloud.''
Even before they reach the gallows, many prisoners die of malnutrition, medical neglect or physical abuse, often after a psychological breakdown, the former detainees said.
One former prisoner said guards had forced a metal pipe down the throat of a cellmate from the Damascus suburb of Darayya. ''They pinned him to the wall with it and then left him to die. His body lay among us all night,'' said Abu Hussein, 30, a mechanic from the western province of Homs. Another described how prisoners in his own cell had been forced to kick to death a man from the southern city of Daraa.
The Syrian government did not respond to requests for comment for this article. The government has never acknowledged the execution of prisoners or released figures on executions. No independent figures are available.
Satellite imagery of the Sednaya prison grounds taken in March shows an accumulation of dozens of dark objects that experts said were consistent with human bodies. The imagery was obtained by The Washington Post, which asked forensic experts to review it.
Satellite imagery of Sednaya Military Prison's ''White Building,'' taken on two occasions in early March, appears to show an accumulation of dozens of dark objects that experts say are consistent with human bodies. (Satellite image (C)2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company)
''Present in the imagery from March 1st and March 4th of the prison, there are dark elongated objects, similar to each other, measuring approximately five to six feet in length,'' said Isaac Baker, imagery analysis manager at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative's Signal Program on Human Security and Technology. ''While analysis and available data does not prove, it does corroborate, and is consistent with, eyewitness accounts of mass executions at this facility.''
Two former detainees held in cells nearest to the guardroom in their prison wing described overhearing conversations between their jailers regarding executions in early March. ''They were talking about a set of prisoners' bodies that had been moved to the yard,'' one man said.
Other satellite imagery of military land near Damascus, previously identified by Amnesty International as a location of mass graves, appears to show an increase in the number of burial pits and headstones in at least one cemetery there since the start of the year. Defectors who worked in the military prison system said this area, located south of the capital, is the likely location for the mass burial of Sednaya prisoners.
In the cemetery on the road running south from Damascus, dozens of new burial pits and headstones have appeared since last winter.
December 2017 Satellite imagery of the Bahdaliyah cemetery near Damascus shows rows of white structures, believed to be headstones on graves that may contain more than one body. The light brown tracts contain burial pits waiting to be filled. Satellite image (C)2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company
March 2018 Over three months, the headstones and graves expand significantly across the cemetery. Satellite image (C)2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company
November 2018 Over another eight months, they expand even more. Analysts say there were no mass combat fatalities in the province during this time period and conclude the graves likely contain dead prisoners. Satellite image (C)2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company
'Pure terror'After seven years of war, more than 100,000 Syrian detainees remain unaccounted for. According to the United Nations and human rights groups, thousands, if not tens of thousands, are probably dead.
Although all sides in the conflict have arrested, disappeared and killed prisoners, the Syrian Network for Human Rights monitoring group estimates that as many as 90 percent have been held across a network of government jails, where torture, starvation and other forms of lethal neglect are used systematically and to kill. At one point, Sednaya alone held as many as 20,000 inmates, according to Amnesty International.
For this story, The Post interviewed 27 former detainees who were recently released from Sednaya. Most now live in Turkey but also in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Germany. They were identified by other former prisoners and by human right monitors and were interviewed in the Turkish cities of Istanbul, Gaziantep, Antakya and Siverek, as well as on the phone.
The former inmates say that guards enforced near-total silence among the prisoners, who sleep under blankets infested with mites and ticks on stone floors sticky with bodily fluids. ''When you are in Sednaya, you cannot think of anything, you can't even speak to yourself. The beatings are torture. The silence is torture,'' said Mohamed, 28.
He described the cellmates he had left behind as ''caged animals.''
''Some had their spirits completely broken, and others just became manic and crazed,'' he said. ''Death would be a mercy for them. It's all they're waiting for.''
Although execution days vary, Sednaya's former prisoners say the guards most commonly tour the cells on Tuesday afternoons, calling out names from lists.
''You knew they were coming when they banged on the metal door and started screaming at us to turn around. Everyone would scramble to the wall and stand as still as they could,'' one former inmate said. ''Then you just stood there and prayed they didn't pull you away.''
In Mohamed's case, that is exactly what they did. With a T-shirt pulled over his head, the former student was yanked out of his cell and taken to the basement death row, being beaten as he stumbled downstairs. He recalled being surrounded by the screams of others.
He and other inmates were pushed into a cramped cell and stripped naked before the guards left, slamming the metal door behind them. The prisoners were kept there for a week.
Even more prisoners were jammed into an adjacent cell. They included Hassan, 29, a farmer who had been transferred to Sednaya from a civilian prison in the southern city of Sweida. Sitting up all night and waiting for death, the men talked in low whispers, sharing their life stories, as well as their regrets.
''It was dark in there, but what I could see of their faces was pure terror,'' Hassan said. ''Eventually everyone stopped talking.''
Yet when guards came to take prisoners, neither Mohamed nor Hassan had their names called. They would later learn that their families had paid tens of thousands of dollars to a government-connected middleman '-- part of a network that has sprung up during the war to provide families with news of detained relatives and at times help release them in return for vast sums of money.
Death notices surgeThe reported spike in death sentences comes as the fate of Syria's wartime detainees is being discussed at peace talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana. With Syria's rebel forces cornered in the far northwest of the country and all but defeated, officials from Russia, Turkey and Iran are trying to negotiate an end to the conflict.
The Syrian government, meanwhile, has been issuing death notices for political prisoners at an unprecedented rate. The practice began to gain pace in January and, in many cases, appears to confirm that detainees had been dead since the early years of the conflict.
In a report released last month, the U.N. body established to investigate war crimes in Syria said that the mass release of death notices amounts to an admission by the government that it has been responsible for the deaths of prisoners whose detention it had denied for years.
''We think it must be linked, obviously, to the state beginning to look ahead beyond the conflict '-- to feeling like 'our existence is no longer completely under threat and we have to look ahead at how do we deal with the population at large,''‰'' said Hanny Megally, a lead investigator with the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria. ''People are demanding now more information about what happened, why, where. Where are the bodies?''
In interviews, former prisoners offered a rare window into the workings of the military field court, where the accused appear without lawyers and charge sheets are often the product of torture. Detainees arrive cuffed and blindfolded. Their trials rarely last longer than three minutes.
In some cases, the recent executions in Sednaya were based on sentences handed down years ago. What has changed, former detainees say, is the haste with which new ones are being issued.
Once the prisoners are hanged, their bodies are usually carried straight from the execution room to a waiting truck or car and then transported for registration at a military hospital before being buried in the mass graves on military land, according to Amnesty International.
Mohamed and Hassan were among those who dodged that fate. After years of what they described as torture and extreme neglect, leaving both with scars and severe health issues, they made it across the border to Turkey earlier this year.
As Hassan crossed from Syrian-held territory into a final rebel stronghold close to the Turkish border, the smugglers guiding his group mistakenly steered it into a minefield, and his leg was blown off. He still screams in his sleep.
''The Sednaya memories cannot easily be forgotten,'' he said. ''Most of my cellmates are dead now. I keep thinking of the people who are still there.''
Zakaria Zakaria reported from Istanbul.
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Turkey's Threats against Greece
Tue, 25 Dec 2018 13:15
In April 2017, Turkish European Affairs Minister Omer Celik claimed in an interview that the Greek Aegean island of Agathonisi (pictured) was Turkish territory. (Image source: Hans-Heinrich Hoffmann/Wikimedia Commons)
Turkey's "persistent policy of violating international law and breaching international rules and regulations" was called out in a November 14 letter to UN Secretary General Ant"nio Guterres by Polly Ioannou, the deputy permanent representative of Cyprus to the UN.
Reproving Ankara for its repeated violations of Cypriot airspace and territorial waters, Ioannou wrote of Turkey's policy:
"[it] is a constant threat to international peace and security, has a negative impact on regional stability, jeopardises the safety of international civil aviation, creates difficulties for air traffic over Cyprus and prevents the creation of an enabling environment in which to conduct the Cyprus peace process."
The letter followed reports in August about Turkish violations of Greek airspace over the northeastern, central and southeastern parts of the Aegean Sea, and four instances of Turkey violating aviation norms by infringing on the Athens Flight Information Region (AFIR). Similar reports emerged in June of Turkey violating Greek AFIR by conducting unauthorized flights over the southern Aegean islets of Mavra, Levitha, Kinaros and Agathonisi.
In April 2017, Turkish European Affairs Minister Omer Celik claimed in an interview that Agathonisi was Turkish territory. A day earlier, a different Turkish minister announced that Turkey "would not allow Greece to establish a status of 'fait accompli' in the 'disputed' regions in the Aegean Sea." In December 2017, Greek Deputy Minister of Shipping Nektarios Santonirios reportedly "presented a plan to populate a number of uninhabited eastern Aegean islands to deter Turkish claims to the land."
According to a recent statement from Greece's Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
"Greek-Turkish disputes over the Aegean continental shelf date back to November 1973, when the Turkish Government Gazette published a decision to grant the Turkish national petroleum company permits to conduct research in the Greek continental shelf west of Greek islands in the Eastern Aegean.
"Since then, the repeated Turkish attempts to violate Greece's sovereign rights on the continental shelf have become a serious source of friction in the two countries' bilateral relations, even bringing them close to war (1974, 1976, 1987)."
This friction has only increased with the authoritarian rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, particularly since, as Uzay Bulut notes:
There is one issue on which Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its main opposition, the Republican People's Party (CHP), are in complete agreement: The conviction that the Greek islands are occupied Turkish territory and must be reconquered. So strong is this determination that the leaders of both parties have openly threatened to invade the Aegean.
The only conflict on this issue between the two parties is in competing to prove which is more powerful and patriotic, and which possesses the courage to carry out the threat against Greece. While the CHP is accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP party of enabling Greece to occupy Turkish lands, the AKP is attacking the CHP, Turkey's founding party, for allowing Greece to take the islands through the 1924 Treaty of Lausanne, the 1932 Turkish-Italian Agreements, and the 1947 Paris Treaty, which recognized the islands of the Aegean as Greek territory.
This has been Turkish policy despite the fact that both Greece and Turkey have been members of NATO since 1952. Greece became a member of the European Union in 1981 -- a status that Turkey has spent decades failing to achieve, mainly due to its human-rights violations.
Recently, EU and Turkish officials met in Brussels on November 30 to discuss an intelligence-sharing agreement between the European Police Service (Europol) and Ankara. Such an agreement is reportedly one of 72 requirements that Ankara would have to meet in order to receive visa-free travel to the Schengen zone.
Ankara's ongoing challenges to Greek land and sea sovereignty are additional reasons to keep it from enjoying full acceptance in Europe and the rest of the West.
Debalina Ghoshal, an independent consultant specializing in nuclear and missile issues, is based in India.
(C) 2018 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.
Israel's Christmas Attack on Syria Wasn't Surprising but It Revealed an ''Inconvenient Truth'' About Russia's S-300s Anti-Air Missiles - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 10:17
All the pieces were in place for it to happen sooner than later, but striking Syria on Christmas night sent a terrifying message that's sure to backfire against ''Israel'' but will probably also get people to wonder why the S-300s didn't deter this from happening in the first place.
Reports are streaming in that ''Israel'' launched an attack against Syria on Christmas night after a brief hiatus of a couple of months following what President Putin previously described as the ''chain of tragic circumstances'' that led to the downing of a Russian spy plane over the Arab Republic's airspace in mid-September. Many people are shocked by the audacity of striking Syria on one of the world's holiest days but a lot of those who have also been following the country's conflict lately are surprised that it even happened at all.
Certain forces in the Mainstream and Alternative Medias pushed forth the narrative that Russia's highly publicized dispatch of S-300 anti-air missiles to Syria in the aftermath of the mid-September incident was supposed to have made this scenario impossible, though the reality is that the Russian military has yet to hand control of these systems over to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and might ultimately never end up doing so as part of a possible backroom deal between Moscow and Tel Aviv in order for ''Israel'' to continue having the so-called ''freedom'' to strike IRGC and Hezbollah positions in the country at its convenience.
Those same voices who said that this wouldn't ever happen again tended to also gloss over the developments of the past few weeks which saw Russia and ''Israel'' publicly set aside their largely exaggerated differences since September by exchanging high-level military delegations and agreeing to once again cooperate with one another. Coming in the immediate run-up to Trump's decision to initiate the US' conventional on-the-ground withdrawal from Syria, the writing was on the wall that ''Israel'' would soon resume its bombing operations in the country at America's behest.
One of the Mideast's worst kept ''secrets'' is that Russia passively facilitated over 200 of these same bombings from January 2017 to September 2018 by the admission of its own Defense Ministry following the aforementioned midair incident that tragically downed its spy plane, having tacitly done as as part of its regional ''balancing'' strategy aimed at indirectly creating the conditions for Iran's military drawdown and ultimate ''phased withdrawal'' from Syria as one of the main steps in President Putin's unofficial peace plan for the country.
While serious observers of regional affairs who solidly understood these strategic dynamics predicted that more ''Israeli'' bombings would soon be forthcoming, Tel Aviv's decision to strike Syria on Christmas night sent a terrifying message that it doesn't care for observing this holy day and will undoubtedly backfire against it in the soft power sense. ''Israel'' doesn't care much about ''winning hearts and minds'' in the Arab world where it remains very unpopular for historic reasons but its audacious action on such a day certainly must give some of its Western supporters cause to reconsider their support for it after what happened.
All arguments aside that might be made by its lobbyists about ''Israel's'' ''right to ensure its security'', it's generally understood in the West that Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace where hostilities between rival parties are unofficially frozen until the celebrations are finally over after sunrise the next day, but Tel Aviv literally blew that presumption to pieces with its latest bombing. Although not a surprise in and of itself and likely to end up being yet another self-inflicted wound to ''Israel's'' soft power, the proverbial ''sliver lining'' might be that people finally begin to wonder why this happened at all in spite of the much-publicized deployment of S-300s to Syria prior to putting the pieces together and eventually understanding the complex reality of contemporary Mideast geopolitics that made it possible.
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This article was originally published on Eurasia Future.
Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China's One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Build the Wall
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From Migrant Producer Jose
Hey Adam just heard the latest episode and it was great.
When you guys were talking about the wall it reminded me about my experience
crossing the border. It made curious how adding a wall to desert areas would
make it harder for illegals to cross. But this also made me realize that no one
is really mentioning anything about the rio grande in Texas. This is the same
river I crossed and learned that everyone is corruptible. I say this because
the cartel members that we're going to help us cross would tell us to hide in
the bushes while the border patrol boat would show up collect large bundles of
drugs once they would leave then we knew the coast was clear for a few minutes
allowing us to cross easily. I think the drugs smuggling has a role to play in
this wall thing like you've mentioned before. Hope this adds a little more
information on the topic and can't wait for this Thursdays show.
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Trump: Shutdown Won't End Until Wall Funded
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 09:52
By VOA News December 25, 2018
The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has moved no closer to a resolution, with President Donald Trump asserting on Tuesday the shutdown will continue until his demand for funds to construct a U.S.-Mexico border wall are met.
"I can't tell you when the government is going to be open. I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they'd like to call it," Trump said in the Oval Office after a video conference with U.S. troops, who are stationed overseas.
Trump claimed the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are furloughed due to the shutdown also want the wall, despite a lack of evidence supporting the contention.
On Monday, Trump asserted Democrats "must end" the standoff while Democratic leaders in Congress blamed Trump for "plunging the country into chaos."
The two sides traded their accusations ahead of Christmas, the fourth day in which parts of the government are closed because Congress and Trump have not been able to agree on necessary spending legislation.
While government agencies dealing with national security and public safety remain open, other offices are closed and 800,000 federal workers are on furlough. Those who are considered to be essential employees are reporting for duty, but will not get a paycheck for that work until the shutdown is over.
"The president wanted the shutdown, but seems not to know how to get himself out of it," Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and incoming House speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in a joint statement.
"The stock market is tanking and the president is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve after he just fired the secretary of defense," they said.
Trump has demanded $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats have offered $1.3 billion for other border security measures.
The president canceled his Christmas vacation to his Florida resort because of the impasse with Congress.
"I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security," he tweeted Monday. "At some point, the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy."
Another Trump tweet claimed "virtually every Democrat" strongly supported a "Border Wall or Fence" but turned against the idea after he made it an important part of his campaign for president.
Most Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, have rallied around Trump's demand.
"One would think that securing our homeland, controlling our borders and protecting the American people, would be bipartisan priorities'...a core duty of any nation's government," Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
In the past, Democrats have been open to approving additional border security funding, including money for a wall, as part of a larger deal on immigration reform.
Earlier this year, Democrats were willing to support wall funding in return for protections for so-called "Dreamers" -- immigrants brought to America illegally as children '' a deal Trump initially hailed but later abandoned.
Democrats say Trump was willing to sign a deal to keep the government operating without the full $5 billion, but backed out after those Schumer calls and "right-wing radio and TV talk show hosts" complained.
"Different people from the same White House are saying different things about what the president would accept or not accept...making it impossible to know where they stand at any given moment," Schumer and Pelosi said.
What is certain, though, is the government will remain closed at least through Thursday and, according to acting Chief of Staff Nick Mulvaney, quite possibly into 2019.
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Hundreds more migrants were released in El Paso on Christmas, official says
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 01:28
(C) Julio-Cesar Chavez/Reuters Some of over 200 migrants, who were dropped off at a bus station by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), wait for transportation to emergency shelters or onward travel in El Paso, Texas, U.S. December 23, 2018. Picture taken December 23, 2018. REUTERS/Julio-Cesar Chavez US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers released hundreds more migrants in El Paso, Texas, on Christmas Day, but officials don't expect any arrivals Wednesday.
Since Sunday, the community has been working to accommodate hundreds of people already released at a bus station, officials said.
At least 180 "migrants were dropped off today [Christmas Day] in downtown El Paso staggered through the afternoon, starting at 1:30pm local time," Dylan Corbett, the director of Hope Border Institute, told CNN.
"About half of them were children and some parents had more than one child with them," he said. "ICE has communicated no drop offs will be taking place tomorrow, and all migrants have been received at different Annunciation House shelters."
ICE officers dropped off more than 200 undocumented immigrants Sunday night outside a Greyhound bus terminal in El Paso without an apparent plan for housing them, police said.
Dozens more were dropped off at the station Monday, according to US Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar, D-Texas.
"I believe it was around 60 (on Monday), so thankfully it was a more manageable number than the 200 the day before," Escobar told CNN.
The man Escobar is replacing in Congress, US Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, said in a Facebook post Tuesday that another 200 people were to be released on Christmas Day and more than 500 on Wednesday.
His post included photos of migrants receiving assistance from volunteers at a shelter.
"Kids who arrived sick getting medical care, families able to have a Christmas meal together," he wrote.
(C) PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images Asylum seekers board a bus stop after they were dropped off by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials earlier at the Greyhound bus station in downtown El Paso, Texas late on December 23, 2018. - The group of around 200, mostly made up of Central Americans, were left without money, food and means of communication. Volunteers from Annunciation house and other local churches came to aid and find a place to house them for the night. (Photo by Paul Ratje / AFP) (Photo credit should read PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images) In another post on Christmas Eve, O'Rourke said ICE initially "dropped the ball" by not notifying the community of the release of hundreds of migrants at the Greyhound station over the weekend.
Honduran and Guatemalan migrants were dropped off at the Rockhouse Caf(C) and Gallery in downtown El Paso to wait for buses to shelters, CNN affiliate KFOX reported Tuesday.
The migrants were serenaded by local musicians and given food and water while they waited, the station reported.
Escobar told CNN the number Wednesday could be 500, with another 500 possible on Thursday. "We never know until that very day, but that's what we're expecting," she said.
She called the numbers a "significant uptick," saying El Paso sees about 2,000 migrants a week, with the nonprofit shelter Annunciation House accepting about 200 a day. Escobar said the migrants released at the bus station Sunday and Monday were in addition to 200 people Annunciation House accepted each of those days.
O'Rourke, who is being touted as a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2020 after losing his November bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, spent part of Monday assisting migrants in an El Paso park near the bus station.
"We'd love to be able to get those beds ready so that folks, as you can see around us, are just sitting on the pavement and some have been here now for a couple of hours," O'Rourke said in the video. "We'd love for them to get to a shelter where there's food waiting for them, where there are beds waiting for them, and where they can call family members to let them know they're OK.
"Many of those we're seeing right now have been in detention for the last seven or eight days, they may not have had contact with family, and in some cases don't even totally know where they are in the United States."
Police in El Paso learned about the first group released around 8 p.m. Sunday when officials at the Greyhound terminal told them people were trying to board buses without tickets.
(C) PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images Asylum seekers stand at a bus stop after they were dropped off by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Greyhound bus station in downtown El Paso, Texas late on December 23, 2018. - The group of around 200, mostly made up of Central Americans, were left without money, food and means of communication. Volunteers from Annunciation house and other local churches came to aid and find a place to house them for the night. (Photo by Paul Ratje / AFP) (Photo credit should read PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images) "All of a sudden a bunch of people show up; ICE drops them off," Greyhound spokeswoman Crystal Booker said. "We weren't expecting it. We (were) not given prior notice."
The waiting area at the bus terminal is small, said El Paso police spokesman Sgt. Robert Gomez, and many people were left standing outside in the cold. He said the group of undocumented immigrants included some families and small children.
Later, four buses arrived for people to board and stay warm, he said.
"We weren't going to put 200 people on the streets of El Paso on a cold night. We wouldn't do that," Gomez said.
Authorities found housing for the migrants, including at a hotel and a nearby Catholic school, he said.
"We're a little perplexed because this is not something typically that ICE does," Dylan Corbett, director of Hope Border Institute, told CNN affiliate KFOX. Corbett said ICE usually gives notice Annunciation House so it can be ready for a large number of arrivals.
ICE said in an emailed statement to CNN that after decades of inaction by Congress, the government is limited in what it can do to remove families who are in the United States illegally.
"To mitigate the risk of holding family units past the timeframe allotted to the government, ICE has curtailed reviews of post-release plans from families apprehended along the southwest border," the statement said. It did not specifically refer to the events in El Paso.
"ICE continues to work with local and state officials and (nongovernmental) partners in the area so they are prepared to provide assistance with transportation or other services."
Escobar issued a statement Monday criticizing ICE for not giving the community notice before Sunday night.
"The lack of community coordination by ICE, which first occurred in October, and again last night and today, demonstrates a reckless disregard for very vulnerable people, including children. It is unacceptable," she said.
"Federal law enforcement officials in El Paso have long worked closely with Annunciation House, an El Paso nonprofit that offers hospitality to immigrants. This collaboration ensures that migrants who have been processed by ICE do not end up on the streets of El Paso, homeless, hungry and without support.
"The federal government has an obligation to provide humane, temporary holding facilities for these migrants in their custody until they can be accepted by NGOs like Annunciation House. Quickly ridding themselves of those in their custody is not a solution. In fact, it puts adults and children at grave risk, and creates a crisis in our community."
CNN's Angela Barajas, Ray Sanchez, Chuck Johnston and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.
ICE Drops Off 400+ Undocumented Immigrants at El Paso Greyhound Station | US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 01:26
Taking a page from Obama's Immigration Policy, Immigration Officians dumped hundreds if 'Asylum Seekers' at a Greyhound Bus station from where they can scatter, unchecked, across the country, without the local / state community being notified ... despite a promise they would be before anything like this happened.Hundreds of Asylum Seekers Being Released on El Paso Streets Over Christmas"Immigration authorities dropped busloads of immigrants at a Greyhound bus station without giving warning to local officials, despite having promised to do so.Despite acknowledging that they ''dropped the ball'' by releasing more than 200 asylum seekers onto the streets of El Paso without money or means of transportation'--or without warning local officials'--Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials said they plan to release hundreds more over Christmas, U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke told Texas Monthly Monday. The move over the holiday has local government officials and nonprofit leaders scrambling to house and feed the unexpected onslaught of immigrants."
Democrats never said a word when Obama repeatedly did this...but predictably they are starting to squeal as Trump gives them a taste of their own medicine.
"O'Rourke and other leaders said ICE reneged on a promise in October not to make large, unannounced releases of migrants into the community, and instead work with nonprofits and governments to place them in shelters through an orderly process. That commitment came after ICE dropped off about 100 migrants without notice at the Greyhound station near downtown El Paso. An ICE spokeswoman didn't respond to a request for comment, likely because she was furloughed because of the partial government shutdown triggered by a fight between congressional Democrats and President Trump over $5 billion in funding for a border wall."Bwuhahahaha....
These Democrats squealing about how ICE dropped the ball are the same ones who have been saying they don't need or want ICE doing their job, saying they want ICE, the 2nd largest law enforcement agency in the US, disbanded!
When ICE does its job they bitch and moan ... when ICE doesn't do its job they bitch and moan.
The govt is shut down because Democrats chose to stand with the illegals rather than Anericans. These ICE agents are furloughed because Democrats want open borders, non-enforcement if existing Immigration laws, and want illegals to be able to come and go as they choose....just not in THEIR 'backyard' where it is THEIR burden to bare, as O'Rourke demonstrates.
If you're not going to pay for a wall, snowflakes, you can pay to shelter, feed, medically care for, etc... them. It's what you asked for / demanded.
Merry Christmas!
ICE Continues To Release Hundreds Of Asylum-Seekers Into Public Park In El Paso, Texas : NPR
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 09:31
Recently released from ICE custody, migrants form a line to board a bus that will take them to a shelter on Christmas Day. Monica Ortiz Uribe for NPR hide caption
toggle caption Monica Ortiz Uribe for NPR Recently released from ICE custody, migrants form a line to board a bus that will take them to a shelter on Christmas Day.
Monica Ortiz Uribe for NPR For the third day in a row, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials released hundreds of migrant asylum-seekers at a park near a bus station in downtown El Paso. The comparisons to Mary and Joseph wandering the roads of Bethlehem seeking shelter are unavoidable for dozens of volunteers who have stepped in to help. Especially on Christmas Day.
"I kept having the phrase go through my head last night, 'There's no room at the inn, we've got to make some,'" Kathryn Schmidt, a social worker who co-founded the Borderland Rainbow Center, an LGBTQ community center, told NPR.
"I grew up Catholic... So it seemed like a no-brainer. There are people who are hungry, who don't have a place to stay....and it's Christmas," Schmidt added.
Beginning on Sunday and continuing into Christmas Eve, ICE dropped off approximately 400 migrants near the Greyhound bus terminal with no apparent plan in place for the men, women and children.
Typically, ICE coordinates with local shelters whenever the agency's processing centers are over capacity. But this time ICE failed to contact them in advance, and has continued to bus the mostly Central American immigrants to the public park, leaving them completely reliant on generous strangers who have been showing up in droves to distribute food, water and blankets as temperatures drop into the 40s.
But by Christmas afternoon, when 134 immigrants were released by federal agents, ICE had resumed communications with local aid organizations who are now transporting the migrants to nearby shelters.
It is unclear why ICE stopped coordination efforts with shelter groups and immigrant advocates. Officials could not respond to NPR's requests for comment due to the government shut down.
An automatic email response from the agency explained, "All of ICE's public affairs officers are out of the office for the duration of the government shutdown. We are unable to respond to media queries during this period because we are prohibited by law from working."
Dylan Corbett, who heads a local aid group called Hope Border Institute, told NPR that one of the ICE authorities present at the scene said 'I have a heavy heart, I'm a human being, but I'm following orders.' "
Also on Tuesday, an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala became the second child this month to die while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The boy, whose name has not been released, died shortly after midnight at a hospital in Alamogordo, N.M.
Rep. Beto O'Rourke, (D-Texas), told CNN that ICE was expected to drop off another 200 on Wednesday bringing the total number over four days up to 800.
The migrants who are released must appear before a severely backlogged immigration court at a future date. In the meantime, some are traveling to meet relatives elsewhere in the country.
Dawn Vigil, a teacher at the University of Texas at El Paso, helped transport migrants from shelters back to the bus station. She described what it was like to encounter the families face-to-face: "Heart-wrenching and heartwarming at the same time."
"You see it on social media, you can read about it...but actually being witness is incredibly powerful," Vigil told NPR, adding, "That made me just full of love."
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Vaccine$
NY State Senator Dies of Sepsis - The Vaccine Reaction
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 14:31
Eight-year-old Amely Baez of LeFrank City, New York died on Feb. 5, 2018 of ''flu-related'' symptoms, according to local health authorities. Published reports did not indicate whether the child had received the influenza vaccine.1
New York State Senator Jos(C) Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) said Amely's death was tragic and that it ''reminds us of how dangerous the flu outbreak is'' and he urged New Yorkers to ''protect themselves, and their children, and get vaccinated.'' He added, ''We need to ensure we do everything possible to combat the spread of this deadly virus as the number of hospitalizations is increasing. The influenza vaccine can be the difference between life and death.''2
Partly in response to Amely's death, Sen. Peralta partnered with NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst to sponsor free influenza vaccinations in LeFrank City on Nov. 17, 2018. Some 90 area residents were vaccinated. ''The influenza vaccine can be the difference between life and death. I want to thank NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and LeFrank City management for making Saturday's flu clinic possible and providing potentially lifesaving vaccines to the community,'' said Peralta.345
On Nov. 20, Peralta, 47, developed a fever. The following day, he became ''disoriented and had trouble breathing.'' He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, NY where he died that evening. ''We really don't know what happened,'' said Peralta's wife, Evelyn Peralta. ''He just took a turn for the worst.''6
Peralta had reportedly been ill for at least two weeks. According to the Associated Press, Mrs. Peralta had told reporters that her husband had felt pressure behind his ears and headaches for a week or more and had gone to see a doctor.6
An article in The New York Times quoted Sen. Peralta's director of communications, Chris Sosa, as saying, ''It was like pulling teeth to get him (Peralta) to talk about not feeling well. He just thought he was having symptoms related to getting the flu shot.''7
Peralta's death was attributed to sepsis'--an overstimulation of the immune system triggered by an infection and leading to ''septic shock.''8910
''His body was poisoning itself,'' said Mrs. Peralta.10
As described in 2014 by U.S. physicians writing in the medical journal Virulence , '' Sepsis and severe sepsis (sepsis accompanied by acute organ dysfunction) are leading causes of death in the United States and the most common cause of death among critically ill patients in non-coronary intensive care units (ICU).''11 This year, a group of physicians in Austria wrote that, '' Sepsis was recently redefined as life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection. For decades, it has remained a highly lethal condition in which dependable diagnostics and therapeutic decision-making are far from optimal.''12
Sepsis is also associated with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS).8 9 As described by researchers in China in 2015:
SIRS (systemic inflammatory response syndrome) and sepsis are two different entities of the same disease complex both leading to multiorgan dysfunction and eventually death of the patient. SIRS is defined as an overwhelming systemic inflammation without infectious component. In contrast, sepsis is a potential fatal medical condition that is characterized by a severe systemic infection accompanied by a dysregulated systemic inflammation. 13
Steve Peters, MD of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota said, ''Sepsis occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight an infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body. This inflammation can trigger a cascade of changes that can damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail. ''14
Health authorities do not know what caused Peralta to develop sepsis. According to Mrs. Peralta, ''The doctor said it's rare, [given] his age and that it happened so quick'... he was healthy. He was a healthy guy.''10
Currently, there is no evidence that Sen. Peralta's sudden death was caused by the influenza vaccination he had recently received.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common side effects of the influenza vaccine include soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot, headache, fever, nausea and muscle aches. The influenza vaccine can occasionally cause fainting and the vaccine has been associated with Guillain-Barr(C) Syndrome (GBS), which is inflammation of the peripheral nervous system .
Additionally, the influenza vaccine can cause severe allergic reactions that may be fatal, including difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, swelling around the eyes or lips, hives, paleness, weakness and a fast heart beat or dizziness.15 There are ingredients in influenza vaccines that can cause some people to have reactions .16
Learn more about influenza and influenza vaccines here .
References:
1 Basteiro M. Death of 8-year-old girl in Queens deemed flu-related. WPIX11 New York Feb. 6,2 2018.2 Parry B. After young girl's death, Peralta urges residents to get flu shots. TIMES Ledger Feb. 21, 2018. 3 Free Flu Shots Provided in LeFrak City. Queens Gazette Nov. 21, 2018. 4 Editor. Senator Peralta, NYC Health & Hospitals/Elmhurst Provide Free Flu Shots in LeFrak City. Parkchester Times Nov. 19, 2018. 5 NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. NYCHealthandHospitals.org.6 Associated Press. NY state Sen. Jose Peralta dies at 47; wife says he fell ill. Houston Chronicle Nov. 22, 2018.7 Mays JC. Jos(C) Peralta, First Dominican-American Elected to New York State Senate, Dies at 47. The New York Times Nov. 22, 2018.8 Sepsis. Cleveland Clinic.9 Sepsis. Mayo Clinic.10 Narizhnaya K, Italiano L. New York State Senator Jose Peralta's cause of death revealed. New York Post Nov. 23, 2018.11 Mayr FB, Yende S, Angus DC. Epidemiology of severe sepsis. Virulence 2014; 5(1): 4-11.12 Raeven P, Zipperle J, Drechsler S. Extracellular Vesicles as Markers and Mediators in Sepsis. Theranostics 2018; 8(12): 3348''3365.13 Fang H, Hiang W et al. Balancing Innate Immunity and Inflammatory State via Modulation of Neutrophil Function: A Novel Strategy to Fight Sepsis. J Immunol Res Dec. 21, 2015.14 Theimer S. Influenza and Sepsis: Mayo Expert Describes Signs of Severe Sepsis, Septic Shock. Mayo Clinic Jan. 13, 2015.15 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu Vaccine Safety Information. CDC.gov.16 Cceres M. Those Who Give Vaccines Should Know The Ingredients in Vaccine. The Vaccine Reaction Oct. 12, 2017.
MIC/Amazon
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Steve Pieczenik Call
Two Generals out
Kelly hung in as long as he could
Trump-Woody Wood Pecker
Idealization and Realization personality
New Guy Shanahan is good
MIT Boeing Cyber
Kinetic Warfare is unimportant
Warfare no longer on force structures
Satellites, Missles and Cyber
Fuck up a windows update once!
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Patrick M. Shanahan - Wikipedia
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 15:46
Patrick Michael Shanahan (born June 27, 1962)[1] is the United States Deputy Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration, and a former businessman. President Trump elevated him to Acting Secretary of Defense effective January 1, 2019, replacing Jim Mattis.[2]
Education [ edit ] A native of Washington State,[3] Shanahan attended the University of Washington where he earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in mechanical engineering. He then earned a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the MIT Sloan School of Management.[4][5]
Career at Boeing (1986-2017) [ edit ] Shanahan joined Boeing in 1986, becoming involved in Computer Services and the Boeing 777 program.[6] Over the course of his career, he held management roles with respect to the Boeing Missile Defense Systems, as well as 737, 747, 767, 777, and 787 commercial airline programs.[5] He also played a role spearheading the recovery of Boeing's 787 program,[7] and was known there as "Mr. Fix-it" from as early as 2008.[8]
Shanahan served Boeing Commercial Airplanes as vice president and general manager of the Boeing 757 program, with responsibility for the design, production, and profitability of the 757 family of planes.[6] He also held leadership positions on the Boeing 767 program and in the fabrication division.[9]
Shanahan then served as vice president and general manager for Boeing Rotorcraft Systems in Philadelphia.[10] He was responsible for all U.S. Army Aviation programs and site activities in Philadelphia and Mesa, Arizona.[6] Programs at these facilities included the V-22 Osprey, CH-47 Chinook, and the AH-64D Apache.[10]
Shanahan served as vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems, starting in December 2004 overseeing the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, Airborne Laser and Advanced Tactical Laser programs.[5][6] He served as vice president and general manager of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner program, where he led the program during a period of the aircraft's development from 2007 to 2008.[6] He next served as senior vice president of Airplane Programs at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, beginning in December 2008.[11]
In April 2016, he became senior vice president, Supply Chain & Operations, for Boeing.[11] His responsibilities in that position included manufacturing operations and supplier management functions,[10] carrying out advanced manufacturing technologies and global supply chain strategies.[12]
Shanahan was a member of the Boeing Executive Council.[13]
Deputy Secretary of Defense (2017-present) [ edit ] On March 16, 2017, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Shanahan as the 33rd Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon's second-highest civilian position.[14] Trump nominated Shanahan to lead plans to increase the size of the military.[15]
Shanahan's Senate confirmation hearing took place on June 20, 2017. During the hearing, Senator John McCain, a proponent of providing arms to Ukraine, threatened to block Shanahan's nomination over his response in a written statement about whether or not the U.S. should provide such weapons to Ukraine. Shanahan said he did not have access to classified military information in order to make a decision on the matter.[16][17]
Bob Work, the Deputy Secretary of Defense at the end of the Obama administration, remained in the position until Shanahan's confirmation.[18] Shanahan was confirmed by the United States Senate with a vote of 92''7 on July 18, 2017,[19][20] and became the 33rd Deputy Secretary of Defense on July 19, 2017.[5] The position reports directly to the United States Secretary of Defense.[14][21]
Secretary of Defense (acting) [ edit ] President Trump initially announced that Shanahan would be elevated on February 28 to Acting Defense Secretary, when the Mattis resignation was originally to become effective. But a follow-up Trump Twitter announcement on December 23 stated that Shanahan would be elevated two months prior to the resignation date announced by Mattis. President Trump accelerated Mattis's departure date after reportedly becoming angered by public responses[22] to language in Mattis' resignation letter which criticized Trump's worldview.[2][23] Shanahan now is scheduled to assume the office on January 1, 2019.
Awards and memberships [ edit ] Current positions [ edit ] Fellow, Royal Aeronautical Society[12]Fellow, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 2004[24]Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics[12]Former positions [ edit ] Secretary and Treasurer, American Helicopter Society International Board of Directors[11]Chair of Board of Regents at University of Washington[14]Regent, University of Washington 2012''2017[25]Board of directors, American Parkinson Disease Association[11]Member, Washington Roundtable[14]References [ edit ] ^ Laviola, Erin (23 December 2018). "Patrick Shanahan: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Heavy, Inc . Retrieved 27 December 2018 . Patrick Shanahan is 56 years old. (His birthday is June 27, 1962). ^ a b Cooper, Helene; Rogers, Katie (23 December 2018). "Trump, Angry Over Mattis's Rebuke, Removes Him 2 Months Early". The New York Times. The New York Times Company . Retrieved 27 December 2018 . ^ Gates, Dominic; Brunner, Jim (17 March 2017). "Trump taps Boeing executive Pat Shanahan for deputy secretary of defense". The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company . Retrieved 26 December 2018 . ^ "Trump taps Boeing executive Pat Shanahan for deputy secretary of defense". The Seattle Times. 16 March 2017 . Retrieved 22 May 2017 . ^ a b c d "Patrick Shanahan > U.S. Department of Defense > Biography". United States Department of Defense . Retrieved 6 October 2017 . ^ a b c d e "Boeing: Patrick (Pat) Shanahan". Boeing. Archived from the original on 16 June 2017 . Retrieved 22 May 2017 . ^ Wilhelm, Steve (11 March 2016). "Two Puget Sound Boeing veterans who helped get 787 back on track promoted". www.bizjournals.com . Retrieved 22 May 2017 . ^ Pae, Peter (24 February 2008). "Boeing uses him as its heavy hitter". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035 . Retrieved 22 May 2017 . ^ "787 visionary out; new chief must make it fly". The Seattle Times. 17 October 2007 . Retrieved 22 May 2017 . ^ a b c "Trump nominates Boeing VP for deputy Defense secretary". TheHill. 3 March 2017 . Retrieved 22 May 2017 . ^ a b c d "Executive Profile | Patrick M. Shanahan". Bloomberg.com . Retrieved 23 December 2018 . ^ a b c "Patrick (Pat) Shanahan | Board of Regents". University of Washington. University of Washington Board of Regents. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017 . Retrieved 24 December 2018 . ^ "White House picks Boeing executive as Pentagon's No. 2". The Seattle Times. 16 March 2017 . Retrieved 22 May 2017 . ^ a b c d Boyle, Alan (16 March 2017). "Boeing exec Pat Shanahan chosen to become deputy defense secretary". GeekWire . Retrieved 22 May 2017 . ^ Drew, Christopher (1 April 2017). "A Pentagon Test for Boeing's Mr. Fix-It". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 22 May 2017 . ^ Herb, Jeremy (20 June 2017). "McCain threatens to block Trump's Pentagon nominee". CNN . Retrieved 26 June 2017 . ^ Kheel, Rebecca (20 June 2017). "McCain threatens to block Trump's deputy Defense nominee". The Hill . Retrieved 26 June 2017 . ^ "Trump Nominates Boeing Exec Patrick Shanahan For Deputy Defense Secretary". USNI News. 16 March 2017 . Retrieved 22 May 2017 . ^ Carlson, Stephen (18 July 2017). "Former Boeing VP Shanahan confirmed as deputy secretary of defense". UPI . Retrieved 23 December 2018 . ^ Herb, Jeremy (18 July 2017). "Senate confirms the Pentagon's new No. 2". CNN . Retrieved 18 July 2017 . ^ Gates, Dominic; Brunner, Jim (16 March 2017). "Trump taps Boeing executive Pat Shanahan for deputy secretary of defense". The Seattle Times . Retrieved 27 December 2018 . ^ Rucker, Philip; Lamothe, Dan; Dawsey, Josh (23 December 2018). "Trump forces Mattis out two months early, names Shanahan acting defense secretary". The Washington Post . Retrieved 27 December 2018 . ^ Schmidle, Nicholas (26 December 2018). "How Patrick Shanahan, the New Acting Secretary of Defense, Won Over the White House". The New Yorker. Cond(C) Nast . Retrieved 27 December 2018 . ^ "SME College of Fellows" (PDF) . Society of Manufacturing Engineers. 7 August 2018 . Retrieved 23 December 2018 . ^ "All Regents: 1861''Present". University of Washington Board of Regents . Retrieved 6 October 2017 . External links [ edit ] Appearances on C-SPAN Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan Chief Management Officer Lisa Hershman (acting) Secretaries of the Military Departments Secretary of the Army: Mark Esper Secretary of the Navy: Richard V. Spencer Secretary of the Air Force: Heather Wilson Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Joseph Dunford, USMC Under Secretaries of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment: Ellen Lord Research and Engineering: Michael D. Griffin Policy: John Rood Comptroller/Chief Financial Officer: David Norquist Personnel and Readiness: Vacant Intelligence: Joseph D. Kernan Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Paul J. Selva, USAF Chiefs of the Military Services Chief of Staff of the Army: GEN Mark A. Milley Commandant of the Marine Corps: Gen Robert Neller Chief of Naval Operations: ADM John M. Richardson Chief of Staff of the Air Force: Gen David L. Goldfein Chief of the National Guard Bureau Gen Joseph L. Lengyel, USAF Unified Combatant Command Commanders Africa: Gen Thomas D. Waldhauser, USMC Central: GEN Joseph Votel, USA European: GEN Curtis Scaparrotti, USA Northern: Gen Lori Robinson, USAF Indo-Pacific: ADM Philip S. Davidson, USN Southern: ADM Kurt W. Tidd, USN Special Operations: GEN Raymond A. Thomas, USA Strategic: Gen John E. Hyten, USAF Transportation: Gen Darren W. McDew, USAF a - Acting
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Amazon advised US government on a portal that could make it billions
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 10:24
According to emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Rung wrote Marie Davie, director of the GSA's program management office, saying: "IF the legislation is enacted, I have a sense of how GSA will want to approach this (first you have to select providers, then you will want to implement something incrementally/phased approach), but I want to make sure that I'm not way off the mark. It will help me design a discussion/agenda for our meeting next month." Rung reportedly also asked if they should wait to discuss it until the legislation is passed, but Davie replied that the Trump administration was planning on moving ahead regardless.
No company has been given special access. Instead, all companies expressing interest in the Commercial Platforms program have equal access to GSA. We cannot speculate on which companies will be part of the proof of concept until proposals are received, evaluated, and awards are made.
The market for federal procurement is worth around $53 billion, and Amazon appears to be a front runner, according to a report last year in The Intercept. The National Defense Authorization Act, passed last year, contains language that would move Defense Department purchases of commercial products like paperclips, staplers and office furniture to "online marketplaces." Though this would theoretically open the market to any site, the bill also states the program must "enable government-wide use of such marketplaces," requiring very large scale sites.
The email exchange doesn't necessarily show any illegal activity, but reveals how Amazon uses former US bureaucrats to help the company procure potentially lucrative government contracts. The firm already runs a cloud service for the CIA and other intelligence services, and is expected to win a $10 billion cloud contract for the Pentagon's "Jedi" project -- the same one that Google dropped following employee protests. Amazon's cloud success in those areas has been attributed to its hiring of former Air Force brigadier general Steven Spano, according to the Guardian.
Amazon declined to comment for the article (Engadget has reached out), but the GSA told the Guardian that it met with 35 potential suppliers in 2017 and 2018. "No company has been given special access. Instead, all companies expressing interest in the Commercial Platforms program have equal access to GSA," it said in a statement. "We cannot speculate on which companies will be part of the proof of concept until proposals are received, evaluated, and awards are made."
GSA plans big moves in e-commerce -- FCW
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 04:42
2019 Outlook
GSA plans big moves in e-commerce By Mark RockwellDec 19, 2018By the end of 2019, federal government acquisition could look a lot more like the consumer experience of shopping online.
The General Services Administration is in the process of creating e-commerce acquisition platforms from scratch, as mandated by Congress in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.
The officials in charge of developing the portals have relied heavily on input from the commercial sector on how to move ahead. GSA issued the next chapter in its effort on Dec. 4. with a request for information on its draft plans for creating a kind of Amazon.com for federal buyers. Comments are due Dec. 21.
Initial plans for the platforms unveiled just before a Dec. 12 industry day on GSA's Interact site offer some initial specs: a maximum $10,000 threshold for each order, in-depth product descriptions, content review capabilities and shipping status information for buyers.
A report on the effort is due in March, and a proof-of-concept pilot is set for the end of 2019.
An e-commerce portal is not an easy lift for a number of logistical and regulatory reasons. GSA has to thread the needle of aligning federal purchasing practices and rules for commercial-off-the-shelf goods with commercially operated platforms for consumers that operate with substantially less restrictive practices.
Commercial portals are focused on individual consumers, so the agency's portal effort will be treading relatively new ground, GSA officials said at the recent industry day.
"This is a true quadratic equation -- GSA, the platform providers, sellers, the ordering agency," Matthew Blum, associate administrator for the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said at the industry event.
Managing the interaction of those four groups when it comes to portal configuration, fees, data collection, feedback and compliance with federal acquisition rules will be daunting.
Laura Stanton, GSA's deputy assistant commissioner for the IT category, said the e-commerce platform will be shaped by industry comments. In remarks at the industry day, she noted some of the challenges her agency faces and detailed the agency's plans to move ahead in the next year.
The program, she said, will be implemented "over several years, allowing the government to consider such issues as data security, supply chain risks and cybersecurity."
The thorniest of issues involved with setting up the portals, however, could be finding a way to layer best practices in commercial portals with federal buying regulations and practices.
Congress asked GSA "to accept all commercial terms and conditions at the same time that we make no changes to our existing procurement laws and regulations," Stanton said. "For those of you who are familiar with both worlds, you're aware of the challenge that presents to us, and we have worked very hard to sort of thread that needle in the most useful way possible," she said.
Keeping purchase amounts for the planned pilot below the $10,000 micropurchase threshold "really keeps us very closely aligned to the commercial buying practices," said Stanton. The NDAA had originally directed GSA to use a $250,000 threshold. In its newly issued documents, the agency said the lower threshold will let it test broad reform concepts "in a more controlled and structured environment."
More specifically, according to procurement expert Larry Allen in remarks on the effort, the lower threshold will help the agency avoid some of the regulatory limits on government purchases above it, such as those imposed by the Buy American and Trade Agreements Acts. Neither act applies to purchases below $10,000.
The NDAA, said Jeff Koses, GSA senior procurement executive, didn't limit product categories, but it did ask GSA to take a close look at IT and health care products in regards to supply chain security. GSA concluded that there is always going to be some level of risk with those products and that risk increases with the size of the order, with more complicated IT services and the complexity of the supply chain the product or service traverses before it's offered by GSA, Koses said.
The lower micropurchase level helps the agency learn before going big with its portal offering.
"We think that starts us at a pretty low-risk environment," Koses said.
About the Author
Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.
Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.
Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.
Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.
Editor's Note
Deadline extended for Federal 100 nominations! You now have until Friday, Jan. 4, to get them in. Happy holidays!
2019 Outlook
GSA plans big moves in e-commerce In the coming year, GSA will tackle the multiple complexities of launching an e-commerce acquisition platform from scratch.
Telecommunications
GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023 Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.
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NGA.mil | National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 05:21
News Articles Woodley Hills students get hands-on learning about Washington D.C.Dec. 21, 2018 '--Students at Woodley Hills Elementary School, in Alexandria, Virginia, answered geography questions and more as a part of a Partners in Education outreach event with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
NGA leadership visits HBCU to increase partnershipDec. 18, 2018 '-- NGA leadership visited Fayetteville State University, a historically black college in North Carolina, Dec. 3, to meet with faculty and staff and to promote NGA's internship program to prospective recruits.
Director, mayor, Air Force sign land transfer document for new NGA facility at ceremony in STLDec. 18, 2018 '-- Officials from the Air Force, St. Louis and NGA signed a document commemorating the transfer of land from the City of St. Louis to the Air Force Dec. 13 at St. Louis Central Library.
City of St. Louis, DoD finalize terms of N2W land transferNov. 30, 2018'' The City of St. Louis and federal government officials announced today that they have finalized the transactional details to transfer the land in North St. Louis to be used for the Next NGA West headquarters.
News Releases Sharp selected as next NGA directorDec. 26, 2018 '-- The Senate confirmed Navy Rear Adm. Robert Sharp for promotion to vice admiral and DOD and ODNI selected him as the next director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Dec. 22.
NGA participates in GeoPlunge tournament with local schoolsNov. 13, 2018 '-- The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will participate in a GeoPlunge tournament with three St. Louis elementary schools, Nov. 14 at Cortex STL.
$15K NGA challenge seeks agricultural delineation systemNov. 2, 2018 '-- The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is seeking ideas for a system to rapidly, accurately and automatically delineate agricultural field outlines from satellite imagery.
NGA, partners complete 2-meter resolution map of ArcticOct. 5, 2018 '-- The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and its partners in academia and industry released the final planned 3-D digital elevation models of the Arctic in 2-meter resolution Sept. 28.
Speeches & Remarks Geography 2050, ''Powering our Future Planet''Nov. 15, 2018 '-- Remarks as delivered by Robert Cardillo, Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
4th Annual Intelligence and National Security Summit (INSS)Sept. 4, 2018 '-- Remarks as prepared for Justin Poole, Deputy Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Armed Forces Day 2018 May 19, 2018 '-- Armed Forces Day message from United States Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Troie Croft, NGA senior enlisted advisor.
C4ISRNET 17th Annual ConferenceMay 10, 2018 '-- Remarks as prepared for Justin Poole, Deputy Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency - Wikipedia
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 05:12
National Geospatial-Intelligence AgencySeal of the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Flag of the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
NGA Campus East is the headquarters of the agency. The building features trapezoidal windows, color-coded interior sections, and is bisected by an atrium that is large enough to hold the Statue of Liberty.[1][2][3]Agency overviewFormedOctober 1, 1996 ( 1996-10-01 ) (as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency) Preceding agencyNational Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA)JurisdictionU.S. Department of DefenseHeadquartersFort Belvoir, Springfield, Virginia, U.S.[2] 38°45'²12'"N 77°11'²49'"W >> / >> 38.7532°N 77.1969°W >> / 38.7532; -77.1969 Coordinates: 38°45'²12'"N 77°11'²49'"W >> / >> 38.7532°N 77.1969°W >> / 38.7532; -77.1969 Motto"Know the Earth... Show the Way... Understand the World"EmployeesAbout 16,000[4]Annual budgetClassified (at least $4.9 billion, as of 2013)[5]Agency executivesParent agencyDepartment of DefenseWebsite www.nga.mil Footnotes[6]The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is both a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense and an intelligence agency of the United States Intelligence Community,[7] with the primary mission of collecting, analyzing, and distributing geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) in support of national security. NGA was known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) until 2003.
NGA headquarters, also known as NGA Campus East, is located at Fort Belvoir in Springfield, Virginia. The agency also operates major facilities in the St. Louis, Missouri area, as well as support and liaison offices worldwide. The NGA headquarters, at 2.3 million square feet (214,000 m2), is the third-largest government building in the Washington metropolitan area after The Pentagon and the Ronald Reagan Building.[8]
In addition to using GEOINT for U.S. military and intelligence efforts, the NGA provides assistance during natural and man-made disasters, and security planning for major events such as the Olympic Games.[9]
In September 2018, researchers at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency released a high resolution terrain map (detail down to the size of a car, and less in some areas) of Antarctica, named the "Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica" (REMA).[10]
History [ edit ] U.S. mapping and charting efforts remained relatively unchanged until World War I, when aerial photography became a major contributor to battlefield intelligence. Using stereo viewers, photo-interpreters reviewed thousands of images. Many of these were of the same target at different angles and times, giving rise to what became modern imagery analysis and mapmaking.
Engineer Reproduction Plant (ERP) [ edit ] The Engineer Reproduction Plant was the Army Corps of Engineers's first attempt to centralize mapping production, printing, and distribution.[when? ] It was located on the grounds of the Army War College in Washington, D.C. Previously, topographic mapping had largely been a function of individual field engineer units using field surveying techniques or copying existing or captured products. In addition, ERP assumed the "supervision and maintenance" of the War Department Map Collection, effective April 1, 1939.
Army Map Service (AMS) / U.S. Army Topographic Command (USATC) [ edit ] With the advent of the Second World War aviation, field surveys began giving way to photogrammetry, photo interpretation, and geodesy. During wartime, it became increasingly possible to compile maps with minimal field work. Out of this emerged AMS, which absorbed the existing ERP in May 1942. It was located at the Dalecarlia Site (including buildings now named for John C. Fr(C)mont and Charles H. Ruth) on MacArthur Blvd., just outside Washington, D.C., in Montgomery County, Maryland, and adjacent to the Dalecarlia Reservoir. AMS was designated as an Engineer field activity, effective July 1, 1942, by General Order 22, OCE, June 19, 1942. The Army Map Service also combined many of the Army's remaining geographic intelligence organizations and the Engineer Technical Intelligence Division. AMS was redesignated the U.S. Army Topographic Command (USATC) on September 1, 1968, and continued as an independent organization until 1972, when it was merged into the new Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) and redesignated as the DMA Topographic Center (DMATC) (see below).
The agency's credit union, Constellation Federal Credit Union, was chartered during the Army Map Service era, in 1944. It has continued to serve all successive legacy agencies' employees and their families.[11]
Aeronautical Chart Plant (ACP) [ edit ] After the war, as airplane capacity and range improved, the need for charts grew. The Army Air Corps established its map unit, which was renamed ACP in 1943 and was located in St. Louis, Missouri. ACP was known as the U.S. Air Force Aeronautical Chart and Information Center (ACIC) from 1952 to 1972 (See DMAAC below).
A credit union was chartered for the ACP in 1948, called Aero Chart Credit Union. It was renamed Arsenal Credit Union in 1952,[12] a nod to the St. Louis site's Civil War-era use as an arsenal.[13]
National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) [ edit ] Shortly before leaving office in January 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized the creation of the National Photographic Interpretation Center, a joint project of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and DOD. NPIC was a component of the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology (DDS&T) and its primary function was imagery analysis.[14] NPIC became part of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (now NGA) in 1996.[15]
Cuban Missile Crisis [ edit ] NPIC first identified the Soviet Union's basing of missiles in Cuba in 1962. By exploiting images from U-2 overflights and film from canisters ejected by orbiting Corona (satellite)s,[16] NPIC analysts developed the information necessary to inform U.S. policymakers and influence operations during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Their analysis garnered worldwide attention when the Kennedy Administration declassified and made public a portion of the images depicting the Soviet missiles on Cuban soil; Adlai Stevenson presented the images to the United Nations Security Council on October 25, 1962.
Directors of NPIC [ edit ] Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) [ edit ] The Defense Mapping Agency was created on January 1, 1972, to consolidate all U.S. military mapping activities. DMA's "birth certificate", DoD Directive 5105.40, resulted from a formerly classified Presidential directive, "Organization and Management of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Community" (November 5, 1971), which directed the consolidation of mapping functions previously dispersed among the military services.[17] DMA became operational on July 1, 1972, pursuant to General Order 3, DMA (June 16, 1972). On Oct. 1, 1996, DMA was folded into the National Imagery and Mapping Agency '' which later became NGA.[18]
DMA was first headquartered at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C, then at Falls Church, Virginia. Its mostly civilian workforce was concentrated at production sites in Bethesda, Maryland, Northern Virginia, and St. Louis, Missouri. DMA was formed from the Mapping, Charting, and Geodesy Division, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and from various mapping-related organizations of the military services.[19]
DMA Hydrographic Center (DMAHC)DMAHC was formed in 1972 when the Navy's Hydrographic Office split its two components: The charting component was attached to DMAHC, and the survey component moved to the Naval Oceanographic Office, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, on the grounds of what is now the NASA Stennis Space Center. DMAHC was responsible for creating terrestrial maps of coastal areas worldwide and hydrographic charts for DoD. DMAHC was initially located in Suitland, Maryland, but later relocated to Brookmont (Bethesda), Maryland.
DMA Topographic Center (DMATC)DMATC was located in Brookmont (Bethesda), Maryland. It was responsible for creating topographic maps worldwide for DoD. DMATC's location in Bethesda, Maryland is the former site of NGA's headquarters.
DMA Hydrographic/Topographic Center (DMAHTC)DMAHC and DMATC eventually merged to form DMAHTC, with offices in Brookmont (Bethesda), Maryland.
DMA Aerospace Center (DMAAC)DMAAC originated with the U.S. Air Force's Aeronautical Chart and Information Center (ACIC) and was located in St. Louis, Missouri.
National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) [ edit ] NIMA was established on October 1, 1996, by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997.[20] The creation of NIMA followed more than a year of study, debate, and planning by the defense, intelligence, and policy-making communities (as well as the Congress) and continuing consultations with customer organizations. The creation of NIMA centralized responsibility for imagery and mapping.
NIMA combined the DMA, the Central Imagery Office (CIO), and the Defense Dissemination Program Office (DDPO) in their entirety, and the mission and functions of the NPIC. Also merged into NIMA were the imagery exploitation, dissemination, and processing elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, and the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office.
NIMA's creation was clouded by the natural reluctance of cultures to merge and the fear that their respective missions'--mapping in support of defense activities versus intelligence production, principally in support of national policymakers'--would be subordinated, each to the other.[21]
NGA [ edit ] With the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 on November 24, 2003,[22] NIMA was renamed NGA to better reflect its primary mission in the area of GEOINT.[23] As a part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, all major Washington, D.C.-area NGA facilities, including those in Bethesda, Maryland; Reston, Virginia; and Washington, D.C., would be consolidated at a new facility at the Fort Belvoir proving grounds. This new facility, called the NGA Campus East houses several thousand people and is situated on the former Engineer Proving Ground site near Fort Belvoir. NGA facilities in St. Louis were not affected by the 2005 BRAC process.[24]
The cost of the new center, as of March 2009, was expected to be $2.4 billion. The center's campus is approximately 2,400,000 square feet (220,000 m2) and was completed in September 2011.[25]
Organization [ edit ] Employees [ edit ] NGA employs professionals in aeronautical analysis, cartography, geospatial analysis, imagery analysis, marine analysis, the physical sciences, geodesy, computer and telecommunication engineering, and photogrammetry, as well as those in the national security and law enforcement fields.
NIMA / NGA Directors [ edit ] The current director of NGA is Robert Cardillo.
NGA Director Robert Cardillo
This table lists all Directors of the NIMA and NGA and their term of office.
^ Although General Clapper preferred the use of his military rank, he was in fact a member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service (DISES) during his term as Director of NIMA / NGA, as he had retired from active duty as the director of DIA in 1995. Clapper was the first civilian to head NIMA / NGA. On February 22, 2010, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that Letitia Long would become director later that year, becoming the first woman to head one of the 16 Intelligence Community component agencies. Long was at the time deputy director of the DIA.[26] Long was sworn in on August 9, 2010, as head of the NGA.[27]
Civilian, Department of Defense, and Intelligence Community activities [ edit ] Osama bin Laden Compound Raid:The NGA was integral in helping the Department of Defense and the U.S. Intelligence Community pinpoint the Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan, where bin Laden was residing. Following identification, NGA worked in collaboration with other intelligence agencies to create a replica of Osama bin Laden's home in Pakistan, map bin Laden's compound, analyze drone data, and help the SEALs simulate their mission. Osama bin Laden was then killed in a SEAL team operation.[28][29]9/11 aftermath: After the September 11, 2001 attacks, NIMA partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey to survey the World Trade Center site and determine the extent of the destruction.[16] [dead link ] Olympic support: In 2002, NIMA partnered with Federal organizations to provide geospatial assistance to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah.[16] [dead link ] NGA also helped support the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.Space Shuttle Columbia disaster: While the Space Shuttle Columbia was in orbit during STS-107, NIMA purportedly offered to image the shuttle and its suspected damage from falling debris during takeoff. NASA declined this offer (see Space Shuttle Columbia disaster), but has since forged an interagency agreement with NGA to collect imagery for all future space shuttle flights.[citation needed ]Keyhole investment: NGA contributed approximately 25% of In-Q-Tel's funding of Keyhole Inc, whose Earth-viewing software became Google Earth.[30]Hurricane Katrina: The NGA supported Hurricane Katrina relief efforts by "providing geospatial information about the affected areas based on imagery from commercial and U.S. government satellites, and from airborne platforms, to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other government agencies.[31] NGA's Earth website is a central source of these efforts.Microsoft partnership: Microsoft Corp. and the NGA have signed a letter of understanding to advance the design and delivery of geospatial information applications to customers.[32] NGA will continue to use the Microsoft Virtual Earth platform (as it did for Katrina relief) to provide geospatial support for humanitarian, peacekeeping, and national-security efforts. Virtual Earth is a set of online mapping and search services that deliver imagery through an API.Social Software Training: Several agencies in the Intelligence community, most notably CIA and NGA, have developed training programs to provide time to integrate social software tools into analysts' daily work habits. These classes generally focus on the use of Intellipedia to capture and manage knowledge, but they also use other social software tools, such as blogs, RSS, and social bookmarking. The courses stress immersion in these tools, and instructors encourage participants to work on a specific project in Intellipedia and exposes participants to social media.[33][34][35]Google and GeoEye: In 2008 the NGA partnered with Google and GeoEye. Google would be allowed to use GeoEye spy satellite imagery with reduced resolution for Google Earth.[30]First Intelligence Agency to Open Source Software on GitHub: April 2014 NGA became the first intelligence agency to open-source software on GitHub.[36] NGA Director Letitia Long talks about NGA's GitHub initiative and the first offering, GeoQ, at the GEOINT Symposium. Her comments start at 40 minutes and 40 seconds from her GEOINT 2014 conference speech. NGA open sources software packages under their GitHub organizational account.Controversies [ edit ] NIMA / NGA has been involved in several controversies.
India tested a nuclear weapon in 1998 that reportedly took the United States by surprise. Due to budget cuts in defense spending after the end of the Cold War (see Peace dividend), the Intelligence Community was forced to reevaluate the allocation of its limited resources.[37]In 1999, NIMA supposedly provided NATO war-planners with incorrect maps which did not reflect that the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade had moved locations, which some[who? ] have argued was the cause of the accidental NATO Bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. The Central Intelligence Agency countered this criticism by saying this overstates the importance of the map itself in the analytic process. Maps of urban areas will be out-of-date the day after they are published, but what is important is having accurate databases.[better source needed ][38]On Jan. 17, 2013, the USS Guardian was grounded on the Tubbataha Reef in the southern Philippines. The Navy investigated the cause of the accident and determined NGA was not at fault'--rather, that the ship's leadership team failed to adhere to prudent, safe, and sound navigation principles. The Navy relied solely on an inaccurate Digital Nautical Chart (DNC) during the planning and execution of the navigation plan and failed to appropriately cross-reference additional charts and utilize visual cues.[39]Gallery [ edit ] New Headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
See also [ edit ] CartographyGeographic Information System (GIS)GEOnet Names ServerGeospatial engineeringGeospatial Information OfficerGIS use in the NGAImagery intelligenceOrthophotoRemote sensingSatellite imagerySmall SatsReferences [ edit ] ^ "BRAC side effect: Greener buildings". May 13, 2011. ^ a b "NGA Campus East Fact Sheet" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on February 21, 2014. ^ "Photo gallery: An alternative geography". projects.washingtonpost.com. ^ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Archived November 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.. .nga.mil. Retrieved on July 21, 2013. ^ Gellman, Barton; Greg Miller (August 29, 2013). "U.S. spy network's successes, failures and objectives detailed in 'black budget' summary". The Washington Post . Retrieved August 29, 2013 . ^ "GSP - GSP". www.esa.int. ^ "10 U.S. Code § 441 - Establishment". LII / Legal Information Institute. ^ Serbu, Jared (2011-09-27). "Geospatial intelligence HQ is now DC's 3rd largest federal office building". Federal News Radio . Retrieved 2016-03-19 . ^ "About NGA". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. ^ Stirone, Shannon (7 September 2018). "New Antarctica Map Is Like 'Putting on Glasses for the First Time and Seeing 20/20' '' A high resolution terrain map of Earth's frozen continent will help researchers better track changes on the ice as the planet warms". The New York Times . Retrieved 9 September 2018 . ^ "Constellation Federal Credit Union - Miscellaneous - CFCU to NCE". constellationfcu.org . Retrieved December 3, 2012 . ^ "Arsenal Credit Union - Arsenal Credit Union - Our Roots and Structure". Arsenalcu.org . Retrieved November 27, 2012 . ^ " " Solving the Mystery of the Arsenal Guns" by Randy R. McGuire". civilwarstlouis.com . Retrieved November 27, 2012 . ^ "Thirty ... and thriving". Central Intelligence Agency. December 1, 1991. p. 1ff. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012 . Retrieved May 30, 2010 . ^ "Jan. 18, 1961: National Photographic Interpretation Center". www.nga.mil. ^ a b c NGA History Archived March 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., nga.mil ^ Nixon, Richard (November 5, 1971). "Memorandum, Subject: Organization and Management of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Community" (PDF) . gwu.edu . Retrieved August 12, 2007 . ^ "Defense Mapping Agency". NGA.mil. ^ U.S. National Archives. "Guide to Federal Records: Records of the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA)". National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) . Retrieved August 12, 2007 . ^ "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997" (PDF) . September 23, 1996 . Retrieved February 10, 2008 . ^ Report of the Independent Commission on NIMA - December 2000 Archived September 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., nga.mil ^ "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004" (PDF) . November 24, 2003 . Retrieved February 10, 2008 . , gpo.gov ^ "NGA: September-October 2003 State of the Agency" (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on September 19, 2009. ^ New Campus East Archived November 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., nga.mil ^ Davenport, Christian, "Projects' Costs Are Rising", Washington Post, March 31, 2009, p. B4 ^ "Gates names first woman to head major intel agency". FederalTimes.com. February 23, 2010 . Retrieved February 25, 2010 . Letitia Long, currently the Defense Intelligence Agency's deputy director, will take over NGA this summer, Gates said. ^ "Woman takes charge of major intelligence agency for the first time". CNN. August 9, 2010 . Retrieved August 11, 2010 . ^ Ambinder, Marc (5 May 2011). "The Little-Known Agency That Helped Kill Bin Laden". The Atlantic Monthly. ^ "Osama bin Laden Compound Raid". National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency . Retrieved 27 July 2017 . This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. ^ a b "Oakland emails give another glimpse into the Google-Military-Surveillance Complex". PandoDaily. ^ Geospatial Intelligence Aids Hurricane Recovery Efforts Archived September 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., nga.mil ^ Microsoft and NGA Announce Strategic Alliance, microsoft.com ^ Radio interview that highlights Intelligence Community social software training programs, Federal News Radio, 5 November 2007, Federalnewsradio.com ^ Executive Spotlight Interview with Sean Dennehy Archived December 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., ExecutiveBiz, December 5, 2007 ^ Executive Spotlight Interview Archived December 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. with Chris Rasmussen, ExecutiveBiz, October 25, 2007 ^ NGA releases open source code on GitHub, FierceGovernmentIT, April 07, 2014 ^ "Secretive map agency opens its doors", CNN.com, December 13, 2002 ^ DCI Statement on the Belgrade Chinese Embassy Bombing to a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Open Hearing, 22 July 1999, CIA ^ "USS Guardian Grounding Investigation Results Released". U.S. Navy . Retrieved 20 June 2013 . Further reading [ edit ] Ambinder, Marc (May 5, 2011). "The Little-Known Agency That Helped Kill Bin Laden". The Atlantic. Explains the NGA's capabilities.External links [ edit ] Official website GEOnet Names Server (GNS) - Database of foreign geographic feature names. Worldwide coverage excluding the United States and Antarctica, containing approximately 3.93 million features with 5.45 million names, and their coordinatesNGA Earth - Formerly KatrinaImagery.org (Hurricane Crisis Imagery)Center for Geospatial Intelligence : University of Missouri - Columbia research center focused on GeoINTJP 2-03, Geospatial Intelligence Support to Joint Operations, 31 October 2012Commission Report on the National Imagery and Mapping AgencyGeoIntelligence: A trade publication covering the uses of spatial technologies for national defense and homeland security by organizations such as NGAEnsor, David (December 13, 2002). "Secretive map agency opens its doors". CNN. DMA Receives Hammer Award, 26 January 1996Agency Provides More Than Just MapsThe Center for Intelligence and Security Studies trains new analysts in Intelligence AnalysisForeignintelligenceDomesticintelligenceAlgeria: DRSArgentina: AFIAustralia: ASIOAzerbaijan: MTNBangladesh: SBBelarus: KGB RBBelgium: VS/SEBosnia and Herzegovina: SIPABrazil: PFBrunei: IRDCanada: CSISChile: ANIChina: MSSCongo (Democratic Republic of): ANRCroatia: SOACzech Republic: BISDenmark: PETEgypt: EHSEstonia: KAPOFinland: SupoFrance: DGSIGermany: BfVGhana: GPS, CIDGreece: EYPHong Kong: CIBHungary: AHIndia: IB, CBI, NSC, AIRMSIran: VAJA, IRGC, PAVAIreland: CSB, SDU, NSUIsrael: Shin BetItaly: AISIKazakhstan: NSCKenya: NISLatvia: DPLithuania: STTRepublic of Macedonia: IAMalaysia: SBMoldova: SISJapan: NPA, PSIANetherlands: NCTbNew Zealand: NZSISNigeria: SSSNorway: PSTNorth Korea: SSDOman: ISSPakistan: IB, FIAPhilippines: NBIPoland: ABWPortugal: SISRomania: SRIRussia: FSBSaudi Arabia: MabahithSerbia: BIASingapore: ISDSouth Africa: SSASouth Korea: SPOSpain: CITCOSri Lanka: SISSweden: SPOSwitzerland: NDBSyria: GSDTaiwan: MJIBThailand: ISOC, SBTurkey: KDGMUkraine: SBUUnited Kingdom: Security Service (MI5), NDEDIU, NCA, NBISUnited States: FBIUzbekistan: SNBVenezuela: SEBINVietnam: TC5Zimbabwe: CIOMilitaryintelligenceAustralia: DIOBangladesh: DGFIBelgium: ADIV/SGRSBrazil: DIECanada: Int BranchChina: MIDCongo (Democratic Republic of): DEMIAPCroatia: VSOACzech Republic: VZDenmark: FEEgypt: DMISRFinland: PE TIEDOSFrance: DRM, DGSEGermany: MADGhana: MIUHungary: KNBSZIran: General Staff, SAHEFAJA, SAHEFASA, SAHEFAVEDJAIndia: DMI, DIAIndonesia: BAISIreland: G2Israel: AmanItaly: CIIJapan: MICKazakhstan: NSCLithuania: AOTDRepublic of Macedonia: MSSIMalaysia: DSIDMorocco: DGEDNetherlands: MIVDNew Zealand: DDISNorth Korea: RGBNorway: E-tjenestenPakistan: MI, NI, AIPhilippines: ISAFPPoland: SKW, SWWPortugal: CISMILRomania: DGIARussia: GRUSaudi Arabia: AFISCSerbia: VOA, VBASingapore: MIOSlovakia: VSSSlovenia: OVSSouth Africa: SANDF-IDSouth Korea: DIA, DSSCSpain: CIFASSri Lanka: DMISweden: MUSTSwitzerland: MNDSyria: MI, AFIDTaiwan: MNDThailand: AFSCTurkey: GENKUR Ä°.D.B., JÄ°TEMUkraine: HUR MOUnited Kingdom: DIUnited States: DIAVenezuela: DGCIMVietnam: TC2SignalsintelligenceImageryintelligenceRelatedtopics
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Defence secretary expresses 'grave' worries over China telecoms giant Huawei providing UK 5G network | The Independent
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 12:59
Defence secretary Gavin Williamson has expressed ''grave'' worries about Chinese telecoms giant Huawei providing technology for the 5G network in Britain, warning ''malign'' activity by the Beijing government poses serious risks to this country's national security.
British intelligence agencies, as well as the Ministry of Defence, are working on ways to combat Chinese espionage with particular attention to how it is exploiting nascent cybertechnology to extract secret information.
But Mr Williamson's intervention '' which comes after concerns were raised about spying and the Chinese state by the head of MI6, Alex Younger, and the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt '' shows growing alarm about the issue.
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Australia and New Zealand have blocked Huawei from being involved in their 5G networks on the grounds of national security, and the US has imposed restrictions on the company's activities. Earlier this month Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive of the multinational, was arrested in Canada and is currently awaiting extradition proceedings to America.
It has been reported that the intelligence sharing network between the ''Five Eyes'' states '' the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada '' have repeatedly warned the Canadian government Huawei is establishing its presence in the country through a rapidly growing number of university projects, along with other means.
Mr Williamson, speaking about threats facing the UK during a journey back from a visit to Ukraine, said: ''I have very deep, grave concerns about Huawei providing the 5G network in Britain, it is something we would have to look at very closely.
''We have got to look at what partners such as Australia and the US are doing in order to ensure maximum security of the 5G network. And we have got to recognise the fact, as has been recently exposed, the Chinese state does sometimes act in a malign way.''
China comments on Huawei arrest in Canada
The US has been urging its allies to stop using telecommunications equipment supplied by Huawei and other Chinese companies because of the security dangers they allegedly bring. Although the American military uses secure networks for the most sensitive information, much of its traffic still moves over commercial networks.
The UK, however, is keen not to overly antagonise China as it seeks trading partners in the uncertain post-Brexit future. Moreover, many of the country's mobile networks have been working with Huawei on their 5G programmes and it will be difficult to make alternative arrangements at short notice.
In the US private companies have been urged to take measures against what the Pentagon sees as the Chinese security threat. Washington-based TechMet, involved in engineering technology, has just appointed Admiral Mike Mullen, the former head of the US military, as chairman of its advisory board.
The company says one of the reasons Admiral Mullen, who served as principal military adviser to presidents Bush and Obama, came on board is to provide his expertise in ensuring the metals the US military needs for key equipment such as drones, electric vehicles and processing chips come from secure sources.
Brian Menell, the CEO of TechMet, said: ''China has overwhelming control of technology metals.''
The company has been speaking to the US government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation, said Mr Mennell, ''about providing finance for TechMet [and] they rightly understand the critical need for the US to gain a greater portion of strategic technology metals, where China has a stranglehold, to protect national security interests and economic development''.
leftCreated with Sketch. rightCreated with Sketch.
1/50 27 December 2018Picture taken with permission from the Twitter feed of Hannah Louise of the scene in Launcelot Close, Andover, where the body of a man has been found after an explosion caused a building to collapse this morning.
PA
2/50 23 December 2018Team Dash and Splash swimmers, some in fancy dress, getting into the Irish Sea at Bangor beach in Northern Ireland
PA
3/50 22 December 2018Members of the Shakti Sings choir sing as druids, pagans and revellers gather in the centre of Stonehenge, hoping to see the sun rise, as they take part in a winter solstice ceremony at the ancient neolithic monument near Amesbury. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and the event is claimed to be more important in the pagan calendar than the summer solstice, because it marks the 're-birth' of the sun for the new year
Getty
4/50 21 December 2018Environmental protestors from the Extinction Rebellion group chant during a demonstration outside BBC Broadcasting House in London. The group was calling for the media organisation to provide further in-depth coverage of climate-related issues in future reporting
Getty
5/50 20 December 2018A police helicopter flies over Gatwick airport in search of the person operating the drone that has caused the airport to be closed today
Getty
6/50 19 December 2018There was controversy in the Commons today as Jeremy Corbyn allegedly called the Prime Minister a stupid woman under his breath after she made a joke at PMQs
AP
7/50 18 December 2018Jose Mourinho after he was sacked by Manchester United with immediate effect. The Portuguese leaves United sixth in the table with the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday proving his final game in charge. A club statement read: "Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect. The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future. A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager."
Reuters
8/50 17 December 2018Firefighters and police officers attend a memorial service at the Harrods Bombing memorial in west London, on the 35th anniversary of the terrorist attack which left three police officers and three members of the public dead, on December 17, 1983
PA
9/50 16 December 2018Theresa May has hit out at Mr Blair, accusing him of "insulting"the British people and the office of prime minister by "undermining" Brexit talks with calls in Brussels for a second referendum.
PA
10/50 15 December 2018Chester Zoo after a fire broke out in the Monsoon Forest habitat area.
PA
11/50 14 December 2018Fracking has been halted at the Preston Road site in Lancashire after a series of tremors peaking at 0.9 magnitude
Reuters
12/50 13 December 2018Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today told Theresa May that he expects assurances that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
AP
13/50 12 December 2018Theresa May announces that she is to face a vote of no confidence today
Reuters
14/50 11 December 2018Armed police restrain a man inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament in London
Reuters
15/50 10 December 2018A demonstrator dressed as Theresa May sells Brexit Fudge in Old Palace Yard, Westminster
PA
16/50 9 December 2018A pro-brexit demonstrator speaks into a megaphone at the "Brexit betrayal" march in London. Counter-demonstrators also staged a march in London today
Angela Christofilou/The Independent
17/50 8 December 2018People in Santa costumes in Trafalgar Square, London, as they take part in Santacon
PA
18/50 7 December 2018A large mural depicting one star being chipped away from the EU flag is seen in Dover. The work has been attributed to Banksy
Reuters
19/50 6 December 2018A man wearing a storm trooper costume holds a sketchbook belonging to costume designer John Mollo, and showing illustrations for Star Wars costumes, during a photo-call ahead of an auction at Bonhams in central London
Reuters
20/50 5 December 2018Demonstrators for and against Brexit protest opposite the Houses of Parliament
AFP/Getty
21/50 4 December 2018Theresa May has suffered an unprecedented defeat after the government was found to be in contempt of parliament for refusing to publish key Brexit papers.Labour and other opposition MPs, including Ms May's DUP allies, won a narrow victory on the emergency motion, which argued that ministers failed to comply with a binding Commons resolution to publish the full legal advice on the Brexit dea
Reuters
22/50 3 December 2018The Independent's Final Say campaign and People's Vote delivering to 10 Downing Street their respective petitions calling for a public referendum on Theresa May's Brexit deal. The Independent editor Christian Broughton delivered over one million Final Say signatures and People's Vote spokesman Chuka Umunna delivered 300,000 People's Vote signatures at midday
The Independent/Lucy Young
23/50 2 December 2018Competitors take part in the London Santa Run in London's Victoria Park
Reuters
24/50 1 December 2018Britain will no longer have access to the EU's Galileo satellite system (pictured) following brexit
PA
25/50 30 November 2018US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May attend the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Reuters
26/50 29 November 2018Waves hit the British coast as Storm Diana approaches, in Portreath, Cornwall
StuCornell/Twitter/Reuters
27/50 28 November 2018Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stand with Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha (left), the son of Leicester City's chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and his mother Aimon watched by Leicester City players (right) as they pause after laying flowers during their visit to the King Power Stadium in Leicester, to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the October 27 helicopter crash at the stadium. The chairman was among five people killed when his helicopter crashed in the side's stadium car park moments after taking off from the pitch
AFP/Getty
28/50 27 November 2018A demonstrator wearing a mask of Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg poses outside Portcullis house to question the refusal of Zuckerberg to give evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee investigation into disinformation and fake news at the Houses of Parliament in London. Facebook boss Richard Allan is expected to be among a number of officials giving evidence to an "international grand committee" on disinformation and fake news
AFP/Getty
29/50 26 November 2018Artist Joseph Hillier and his sculpture - Messenger, depicting "a young powerful woman", which will be unveiled next year for Theatre Royal Plymouth. The sculpture, spanning seven metres high and nine metres wide, is too large to be put together at Castle Fine Arts foundry, near Oswestry, so it's being made in sections with 30 master craftsmen to weld them together
PA
30/50 25 November 2018Prime Minister Theresa May gives a press conference at the end of the European Council meeting in Brussels. The leaders of the 27 remaining EU member countries (EU27) have endorsed the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement and approved the draft political declaration on future EU-UK relations in a special meeting of the European Council on Britain leaving the EU under Article 50
EPA
31/50 24 November 2018Environmental activists gather around a mock 'coffin', with "our future" written on it, on the green in Parliament Square during a demonstration organised by the movement Extinction Rebellion, calling on the British government to take action on climate and ecological issues. After a week of protest action disrupting the traffic on bridges in central London over the Thames, the social movement Extinction Rebellion, planned a 'funeral march' to highlight what they describe as a climate and ecological emergency. Extinction Rebellion demands that the UK government reduces to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and creates a citizens assembly to oversee changes in environmental policies
AFP/Getty
32/50 23 November 2018England batsman Jonny Bairstow celebrates after reaching his century during Day One of the Third Test match against Sri Lanka at Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo
Getty
33/50 22 November 2018Prime Minister Theresa May joins a parent and baby group during a visit to the Kentish Town Health Centre in London
Reuters
34/50 21 November 2018A crashed car, with an object protruding through the windscreen, sits abandoned on the A628 in the Peak District, as a blast of snow hit the north of England
PA
35/50 20 November 2018Waves crash over Seaham lighthouse near Durham as the cold and wet weather continues
PA
36/50 19 November 2018Prime Minister Theresa May speaking at the CBI annual conference at InterContinental Hotel. Ms May, speaking at the CBI conference, said it was ''important'' that the UK had escaped EU rules by the 2022 election, but did not give a guarantee
PA
37/50 18 November 2018England's Harry Kane celebrates with team mate Jesse Lingard after he scored the winning goal against Croatia, after coming from 0-1 down during their Nations League match at Wembley Stadium. The win means that England process to the semi-finals of the new competition and relegate Croatia
AFP/Getty
38/50 17 November 2018Demonstrators on Westminster Bridge in London for a protest called by Extinction Rebellion to raise awareness of the dangers posed by climate change
PA
39/50 16 November 2018Environment Secretary Michael Gove speaking outside the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs offices. He confirmed he will remain in post and thinks it is important to continue working with Cabinet colleagues to ensure the best Brexit outcome for the country
PA
40/50 15 November 2018Theresa May chuckles at a press conference in Downing Street after a tough day in which multiple cabinet members have resigned and a number of MPs have tabled votes of no confidence in her leadership
Reuters
41/50 14 November 2018Pro-European Union, anti-Brexit demonstrators hold placards and wave Union and EU flags as they protest outside of the Houses of Parliament. British and European Union negotiators have reached a draft agreement on Brexit
AFP/Getty
42/50 13 November 2018Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab leaves Downing Street. Prime Minister Theresa May today faced her divided ministers as negotiators scrambled to secure a divorce agreement with the European Union and anxiety mounted over the risk of a no-deal Brexit
PA
43/50 12 November 2018Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller (centre) welcomes Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena (left) and London Mayor Sadiq Khan at City Hall in Berlin. The three city leaders are meeting to discuss common challenges, including the consequences of Brexit, immigration and the growth of right-wing populism
Getty
44/50 11 November 2018Prince Charles, and President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier face the Cenotaph during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony on Whitehall in London. On the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice, the day's events mark the final First World War Centenary commemoration events hosted by the UK Government
AFP/Getty
45/50 10 November 2018Fans, players and staff pay tribute inside of the King Power stadium as a silence is observed in memory of Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha prior to their Premier League match against Burnley. The first time a match has been played in the stadium since the owners helicopter crash
Getty
46/50 9 November 2018Transport Minister Jo Johnson has resigned in protest of the Government's Brexit plan and called for a Final Say referendum
EPA
47/50 8 November 2018Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt delivers a speech at the British embassy in Paris. Britain's foreign secretary says Brexit negotiations are in "the final phase" and that he is confident that an agreement will be reached with the European Union.
AP
48/50 7 November 2018Captain James Pugh places a figure among artist Rob Heard's installation Shrouds of the Somme, which honours the dead of the First World War, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. 72,396 small shrouded figures, representing soldiers who died and were never recovered from the Somme battlefields, have been laid out by volunteers and members of 1 Royal Anglian Regiment
PA
49/50 6 November 2018Adrian Lester, Sir Lenny Henry, Ade Adepitan, Nadine Marsh-Edwards, Marcus Ryder and Meera Syal, as they deliver a letter, signed by a string of stars, to 10 Downing Street, calling for tax breaks to effect change and boost diversity behind the camera
PA
50/50 5 November 2018EU nationals, living in the UK take part in a demonstration along Whitehall. Three campaign groups, 'the3million', 'British in Europe', and UNISON came together to form a human chain from Downing Street to Parliament Square and lobby MPs
Getty
1/50 27 December 2018Picture taken with permission from the Twitter feed of Hannah Louise of the scene in Launcelot Close, Andover, where the body of a man has been found after an explosion caused a building to collapse this morning.
PA
2/50 23 December 2018Team Dash and Splash swimmers, some in fancy dress, getting into the Irish Sea at Bangor beach in Northern Ireland
PA
3/50 22 December 2018Members of the Shakti Sings choir sing as druids, pagans and revellers gather in the centre of Stonehenge, hoping to see the sun rise, as they take part in a winter solstice ceremony at the ancient neolithic monument near Amesbury. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and the event is claimed to be more important in the pagan calendar than the summer solstice, because it marks the 're-birth' of the sun for the new year
Getty
4/50 21 December 2018Environmental protestors from the Extinction Rebellion group chant during a demonstration outside BBC Broadcasting House in London. The group was calling for the media organisation to provide further in-depth coverage of climate-related issues in future reporting
Getty
5/50 20 December 2018A police helicopter flies over Gatwick airport in search of the person operating the drone that has caused the airport to be closed today
Getty
6/50 19 December 2018There was controversy in the Commons today as Jeremy Corbyn allegedly called the Prime Minister a stupid woman under his breath after she made a joke at PMQs
AP
7/50 18 December 2018Jose Mourinho after he was sacked by Manchester United with immediate effect. The Portuguese leaves United sixth in the table with the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday proving his final game in charge. A club statement read: "Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect. The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future. A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager."
Reuters
8/50 17 December 2018Firefighters and police officers attend a memorial service at the Harrods Bombing memorial in west London, on the 35th anniversary of the terrorist attack which left three police officers and three members of the public dead, on December 17, 1983
PA
9/50 16 December 2018Theresa May has hit out at Mr Blair, accusing him of "insulting"the British people and the office of prime minister by "undermining" Brexit talks with calls in Brussels for a second referendum.
PA
10/50 15 December 2018Chester Zoo after a fire broke out in the Monsoon Forest habitat area.
PA
11/50 14 December 2018Fracking has been halted at the Preston Road site in Lancashire after a series of tremors peaking at 0.9 magnitude
Reuters
12/50 13 December 2018Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today told Theresa May that he expects assurances that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
AP
13/50 12 December 2018Theresa May announces that she is to face a vote of no confidence today
Reuters
14/50 11 December 2018Armed police restrain a man inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament in London
Reuters
15/50 10 December 2018A demonstrator dressed as Theresa May sells Brexit Fudge in Old Palace Yard, Westminster
PA
16/50 9 December 2018A pro-brexit demonstrator speaks into a megaphone at the "Brexit betrayal" march in London. Counter-demonstrators also staged a march in London today
Angela Christofilou/The Independent
17/50 8 December 2018People in Santa costumes in Trafalgar Square, London, as they take part in Santacon
PA
18/50 7 December 2018A large mural depicting one star being chipped away from the EU flag is seen in Dover. The work has been attributed to Banksy
Reuters
19/50 6 December 2018A man wearing a storm trooper costume holds a sketchbook belonging to costume designer John Mollo, and showing illustrations for Star Wars costumes, during a photo-call ahead of an auction at Bonhams in central London
Reuters
20/50 5 December 2018Demonstrators for and against Brexit protest opposite the Houses of Parliament
AFP/Getty
21/50 4 December 2018Theresa May has suffered an unprecedented defeat after the government was found to be in contempt of parliament for refusing to publish key Brexit papers.Labour and other opposition MPs, including Ms May's DUP allies, won a narrow victory on the emergency motion, which argued that ministers failed to comply with a binding Commons resolution to publish the full legal advice on the Brexit dea
Reuters
22/50 3 December 2018The Independent's Final Say campaign and People's Vote delivering to 10 Downing Street their respective petitions calling for a public referendum on Theresa May's Brexit deal. The Independent editor Christian Broughton delivered over one million Final Say signatures and People's Vote spokesman Chuka Umunna delivered 300,000 People's Vote signatures at midday
The Independent/Lucy Young
23/50 2 December 2018Competitors take part in the London Santa Run in London's Victoria Park
Reuters
24/50 1 December 2018Britain will no longer have access to the EU's Galileo satellite system (pictured) following brexit
PA
25/50 30 November 2018US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May attend the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Reuters
26/50 29 November 2018Waves hit the British coast as Storm Diana approaches, in Portreath, Cornwall
StuCornell/Twitter/Reuters
27/50 28 November 2018Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stand with Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha (left), the son of Leicester City's chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and his mother Aimon watched by Leicester City players (right) as they pause after laying flowers during their visit to the King Power Stadium in Leicester, to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the October 27 helicopter crash at the stadium. The chairman was among five people killed when his helicopter crashed in the side's stadium car park moments after taking off from the pitch
AFP/Getty
28/50 27 November 2018A demonstrator wearing a mask of Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg poses outside Portcullis house to question the refusal of Zuckerberg to give evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee investigation into disinformation and fake news at the Houses of Parliament in London. Facebook boss Richard Allan is expected to be among a number of officials giving evidence to an "international grand committee" on disinformation and fake news
AFP/Getty
29/50 26 November 2018Artist Joseph Hillier and his sculpture - Messenger, depicting "a young powerful woman", which will be unveiled next year for Theatre Royal Plymouth. The sculpture, spanning seven metres high and nine metres wide, is too large to be put together at Castle Fine Arts foundry, near Oswestry, so it's being made in sections with 30 master craftsmen to weld them together
PA
30/50 25 November 2018Prime Minister Theresa May gives a press conference at the end of the European Council meeting in Brussels. The leaders of the 27 remaining EU member countries (EU27) have endorsed the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement and approved the draft political declaration on future EU-UK relations in a special meeting of the European Council on Britain leaving the EU under Article 50
EPA
31/50 24 November 2018Environmental activists gather around a mock 'coffin', with "our future" written on it, on the green in Parliament Square during a demonstration organised by the movement Extinction Rebellion, calling on the British government to take action on climate and ecological issues. After a week of protest action disrupting the traffic on bridges in central London over the Thames, the social movement Extinction Rebellion, planned a 'funeral march' to highlight what they describe as a climate and ecological emergency. Extinction Rebellion demands that the UK government reduces to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and creates a citizens assembly to oversee changes in environmental policies
AFP/Getty
32/50 23 November 2018England batsman Jonny Bairstow celebrates after reaching his century during Day One of the Third Test match against Sri Lanka at Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo
Getty
33/50 22 November 2018Prime Minister Theresa May joins a parent and baby group during a visit to the Kentish Town Health Centre in London
Reuters
34/50 21 November 2018A crashed car, with an object protruding through the windscreen, sits abandoned on the A628 in the Peak District, as a blast of snow hit the north of England
PA
35/50 20 November 2018Waves crash over Seaham lighthouse near Durham as the cold and wet weather continues
PA
36/50 19 November 2018Prime Minister Theresa May speaking at the CBI annual conference at InterContinental Hotel. Ms May, speaking at the CBI conference, said it was ''important'' that the UK had escaped EU rules by the 2022 election, but did not give a guarantee
PA
37/50 18 November 2018England's Harry Kane celebrates with team mate Jesse Lingard after he scored the winning goal against Croatia, after coming from 0-1 down during their Nations League match at Wembley Stadium. The win means that England process to the semi-finals of the new competition and relegate Croatia
AFP/Getty
38/50 17 November 2018Demonstrators on Westminster Bridge in London for a protest called by Extinction Rebellion to raise awareness of the dangers posed by climate change
PA
39/50 16 November 2018Environment Secretary Michael Gove speaking outside the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs offices. He confirmed he will remain in post and thinks it is important to continue working with Cabinet colleagues to ensure the best Brexit outcome for the country
PA
40/50 15 November 2018Theresa May chuckles at a press conference in Downing Street after a tough day in which multiple cabinet members have resigned and a number of MPs have tabled votes of no confidence in her leadership
Reuters
41/50 14 November 2018Pro-European Union, anti-Brexit demonstrators hold placards and wave Union and EU flags as they protest outside of the Houses of Parliament. British and European Union negotiators have reached a draft agreement on Brexit
AFP/Getty
42/50 13 November 2018Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab leaves Downing Street. Prime Minister Theresa May today faced her divided ministers as negotiators scrambled to secure a divorce agreement with the European Union and anxiety mounted over the risk of a no-deal Brexit
PA
43/50 12 November 2018Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller (centre) welcomes Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena (left) and London Mayor Sadiq Khan at City Hall in Berlin. The three city leaders are meeting to discuss common challenges, including the consequences of Brexit, immigration and the growth of right-wing populism
Getty
44/50 11 November 2018Prince Charles, and President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier face the Cenotaph during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony on Whitehall in London. On the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice, the day's events mark the final First World War Centenary commemoration events hosted by the UK Government
AFP/Getty
45/50 10 November 2018Fans, players and staff pay tribute inside of the King Power stadium as a silence is observed in memory of Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha prior to their Premier League match against Burnley. The first time a match has been played in the stadium since the owners helicopter crash
Getty
46/50 9 November 2018Transport Minister Jo Johnson has resigned in protest of the Government's Brexit plan and called for a Final Say referendum
EPA
47/50 8 November 2018Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt delivers a speech at the British embassy in Paris. Britain's foreign secretary says Brexit negotiations are in "the final phase" and that he is confident that an agreement will be reached with the European Union.
AP
48/50 7 November 2018Captain James Pugh places a figure among artist Rob Heard's installation Shrouds of the Somme, which honours the dead of the First World War, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. 72,396 small shrouded figures, representing soldiers who died and were never recovered from the Somme battlefields, have been laid out by volunteers and members of 1 Royal Anglian Regiment
PA
49/50 6 November 2018Adrian Lester, Sir Lenny Henry, Ade Adepitan, Nadine Marsh-Edwards, Marcus Ryder and Meera Syal, as they deliver a letter, signed by a string of stars, to 10 Downing Street, calling for tax breaks to effect change and boost diversity behind the camera
PA
50/50 5 November 2018EU nationals, living in the UK take part in a demonstration along Whitehall. Three campaign groups, 'the3million', 'British in Europe', and UNISON came together to form a human chain from Downing Street to Parliament Square and lobby MPs
Getty
China, it is claimed, has control of almost 80 per cent of ''technology metals'' such as rare-earth elements. It is also the world's largest producer of components, ranging from batteries to highly technical equipment, on which the west increasingly relies.
Huawei has repeatedly denied being involved in espionage. The firm, which was started by Ren Zhengfei, a former officer in China's People's Liberation Army, based in Guandong, employs 180,000 people.
The firm started out making equipment for mobile phone networks and has been rapidly expanding with an increasingly large international footprint, overtaking companies like Nokia and Ericsson to become a global leader. It has also started making smartphones, capturing 15 per cent of the market, ahead of Apple and second only to Samsung.
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China to take over Kenya's main port over unpaid huge Chinese Loan | African Stand
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 12:43
Kenyan government risks losing the lucrative Mombasa port to China should the country fail to repay huge loans advanced by Chinese lenders.
In November, African Stand reported on how Kenya is at high risk of Losing strategic assets over huge Chinese debt and just after some few month the Chinese are about to take action.
The loans have been granted for the development of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
Also at stake is the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi, which receives and dispatches freight hauled on the new cargo trains from the sea port.
Implications of a takeover would be grave, including the thousands of port workers who would be forced to work under the Chinese lenders.
Management changes would immediately follow the port seizure since the Chinese would naturally want to secure their interests.
Further, revenues from the port would be directly sent to China for the servicing of an estimated Sh500 billion lent for the construction of the two sections of the SGR.
Related: Just Like Zambia, Sri Lanka also handed over its port to China to pay off debt
PrecedentIn December 2017, the Sri Lankan government lost its Hambantota port to China for a lease period of 99 years after failing to show commitment in the payment of billions of dollars in loans.
The transfer, according to the New York Times, gave China control of the territory just a few hundred miles off the shores of rival India.
It is a strategic foothold along a critical commercial and military waterway.
''The case is one of the examples of China's ambitious use of loans and aid to gain influence around the world and of its willingness to play hardball to collect,'' says the New York Times of December 12, 2017.
In September 2018, Zambia lost Kenneth Kaunda International Airport to China over debt repayment.
Related: China to write off $733K Botswana loan after taking over Sri-Lanka port
SGR LossesIn the likely scenario that China takes over the port, Kenya would be joining Sri Lanka -another debt-distressed nation- in losing a strategic asset.
It is possible because the SGR ''operated by the Chinese, is a hugely loss-making venture, meaning it cannot generate enough money to repay loans.
SGR reported a near Sh10 billion loss in its first year of operations.
The Auditor General has warned that the eventuality is likely because of a lopsided loan agreement that greatly favours the China Exim Bank, who advanced Kenya the loan.
Specifically, Kenya got the short end of the stick in the agreement where any disputes arising from the debt servicing would be arbitrated in China.
An audit completed last month indicates that Kenya Ports Authority's (KPA) assets, which include the Mombasa port, could be taken over if the SGR does not generate enough cash to pay off the debts.
''The China Exim Bank would become a principle in (over) KPA if Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) defaults in its obligations and China Exim Bank exercise power over the escrow account security,'' the audit reads in part.
Related: China to take over Zambia's international Airport for debt repayment
Escrow accountAn escrow account is a contractual arrangement in which a third party receives and disburses money for the primary transacting parties, with the disbursement dependent on conditions agreed to by the transacting parties.
According to the loan agreement, funds generated from the SGR were to be deposited in an escrow account '' controlled by an unknown third party on behalf of KRC and China Exim Bank.
At the current estimates, KPA generates Sh50 billion a month or Sh600 billion a year in revenues.
F.T Kimani, the auditor, cited in his report that KPA's exposure is linked to a requirement that it feeds sufficient cargo to the Chinese-built railway project.
Failure to provide the requisite cargo would mean Kenya has gone against a critical clause in the loan agreement of guaranteeing specified ''minimum volumes required for consignment''.
It is also indiscernible how KPA signed the loan agreement as a borrower, in one of the toxic clauses subsequently exposing its assets to the Chinese clamp.
'''...any proceeding(s) against its assets (KPA) by the lender would not be protected by sovereign immunity since the Government waived the immunity on the Kenya Ports Assets by signing the agreement,'' the auditor wrote.
Repayments for the loans are slated to start mid next year on expiry of a five-year grace period.
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China To Take Over Kenya's Largest Port Over Unpaid Chinese Loan | Zero Hedge
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 12:41
No more Mr. Nice Chinese Guy.
After years of "benevolent" handouts to various African countries by Beijing, all of which however came in the form of loans, of which few have led to viable, long-term projects and cash-flow generating assets, and led to accusations that China is pursuing a "new colonialism" of the African continent (and more recently, nations along the One Belt, One Road corridor), China is demonstrating to the world what happens when its debtors refuse to pay up.
But first a brief detour: readers will recall that China's ambitions for Africa are hardly new, and were discussed here over 6 years ago for the first time in "The Beijing Conference": See How China Quietly Took Over Africa"
And while back then few noticed, in September of 2018, during a major conference with African leaders, China's president Xi Jinping proposed an additional $60 billion in financing for Africa in the forms of assistance, investment and loans, the western media was quick to label the latest round of Chinese financing a "debt trap", to which a top Chinese official responded at the time that Beijing is merely helping Africa develop, rejecting criticism it is loading African countries with unsustainable financial burdens.
It turns out, the official was not exactly telling the truth, because far from handing out free money the African Stand reports that China is likely to take over Kenya's lucrative Mombassa port if Kenya Railways Corporation defaults on its loan from the Exim Bank of China.
Call it a "debt-for-sovereign equity" exchange with a twist.
Kenya's Mombassa portChina's aggressive strategy emerged when a leaked audit report showed that the Kenyan government had inexplicably waived its sovereign immunity on the Kenya Ports Asset when signing the agreement, thus exposing the Kenya Port Authority to foreclosure - and confiscation - by China's Exim Bank.
The report said that "the payment arrangement agreement substantively means that the Authority's revenue would be used to pay the Government of Kenya's debt to China Exim bank if the minimum volumes required for [rail] consignment were not met", auditor F.T Kimani wrote. "The China Exim bank would become a principal over KPA if KRC defaults in its obligations, reports Africa Stand and All Africa news.
KRC accepted the multi-billion dollar loan from the Chinese institution to build the Mombassa-Nairobi standard gauge railway (SGR), with construction services provided by China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC), a division of state-owned conglomerate China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), which is why some have said the loan was a low-risk, full recourse vendor financing, one where it is China who gets all the upside while sticking the naive natives with all the potential downside, as the "worst-case scenario" now confirms.
The China-built, China-funded standard gauge railway, also known as the Madaraka Express, is a diesel-powered passenger and freight rail service connecting Nairobi and Mombassa. It construction was plagued by cost overruns, and outside observers questioned its economic viability, but China was not worried: after all, if the 80%-China funded project failed, Beijing would have full recourse.
Sure enough, SGR reported a 10 billion Kenyan shilling loss in its first year of operation, with current estimates that the railway generates about 600 billion Kenyan shilling in revenue.
Meanwhile, in addition to putting the port at risk for a Chinese takeover, at stake is also the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi, which receives and dispatches freight hauled on the new cargo trains from the sea port.
* * *
So what happens if China does takeover the port? Implications would be grave, including the thousands of port workers who would be forced to work under the Chinese lenders. Management changes would immediately follow the port seizure since the Chinese would naturally want to secure their interests.
Further, revenues from the port would be directly sent to China for the servicing of an estimated Sh500 billion lent for the construction of the two sections of the SGR.
In other words, a Chinese-funded project in Africa, is about to be confiscated by China, which will appoint Chinese management, upstream all revenues to China (and, eventually, profits after enough fat is trimmed), and provide China with its own strategist port in east Africa.
A brilliant "investment" scheme? Why yes, and it won't be the first time China has used it: in December 2017, the Sri Lankan government lost its Hambantota port to China for a lease period of 99 years after failing to show commitment in the payment of billions of dollars in loans. The transfer, according to the New York Times, gave China control of the territory just a few hundred miles off the shores of rival India.
It is a strategic foothold along a critical commercial and military waterway.
"The case is one of the examples of China's ambitious use of loans and aid to gain influence around the world and of its willingness to play hardball to collect,'' says the New York Times of December 12, 2017.
More recently, in September 2018 Zambia lost Kenneth Kaunda International Airport to China over failure of debt repayment.
And while some may gawk at the unprecedented loophole that was left to grant China what is effectively the takeover of a strategist sovereign assets, some suspect that backdoor financial dealings may have been involved becuase as African Stand writes, it is "indiscernible" how KPA signed the loan agreement as a borrower, in one of the toxic clauses subsequently exposing its assets to the Chinese clamp.
"'...any proceeding(s) against its assets (KPA) by the lender would not be protected by sovereign immunity since the Government waived the immunity on the Kenya Ports Assets by signing the agreement,'' the auditor wrote.
Whatever the reason for the glaring oversight, and the imminent "confiscation" of this critical African asset by Beijing, slowly but surely China's intrepid vision behind first colonizing Africa (using China-funded loans) and subsequently much of Asia with the "One Belt, One Road" initiative is becoming quite clear.
White House considering executive order to bar Huawei, ZTE purchases
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 14:47
President Donald Trump is considering an executive order in the new year to declare a national emergency that would bar U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by China's Huawei and ZTE, three sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.
It would be the latest step by the Trump administration to cut Huawei Technologies and ZTE, two of China's biggest network equipment companies, out of the U.S. market. The United States alleges that the two companies work at the behest of the Chinese government and that their equipment could be used to spy on Americans.
The executive order, which has been under consideration for more than eight months, could be issued as early as January and would direct the Commerce Department to block U.S. companies from buying equipment from foreign telecommunications makers that pose significant national security risks, sources from the telecoms industry and the administration said.
While the order is unlikely to name Huawei or ZTE, a source said it is expected that Commerce officials would interpret it as authorization to limit the spread of equipment made by the two companies. The sources said the text for the order has not been finalized.
The executive order would invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, a law that gives the president the authority to regulate commerce in response to a national emergency that threatens the United States.
The issue has new urgency as U.S. wireless carriers look for partners as they prepare to adopt next generation 5G wireless networks.
The order follows the passage of a defense policy bill in August that barred the U.S. government itself from using Huawei and ZTE equipment.
Huawei and ZTE did not return requests for comment. Both in the past have denied allegations their products are used to spy.
The White House also did not return a request for comment.
The Wall Street Journal first reported in early May that the order was under consideration, but it was never issued.
Hit to rural networksRural operators in the United States are among the biggest customers of Huawei and ZTE, and fear the executive order would also require them to rip out existing Chinese-made equipment without compensation. Industry officials are divided on whether the administration could legally compel operators to do that.
While the big U.S. wireless companies have cut ties with Huawei in particular, small rural carriers have relied on Huawei and ZTE switches and other equipment because they tend to be less expensive.
The company is so central to small carriers that William Levy, vice president for sales of Huawei Tech USA, is on the board of directors of the Rural Wireless Association.
The RWA represents carriers with fewer than 100,000 subscribers. It estimates that 25 percent of its members had Huawei or ZTE equipment in their networks, it said in a filing to the Federal Communications Commission earlier this month.
The RWA is concerned that an executive order could force its members to remove ZTE and Huawei equipment and also bar future purchases, said Caressa Bennet, RWA general counsel.
It would cost $800 million to $1 billion for all RWA members to replace their Huawei and ZTE equipment, Bennet said.
Separately, the FCC in April granted initial approval to a regulation that bars giving federal funding to help pay for telecommunication infrastructure to companies that purchase equipment from firms deemed threats to U.S. national security, which analysts have said is aimed at Huawei and ZTE.
The FCC is also considering whether to require carriers to remove and replace equipment from firms deemed a national security risk.
In March, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said "hidden 'back doors' to our networks in routers, switches - and virtually any other type of telecommunications equipment - can provide an avenue for hostile governments to inject viruses, launch denial-of-service attacks, steal data, and more."
In the December filing, Pine Belt Communications in Alabama estimated it would cost $7 million to $13 million to replace its Chinese-made equipment, while Sagebrush in Montana said replacement would cost $57 million and take two years.
Sagebrush has noted that Huawei products are significantly cheaper. When looking for bids in 2010 for its network, it found the cost of Ericsson equipment to be nearly four times the cost of Huawei.
A Drone Again..
Gatwick drone attack theories - who is behind the airport sabotage? - Mirror Online
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 10:04
After the only two formal suspects were released without charge, detectives appear to be back to square one in the hunt for the Gatwick Airport drone maniac.
The person responsible has so far evaded capture, disrupted 1,000 flights and plunged 200,000 passengers in Christmas travel misery.
But who could be behind the industrial-scale sabotage?
Police on Saturday found a damaged drone near the airport perimeter and a forensic examination is underway to try to find out who was operating it.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling admitted authorities so far have no idea about the motive.
He said: "There's no sense of motive - there's no suggestion that this is a terrorist act. It's clearly someone who wants to disrupt Gatwick Airport and there's an intense police operation."
Here we look at some of the theories that experts have suggested...
Lone wolf hackerCarys Kaiser, a professional drone pilot, says the Gatwick drones are not the work of a hobbyist doing it for YouTube hits.
She told Mail Online: "It is definitely something that is more organised in some capacity because obviously the drones that I fly and the drones that most people fly in the UK have this geo-fencing and we can't get them to take off that close to an airport."
Ex-Army captain Richard Gill, chief executive of dronedefence.co.uk, said a genius educated to PhD level may be responsible.
Mr Gill told The Sun: ''He or she is just causing hell because they can and they want to test their limits.
"It's the thrill of getting away with it. To have evaded police radar for so long suggests some serious capability."
Suspects Paul Gait, 47, and Elaine Kirk-Gait, 54, were arrested but later released without charge (Image: SWNS) Read MoreGatwick drone suspect Paul Gait's boss and ex give alibis for time of 'attacks'Environmental activistsPolice are believed to be pursuing environmental activism as a line of enquiry.
Airport protests in the UK have tended to centre around Heathrow in opposition to the proposed third runway, but that's not to say other airports are immune from activism.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling told the BBC the drone attacks could be a new form of environmental protest.
Greenpeace denied involvement in the attacks: "The disruption at Gatwick Airport is not us. When we do something we always take responsibility for our actions."
And Extinction Rebellion tweeted: "We've heard there are rumours circulating. We remind people that our actions are always 'above the ground' meaning we stand by our actions, are accountable and take the consequences."
Russia or another state sponsor A sinister state operator - such as Russia - could be behind the attacks (Image: YURI KOCHETKOV/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) Read MoreGatwick drone: Did Facebook reviews prompt police to swoop on suspect?Chillingly, a state sponsor could be behind the attacks.
Russia has engaged in a major campaign of cyber-sabotage, election meddling and assassination in recent years - including the attempted murder of ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.
The scale of Russian hacking was laid bare in October when a bombshell report exposed worldwide attempts to use hacking to target foreign rivals.
Sir Gerald Howarth, David Cameron's international security minister from 2010 to 2012, was asked if Russia could be behind the drone attacks.
He told TalkRadio : "Russia, of course, has engaged in the most horrendous activity in Salisbury but that didn't involve modern technology.
"But yes, I'm afraid to say that there is a risk that this could be in some way, if not state sponsored, certainly sponsored by a terrorist group."
The drones could be the work of a rogue environmental group (Image: Market Bosworth Police) Read MoreSBS storm 'hijacked' ship in Thames and arrest stowaways 'armed with iron bars'Local campaign groupsGatwick has long been a source of contention in the local community because of noise pollution.
Drone specialist and architect Liam Young told Dezeen: "I suspect it is some kind of protest or frustration directed at the airline industry, perhaps focused around the environmental cost of flights, noise pollution or a screwed-over passenger."
Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions, which campaigns against the airport's expansion drive, said while it did not directly condone the drone campaign, the temporary quietness was welcomed by residents.
The group said in a statement: ''Residents woke to silence from Gatwick Airport on 20th December, offering a glimpse of the tranquillity that they use to enjoy before Gatwick introduced concentrated flight paths (2013-14) and increased the number of aircraft movements.
"Although CAGNE, an umbrella community group, does not condone the irresponsible behaviour of flying drones near an airport potentially endangering lives, it was an early Christmas present for those that suffer aircraft noise."
Read MoreTop news stories from Mirror Online
Drone Dome Secures First Customer | Defense News: Aviation International News
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 10:00
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems' Drone Dome has been ordered by the United Kingdom, the first customer for the counter-unmanned air system (C-UAS) equipment. Six Drone Dome systems are being procured for the British Army under a $20 million urgent operational capability (UOR) program and are due for delivery before the end of the year.
The order comes eight months after the system was demonstrated to the British Army, having been unveiled by Rafael in 2016. Leonardo and fellow Israeli company IAI also competed for the order. Follow-on orders are likely to materialize from the UK beyond the initial six units.
Drone Dome will be deployed to sensitive sites, and those where UK forces are located, to provide protection against small UASs and drones, with a specific requirement to operate against air vehicles weighing between 2 and 22 kg (4.4 and 48.5 pounds), although the system is designed to tackle drones of up to 150 kg (330 pounds), according to Rafael. A minimum-defeat range of less than 500 meters (1,640 feet) was part of the requirement, which was open to contenders with systems that were at TRL (technological readiness level) 8 or higher. The system must also be capable of operating in a secure environment classified to at least NATO Secret Rel FVEY ("Five Eyes") level.
Rafael's C-UAS system has multiple sensors, including the Controp MEOS electro-optic system with infrared and TV sensors, Netline NetSense wideband RF detection receivers, and radar. The latter comprises an array of four RPS-42 Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radars (MHR) supplied by Israeli company Rada. The system provides 360-degree coverage out to around five km (3.1 miles). Data from the sensors is fuzed on a command-and-control display for operation by a single soldier.
Netline also provides the C-Guard RD electronic jamming system that provides Drone Dome with a soft-kill capability. There is also a hard-kill option in the shape of a high-power laser effector, but this has not been selected by the UK for its systems. The system is compact enough to be mounted on a light all-terrain vehicle (ATV), such as the British Army's Springer that is based on the Tomcar ATV platform.
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2018-08-23/drone-dome-secures-first-customer
Shut Up Slave! Mockingbird
About - Smith Mundt CONFRONT PROPAGANDA
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 14:37
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 (Public Law 112-239) allows U.S. government officials to disseminate in the United States news and information programs produced by the government at taxpayers' expense for audiences abroad.
This change in the law, which earlier under the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 prohibited U.S. government officials from actively distributing such material domestically, raises constitutional and civil liberties questions.
It is important to note that even under the old law it was never illegal for American citizens, residents of the United States or American media outlets to use and rebroadcast such programs in the United States if they obtained them on their own, for example from the Internet. Many did.
What the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, which was incorporated into the FY 2013 NDAA, did was to give government officials, specifically the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) officials, the power to disseminate these programs in the United States upon request.
The new law still does not allow the BBG, which includes such media outlets as the Voice of America (VOA), to produce programs for domestic audiences. Fears have been raised, however, that government officials will use their new powers to in fact produce such programs or at least to target specific groups of Americans based on their ethnic or religious origins.
The purpose of this website is to keep an eye on U.S. government officials to make sure that they do not abuse their new powers and to provide information to the media and American public at large about this issue.
Congress exposes repeated violations of Smith-Mundt Act in USAGM agency's Facebook ads targeting Americans - Smith Mundt CONFRONT PROPAGANDA
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 14:37
BBG Watch Commentary
The review by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and his committee staff found that insufficient management and devolved operating structures for digital advertising at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and Voice of America (VOA) in the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), previously called the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), allowed for repeated violations of the Smith-Mundt Act, which prohibits domestic dissemination of content developed by the State Department and U.S.-funded entities.
An examination of six VOA language services found at least 860 Smith-Mundt violations over a two-year period. Violations continued even after the New York Times report exposing them, and the launch of a USAGM task force designed to address the issue.
USAGM CEO, John F. Lansing, had been warned earlier about these violations but ignored these warnings until The New York Times published an expose earlier this year.
Lansing and VOA Director Amanda Bennett had been appointed to their position in 2015 and 2016 respectively and have not been replaced by the Trump administration. President Trump has nominated Michael Pack to be the new USAGM CEO but his nomination has not been yet completed the confirmation process in the Senate.
It appears that the House Foreign Affairs Committee staff HFAC are finally focusing on the USAGM bureaucracy's semantics regarding their questionable practices and audience claims such as ''impressions'' and ''clicks.'' Use of these misleading words is key to understanding the agency's inflated audience claims. But even with illegal advertising targeting Americans, real audience engagement on many of VOA's websites '-- as opposed to meaningless ''likes'' '-- are still dismal.
The committee has asked for ''All data relating to the grantees and VOA's social media advertising from January 2016 to present, to include copies of all ads as well as all corresponding data '' including number of impressions and clicks, amount spent, and ad targeting information that details geolocation, gender, interests, language,'...''
ALSO SEE: USAGM CEO John Lansing ignored early warnings of ads targeting Americans, BBG Watch, December 21, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 21, 2018https://go.usa.gov/xEaeSWashington, D.C. '' House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) today released an oversight report outlining failures in management at the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) that led to repeated violations of the Smith-Mundt Act.
This report is the product of a three-month investigation launched after a July New York Times piece exposing Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Facebook ads that illegally targeted audiences in the United States. The review by the Chairman and his committee staff found that insufficient management and devolved operating structures for digital advertising at RFE/RL and Voice of America (VOA) allowed for repeated violations of the Smith-Mundt Act, which prohibits domestic dissemination of content developed by the State Department and U.S.-funded entities. An examination of six VOA language services found at least 860 Smith-Mundt violations over a two-year period. Violations continued even after the New York Times report, and the launch of a USAGM task force designed to address the issue.
''I strongly support the USAGM mission of providing objective, accurate and timely news to people in countries where a free press does not exist,'' Chairman Roycesaid. ''As terrorists and repressive regimes in Russia, Iran and North Korea increasingly weaponize information to undermine our democratic values, the U.S. needs strong, agile and independent-minded international broadcasting to stand up for freedom and truth.
''Reforms to empower a CEO at USAGM have produced progress, but there is still more work to be done. As this report details, failures in management and structure at RFE/RL and VOA produced repeated digital ads that violated U.S. law. Management of digital operations must be strengthened not only to ensure compliance with the law, but to produce more effective digital content.
''I hope the next Chair and Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee will continue to work closely with USAGM to hold our broadcasters to the highest professional standards. That is what they want, and what our country needs. We're faced with a misinformation onslaught, and we've got to get this right.''
The report, entitled ''U.S. International Broadcasting in the Digital Age: Getting Advertising Right'' is available for download HERE.
BuzzFeed vindicated over Steele dossier - Columbia Journalism Review
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 14:39
By Jon Allsop, CJR December 20, 2018In January 2017, BuzzFeed split the journalism world in two when it published an unverified dossier alleging intimate ties between Donald Trump and the Kremlin (in one case, graphically so). The publication of the dossier in its entirety, commissioned by Trump's political opponents, written by a former British spook, then circulated at the highest levels of government during the dying days of the Obama administration, immediately raised suspicions. Although BuzzFeed prominently caveated its release of the document, many media commentators condemned its decision as reckless, and other big outlets declined to follow suit.
Yesterday, nearly two years after the fact, BuzzFeed scored an important victory. After Trump took office, the dossier faded in the rearview mirror, with some of its key claims still unresolved. It was overtaken by a breathless Washington news cycle, then by newer, more specific reporting on Trump and Russia, especially following the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel. For BuzzFeed, the dossier has cast a longer shadow. Several people named in it sued for defamation (Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was among them but dropped his suit in April this year as his own legal problems intensified). On Wednesday, however, a federal judge in Florida dismissed the claim of Aleksej Gubarev, a Cypriot businessman, on First Amendment grounds, finding that publication was privileged because the dossier was involved in government proceedings, and that BuzzFeed's report was ''fair and true'' because it reproduced the dossier without expressing an opinion on it. (While this win bolsters BuzzFeed's legal standing, it's not quite out of the woods: Gubarev plans to appeal and there's still one lawsuit pending in New York.)
ICYMI: BuzzFeed was right to publish Trump-Russia files
In a statement, Ben Smith, BuzzFeed's editor in chief, quickly claimed the judge's ruling as vindication: ''As we have said from the start, a document that had been circulating at the highest levels of government, under active investigation by the FBI, and briefed to two successive presidents [Obama and Trump], is clearly the subject of 'official action.' Moreover, its publication has contributed to the American people's understanding of what is happening in their country and their government.'' On Twitter, journalists, from BuzzFeed as well as from rival organizations, rowed in behind. ''It was the right decision to publish and took courage,'' wrote ProPublica's Jesse Eisinger. ''I'm sorry my colleagues attacked them.''
Many opinions from the time have aged poorly (Chuck Todd telling Smith he'd published ''fake news,'' for example, was not his finest hour). Other arguments, however, were more reasonable. While it's easy to caricature in hindsight, the media's hypersensitivity around facts was an understandable initial response to Trump's victory, which served as a jarring reminder of threadbare public trust. And not publishing unverified information'--particularly when it's been commissioned by political operatives'--remains a gold standard in many quarters. If BuzzFeed or any other outlet were to publish a similarly explosive document tomorrow, it's naive to think yesterday's ruling would staunch controversy.
Winning a court case on First Amendment grounds is not the same thing as winning an ethical argument. Nonetheless, on this occasion, BuzzFeed's legal victory does show why it was right and the naysayers were wrong. (At the time, I was one of those naysayers. I subsequently landed at BuzzFeed, on a three-month internship, before starting at CJR.) As Smith points out, the judge's ruling affirms the principle that the public has a right to know what its government is getting up to. The existence of the dossier had already been reported. By putting the whole thing online, BuzzFeed moved the story forward.
ICYMI: Reporter attends school meeting longer than other journalists. That ended up being a good decision.
Below, more on BuzzFeed and the dossier:
''BuzzFeed was right'': Just after BuzzFeed published, Vanessa Gezari, CJR's then-managing editor, defended its decision and called out the hypocrisy of some of its critics. ''The media's full-throated condemnation of BuzzFeed is both self-righteous and self-serving,'' she wrote. ''Some critics seem to be saying that unless the information in an intelligence briefing or other leaked document can be independently verified by reporters, it shouldn't be published. But did reporters independently verify all the allegations against Hillary Clinton and her allies contained in the emails released by WikiLeaks?''Graphic allegations: In CJR's Fall 2017 print issue, Josh Neufeld drew the dossier's full back story in cartoon form.British Steele: Earlier this year, The New Yorker's Jane Mayer profiled Christopher Steele, the British ex-spy who wrote the dossier.''Likely false'': Over the weekend, Yahoo News's Michael Isikoff, who was one of the first journalists to report the existence of the dossier, said some of its more sensational claims were likely false. Steele was right ''that there was a major Kremlin effort to interfere in our elections, that they were trying to help Trump's campaign, and that there were multiple contacts between various Russian figures close to the government and various people in the Trump campaign,'' Isikoff told conservative podcast host John Ziegler. But when ''you actually get into the details of the Steele dossier, the specific allegations, we have not seen the evidence to support them.''A legal victory: For BuzzFeed, Zoe Tillman rounds up yesterday's court verdict. You can read the full ruling here.Other notable stories:
At least 18 companies have pulled their ads from Tucker Carlson's Fox News show after he said last week that immigrants make America ''poorer and dirtier and more divided.'' While Fox angrily accused liberal groups of attempted censorship, it's unlikely to suffer financially from the boycott: it has simply moved Carlson's advertisers to other shows. The Washington Post's Paul Farhi writes that the episode'--like past controversies involving Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity'--will likely fizzle out, while Politico's Jack Shafer disputes its premise, arguing that advertisers should not be asked to vet ideas. Writing on Galley, CJR's Mathew Ingram disagreed with him. You can join the debate here.For CJR, Elizabeth Hewitt talks with Peter DeMarco, a Boston Globe reporter who painstakingly reconstructed the medical failures leading up to the death of his wife, Laura Levis, in 2016. After exhausting his legal options, ''the only out was journalism,'' DeMarco tells Hewitt. ''As painful and as horrible as it was to investigate my wife's death, to learn every intricate detail of her death, day after day after day and getting deeper into it each day, I knew I had to do that.''Ken LaCorte, a former Fox News executive, has enlisted Michael Oreskes, who resigned from NPR last year after allegations of sexual harassment, and John Moody, who quit Fox in March after a column perceived as racist and anti-gay, to help launch LaCorte News, a part-aggregated news site aiming to restore trust in media. ''I couldn't have afforded either one of these guys had we not been in this crazy type of atmosphere,'' LaCorte told Politico's Jason Schwartz. ''In a weird way, I'm actually a beneficiary of companies being hypersensitive.''For CJR, Karen K. Ho has the story of Alex George, a TV reporter in Tennessee whose contract and benefits were terminated by Sinclair, the controversial owners of her old station, while she was receiving treatment for cancer.GQ's Zach Baron checks in with California's Fresno Bee, which has fielded repeated, vicious attacks from its Trump-loyalist local Congressman, Devin Nunes. Baron has a striking quote from Ray Appleton, a conservative talk-radio host whose son, Rory Appleton, is a politics reporter for the Bee. ''Devin doesn't talk to them because every time he talks to them, they change it,'' Ray Appleton said. ''And they lie through their fucking teeth about what they talked about.''Kishorechandra Wangkhem, an Indian TV journalist, has been jailed for a year after criticizing his country's prime minister, Narendra Modi, on Facebook, Agence France-Presse reports.More agony for CBS: in a Boston Globe op-ed, the actress Eliza Dushku weighs in on her departure from the network, which she says fired her from the show Bull after she confronted its star, Michael Weatherly, over sexual harassment on set. Dushku declined to comment when The New York Times broke the story last week, but says she felt compelled to rebut the ''deceptive'' narrative spun by Weatherly and CBS.And in Germany, national news weekly Der Spiegel reported that its high-profile staffer, Claas Relotius, falsified facts and quotations ''on a grand scale.'' Suspicions were raised by Juan Moreno, who worked with Relotius on a recent story at the US''Mexico border, before Relotius confessed last week.ICYMI: A nationwide reporting adventure tracks improbably frequent lottery winners
Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today. Jon Allsop is a freelance journalist. He writes CJR's newsletter The Media Today. Find him on Twitter @Jon_Allsop.Featured
Agenda 2030
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More than 1.6M sign petition to sue France over climate
Tue, 25 Dec 2018 12:35
(C) Julien Mattia/NurPhoto via Getty Images People take part in a march against climate change, in Paris, on October 13, 2018. (Photo by Julien Mattia/NurPhoto via Getty Images) PARIS '-- More than 1.6 million people have signed an online petition to take the French state to court for not doing enough to fight climate change.
Greenpeace, Oxfam and two French environmental groups launched the petition last week. Their signature drive received exceptional support in just a few days, including from film stars Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche.
Greenpeace France director Jean-Francois Julliard said on France's BFM television Monday that the groups hope for an eventual court ruling requiring France to further lower carbon emissions.
Julliard says the legal effort could take years, but cited a similar, successful effort in the Netherlands.
When President Emmanuel Macron tried to raise fuel taxes to help wean France from fossil fuels, it sparked a nationwide movement last month. Macron scrapped the tax hike.
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These 13 words defined our overheating planet in 2018 - EnviroLink Network
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 15:43
Every December, dictionary editors hunt through all the words in our growing lexicon to pluck out the ones that best capture the spirit of the fading year.
The top choices from 2017 (feminism, complicit) neglected the environment. One dictionary editor at the time lamented the lack of new or revived words to describe our changing planet, though I managed to track down quite a few a year ago.
In 2018, the tables started to turn. Oxford Dictionaries picked toxic, a word that describes poisons in our air and water. Collins Dictionary chose single-use, a term for disposable plastic products ''whose unchecked proliferation are blamed for damaging the environment.'' And Dictionary.com's misinformation, though it's getting a lot of use in recent years, also captures the falsehoods spread about climate change.
The year now coming to a close was filled with environmental chaos. Wildfires ripped through the West, destroying towns and filling big cities with smoke. Hurricanes slammed into North Carolina and Florida. A slew of scientific reports warned us that the worst was yet to come; alas, the president still spouted climate denial on Twitter.
In a warming world rife with changes, it makes sense that our vocabulary shifted, too. Words took on new meanings (hothouse), obscure jargon launched into the news (bombogenesis), and brand-new terms were coined (smokestorm). We kept tabs and collected the ones that defined our planet in 2018. You won't find these in any standard dictionary yet, but perhaps some will pop up in their pages soon.
Bombogenesis (n.) The process by which a cyclone rapidly intensifies as it experiences a drop in atmospheric pressure.
Nature didn't waste any time with its New Year's resolution to bring us terrible weather. January kicked off with a bomb cyclone, a winter storm that brought wicked-cold, blizzard conditions to the East Coast. That, in turn, introduced the masses to the obscure meteorological term bombogenesis. And thanks to climate change messing with our weather, you can expect more bitter nor'easters like this one soon.
Keith Bedford / The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesCarbon ''fee'' (n.) A price on fossil fuels to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions.
Not a carbon tax, exactly. A proposed carbon fee grabbed national attention this year with a ballot measure in Washington state. The backers of Initiative 1631 were adamant that it was a carbon fee. The difference between fee and tax? Revenue from a general tax goes toward whatever the legislature decides; a fee ensures that funds go straight to a designated purpose. Opponents called I-1631 a tax anyway, oil companies spent a record-breaking $31 million to sink it, and voters rejected the measure in November to the heartbreak of climate activists everywhere.
Cleanwashing (n.) The classification of polluting energy sources as ''renewable.''
Tired: Greenwashing. Wired: Cleanwashing. Grist delved into the complicated definition of renewable this year and found that your state might have a dirty energy secret. Burning garbage, tires, and chicken poop all count as renewable energy in Maryland, Ohio, and North Carolina, respectively. It's the very definition of cleanwashing, a term coined in a Food and Water Watch report in July.
Climate gentrification (n.) The process by which the wealthy move to areas with lower risks from climate change, sometimes displacing low-income residents.
From Florida to Arizona, climate change is driving real estate markets. In Miami, for instance, a Harvard study found that properties at higher elevations were increasing in value. Residents of crazy-hot Phoenix are departing for cooler cities in Arizona like Flagstaff, driving up property prices. ''A pattern of climate-driven gentrification is taking hold across the U.S., as those who are able to retreat from floods, storms, heatwaves, and wildfires shift to safer areas,'' wrote the Guardian's Oliver Milman in September.
The Miami Beach coastline. Joe Raedle / Getty ImagesDay Zero (n.) The day when taps run dry because of water shortages.
If this sounds like the title of a cli-fi horror flick, well, it kind of is. In January, officials in Cape Town, South Africa, began counting down the days until water ran out for the 4 million people who live there. Conservation measures helped the drought-stricken city stave off Day Zero, but the new phrase is sure to stick around as long as dwindling water supplies remain a pressing concern. The Guardian reported in April that the next '''Day Zero' water crisis'' could happen in Morocco, India, Iraq, or Spain, where reservoirs are shrinking fast.
Firenado (n.) A twister of flames. Fire + tornado.
2018 was an especially hellish year for wildfires: In November, at least 86 people were killed in the Camp Fire, the deadliest blaze in California's history. Wildfires across the West brought some weird phenomena with them, including firenadoes and smokestorms (see below). During the Carr Fire this summer, one such twister packed 143-mph winds, equivalent to an EF-3 tornado, one likely to cause severe damage.
David McNew / Getty ImagesGreen New Deal (n.) An emerging environmental platform aimed at boosting jobs while taking on climate change.
Progressive politics has a new rallying cry. The Green New Deal, backed by Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 2020 presidential hopefuls like Senator Cory Booker, promises to boost the economy and help the planet simultaneously. So far it's still in the outline stage, but it's based on President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, the package of programs (Civilian Conservation Corps, Public Works Administration, and much else) that helped pull the U.S. out of the Great Depression. A new poll shows that 64 percent of registered Republicans and 92 percent of Democrats would support a Green New Deal, so it's a sure bet that you'll be hearing more about it in the new year.
Hothouse (adj.) A doomsday scenario in which climate change pushes the planet into a hot, hellish equilibrium.
Greenhouse effect? That's so 10 years ago. Try hothouse instead. ''Our analysis suggests that the Earth System may be approaching a planetary threshold that could lock in a continuing rapid pathway toward much hotter conditions '-- Hothouse Earth,'' wrote a team of scientists in a well-circulated study published in August. Imagine that our world was hotter than anything seen in the past 1.2 million years, with no ice sheets and no Amazon rainforest, and you get the picture. As it happens, hothouse traces back to the 1400s as a shorthand for steam baths and brothels.
New abnormal (n.) The state of unpredictability and danger brought on by climate change.
The new normal tends to appear in headlines after disasters like hurricanes and wildfires. Some climate scientists disapprove of the phrase, which they say suggests that this crazy, climate-changed world we're living in is somehow '... normal. (It's a little more complicated than that, as I learned from talking to lexicographer Kory Stamper.) As criticism of the phrase has spread, people have started to switch it up. For instance, this summer California Governor Jerry Brown referred to the devastating wildfires in his state as ''the new normal.'' By November, Brown was saying ''the new abnormal.''
John MacDougall / AFP / Getty ImagesPlanet B (n.) The imaginary backup planet we'll move to when Planet A (Earth) becomes uninhabitable.
''There is no Planet B,'' read the signs of marching protesters who hoped to defend science after Donald Trump's inauguration. That line has since made its way into international politics. After a painfully awkward visit to the White House in April, France's President Emmanuel Macron slipped it into a speech about Trump's plan to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. ''By polluting the oceans, not mitigating CO2 emissions, and destroying our biodiversity, we are killing our planet,'' he said. ''Let us face it. There is no Planet B.''
Secret science (n.) Science based on data that isn't public.
Remember Scott Pruitt? It feels like two years ago when the then-EPA administrator, lover of fancy lotions and expensive pens and first-class flights, finally resigned. (It happened in July.) Three months before that, Pruitt had introduced a policy to increase, erm, ''transparency'' and end ''secret science'' (a pet phrase of Lamar Smith, a Republican representative from Texas). The rule would have stopped EPA regulators from using decades of research about the damage air pollution and pesticides cause to public health. It's now on hold, but the acting EPA administrator, Andrew Wheeler, told the Hill he plans to move forward to ''finalize'' the rule next year.
Smokestorm (n.) A sudden onset of high concentrations of smoke that affects daily life.
You've heard of snowstorms and thunderstorms, so why not a smokestorm? This summer, wildfires filled cities up and down the West Coast with cinder-filled smoke as thick as fog. That hazardous air is actually the deadliest public health threat from wildfires. When the tiny, ashy particles get into people's lungs or blood vessels, they can lead to asthma or heart disease. Cliff Mass, a University of Washington atmospheric science professor who has been criticized for his views on climate change, coined the term in a blog post this summer to raise awareness about the dangers of smoky air.
Artur Widak / NurPhoto via Getty ImagesZero Hour (n.) The breaking point at which decisive climate action must be taken.
Time's up! Zero hour, the time when a planned military operation is scheduled to begin, has taken on a new meaning. In 2017, a young climate activist named Jamie Margolin (15 years old at the time) founded an organization named after the concept. And in July, Zero Hour launched a climate march led by young people of color on the National Mall. ''We want youth talking to politicians, lobbying, going to town halls,'' Margolin told Grist for a documentary about her work. ''We're still a bunch of broke high schoolers, but we have so much more than we did last year.''
This story was originally published by Grist with the headline These 13 words defined our overheating planet in 2018 on Dec 20, 2018.
Read the entire article on Grist Climate & Energy
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La Barbecue Isn't Opening That Los Angeles Barbecue Truck
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 04:52
La Barbecue, one of Austin's best barbecue spots, isn't opening that Los Angeles food truck anymore that was originally announced last year. Barbecue powerhouse LeAnn Mueller and Ali Clem revealed the nixed move to Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn on his podcast Fire & Smoke before the holidays.
Los Angeles County ''doesn't allow you to have offset smokers because of emissions,'' as Mueller explained, ''so that's a huge problem if you're going to try to open a barbecue place downtown or in the Arts District.''
Mueller and Clem cited problems that smoked meats spot Pearl's BBQ encountered, which had been shut down earlier this year by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, because of its offset smokers. Vaughn referred to the city's ''underground barbecue scene''
Mueller and Clem had originally planned on bringing out its bright yellow food truck to the West Coast. However, those offset smoker regulations, plus how expensive a commissary would be ($7,500 before electricity, as Mueller said) and how many smokers they would need to make money (six as opposed to the single one they already had), made them realize it wasn't time for a Los Angeles La Barbecue.
When it comes to Austin, Mueller would want to expand the business and open a location where she could sell alcohol and offer a nighttime menu, but the current indoor location at Quickie Pickie on East Cesar Chavez in Holly is great for now.
Elsewhere on the podcast, Mueller and Clem talked about feminizing barbecue, how they like being hands-on with barbecue, that 40 North barbecue-pizza-calzone collaboration, and if fros(C) pairs with barbecue.
Fire & Smoke: La Barbecue Is Feminizing Barbecue One Brisket at a Time [Texas Monthly]La Barbecue's Big Texas Smoking Rig Should Arrive in Los Angeles by September [ELA]All Coverage of La Barbecue [EATX] Eater Austin Sign up for our newsletter.
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'Climate grief': The growing emotional toll of climate change
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 12:44
Breaking News EmailsGet breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
Dec. 24, 2018 / 10:35 AM GMT
By Avichai Scher
When the U.N. released its latest climate report in October, it warned that without ''unprecedented'' action, catastrophic conditions could arrive by 2040.
For Amy Jordan, 40, of Salt Lake City, a mother of three teenage children, the report caused a ''crisis.''
''The emotional reaction of my kids was severe,'' she told NBC News. ''There was a lot of crying. They told me, 'We know what's coming, and it's going to be really rough.' ''
She struggled too, because there wasn't much she could do for them. ''I want to have hope, but the reports are showing that this isn't going to stop, so all we can do is cope,'' she said.
The increasing visibility of climate change, combined with bleak scientific reports and rising carbon dioxide emissions, is taking a toll on mental health, especially among young people, who are increasingly losing hope for their future. Experts call it ''climate grief,'' depression, anxiety and mourning over climate change.
Last year, the American Psychological Association issued a report on climate change's effect on mental health. The report primarily dealt with trauma from extreme weather but also recognized that ''gradual, long-term changes in climate can also surface a number of different emotions, including fear, anger, feelings of powerlessness, or exhaustion.''
In the last few months, a string of reports have delivered dire warnings. The U.N. report said the worst effects '-- such as the flooding of coastal areas caused by rising sea levels, drought, food shortages and more frequent and severe natural disasters '-- could arrive as soon as 2040. In November, the Trump administration released a report with similarly alarming findings. Both reports said cutting greenhouse gas emissions could still avert many of these effects, but a study earlier this month found that after holding steady from 2014 to 2016, emissions rose in 2017 and are on course to hit an all-time high in 2018.
The reports came amid a string of powerful natural disasters, including some that wiped out entire communities, such as Paradise, California, incinerated by the Camp Fire, and Mexico Beach, Florida, washed away by Hurricane Michael.
According to a Yale survey taken this year, anxiety is rising in the U.S. over the climate. Sixty-two percent of people surveyed said they were at least ''somewhat'' worried about the climate, up from 49 percent in 2010. The rate of those who described themselves as ''very'' worried was 21 percent, about double the rate of a similar study in 2015. Only 6 percent said humans can and will reduce global warming.
Dr. Lise van Susteren, a psychiatrist in Washington and co-founder of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance, said it's becoming harder for patients to ignore the threats of climate change.
''For a long time we were able to hold ourselves in a distance, listening to data and not being affected emotionally,'' she said. ''But it's not just a science abstraction anymore. I'm increasingly seeing people who are in despair, and even panic. ''
A 10-Step Program for Climate GriefAfter the U.N. report was released, Jordan looked for a way to help her children cope. She saw a sign at her church for a support group that deals with the issue, the Good Grief Network.
Founded by Aimee Reau, 30, and LaUra Schmidt, 32, Good Grief offers a 10-step program to help people deal with collective grief '-- issues that affect a whole society, like racism, mass shootings and climate grief.
The program runs as a 10-week cycle, each weekly meeting tackling a different step. It's currently in its third cycle in Salt Lake City and is also running online. The steps encourage participants to confront their climate fears and sadness and acknowledge that they are part of the problem as polluters in a carbon-fueled system, but also find the motivation and strength to be part of the solution.
''What helps people is building community, talking openly about the problem and how it affects them,'' Schmidt told NBC News. ''There's a lot of pain about the climate people are bottling up.''
For Jordan, who works as an interpreter of American Sign Language, the program has been helpful.
''Grieving with other people is so healing, being able to talk openly and cry it out,'' she said. ''We look each other in the eye and say, 'this is really happening.' ''
Jordan plans to bring the program back to her family and hopes that it will help her kids cope. ''They express sadness over the loss of animal species and anxiety over the unknown, like if there will be enough food in the future and where people displaced by rising seas will live,'' she said.
In September, Reau and Schmidt presented their program at Uplift Climate, an annual conference on climate change for people under 30, held entirely outdoors. This year's event was held in New Mexico's Cibola National Forest.
Aimee Reau, left, and LaUra Schmidt, creators of the Good Grief Network, hold a sign listing their 10 steps to deal with climate grief at the Uplift Climate conference in September. Avichai Scher / For NBC News''Is this the climate change depression session?'' asked Kelton Manzanares, 27, from Utah.
''You're in the right place,'' replied Schmidt. Manzanares took his place in the circle of about 20 people in a patch of grass.
Schmidt asked participants what they wanted to get out of the session.
''Hope,'' said one woman.
''Empowerment,'' said another.
''It's OK to feel sadness, grief and despair,'' Schmidt told the group. ''We'll aim to normalize those hard feelings.''
Manzanares explained that drought has hit his community hard. Springs that were once flowing are now dry. Hungry and thirsty cattle are ruining once pristine land by scrounging for nourishment wherever they can find it. ''I feel like I'm in a state of mourning or grieving when I think about it,'' he said.
Bill McKibben, a climate activist for over 30 years who runs the climate advocacy organization 350.org, said groups like Good Grief can be an effective way to deal with climate grief.
"We can't just be individuals, we need to join together and be a movement," he said in an interview. "It makes you less grief-stricken. The best antidote to feeling powerless is activism. It doesn't make you less sad, but adds hope, solidarity and love."
Even though the latest U.N. report was a "kick in the stomach" for him, he cautioned that those experiencing existential grief over climate change are not its main victims. ''It's poor communities with flimsy homes that are washing away,'' he said.
Distraught Over Having KidsAlmost all of the young people interviewed for this article said they were struggling with the ethical implications of having children.
''I'm definitely not having kids,'' said Marcela Mulholland, 21, a student at the University of Florida in Orlando and a participant in the Uplift session. ''I don't have hope that we will avoid climate catastrophe. The changes that need to happen aren't happening.''
Jordan said she used to talk with her kids about becoming parents someday. ''I'd say, 'You'll be such a good dad.' Now, it feels wrong. They don't talk about it anymore either,'' she said.
Antonia Cereijido, 26, a radio producer in New York City, is conflicted. ''If I did have kids, they would have the worst life ever,'' she said. But an environmental scientist told her that raising a climate-conscious child could be better than not having a child. ''That did wonders for my anxiety, hearing that from a scientist. So now I'm not sure.''
At Uplift, Manzanares, who was about to become a father, said having a baby gives him hope. ''It's the most positive affirmation I can make about the future,'' he said. ''We aren't giving up. This is a multigenerational problem.''
Grieving in SilenceEven with all the evidence, it's still difficult to seriously discuss mourning the climate.
''It's culturally acceptable to talk about all kinds of anxieties, but not the climate,'' said Van Susteren, the climate psychiatrist. ''People need to talk about their grief. When you do nothing, it just gets worse.''
The Yale survey found that 65 percent of those surveyed discuss global warming ''never'' or ''rarely.''
Jennifer Atkinson, a professor of environmental humanities at the University of Washington in Bothell, will teach her second course on climate grief next semester. She offers the course to students in the environmental studies program to help prevent the burnout that can develop by confronting the problem daily. ''Some students say they're going to change majors, design video games, 'this is too depressing,' '' she told NBC News.
When the course was first offered last spring, Atkinson and the school received support, but also a fair amount of ridicule.
''Do the students roll out nap mats and curl up in the fetal position with their blankies and pacifiers while listening to her lectures?'' read a message sent to the school, she wrote in an opinion essay.
The inability to talk about the issues could be fueling increased rates of depression seen in young people, Van Susteren said.
''Think about it, do you always understand what is really bothering you deep down?'' she said. ''The constant barrage of news that the world is ending takes a toll.''
For some young people, the sadness is caused by inaction.
Cindy Chung, 17, of Bayonne, New Jersey, is an activist with iMatter, a network of high school students who advocate for environmental measures on a local level. She struggles to understand how people, especially adults, can continue with business as usual.
''It wasn't our choice to be born into a doomed world,'' she said. ''All this terrible stuff can happen by 2030, and I won't even be 30 years old. It's so frightening.''
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Fr(C)d(C)rique Ries - Wikipedia
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 13:57
Fr(C)d(C)rique Ries (born 14 May 1959) is a Belgian politician and Member of the European Parliament for the French Community of Belgium with the MR/MCC/PRL, part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
Early life and career [ edit ] Mrs Ries graduated in Economics and mastered in Journalism at the University of Li¨ge, in 1981.
She was Commercial Director at Radio FM56 from 1981 to 1984. In 1984, she is hired at RTL (Radio T(C)l(C)vision Luxembourg) first in Luxembourg, as a Producer and TV Presenter from 1984 to 1987, then in Brussels where she edits and presents the news from 1987 to 1998.
Political career [ edit ] In 1999, Ries joins the MR (PRL back then) to become a candidate on the European elections list. Elected Member of the European Parliament since 1999, she follows particularly health, environment and food safety issues. In this capacity, she has been the Parliament's rapporteur on a proposal to restrict cultivation of genetically modified organisms since 2014.[1]
Re-elected in June 2009 with more than 116,000 votes, she is the 5th French-speaking political personality through all political parties in Belgium.
Overview [ edit ] 1981-1984: Commercial director, Radio FM561984-1987: Producer and presenter, RTL-TV Luxembourg1987-1998: Journalist, RTL-TVI (editing and presenting the news and other programmes on topical events)1999-2004: Member of the European Parliament2004: State Secretary for European Affairs and Foreign Affairs2004-today: Member of the European ParliamentSee also: European Parliament election, 2004
References [ edit ] External links [ edit ] Personal profile of Fr(C)d(C)rique Ries in the European Parliament's database of membersDeclaration (PDF) of financial interests (in French) official personal website of Fr(C)d(C)rique Ries
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AOC
Ocasio-Cortez says Jesus was a 'refugee' in Christmas tweet | Fox News
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 15:23
FILE - In this June 27, 2018 file photo, Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reacts while talking to the media, in New York. Ocasio-Cortez is running in New York's 14th Congressional District. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. wished her Twitter followers a Merry Christmas Tuesday by referring to the newborn Jesus as a "refugee."
"Joy to the World!" Ocasio-Cortez wrote. "Merry Christmas everyone - here's to a holiday filled with happiness, family, and love for all people. (Including refugee babies in mangers + their parents.)"
Mary and Joseph are not depicted as refugees in the Nativity story. According to the Gospel of Luke, Joseph brings the pregnant Mary to Bethlehem so that he may enroll in a census ordered by the Roman emperor Agustus. The couple are forced to take shelter in the stable where Jesus is born due to a lack of room at the inn.
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However, in the Gospel of Matthew, Mary and Joseph flee into Egypt with the infant Jesus after King Herod of Judea orders the murder of every boy aged two and under in Bethlehem after the Magi ask him where to find the newborn "King of the Jews." The Holy Family escape the slaughter and are told by an angel to return to Israel once Herod is dead.
MARY ANNE MARSH: LET'S REMEMBER THAT JESUS AND HIS FAMILY WERE ALSO REFUGEES
Ocasio-Cortez, who unseated veteran Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary earlier this year, has form when it comes to making eyebrow-raising comparisons on social media. Last month, she compared members of a Central American migrant caravan approaching the U.S. border to Jewish families fleeing Nazi Germany, victims of genocide in Rwanda and refugees from Syria's ongoing civil war.
That tweet drew an irate response from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who suggested Ocasio-Cortez visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, which he said, "Might help her better understand the differences between the Holocaust and the caravan in Tijuana."
Ocasio-Cortez shot back: "[T]he point of such a treasured museum is to bring its lessons to present day. [The Trump] administration has jailed children and violated human rights," she added. "Perhaps we should stop pretending that authoritarianism + violence is a historical event instead of a growing force."
2020
Three B's and a Cameltoe
Rand Paul Sets Twitter On Fire By Trolling Everyone In Washington | Daily Wire
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 15:28
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) ignited a firestorm on Twitter over the weekend with a series of comedic tweets trolling the government and people in Washington, D.C.
"GOOD MORNING!" Paul tweeted early on Sunday. "Welcome to everyone's favorite holiday, #Festivus!"
The Hill notes that "Festivus is a made-up holiday that served as the theme of a 'Seinfeld' episode."
Here are all the tweets from Paul's two Twitter threads, starting with the most comedic thread:
I came to say Happy #Festivus to my friend Elizabeth Warren. Cant find her. pic.twitter.com/A4xSJ7Nf7x
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 You'll be surprised to learn I have some grievances with people in Washington, fellow members and others. It's time to talk about them now, because it's the holiday season.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Let's start with POTUS I like the President, I honestly do. I know people don't believe me. But the man seems to have a problem keeping staff around him. But they solved the problem. I went to the White House the other day and there were at least 14 ppl in Mick Mulvaney masks. pic.twitter.com/u0nnGWQ7V0
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Mick is a good friend of mine, in fact a lot of people probably don't remember he was the national co-chair for my Presidential campaign. Uh oh, probably just got him fired. pic.twitter.com/3jH3ZsZh8r
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 People are saying that with the recent passage of criminal justice reform, and coming home from wars, that I have a lot of influence on the President. It is true I'm on the phone with him a good amount. But I have to tell you, I haven't gotten a word in on him in over a year.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Speaking of criminal justice reform, I have to give Jared Kushner credit. He was great on this. And I'm glad I got to know him, because before that I was a bit suspicious he was the kid from the Omen movie all grown up.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 And folks, that is NOT who you want in charge of your Middle East peace plans.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 I did something to help the President out though. I found him a wall I think will work on the border. pic.twitter.com/gx7ejwn1RU
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 It will be quite lovely really. And It was on sale for $99, so we can open the government back up now.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 So moving down the road to Congress. Oh, Congress. Every year it seems things get more absurd. They were so bad this week they made my friend Mike Lee say ''doggone''. It was nuts.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Congress has now decided to shut down the government because they aren't spending enough money. I got suspicious when Ted Cruz came back from Thanksgiving break with that beard. pic.twitter.com/y0r3dpFbbG
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Ted really should have grown that beard before he ran for President. He looks less Canadian now.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 My friend Lindsay Graham is a bit mad right now. You see, he's never seen a war end before. He's going to have to console himself with the fact that we still are in about 8 more. I know it will be hard for him, but I think he'll get by.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 I have to tell you; I haven't seen a Senator who loves war this much since the Star Wars Prequels. pic.twitter.com/UFU242XYQK
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Lindsay and I were on the same side on foreign policy for about 5 minutes a few weeks ago, regarding the Saudis. He said it was a sign of ''end times''. I guess we are all gonna live a bit longer after all.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Grievance against the foreign policy establishment of both parties in DC:
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Many of these people hold these two views: 1 - that it was horrible to leave the war in Syria and 2 - that it is horrible that General Mattis left, since he was what kept the President from starting WWIII or something. I don't understand how you hold both of those views.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 I'm going to go a bit easier on the grievances against the neocons and warmongers this year though. The Weekly Standard has folded, wars are ending '-- I really think their holiday is already bad enough, I don't want to pile on.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Well, actually'...let's talk about John Bolton. I don't have a grievance. I just really would have liked to have been in the room when the POTUS told him to END a war. How many times do you think he made the President repeat it because he didn't even know what the words meant?
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 I opposed John Bolton being hired. But I really can't think of anything that makes me happier then thinking of him having to end wars for the rest of his time in the White House.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 I hear they're piping this into his office now for the entire Christmas season. .https://t.co/KLPpLHavSy
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 I'm going to close today by talking about something good that has happened. In fact, some could even say it has its beginnings right here on #Festivus twitter a few years ago. I poked a little fun at my friend Corey Booker.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 But then we exchanged some thoughts about bipartisan reforms we could work on, like hemp legalization and criminal justice reforms. Well, it's a Festivus miracle because Congress passed and the President signed BOTH of those things this week.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 All kidding aside, they were important, bipartisan reforms that show how Washington CAN work if people from both sides of the aisle get together on things that make sense. I'm proud to have been a part of both.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 So everyone enjoy your feats of strength today. Air your grievances here or in your home. But remember, thanks to Donald Trump we are ALL saying Merry Christmas this year '-- so repeat after me: MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to everyone even the haters and losers.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018Here is Paul's first thread:
GOOD MORNING! Welcome to everyone's favorite holiday, #Festivus! pic.twitter.com/bZEUyPID1b
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 I've got a lot of problems with you people, and now you're gonna hear about them! pic.twitter.com/sahSMrsdml
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 I'm going to start out with a grievance against the entire foreign policy establishment of Washington DC, who 2 years ago were swearing that Donald Trump was going to start multiple nuclear wars or something.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Now they are mad because he is STOPPING two wars. How about you just admit you hate the President, love war and have been wrong for the last 20 years on every part of foreign policy? Consider that my Christmas present. You don't have to get me anything else.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 I'm on some Sunday shows this morning, I hope you'll tune in to @CNNSotu and @FaceTheNation to hear some serious policy discussions.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 I'll be back later this afternoon for some serious, and not so serious grievances, along with lots of my Festivus Waste Report. So come on back later!
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Oh, by the way, before I go - Die Hard is a Christmas movie, don't @ me pic.twitter.com/UukKhRCzCB
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 So we are back with more #Festivus goodness. pic.twitter.com/k8tPeEU4g0
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 One of the things I hate most about Washington is that they have literally NO IDEA how to spend your money. That's why I do waste reports, and do a FESTIVUS WASTE REPORT with some of the worst offenders of the year. Here are some of the worst in waste.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Everyone's favorite frisky quail are back with an update on how much money they blew: https://t.co/vbTkpbKVOc pic.twitter.com/KjPL4fKzvt
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 The USAID spending $18 mil to promote tourism....in Egypt: https://t.co/vbTkpbKVOc pic.twitter.com/SBbcUU2uDi
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 $2 mil on daydreaming: https://t.co/vbTkpbKVOc pic.twitter.com/IWWDtK3kyg
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 $75k to throw lizards around with a leaf blower: https://t.co/vbTkpbKVOc pic.twitter.com/nA7ZA9JdCA
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 So of course, instead of fixing waste like this and reforming government, the geniuses in Congress decided to have a fight over how much MORE money they were going to ''spend'' aka borrow from China.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 Speaking of which, buried in the foreign aid reports last year, I discovered something '-- we give foreign aid to China. So government is so dumb, it is literally borrowing money from China, to give it back to China, while paying interest on it.
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018 This is actually my grievance with liberals. They want the government to do more and more, take over more healthcare, more education '-- I mean you seen what it ALREADY is doing?
'-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018
Biden not happy about Obama meeting with other 2020 hopefuls: report
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 05:26
Former Vice President Joe Biden is not pleased that former President Barack Obama is meeting with other potential candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, according to Vanity Fair.
Biden hasn't publicly decided whether he will run for president in 2020, and Obama has met with expected 2020 contenders such as Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), and failed Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.
What does Biden say about this report? Bill Russo, a Biden spokesman, completely denied that there was any truth to the report that Biden was unhappy with Obama.
"This is unequivocally false. Period," Russo told Vanity Fair, refusing to elaborate on what Biden thought about Obama's meetings.
Why is Obama meeting with potential candidates? Some political analysts believe Obama is working to steer the Democratic Party away from a repeat of 2016, when the party fully embraced Hillary Clinton and there wasn't a robust competition for the nomination.
Does an Obama endorsement matter? One consultant told Vanity Fair that Biden shouldn't want Obama to endorse him too fully and too early, because "Democrats don't like to be told who to vote for."
"Many people lined up behind Sanders in 2016 because they didn't want to be told to support Hillary, the consultant said. "Biden doesn't want to fall into that trap, to have Obama embrace him too exclusively, too early."
There is some question to whether Obama's popularity among Democratic voters is able to lift candidates. Obama campaigned for Gillum and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, both candidates viewed as potential stars, yet both of them lost their elections.
"Obama himself has always been popular with Democrats, but I've never seen his popularity be transferrable to someone else," said a strategist Vanity Fair described as working for a likely 2020 contender.
PUTIN!
Poroshenko Terminates Ukraine's Martial Law Imposed Over Kerch Strait Incident - Sputnik International
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 17:21
Europe15:13 26.12.2018(updated 15:53 26.12.2018) Get short URL
In early December, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko introduced martial law in some Ukrainian regions located near the Russian border following the Kerch Strait incident, in which three Ukrainian vessels illegally crossed the Russian maritime border.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Wednesday he was terminating the period of the martial law imposed in several regions of the country shortly after the Kerch Strait incident.
"It is exactly 14:00 [Kiev time, 12:00 GMT]'... and the martial law is terminated. This is my principal decision, it is based on the analysis of the current security situation in the state and despite the fact that the situation around Ukraine has not changed much," the president announced at a meeting of the National Security Council.
READ MORE: US to Boost Funding for Ukrainian Navy After Kerch Row With Russia
Commenting on the upcoming vote, he stated that martial law has not affected the presidential election in Ukraine, which is scheduled for March 31.
"We guarantee that the presidential elections will take place on March 31, 2019, I emphasize this," Poroshenko said.
On Poroshenko's Possible Second Term
Meanwhile, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said in an interview with Russian media that the United States is interested in keeping Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in office for the second term, so Washington closes its eyes to Poroshenko's provocations on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
"Obviously, Washington is interested in keeping Poroshenko as the [Ukrainian] head of state for the second term, so it closes its eyes to the most odious personalities from the camp of the Ukrainian neo-Nazis," Patrushev said.
The official noted that it was precisely this feeling of US support that allowed Poroshenko to confidently go for any provocations, including on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
The Ukrainian president's remarks came after Russia's President Vladimir Putin said that the Kerch Strait incident was a provocation prepared in advance as a pretext to introduce martial law and suspend voting rights ahead of Ukraine's presidential election, as Poroshenko's popularity ahead of the vote has been low.
On November 25, Ukraine's Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats and the Yany Kapu tugboat illegally crossed the Russian maritime border as they sailed toward the Kerch Strait, the entrance to the Sea of Azov. The Ukrainian vessels were seized by Russia after failing to respond to a demand to stop. Following the incident, Poroshenko signed a decree declaring martial law in several Ukrainian regions located near the Russian border.
Dogs are People too
Pet friendly buildings not based on 70% dogs
Pee and hair
Britain bans puppy and kitten sales by pet shops
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 15:40
/ Live news Date created : 25/12/2018 - 12:06
Shops will only be allowed to deal with animal welfare shelters or the primary breeders of the pet Shops will only be allowed to deal with animal welfare shelters or the primary breeders of the pet AFP/FileLondon (AFP)
Britain is forbidding puppies and kittens from being sold by pet shops in a bid to crack down on animal exploitation and abuse.
The government said it will roll out the legislation next year after holding public consultations that showed 95-percent support for the ban.
"This will mean that anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten under six months must either deal directly with the breeder or with an animal re-homing centre," the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said on Sunday as part of its Christmas animal welfare push.
The measure is commonly called Lucy's Law in honour of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was rescued from a puppy farm in Wales in 2013.
She had spent most of her life in a cage and was no longer able to breed because her hips had fused together from lack of movement.
A woman named Lisa Garner took her home and launched a social media awareness campaign that changed the way Britons get their pets.
The government said the new law will help "end the terrible welfare conditions found in puppy farming and solve a range of existing animal welfare issues".
Lucy died in 2016.
- 'Right start in life'-
The government believes the ban will keep "high volume low welfare breeders" -- both licensed and unlicensed -- from flooding pet shops with puppies and kittens raised in unethical conditions.
Shops will only be allowed to deal with animal welfare shelters or the primary breeders of the pet.
Defra released no figures estimating how many sales the new legislation will affect.
But London's Battersea Dogs Home chief Claire Horton said the rules will "make sure the nation's much-loved pets get the right start in life".
Between 1998 and 2006 Battersea produced a popular TV series about pet rescues and care, which reflected Britons' general affection for cats and dogs.
Britain's People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) veterinary charity said 49 percent of UK adults owned at least one pet in 2018.
PDSA's estimated cat population of 11.1 million edged out the 8.9 million dogs and 1.0 million rabbits -- whose numbers have nearly halved since 2011.
The British government has unfurled a number of animal welfare initiatives in the past few months that activists hope other European countries will soon follow.
One law in October banned licensed shops from dealing in puppies and kittens under the age of eight weeks.
Defra is now looking at legislation requiring all non-commercial rescue and re-homing centres to have a licence.
? 2018 AFP
NOKO
North and South Korea join their railways together in a symbolic ceremony | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 19:15
North and South Korea join their railways together in a symbolic ceremony to show closer ties amid thawing tensionsSouth and North Koreans gathered in border city of Kaesong for the ceremonyThey joined up two pieces of railway track at Panmun Station to symbolise their pledge to work together to join up the North and South's transport networkBut sanctions banning the sale of metal to the North means work cannot startInstead, the countries will begin conducting joint surveys and doing design workByChris Pleasance for MailOnline
Published: 04:16 EST, 26 December 2018 | Updated: 09:14 EST, 26 December 2018
North and South Korea have symbolically joined their railway networks together as they begin work to reconnect transport networks between the two countries.
But construction on the project cannot actually begin because of international sanctions banning the import of metals and energy products into North Korea.
Instead, engineers from the North and South - which are still technically at war - will spend the next two years conducting joint surveys and doing design work.
Officials from North and South Korea joined their railway networks together in a symbolic ceremony on Wednesday to mark the start of a project to connect the two countries
The groundbreaking ceremony took place in the border town of Kaesong, in North Korea, but actual construction cannot start because of sanctions against Pyongyang
The groundbreaking ceremony was held at Panmun Station in the border city of Kaesong on Wednesday.
A train full of 100 South Korean government officials, ministers and family members displaced by the Korean War was driven to the station for the event.
They were in turn greeted by a 100-strong North Korean delegation, as well as officials from the United Nations, China, Russia and Mongolia - amid wider plans to link North Korea with the trans-Siberia and trans-China railways.
But, underlining the scale of the challenges facing the project, even getting a train to Panmun required South Korea to obtain a permit from the UN Security Council.
Kim Yun Hyok, the North Korean vice railways minister, said the Koreas should push further with engagement instead of 'wobbling on the path while listening to what others think,' designed as a rebuke to Seoul over its close ties with America.
North Korea has repeatedly voiced displeasure about the slow progress in the reconciliatory projects agreed between their leaders.
North Korea's Vice Railway Minister Kim Yun Hyok (left), shakes hands with South Korea's Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mee (right), as he urged the South to ignore orders from Washington and push ahead with reunification projects
South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon (right) talks with Ri Son Gwon (left), the chairman of North Korea's state agency in charge of inter-Korean ties
Around 100 South Korea officials met with a similarly sized North Korean delegation at Panmun Station, in the town of Kaesong, for the ceremony
The Seoul government plans to conduct further surveys on North Korean railways and roads before drawing up a detailed blueprint for the project.
Actual construction will proceed depending on the progress in the North's denuclearization and the state of sanctions against the country, the ministry said.
'We plan to hold detailed negotiations with the North to coordinate on the specific levels we want to achieve in the modernization of railways and roads and how to carry out the project,' said Eugene Lee, the ministry's spokeswoman.
South Korea has set aside some $600,000 for the project, but experts say the North's transport infrastructure is so dilapidated that it could take decades and absorb billions of dollars to modernise.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to the ceremony during a September summit in Pyongyang with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a step toward joint industrial zones and reconnecting transport links.
South and North Korean officials sign a concrete railway tie during the ceremony. The countries will now conduct surveys and design work since construction cannot start
The North and South Korean delegation were watched by families displaced by the Korean war along with officials from China, Russia and Mongolia
A train carrying the South Korean delegates arrives at Panmun Station for the ceremony
It is another example of the thaw in relations between the Koreas, which began at the Winter Olympics and saw Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in holding hands while listening to K-Pop together.
The same thawing also saw American President Donald Trump meet with Kim in Singapore for the first ever summit between the two countries.
Trump let the summit full of admiration for Kim and certain he had achieved concrete steps towards 'denuclearising' the North, but progress has stalled over what that word actually means.
Pyongyang insists that it has taken several concrete steps towards winding down its nuclear weapons program, such as destroying the underground Punggye-ri testing site, and that it is time for America to reciprocate by lifting sanctions.
However, Washington is insisting that North Korea give up its entire nuclear arsenal first before sanctions are lifted later - an idea that Pyongyang has balked at.
A second summit between Trump and Kim is scheduled to take place in Washington sometime early next year, which the US leader has said he is 'looking forward' to.
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Any Collusion?
Are the Investigations the Cover-Up?
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 09:34
We have been assured that there are several investigations looking into the various aspect of this abuse of power. Inspector General Michael Horowitz, prosecutor John Huber, and others are looking into the corruption. Mueller is supposedly tasked with exposing foreign influence on the Presidential election.
But what if the 'investigations' are really the cover-up? What if the investigations are carefully structured to protect criminal actions rather than expose them? What if the investigations are actually being used to hide evidence from the citizenry?
Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe and others discussed the need for an ''insurance policy'' in case Trump won. Was this ''insurance policy'' intended to protect deep-state criminals from exposure? Mueller's role is not to investigate collusion with foreign agents, or he would be investigating Christopher Steele and his Russian sources, along with the foreigners who worked with our government to infiltrate the Trump campaign. He would investigate the illegal funding of Steele's lies and how the lies were fed to the public by 'bad cops' and complicit media. This is obviously not the goal of Mueller's team.
Mueller's key role is to have nearly absolute control over what information is released to investigators or the public. Mueller determines what Horowitz and Huber can see. Mueller can hide anything he wants by claiming that release of the information would hinder his 'investigation'. He has given Rod Rosenstein a list of lines of inquiry that will not be allowed. Rosenstein, who volunteered to be part of the soft coup, is happy to comply. We have witnessed Rosenstein repeatedly refuse to turn over documents to Congress, flagrantly obstructing its oversight role.
What is the most effective way to hide the truth and protect the deep-state criminals? It's the never-ending Mueller investigation. Sure, Mueller's team is still in the business of promoting the Trump-Russia fiction, but the most important role of this 'investigation' may be to obstruct any real investigation.
Conspiracy theories become conspiracy facts when enough evidence piles up to support the theory. Consider this evidence, starting before the election:
Comey wrote a letter exonerating Hillary from her very intentional crimes long before she or key witnesses were interviewed. Hillary's key co-conspirators were given immunity, allowed to share attorneys, sit in on each other's depositions, and even destroy evidence. This was a sham investigation. Hillary's influence peddling through the Clinton Foundation was effectively swept under the rug. The Clintons enriched themselves by selling future favors, often to foreign entities. The foundation has been called ''The Biggest Charity Fraud Ever''. The Trump-Russia collusion narrative was developed as part of the effort to undermine Trump. It was not started by any actionable intelligence. Spies were placed in the Trump campaign to aid the false narrative and to allow further illicit intelligence gathering. Spying on the Trump campaign was authorized by presenting fraudulent, hearsay evidence to FISA Court judges. This criminal act led to many other criminal acts including rampant ''unmasking'' of American citizens associated with Trump. Comey and Rosenstein both played roles in FISA abuse. White House officials did much of the unmasking. On September 28, 2016, Peter Strzok texted Lisa Page that ''hundreds of thousands'' of email messages from Anthony Weiner's computer had been turned over to the FBI by U.S. Attorneys who were conducting an investigation into Weiner's sex crimes. This was a treasure trove of information about Huma and Hillary. The FBI immediately hid the information for a month while they figured out how to whitewash it to protect Hillary. The bomb-control team successfully defused another bomb. Surely, they expected a future reward from President H.R. Clinton. Inspector General Horowitz's June report had the goal of soft-peddling criminal behavior. The report said that some unfortunate things were done, but there was no reason to think that bias played a key role in important decisions. It did not find fault with things like granting immunity to the man who lied to the FBI and destroyed Hillary's illegal server. As we have learned, lying to the FBI can be fine, depending on who does the lying. Destroying subpoenaed evidence is okay too, at times.
Horowitz' public statement about his toothless report was followed by FBI Director Christopher Wray telling us not to worry about a thing because he intended to schedule a day when FBI agents would have a meeting to discuss bias. Okay then -- I guess that takes care of it.
Last year, when members of Congress were rightly frustrated about evidence being hidden, there were increasing calls for a special prosecutor to investigate surveillance abuses by the Obama administration, the shady Uranium One deal, and the Clinton Foundation's influence peddling. The idea of appointing a truly independent prosecutor was thwarted by Jeff Sessions, who appointed a career insider to do the investigation instead. Sessions promised that an Obama holdover in Utah, John Huber, would do a ''full, complete and objective evaluation of these matters.''
At this point, there is every reason to believe that the purpose of Huber's investigation is to hide the truth, not to find it; to protect the criminals, not to charge them. The key witnesses in each of the matters under investigation have not even been contacted. It appears that no grand juries have been empaneled. Tom Fitton, of Judicial Watch says, ''Huber wasn't tapped to investigate anything'', he was just ''a distraction''.
What we are witnessing here is a carefully planned and orchestrated cover-up of a series of very serious crimes. The deep swamp is pretending to investigate the deep swamp.
This cover-up would not be possible if the mainstream media were honest and aggressive fact-finders, but they actually function as a branch of the Democratic Party. The cover-up would fail if Republicans were unified in absolutely demanding to see all the evidence that is currently being hidden, but Republican 'leaders' do not unify and fight hard for anything. They appear to be comfortable with losing this battle.
Victors write the accepted history of events. It is possible that the story here will be that good men like Strzok, Comey, Rosenstein, and Mueller protected America from a vast right-wing conspiracy. Donald Trump, the victim of most of the crimes, will be portrayed as the villain.
Those of us who have been paying attention know that serious crimes were committed at the highest levels of government in an attempt to exonerate Hillary Clinton and frame Donald Trump. There was collusion between government agencies, including collusion with foreign agents, to illegally influence the 2016 Presidential election. There is enough evidence on the table to be confident of these claims.
And those of us who care about rule of law, who want to see justice done to the criminals in this conspiracy, have been waiting for years to see that happen. We hear that these serious matters are being investigated. We hear that there are there whistleblowers inside the government who want to come forward and expose the corruption. We hear that there are many, many more documents which will substantiate our worst fears about one of the greatest scandals in the history of our country.
We have been assured that there are several investigations looking into the various aspect of this abuse of power. Inspector General Michael Horowitz, prosecutor John Huber, and others are looking into the corruption. Mueller is supposedly tasked with exposing foreign influence on the Presidential election.
But what if the 'investigations' are really the cover-up? What if the investigations are carefully structured to protect criminal actions rather than expose them? What if the investigations are actually being used to hide evidence from the citizenry?
Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe and others discussed the need for an ''insurance policy'' in case Trump won. Was this ''insurance policy'' intended to protect deep-state criminals from exposure? Mueller's role is not to investigate collusion with foreign agents, or he would be investigating Christopher Steele and his Russian sources, along with the foreigners who worked with our government to infiltrate the Trump campaign. He would investigate the illegal funding of Steele's lies and how the lies were fed to the public by 'bad cops' and complicit media. This is obviously not the goal of Mueller's team.
Mueller's key role is to have nearly absolute control over what information is released to investigators or the public. Mueller determines what Horowitz and Huber can see. Mueller can hide anything he wants by claiming that release of the information would hinder his 'investigation'. He has given Rod Rosenstein a list of lines of inquiry that will not be allowed. Rosenstein, who volunteered to be part of the soft coup, is happy to comply. We have witnessed Rosenstein repeatedly refuse to turn over documents to Congress, flagrantly obstructing its oversight role.
What is the most effective way to hide the truth and protect the deep-state criminals? It's the never-ending Mueller investigation. Sure, Mueller's team is still in the business of promoting the Trump-Russia fiction, but the most important role of this 'investigation' may be to obstruct any real investigation.
Conspiracy theories become conspiracy facts when enough evidence piles up to support the theory. Consider this evidence, starting before the election:
Comey wrote a letter exonerating Hillary from her very intentional crimes long before she or key witnesses were interviewed. Hillary's key co-conspirators were given immunity, allowed to share attorneys, sit in on each other's depositions, and even destroy evidence. This was a sham investigation. Hillary's influence peddling through the Clinton Foundation was effectively swept under the rug. The Clintons enriched themselves by selling future favors, often to foreign entities. The foundation has been called ''The Biggest Charity Fraud Ever''. The Trump-Russia collusion narrative was developed as part of the effort to undermine Trump. It was not started by any actionable intelligence. Spies were placed in the Trump campaign to aid the false narrative and to allow further illicit intelligence gathering. Spying on the Trump campaign was authorized by presenting fraudulent, hearsay evidence to FISA Court judges. This criminal act led to many other criminal acts including rampant ''unmasking'' of American citizens associated with Trump. Comey and Rosenstein both played roles in FISA abuse. White House officials did much of the unmasking. On September 28, 2016, Peter Strzok texted Lisa Page that ''hundreds of thousands'' of email messages from Anthony Weiner's computer had been turned over to the FBI by U.S. Attorneys who were conducting an investigation into Weiner's sex crimes. This was a treasure trove of information about Huma and Hillary. The FBI immediately hid the information for a month while they figured out how to whitewash it to protect Hillary. The bomb-control team successfully defused another bomb. Surely, they expected a future reward from President H.R. Clinton. Inspector General Horowitz's June report had the goal of soft-peddling criminal behavior. The report said that some unfortunate things were done, but there was no reason to think that bias played a key role in important decisions. It did not find fault with things like granting immunity to the man who lied to the FBI and destroyed Hillary's illegal server. As we have learned, lying to the FBI can be fine, depending on who does the lying. Destroying subpoenaed evidence is okay too, at times.
Horowitz' public statement about his toothless report was followed by FBI Director Christopher Wray telling us not to worry about a thing because he intended to schedule a day when FBI agents would have a meeting to discuss bias. Okay then -- I guess that takes care of it.
Last year, when members of Congress were rightly frustrated about evidence being hidden, there were increasing calls for a special prosecutor to investigate surveillance abuses by the Obama administration, the shady Uranium One deal, and the Clinton Foundation's influence peddling. The idea of appointing a truly independent prosecutor was thwarted by Jeff Sessions, who appointed a career insider to do the investigation instead. Sessions promised that an Obama holdover in Utah, John Huber, would do a ''full, complete and objective evaluation of these matters.''
At this point, there is every reason to believe that the purpose of Huber's investigation is to hide the truth, not to find it; to protect the criminals, not to charge them. The key witnesses in each of the matters under investigation have not even been contacted. It appears that no grand juries have been empaneled. Tom Fitton, of Judicial Watch says, ''Huber wasn't tapped to investigate anything'', he was just ''a distraction''.
What we are witnessing here is a carefully planned and orchestrated cover-up of a series of very serious crimes. The deep swamp is pretending to investigate the deep swamp.
This cover-up would not be possible if the mainstream media were honest and aggressive fact-finders, but they actually function as a branch of the Democratic Party. The cover-up would fail if Republicans were unified in absolutely demanding to see all the evidence that is currently being hidden, but Republican 'leaders' do not unify and fight hard for anything. They appear to be comfortable with losing this battle.
Victors write the accepted history of events. It is possible that the story here will be that good men like Strzok, Comey, Rosenstein, and Mueller protected America from a vast right-wing conspiracy. Donald Trump, the victim of most of the crimes, will be portrayed as the villain.
BTC
Thought: Once all BTC is mined, maybe SHA265 will be broken?
It will break BTC of course!
AFRIKA
Africa is about to become the world's largest free trade zone '-- RT Business News
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 14:28
South Africa's and Togo's parliaments this month ratified the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The total number of countries committing to the deal has thus grown to 49.
Once the agreement comes into effect, it will create a tariff-free continent, covering a single market of 1.2 billion people in 55 nations with a combined gross domestic product of about $3 trillion.
It will constitute the largest free trade area globally, according to South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.
Also on rt.com Russia may participate in construction of Trans-African railway The agreement is expected to reduce export tariffs which currently average 6.1 percent, and boost intra-African trade by more than 52 percent after import duties are eliminated. It is focused on diversifying trade exports away from just extractives and enhancing the chances of small and medium enterprises to tap into more regional destinations.
Economists say that tariff-free access to a huge and unified market will encourage manufacturers and service providers to leverage economies of scale.
READ MORE: Moscow wants BRICS development bank to invest in Africa
''We look to gain more industrial and value-added jobs in Africa because of intra-African trade,'' Mukhisa Kituyi, secretary-general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, told Africa Renewal.
The creation of the free trade area requires at least 22 countries submitting instruments of ratification. So far, the agreement has 15 ratifications, with seven more remaining.
More good news! Togo has added energy with the National Assembly ratifying the #AfCFTA Agreement. Fifteen ratifications so far, seven remaining. The gift to give to the February 2019 @_AfricanUnion Summit is to ensure we secure the remaining seven. pic.twitter.com/U4zlolJGMi
'-- Amb. Albert Muchanga (@AmbMuchanga) December 25, 2018The African Union's (AU) Commissioner for Trade and Industry Albert Muchanga said this week he is confident the remaining votes required to enforce AfCFTA will be secured before the next AU summit in February 2019.
The AfCFTA proposal was approved in 2012 and the members started working on a draft in 2015. In March, the leaders of 44 African countries endorsed the agreement in Rwanda, with more countries joining in since then. The participants of AfCFTA are reportedly weighing the possibility of using a common currency.
Also on rt.com Africa shapes biggest free trade area since WTO to boost regional business ties For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
Tunisia clashes spread over tough living conditions | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 05:10
Dec. 27, 2018 | 12:06 AM
Riot police clash with protesters during demonstrations, in Kasserine, Tunisia December 25, 2018. REUTERS/Amine Ben Aziza
Agence France Presse
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 27, 2018, on page 7.Advertisement
SummaryClashes between Tunisian protesters and security forces spread from an impoverished western city overnight, authorities said Wednesday, as anger grew over the death of a journalist who set himself on fire over economic conditions.The unrest follows the death of 32-year-old journalist Abderrazk Zorgui Monday after setting himself ablaze in Kasserine.
It was the self-immolation of a street vendor in Tunisia in late 2010 in protest at police harassment that sparked Tunisia's revolution and the Arab Spring uprisings across the rest of the region the next year.
Kasserine was one of the first cities to rise up after the vendor's death, in protests that saw police kill demonstrators.
...
DR Congo presidential election postponed in three areas - BBC News
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 05:01
Image copyright Reuters Image caption DRC election officials have been testing voting machines ahead of the poll The presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo - due to take place on Sunday - is being postponed until March in three areas.
The electoral commission blamed insecurity and an Ebola outbreak.
The decision appears to cancel the votes of more than a million people because the new president is due to be sworn in by the middle of January.
An opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, earlier said any postponement would be an attempt to rig the election.
Mr Kabila, who has been in office since 2001, was meant to have stepped down in 2016 under a constitutional prohibition from seeking an additional term.
However, the election to choose his successor has been continually postponed, amid unrest and reported logistical difficulties. Opposition supporters suspect that he intends to cling on to power.
Why has voting been delayed in three areas?The three areas are Beni and Butembo in eastern North Kivu Province and Yumbi in the west of the country.
In Yumbi, at least 80 people were killed earlier this month and thousands have fled to neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville amid violence triggered by a dispute over where to bury a traditional chief.
Beni has been affected by an Ebola outbreak that has killed at least 350 people since August. Nearby Butembo has seen attacks on civilians attributed to a Ugandan Islamist militia, the Allied Democratic Forces.
However the area is also seen as an opposition stronghold and opposition supporters accused the government of attempting to disenfranchise them.
Moise Katumbi, an opposition leader in exile who is supporting Mr Fayulu, said the move was "unjustifiable" and showed that "the regime wants to be in power forever to continue its pillage".
Pro-democracy campaigner Leonnie Kandolo said publishing final results before all regions had voted showed the government was "taking us for idiots".
What other issues have there been?On 21 December, the electoral commission said the vote was being delayed by another week, after admitting that it was not ready. The decision was condemned by opposition politicians.
A delay in deploying voting materials to polling sites after a fire was behind the postponement, officials said.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption DR Congo's journey into chaosThe blaze destroyed more than two-thirds of the electronic voting machines allocated for the capital Kinshasa, where four million people - 15% of the electorate - live, an official said.
Meanwhile the government has accused Mr Fayulu of instigating election violence. Mr Fayulu's campaign has rejected the charge.
Mr Kabila is backing former Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary in the election.
DR Congo has not had an orderly change of government since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.
Presidentsverkiezing in Congo heeft veel weg van een soap | De Volkskrant
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 05:00
De kiescommissie maakte woensdag bekend dat er in de steden Beni en Butembo in het oosten van Congo voorlopig geen verkiezingen mogelijk zijn wegens een ebola-uitbraak. In de westelijke stad Yumbi zou het te gevaarlijk zijn door etnisch geweld. Rond Yumbi vielen in de afgelopen week meer dan honderd doden.
De oppositie vermoedt dat er sprake is van een list van de regering van president Joseph Kabila om de verkiezingsuitslag te be¯nvloeden. In Beni, Butembo en Yumbi leven veel aanhangers van de oppositie. Het uitstel daar van de stembusgang tot in maart treft naar schatting 1,3 miljoen van de ruim 40 miljoen Congolese kiezers.
Het uitstel wordt extra verdacht doordat de kiescommissie van plan lijkt om al op 15 januari de 'algehele' verkiezingsuitslag bekend te maken en om op 18 januari de winnaar te laten inhuldigen. De vraag is wat voor zin het dan nog heeft voor de kiezers in Beni, Butembo en Yumbi om in maart te gaan stemmen. De data van januari staan ook in het geactualiseerde verkiezingsschema dat de kiescommissie woensdag openbaar heeft gemaakt.
Het uitstel benadeelt hoe dan ook ook de populaire oppositiekandidaat Martin Fayulu. Hij neemt het in de verkiezingen op tegen de kroonprins van president Kabila, die regeert sinds 2001 maar zelf niet meer op de kieslijst staat. De kroonprins is Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, voormalig minister van Binnenlandse Zaken onder Kabila en mikpunt van Europese sancties wegens bloedig politieoptreden vorig jaar tegen anti-Kabila-betogers.
'Voorwendsel'Oppositiekandidaat Fayulu deed woensdag op Twitter het argument om de verkiezingen in Beni en Butembo uit te stellen wegens ebola af als 'een voorwendsel'. In deze steden is de afgelopen weken gewoon campagne gevoerd, zo stipte Fayulu aan. Hij noemt het uitstel 'de zoveelste strategie' voor het manipuleren van de verkiezingsuitslag. De Volkskrant zag deze maand in Beni hoe medewerkers van de kiescommissie zich volop voorbereidden op een stembusgang, ondanks de ebola-epidemie.
De Congolese verkiezingen hadden eigenlijk al moeten plaatsvinden eind 2016, toen de grondwettelijk bepaalde, laatste ambtstermijn van president Kabila afliep. De verkiezingen werden uitgesteld, officieel wegens de toegenomen activiteit van gewapende groepen in delen van Congo. Een door bemiddeling van de invloedrijke katholieke kerk tot stand gekomen akkoord voorzag vervolgens in verkiezingen in 2017, maar die gingen ook niet door. Daarna werd 23 december 2018 beloofd als datum maar deze stembusgang werd verschoven naar 30 december, nadat in de hoofdstad Kinshasa stembiljetten en ''machines verloren waren gegaan bij een mysterieuze brand. En nu zijn er dus drie steden waarvan het stemgedrag er bij voorbaat niet toe lijkt te doen.
Instabiliteit Hoe langer de electorale impasse in Congo voortduurt, hoe groter de vrees wordt voor verdere instabiliteit in het land. Gewapende groepen en krijgsheer-politici grijpen het dreigende machtsvacu¼m aan om de chaos te vergroten en zo hun invloed te tonen. Kiezers verliezen hun geduld met wat zij zien als onophoudelijk uitstelgedrag van de regering.
Dockless Mobility
#MeToo
Sexual assault case against Kevin Spacey includes video evidence, Massachusetts State Police report says | masslive.com
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 14:14
The sexual assault case against actor Kevin Spacey reportedly includes a Snapchat video of him touching the front of the alleged victim's pants, according to a Massachusetts State Police investigative report.
Spacey is facing a count of indecent assault on a person over the age of 14 for allegedly groping the teenage son of former WCVB news anchor Heather Unruh at a Nantucket bar in 2016.
The State Police report, which has been filed with a criminal complaint in Nantucket District Court, gives the first detailed account of Spacey's alleged actions at The Club Car bar and restaurant two-and-a-half years ago. And it includes the first official statement that there is documentary evidence of Spacey touching Unruh's son.
''[Unruh's son] said the whole thing was embarrassing and has not had a 'profound emotional effect' on him. [He] told his friends about it and makes jokes about it because that is his way,'' Trooper Gerald F. Donovan wrote in his report, though family believe this may be a coping mechanism. ''[He] called the police because he doesn't want what happened to him to happen to anyone else.''
Spacey could not immediately be reached through a phone number listed on court paperwork. MassLive has reached out to his attorney Bryan Freedman for comment.
The criminal complaint was issued against Spacey on Dec. 20 and he is scheduled for arraignment on Jan. 7 in Nantucket District Court.
The charge comes over a year after Unruh publicly accused Spacey of assaulting her son. Over the course of a 30-minute televised news conference, Unruh said that Spacey got her 18-year-old son drunk at the Club Car restaurant in Nantucket in July of 2016 and forced his hand down her son's pants.
''Kevin Spacey bought him drink after drink after drink and when my son was drunk, Spacey made his move and sexually assaulted him,'' she said during the press conference.
According to the criminal complaint, Unruh's son first reported the assault to Nantucket Police on Oct. 31, 2016 -- well before other allegations against Spacey were publicly disclosed. The Nantucket Police Department referred all questions about the case to the Cape & Islands District Attorney's Office. MassLive has reached out to the DA's office for additional information about the initial report.
The investigation did not move forward until over a year later, when the alleged victim spoke with Massachusetts State Police on Nov. 22, 2017. He told State Police that on July 7, 2016, he was working as a bus boy at the Club Car. Word quickly spread among the staff that Spacey was expected to visit the restaurant that night. At the end of his shift, he asked one of his coworkers to introduce him to the actor.
Spacey and Unruh's son began to chat; Spacey told the 18-year-old that his dog's name was Boston, and Unruh's son told Spacey he was studying business in college. At one point, Unruh's son told Spacey he was 23 years old, according to the report he gave police.
Spacey then offered to buy him a drink, Unruh's son told State Police.
''The drinks continued constantly through the whole night. Things started to get a little fuzzy when [Unruh's son] and Spacey went over to the piano,'' Donovan wrote in his report. "[Unruh's son] said he had at least four or five beers before Spacey said they should switch to whiskey adding, 'Let's get drunk.' "
They began singing songs at the piano, he told police. Unruh's son said he told Spacey about his girlfriend, who he had been dating for five months at the time, at which point Spacey allegedly told him to stop texting her and began talking about the size of his penis.
''[Unruh's son] said he did not know how to respond to that,'' Donovan wrote in his report.
Around 1 a.m., they went outside to smoke a cigarette. Spacey allegedly asked Unruh's son to come back to the house where he was staying -- a request the alleged victim told police he denied because of Spacey's previous sexual comment.
''[Unruh's son] said he saw that comment as a red flag and did not want to go back to Spacey's house,'' Donovan wrote.
Unruh's son told police he was uncomfortable and fended off multiple requests from Spacey to come home with him. All he wanted was a picture with the actor, Unruh's son told police.
When they went back inside, Spacey allegedly sexually assaulted him. Spacey alleged began rubbing the teenager's thigh while standing in a crowd of people around the piano. Unruh's son told police Spacey then unzipped his pants and touched him without consent.
''[Unruh's son] didn't know what to do. He didn't want to get in trouble at work or get his work in trouble,'' the trooper wrote in his report. ''He knows he's only 18, he's not supposed to be drinking, and he's not supposed to be drinking at work.''
Unruh's son told police neither he nor Spacey spoke while the actor allegedly touched him. The teenager told police he attempted to shift his body away, but Spacey continued to reach down his pants. Unruh's son did not walk away, saying that the room was crowded.
Unruh's son told State Police that as the alleged assault continued for several minutes, he captured Snapchat video of Spacey touching him on his phone to prove what had happened and sent the video to his girlfriend.
His girlfriend also spoke to State Police and told them she had received a video of Spacey touching the front of her boyfriend's pants.
''[His girlfriend] said a lot of people knew Spacey had hit on [Unruh's son,] but people didn't know he was actually sexually assaulted,'' Donovan wrote.
He told police that when Spacey left to go the bathroom, he spoke with another woman in the restaurant and told her that he believed Spacey was trying to assault him. He then left and ran back to his home while drunk, where he told his sister what had happened. His sister confirmed to State Police that he had told her about the incident, describing it as ''rape.''
While Unruh's son told Donovan the incident has not seriously affected him, his sister said she suspects it is a ''coping mechanism.''
''[She's] noticed since [her brother] reported it and he's been home, he's been acting different; more quiet than usual,'' Donovan wrote.
The next day, Unruh told him to call police, but he delayed because he did not want to get anyone at the bar in trouble.
State Police interviewed several members of the Club Car's staff. None said they witnessed an assault. Two said they remembered Spacey and Unruh's son hanging out, and one recalled him appearing ''pale, blank and a bit frightened'' after ''something happened" that night.
On the same day news broke about the felony charge, Spacey released a surreal video on his Youtube channel. Speaking directly into the camera, Spacey delivered a monologue as his former ''House of Cards'' character Frank Underwood -- the role from which he was fired after sexual misconduct allegations against him were made public in 2017.
''But you wouldn't believe the worst without evidence, would you? You wouldn't rush to judgements without facts, would you? Did you?'' Spacey says in the video.
Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct by over a dozen men last year, as the Me Too movement sparked a wave of long-buried allegations against celebrities, businessmen and media personalities. He was first publicly accused by Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp, who said that Spacey made sexual advances to him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 years old.
Spacey was fired from the lead role in Netflix' political drama ''House of Cards'' and was cut from the motion picture ''All the Money in the World.''
Sexual assault case against Kevin Spacey includes video evidence, Massachusetts State Police report says | masslive.com
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 14:14
The sexual assault case against actor Kevin Spacey reportedly includes a Snapchat video of him touching the front of the alleged victim's pants, according to a Massachusetts State Police investigative report.
Spacey is facing a count of indecent assault on a person over the age of 14 for allegedly groping the teenage son of former WCVB news anchor Heather Unruh at a Nantucket bar in 2016.
The State Police report, which has been filed with a criminal complaint in Nantucket District Court, gives the first detailed account of Spacey's alleged actions at The Club Car bar and restaurant two-and-a-half years ago. And it includes the first official statement that there is documentary evidence of Spacey touching Unruh's son.
''[Unruh's son] said the whole thing was embarrassing and has not had a 'profound emotional effect' on him. [He] told his friends about it and makes jokes about it because that is his way,'' Trooper Gerald F. Donovan wrote in his report, though family believe this may be a coping mechanism. ''[He] called the police because he doesn't want what happened to him to happen to anyone else.''
Spacey could not immediately be reached through a phone number listed on court paperwork. MassLive has reached out to his attorney Bryan Freedman for comment.
The criminal complaint was issued against Spacey on Dec. 20 and he is scheduled for arraignment on Jan. 7 in Nantucket District Court.
The charge comes over a year after Unruh publicly accused Spacey of assaulting her son. Over the course of a 30-minute televised news conference, Unruh said that Spacey got her 18-year-old son drunk at the Club Car restaurant in Nantucket in July of 2016 and forced his hand down her son's pants.
''Kevin Spacey bought him drink after drink after drink and when my son was drunk, Spacey made his move and sexually assaulted him,'' she said during the press conference.
According to the criminal complaint, Unruh's son first reported the assault to Nantucket Police on Oct. 31, 2016 -- well before other allegations against Spacey were publicly disclosed. The Nantucket Police Department referred all questions about the case to the Cape & Islands District Attorney's Office. MassLive has reached out to the DA's office for additional information about the initial report.
The investigation did not move forward until over a year later, when the alleged victim spoke with Massachusetts State Police on Nov. 22, 2017. He told State Police that on July 7, 2016, he was working as a bus boy at the Club Car. Word quickly spread among the staff that Spacey was expected to visit the restaurant that night. At the end of his shift, he asked one of his coworkers to introduce him to the actor.
Spacey and Unruh's son began to chat; Spacey told the 18-year-old that his dog's name was Boston, and Unruh's son told Spacey he was studying business in college. At one point, Unruh's son told Spacey he was 23 years old, according to the report he gave police.
Spacey then offered to buy him a drink, Unruh's son told State Police.
''The drinks continued constantly through the whole night. Things started to get a little fuzzy when [Unruh's son] and Spacey went over to the piano,'' Donovan wrote in his report. "[Unruh's son] said he had at least four or five beers before Spacey said they should switch to whiskey adding, 'Let's get drunk.' "
They began singing songs at the piano, he told police. Unruh's son said he told Spacey about his girlfriend, who he had been dating for five months at the time, at which point Spacey allegedly told him to stop texting her and began talking about the size of his penis.
''[Unruh's son] said he did not know how to respond to that,'' Donovan wrote in his report.
Around 1 a.m., they went outside to smoke a cigarette. Spacey allegedly asked Unruh's son to come back to the house where he was staying -- a request the alleged victim told police he denied because of Spacey's previous sexual comment.
''[Unruh's son] said he saw that comment as a red flag and did not want to go back to Spacey's house,'' Donovan wrote.
Unruh's son told police he was uncomfortable and fended off multiple requests from Spacey to come home with him. All he wanted was a picture with the actor, Unruh's son told police.
When they went back inside, Spacey allegedly sexually assaulted him. Spacey alleged began rubbing the teenager's thigh while standing in a crowd of people around the piano. Unruh's son told police Spacey then unzipped his pants and touched him without consent.
''[Unruh's son] didn't know what to do. He didn't want to get in trouble at work or get his work in trouble,'' the trooper wrote in his report. ''He knows he's only 18, he's not supposed to be drinking, and he's not supposed to be drinking at work.''
Unruh's son told police neither he nor Spacey spoke while the actor allegedly touched him. The teenager told police he attempted to shift his body away, but Spacey continued to reach down his pants. Unruh's son did not walk away, saying that the room was crowded.
Unruh's son told State Police that as the alleged assault continued for several minutes, he captured Snapchat video of Spacey touching him on his phone to prove what had happened and sent the video to his girlfriend.
His girlfriend also spoke to State Police and told them she had received a video of Spacey touching the front of her boyfriend's pants.
''[His girlfriend] said a lot of people knew Spacey had hit on [Unruh's son,] but people didn't know he was actually sexually assaulted,'' Donovan wrote.
He told police that when Spacey left to go the bathroom, he spoke with another woman in the restaurant and told her that he believed Spacey was trying to assault him. He then left and ran back to his home while drunk, where he told his sister what had happened. His sister confirmed to State Police that he had told her about the incident, describing it as ''rape.''
While Unruh's son told Donovan the incident has not seriously affected him, his sister said she suspects it is a ''coping mechanism.''
''[She's] noticed since [her brother] reported it and he's been home, he's been acting different; more quiet than usual,'' Donovan wrote.
The next day, Unruh told him to call police, but he delayed because he did not want to get anyone at the bar in trouble.
State Police interviewed several members of the Club Car's staff. None said they witnessed an assault. Two said they remembered Spacey and Unruh's son hanging out, and one recalled him appearing ''pale, blank and a bit frightened'' after ''something happened" that night.
On the same day news broke about the felony charge, Spacey released a surreal video on his Youtube channel. Speaking directly into the camera, Spacey delivered a monologue as his former ''House of Cards'' character Frank Underwood -- the role from which he was fired after sexual misconduct allegations against him were made public in 2017.
''But you wouldn't believe the worst without evidence, would you? You wouldn't rush to judgements without facts, would you? Did you?'' Spacey says in the video.
Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct by over a dozen men last year, as the Me Too movement sparked a wave of long-buried allegations against celebrities, businessmen and media personalities. He was first publicly accused by Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp, who said that Spacey made sexual advances to him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 years old.
Spacey was fired from the lead role in Netflix' political drama ''House of Cards'' and was cut from the motion picture ''All the Money in the World.''
Press Freedom
The Times names & shames Sputnik journalists in appalling McCarthyist hit-piece '-- RT World News
Mon, 24 Dec 2018 15:08
Published time: 24 Dec, 2018 14:07 Edited time: 24 Dec, 2018 15:04
The Times has hit a new Russia-bashing low, publishing a hit piece on the Moscow funded outlet Sputnik. The 'name and shame' article lists eight employees of Sputnik, complete with their photos and full names.
The story published on Sunday by one of the most respectable British newspapers is your usual attack on Russia and its foreign outreach efforts, described, of course, as propaganda. Technically it reports on the controversy over Integrity Initiative, the UK-funded psyop pushing London-favored narratives under the guise of fighting 'Russian disinformation'. But it also focuses on the British-based branch of Sputnik, a news website and internet radio station funded by Moscow.
Halfway through the story you find a collage of eight employees of Sputnik: Some of them from management, some correspondents and one who is the head of the IT department, complete with their full names. The Times also gives an approximate location of Sputnik's office in Edinburgh.
Read more
A possible reason for that? Sputnik '' so the Times says '' was ''among the first to report details of the hack'' of Integrity Initiative. "It has fuelled suspicion that Russia was behind the hack and used its media outlets to amplify its impact," according to the Times.
That's not to say the newspaper is involved in outright doxing. The eight people don't hide the name of their employer and their photos can be found in the public domain. But the story itself seems like an attempt to shame the eight individuals '' one of whom, by the way, is an IT guy and has nothing to do with editorial policy or reporting '' for the mere fact of working for Sputnik.
If that was the intention, the Times should have found the courage to state this in plain words. If not, it may be worth an explanation, what exactly this wall of portraits was meant to convey to readers.
''Happy upcoming 1933th, my British friends,'' RT's Editor-in-Chief, Margarita Simonyan said responding to the list, referring to the year when Hitler established an absolute dictatorship in Germany.
British journalist Neil Clark, believes that the Times publication is part of the newspaper's ''appalling'' war on the Russian media. ''It's tantamount to almost incitement, it might put those people's lives in danger,'' he told RT.
Well, at least Britain has not '' yet '' crossed into the realm of outright persecution of Russian journalists, like what happened in Ukraine. Kiev, for example, backs a special doxing website, where personal details of people accused of being ''enemies of Ukraine'' are published. The murders of two journalists, who were killed after their names and addresses were published by the site, remain unsolved.
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Chemtrails
SCoPEx | Keutsch Research Group
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 14:50
Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx)SCoPEx is a scientific experiment to advance understanding of stratospheric aerosols that could be relevant to solar geoengineering. It aims to reduce the uncertainty around specific science questions by making quantitative measurements of some of the aerosol microphysics and atmospheric chemistry required for estimating the risks and benefits of solar geoengineering in large atmospheric models. SCoPEx will address questions about how particles interact with one another, with the background stratospheric air, and with solar and infrared radiation. Improved understanding of these processes will help answer applied questions such as, is it possible to find aerosols that can reduce or eliminate ozone loss, without increasing other physical risks? At the heart of SCoPEx is a propelled scientific balloon that can travel a few meters per second (walking speed) relative to the surrounding air. The propellers serve two functions. First, the propeller wake forms a well mixed volume (roughly 1 km long and 100 meters in diameter) that serves as an experimental 'beaker' in which we can add gasses or particles. Second, the propellers allow us to fly the gondola back and forth through the volume to measure the properties of the perturbed air.
The advantage of the SCoPEx propelled balloon is that it allows us to create a small controlled volume of stratospheric air and observe its evolution for (we hope) over 24 hours. Hence the acronym, Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment. If we used an aircraft instead of a balloon, we would not be able to use such a small perturbed volume nor would we be able to observe it for such long durations.
SCoPEx builds on four decades of research on the environmental chemistry of the ozone layer in the Anderson/Keith/Keutsch groups. SCoPEx will use or adapt many of the high-performance sensors and flight-system engineering experience developed for this ozone research. Analyzing these experiments will improve our knowledge beyond what is currently available within computer models or is measurable with confidence under laboratory conditions.
FAQThis FAQ aims to answer some basic questions about the SCoPEx experiment. We will update this FAQ periodically. For a more in-depth overview, see our 2014 publication.What is the experiment? We plan to use a high-altitude balloon to lift an instrument package approximately 20 km into the atmosphere. Once it is in place, a very small amount of material (100 g to 1 kg) will be released to create a perturbed air mass roughly one kilometer long and one hundred meters in diameter. We will then use the same balloon to measure resulting changes in the perturbed air mass including changes in aerosol density, atmospheric chemistry, and light scattering.
What material will be released?Initially, we plan to release ice (frozen water) to make sure the instrumentation works properly. Later, we plan to release calcium carbonate, a common mineral dust. We may also release other materials such as sulfates in response to evolving scientific interests.
Do other environmental science experiments release materials outdoors?Yes. A number of environmental science experiments release or have released materials outdoors to create controlled perturbation for the same essential reason as we plan to do in SCoPEx'--to directly control an experimental variable, which is crucial to scientific understanding. Examples of experiments include Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) experiments, which release ozone and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air for long durations to understand the impacts of climate and air pollution on crops and natural ecosystems; or Dispersion of Air Pollution and its Penetration into the Local Environment (DAPPLE) experiments, which have released sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and perfluoromethylcyclohexane into urban air to study the transport of air pollutants. These experiments differ in various ways, e.g., they have not released material into the stratosphere (the upper atmosphere); they are listed here to merely show that there are environmental science experiments that release materials outdoors.
Is this material dangerous?The test will pose no significant hazard to people or the environment. Calcium carbonate is a nontoxic chemical commonly found in nature, for example as limestone, and sub-micron precipitated calcium carbonate particles like the ones we will uses are a common additive to consumer products such as paper and toothpaste. In general, the amount of materials to be released (less than 1 kilogram for calcium carbonate) will be very small compared to other routine releases of material into the stratosphere by aircraft, rockets, or routine balloon flights. For example, the release of experimental materials will be small compared to the release of the iron filling ballast that are commonly released to control the altitude of stratospheric balloons. Additionally, if we test sulfate in this experiment, the amount we would use would be less than the amount released during a one minute of flight of a typical commercial aircraft. Aircraft release sulfates due to residual sulfur content of aviation fuel.
Are there other risks?As with any aircraft flight, when flying a balloon there is a possibility of malfunction and risk of falling debris.
What is the status for locating and timing of the experiment?We are exploring possible locations in the United States. We have not scheduled dates for engineering or science flights and we are engaged in a governance process including the appointment of an advisory committee to help us determine when and if it would be appropriate to conduct the experiment. The schedule and flight location also depends on a process that involves engineering development and balloon availability. We will update this page when we determine a definite schedule and location, which will be at least three months before flight. You can request notification by signing up to this email list.
We had originally planned for flight operations to be managed by World View, a high-altitude flight services company based in Tucson, Arizona, but for engineering reasons we will likely use another flight operator.Why conduct the experiment?This experiment will help us learn more about the efficacy and risks of solar geoengineering. Computer modeling and laboratory work tell us some very useful things about solar geoengineering, but as with all other aspects of environmental science, computer models ultimately rest on observations of the real environment. Measuring the ways that aerosols alter stratospheric chemistry can, for example, improve the ability of global models to predict how large-scale geoengineering could possibly disrupt stratospheric ozone.
Will SCoPEx test geoengineering itself?This is an experiment not a test. A test could make sense late in the development of an engineering system when design and development have proceeded far enough that it could be useful to test whether some part of the system works as designed. That's not our goal. This is a science experiment that will (we hope) improve knowledge of some aspects of stratospheric aerosol physics and chemistry relevant to solar geoengineering. This knowledge will improve large-scale models (which are all ultimately dependent on physical observations) that will in turn improve estimates of the overall efficacy and risks of solar geoengineering. This may seem like an idle distinction, but it matters. We are not, for example, testing whether it's possible to scatter sunlight back to space, because there is no meaningful scientific uncertainty about that question.
Will SCoPEx develop hardware for geoengineering deployment?We are not conducting SCoPEx to develop hardware that can be used for deployment. In fact, this is one of the reasons why we chose to loft the particles using a balloon rather than an aircraft (since aircraft are more likely to be used for deployment). Overall, the purpose of SCoPEx is NOT to advance our understanding of the aircraft or other platforms for deployment of solar geoengineering. It aims to reduce the uncertainty around specific science questions by making quantitative measurements of some of the aerosol microphysics and atmospheric chemistry required for estimating the risks and benefits of solar geoengineering in large atmospheric models.
Who is providing the funding?Experimental hardware and operations will be funded from internal Harvard research funds provided to Professors David Keith and Frank Keutsch. Additional research funding will be provided by Harvard's Solar Geoengineering Research Program (SGRP). All donations to SGRP are philanthropic.
How will intellectual property be managed?We strongly discourage the commercialization of solar geoengineering. David Keith and John Dykema recently authored a blog post on this topic, explaining why they oppose commercial work on solar geoengineering and will not file solar geoengineering patents. Frank Keutsch, David Keith, and John Dykema will not file for patents associated with SCoPEx.
While it technically may be true that Harvard owns intellectual property arising from research conducted using university resources, based on Harvard's IP Policy and the individual Participation Agreements faculty and researchers sign, as a practical matter the university will not file to protect or enforce intellectual property against the wishes of the contributing faculty member. Moreover, neither SGRP or its donors can make any claim on the intellectual property related to the experiment.
Does SCoPEx violate the Convention on Biological Diversity?SCoPEx does not violate the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The Conference of the Parties to the CBD adopted a decision that includes a section on climate related geoengineering. It states, "that no climate-related geo-engineering activities that may affect biodiversity take place, until there is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities and appropriate consideration of the associated risks for the environment and biodiversity and associated social, economic and cultural impacts, with the exception of small scale scientific research studies that would be conducted in a controlled setting in accordance with Article 3 of the Convention, and only if they are justified by the need to gather specific scientific data and are subject to a thorough prior assessment of the potential impacts on the environment."
SCoPEx would not affect biodiversity because it would pose no significant hazard to people or the environment, as noted above.
How will the experiment be governed? Initial oversight of environmental, health, and safety issues will be managed by responsible entities from Harvard University and the balloon flight operator. Scientific peer review and broader research governance matters will be overseen by an independent advisory committee. You can learn more here.
Key PersonnelDeveloping the balloon system, instrumenting it with sensors engineered to work in the stratosphere, and making and analyzing the observations requires collaboration of aerospace engineers, instrumentation specialists, and atmospheric chemists and modelers. There will, thus, be a growing group of researchers working on the project. Current key personnel include:
Frank KeutschStonington Professor of Engineering and Atmospheric Science
Professor of Chemistry and Chemical BiologyHarvard UniversityPrincipal Investigator of SCoPEx
David KeithGordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
John DykemaProject Scientist, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Program Manager for SCoPEx
Lizzie BurnsFellow, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Governance Manager for SCoPEx
Learn MoreIf you are interested in receiving more information on SCoPEx, please fill out this form.
Six Week Cycle
RCMP entrapment of B.C. couple in legislature bomb plot was 'travesty of justice,' court rules | CBC News
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 14:59
B.C.'s Appeal Court has upheld a ruling that gave a couple convicted of planting explosive devices on the grounds of the legislature their freedom in 2016.
In a unanimous decision released Wednesday morning, the Appeal Court sided with a B.C. Supreme Court judge who stayed proceedings in the terrorism trial of John Nuttall and Amanda Korody on the grounds that the police investigation was a "travesty of justice."
Nuttall and Korody were found guilty of terrorism offences in June 2015. (RCMP) While the 141-page judgment faults Justice Catherine Bruce's findings in a number of areas, the Appeal Court found that the RCMP may have been right to launch an undercover operation against the Surrey, B.C., couple '-- but they went "far beyond investigating a crime."
"They pushed and pushed and pushed the two defendants to come up with a workable plan," read the ruling, written by Justice Elizabeth Bennett and handed down in Vancouver.
"The police did everything necessary to facilitate the plan."
'Marginalized, vulnerable'Lawyers for Nuttall and Korody said their clients were pleased with the ruling and a finding that the kind of police investigation they were subjected to is unacceptable.
"Amanda and John were somewhat marginalized, vulnerable people, and suddenly their life was turned into this fantasy world," said Scott Wright, Korody's lawyer.
"It's something they hope to move on from, but that's not going to be easy or quick for them."
A jury convicted Nuttall, 44, and Korody, 35, of terrorism-related offences in 2015, but Bruce stayed proceedings on the grounds that police had entrapped the pair in an investigation that amounted to an abuse of process.
The two had been accused of plotting to plant pressure cooker bombs on the grounds of the provincial legislature in Victoria with the aim of murdering tourists during Canada Day festivities in 2013.
Bruce found that police did not have reasonable suspicion to start an investigation against the two after their initial inquiries following a complaint from a member of the public who claimed Nuttall had been espousing violent views at local mosques.
The justice also found that police essentially directed the couple on how to commit the crime because they weren't capable of figuring it out for themselves.
Nuttall and Korody embrace at B.C. Supreme Court after the judge stayed proceedings against them in July 2016. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press) The Appeal Court faulted Bruce on finding the RCMP lacked reasonable suspicion with regards to Nuttall and Korody, but said that, even so, the conduct of police in guiding the pair to the bomb plot would still constitute entrapment.
"Terrorism offences are some of the most serious crimes in our law," the appeal judgment said.
"On the other hand, the police do not have a free hand to do whatever they wish in order to investigate crime, even serious crime. The concepts of fairness and justice are still highly relevant and police conduct undertaken in the investigation of crime must be balanced against them."
John Nuttall and Amanda Korody listening in court as the judge stayed the proceeding in their terror trial, as depicted by a sketch artist. (Felicity Don/CBC) The Appeal Court judges also faulted Bruce for directing the jury to find the pair not guilty on charges of facilitating a terrorism offence on the grounds they could not have facilitated each other. But even with those charges reinstated, the Appeal Court said a stay of proceedings should still be entered because of the entrapment.
The Appeal Court judgment includes a call to Parliament to streamline the language around terrorism offences for the benefit of "those members of the public who sit as jury members on such cases."
Although the ruling will have the effect of freeing Nuttall and Korody, they still face the possibility of provincial court proceedings relating to a Crown application for a peace bond with proceedings that began after Bruce's ruling.
Both remain on bail in relation to the peace bond proceedings.
Clips
VIDEO - The Man Who Overcame Tourette's - Marc Elliot | This Past Weekend w/ Theo Von - YouTube
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 15:50
VIDEO - EYE ON AFRICA - DR Congo opposition blasts organisers for vote delay
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 15:37
/ Shows / EYE ON AFRICA EYE ON AFRICA Date created : 21/12/2018 - 23:25 Latest update : 24/12/2018 - 10:48
By: Christopher MOORE | Yena LEE | Laurent BERSTECHER
In tonight's edition: Tensions are high in the Democratic Republic of Congo after the long-anticipated election has been postponed once again. And parts of Sudan have been placed under a state of emergency after protests against the rising cost of living turn deadly. Finally, we report on a new brand of champagne born of an encounter between a French winemaker and a Guinean businessman.
Voters in Democratic Republic of Congo were due to head to the polls this Sunday, but just days before the long-awaited election, DRC's electoral commission announced the vote would be postponed for a week. The commission has blamed a warehouse fire for the delay, saying it needs to replace the voting materials that were destroyed in the blaze. An alliance of parties backing opposition candidate F(C)lix Tshisekedi has said any further delay will not be accepted.
And in Sudan, authorities have declared a state of emergency in parts of the country after three days of protests have left eight people dead. Thousands have taken to the streets to protest against the rising cost of living, especially the price hike on bread.
We end on a lighter note: As the festive season approaches, many of us are looking for the perfect bubbly to go with the celebrations. Why not try a bottle of Dian Diallo? The champagne is the result of Guinean entrepreneur teaming up with a French winemaker.
VIDEO - Obama: U.S. to delay troop withdrawal from Afghanistan - YouTube
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 15:32
VIDEO - Obama criticised for troop withdrawal - YouTube
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 15:27
VIDEO - Obama Announces Afghanistan Withdrawal Plan - YouTube
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 15:21
VIDEO - Hospitals to list service costs online January 1st due to new federal rule | abc11.com
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 14:45
WPVI
Thursday, December 27, 2018 07:26AM
Hospitals will be required to post the cost of their standard services online, starting January 1, 2019.
The idea behind the policy change is to allow patients the opportunity to compare prices before seeking treatment.
However, some consumer advocates say while the information is beneficial, it's not completely transparent due to insurance price adjustments and other factors.
Report a TypoRelated Topics:healthhealthhealthcheckhospitalu.s. & world (Copyright (C)2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)
VIDEO - 2018 Review: Single-use plastics to be banned in EU - YouTube
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 13:58
VIDEO - Journalist death triggers protests in Tunisia | #TheCube - YouTube
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 13:51
VIDEO - Stephen Miller Clashes With Blitzer Over Mattis Resignation, Syria Withdrawal - YouTube
Thu, 27 Dec 2018 05:28
VIDEO - NBC Promotes 11-Year-Old 'Drag Kid' Who Performed At Adult Gay Bar | Daily Wire
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 15:35
The mainstream media are unabashedly continuing their disturbing promotion of so-called "drag kids." On Saturday, CNBC published a video tweet of Desmond Napoles '-- AKA "Desmond is Amazing" '-- an 11-year-old "drag kid" who, earlier this month, "performed" a dance number at a gay bar while collecting dollar bills from the adult men in the crowd.
CNBC, which is owned by NBC Universal News Group, showcased the child as an "LGBTQ youth" advocate. "This 11-year-old drag kid is using his voice to encourage LGBTQ youth to be themselves," reads the media company's caption to the video.
In December, the 11-year-old boy, dressed in full-drag as a Gwen Stefani-lookalike, danced on stage at a gay bar in Brooklyn, New York, called 3 Dollar Bill. As he took off his coat and revealed his outfit, he bounced around onstage to No Doubt's "Like a Girl"; cheering grown men were handing him single dollar bills, as you might see in a strip club.
"Only in New York... a nightclub that makes you go WHOA!!!," reads the Eventbrite promotion by 3 Dollar Bill. "FEATURING: Upcoming Legend from Television and the Runway: DESMOND IS AMAZING!!! PERFORMING LIVE! ... This stage, this dance floor, this house... is ours as long as we protect it."
Interestingly, the video was first published in August by CNBC, before there was massive backlash and understandable concern expressed by the public over young Desmond performing at such a venue. It's obvious that CNBC made a conscious decision to republish the promotion of the clear exploitation.
As previously reported by The Daily Wire, Desmond was promoted by NBC's TODAY Show in June. "Meet the 10-year-old 'drag kid' taking over social media with inspiring message," reads the caption video on Desmond. Left-wing site The Daily Beast gushed over Desmond's drag and his progressive parents in a disturbing piece from February titled, "RuPaul Loves 'Drag Kid' Desmond. You Will Too. Fiercely." The young child has been relentlessly praised and promoted by drag queen RuPaul, the host of VH1's RuPaul's Drag Race. When Desmond was just seven years old, he was featured in a music video for Season Six winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Jinkx Monsoon. In the video, Desmond dances on top of a bar in a red dress, long gloves, and jewelry. As an 8-year-old, the child was introduced on a NYC stage in full-drag by actor Tituss Burgess.
In other words, that culture war liberals are always saying doesn't exists is alive and well, and the mainstream media and their left-wing allies are at the forefront of it.
VIDEO - Kevin Spacey Charged With 'Indecent Assault And Battery' For Alleged 2016 Incident With 18-Year-Old | Daily Wire
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 15:32
On Monday, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe announced that actor Kevin Spacey has been charged with indecent assault and battery for a crime he allegedly committed in 2016, reports the Associated Press.
According to former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh, Spacey violated her 18-year-old son in July 2016 by reaching into his pants and fondling his genitals.
During a press conference in November 2017, Unruh detailed the allegations:
It happened late night inside the Club Car restaurant and bar on Nantucket island. The victim, my son, was a star-struck, straight, 18-year-old young man who had no idea that the famous actor was an alleged sexual predator, or that he was about to become his next victim. My son was not of legal age to drink alcohol. He told Kevin Spacey that he was of legal age. But whether he was over 21 or not, Kevin Spacey had no right to sexually assault him. There was no consent. Kevin Spacey bought him drink after drink after drink, and when my son was drunk, Spacey made his move and sexually assaulted him.
...Spacey stuck his hand inside my son's pants and grabbed his genitals. This was completely unexpected, and my son's efforts to shift his body to remove Spacey's hand were only momentarily successful. The violation continued. My son panicked, he froze. He was intoxicated, and Kevin Spacey was insisting that he come with him to a private, after-hours party to drink even more.
Fortunately, Kevin Spacey left briefly to use the bathroom, and when he was out of sight, a concerned woman quickly came to my very shaken son's side and asked if he was okay. ... She told him to run, and he did.
According to Unruh, her son didn't speak with police after the alleged incident occurred because he was afraid. It wasn't until November 2017, following allegations made by actor Anthony Rapp, that Unruh went to the police.
Spacey, who disappeared from the public eye approximately one year ago after a glut of allegations were made against him regarding sexual harassment and assault, released a strange video on Monday titled, "Let Me Be Frank," in which he appears to play a hybrid of himself and his character Frank Underwood from Netflix's "House of Cards."
In the video, Spacey speaks directly to the camera, and says:
I know what you want. Oh sure, they may have tried to separate us, but what we have is too strong, is too powerful. I mean, after all, we shared everything, you and I. I told you my deepest, darkest secrets. I showed you exactly what people are capable of. I shocked you with my honesty. But mostly, I challenged you and made you think. And you trusted me even though you knew you shouldn't.
So we're not done no matter what anyone says '' and besides, I know what you want. You want me back. Of course, some believed everything and have just been waiting with bated breath to hear me confess it all. They're just dying to have me declare that everything said is true, and that I got what I deserved. Wouldn't that be easy if it was all so simple? Only, you and I both know it's never that simple '' not in politics and not in life.
But you wouldn't believe the worst without evidence, would you? You wouldn't rush to judgment without facts, would you? Did you? No, not you. You're smarter than that. Anyway, all this presumption made for such an unsatisfying ending. And to think, it could have been such a memorable send-off. I mean, if you and I have learned nothing else these past years, it's that in life and art, nothing should be off the table. We weren't afraid, not of what we said and not of what we did, and we're still not afraid.
Because I can promise you this. If I didn't pay the price for the things we both know I did do, I'm certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn't do. Oh, of course they're going to say I'm being disrespectful, not playing by the rules. Like I ever played by anyone's rules before. I never did, and you loved it. Anyhow, despite all the poppycock, the animosity, the headlines, the impeachment without a trial, despite everything, despite even my own death, I feel surprisingly good, and my confidence grows each day that soon enough you will know the full tru-
Spacey then stops for a moment, and looks back into the camera: "Oh, wait a minute. Now that I think of it, you never actually saw me die, did you?" He then puts a ring on his right hand similar to the one his character wears in "House of Cards." He ends the video by saying: "Conclusions can be so deceiving. Miss me?"
It appears that Spacey is using his character as a way to defend himself in real life. Perhaps the most peculiar line from the video is: "If I didn't pay the price for the things we both know I did do, I'm certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn't do." What Spacey means by this line is unclear.
The video has racked up 5.1 million views since it was uploaded on Monday.
After actor Anthony Rapp alleged in October 2017 that Spacey had advanced upon him sexually when he was just 14 years old, Spacey attempted to deflect from the news by publicly coming out as gay. This video could be a similar attempt to smoke the air, especially given the timing.
Unruh's son's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, released a statement on Monday in which he said that "the complainant has shown a tremendous amount of courage in coming forward," adding that he hopes to see "a just and fair verdict rendered."
Spacey will be arraigned in a Nantucket court on January 7, 2019.
VIDEO - Gillibrand Worried That White Men Are Leading in 2020 Dem Polls - YouTube
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 10:29
VIDEO - Cummings: I Would Like Cohen to Testify Before Congress - YouTube
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 10:29
VIDEO - 'We are coming': Chilling Blackwater ad triggers fears of Trump seeking to privatize Mideast wars '-- RT USA News
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 09:50
Published time: 26 Dec, 2018 03:38 Edited time: 26 Dec, 2018 09:24
Blackwater, the controversial US private security firm, has flagged its intent to resume business, taking out a full-page commercial in the latest edition of Recoil magazine with a chilling message declaring ''We are coming.''
The resurrection within the military contractors' market of notorious Blackwater, which, after numerous scandals and several rebrandings, is now known as Academi, has analysts looking deeper into US intent to withdraw from the wars in the Middle East. The advertisement in Recoil, made public after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced his resignation, prompted concerns that president Donald Trump might be seeking to privatize ongoing American engagements in Afghanistan and Syria, following the declared troops' withdrawal from the region.
The main supporter of the idea of privatizing the US fighting in the Middle East has been Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater. The longtime Republican sold the company in 2010 but has maintained communications with Trump, reportedly trying to lobby his inner circle to replace the US military presence in the region with mercenaries. Mattis, who served in the Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq, firmly rejected the idea.
Trump has basically fired the very people who told him that it would not work and not to do it.
''With Mattis now gone it is conceivable that Trump now may reevaluate'' Prince's proposal, Michael Maloof, former Pentagon security analyst, told RT.
Also on rt.com Blackwater founder seeks to privatize Afghan war despite mercs getting butt kicked in Yemen Whether or not outsourcing US wars to a private contractor will have any positive affect on the ground remains to be seen, Maloof explained, stressing that a ''three private military contractors for one US soldier'' ratio currently set up in Syria and Afghanistan has failed to achieve much.
''Erik Prince is very close to Trump,'' the analyst pointed out, but ''he would have to bring very traumatic force and it's going to cost money and Erik Prince is getting paid by the US government.''
Also on rt.com 'Shoot first, justify later': US trial revisits 2007 Blackwater shootings The prospects of Blackwater's return to the mercenary market has distressed those few among American public who remember the notorious murder of 14 Iraqi civilians by the company's guards in 2007 in Nisour Square, Baghdad.
''I don't think the American public would stand for a company that has committed so many crimes in the past,'' political activist, Medea Benjamin told RT. ''Erik Prince and mercenaries make money by continuing wars, not ending them.''
Also on rt.com Appeals court overturns Blackwater guard murder conviction, orders new trial If you like this story, share it with a friend!
VIDEO - CBS Now Openly Reporting on the Elite Lining Up to Ingest the Blood of Children '' DC Clothesline
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 09:49
Once the talk of conspiracy theorists '-- the rich ingesting the blood of the young to foster longevity '-- is now a reality and an actual business in the United States. Not only is it a business but billionaires are actually admitting their interest in it. Now, even the mainstream media is reporting it.
''Could the secret to eternal youth be found in blood transfusions from young people? Some claim that transfusions with ''young blood'' from teenagers can reverse the aging process,'' the report from CBS reads.
''I'm looking into parabiosis stuff, which I think is really interesting. This is where they did the young blood into older mice and they found that had a massive rejuvenating effect,'' Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal and adviser to Donald Trump told Inc. magazine. ''I think there are a lot of these things that have been strangely under-explored.''
But it's no longer an experiment with just mice. The startup company by Jesse Karmazin, Ambrosia, is doing this with humans, and the rich are lining up to get the blood of the young.
''Their brains are younger, their hearts. Their hair, if it was gray, it turns dark again,'' Karmazin said of the treatment.
As Vanity Fair reports, Ambrosia, which buys its blood from blood banks, now has about 100 paying customers. Some are Silicon Valley technologists, like Thiel, though Karmazin stressed that tech types aren't Ambrosia's only clients and that anyone over 35 is eligible for its transfusions.
As The Free Thought Project reported in January, a study published in Science and Nature Medicine revealed that transfusing young mouse blood into old mice can actually prevent the symptoms of aging. This groundbreaking discovery could lead to medical breakthroughs and the development of new medicines. However, a report from the Vice health news outlet ''Tonic'' has pointed out far more sinister applications for this knowledge.
Rich, old people want to use the blood of the youth in order to live longer. pic.twitter.com/sfVZBWbLjG
'-- TONIC (@dailytonic) January 5, 2017
It was suggested in the report that aging elites are using the blood of young people as a type of youth serum. Now, we know that they actually are using it.
''We found that it was safe and feasible to administer infusions of young plasma weekly,'' Dr. Sharon Shaw, an Alzheimer's researcher at Stanford, said.
A similar claim was made by journalist Jeff Bercovici last year, after he conducted several interviews with Silicon Valley aristocrats including Peter Thiel, and learned about this transfusion procedure called ''parabiosis,'' where the blood of young people is used to prevent aging.
''There are widespread rumors in Silicon Valley, where life-extension science is a popular obsession, that various wealthy individuals from the tech world have already begun practicing parabiosis, spending tens of thousands of dollars for the procedures and young-person-blood, and repeating the exercise several times a year,'' Bercovici reported.
In his article, Bercovici also expressed concerns about a developing black market for young people's blood.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with willing young adults selling their blood to the elite, the underlying theme of this practice has strong roots in the occult.
In most modern cultures, mass murder and human sacrifice still takes place out in the open under the cover of warfare, while many argue that cannibalism also still takes place but behind closed doors.
It is only in the past few hundred years that the practice of cannibalism among royals has not been publicized. In Europe, around the time of the American Revolution ''corpse medicine'' was very popular among the ruling class, Charles II even brewed his own.
Dr Richard Sugg of Durham University has conducted extensive research into the practice of corpse medicine among the royalty.
''The human body has been widely used as a therapeutic agent with the most popular treatments involving flesh, bone or blood. Cannibalism was found not only in the New World, as often believed, but also in Europe,'' Sugg said.
''One thing we are rarely taught at school yet is evidenced in literary and historic texts of the time is this: James I refused corpse medicine; Charles II made his own corpse medicine; and Charles I was made into corpse medicine. Along with Charles II, eminent users or prescribers included Francis I, Elizabeth I's surgeon John Banister, Elizabeth Grey, Countess of Kent, Robert Boyle, Thomas Willis, William III, and Queen Mary,'' he added.
If this wasn't strange enough, the current royal family of England claims to be direct descendants of Prince Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia (modern Romania). This was the sick and depraved ruler, Vlad the Impaler, who was known as a butcher and who eventually became the inspiration for the most famous vampire stories in history.
Aside from the gruesome historical and occult background of such practices, there is a lack of data that suggests the process even works. Despite Karmazin's claims that ''young blood is causing changes that appear to make the aging process reverse,'' scientists have yet to identify a link between blood transfusions from the young and any tangible health benefits.
''There's just no clinical evidence [that the treatment will be beneficial], and you're basically abusing people's trust and the public excitement around this,'' Stanford University neuroscientist Tony Wyss-Coray, who conducted a 2014 study of young blood plasma in mice, told Science magazine last summer, as reported by Vanity Fair.
Courtesy of The Free Thought Project
Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.
VIDEO - Alex Jones - "Rothschilds Trying to Give Wealth Back to the People!" - YouTube
Wed, 26 Dec 2018 09:03
VIDEO - Wesley Clark on Trump's Syria withdrawal: 'Did Erdogan blackmail the president? Was there a payoff?' | TheHill
Mon, 24 Dec 2018 15:03
Wesley Clark on Monday questioned whether Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blackmailed President Trump Donald John TrumpBipartisan lawmakers urge Air Force secretary for top Defense position Austin couple places baby Jesus in 'ICE cage' to protest Trump immigration policies Female White House correspondent: 'I've never seen as many moms' in briefing room as during Trump presidency MORE into his decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria.
"There doesn't seem to be any strategic rationale for the decision. And if there's no strategic rationale for the decision then you have to ask, why was the decision made?" the retired U.S. Army general and former NATO commander said on CNN's "New Day."
"People around the world are asking this and some of our friends and our allies in the Middle East are asking, did Erdogan blackmail the president? Was there a payoff is or something? Why would a guy make a decision like this? Because all the recommendations were against it," he added.
Ex-NATO Supreme Allied Commander @GeneralClark: "I'm very concerned" about the US withdrawal from Syria because "there doesn't seem to be any strategic rationale for the decision.""Did Erdogan blackmail the president? Was there a payoff is or something?" https://t.co/UQv2VD93oo pic.twitter.com/QAwWNjkOY3
'-- New Day (@NewDay) December 24, 2018Trump last week announced that the U.S. would withdraw its roughly 2,000 troops from Syria, a decision that prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis James Norman MattisBipartisan lawmakers urge Air Force secretary for top Defense position Defense Department signs executive order to withdraw troops from Syria Bloomberg blasts Trump as 'recklessly emotional and senselessly chaotic' MORE .
The decision also elicited concern among lawmakers, who have said that removing troops will aid Russia and Turkey in the region.
Trump early Monday wrote on Twitter that Erdogan informed him that Turkey will "eradicate whatever is left" of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
"President @RT_Erdogan of Turkey has very strongly informed me that he will eradicate whatever is left of ISIS in Syria....and he is a man who can do it plus, Turkey is right ''next door.'' Our troops are coming home!" Trump wrote.
Clark, a frequent Trump critic, said on CNN that Trump's decision should be of concern to the U.S. because of what it indicates about the country's foreign policy.
"What does this say about the foreign policy of the United States? That we're not reliable? That we make strategic decisions based on no strategic logic? What kind of person is driving the helm? That's the issue," he said.

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    touch-tone I don't even know if rotary
  • 1:39
    works anymore oh that's a good question
  • 1:40
    actually
  • 1:41
    I bet it does I think it's a marriage
  • 1:44
    that doesn't ha hadn't even considered
  • 1:46
    that it's been deprecated
  • 1:49
    well or whatever deprecated or the we're
  • 1:53
    the only please starting up again for I
  • 1:55
    don't know no just keep we never have
  • 1:59
    this problem well regardless welcome to
  • 2:07
    the no agenda show this is the best
  • 2:08
    podcasting the universe and unlike
  • 2:12
    everywhere else in media no
  • 2:14
    retrospectives here no best funny news
  • 2:17
    stories of the year here no counting
  • 2:20
    down to the new year year no just media
  • 2:22
    deconstruction for whatever there was
  • 2:24
    out there seems like everybody's on
  • 2:26
    vacation me we as two podcasters we
  • 2:30
    weather the storm to bring you something
  • 2:33
    I actually have a couple of
  • 2:36
    retrospective clips wait before you
  • 2:39
    before you go to the lid our way before
  • 2:41
    you go anywhere I'm gonna lecture you a
  • 2:42
    little more it was a interesting
  • 2:46
    surprising to see you on Twitter
  • 2:48
    last Sunday yeah a lot of people notice
  • 2:51
    this how wasn't it I had three goals
  • 2:55
    get my Twitter followers up okay plug
  • 2:59
    the hell out of the no agenda show yes
  • 3:01
    what you did I did thank you very much
  • 3:04
    yep and a pathway to promoting some
  • 3:08
    upcoming books
  • 3:15
    Wow okay yeah I watched most of the show
  • 3:20
    I do have two comments if you're
  • 3:23
    interested just two two comments from an
  • 3:26
    executive one executive producer to
  • 3:27
    another yeah what one that in general I
  • 3:32
    think that it is time for people on
  • 3:37
    podcasts who deal with technology to
  • 3:40
    keep referring to the audience as normal
  • 3:43
    people regular people who quote dot dot
  • 3:46
    dot won't understand won't get won't
  • 3:48
    care won't know you did not I'm not
  • 3:51
    saying you I'm saying in general I'm so
  • 3:54
    tired of hearing regular people they
  • 3:56
    wish that was very common theme on that
  • 3:59
    show it sit next your hair what about it
  • 4:03
    well because of the lighting it's you
  • 4:05
    know it's looks normal its things out a
  • 4:07
    little bit as you get older the lighting
  • 4:10
    is so harsh they're twit that it I mean
  • 4:12
    it you can I don't have the time I look
  • 4:14
    bald see more like you know like hearing
  • 4:16
    in chemo dream it's ridiculous there is
  • 4:24
    makeup for this which I was going to
  • 4:26
    recommend
  • 4:27
    yeah they don't use makeup under no but
  • 4:29
    you should have your own little kit bro
  • 4:31
    if you're gonna do that anymore you need
  • 4:32
    to look good yeah
  • 4:37
    nothing personal just the general
  • 4:40
    television observation percent of the
  • 4:41
    people that listen to to it do it on
  • 4:43
    audio so I'm not too concerned all right
  • 4:45
    no but I understand I agree with you on
  • 4:47
    both these points okay then I have one
  • 4:49
    household question was that you in the
  • 4:52
    newsletter
  • 4:54
    we're so you sent out a newsletter a
  • 4:56
    very good run down about maddest leading
  • 4:59
    which is why people should subscribe to
  • 5:01
    this product it's fantastic it's a bonus
  • 5:04
    just like the show notes there's all
  • 5:05
    kinds of things you get outside of the
  • 5:07
    No Agenda Show podcast itself you had
  • 5:09
    funny computer ads many of which are
  • 5:11
    just lovely to look at there's none with
  • 5:14
    me in there oh because the guy with the
  • 5:16
    two chicks little bit could have been no
  • 5:21
    okay all right that was just that was
  • 5:24
    too funny he's doing gonna bite him just
  • 5:29
    well just consider just the times man
  • 5:32
    the things that you could get away with
  • 5:33
    back in the day yeah versus now is
  • 5:36
    anyone doing it to newsletter missed out
  • 5:37
    on the kind of a rundown of just part
  • 5:41
    one I think I have about three of these
  • 5:43
    I can do of all these old computer ads
  • 5:45
    from the 70s it's very interesting
  • 5:47
    they're great it's a lot of celebrities
  • 5:49
    yeah Dom DeLuise was in there Bill Cosby
  • 5:54
    what I'd like is you see the Apple
  • 5:56
    everyone's advertising about their you
  • 5:59
    know 10 megabyte drive you know they're
  • 6:03
    they're 4800 baud modem and Apple back
  • 6:07
    then alright I was like oh you will be
  • 6:09
    able to solve your business problems you
  • 6:11
    will be able to do this and nothing
  • 6:13
    about what was really inside the box
  • 6:14
    which was quite interesting it was fun
  • 6:16
    yeah they were selling benefits not
  • 6:18
    features yeah yeah and and markedly
  • 6:20
    different from they actually had a real
  • 6:22
    advertising agency that knew that rule
  • 6:24
    right was that Leo Burnett back then or
  • 6:27
    would most I think was shot with this
  • 6:28
    day I think it was yeah those guys were
  • 6:31
    good
  • 6:32
    anyway I'm so hard you set us all up
  • 6:35
    that there's no news because no one's
  • 6:37
    working so we know there is actually
  • 6:41
    just you know not being discussed on the
  • 6:43
    news this there's events happened there
  • 6:45
    was it but there was some stuff to
  • 6:46
    discuss on the news mostly how you know
  • 6:49
    here Trump goes to Iraq I think I have
  • 6:53
    one clip of it yeah Trump goes to Iraq
  • 6:55
    and under whole news stories about how
  • 6:57
    he went after the date that Bush went or
  • 7:01
    after the day Obama went three when
  • 7:04
    you're overseas three three months after
  • 7:06
    he became president what is it what kind
  • 7:08
    of a comparison is this tell you he's
  • 7:12
    late he's late
  • 7:14
    he didn't go until we until we shamed
  • 7:16
    him when Reagan go first overseas to the
  • 7:19
    wars oh wait a minute we didn't have a
  • 7:21
    bunch of war zones then so now they've
  • 7:23
    normalized war zones yes yes of course
  • 7:28
    unbelievable
  • 7:31
    clip you said hey do i I don't know you
  • 7:33
    said you might have a clip I'm I'm
  • 7:35
    looking I don't see one I'll probably
  • 7:37
    don't have one in this you wanna well
  • 7:39
    let you want to talk about matters just
  • 7:40
    for a second yes sure I'm good I thought
  • 7:43
    your run down was quite good that you
  • 7:44
    did they put in the newsletter I had a
  • 7:48
    call with pachán ik
  • 7:51
    you know he's all about the military
  • 7:53
    intelligence yeah and he had a couple of
  • 7:58
    interesting things to say I'm gonna pick
  • 8:01
    up my notes here you got to write down
  • 8:02
    this stuff with the chin it calls okay
  • 8:05
    so he says I well it's very sad to
  • 8:07
    generals are out Kelly and mattis
  • 8:08
    because yeah we really counted on them
  • 8:10
    Kelly hung in as long as he could
  • 8:12
    because he just could not handle what
  • 8:15
    bachina calls Woody Woodpecker which is
  • 8:19
    how he categorized his Trump okay
  • 8:22
    and he gave me this concept I don't know
  • 8:25
    if it's a psychological or mental
  • 8:27
    concept of idealization and realization
  • 8:30
    as a personality well I guess you'd say