1114: Fudged

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 57m
February 21st, 2019
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Executive Producers: Sir John Henry, Todd Rathkamp, Ray Martin, Sir Layron of Circle Town, Randall Schaible, Mathew Wilber, Noah Watenmaker, Roland Gonzalez, Sander Liemberg, Sir Anthony Trusgnich Baron of the Philippines, Sir Walk-Man, Baron Craig Cuttner, Baronet Sir Rob

Associate Executive Producers: Dwight The Knight, Jackson Howatt

Cover Artist: Sir Lowebrau

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
0:45
Trump Tweets About 6G Technology
Woodstock
1:53
Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei: The US Cannot Crush Us
Woodstock
5:37
Motorola's 5G Moto Mod Has Feature to Limit Radiation Exposure
Woodstock
7:31
AC's New Rig
Woodstock
11:03
JCD's Skype Sound Issues
Woodstock
15:44
Kamala Harris Confronted Over Modern Day Lynching Tweet
Woodstock
18:13
Don Lemon Responds to Jussie Smollett Controversy
Woodstock
24:11
New York Times Columnist Charles Blow: If Jussie Smollett Orchestrated The Hate Crime Against Him, He's a Psychopath
Woodstock
27:11
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx Recuses Herself From Jussie Smollett Investigation
Woodstock
27:47
Jussie Smollett's Hate Crime Theories
Woodstock
31:34
Sunny Hostin Discusses the Chilling Effect Caused by Jussie Smollett on Good Morning America
Woodstock
35:50
Burberry Apologizes For Controversial Hoodie With Noose
Woodstock
37:58
US Starts Global Campaign Against Criminalizing Homo Sexuality
Woodstock
41:34
Yvette Carnell From Descendants of Slavery Calls Out Lying Black People
Woodstock
48:42
The Intercepted Podcast: The US Agenda in Venezuela, Haiti and Egypt
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1:08:49
Credits
Woodstock
1:37:36
Canadaland: Vice Ran Smear Campaign Against Jill Abramson's Merchants of Truth Book
Woodstock
1:41:09
Lara Logan Appearance on the Mike Drop Podcast
Woodstock
1:48:48
Saudi Arabia Invests $20 Billion in Pakistan
Woodstock
1:53:04
The Covington Student Nick Sandmann is Suing The Washington Post for $250 Million
Woodstock
2:03:59
Over 2000 Lawsuits Filed in 2018 Against Websites Under the Americans With Disabilities Act
Woodstock
2:05:39
Iran Claims Infiltration of an US Command Center
Woodstock
2:07:37
Love Island Reality TV Show Contestents Discuss Brexit
Woodstock
2:09:21
Donations
Woodstock
2:13:23
Birthdays & Title Changes
Woodstock
2:15:42
Australia Revokes David Icke's Visa for Holocaust Denial and Anti-Semitism
Woodstock
2:28:21
Patrick Michaels Describes Flaws in Climate Change Computer Models
Woodstock
2:34:07
Los Angeles Times: Your Phone and TV Are Tracking You, and Political Campaigns Are Listening In
Woodstock
2:34:53
Google's Nest Secure Device Contains a Secret Microphone
Woodstock
2:36:28
YouTube Creator Matt Watson Exposes YouTube Pedophilia Ring Hidden in the Comments
Woodstock
2:39:11
CNN's Alisyn Camerota: "Trump is Humor-Impaired"
Woodstock
2:40:57
French President Macron Accepts Israeli-Backed Definition of Anti-Semitism
Woodstock
2:43:24
Mac and Cheese Jeopardy Question
Woodstock
2:44:28
Tucker Carlson Discusses Link Between Weed and Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
Woodstock
2:50:53
Over 18 Trillion Gallons of Rainfall in California in February
Woodstock
2:51:27
End of Show
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2020
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DONALD HARRIS SLAMS HIS DAUGHTER SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS FOR FRAUDULENTLY STEREOTYPING JAMAICANS AND ACCUSES HER OF PLAYING IDENTITY POLITICS - Jamaica Global Online
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 04:53
Professor Donald Harris Kamala Harris' Jamaican father, has vigorously dissociated himself from statements made on the New York Breakfast Club radio show earlier this week attributing her support for smoking marijuana to her Jamaican heritage. Professor Harris has issued a statement to jamaicaglobalonline.com in which he declares:
''My dear departed grandmothers(whose extraordinary legacy I described in a recent essay on this website), as well as my deceased parents , must be turning in their grave right now to see their family's name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics. Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty.''
''Half my family's from Jamaica. Are you kidding me?''.
Kamala Harris
This is the line that has been repeated over by virtually every news media since Kamala Harris gave that response to the interviewer on New York's Breakfast Club radio show when asked if she smoked marijuana.
Jamaica's venerable Gleaner newspaper headlined:
US Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris wants Marijuana Legalized, cites Jamaican roots. While the locally based online news source Loop reported:
Kamala Harris cites Jamaican roots in support of ganja legislation. The Georgia based Macon Telegraph was less subtle. Its report screamed:
Kamala Harris supports legal pot. ''Half my family's from Jamaica. Are you kidding me?'' Kamala Harris on The Breakfast Club The 2020 presidential hopeful with a Jamaican heritage said she not only smoked but added ''I inhale''. Perhaps said jokingly at first in the spirit of the interview, she proceeded to suggest that her Jamaican father's side of the family would be disappointed in her if she did not support the legalization of marijuana. And that IS a serious statement. Now Harris' father has come out vigorously dissociating himself from his daughter's statement.
And well he might. V.G. McGee in a op ed piece published on January 12 in Urbanislandz writes '' Back in 2014 while running for re-election for California attorney general, she wasn't in support of legalizing recreational use of the plant , but it is good that she has evolved on the issue and we can thank her Jamaican relatives for influencing her changing opinion.'' So, the perception created by Ms. Harris' statement is real and has caused some unease amongst Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora and now, it seems, her father and his Jamaican family. For some, it is more than mere unease; one Jamaican commenting on social media expressed the concern that ''soon my job will be singling me out to drug test me since I am from Jamaica. What a stereotype''. Her concern is not unfounded given the experience of Jamaicans travelling to US ports having sniffer dogs around them in customs halls.
The Indian/Jamaican Marijuana connection: Did Kamala Harris deliberately and unfairly stereotype Jamaica as a nation of pot smokers?
An ironic twist in Ms. Harris' associating marijuana smoking with her Jamaican heritage that seems to have escaped her as well as media watchers is the fact that it is also very much a part of her Indian heritage that she is so proud of claiming. Is she aware that it was India that bequeathed a marijuana culture to Jamaica? In her authoritative Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage (2003) Oliver Senior writes:
'The practice of cultivating, smoking and otherwise consuming the herb (marijuana) is believed to have been popularized by Indian indentured immigrants who began to arrive from 1845. The local name 'ganja' is Indian. The concept of ganja as a holy herb is a Hindu one; it is widely used to enhance the religious experience in parts of India (despite government prohibition).
This seeming lack of knowledge about the connection between her Indian and Jamaican heritage provides additional ammunition for some Jamaicans who are of the view that Ms. Harris tends to downplay her Jamaican heritage when it suits her, crediting her Tamil Indian mother with the most significant influence on her life and outlook and rarely talks about her father's influence. Her father Donald, hardly ever gets credit except when mentioned alongside her mother, but rarely as an individual. Even when asked by her host in the now famous 'marijuana interview' about her motivation to enter the presidential race, Ms. Harris referenced ONLY her mother whom she said, raised her and her sister Maya with many beliefs and rules '' one being never to sit and complain about something, but to do something about it. Yet, anyone who has read 'Reflections of a Jamaican Father' Donald Harris' heart-warming account of how he raised his two daughters, will immediately realize that there is another side to the Kamala Harris story. In that article Donald Harris writes:
Professor Donald Harris ''As a child growing up in Jamaica, I often heard it said by my parents and family friends 'member whe you come fram' (remember from where you came). To this day I continue to retain the deep social awareness and strong sense of identity which that grassroots Jamaican philosophy fed in me. As a father, I naturally sought to develop the same sensibility in my two daughters.'' Continuing Harris says:
''My message to them was that the sky is the limit on what one can achieve with effort and determination and that in the process, it is important not to lose sight of those who get left behind by social neglect or abuse and lack of access to resources or 'privilege'.
If Kamala Harris inherits some of 'that deep social awareness' and heeds the advice of her Jamaican father, she will make an excellent President of the United States of America.
Read the full article by Donald Harris in:
Article: Kamala Harris' Jamaican Heritage.
The Purge
Disney (DIS) Pulls YouTube Ads Amid Concerns Over Child Voyeurs - Bloomberg
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 20:40
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Disney, Nestle pull YouTube ads over pedophile network: Report
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 14:56
Michael Newberg | CNBC
Susan Wojcicki
Disney, Nestle and "Fortnite" maker Epic Games have paused advertising on YouTube after reports of a pedophile network rampant in the comments of monetized videos, according to Bloomberg and spokespeople for the companies.
The controversy stems from reports that pedophiles have latched onto videos of young children, often girls, marking time stamps that show child nudity and objectifying the children in YouTube's comments section. The move is a familiar black eye for Google-owned YouTube, which frequently battles content moderation challenges and is losing market share of the digital advertising industry. The platform has come under fire before for selling ads against offensive and extremist content.
A Nestle spokesperson confirmed, "All Nestl companies in the U.S. have paused advertising on YouTube."
"We have paused all pre-roll advertising," said a spokesperson from Epic. "Through our advertising agency, we have reached out to Google/YouTube to determine actions they'll take to eliminate this type of content from their service."
Disney did not immediately return requests for comment.
Advertisers like Peloton and Grammarly issued strong statements urging YouTube to resolve the latest content challenge.
YouTube declined to comment on any specific advertisers, but said in a statement, "Any content '-- including comments '-- that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments."
WATCH: YouTube's top earners made $180.5 million in 2018.
Facebook, Google, CDC under pressure to stop anti-vax garbage from spreading | Ars Technica
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 04:05
Immunizing media '-- Facebook ponders demoting anti-vax nonsense as measles cases surge. Beth Mole - Feb 15, 2019 7:05 pm UTC
With five measles outbreaks ongoing in the US, lawmakers are questioning both health officials and tech giants on their efforts to combat the noxious anti-vaccine misinformation fueling the spread of disease.
Last week, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate health committee, along with ranking member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health and Human Services. The lawmakers asked what health officials were doing to fight misinformation and help states dealing with outbreaks. ''Many factors contribute to vaccine hesitancy, all of which demand attention from CDC and [HHS' National Vaccine Program Office],'' the lawmakers wrote. On Thursday, February 14, the committee announced that it will hold a hearing on the subject on March 5.
Also Thursday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) sent letters to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In them, Schiff expressed concern over the outbreaks as well as the tech companies' role in enabling the dissemination of medically inaccurate information.
If ''concerned'' parents see phony vaccine information in their Facebook newsfeeds or YouTube recommendations, ''it could cause them to disregard the advice of their children's physicians and public health experts and decline to follow the recommended vaccination schedule,'' Schiff wrote in both letters. ''Repetition of information, even if false, can often be mistaken for accuracy, and exposure to anti-vaccine content via social media may negatively shape user attitudes towards vaccination."
Schiff referenced a recent Guardian article reporting that searches on both Facebook and YouTube easily led users to anti-vaccine garbage. He also expressed concern over a report that Facebook accepts payments for anti-vaccine ads. Schiff didn't name the source of that report, but an article published Thursday by The Daily Beast noted that seven Facebook pages that post and promote anti-vaccine bunkum were targeting women over the age of 25.
Unfriending anti-vaxxersIn an emailed statement, a Facebook spokesperson told Ars:
We've taken steps to reduce the distribution of health-related misinformation on Facebook, but we know we have more to do. We're currently working on additional changes that we'll be announcing soon.
Facebook added that simply deleting anti-vaccine perspectives isn't an effective solution to the problem. Instead, the company is thinking through ways to boost availability of factual information on vaccines while minimizing harm from misinformation, though it didn't provide specifics on ideas.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Facebook went a little further, explaining that it was considering ''reducing or removing this type of content from recommendations, including Groups You Should Join, and demoting it in search results, while also ensuring that higher quality and more authoritative information is available."
Facebook noted to Ars that users can always report objectionable groups, posts, or comments and that health-related information is eligible for fact-checking.
Google declined to comment on the letter from Schiff specifically. However, the company noted that it has been working to improve its recommendation system and make sure that credible news sources and contextual information float to the top of search results.
Schiff mentioned in his letter that he was happy that Google has already taken steps to improve the situation, writing, ''I was pleased to see YouTube's recent announcement that it will no longer recommend videos that violate its community guidelines, such as conspiracy theories or medically inaccurate videos, and encourage further action to be taken related to vaccine misinformation.''
So far this year, the CDC has documented more than 100 measles cases that span ten states.
Editor's note 2/15/19, 2:45 ET: This post has been updated to include Google's response.
Facebook blocks pages with MILLIONS of subscribers after CNN reports ties with RT '-- RT World News
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:41
Facebook has suspended several accounts operated by Maffick Media without prior warning, right after CNN ran a report about the company's perceived ties to the Kremlin.
In what seems to be a new step in the social media giant's fight against perceived 'Russian propaganda', Facebook took down, without prior notice, several pages offering video content. The social media network said it would ask the administrators of Soapbox, Back Then and Waste-Ed to disclose their ''Russian affiliations.''
"People connecting with Pages shouldn't be misled about who's behind them. Just as we've stepped up our enforcement of coordinated inauthentic behavior and financially motivated spam over the past year, we'll continue improving so people can get more information about the Pages they follow," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
However, no official requests were filed with Maffick Media, the German-based company operating all three pages. They were not notified before the fact, which prompted an angry response (posted on Maffick's front page at the time of writing) in which they branded Facebook policies ''new McCarthyism.'' All three pages remained offline on Monday.
The accounts were suspended shortly after CNN aired a report with the catchy headline ''Kremlin funds viral videos aimed at millennials,'' in which it listed all three pages as part of the Kremlin's "influence campaign" targeting unsuspecting young American adults. CNN stated that German-based Maffick Media is ''mostly owned'' by Ruptly video news agency '' a subsidiary of RT '' and is thus in the Kremlin's back pocket.
An open secretCNN also repeatedly accused Maffick of concealing its suspected ties to Russia to mislead its audience. While, indeed, none of the pages bore a glowing stamp that said "paid for by the Kremlin," they were never told that they were required to do so. Besides, no special effort was made to hide the funding sources '' as proved by the CNN reporters themselves, who used an online commercial registers database to acquire documents showing that Maffick is 51 percent (which CNN generalized as "mostly") owned by Ruptly.
Also on rt.com Dirty little secret: 'Think tanks' are among top culprits in media disinformation crisis The remaining near-half belongs to Maffick CEO Anissa Naouai, an American journalist of Tunisian descent. Before launching her independent project, Naouai founded the show In The Now, which was aired by RT International (and whose Facebook page was also suspended), and before that, worked as a reporter and presenter for RT. She says the company only fully employs people in Berlin and hires Americans as freelancers. Notably, In The Now had over 2.5 billion views on Facebook.
Incidentally, CNN's own report was based on a tip from the German Marshall Fund, financed by the US, German, and other governments. Among the Fund's other accomplishments is the questionable Hamilton 68 'Russian propaganda tracker' '' a website that labels Twitter accounts as 'Russian influence' operations and tracks their activities based on an undisclosed methodology that is impossible to verify '' but is still embraced by multiple US mainstream media outlets as a reliable tool.
Unexplained banFacebook's decision to shut down the pages run by Maffick has gone unexplained so far. The company did not break any of the social media network's rules, which as of now do not demand that anyone post funding details on their Facebook pages. On top of that, numerous other media companies supported with government money '' including NPR, PBS, BBC, DW, CBC, and AJ+ '' never had to deal with similar treatment, Maffick notes.
Maffick was singled out for the sole reason that Russia is the supporting government, the company says.
Maffick Media says it is editorially independent '' but, as per the CNN report, ''much of [its] content seemed to be perfectly aligned with much of the propaganda coming out of the Kremlin'' '' that is to say, the content does not align with the mainstream view of American policies.
If I oppose a US war, does that automatically mean I am going to be accused of being aligned with the Kremlin? With this Russia hysteria we are experiencing now I feel like this is a very, very dangerous McCarthyist tactic to start saying that leftist views, anti-war views are just the Kremlin government's talking points.
This is what Rania Khalek, the American host of Soapbox '' one of the video shows Maffick ran on Facebook '' told CNN when asked about her alleged connections to Moscow.
Each of the suspended pages had tens of thousands of followers on Facebook, while their videos were viewed ''tens of millions of times,'' according to CNN '' a level of popularity which possibly spurred Facebook to take such drastic and swift measures to silence them.
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Facebook labelled 'digital gangsters' by report on fake news | Technology | The Guardian
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 17:30
Facebook deliberately broke privacy and competition law and should urgently be subject to statutory regulation, according to a devastating parliamentary report denouncing the company and its executives as ''digital gangsters''.
The final report of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee's 18-month investigation into disinformation and fake news accused Facebook of purposefully obstructing its inquiry and failing to tackle attempts by Russia to manipulate elections.
''Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised 'dark adverts' from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use every day,'' warned the committee's chairman, Damian Collins.
The report:
Accuses Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive, of contempt for parliament in refusing three separate demands for him to give evidence, instead sending junior employees unable to answer the committee's questions.
Warns British electoral law is unfit for purpose and vulnerable to interference by hostile foreign actors, including agents of the Russian government attempting to discredit democracy.
Calls on the British government to establish an independent investigation into ''foreign influence, disinformation, funding, voter manipulation and the sharing of data'' in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the 2016 EU referendum and the 2017 general election.
Labour moved quickly to endorse the committee's findings, with the party's deputy leader, Tom Watson, announcing: ''Labour agrees with the committee's ultimate conclusion '' the era of self-regulation for tech companies must end immediately.
''We need new independent regulation with a tough powers and sanctions regime to curb the worst excesses of surveillance capitalism and the forces trying to use technology to subvert our democracy.''
The culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, who is to meet Zuckerberg this week to discuss harms resulting from social media, will likely come under pressure to raise the committee's concerns with the Facebook chief executive directly.
Launched in 2017 as concern grew about the influence of false information and its ability to spread unscrutinised on social media, the inquiry was turbocharged in March the following year, with the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal.
The Observer revealed the company had secretly acquired data harvested from millions of Facebook users' profiles and was selling its insights to political clients to allow them to more effectively manipulate potential voters. The company has since collapsed into administration.
The committee argues that, had Facebook abided by the terms of an agreement struck with US regulators in 2011 to limit developers' access to user data, the scandal would not have occurred. ''The Cambridge Analytica scandal was facilitated by Facebook's policies,'' it concludes.
The 108-page report makes excoriating reading for the social media giant, which is accused of continuing to prioritise shareholders' profits over users' privacy rights.
''Facebook continues to choose profit over data security, taking risks in order to prioritise their aim of making money from user data,'' the report states, accusing the company of covering up leaks of user data. ''It seems clear to us that Facebook acts only when serious breaches become public.''
Zuckerberg is also personally criticised by the committee in scathing terms, with his claim that Facebook has never sold user data dismissed by the report as ''simply untrue''.
''Mark Zuckerberg continually fails to show the levels of leadership and personal responsibility that should be expected from someone who sits at the top of one of the world's biggest companies,'' Collins added in a statement.
Watson agreed. ''Few individuals have shown contempt for our parliamentary democracy in the way Mark Zuckerberg has,'' he said. ''If one thing is uniting politicians of all colours during this difficult time for our country, it is our determination to bring him and his company into line.''
The report warns Facebook is using its market dominance to crush rivals, shutting them out of its systems to prevent them from competing with Facebook or its subsidiaries.
The committee also released new internal Facebook documents obtained from the company's legal dispute with the company Six4Three, which it said ''highlights the link between friends' data and the financial value of the developers' relationship with Facebook''.
''Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like 'digital gangsters' in the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law,'' the report warns.
In a distinctly measured response, Facebook said it was ''pleased to have made a significant contribution'' to the committee's investigation. ''We are open to meaningful regulation and support the committee's recommendation for electoral law reform,'' said Karim Palant, the company's UK public policy manager.
''We have already made substantial changes so that every political ad on Facebook has to be authorised, state who is paying for it and then is stored in a searchable archive for seven years.
Palant said Facebook supported privacy legislation, and that ''while we still have more to do, we are not the same company we were a year ago''. He said Facebook had increased its team working on abusive content to 30,000 people and invested in machine learning and artificial intelligence to tackle the problem.
The DCMS report calls for sites such as Facebook to be brought under regulatory control, arguing ''social media companies cannot hide behind the claim of being merely a 'platform' and maintain that they have no responsibility themselves in regulating the content of their sites''.
It proposes comprehensive new regulations, including a mandatory code of ethics and an independent regulator empowered to bring legal proceedings against social media companies and force them to hand over user data.
It cites the example of Germany, which passed a law in January 2018 forcing tech companies to remove hate speech within 24 hours or face a '‚¬20m (£17.5m) fine. As a result, it claims, one in six of Facebook's moderators work in Germany.
It also warns electoral law is out of date and vulnerable to manipulation by hostile forces, with urgent need of updating. ''We need reform so that the same principles of transparency of political communications apply online, just as they do in the real world,'' Collins said.
Pinterest cracks down on anti-vaccination ads
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:23
Getty Images
University of Miami pediatrician Judith L. Schaechter, M.D. (L) gives an HPV vaccination to a 13-year-old girl in her office at the Miller School of Medicine on September 21, 2011 in Miami.
Social network Pinterest has taken a big step to stop the spread of false content that is damaging people's health, which could put pressure on competitors to follow.
False health information can have very real consequences, public health officials have found. Measles outbreaks have been spreading in communities across the country, and in many cases this is linked to unfounded concerns that have been shared online about the health and safety of vaccines. Cases have been documented in New York City, Washington, and Texas since last fall.
Pinterest said Wednesday that it would no longer return any search results, including pins and boards, for terms related to vaccinations, whether in favor or against them. It took that step in late 2018 after noticing that the majority of shared images on Pinterest cautioned people against vaccinations, despite medical guidelines demonstrating that most vaccines are safe for most people.
Pinterest told CNBC on Wednesday that it's been hard to remove this anti-vaccination content entirely, so it put the ban in place until it can figure out a more permanent strategy. It's working with health experts including doctors, as well as the social media analysis company called Storyful to come up with a better solution, the company said.
"We want Pinterest to be an inspiring place for people, and there's nothing inspiring about misinformation," said a Pinterest spokesperson. "That's why we continue to work on new ways of keeping misleading content off our platform and out of our recommendations engine."
Pinterest has also taken steps to block content promoting false cancer cures, the company said, as part of a broader health misinformation policy initiative its had in place since 2017. The company found that a lot of this content was redirecting users to sites that discouraged them from getting traditional medical treatment, such as an essential oil claiming to be a cure for cancer.
The visual social network claimed to have more than 250 million users every month as of September 2018, putting it around the same level as Snap (which does not report monthly users but claims 186 million daily users). But it's not as popular as Twitter, Facebook, Facebook-owned Instagram or Google-owned YouTube.
Pinterest's move could pressure other social networks to do more to stop the spread of misinformation that is damaging to public health. For instance, Facebook recently told Bloomberg that it is considering making changes related to health-information, including anti-vaccination content, after getting critiques from policymakers such as California congressman Adam Schiff:
TweetWATCH: Here's what the FDA Commissioner wants you to know about the measles vaccine
OTG
Your phone and TV are tracking you, and political campaigns are listening in - Los Angeles Times
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:15
It was a crowded primary field and Tony Evers, running for governor, was eager to win the support of officials gathered at a Wisconsin state Democratic party meeting, so the candidate did all the usual things: he read the room, he shook hands, he networked.
Then he put an electronic fence around everyone there.
The digital fence enabled Evers' team to push ads onto the iPhones and Androids of all those attending the meeting. Not only that, but because the technology pulled the unique identification numbers off the phones, a data broker could use the digital signatures to follow the devices home. Once there, the campaign could use so-called cross-device tracking technology to find associated laptops, desktops and other devices to push even more ads.
Welcome to the new frontier of campaign tech '-- a loosely regulated world in which simply downloading a weather app or game, connecting to Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or powering up a home router can allow a data broker to monitor your movements with ease, then compile the location information and sell it to a political candidate who can use it to surround you with messages.
''We can put a pin on a building, and if you are in that building, we are going to get you,'' said Democratic strategist Dane Strother, who advised Evers. And they can get you even if you aren't in the building anymore, but were simply there at some point in the last six months.
Campaigns don't match the names of voters with the personal information they scoop up '-- although that could be possible in many cases. Instead, they use the information to micro-target ads to appear on phones and other devices based on individual profiles that show where a voter goes, whether a gun range, a Whole Foods or a town hall debate over Medicare.
The spots would show up in all the digital places a person normally sees ads '-- whether on Facebook or an internet browser such as Chrome.
As a result, if you have been to a political rally, a town hall, or just fit a demographic a campaign is after, chances are good your movements are being tracked with unnerving accuracy by data vendors on the payroll of campaigns. The information gathering can quickly invade even the most private of moments.
Antiabortion groups, for example, used the technology to track women who entered waiting rooms of abortion clinics in more than a half dozen cities. RealOptions, a California-based network of so-called pregnancy crisis centers, along with a partner organization, had hired a firm to track cell phones in and around clinic lobbies and push ads touting alternatives to abortion. Even after the women left the clinics, the ads continued for a month.
That effort ended in 2017 under pressure from Massachusetts authorities, who warned it violated the state's consumer protection laws. But such crackdowns are rare.
Data brokers and their political clients operate in an environment in which technology moves much faster than Congress or state legislatures, which are under pressure from Silicon Valley not to strengthen privacy laws. The RealOptions case turned out to be a harbinger for a new generation of political campaigning built around tracking and monitoring even the most private moments of people's lives.
''It is Orwellian,'' said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, whose office last month filed a lawsuit against the makers of the Weather Channel app, alleging that the app surreptitiously monitors where users live, work and visit 24-hours a day and sells the information to data brokers.
The apps on iPhones and Androids are the most prolific spies of user whereabouts and whatabouts. But they aren't the only ones. Take televisions.
In the 2016 election, campaigns began targeting satellite-television ads to particular households. That technology was credited with helping Sen. Bernie Sanders target voters to eke out a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in Michigan's presidential primary.
Now, a person's television may be telling candidates a lot more than many people would care to share. Some newer smart-television systems, including units made by Vizio, can monitor everything a person watches and send the information to data brokers. Campaigns can buy that information and use it to beam ads that either complement a narrative broadcast by such networks as FOX News or MSNBC '-- or counter-program against it.
Or a campaign might look for frequent watchers of a particular program '-- bass fishing championships, perhaps, or maybe ''The Bachelor.'' Campaigns have long targeted viewers of particular programs as likely to support their positions and have bought ads to air during those shows. Now, however, knowing that a person watches a specific program, a campaign can beam ads to the person's television that would show up the next time the device is turned on, even if the viewer was watching some other show.
Feuer said he was surprised to learn from a reporter that political consulting firms are an eager market for tracking information.
''It means suddenly a campaign knows whether you are going to a doctor, an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, where you worship and who knows what else,'' Feuer said. At a time foreign agents are commandeering American campaign tools and using them to sow confusion and distrust among voters, Feuer said, the shift toward more tracking and monitoring is particularly concerning.
''It is not hyperbole to wonder if this information will end up with a Russian bot,'' he said.
Just as the antiabortion organizations did around clinics, political campaigns large and small are building ''geo-fences'' around locations from which they can fetch the unique identifying information of the smartphones of nearly everyone who attended an event.
''I don't think a lot of people are aware their location data is being sent to whomever,'' said Justin Croxton, a managing partner at Propellant Media, an Atlanta-area digital firm that works with political campaigns.
''The good news is a lot of those people can opt out,'' Croxton said. Privacy advocates, however, say opting out can be nearly impossible, as most device users are not even aware of which apps and phone settings are causing them to be surreptitiously monitored, much less in position to understand the intricacies of disabling all the tracking technology.
''It is often embedded in apps you would not expect to be spying on you,'' said Sean O'Brien, a technology and privacy scholar at Yale Law School. ''There is a question of how much people know is being grabbed from an ethical standpoint, even if from a legal standpoint you have technically agreed to this without knowing it.''
Once a data broker has identifying information from one device in hand, they can quickly capture information about other, associated devices, such as routers, laptops and smart televisions. Data brokers collect so much location information off phones that they can track a person's whereabouts months into the past.
''If I want all the devices that were at a hearing at City Hall three months ago, I can do that,'' said Rory McShane, a GOP consultant based in Las Vegas. ''Then I can target them with ads.''
The fences can also be used to narrowly target messages into small geographic areas.
''If we are sending out a piece of fundraising mail, we will fence the homes where it is being sent for an entire week before,'' McShane said.
Alternatively, McShane said, his firm might use a fence to build an ''echo chamber'' for an advocacy group lobbying politicians.
Fences can be built around the homes, workplaces, and hangouts of legislators and their families, enabling a campaign to bombard their devices with a message and leave the impression that a group's campaign is much bigger in scope than it actually is.
There is also now a tool to grab a phone's ID number as its user approaches a digital billboard, so that a custom-tailored message can be transmitted.
Which political campaigns and other clients receive all that tracking information can't be traced. A group of computer scientists at UC Berkeley monitoring tens of thousands of apps has tried.
Serge Egelman, research director of the Usable Security & Privacy Group at UC Berkeley's International Computer Science Institute, said his team can unearth which opaque data brokerages are amassing information, but not which political campaigns or interest groups buy it from them.
''There are a lot of industries buying this data for things that most people are not expecting,'' Egelman said. Some might be trying to get you to purchase a Volvo, while others aim to manipulate your vote. But none disclose what they know about you and how.
''That is the fundamental problem,'' Egelman said. ''People can't find that out.''
Nest Secure had a secret microphone, can now be a Google Assistant | CSO Online
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 05:18
Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues.
The Nest Secure system had secret microphone that can now make the Nest Guard security hub double as Google Assistant device. Happy Safer Internet Day!?! Nest Labs ");});try {$("div.lazyload_blox_ad").lazyLoadAd({ threshold : 0, // You can set threshold on how close to the edge ad should come before it is loaded. Default is 0 (when it is visible). forceLoad : false, // Ad is loaded even if not visible. Default is false. onLoad : false, // Callback function on call ad loading onComplete : false, // Callback function when load is loaded timeout : 1500, // Timeout ad load debug : false, // For debug use : draw colors border depends on load status xray : false // For debug use : display a complete page view with ad placements}) ;}catch (exception){console.log("error loading lazyload_ad " + exception);}});If your IoT device secretly contained a microphone, which was previously undocumented, would you be happy when the device maker announced an over-the-air update that can enable the microphone for virtual assistant voice functionality? That's what happened with the security alarm system Nest Secure.
@nest where in any of the nest guard product materials does it mention a microphone? Have I had a device with a hidden microphone in my house this entire time?
'-- Me (@treaseye) February 4, 2019We included a microphone in the Nest Guard with features such as the Google Assistant in mind.It has not been used up to this point, and you can enable or disable it at any time using the Nest app.
'-- Nest (@nest) February 4, 2019When announcing that a software update will make Google Assistant available on Nest Guard, Google added, ''The Google Assistant on Nest Guard is an opt-in feature, and as the feature becomes available to our users, they'll receive an email with instructions on how to enable the feature and turn on the microphone in the Nest app. Nest Guard does have one on-device microphone that is not enabled by default.''
Nest Secure owners have been able to use Google Assistant and voice commands, but it previously required a separate Google Assistant device to hear your commands. I suppose it depends upon your outlook on if you are happy or creeped out that your security system secretly had an undocumented microphone capable of doing the listening all along.
Google didn't really focus on the ''surprise there was a microphone hidden in the Nest Guard brain of your Nest Secure'' angle, preferring a take on how Google Assistant and Nest Guard can help you out. The announcement concluded with: ''We've built Nest Secure around you and the way you live, so you won't be able to disarm the system using your voice. With the Google Assistant built in, your security system is now even more helpful.''
More cybersecurity newsKid's creepy smartwatch recalled as hackers can locate and talk to kids
While we are on the topic of potentially creepy IoT devices, it would be remiss not to mention the European Commission's recall of the Enox Safe-Kid-One smartwatch, which poses a ''serious'' risk to kids since attackers could locate or even communicate with kids wearing the high-tech watch. The watch has GPS, a microphone, a speaker, and an accompanying app. The recall is believed to be the first ever recall based on a product not protecting user data.
Not only did the European Commission determine that Safe-Kid-One ''does not comply with the Radio Equipment Directive,'' but ''the mobile application accompanying the watch has unencrypted communications with its backend server and the server enables unauthenticated access to data. As a consequence, the data such as location history, phone numbers, serial number can easily be retrieved and changed.''
The Commission added, ''A malicious user can send commands to any watch, making it call another number of his choosing, can communicate with the child wearing the device or locate the child through GPS.''
Safer Internet Day
To celebrate Safer Internet Day, Google suggested using its ''new Password Checkup Chrome extension.'' In this first version of Password Checkup, which was developed ''so that no one, including Google, can learn your account details,'' Google explained, ''If we detect that a username and password on a site you use is one of over 4 billion credentials that we know have been compromised, the extension will trigger an automatic warning and suggest that you change your password.''
In another Safer Internet Day post, Google mentioned a new survey (pdf) that found that 69 percent of the 3,000 Americans polled would give themselves an A or B grade when it comes to protecting their online accounts, yet 52 percent admitted to still reusing passwords. Despite only 32 percent of those surveyed being capable of correctly defining phishing, password manager, and two-step verification, 59 percent believe their online accounts are safer from threats than the average person's. Thirty-three percent still don't regularly update their software or even know if they update their apps.
Clearly, there's still a great deal of room for improvement on how to stay safe online.
Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues.
U wot, m8? OMG SMS is back from dead ' The Register
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 14:17
Not exactly... But we might be seeing a toe twitchingText messaging volumes have been in decline for the past decade as smartphones, bundled data plans and the ubiquity of Wi-Fi allowed people to bypass telco charges and use OTT (over-the-top) messaging apps like WhatsApp.
But like vinyl and CDs, SMS may be enjoying a curious resurgence.
CCS Insight's Kester Mann has noted that Hutchison's Brit mobile arm, Three UK, has seen a 30 per cent growth in text messages over the past year.
First, it's worth remembering the relative volumes of text and OTT. The decline from around nearly 8 trillion SMS messages a year at its peak (in 2012) to 6 trillion in 2015 coincided with an astronomical increase in OTT IM volumes. By 2015, the cheaper, media-rich medium's volume was 10 times SMS, with 67 trillion sent. Clearly, the market wanted to message more, but network charges deterred people from doing so. The addictive nature of BBM (cloned to produce WhatsApp, to BlackBerry's chagrin) in the late Noughties was a harbinger.
So it's fair to say SMS has been dying. So why would it see a rebound?
Quite simply, the lack of interoperability between services means that sometimes the only guaranteed way to reach a person is via old-fashioned text. As government services come online, that means SMS.
Mann noted: "Examples include reminders to patients for healthcare appointments."
The best hope for SMS interoperability comes, strangely, from Google. Although the giant ad-slinger and data-slurper enjoys monopoly advantages in phone platforms, maps and video streaming, despite numerous attempts it has failed to have any impact on OTT messaging. The lion's share passes through Facebook's WhatsApp and Messenger, Apple's iOS-only iMessage, and other platforms. That data, combined with location information, is valuable to advertisers.
Google: I don't know why you say Allo, I say goodbye READ MORE So Google has been the only major player to give its blessing to the telco industry's anointed successor to SMS, Rich Communication Services, or RCS. This enhances SMS with things like read receipts and better group messaging '' but it requires carrier buy-in. Google's Android Messaging app now supports this, and is built on the technology it acquired with Jibe. To corral users to RCS, Allo, Google's WhatsApp knock-off, will be shut down next month.
Given Android's dominance of the smartphone market '' consistently over 85 per cent most quarters '' it would be a good bet to predict that SMS messages will in a few years be RCS messages.
But not a sure bet. Only Apple's refusal to produce an Android version of iMessage ensures that it stays a niche. A cross-platform iMessage would ensure a fragmented world '' but potentially draw more people into Apple's services, a sector the company has said it wants to grow. Especially now it's selling fewer iPhones. ®
Smollett
Jussie Smollett Case to Go to Grand Jury | TMZ.com
Sun, 17 Feb 2019 22:43
Jussie Smollett Case to Go to Grand Jury ... Doubt MAGA Comment Because Trump Folks Don't Watch 'Empire'
2/17/2019 11:59 AM PST EXCLUSIVE
A grand jury will hear the Jussie Smollett case early next week ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.
Law enforcement sources connected to the investigation tell TMZ, the 2 brothers who were arrested and then released are staying somewhere around the Loop in downtown Chicago under the watchful eye of police so no one gets to them. We're told cops especially want to make sure Jussie does not contact the brothers.
We're told when police raided the home of the 2 brothers they found magazines with pages torn out, and authorities are now trying to determine if the missing pages are connected to the threatening letter that was sent to Jussie 8 days before the alleged attack.
Our sources say early on they asked Jussie if he'd sign complaints against the 2 men who attacked him and he was clear that he would. But, when he found out the 2 brothers were the ones in custody we're told he said he knew them, felt bad for them and declined to sign the complaints.
Our sources say although cops believe the brothers purchased the rope that was around Jussie's neck after the incident, there is no surveillance video at the hardware store because it erases after a week.
We're told the way they tracked the 2 brothers down was by their movements in arriving and leaving the scene around Jussie's apartment building. As we reported, they left in either a cab or an Uber, but we're told cops tracked the vehicle and the 2 brothers got out on their way home and into another vehicle. As one source put it, "It was almost like a bad spy movie."
The sources say there were red flags from the get-go. Cops were extremely suspicious when Jussie took them out to the area where he said he was attacked and pointed to an obscure camera saying how happy he was that the attack was on video. Turns out the camera was pointing in the wrong direction. Cops thought it was weird he knew the location of that camera.
And, there's this. We're told investigators didn't believe the 2 alleged attackers screamed, "This is MAGA country," because, "Not a single Trump supporter watches 'Empire.'"
And, a few loose ends ... we're told when cops picked up the 2 brothers at O'Hare Airport, police were armed with 3 warrants for each man, one of which was to seize their phones.
We're also told there is no video of a "rehearsal" of the attack in the street.
Jussie and his lawyer have vehemently denied the attack was staged, maintaining this was a hate crime.
Hate Hoax Map - American Renaissance
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:35
Click on markers in the map above to see summary details of each hoax.
For more detailed information, including a sortable spreadsheet view, click here.
* * *
Hate crimes are considered a serious problem. There are increased penalties for crimes motivated even ''in part'' by prejudice, and the FBI issues an annual report on hate crimes. Hate crimes'--which are also known as ''bias crimes'''--are reportedly on the rise since the candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump. However, a number of high-profile alleged hate crimes have proven to be hoaxes that were staged by the victim.
How many hate crimes are hoaxes? How often does a black person send himself racist hate mail or a Muslim woman falsely claim that whites tore off her hijab? No government agency counts these incidents, but now we can answer these questions.
We have done an analysis of recent hate-crime hoaxes with a particular concentration on the period beginning June 2015'--the month Donald Trump announced his candidacy'--and ending December 2017. We believe there were enough hoaxes in that two-and­-a-half year period to provide what we believe are representative data.
We have attempted to include every case of every instance of every kind of bias hoax. The only exceptions are fake bias crimes against people with mental or physical handicaps. These cases are extremely rare, and it is possible that there was not a single reported hoax of this kind during the period beginning in June 2015.
Otherwise, we believe our data, based on an extensive media searches and on existing compilations, are exhaustive. We will also update our database as future hoaxes are reported. If readers know of cases since June 2015 that we have missed, please contact us here.
Findings
It is clear from the map that hoaxes occur in virtually every state, and are most common in population centers. It is also clear from the fine-grained sorting of data that is possible using filters, that of the 101 people who perpetrated hoaxes from June 2015 to December 2017, by far the largest number (44) fabricated acts of bias against blacks. The next most common ''victim'' categories of fake bias crimes were Middle Easterners/Muslims (17), non-whites in general (13), and LGBT people (10). Sixty-four percent of the hoaxers are male.
In the FBI's latest hate crimes report, blacks are overrepresented as offenders. They account for 26.1 percent of those cases in which the race of the perpetrator was known, meaning that they were 2.4 times more likely than non-blacks to commit hate crimes. It is not possible to make a direct comparison to whites because'--and this is a long-standing defect in a report that is supposed to highlight race and ethnicity'--the report does not clearly distinguish between whites and Hispanics.
In the case of hate-crime hoaxes, black overrepresentation is much greater. As indicated in the graph below, over the last two-and­-a-half years, on a per capita basis, blacks were 13.3 times more likely than whites to commit hate-crime hoaxes, and Middle Easterners were 34.7 times more likely. In our data, Hispanics and whites are clearly distinguished, and Hispanics were as likely as whites to perpetrate hate hoaxes. The few cases in which the race of the hoaxer is not known are not included in the graphs that follow.
For the most part, it is correct to assume that bias-crime hoaxes are committed by a member of the group that was falsely targeted: gays commit anti-gay hate hoaxes, and blacks commit anti-black hate hoaxes.
Of cases with whites perpetrators, only 3 of the 18 committed hoaxes in which whites, as a race, were the targets of fake hate; the rest meant to draw sympathy to LGBT people, other non-white groups, or women. A few ''progressives,'' for example, have drawn swastikas or written racial slurs in the hope of evoking sympathy for non-whites or to justify increased anti-racist activity.
Whites were therefore more likely to perpetrate hoaxes designed to evoke sympathy for non-whites or Muslims than for whites. We found no case of a non-white committing a false hate crime meant to promote sympathy for whites as a group.
Eighty-nine percent of hoaxers tried to convey the false appearance of racial or'--in the case of Muslims and Jews'--a religious/ethnic bias. If we restrict our analysis to these hoaxes'--that is to say, if we exclude cases in which the fake targets of the hate crimes were LGBT people or women'--whites are the group least likely group to be hoaxers, and the multiples for other groups rise accordingly.
Middle Easterners, at 69 times the white rate, were the group most likely to fabricate hoaxes of this kind, and Hispanics were almost twice as likely as whites to be hoaxers.
Many incidents officially reported to the FBI as hate crimes are never solved because the perpetrator is never identified. A certain number of unsolved hate crimes are likely to be hoaxes like the incidents described in detail in our interactive map. In the absence of confirmation there is always the possibility that a bias crime is a fabrication intended to evoke sympathy for the group of which the ''victim'' is a member.
We will update our data as new hoaxes come to light.
Again, we urge readers to keep us informed about hoaxes'--or even suspected hoaxes'--of which they are aware by sending us press or police reports.
Known Incidents in Chronological Order
Washington Post Editorial Board Assistant Desperately Wants Jussie Smollett Story to Be True
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:39
Imagine being upset due to finding out that members of the Duke Lacrosse team did not, in fact, rape a woman? Or how about being sad at the revelation that a University of Virginia fraternity did not rape a co-ed? Bizarre, right? Well, a similar strange reaction was expressed by Washington Post Editorial Board assistant Nana Efua Mumford on Sunday due to her finding out that the alleged Jussie Smollett hate crime was probably a hoax.
Her broken-hearted deep sadness over the probable fact that racist, homophobic, white Trump supporters did not attack Smollett was revealed in "I doubted Jussie Smollett. It breaks my heart that I might be right":
On Jan. 29, Jussie Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon, the openly gay heir to the show's hip-hop record label throne, was allegedly attacked in a baroque hate crime. He told police that his attackers immediately identified him as a gay actor from ''Empire,'' then proceeded to yell racial and homophobic slurs, shout ''this is MAGA country,'' pour an unknown chemical on him and place a noose around his neck. The story has since become even more complicated: The Chicago police questioned two Nigerian brothers, one of whom said that he played a small part on ''Empire,'' about their possible role in the attack. As of this writing, the department is seeking to interview Smollett again; he has hired a criminal defense attorney.
So you should be relieved that this example of the hate you thought was out there actually didn't happen, right:
I wanted to believe Smollett. I really did. I know that there is a deep, dark racist history in Chicago and, if proved true, this would be just one more point on the list. I wanted to believe him with every fiber of my being, most of all because the consequences if he were lying were almost too awful to contemplate.
Please, please be true! I need for this hate crime to have happened in order to help validate my beliefs about white racist, homophobic Trump supporters!
Over the past few hours, there have been speculations that have confirmed my worst fears. Unnamed ''police sources'' have claimed that Smollett orchestrated the entire thing.
Horrible! Oh, how horrible that poor Jussie did not get attacked by MAGA people! It confirmed her worst fears:
If Smollett's story is found to be untrue, it will cause irreparable damage to the communities most affected. Smollett would be the first example skeptics cite when they say we should be dubious of victims who step forward to share their experiences of racist hate crimes or sexual violence. The incident would be touted as proof that there is a leftist conspiracy to cast Trump supporters as violent, murderous racists. It would be the very embodiment of ''fake news.''
Um, wouldn't a proper reaction would be relief at finding out there was less hate in the land than was originally thought? At any rate, she continued:
And that reason, more than any other, is why I need this story to be true, despite its ugliness and despite what it would say about the danger of the world I live in. The damage done would be too deep and long-lasting. This could be one tragedy that the Lyon family '-- and more importantly, the ordinary people who loved the show and invested in Smollett and his character '-- could never overcome.
You NEED this story to be true? What? You need to be confirmed in your belief about white racist, homophobic Trump supporters attacking a gay black man?
Exit question: Will Washington Post "identity politics" reporter Eugene Scott be equally as sad at learning this supposed "hate crime" is probably a hoax after loudly proclaiming it to be an absolute fact. And what about Postie Jonathan Capehart, who called the MAGA fable a "fact"?
Al Sharpton: Hold Jussie Smollett accountable if he staged attack
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 20:39
February 18, 2019 | 10:20am
The Rev. Al Sharpton believes Jussie Smollett should face ''accountability to the maximum'' '-- if it's found that he made up the hate attack against him.
The outspoken civil rights leader addressed recent reports that the alleged assault on the black, openly gay ''Empire'' actor may have been staged with two bodybuilding brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo.
''I, among many others when hearing of the report, said that the reports were horrific and that we should come with all that we can come with in law enforcement to find out what happened and the guilty should suffer the maximum,'' Sharpton said Sunday night on his show ''PoliticsNation'' on MSNBC.
''I still maintain that,'' he continued. ''And if it is that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetuate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum.''
When news of the Jan. 29 attack against Smollett broke, Sharpton immediately spoke out to say he was ''outraged.''
''For Jussie, who's not only a superb actor and singer but an activist who has fought against homophobia and racism and sexism, to be a victim is something that is totally unacceptable,'' he told TMZ last month. ''I challenge the Chicago law enforcement to do all within their power to find out those that are guilty and they should face the maximum penalty of law.''
Sharpton is no stranger to racially charged hoax cases. In the late 1980s, the then-firebrand local political activist served as the spokesman for Tawana Brawley, a black 15-year-old who claimed she had been raped by six white men upstate. They scrawled racial epithets on her chest and smeared feces in her hair, she alleged.
The stunning case eventually went before a grand jury '-- which ruled after seven months that Brawley's story was a total fabrication.
Chicago police said this weekend that their interviews of the Osundairo brothers '-- who were arrested on Wednesday but released two days later without charges '-- ''shifted the trajectory'' of their ongoing investigation.
The latest twist in the case comes as reports emerged that Smollett paid the budding actor-models $3,500 to stage the 2 a.m. attack.
Smollett has maintained that two strangers shouted racist and anti-gay slurs and ''This is MAGA country!'' before dousing him in a ''chemical substance,'' likely bleach, and throwing a noose around his neck.
Top Democrats, Identity Politics, and the Jussie Smollett Affair: Is This the Real Collusion?
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 09:53
Meanwhile, the story of black actor Jussie Smollett, whose claims of being the victim of a violent, racist, anti-gay attack on the streets of Chicago are now being seriously questioned as a fake hate crime, has unexpectedly pointed to a potential conspiracy involving two leading Democrats running in 2020, Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.). As Monica Showalter reported in American Thinker on February 18, there is a growing suspicion of possible collusion among Harris and Booker and Smollett and his handlers to exploit his allegedly faked attack for the benefit of the two Democrats' strategy to gain attention for S. 3178, an anti-lynching law in the Congress that they are pushing.
Kamala Harris
In a post on January 31, a "founding member" of politicalbullpen.com also posits this collusion scenario:
He [Smollett] is at Kamala's announcement party.
Kamala has anti-lynching legislation that has stalled in Congress.
She only has 3 bills that have became law and all are BS symbolic crap.
All of a sudden, her gay black friend, has a lynching incident.
Who knows when the last time something like this has ACTUALLY happened, especially in Chicago.
Kamala puts out a tweet saying this is a "modern day lynching" and Congress needs to act.
She doesn't mention HER legislation so it doesn't appear too obvious.
Less than 1 hour later, Cory Booker tweets out about this "modern day lynching" using that exact phrase and says Congress needs to act.
The use of fake hate crimes has a long politically driven history. On February 18, Jamie Glazov, editor of Front Page Magazine, republished his November 2016 article on the phenomenon under a new title, "Why Jussie Smollett Lied '-- And All the 'Hate-Crime' Victims Who Weren't; Totalitarian movements know how to portray themselves in order to gain power."
Sens. Harris and Booker, and Julin Castro, the Hispanic former HUD secretary and mayor of San Antonio, Texas, are the three earliest "people of color" minority Democrat candidates to declare their presidential candidacies. All three are dyed-in-the-wool proponents of identity politics.
Cory Booker
The Hill documented what Cory Booker is up to in a story on February 18, "Booker seeks dialogue about race as he kicks off 2020 campaign." Having officially declared his candidacy on February 1, with prominent mention that it was the first day of Black History Month, Booker is now moving quickly to position himself as the minority candidate best equipped to run a racially focused campaign.
The Hill:
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has put the topics of race and reconciliation front and center in his nascent presidential campaign.
The early campaign themes are emblematic of growing calls among Democrats and progressives to address issues of discrimination and racial inequality at a time when support from minority voters is seen as crucial to the party's electoral success.
He's talked about systemic inequality and the need to confront racism head on.
The Hill article quoted Antjuan Seawright, a South Carolina''based black Democratic strategist who often appears on Fox News, who said about the N.J. senator's focus on race:
[I]t could help Booker stand out in an otherwise crowded Democratic primary field, especially in South Carolina, a crucial early-primary state where the majority of the Democratic electorate is black.
In a telling admission, another expert quoted by The Hill, Basil Smikle, a Democratic strategist and former executive director of the New York State Democratic Party, said President Obama "belonged to a cohort of black politicians whose campaigns and policies were race neutral."
The Hill quoted this significant comment by Smirkle:
"He [Obama] made a tacit agreement with voters to not engage race, but the killing of Trayvon Martin, events in Ferguson, Dallas and Baltimore, put race front and center," referring to the high-profile killings of several unarmed black men and teenagers.
In fact, three of those instances '-- the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in 2012; the killing of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo. in 2014; and the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody in Baltimore in 2015 '-- all quickly morphed into fake or wildly exaggerated events that were then used to advance divisive political memes in order to benefit leftist politicians. The desired result was achieved, in that the top news story of 2014 according to the Associated Press was "the police killings of unarmed blacks."
The longstanding but slowly healing wounds left by the legacy of slavery, which ended in the 1860s, and segregationist Jim Crow laws in the South, which ended in the 1960s, were ripped open again by the left's exploitation of the aforementioned "killing[s]" and "events" during the latter years of Obama's administration. Remember how Obama "assertively inserted himself into the controversy surrounding the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin" (as the Washington Post put it), one month after Martin's death, when he said during a high-profile appearance in the White House Rose Garden, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon"?
Julin Castro
For his part, Julin Castro, the third minority candidate to declare for 2020, is in the thick of racialist identity politics, as he always has been. On February 4, Breitbart published a detailed 11,200 word examination of Castro's career, titled "Identity Politics and Class Warfare Define Julin Castro 2020 Campaign."
It is here, in identity politics with racial tinges and leftist grassroots organizing, where Castro feels most at home, those familiar with his rise to national prominence tell Breitbart News, as his mother was an early leader in hard-left organizations like La Raza.
"He is absolutely an extreme leftist," James Dickey, the chairman of the Texas Republican Party, told Breitbart News radio on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel for a special report on Castro. "That's the background his mother comes from, and that is what he has been and done consistently in every chance he's gotten the opportunity to and in his announcement for running for the presidency. That's what he said he would do."
"Their [Julin Castro's and his brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro's (D-TX)] mother was very, very active, not just as you said in La Raza, but actually in Chicano separatist movements," Dickey added in the Breitbart News interview. "That really doesn't at all respect our heritage or our country or the incredible melting pot that has been the United States and the welcoming environment that we have been for immigrants for a century or more."
Dickey is correct that Castro's mother, Maria del Rosario Castro, or Rosie Castro, was a major leftist organizer who co-founded La Raza Unida, an extremist third party separatist group in the 1970s. La Raza Unida literally translates to "The Race United," and the group sought to create a new country in the American Southwest called Aztlan. Breitbart News has run a number of pieces over the years on this group and the Castro family's connections to it, but perhaps the most interesting thing about Castro's presidential campaign launch is that he did not shy away from this radical upbringing; he embraced it.
As I reported in an analysis of Castro on January 15, one half of his presidential campaign announcement speech on January 12, 2019 in San Antonio was delivered in Spanish.
Immediately after news of the purported attack on Smollett, Castro issued a variety of tweets, including this one on January 29:
1/ I'm grateful to hear that Jussie Smollett is reportedly in good condition. I hope he fully recovers. I'm not sure many of us ever will. In 2019, he was violently attacked because of his race and sexual orientation. Unfortunately, he is not alone.
A protest in El Paso
Connecting the dots on what's happening here leads us to a not unrelated article in the Washington Examiner on February 18, "Protesters take over Border Patrol museum, deface pictures of fallen agents." The protesters wore masks and meant business.
Dozens of demonstrators occupied and vandalized a privately owned U.S. Border Patrol museum near El Paso, Texas, over the weekend, according to the site's top official.
Museum director David Ham told the Washington Examiner his staff and guests worried for their safety Saturday when a group of about 50 rowdy protesters entered the facility, defaced property, and refused to leave the grounds.
"Say it loud, say it clear, Border Patrol kills!" group members standing inside and outside the facility yelled.
The group, which calls itself Tornillo: The Occupation, livestreamed the protest.
The money quote in the article about the El Paso "protest" is this:
One of the protest organizers, Elizabeth Vega, was previously involved in demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., following the police shooting of Michael Brown in 2014.
Vega, whose Twitter account describes her as a "Chicana poet, mother, grandmother community artist, activist," manages to get around. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on April 3, 2018:
Prominent St. Louis activist Elizabeth Vega was reported to be among several people arrested Tuesday at a protest in Memphis.
Vega was identified by The Guardian as one of eight people taken into custody during a demonstration against immigration detention outside the Memphis jail.
Protesters have been gathering in the city to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's assassination, which is Wednesday. King was fatally shot at a Memphis hotel.
And so it goes.
Peter Barry Chowka writes about politics, media, popular culture, and health care for American Thinker and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @pchowka.
Rather than usher in a post-racial, more unified society, the presidency of Barack Obama exacerbated America's divisions in hot-button areas of race, ethnicity, and identity. A number of the Democratic Party's leading contenders to unseat President Trump in 2020 are already testing the political waters, and it is clear that their appeals to race and identity politics '-- echoing the Obama years '-- will play prominent roles in their campaigns.
Looking ahead to the 2020 election, Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.); Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.); and Julin Castro, the Hispanic former HUD secretary and mayor of San Antonio, Texas, are three of the first "people of color" minority Democrat candidates to declare their presidential candidacies. All three are dyed-in-the-wool proponents of identity politics.
Meanwhile, the story of black actor Jussie Smollett, whose claims of being the victim of a violent, racist, anti-gay attack on the streets of Chicago are now being seriously questioned as a fake hate crime, has unexpectedly pointed to a potential conspiracy involving two leading Democrats running in 2020, Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.). As Monica Showalter reported in American Thinker on February 18, there is a growing suspicion of possible collusion among Harris and Booker and Smollett and his handlers to exploit his allegedly faked attack for the benefit of the two Democrats' strategy to gain attention for S. 3178, an anti-lynching law in the Congress that they are pushing.
Kamala Harris
In a post on January 31, a "founding member" of politicalbullpen.com also posits this collusion scenario:
He [Smollett] is at Kamala's announcement party.
Kamala has anti-lynching legislation that has stalled in Congress.
She only has 3 bills that have became law and all are BS symbolic crap.
All of a sudden, her gay black friend, has a lynching incident.
Who knows when the last time something like this has ACTUALLY happened, especially in Chicago.
Kamala puts out a tweet saying this is a "modern day lynching" and Congress needs to act.
She doesn't mention HER legislation so it doesn't appear too obvious.
Less than 1 hour later, Cory Booker tweets out about this "modern day lynching" using that exact phrase and says Congress needs to act.
The use of fake hate crimes has a long politically driven history. On February 18, Jamie Glazov, editor of Front Page Magazine, republished his November 2016 article on the phenomenon under a new title, "Why Jussie Smollett Lied '-- And All the 'Hate-Crime' Victims Who Weren't; Totalitarian movements know how to portray themselves in order to gain power."
Sens. Harris and Booker, and Julin Castro, the Hispanic former HUD secretary and mayor of San Antonio, Texas, are the three earliest "people of color" minority Democrat candidates to declare their presidential candidacies. All three are dyed-in-the-wool proponents of identity politics.
Cory Booker
The Hill documented what Cory Booker is up to in a story on February 18, "Booker seeks dialogue about race as he kicks off 2020 campaign." Having officially declared his candidacy on February 1, with prominent mention that it was the first day of Black History Month, Booker is now moving quickly to position himself as the minority candidate best equipped to run a racially focused campaign.
The Hill:
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has put the topics of race and reconciliation front and center in his nascent presidential campaign.
The early campaign themes are emblematic of growing calls among Democrats and progressives to address issues of discrimination and racial inequality at a time when support from minority voters is seen as crucial to the party's electoral success.
He's talked about systemic inequality and the need to confront racism head on.
The Hill article quoted Antjuan Seawright, a South Carolina''based black Democratic strategist who often appears on Fox News, who said about the N.J. senator's focus on race:
[I]t could help Booker stand out in an otherwise crowded Democratic primary field, especially in South Carolina, a crucial early-primary state where the majority of the Democratic electorate is black.
In a telling admission, another expert quoted by The Hill, Basil Smikle, a Democratic strategist and former executive director of the New York State Democratic Party, said President Obama "belonged to a cohort of black politicians whose campaigns and policies were race neutral."
The Hill quoted this significant comment by Smirkle:
"He [Obama] made a tacit agreement with voters to not engage race, but the killing of Trayvon Martin, events in Ferguson, Dallas and Baltimore, put race front and center," referring to the high-profile killings of several unarmed black men and teenagers.
In fact, three of those instances '-- the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in 2012; the killing of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo. in 2014; and the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody in Baltimore in 2015 '-- all quickly morphed into fake or wildly exaggerated events that were then used to advance divisive political memes in order to benefit leftist politicians. The desired result was achieved, in that the top news story of 2014 according to the Associated Press was "the police killings of unarmed blacks."
The longstanding but slowly healing wounds left by the legacy of slavery, which ended in the 1860s, and segregationist Jim Crow laws in the South, which ended in the 1960s, were ripped open again by the left's exploitation of the aforementioned "killing[s]" and "events" during the latter years of Obama's administration. Remember how Obama "assertively inserted himself into the controversy surrounding the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin" (as the Washington Post put it), one month after Martin's death, when he said during a high-profile appearance in the White House Rose Garden, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon"?
Julin Castro
For his part, Julin Castro, the third minority candidate to declare for 2020, is in the thick of racialist identity politics, as he always has been. On February 4, Breitbart published a detailed 11,200 word examination of Castro's career, titled "Identity Politics and Class Warfare Define Julin Castro 2020 Campaign."
It is here, in identity politics with racial tinges and leftist grassroots organizing, where Castro feels most at home, those familiar with his rise to national prominence tell Breitbart News, as his mother was an early leader in hard-left organizations like La Raza.
"He is absolutely an extreme leftist," James Dickey, the chairman of the Texas Republican Party, told Breitbart News radio on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel for a special report on Castro. "That's the background his mother comes from, and that is what he has been and done consistently in every chance he's gotten the opportunity to and in his announcement for running for the presidency. That's what he said he would do."
"Their [Julin Castro's and his brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro's (D-TX)] mother was very, very active, not just as you said in La Raza, but actually in Chicano separatist movements," Dickey added in the Breitbart News interview. "That really doesn't at all respect our heritage or our country or the incredible melting pot that has been the United States and the welcoming environment that we have been for immigrants for a century or more."
Dickey is correct that Castro's mother, Maria del Rosario Castro, or Rosie Castro, was a major leftist organizer who co-founded La Raza Unida, an extremist third party separatist group in the 1970s. La Raza Unida literally translates to "The Race United," and the group sought to create a new country in the American Southwest called Aztlan. Breitbart News has run a number of pieces over the years on this group and the Castro family's connections to it, but perhaps the most interesting thing about Castro's presidential campaign launch is that he did not shy away from this radical upbringing; he embraced it.
As I reported in an analysis of Castro on January 15, one half of his presidential campaign announcement speech on January 12, 2019 in San Antonio was delivered in Spanish.
Immediately after news of the purported attack on Smollett, Castro issued a variety of tweets, including this one on January 29:
1/ I'm grateful to hear that Jussie Smollett is reportedly in good condition. I hope he fully recovers. I'm not sure many of us ever will. In 2019, he was violently attacked because of his race and sexual orientation. Unfortunately, he is not alone.
A protest in El Paso
Connecting the dots on what's happening here leads us to a not unrelated article in the Washington Examiner on February 18, "Protesters take over Border Patrol museum, deface pictures of fallen agents." The protesters wore masks and meant business.
Dozens of demonstrators occupied and vandalized a privately owned U.S. Border Patrol museum near El Paso, Texas, over the weekend, according to the site's top official.
Museum director David Ham told the Washington Examiner his staff and guests worried for their safety Saturday when a group of about 50 rowdy protesters entered the facility, defaced property, and refused to leave the grounds.
"Say it loud, say it clear, Border Patrol kills!" group members standing inside and outside the facility yelled.
The group, which calls itself Tornillo: The Occupation, livestreamed the protest.
The money quote in the article about the El Paso "protest" is this:
One of the protest organizers, Elizabeth Vega, was previously involved in demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., following the police shooting of Michael Brown in 2014.
Vega, whose Twitter account describes her as a "Chicana poet, mother, grandmother community artist, activist," manages to get around. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on April 3, 2018:
Prominent St. Louis activist Elizabeth Vega was reported to be among several people arrested Tuesday at a protest in Memphis.
Vega was identified by The Guardian as one of eight people taken into custody during a demonstration against immigration detention outside the Memphis jail.
Protesters have been gathering in the city to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's assassination, which is Wednesday. King was fatally shot at a Memphis hotel.
And so it goes.
Peter Barry Chowka writes about politics, media, popular culture, and health care for American Thinker and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @pchowka.
Jussie Smollett and the Information Warfare of the Left
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 09:47
I reached out to Jeff Giesea, an entrepreneur and information warfare expert based in Washington, D.C. He describes DARVO as "a tactic of abusers when confronted where they deny, attack, and then shift blame. The term came from studies of emotional abuse and sexual trauma, but DARVO behavior shows up in many contexts." He also views it as "a form of psychological warfare."
DARVO is a behavioral response that perpetrators use when met with their own wrongdoing. It is an acronym for Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. As Mr. Giesea puts it, "DARVO is a gaslighting tactic to shift blame."
While the area of academic study on this response has been focused on sexual abusers in intimate relationships, it does happen on a much broader scale. It is a tactic of manipulation so broad that most people in the developed world encounter it on a daily basis just by looking at their smartphones.
"I'm frankly seeing significant DARVO behavior from the media towards Trump supporters. When the media genuinely screw up, they often shift blame instead of taking responsibility," says Jeff Giesea.
Trump-supporters now find themselves in an abusive relationship with the "free press" and their own elected officials. Constant attacks on Trump and his base have become so normalized that any contradiction to that narrative seems only to fuel more attacks. That's because the social engineers need you to get upset. Once an idea has been propagated, and even if it's wrong or not even an argument, there's already been so much disruption in emotion and personal thought that it becomes easier and easier for the offender to successfully use DARVO.
Mainstream news has mastered this art by using sensationalized headlines, or pushing stories that should be critically examined, to engage an emotional response in the reader. This has the immediate effect of the target being less likely to use rationality and judgment while reading. While involved in emotional processing, the reader might have contradictory thoughts himself or attempt to process other confusing stimuli, such as opposing argument that seems logical, causing him to lose trust in his own mind.
You may have noticed it recently when the Jussie Smollett hoax finally unraveled, and media and pundits were forced to answer why they had so eagerly used an uncorroborated story to push their ideological agendas. The people who had first shown empathy for Smollett's story were not the least bit relieved that the actor they claimed to have love and support for hadn't been the victim of a hate crime.
Instead, many denied that the revelation could challenge their stereotypes about Trump's base and used it as an opportunity to justify more villainization of MAGA-supporters. They claimed that the "real victims" were the ones now silenced by "Trumpsters' giddiness" over being vindicated that they weren't really what they had been misaligned as.
Sen. Cory Booker was one of the first politicians to jump at Jussie's story and used it to push his anti-lynching legislation in the Senate. Even though no lynching occurred, even if Jussie had been telling the truth, Booker quickly related it to his own agenda anyway. When confronted by a reporter after the story of the hoax broke, Cory Booker immediately went into denial by saying "information is still coming out." Then he went on the attack by saying, "Bigoted and biased attacks are on the rise." This switched the roles of the actual victims of Jussie's crime, Trump-supporters, to victimizers, when he implied that the problem isn't hate crime hoaxes, but "right-wing terror attacks." Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender.
DARVO is not a new political strategy; charlatans have been using these maneuvers for millennia. Ancient Greeks knew them by the name Sophists, with the modern definition of sophistry being "using information to deceive." From Plato's noble lie to Machiavelli telling the prince he should be a "great pretender and dissembler," it is used because it historically works. But that does not make this form of informational warfare morally right.
The DARVO tactic has been used unremittingly by the Left, and Smollett's hoax response was only the latest attempt. When the Covington kids received a stream of hate-filled responses to a heavily edited condensed video, the media encouraged it with headlines like "The MAGA Teenager Who Harassed a Native American Veteran Is Still Unnamed, but We've Seen His Face Before." When the full context emerged, they did not re-evaluate their own response, but instead doubled down on their rhetoric, like this Emmy award-winning journalist who completed the DARVO circle by reversing Trump as the offender:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has employed DARVO to attack critics of her boyfriend being listed on her staff and being granted a congressional email account. Genuine concerns were raised about her boyfriend's access to the government, but the way the freshman congressman handled it was to deny: "Congressional spouses get [this] access all the time." Then she attacked a person asking the question, calling it "nonsense." The Washington Post ran the story under the headline "Conservatives can't stop obsessing over Ocasio-Cortez. Their latest target: her boyfriend." '-- implying that those asking about an ethical violation were somehow in the wrong.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was recently condemned by most, including her own party, for anti-Jewish remarks, but when the president was asked his opinion and offered that she should be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, she went full DARVO, responding to the president:
You have trafficked in hate your whole life '-- against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?
The authors of a DARVO study tried to use Justice Kavanaugh and the Republicans as an example of the GOP engaging against accuser Blasey Ford, but in order for the technique to have been employed, Ford would have had to really be a victim first. But Kavanaugh was the victim as the Left actively tried to destroy his life with false attacks on his character, villainizing him, all while denying the blatant proof that Ford's accusations were completely unsubstantiated.
It's not just individual victims and perpetrators, either. Mainstream media have hired some highly trained manipulators to use DARVO tactics on all GOP platform issues. Gun control by villainizing the people who just want to protect themselves, emotionally equating the right to bear arms with a desire to kill schoolchildren. Now, similarly, citizens who support the border wall are finding that they're being condemned as morally corrupt for their political view. "Only racists want a wall." According to the Left, if you don't like the idea of infanticide being legal in New York State, then you're really just a misogynist who wants to oppress women.
This technique is used by social engineers who want you to react a certain way. By forcing people to question their own realities by introducing emotional arguments that don't connect to rational ones, they can harness individual self-doubt while disorienting and destabilizing opponents. When this is repeated constantly, the media can destroy some individuals' ability to make sound judgments to the point that they become submissive, just like actual abuse victims. This has the goal of making readers who are easier to emotionally charge for the next, probably uncorroborated, story that rolls across their newsfeed.
There is a narrative being written of Trump-supporters by liberal media and folks who just cannot handle a Trump presidency. They are redefining his supporters as racist bigots, uneducated rednecks, deplorables and Russian bots. This is done not because there's any empirical data that support this, but so Democrats can feel morally superior while they blame their 2016 loss to Trump on issues sheltered in ambiguity.
Jussie Smollett's political activism has been built on DARVO. He crafted his identity on social justice warriorhood and abusing people he did not agree with politically. However, he denied any evidence that would have shown him there is no correlation between racism and support for the president. He used music videos to displayed imaginary violence by Trump-supporters and profanity-laced tweets to attack the president and his base.
YouTube screen grab.
When the MAGA hat''wearing bigots never actually materialized, he was so desperate that he manufactured a crisis that would manipulate people into believing he was the victim of the people he had spent years abusing.
The good news is that you have defenses against this psychological warfare. You could confront the perpetrators with explanations of their own tactics, but remember: they want you sucked into their sociopathy. No contact is the preferred method for individual victims dealing with abusers and narcissists, but that's difficult to accomplish when the abuser is mainstream media. The one thing you can't do is expect that the media will correct themselves, even if it's just offering one line that fights their own imposed hysteria.
The best strategy is to choose not to engage. In the same manner that you would treat a borderline personality parent or narcissistic emotional abuser, do not engage. If you do not react to their attacks the way they believe and intend that you will, these manipulative maneuvers will have no more power.
Jeff Giesea suggests, "The most important thing is to recognize DARVO behavior when it happens. Catch your breath and realize, this is what's happening and you are not going crazy. Then evaluate what to do from there."
Most studies on DARVO suggest that education is key to overcoming the infliction these mental manipulation strategies cause. Since we cannot unlearn information, being able to understand and relay what DARVO is, the more we will be able to recognize when someone is attempting to use this informational deceit on us.
Author note: I would like to thank Jeff Giesea for first presenting the idea of DARVO as a response to the Smollett hoax and answering my questions. To the readers: Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!
Have you sensed a pattern in the way stories like Jussie Smollett's hoax or the Covington kids' confrontation take over your social media? Do you read or listen to the news regularly, wondering in advance how each story can be spun? Is it increasingly frustrating to see facts distorted to bolster hate and fear? Have you been aware of pain you feel as you watched loved ones being fed lies by sources they trust?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are the victim of emotional and philosophical warfare. There is a type of hostile tactic that's been given a new name: DARVO.
I reached out to Jeff Giesea, an entrepreneur and information warfare expert based in Washington, D.C. He describes DARVO as "a tactic of abusers when confronted where they deny, attack, and then shift blame. The term came from studies of emotional abuse and sexual trauma, but DARVO behavior shows up in many contexts." He also views it as "a form of psychological warfare."
DARVO is a behavioral response that perpetrators use when met with their own wrongdoing. It is an acronym for Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. As Mr. Giesea puts it, "DARVO is a gaslighting tactic to shift blame."
While the area of academic study on this response has been focused on sexual abusers in intimate relationships, it does happen on a much broader scale. It is a tactic of manipulation so broad that most people in the developed world encounter it on a daily basis just by looking at their smartphones.
"I'm frankly seeing significant DARVO behavior from the media towards Trump supporters. When the media genuinely screw up, they often shift blame instead of taking responsibility," says Jeff Giesea.
Trump-supporters now find themselves in an abusive relationship with the "free press" and their own elected officials. Constant attacks on Trump and his base have become so normalized that any contradiction to that narrative seems only to fuel more attacks. That's because the social engineers need you to get upset. Once an idea has been propagated, and even if it's wrong or not even an argument, there's already been so much disruption in emotion and personal thought that it becomes easier and easier for the offender to successfully use DARVO.
Mainstream news has mastered this art by using sensationalized headlines, or pushing stories that should be critically examined, to engage an emotional response in the reader. This has the immediate effect of the target being less likely to use rationality and judgment while reading. While involved in emotional processing, the reader might have contradictory thoughts himself or attempt to process other confusing stimuli, such as opposing argument that seems logical, causing him to lose trust in his own mind.
You may have noticed it recently when the Jussie Smollett hoax finally unraveled, and media and pundits were forced to answer why they had so eagerly used an uncorroborated story to push their ideological agendas. The people who had first shown empathy for Smollett's story were not the least bit relieved that the actor they claimed to have love and support for hadn't been the victim of a hate crime.
Instead, many denied that the revelation could challenge their stereotypes about Trump's base and used it as an opportunity to justify more villainization of MAGA-supporters. They claimed that the "real victims" were the ones now silenced by "Trumpsters' giddiness" over being vindicated that they weren't really what they had been misaligned as.
Sen. Cory Booker was one of the first politicians to jump at Jussie's story and used it to push his anti-lynching legislation in the Senate. Even though no lynching occurred, even if Jussie had been telling the truth, Booker quickly related it to his own agenda anyway. When confronted by a reporter after the story of the hoax broke, Cory Booker immediately went into denial by saying "information is still coming out." Then he went on the attack by saying, "Bigoted and biased attacks are on the rise." This switched the roles of the actual victims of Jussie's crime, Trump-supporters, to victimizers, when he implied that the problem isn't hate crime hoaxes, but "right-wing terror attacks." Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender.
DARVO is not a new political strategy; charlatans have been using these maneuvers for millennia. Ancient Greeks knew them by the name Sophists, with the modern definition of sophistry being "using information to deceive." From Plato's noble lie to Machiavelli telling the prince he should be a "great pretender and dissembler," it is used because it historically works. But that does not make this form of informational warfare morally right.
The DARVO tactic has been used unremittingly by the Left, and Smollett's hoax response was only the latest attempt. When the Covington kids received a stream of hate-filled responses to a heavily edited condensed video, the media encouraged it with headlines like "The MAGA Teenager Who Harassed a Native American Veteran Is Still Unnamed, but We've Seen His Face Before." When the full context emerged, they did not re-evaluate their own response, but instead doubled down on their rhetoric, like this Emmy award-winning journalist who completed the DARVO circle by reversing Trump as the offender:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has employed DARVO to attack critics of her boyfriend being listed on her staff and being granted a congressional email account. Genuine concerns were raised about her boyfriend's access to the government, but the way the freshman congressman handled it was to deny: "Congressional spouses get [this] access all the time." Then she attacked a person asking the question, calling it "nonsense." The Washington Post ran the story under the headline "Conservatives can't stop obsessing over Ocasio-Cortez. Their latest target: her boyfriend." '-- implying that those asking about an ethical violation were somehow in the wrong.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was recently condemned by most, including her own party, for anti-Jewish remarks, but when the president was asked his opinion and offered that she should be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, she went full DARVO, responding to the president:
You have trafficked in hate your whole life '-- against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?
The authors of a DARVO study tried to use Justice Kavanaugh and the Republicans as an example of the GOP engaging against accuser Blasey Ford, but in order for the technique to have been employed, Ford would have had to really be a victim first. But Kavanaugh was the victim as the Left actively tried to destroy his life with false attacks on his character, villainizing him, all while denying the blatant proof that Ford's accusations were completely unsubstantiated.
It's not just individual victims and perpetrators, either. Mainstream media have hired some highly trained manipulators to use DARVO tactics on all GOP platform issues. Gun control by villainizing the people who just want to protect themselves, emotionally equating the right to bear arms with a desire to kill schoolchildren. Now, similarly, citizens who support the border wall are finding that they're being condemned as morally corrupt for their political view. "Only racists want a wall." According to the Left, if you don't like the idea of infanticide being legal in New York State, then you're really just a misogynist who wants to oppress women.
This technique is used by social engineers who want you to react a certain way. By forcing people to question their own realities by introducing emotional arguments that don't connect to rational ones, they can harness individual self-doubt while disorienting and destabilizing opponents. When this is repeated constantly, the media can destroy some individuals' ability to make sound judgments to the point that they become submissive, just like actual abuse victims. This has the goal of making readers who are easier to emotionally charge for the next, probably uncorroborated, story that rolls across their newsfeed.
There is a narrative being written of Trump-supporters by liberal media and folks who just cannot handle a Trump presidency. They are redefining his supporters as racist bigots, uneducated rednecks, deplorables and Russian bots. This is done not because there's any empirical data that support this, but so Democrats can feel morally superior while they blame their 2016 loss to Trump on issues sheltered in ambiguity.
Jussie Smollett's political activism has been built on DARVO. He crafted his identity on social justice warriorhood and abusing people he did not agree with politically. However, he denied any evidence that would have shown him there is no correlation between racism and support for the president. He used music videos to displayed imaginary violence by Trump-supporters and profanity-laced tweets to attack the president and his base.
YouTube screen grab.
When the MAGA hat''wearing bigots never actually materialized, he was so desperate that he manufactured a crisis that would manipulate people into believing he was the victim of the people he had spent years abusing.
The good news is that you have defenses against this psychological warfare. You could confront the perpetrators with explanations of their own tactics, but remember: they want you sucked into their sociopathy. No contact is the preferred method for individual victims dealing with abusers and narcissists, but that's difficult to accomplish when the abuser is mainstream media. The one thing you can't do is expect that the media will correct themselves, even if it's just offering one line that fights their own imposed hysteria.
The best strategy is to choose not to engage. In the same manner that you would treat a borderline personality parent or narcissistic emotional abuser, do not engage. If you do not react to their attacks the way they believe and intend that you will, these manipulative maneuvers will have no more power.
Jeff Giesea suggests, "The most important thing is to recognize DARVO behavior when it happens. Catch your breath and realize, this is what's happening and you are not going crazy. Then evaluate what to do from there."
Most studies on DARVO suggest that education is key to overcoming the infliction these mental manipulation strategies cause. Since we cannot unlearn information, being able to understand and relay what DARVO is, the more we will be able to recognize when someone is attempting to use this informational deceit on us.
Author note: I would like to thank Jeff Giesea for first presenting the idea of DARVO as a response to the Smollett hoax and answering my questions. To the readers: Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!
There Are Reports That Kamala Harris Exploited Jussie Smollett Attack | News One
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 21:32
T here have been many rumors surrounding Jussie Smollett being attacked on Jan. 29. One being that high-powered Democrats plotted with the actor to push the anti-lynching bill. Others, like Tariq Nasheed, claim it is only because of Jussie Smollett's alleged attack is being used to push the LGBT language in the anti-lynching bill.
See Also: Mike Pence Has The Unchristian Nerve To Compare Trump To Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Nasheed wrote on Twitter, ''They used this Jussie hoax to pass this anti Lynching bill, and this is the first time in history the white LGBT community has an official document GIVING THEM FEDERAL PROTECTIONS AS AN OPPRESSED GROUP like Black Americans. This Lynching Bill was a victory for the LGBT crowd.'' According to Nasheed, the ''they'' is Sen. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.
A fake Judge Joe Brown also tweeted the conspiracy theory:
Another account claimed, ''The #JussieSmollettHoax was used by unscrupulous individuals like @CoryBooker to pass a lynching law to benefit gays while ignoring police murdering Black people. This was NOT accidental. It was very deliberate.''
However, the anti-lynching legislation has been in place for months.
Civil rights attorney and SiriusXM radio host Lurie Favors wrote on her Twitter, ''No. They worked on that law for months '' as has been repeatedly reported. The bill was introduced in 2018. There are real reasons for concern w this case. It's sad to see our own folks reaching this hard.''
No. They worked on that law for months '' as has been repeatedly reported. The bill was introduced in 2018. There are real reasons for concern w this case. It's sad to see our own folks reaching this hard'... https://t.co/BkumKE67me https://t.co/8THvL4OgKe
'-- Blackness Unlimited, Esq. (@AfroStateOfMind) February 17, 2019
She also tweeted, ''Reading comprehension (including dates) matters. Kamala Harris, Corey Booker & Tim Scott were working on the anti-lynching legislation in 2018. They did not do it in response to the Jussie Smollett situation.''
Y'all. Reading comprehension (including dates) matters. Kamala Harris, Corey Booker & Tim Scott were working on the anti-lynching legislation in 2018. They did not do it in response to the Jussie Smollett situation. https://t.co/BkumKE67me
'-- Blackness Unlimited, Esq. (@AfroStateOfMind) February 17, 2019
White evangelicals complained about sexual orientation and gender identity being in the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act, claims it just covers race. However, from the start, the legislation include religion and disability, however, conservatives jumped on protecting the lives of sexual orientation and gender identity for a reason to not pass the bill.
Sadly, people like Tariq Nasheed, not realizing Black LGBT people experience violence at a higher rate than their white counterparts, pushes a conspiracy theory simply because Sen. Harris tweeted, ''This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.''
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I'm praying for his quick recovery.
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
'-- Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
How disturbing that people want to advocate against lives being protected simply because they are part of the LGBT community. Nasheed and other conspiracy theorist do not appear to have an issue with religion or disability being included.
The Jussie Smollett attack is still being investigated, but regardless of the outcome, the anti-lynching law stands alone from him. The bill was recently passed in the Senate and it will now go to the House.
SEE ALSO:
Kamala Harris Leads Senate To Finally Passing Anti-Lynching Bill
WTH? 'Black Panther' Writer Roxane Gay Was Not Invited To The Movie Premiere
Can Racial Profiling Be Stopped? A Federal Jury Sides With The Louisiana State Police
Uni knot - Wikipedia
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:51
The uni knot is a multi purpose fishing knot that can be used for attaching the fishing line to the arbor of a reel, for joining lines, and for attaching lures, snaps, and swivels.
History [ edit ] The knot, shown with three passes, was published in 1944 under the name gallows knot (#1121) in The Ashley Book of Knots. Ashley notes that it is actually an alternate arrangement of the multiple overhand noose. His diagram shows how the knot can be manipulated into the more familiar form.[1]
This knot is also called the Duncan loop, after Norman Duncan who developed it independently as a fishing knot in the early 1960s.[2] The knot was popularized as the uni knot by Vic Dunaway, an editor at the Miami Herald, in a 1970 fishing book.[3][4]
Currently, in American English the knot is known as the Uni-knot referring to its ability to work with mono-filament or fluorocarbon fishing lines. However, in British English it is commonly known as the Grinner Knot.[5]
The Uni knot is used by popular television host, Jeremy Wade, on the Animal Planet TV series River Monsters.[6]
Use [ edit ] The uni knot is widely used for attaching hooks, rings and swivels to the end of the line[7] and it is also used for joining two fishing lines together.[8] The bend form of the uni knot (for joining two lines) is not a noose; rather it is akin to a multiple fisherman's knot with the two opposing knotted parts arranged in the manner of uni knots.[9]
The uni knot retains much of the fishing line breaking strength and the uni knot works well with monofilament, fluorocarbon[10] and braided[11] fishing lines.
See also [ edit ] List of knotsReferences [ edit ] External links [ edit ] Video instructions on how to tie a Uni KnotUni knot illustration
The Twisted History of the Noose
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:47
Jack Shuler's The Thirteenth Turn: A History of the Noose features an evocative account of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, which reached its infamous nadir when 38 American Indians were hanged in public in Mankato, Minnesota. At the heart of this chronicle of the country's ''largest simultaneous execution'' is a mesmerizing bit of prose that even the most jaded reader is likely to find moving.
''They did not go quietly,'' Shuler writes. ''As they stood on the scaffold '... the men had called out their names to let the others know they were not alone, to speak their names into being, to bear witness. I am One Who Jealously Guards His Home. I am One Who Walks Clothed in Owl Feathers. I am His People. I am Red Leaf. I am Rattling Runner. I am One Who Stands on a Cloud.''
This stirring moment arrives in a chapter that spotlights the highs and lows of a persistently uneven book. Alongside his harrowing depiction of state-sanctioned mass killing, Shuler offers a string of digressions that only distract from his core goals.
He tells us about the fashion sense he shares with a Minnesota Historical Society staffer (''We both wear beards and the same uniform: shirt, tie, khakis, and hoodie.'') He recalls the time, seemingly unrelated to his work on this book, when he grew so frustrated with an interview subject that he considered phoning home and asking for backup. And, peering deep into his own navel, he interrogates himself about his motives for writing the book: ''What's the endgame? What's the motivation? Political? Personal? Can I trace every strand of the knot from beginning to end? Is this about the knot or is this about me?''
The incongruity is jarring. It would be ridiculous to suggest that there's no place for autobiographical details in a serious work of history. Countless essays, works of journalism, and touchstones of narrative nonfiction have shown us otherwise. But there's a trivial quality to most of Shuler's self-conscious meanderings, and this gives them an out-of-place feel. The material itself is plenty powerful without them.
The Thirteenth Turn has other problems. Shuler's writing can be careless. Telling the horrible story of the execution of an uneducated 12-year-old girl in 18th-century Connecticut, he says that her ''apparent ignorance continued during her final days in jail, a sign, perhaps of her stress, her youth, or her ignorance.'' Ignorance is a sign of ignorance? Later, he says that the killers from Truman Capote's In Cold Blood ''disrupted the life of a western farmer and his family.'' They did a lot more than that.
There's also the matter of Shuler's scattershot approach. Familiar incidents like the hanging of John Brown and the lynching that inspired the song Strange Fruit are both considered at length, yet nothing really novel is said about either. Meanwhile, other deserving events get short-shrift: the hanging of Nat Turner merits one paragraph; Nathan Hale's hanging, three passing mentions.
Look beyond its flaws, though, and you'll find a book that also happens to contain some powerful images and scenes. These tend to arrive when Shuler tempers his impulse to insert himself into the action.
He starts by roaming deep into the past, cataloging the hangings that appear in Homer, Dante, and the Bible, and discussing pre-Christian hangings that might've been carried out for sacrificial purposes. He explains that a prototypical hangman's knot involves 13 turns of the rope, evidence of a particularly gruesome sort of criminal premeditation.
He's at his most poised in the pages where he reckons with the ways in which the noose'--both as a symbol and a killing device'--has been wielded as a means of terrorizing African Americans, during slavery and thereafter.
''Lynching isn't something many wish to discuss, let alone bring up in a classroom,'' says Shuler, who teaches literature and black studies at Denison University in Ohio. ''It's a nasty part of American history; the stories produce discomfort, especially for white people like myself. And well they should: the violence and the numbers are staggering.'' Given the nature of the crimes and the climate in which they were committed, the numbers themselves are inexact. But Shuler notes that in their 1995 book, A Festival of Violence, Stewart E. Tolnay and E.M. Beck found that 2,500 black Americans were lynched in the South in the half-century ending in 1930.
Shocking public hangings also happened in the North. In the spring and summer of 1741, after a reputed slave uprising, ''authorities in the city of New York hanged twenty-one people and burned thirteen others at the stake '... Of those executed,'' Shuler writes, ''four were white and thirty were black.'' The gallows, he says, was probably in the space now occupied by City Hall Park in Manhattan, a disturbing idea to anyone who's ever strolled across the picturesque plot of land favored by break-taking office workers and snapshot-happy tourists.
One of Shuler's missions is to remind us that the noose is not a relic of the past. He points out that the last lawful hanging in the U.S. occurred in January 1996, when convicted double-murderer Billy Bailey was executed in Delaware, and notes that New Hampshire and Washington have legal provisions that allow for the death penalty to be carried out by hanging. These facts might seem remote from the lives of most readers, but it's hard to overstate the importance of his reporting on the many recent instances in which a noose has been used to intimidate African Americans.
One such incident involved Jason Upthegrove, a Lima, Ohio, NAACP chapter president. In 2008, after police shot and killed an unarmed black woman named Tarika Wilson, Upthegrove pressed local officials to end a documented ''pattern of racial profiling.'' ''The media, both local and national, picked up the story,'' Shuler writes. ''That's when the pushback started. First it was phone calls. Then racist flyers on cars and lampposts.'' That February, a noose arrived in a package mailed to Upthegrove's home. An Oregon man with ties to a white supremacist group was arrested and sentenced to an 18-month prison term.
Shuler notes that this is one of many such occurrences, and lists a series of recent cases of harassment and intimidation in which a noose was employed. Again, statistics paint only a partial picture, but he cites a report that tallied ''over 106 noose incident-related lawsuits'' filed in the U.S. in the first two years of Barack Obama's presidency. ''The noose,'' he says, ''has become the new burning cross, the ready symbol for expressing hate and fostering a climate of fear in workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods throughout the United States.''
This is a crucial point. But the narrative loses urgency when Shuler unspools one of his off-topic asides. In his chapter about the execution of the Dakota Indians, for instance, he provides an unedifying account of a minor disagreement he had with a present-day tribesman. Then he launches into a breathless detour that's meant to convince us of his mettle but ends up having the opposite effect: ''One time a man I was interviewing accused me of being an operative of one of his longtime rivals, an accusation that said a lot about him. I pulled out my phone and said I was calling my mother and he could talk to her and that my word is my word and that if he didn't believe me, well, my mother could set him straight.''
Later, Shuler invokes the death of a schoolmate who hanged himself. He does so despite conceding that ''(t)his is not a book about suicide'' and explaining that he ''didn't know [his fellow student] that well'''--facts that make his decision to include this story feel particularly cynical.
In The Thirteenth Turn, Shuler does some good, important work. But he also exhibits a tin ear, and demonstrates an unappealing penchant for introducing himself as a character into episodes that don't benefit from his presence. There are moments when the book thrives'--but this tends to happen when he's an offstage chronicler of events, not an active participant in them. The most engaging essayists and historians can seamlessly blend the personal and the political. On this front, Shuler's still got some work to do.
Chicago Prosecutor Recuses Herself From Jussie Smollett Case | Time
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 03:31
CHICAGO (AP) '-- Chicago's top prosecutor recused herself from the investigation into the attack reported by ''Empire'' actor Jussie Smollett shortly after police requested another interview with the actor.
The office of Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx offered few specifics Tuesday when announcing that Foxx was recusing herself from the case, which police said had ''shifted'' after detectives released two brothers who were initially deemed suspects.
''Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case,'' said Foxx spokeswoman Tandra Simonton, who wouldn't specify how Foxx was familiar with anyone in the case. Simonton said Foxx would have no further comment.
Smollett has said two masked men hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him before beating him up early on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and gay, said the men then looped a rope around his neck.
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View SamplePolice spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said last week that media reports about the attack being a hoax were unconfirmed by case detectives.
But on Saturday, police said the ''investigation had shifted'' following interviews with the brothers, who were identified to multiple media outlets by their attorney as Abimbola ''Abel'' and Olabinjo ''Ola'' Osundairo. The men were released from custody without charges, and police later requested another interview with Smollett.
The Osundairos' attorney has not responded to multiple requests for comment from The Associated Press.
Smollett's lawyers have said the actor was angered and ''victimized'' by reports he may have played a role in staging the attack.
''Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying,'' attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor P. Henderson said in a statement late Saturday.
Anne Kavanagh, a spokeswoman for Smollett's lawyers, said they would ''keep an active dialogue with Chicago police on his behalf.'' Kavanagh didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
A California misdemeanor complaint against Smollett in 2007 shows the actor pleaded no contest to giving false information to police when he was pulled over for driving while under the influence.
Court records show Smollett was accused of identifying himself as his younger brother and signing a false name on the promise to appear in court. Smollett was later charged with false impersonation, driving under the influence and driving without a valid license. He pleaded no contest to a reduced charge and took an alcohol education and treatment program.
The details of the complaint were first reported by NBC News.
Smollett told police he was attacked while getting a sandwich around 2 a.m. near his home in downtown Chicago. He said the men also shouted, ''This is MAGA country,'' an apparent reference to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan, ''Make America Great Again.'' Smollett also said the attackers poured some kind of chemical on him.
Police looked through hours of video surveillance from the area but found no footage of an attack.
Investigators did find and release images of two people they said they wanted to question. And last week, police picked up the two brothers at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport as they returned from Nigeria and questioned them about the attack. They also searched the apartment where the men live.
The men, who were held for nearly 48 hours on suspicion of assaulting Smollett, were released Friday. Guglielmi said the next day that information police received from the men ''has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation.''
Contact us at editors@time.com.
Meet 'Ola' & 'Abel,' the Nigerian Bodybuilders Arrested over Jussie Smollett
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 03:27
The identities of two brothers connected to an investigation into the alleged attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett were revealed Friday.The two actors are named Abimbola ''Abel'' and Olabinjo ''Ola'' Osundairo and hail from Nigeria, according to the Daily Mail. On Wednesday, the pair were arrested by Chicago Police officers at O'Hare Airport upon arriving back to the U.S. from a trip to visit family in Nigeria and taken in for questioning.Daily Mail reports:
Ola appeared on Empire in 2015 and both brothers have had minor roles on Chicago PD.
Smollett follows their joint Instagram account and, according to their lawyer, sometimes goes to the gym with them.
DailyMail.com has identified photographs of one of the brothers inside the gym in Smollett's apartment building in June. The gym is private to residents of the luxury condominium building.
'...
The brothers' names are also included on a list of evidence that was left at their home after Chicago PD officers ransacked it on Thursday and the pair are listed in public records as the tenants of that house.
In a video shared to Instagram January 9th, one of the brothers is seen practicing gym poses while playing a song by Smollett called ''HaHa (I Love You).''
A lawyer for the brothers told CBS 2 that her clients could be charged on Friday. ''They were actually detained at customs at O'Hare airport yesterday around 5:45 p.m.,'' lawyer Gloria Schmidt said. ''They had no idea what was going on, and they've been detained since then.''
''When they first learned about what happened to him they were horrified. This is someone they know. This is someone they've worked with, so they don't want to see somebody go through that,'' she continued.
Schmidt confirmed to CBS 2 that the brothers were extras on Empire and went to the gym with Smollett.
''They are really baffled why they are people of interest,'' the lawyer said. ''They really don't understand how they even got information that linked them to this horrific crime, but they are not guilty of it.''
Chicago police Anthony Guglielmi on Thursday said detectives were questioning the two individuals '-- but said neither of them were ''considered suspects at this time.''
According to Guglielmi, the brothers were seen on surveillance cameras in the neighborhood where the alleged incident took place.
The developments come as law enforcement continues to investigate the case, which began with Smollett telling police two masked individuals shouted racist and homophobic insults at him and sprayed him with an unknown chemical substance on January 29. The 36-year-old also told law enforcement the alleged assailants looped a rope around his neck and shouted ''This is MAGA country'' before fleeing the scene.
Haiti
Greencrow As The Crow Flies: What are we NOT being told about the street riots going on in Haiti???
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 15:16
Map Of Haiti in Caribbean - Notethe Proximity Of Haiti to Caracas, VenezuelaThey're rioting in the streets in Haiti again.  Every couple of years we hear reports about this in the newz.  We're just told the Haitians are rioting in the streets and shown film of the chaos....burning tires...crowds of rampaging black men.  We're given very little context to the riots.  The simpleton sheeple don't even bother to ask themselves why the Haitians would be rioting...they just assume that Haitians like to riot and perhaps it's part of their culture.  That's the subtext of the superficial Main$tream Media Reports..."Haitians just like to riot."In the Canadian newz reports the focus is on the problems that Canadian NGO workers are having getting to the airport in Port au Prince.  The roadways are being blocked by protesters who demand money before allowing the Canadians through the roadblocks.  Why all this animosity against Canadians?  Canadians who are presumably only in Haiti just to "help out" the Haitians?  No light is shed on this mystery.  There are no in-depth interviews with Haitians to find out the source of their grievances.  Interviews are conducted only with the escaping NGO Canadians or with foreign media geopolitical "experts" [aka spin doctors]. We know that NGO's are notorious for being nests of foreign spies and organizers/bankrollers of pro-western government political support groups.  So they cannot speak on behalf of the protesters.The closest I was able to get to a rational for the riots was this brief paragraph in a report by the CBC.  You can see for yourself how nebulous and vague the explanation for Haitian unrest is:Starting earlier this week, Haitian protesters blocked streets and highways to rally against skyrocketing inflation and the government's failure to prosecute the alleged misuse of development funds from an oil assistance program sponsored by Venezuela. Intentionally vague...but finally a few details.  "Misuse" of funds?  Venezuelan financial assistance being siphoned off out the dirt-poor country?  But by who?  This is a very small island we're talking about...actually 1/2 of an island.  The US vassal Dominican Republic occupies the other half of Hispaniola .  Is the Dominican Republic playing any role in the corruption?  We'll never know.  But wait!  Here's a headline from RT this morning:‘Long live Putin!’ Haiti opposition protesters burn US flag, demand Russian intervention Haitians, when asked on the streets what they're protesting about, say that they want "Putin to come and save them" from their sorry state as US vassals.  They're waving Russian flags and burning American flags.  They say that their corrupt "leaders", who are actually US puppets installed by way of a fraudulent election [Wait! did the US actually inflict a fraudulent election on a foreign nation?!!!], are in truth grifters who stole the aid that Venezuela gave to its neighbour, Haiti."When you aint got nothin', you got nothin to lose." Bob DylanThe Haitian protesters have nothing to lose so they exercise the kind of freedom never seen in the non "Shithole" West. "Shithole" is what Trump called Haiti while USrael was busy siphoning off the Venezuelan oil. Dontchaknow.So, in summary, the Haitians are in a state of total frustration due to the non-stop destruction of their island by the West, who want to use it as a stepping stone to a possible invasion of neighbouring Venezuela.  USrael is "softening up the Haitian public" so that they will be as desperate as their ISIS proxies were in the Middle East...willing and able to tear out human hearts and lop off children's heads.  Perhaps this is what the Haitians see in their future...and are demonstrating against.  This is why they're chasing the Canadian and US subversive NGO moles out of the country.I predict we'll see more and more of these rebellions around the world. The Hopeless dare to Hope...dare not to clap to the Hegemonic beat...dare to ask Russia to help.  Now that the examples of Syria, Turkey and India [and gawd knows how many other countries] have been set.  These are countries who have already begged Russia to intervene and provide the ways and means to kick out the cancerous hegemons and keep them out.  Russian alliance and weaponry are the only means on the face of planet earth to cut out the parasitic tumour.  The Haitians know it...and probably most sentient beings on the planet know it by now...which would automatically eliminate Canada.  Could Russia have already secretly installed S-400 missile systems in Venezuela, and in other resource-rich but militarily vulnerable nations all over the world?  We'll never find out by reading the Western Main$tream media...but I can assure my Readers...that's very likely the paranoid nightmare terrorizing the perps and keeping them up at night.
Armed Americans arrested in Haiti flown back to the U.S. | Miami Herald
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 10:36
A group of Americans arrested in Haiti driving around Port-au-Prince with an arsenal of weapons arrived back in the United States Wednesday night after failing to show up for their first court appearance before the Haitian justice system.
Upon their arrival in Miami aboard American Airlines flight 1059, U.S. law enforcement boarded the flight and handcuffed the men, according to a tweet from Haitian TV and radio personality Carel Pedre to his 223,600 followers at 8:25 p.m.
Three hours earlier, as the flight started to take off from Port-au-Prince, a police source told the Miami Herald: ''They left.''
On board: former Navy Seal officers Christopher Michael Osman and Christopher Mark McKinley, and former Marine Veteran Kent Leland Kroeker as well as Americans Dustin Porte and Talon Ray Burton. All five U.S. citizens were among eight heavily armed men whom Haiti National Police arrested on Sunday afternoon at a police checkpoint in downtown Port-au-Prince.
The group also included two Serbians, at least one of whom is a U.S. permanent resident, and a Haitian national who was deported from the U.S.
A video of the men inside the Toussaint Louverture Airport shows them being escorted through the departure area without shackles, with one U.S. embassy staffer in front and another in the back.
Airport employees say the men seemed quite at ease and were taken inside the VIP diplomatic lounge to wait on the flight after their tickets were purchased at the counter. One of the two Serbians initially was not allowed to board the flight by Haitian immigration because he had no stamps showing where he resides. After a few calls were made, he was put on the flight.
The Haitian national, Michael Estera, who goes by the pseudonym ''Cliford,'' was not among those sent back to the U.S. He faces illegal weapons charges. The other seven men also faced charges of driving in vehicles without license tags.
No one would discuss the case on the record. But sources familiar with the negotiations said the U.S. government intervened and expressed concerns about the group's safety following an interview by Prime Minister Jean Henry C(C)ant with CNN in which he characterized the men as ''mercenaries'' and ''terrorists.''
A State Department spokesperson for Western Hemisphere Affairs said: ''The return of the individuals to the US was coordinated with the Haitian authorities.''
Still, some saw the move as a slap in the face of Haiti's justice system, which has been the recipient of millions of dollars in aid from the U.S. government over more than two decades.
''They don't trust the Haitian justice system,'' said Pierre Esperance, executive director of the National Human Rights Defense Network, a human rights group that had been monitoring the arrests and first published a list with the men's names. ''We can't even tally the amount of money they have spent since 1995 on not just reforming the Haitian justice system, but the penal code and the police....The American government has spent a lot of money.''
The United Nations Security Council also currently operates a peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti or MINUJUSTH, focused on strengthening the justice system and professionalizing the police force. The force was lauded for the arrest of the men, who were driving around in two vehicles without license tags and an arsenal of automatic weapons and pistols.
They claimed to have been on a ''government mission,'' when stopped by police about a block from the country's central bank.
''They should have at least let them make their first appearance before the Haitian courts,'' Esperance said.
Miami Herald staff writer Carli Teproff and McClatchy Washington Bureau reporter Alex Daugherty contributed to this report.
Venezuela
Plant for production of Kalashnikov assault rifles to be built in Venezuela by yearend
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 17:26
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ABU DHABI, February 18. /TASS/. The construction of a plant in Venezuela to manufacture Kalashnikov assault rifles will be completed by the end of this year, CEO of Russia's Rostec hi-tech corporation Sergei Chemezov said at the IDEX-2019 defense show in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
"We have fulfilled all our obligations and only the construction of the production facility for Kalashnikov assault rifles has not yet been completed. This work will be fulfilled by the end of the year," the chief executive said.
A part of deliveries was implemented through a loan and the other part for cash, he said. "Our partner [Venezuela] has also fulfilled all its obligations," the Rostec chief stressed.
The plant that will assemble Kalashnikov assault rifles is being built under a contract signed in July 2006. Venezuelan specialists are expected to launch the full-fledged licensed production of the AK-103 assault rifle and the plant is planned to manufacture about 25,000 assault rifles annually. Besides, the ammunition production plant will manufacture more than 50 million rounds per year.
In December 2016, Russian then-Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that the plants would start working to full capacity in 2019. In April 2018, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez confirmed the same timeframe after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.
The press office of Russia's state arms seller Rosoboronexport told TASS in January that the contract would be implemented in full, despite the political crisis in the South American republic.
In other media
What's Not Being Said About the Venezuela Oil War | New Eastern Outlook
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 22:20
So far much of the discussion over what is driving the bizarre Trump Administration intervention into Venezuela centers around the comments of National Security Adviser John Bolton to claim it's about oil. In a previous analysis we looked at the prospects of the huge Chavez Basin, formerly the Orinoco Basin, said to hold the world's largest reserves of oil by some definitions. Now it's becoming clearer that this de facto war is about far more than control of the heavy oil of the Chavez Basin in Venezuela.
First it's important to look at which oil companies were already staking various claims on the region's oil prospects. Within Venezuela, Chinese oil companies led by China National Petroleum Corporation, and the Chinese government have been playing a major role since the Chavez era. In fact the role has become so great Venezuela's government owes China some $61 billion. Because of the financial problems of the Maduro government, China has been taking debt repayment in form of oil. Since 2010 the Russian state oil company, Rosneft has been involved in joint projects with the Venezuela state PDVSA, mainly in the Orinoco/Chavez Belt. Some years ago Rosneft extended some $6 billion in loans to Venezuela to be also repaid in oil. A recent statement from Rosneft says that $2.3 billion is due by end of this year. Rosneft has participation in five oil projects and 100 percent in a gas project. In addition to CNPC and Rosneft, France's Total SA, Norway's Equinor, and US Chevron all hold minority stakes in Venezuela projects, with most vowing to stay despite the political crisis. That raises the question what they know beyond the well-documented heavy oil of Venezuela.
The real prize?
The real prize that these powerful international oil giants are eyeing likely lies well to the east of the Orinoco heavy oil fields where they now operate. The real prize is the ultimate control over one of the best-kept secrets in the oil industry, the huge oil reserves of a disputed area straddling Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil. The region is called Guayana Esequiba. Some geologists believe the Esequiba region and its offshore could contain the world's largest reserves of oil, oil of far better quality that the heavy Orinoco crude of Venezuela. The problem is that owing to the decades-long dispute between Venezuela and Guyana the true extent of that oil is not yet known.
Historically, both Venezuela and Guyana, a former British colony, laid claim to Esequiba. In 1983 a so-called Port of Spain Protocol, between the governments of Venezuela and Guyana, declared a 12-year moratorium on the Venezuelan reclamation of Esequiba to allow time for peaceful resolution. Since then a special UN Representative has kept the situation frozen. Neither party has developed exploration of the reported huge oil deposits in the territory. In January 2018 the UN Secretary General referred the status of Esequiba to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, where it sits today.
Now it gets messy. In September 2011 the government of Guyana filed for an extension of its offshore Exclusive Economic Zone to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in order to extend its continental shelf by a further 150 nautical miles. To get UN permission, they declared the area was subject to no territorial disputes, ignoring the very active Venezuela dispute over Guayana Esequiba. Venezuela filed a strong protest. To further complicate the situation, Guyana awarded international oil exploration rights in the disputed maritime area.
Exxon in Guyana
In 2015 Guyana awarded an oil exploration contract to ExxonMobil, former company of former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Exxon soon discovered an oil field estimated at 5 billion barrels, significant enough to change the economy of tiny Guyana once production begins next year. Unlike the heavy and expensive oil of Orinoco/Chavez, the oil found offshore Guyana is high quality, light. Oil analysts cite an astonishing 82% success rate for Exxon drilling in frontier areas compared with industry averages of 35%. Wood Mackenzies analysts say the offshore region ''will easily become the fourth largest oil producing nation in Latin America by the next decade, with chances to outperform the countries preceding it. If Venezuela and Mexico fail to address production declines, Guyana could quickly surpass them to number two.''
Keep in mind until now this entire Esequiba region, offshore and on, had been off limits to oil exploration by mutual agreement of the countries. The Exxon Guyana discoveries confirmed the belief that the Esequiba region holds enormous oil resources.
Here enters the complication of Venezuela's Maduro government and the bizarre declaration of opposition National Assembly President Juan Guaido to be deemed legitimate president. The entire tragic drama now unfolding can be better understood if we look beyond Orinoco Belt oil to the huge untapped potential reserves of Esequiba.
Since the 2015 Exxon finds, Venezuela has launched complaints with Guyana and on occasion interdicted Exxon oil exploration vessels. Complicating the situation for the Maduro regime is the fact that a partner of Exxon offshore Guyana in the disputed waters is the state oil company of Maduro's largest creditor, China's CNOOC.
Imagine a scenario where Maduro's regime is replaced by a free-market Guaido who reopens Venezuela to foreign oil interests and reprivatizes the state PDVSA. Then Guaido, with help from his various international friends, aggressively asserts Venezuela's claims to Esequiba. Britain, France and Spain, all with major oil companies in the region, have joined the US in recognizing Guaido as interim president. So long as Venezuela was controlled by Maduro, it suited Exxon and their backers in Washington to recognize Guyana's legitimacy to the offshore Esequiba fields. Were Guaido to come in, that could easily change and a fragile Guyana could be arm-twisted to resolve the Esequiba issue to the benefit of Venezuela.
Right now we find Maduro with the open support of China and Russia, opposed by Guaido with the open backing of Washington, London, France, Brazil (also bordering on the Esequiba region) and others. Further adding to the explosive geopolitical cocktail of the region is the fact that China has formally incorporated Guyana into its Belt, Road Initiative and is building a highway link from Manaus in Northern Brazil through Guyana giving Brazil far more efficient access to the Panama Canal, cutting thousands of miles off the shipping route. Notable also are Chinese efforts in Panama, the central shipping crossing between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In 2016 China's Landbridge Group bought Panama's Margarita Island Port, the largest port, on the canal's Atlantic side, giving the Chinese company intimate access to one of the most important goods distribution centers in the world.
It doesn't take much imagination to realize that the geopolitical stakes in the Venezuela crisis go far beyond issues of legitimacy or democratic elections and far beyond the borders of Venezuela. And this is only the oil.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook.''
Guayana Esequiba - Wikipedia
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 22:17
Striped, the area claimed by Venezuela.
Guayana Esequiba (Spanish pronunciation: [ÉwaËÊ'ana eseËkiβa] ) is a territory administered by Guyana and claimed by Venezuela.
The territory was first included in the Viceroyalty of New Granada and the Captaincy General of Venezuela by Spain, but was later included in Essequibo by the Dutch and in British Guiana by the United Kingdom. Originally, parts of what is now eastern Venezuela were included in the disputed area. The portion today under the administration of Guyana divides the area in six administrative regions (Barima-Waini, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Pomeroon-Supenaam, Potaro-Siparuni, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo and Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), while Venezuela treats it as a single entity (Guayana Esequiba or "Zona en Reclamaci"n"). This territory of 159,500 km2 (61,600 sq mi) is the subject of a long-running boundary dispute inherited from the colonial powers and complicated by the independence of Guyana in 1966. The status of the territory is subject to the Treaty of Geneva, which was signed by the United Kingdom, Venezuela and British Guiana on 17 February 1966. This treaty stipulates that the parties will agree to find a practical, peaceful and satisfactory solution to the dispute.[1]
History [ edit ] Piacoa Canton
Upata canton.
In 1648 Spain signed the Peace of M¼nster with the Dutch Republic, whereby Spain recognized the Republic's independence and also small Dutch possessions located east of the Essequibo River, which had been founded by the Dutch Republic before it was recognised by Spain. However, few decades after the Peace of M¼nster, the Dutch began to spread gradually west of the Essequibo River, inside the Spanish Guayana Province. These new settlements were regularly contested and destroyed by the Spanish authorities.
The French Encyclop(C)die, published in the second half of the 18th century, noted the border as lying on the Essequibo river.[2]
When Spain created the Captaincy General of Venezuela in 1777, the Essequibo river was restated as the natural border between Spanish territory and the Dutch colony of Essequibo. Spanish authorities, in a report dated 10 July 1788, put forward an official claim against the Dutch expansion over her territory, and proposed a borderline:
It has been stated that the south bank of the Orinoco from the point of Barima, 20 leagues more or less inland, up to the creek of Curucima, is low lying and swampy land and, consequently, reckoning all this tract as useless, very few patches of fertile land being found therein, and hardly any savannahs and pastures, it is disregarded; so taking as chief base the said creek of Curucima, or the point of the chain and ridge in the great arm of the Imataka, an imaginary line will be drawn running to the south-south-east following the slopes of the ridge of the same name which is crossed by the rivers Aguire, Arature and Amacuro, and others, in the distance of 20 leagues, direct to the Cuyuni; from there it will run on to the Masaruni and Essequibo, parallel to the sources of the Berbis and Surinama; this is the directing line of the course which the new Settlements and foundations proposed must follow.
However, no boundary between the Spanish and Dutch possessions was ever defined.[3] Under the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814, Dutch colonies of Demerara, Berbice and Essequibo were transferred to Great Britain. In 1831, Britain merged Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo into British Guiana, with the Essequibo River as its west border, although many British settlers lived west of the Essequibo.
In 1822 Jos(C) Rafael Revenga, Minister Plenipotentiary of Gran Colombia to Britain, complained to the British government at the direction of Sim"n Bol­var about the presence of British settlers in territory claimed by Venezuela: "The colonists of Demerara and Berbice have usurped a large portion of land, which according to recent treaties between Spain and Holland, belongs to our country at the west of Essequibo River. It is absolutely essential that these settlers be put under the jurisdiction and obedience to our laws, or be withdrawn to their former possessions."
In 1824 Venezuela appointed Jos(C) Manuel Hurtado as its new Ambassador to Britain. Hurtado officially presented to the British government Venezuela's claim to the border at the Essequibo River, which was not objected to by Britain.[citation needed ] However, the British government continued to promote colonization of territory west of the Essequibo River in succeeding years.
Schomburgk Line [ edit ] Map of the British aspirations on Venezuela in 1896
In 1835, under the aegis of the Royal Geographical Society, the German-born explorer and naturalist Robert Hermann Schomburgk conducted botanical and geographical exploration of British Guiana. This resulted in a sketch of the territory with a line marking what he believed to be the western boundary claimed by the Dutch. As a result of this, he was commissioned in 1840 by the British government to survey Guiana's boundaries. This survey resulted in what came to be known as the "Schomburgk Line".[3][4] Schomburgk's initial sketch, which had been published in 1840, was the only version of the "Schomburgk Line" published until 1886, which led to later accusations by US President Grover Cleveland that the line had been extended "in some mysterious way".[3]
The Line went well beyond the area of British occupation, and gave British Guiana control of the mouth of the Orinoco River.[5] According to Schomburgk, it did not contain all the area that Britain might legitimately claim. Venezuela disputed Schomburgk's placing of border markers at the Orinoco river, and in 1844 claimed all of Guiana west of the Essequibo River. Also in 1844, a British proposal to Venezuela to modify the border to give Venezuela full control of the Orinoco river mouth and adjacent territory was ignored. In 1850 both Britain and Venezuela reached an agreement whereby they accepted not to colonize the disputed territory, although where this territory began and ended was not established.[3]
The dispute went unmentioned until 1876, by which point gold mines inhabited mainly by English-speaking people had been established in the Cuyuni basin, which was Venezuelan territory beyond the Schomburgk line but within the area Schomburgk thought Britain could claim.[citation needed ] In 1876 Venezuela reiterated its claim up to the Essequibo river, to which the British responded with a counterclaim including the entire Cuyuni basin, although this was a paper claim which the British never intended to pursue.[3] On 21 February 1881, Venezuela proposed a frontier line starting from a point one mile to the north of the Moruka River, drawn from there westward to the 60th meridian and running south along that meridian. This would have granted the Barima District to Venezuela.[citation needed ]
In October 1886 Britain declared the Schomburgk Line to be the provisional frontier of British Guiana, and in February 1887 Venezuela severed diplomatic relations. In 1894 Venezuela appealed to the United States to intervene, citing the Monroe Doctrine as justification. The United States did not want to get involved, only going as far as suggesting the possibility of arbitration.[3]
Venezuela Crisis of 1895 [ edit ] The longstanding dispute became a diplomatic crisis in 1895. Venezuela hired William Lindsay Scruggs as its lobbyist in Washington, D.C. Scruggs took up Venezuela's argument that British action violated the Monroe Doctrine. Scruggs used his influence to get the US government to accept this claim and get involved. President Grover Cleveland adopted a broad interpretation of the Doctrine that did not just simply forbid new European colonies but declared an American interest in any matter within the hemisphere.[6] British prime minister Lord Salisbury and British ambassador to the US Lord Pauncefote both misjudged the importance the American government placed on the dispute.[7][8] The key issue in the crisis became Britain's refusal to include the territory east of the Schomburgk Line in the proposed international arbitration. Ultimately Britain backed down and tacitly accepted the US right to intervene under the Monroe Doctrine. This US intervention forced Britain to accept arbitration of the entire disputed territory.
Treaty of Washington [ edit ] The Treaty of Arbitration between Great Britain and Venezuela was signed in Washington on 2 February 1897. This treaty specifically stipulated the legal framework for the arbitration, and its first article stated that "An arbitral Tribunal shall be immediately appointed to determine the boundary line between the United States of Venezuela and the Colony of British Guiana".
The Treaty provided the legal framework, procedures and conditions for the Tribunal in order to solve the issue and reach to determinate a border. Its third article established that "The Tribunal shall investigate and ascertain the extent of the territories belonging to, or that might lawfully be claimed by the United Netherlands or by the Kingdom of Spain respectively at the time of the acquisition by Great Britain of the Colony of British Guiana, and shall determine the boundary line between the Colony of British Guiana and the United States of Venezuela". The Treaty also established the rules and principles to be followed by the Tribunal in order to draw the borderline.[9]
Arbitration [ edit ] Venezuela argued that Spain''whose territory they had acquired''controlled land from the Orinoco River to the Amazon River in present day Brazil.[5] Spain, according to Venezuela, only designated its claimed Guiana territory to the Dutch, which did not include much land within the disputed territory.[5] Meanwhile, Britain, who had acquired the Dutch territory, stated that the disputed Guiana region was not Spanish because it was so remote and uncontrolled, explaining that the original natives in the land had shared the territory's land with the Dutch instead of the Spanish and were thus under Dutch and British influence.[5]
The rival claims were presented to a tribunal of five arbitrators: two from Britain, two from the US (representing Venezuela's interest) and one from Russia, who were presumed neutral. Venezuela reiterated its claim to the district immediately west of the Essequibo, and claimed that the boundary should run from the mouth of the Moruka River southwards to the Cuyuni River, near its junction with the Mazaruni River, and then along the east bank of the Essequibo to the Brazilian border.
On 3 October 1899 the Tribunal ruled largely in favour of Britain. The Schomburgk Line was, with two deviations, established as the border between British Guiana and Venezuela.[3] One deviation was that Venezuela received Barima Point at the mouth of the Orinoco, giving it undisputed control of the river, and thus the ability to levy duties on Venezuelan commerce. The second placed the border at the Wenamu River rather than the Cuyuni River, giving Venezuela substantial territory east of the line. However, Britain received most of the disputed territory, and all of the gold mines.[10]
The Venezuelan representatives, claiming that Britain had unduly influenced the decision of the Russian member of the tribunal, protested the outcome. Periodic protests, however, were confined to the domestic political arena and international diplomatic forums.[11]
Renewed disputes [ edit ] Map of Guyana, showing the
Essequibo River and (shaded dark) the river's drainage basin. Venezuela claims territory up to the western bank of the river. The historical claim by the UK included the river basin well into current-day Venezuela.
[ edit ] In 1899, immediately after the arbitration ruling, the US counsel for Venezuela were interviewed jointly, and pointed out their first claims against the ruling:
"Great Britain, up to the time of the intervention of the United States, distinctly refused to arbitrate any portion of the territory east of the Schomburgk line, alleging that its title was unassailable. This territory included the Attacuri river and Point Barima, which is of the greatest value strategically and commercially. The award gives Point Barima, with a strip of land fifty miles long, to Venezuela, which thereby obtains entire control of the River Orinoco. Three thousand square miles in the interior are also awarded to Venezuela. Thus, by a decision in which the British arbitrators concurred, the position taken by Great Britain in 1895 is shown to be unfounded [...] The President of the tribunal in his closing address today had commented upon the unanimity of the present judgment and had referred to it as a proof of the success of the arbitration, but it did not require much intelligence to penetrate behind this superficial statement and to see that the line drawn is a line of compromise and not a line of right. If the British contention was right, the line should have been drawn further west; if it were wrong, the line should have been drawn much further east. There was nothing in the history of the controversy, nor in the legal principle involved, which could adequately explain why the line should be drawn where it had been. So long as arbitration was conducted on such principles, it could not be regarded as a success, at least by those who believe that arbitration should result in the admission of legal rights and not in compromises really diplomatic in character. Venezuela had gained much, but was entitled to much more, and if the arbitrators were unanimous, it must be because their failure to agree would have confirmed Great Britain in the possession of even more territory".[12]
The Venezuelan government showed almost immediate disapproval with the 1899 Arbitral Award. As early as 7 October 1899 Venezuela voiced her condemnation of the Award, and demanded the renegotiation of her eastern border with British Guiana: that day, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jos(C) Andrade made clear that the Arbitral Award was the product of political collusion and it should not be adhered to by Venezuela. After numerous bilateral diplomatic attempts failed to convince Great Britain of her seriousness to nullify the award, Venezuela denounced it before the first assembly of the United Nations, in 1945.[13][14]
Alleged conspiracy of judges [ edit ] On 26 October 1899 in a letter to a colleague, Severo Mallet-Prevost, the Official Secretary of the US''Venezuela delegation in the Tribunal of Arbitration, stated that the Arbitral Award was the result of pressures brought on the judges by the President of the Tribunal, Friedrich Martens. By 1949, the US jurist Otto Schoenrich gave the Venezuelan government a memorandum written by Mallet-Prevost, which was written in 1944 to be published only after his death. Mallet-Prevost surmised from the private behavior of the judges that there had a political deal between Russia and Britain,[15] and said that the Russian chair of the panel, Friedrich Martens, had visited Britain with the two British arbitrators in the summer of 1899, and subsequently had offered the two American judges a choice between accepting a unanimous award along the lines ultimately agreed, or a 3 to 2 majority opinion even more favourable to the British. The alternative would have followed the Schomburgk Line entirely, and given the mouth of the Orinoco to the British. Mallet-Prevost said that the American judges and Venezuelan counsel were disgusted at the situation and considered the 3 to 2 option with a strongly worded minority opinion, but ultimately went along with Martens to avoid depriving Venezuela of even more territory.[15] This memorandum provided further evidence for Venezuela's contentions that there had in fact been a political deal between the British judges and the Russian judge at the Arbitral Tribunal, and led to Venezuela's revival of its claim to the disputed territory.[16][17]
1962 [ edit ] Venezuela formally raised the issue again at an international level before the United Nations in 1962, four years before Guyana won independence from Britain. Venezuela cited the alleged Russia-UK deal noted above as an offence of collusion, as well as several improprieties and vices in the ruling, especially Ultra Vires, due to the fact that the referees drew the border between British Guiana, Brazil and Suriname, and also decreed freedom of navigation in the Amacuro and Barima rivers, exceeding the scope of powers granted by the arbitration treaty, in 1897.
The Venezuelan claim of the nullity of the 1899 ruling has been acknowledged by several foreign scholars and jurists, such as J. Gillis Wetter of Sweden, in his work The International Arbitral Process (1979), awarded by the American Society of International Law. By searching on the British official archives, Wetter provided further evidence of the shady deal between Britain and Russia, what made him conclude that the ruling was marred by serious procedural and substantive defects, evidence that it was more a political compromise than a court ruling. Uruguayan jurist Eduardo Jim(C)nez de Ar(C)chaga, former President of the International Court of Justice, came to similar conclusions.
Treaty of Geneva [ edit ] At a meeting in Geneva on 17 February 1966, the governments of British Guiana, the United Kingdom and Venezuela signed the "Agreement to resolve the controversy over the frontier between Venezuela and British Guiana", best known thereafter as the Treaty of Geneva (1966). This agreement established the regulatory framework to be followed by the parties in order to resolve the issue. According to the treaty, a Mixed Commission was installed with the purpose of seeking satisfactory solutions for the practical settlement of the border controversy,[18] but the parties never agreed to implement a solution within this Commission due to different interpretations of the treaty.
Guyana argued that prior to starting the negotiations over the border issue, Venezuela should prove that the Arbitral Award of 1899 was null and void. Guyana did not accept that the 1899 decision was invalid, and held that its participation on the commission was only to resolve Venezuela's assertions.Rather than that, the Venezuelan counterparts argued that the Commission did not have a juridical nature or purpose but a deal-making one, so it should go ahead to find "a practical and satisfactory solution", as agreed in the treaty. Venezuela also claimed that the nullity of the Arbitral Award of 1899 was implicit, or otherwise the existence of the treaty would be meaningless.The fifth article of the Treaty of Geneva established the status of the disputed territories. The provisions state that no acts or activities taking place on the disputed territories while the Agreement is in force "shall constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial sovereignty". The treaty also has a provision prohibiting both nations from pursuing the issue except through official inter-government channels.
In its note of recognition of the independence of Guyana on 26 May 1966, Venezuela stated:
Venezuela recognises as territory of the new State the one which is located on the east of the right bank of the Essequibo River, and reiterates before the new State, and before the international community, that it expressly reserves its rights of territorial sovereignty over all the zone located on the west bank of the above-mentioned river. Therefore, the Guyana-Essequibo territory over which Venezuela expressly reserves its sovereign rights, limits on the east by the new State of Guyana, through the middle line of the Essequibo River, beginning from its source and on to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean.
Aftermath [ edit ] Annexation of Ankoko Island [ edit ] Despite signing the Geneva Agreement in February 1966, aimed at resolving the border controversy, which provided that "no new claim or enlargement of an existing claim to territorial sovereignty in these territories (in Venezuela and British Guiana) shall be asserted while this agreement is in force, nor shall any claim whatsoever be asserted otherwise than in the Mixed Commission while that Commission is in being", Venezuela, a few months after signing the agreement sent a well-armed group of soldiers along with civilians and encroached upon and occupied territory by Guyana side of the border. This encroachment occurred, unknowing to Guyana Government, on the half of the island of Ankoko that Guyana claims as its own at the confluence of the boundary rivers, Cuyuni and Wenamu (Wenamo). It took the form of the introduction of military and civilian personnel and the establishment of an airstrip and the erection of other installations and structures, including a post office, school and military and police outposts. The incursion on the territory on Ankoko Island claimed by Guyana as its own by Venezuela was reported to the Guyanese authorities early in October 1966 by a diamond prospector who was in that forested and almost uninhabited area at the time. As a result, a Guyanese team of senior officials, including police officers, visited the vicinity on 12 October 1966 and verified that Venezuelan personnel were allegedly occupying the Guyana claimed side of the island where they had already constructed an airstrip.
Rupununi Uprising [ edit ] In 1969, three years after the independence of Guyana, a group of local ranchers and Amerindians in the town of Lethem broke out in open armed rebellion against the Guyanese government, and tried to secede. This event, called the Rupununi Uprising, was controlled by the Guyanese armed forces, which then accused Venezuela of supporting the rebellion. The Venezuelan government denied such allegations, although some of the ranchers involved were given refuge in her territory thereafter. Since they were born in Guayana Esequiba, the ranchers claimed entitlement to the Venezuelan citizenship and the government granted it.
Port of Spain Protocol [ edit ] In 1970, after the expiration of the Mixed Commission established according to the Treaty of Geneva, Presidents Rafael Caldera and Forbes Burnham signed the Port of Spain Protocol, which declared a 12-year moratorium on Venezuela's reclamation of Guayana Esequiba, with the purpose of allowing both governments to promote cooperation and understanding while the border claim was in abeyance. Venezuelan maps produced since 1970 show the entire area from the eastern bank of the Essequibo, including the islands in the river, as Venezuelan territory. On some maps, the western Essequibo region is called the "Zone in Reclamation".[19]
In 1983 the deadline of the Port of Spain Protocol expired, and the Venezuelan President Luis Herrera Campins decided not to extend it anymore and resume the effective claim over the territory. Since then, the contacts between Venezuela and Guyana within the provisions of the Treaty of Geneva are under the recommendations of a UN Secretary General's representative, who can be changed from time to time under agreement by both parties.[1] Diplomatic contacts between the two countries and the Secretary General's representative continue, but there have been some clashes. The Norwegian Dag Nylander appointed in March 2017, is the latest personal representative in these efforts selected by the UN Secretary General Ant"nio Guterres. It was stated that if by December 2017 the UN understood that there was no "significant progress" in resolving the dispute, Guterres would refer the case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, unless the two countries explicitly requested it not to do so. In January 2018, the UN referred the case[20].
Recent disputes [ edit ] Map of Venezuela, showing the maritime areas in blue and Guayana Esequiba in gray.
In September 2011, Guyana made an application before the United Nations' Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in order to extend its continental shelf by a further 150 nautical miles (280 km; 170 mi). Since the Commission requests that the areas to be considered cannot be subject to any kind of territorial disputes, the Guyanese application disregarded the Venezuelan claim over Guayana Esequiba, by saying that "there are no disputes in the region relevant to this submission of data and information relating to the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles [370 km; 230 mi]."[21] Venezuela sent an objection to the Commission, rejecting the Guyanese application and warning that Guyana had proposed a limit for its continental shelf including "the territory west of the Essequibo river, which is the subject of a territorial sovereignty dispute under the Geneva Agreement of 1966 and, within this framework, a matter for the good offices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations". Venezuela also said that Guyana consulted its neighbors Barbados, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago before making the application, but did not do the same with Venezuela. "Such a lack of consultation with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, serious in itself in that it violates the relevant rules, is inexplicable in so far as the coast whose projection is used by the Republic of Guyana in its attempt to extend the limits forms part of the disputed territory over which Venezuela demands and reiterates its claim to sovereignty rights", said the Venezuelan communiqu(C).[22]
Guyana has also awarded oil exploration rights in the disputed maritime areas, which has caused clashes with Venezuela. On 10 October 2013, the Venezuelan Navy detained an oil exploration vessel conducting seafloor surveys on behalf of the government of Guyana. The ship and its crew were escorted to the Venezuelan Margarita Island to be prosecuted. The Guyanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the vessel was in Guyanese waters,[23] but its Venezuelan counterpart sent a diplomatic note to Guyana stating that the ship was conducting oil research in Venezuelan waters with no authorization from the country, and demanded an explanation.[24] The vessel, Teknik Perdana, together with its crew, was released the next week, but its captain was charged with violating the Venezuelan exclusive economic zone.[25]
Venezuela considers the maritime areas in the Atlantic Ocean where the vessel was conducting its operations part of its "Atlantic front". In accordance with the border treaty signed between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago in 1990,[26] Venezuela has a long Atlantic front as is shown in its official maps, regardless of its claim over Guayana Esequiba.
Despite diplomatic protests from Venezuela, the government of Guyana awarded the American oil corporation Exxon a license to drill for oil in the disputed maritime area in early 2015.[27] In May the government of Guyana announced that Exxon had indeed found promising results in their first round of drilling on the so-called Stabroek Block, an area offshore the Guayana Esequiba territory with a size of 26,800 km2 (10,300 sq mi). The company announced that further drillings would take place in the coming months to better evaluate the potential of the oil field.[28] Venezuela responded to the declaration with a decree issued on 27 May 2015, including the maritime area in dispute in its national marine protection sphere, thus extending the area that the Venezuelan Navy controls into the disputed area. This in turn caused the government of Guyana to summon the Venezuelan ambassador for further explanation.[29] The tensions have further intensified since and Guyana withdrew the operating license of Conviasa, the Venezuelan national airline, stranding a plane and passengers in Georgetown.[30]
See also [ edit ] Ankoko IslandGran ColombiaGuayana RegionGuyana''Venezuela relationsEssequibo (colony)Notes [ edit ] ^ a b Agreement to resolve the controversy over the frontier between Venezuela and British Guiana (Treaty of Geneva, 1966) from UN ^ Denis Diderot, Jean le Rond D'Alembert, Charles Marie de la Condamine (1757): "Guiane" in L'Encyclop(C)die, Vol. VII, Page 7:1004 See the original page on Commons and the Transcription from the University of Chicago ^ a b c d e f g Humphreys, R. A. (1967), "Anglo-American Rivalries and the Venezuela Crisis of 1895", Presidential Address to the Royal Historical Society 10 December 1966, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 17: pp 131''164 ^ "THE BEGINNING OF THE GUYANA-VENEZUELA BORDER DISPUTE". guyana.org. 2009 . Retrieved 1 May 2009 . ^ a b c d King, Willard L. (2007) Melville Weston Fuller '' Chief Justice of the United States 1888''1910, Macmillan. p249 ^ Zakaria, Fareed, From Wealth to Power (1999). Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01035-8. pp145''146 ^ Gibb, Paul, "Unmasterly Inactivity? Sir Julian Pauncefote, Lord Salisbury, and the Venezuela Boundary Dispute," Diplomacy and Statecraft, Mar 2005, Vol. 16 Issue 1, pp 23''55 ^ Blake, Nelson M. "Background of Cleveland's Venezuelan Policy," American Historical Review, Vol. 47, No. 2 (Jan. 1942), pp. 259''277 in JSTOR ^ Treaty of arbitration between Venezuela and Great Britain, signed at Washington and dated the second day of February, 1897 ^ King (2007:260) ^ Globalsecurity.org, "Venezuela '' Guyana Relations" ^ "Venezuelan Award: the decision of the Commission regarded as a Compromise", in Saint John Daily Sun, Canada. October 4, 1899. p. 8 ^ Kissler, Betty Jane, Venezuela-Guyana boundary dispute :1899''1966, University of Texas (USA, 1972). pages 166, 172 ^ Kaiyan Homi Kaikobad, Interpretation and Revision of International Boundary Decisions, Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law (Cambridge University, U.K., 2007). p. 43 ^ a b Schoenrich, Otto, "The Venezuela-British Guiana Boundary Dispute", July 1949, American Journal of International Law. Vol. 43, No. 3. p. 523. Washington, DC. (USA). ^ Isidro Morales Paºl, Anlisis Cr­tico del Problema Fronterizo "Venezuela-Gran Breta±a", in La Reclamaci"n Venezolana sobre la Guayana Esequiba, Biblioteca de la Academia de Ciencias Econ"micas y Sociales. Caracas, 2000, p. 200. ^ de Rituerto, Ricardo M. Venezuela reanuda su reclamaci"n sobre el Esequibo, El Pa­s, Madrid, 1982. ^ Treaty of Geneva 1966, Document Retrieval, UN Department of Political Affairs ^ Ishmael, Dr. Odeen. "The Trail of Diplomacy '' A Documentary History of the Guyana-Venezuela Border Issue" ^ "Secretary-General Chooses International Court of Justice as Means for Peacefully Settling Long-Standing Guyana-Venezuela Border Controversy". UN. 30 January 2018. ^ "Press Release in Response to Venezuela's Objection to Guyana's Submission to the CLCS". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guyana. 15 March 2012. ^ "Communication received with regard to the submission made by Guyana to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf" (PDF) . UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). 9 March 2012. ^ "Gov't protests after Venezuela holds oil research boat". Stabroek News. 12 October 2013. ^ "Venezuela deplores incursion of vessel under Guyana's authorization". El Universal. 11 October 2013. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013 . Retrieved 12 October 2013 . ^ "Venezuela frees seized US-operated ship Teknik Perdana". BBC. 15 October 2013 . Retrieved 15 October 2013 . ^ "Treaty between the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Republic of Venezuela on the delimitation of marine and submarine areas" (PDF) . United Nations. 18 April 1990. ^ "Guyana says Exxon to begin offshore drilling, Venezuela irked". Reuters . Retrieved 8 June 2015 . ^ "ExxonMobil Announces Significant Oil Discovery Offshore Guyana". ExxonMobil . Retrieved 8 June 2015 . ^ "Canciller guyan(C)s convocar a embajadora venezolana". El Universal . Retrieved 8 June 2015 . ^ [dead link ] References [ edit ] LaFeber, Walter. "The Background of Cleveland's Venezuelan Policy: A Reinterpretation." American Historical Review 66 (July 1961), pp. 947''967.Schoult, Lars. A History of U.S. Policy Toward Latin America Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998.U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, "Venezuela Boundary Dispute, 1895''1899" Coordinates: 6°18'²N 59°42'²W >> / >> 6.3°N 59.7°W >> / 6.3; -59.7
ExxonMobil ship approached by Venezuelan navy off Guyana - ABC News
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 05:01
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Exclusive: Shell seeks to sell Venezuela JV stake to France's Maurel & Prom - sources | Reuters
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 16:15
MEXICO CITY/CARACAS (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.AS ) is negotiating the sale of its stake in a Venezuelan oil joint venture to Paris-based Maurel & Prom (MAUP.PA ), three sources said this week, a move to scale down its crude business in the ailing OPEC-member country to focus on gas.
FILE PHOTO: Oil pumps are seen in Lake Maracaibo, in Lagunillas, Ciudad Ojeda, in the state of Zulia, Venezuela, March 20, 2015.REUTERS/Isaac Urrutia/File Photo
The Anglo-Dutch company is seeking to sell its 40 percent stake in Petroregional del Lago, a joint venture with Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] in the western state of Zulia near Colombia.
The area has been plagued by frequent theft of equipment and near-daily power cuts as Venezuela remains mired in deep recession, hyperinflation and chronic shortages of food and medicine.
Foreign companies also have complained in private that joint ventures with PDVSA are stymied by convoluted bureaucracy, dodgy contracts, and lack of resources, according to dozens of sources in the industry.
At Petroregional, Shell has grown frustrated by delays in receiving dividends from PDVSA and a ban on minority partners independently exporting production, one of the sources said. That has deprived Petroregional, which in 2016 produced about 33,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude, of much-needed income and dented profitability, the source added.
Its potential sale is being analyzed by Venezuela's Oil Ministry, according to two of the sources. The sources asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak about the negotiations.
In the last few weeks a disagreement with Venezuela has emerged over a fee called an entrance bonus that Maurel & Prom would have to pay to the government, as required by Venezuelan law, to gain access to the field's reserves, two of the sources said.
Negotiations are currently on hold, they added.
''Everything was going very well but suddenly there were discrepancies over the entrance bonus,'' one of the sources said.
The persons were unaware of a possible price tag negotiated between Shell and Maurel & Prom, whose main stakeholder is Indonesian state energy firm Pertamina [PERTM.UL].
Shell declined to comment. Maurel & Prom, Pertamina, PDVSA and Venezuela's Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for information.
Pertamina in 2013 tried to enter Venezuela by buying a stake in another joint venture, Petrodelta, but did not receive government approval.
Maurel & Prom has traditionally been focused on Africa, but it has also formed strategic alliances with Toronto-based Frontera Energy Corp (FEC.TO ) in Colombia and Peru in recent years. One of the sources said Maurel & Prom was planning to buy Petroregional as part of a consortium.
''There are Venezuelan investors involved in the purchasing consortium,'' the person said. The identity of the investors was not immediately clear.
UNRAVELING INDUSTRY Shell's potential scale-back comes as Venezuela's oil industry, home to the world's biggest crude reserves, is in meltdown. Its oil output declined again in September to 1.434 million barrels per day (bpd), OPEC data showed on Thursday, knocking down the annual average to a six-decade low.
Workers unable to feed their families on PDVSA wages are quitting in droves, underinvestment has left many installations in precarious conditions, and the production drop has accelerated under new military management.
Shell was a pioneering firm in Venezuela and has operated in its oil industry for more than a century. But it has maintained a low profile in Venezuela since late President Hugo Chavez nationalized swaths of the energy sector in 2007, converting all oil projects into PDVSA-controlled joint ventures.
Petroregional, which operates the Urdaneta Oeste crude field in Venezuela's traditional oil hub of Maracaibo Lake, is Shell's only crude operation in Venezuela. In recent years, production has plummeted in what used to be the country's most important crude producing zone, Zulia state.
FILE PHOTO: A logo for Royal Dutch Shell is seen on a garage forecourt, March 6, 2014. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File PhotoExiting Petroregional would allow Shell to focus more on natural gas, a priority for the company.
Under a plan still under negotiation with Venezuela, Shell is pushing for a deal to let it produce gas in the Dragon field, one of four areas that form part of the Mariscal Sucre offshore project in the Caribbean sea. Shell has said the gas would be processed at facilities it operates in Trinidad and Tobago.
Shell in 2016 completed the $52 billion purchase of BG Group, creating the world's largest trader of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The takeover and other purchases gave Shell greater access to gas operations in Trinidad, a few kilometers from Venezuela's eastern coast.
Reporting by Marianna Parraga in Mexico City and Alexandra Ulmer in Caracas; Editing by Matthew Lewis
Tillerson says Venezuelan military may turn on Maduro - BBC News
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 21:29
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Tillerson arrives in Mexico on the first stop of his Latin American tour US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has suggested Venezuela may face a military coup.
Mr Tillerson said the US was not advocating regime change and that he had no intelligence on any planned action.
But he said that historically the military in Latin America has often intervened in times of serious crises.
He was speaking at the University of Texas ahead of his Latin America tour.
The secretary of state will visit Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Colombia, as well as Jamaica.
Mr Tillerson joked that Venezuela's President Nicols Maduro should seek refuge in Cuba.
"If the kitchen gets a little too hot for him, I am sure that he's got some friends over in Cuba that could give him a nice hacienda [villa] on the beach," he said.
"In the history of Venezuela and South American countries, it is often times that the military is the agent of change when things are so bad and the leadership can no longer serve the people," he said.
Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza criticised Mr Tillerson's comments and urged Latin American countries to unite against a common enemy.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption The US says it has no intelligence suggesting action against Mr Maduro "Imperialism is our enemy. Trump goes against Mexico in the same way he attacks Venezuela and Central American immigrants", he said.
"Imperialism doesn't respect anything," added Mr Arreaza, as he arrived in Havana for an official visit to Cuba.
Mr Maduro is running for a second six-year term in elections due by the end of April.
He has repeatedly accused the United States of leading an international plot to oust him and undermine the social programmes introduced by the socialist party since it came to power in 1999.
Tough line on CaracasBy Barbara Plett-Usher, BBC State Department Correspondent
Rather intriguingly Secretary Tillerson speculated about a possible military coup in Venezuela before heading off to check in with regional powers, although he offered no evidence his musings were backed by intelligence.
His trip to Latin America is aimed at improving and strengthening relations south of the US-Mexico border, along which President Donald Trump wants to build a wall.
But a key part of his agenda will be trying to rally support for Washington's tough line on Caracas.
So far in the Western Hemisphere only Canada has followed the US lead in sanctioning loyalists of President Nicols Maduro.
But there is a coalition of about a dozen Latin America countries, known as the Lima Group, that agrees with US political messaging.
Along with Washington it has rejected as undemocratic the Venezuelan government's decision to hold "snap" presidential elections.
Most of the countries Mr Tillerson will be visiting belong to this group, so he will try to reinforce and build on that support.
He will also discuss how to deal with the dire humanitarian situation. That will be a particular focus in Colombia, which is hosting hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan refugees.
Mr Tillerson blames "the corrupt and hostile regime of Nicols Maduro" for Venezuela's economic crisis.
"It's a man-made collapse. Venezuela has the world's largest proven oil reserves. But Venezuelans are starving, dying of malnutrition and disease," he said.
The US Secretary of State said he will keep putting pressure on Venezuela and its ally, Cuba, "to return to democracy".
He praised sanctions Canada and the European Union recently imposed on senior Venezuelan officials over alleged human rights violations during anti-government protests.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption More than 120 people died in protest-related violence in Venezuela in 2017 The US Secretary of State also warned about the growing presence of China and Russia in Latin America. He said this posed serious risks for the region.
China's "state-led model of development" drains resources from Latin American countries and benefits mainly the Chinese people, he said.
"Latin America does not need new imperial powers that seek only to benefit their own people," he added.
He accused Russia of selling weapons to authoritarian regimes and described its increasing influence in the region was alarming.
Chiner$
Pakistan gets $20bn investment pledge from Saudi Arabia amid MBS visit '-- RT Business News
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 09:08
Islamabad has received a hefty investment pledge of $20 billion from Saudi Arabia, which seeks to even further expand its contributions to the economically-embattled country.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan signed memorandums of understanding on $20 billion of investments on Sunday, when Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Islamabad.
Read more
As broad investments were expected, Pakistan did its best to greet the high-profile guest, plastering the capital city with large welcoming banners and photos of MBS and Pakistani PM Imran Khan. The investments are related to the agriculture and energy sectors, including a $10-billion oil refinery project.
The Saudi investments are not limited to $20 billion, and Pakistan should expect more, MBS hinted while speaking in Islamabad alongside Khan.
''It's big for phase one, and definitely it will grow every month and every year, and it will be beneficial to both countries,'' the crown prince said. ''We have been a brotherly country, a friendly country to Pakistan. We've walked together in tough and good times, and we [will] continue.''
Bin Salman's optimism was shared by the Pakistani PM, who lauded their joint efforts in creating ''a great future'' for the two countries.
''Saudi Arabia has always been a friend in need, which is why we value it so much,'' said Khan, while seated next to the prince. ''I want to thank you for the way you helped us when we were in a bad situation.''
The situation for Pakistan is not very bright, as the cash-strapped country has had a budget deficit for nearly a decade. Recently, Islamabad has struggled to reach a new bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). If the negotiations succeed, it would become the 13th IMF bailout the country has received since the 1980s. As negotiations with the IMF have been dragging on for months now, Saudi Arabia has already come to the rescue, giving Pakistan a US$6 billion loan to replenish the dwindling foreign exchange reserves.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
Iran
Iran Says Deadly Attack On Revolutionary Guards Planned In Pakistan
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 09:19
Iran's parliament speaker has said that an attack that killed 27 members of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was "planned and carried out from inside Pakistan.''In the remarks carried by the state-run IRNA news agency on February 17, Ali Larijani said that Pakistan should answer for its involvement in the attack.
The comments come as Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned the Pakistani ambassador on February 17 to protest the assault, one of the deadliest attacks on Iranian security forces in years.
Islamabad condemned the bombing but has not commented on Tehran's allegations.
The IRGC says a suicide bomber on February 13 drove an explosives-laden vehicle into a bus that was transporting troops in Sistan-Baluchistan Province.
A militant Sunni Muslim separatist group called Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Sistan-Baluchistan is a volatile area near Iran's borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan where militant groups and drug smugglers frequently operate.
The province is populated mainly by Sunni Muslim ethnic Baluchis.
Tehran has repeatedly accused the United States, Israel, and U.S. ally Saudi Arabia of backing Sunni militia groups that carry out attacks against Iranian security forces, charges those countries have denied.
The U.S. accuses Iran of sponsoring terrorism.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
Pakistan gets $20bn investment pledge from Saudi Arabia amid MBS visit '-- RT Business News
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 09:08
Islamabad has received a hefty investment pledge of $20 billion from Saudi Arabia, which seeks to even further expand its contributions to the economically-embattled country.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan signed memorandums of understanding on $20 billion of investments on Sunday, when Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Islamabad.
Read more
As broad investments were expected, Pakistan did its best to greet the high-profile guest, plastering the capital city with large welcoming banners and photos of MBS and Pakistani PM Imran Khan. The investments are related to the agriculture and energy sectors, including a $10-billion oil refinery project.
The Saudi investments are not limited to $20 billion, and Pakistan should expect more, MBS hinted while speaking in Islamabad alongside Khan.
''It's big for phase one, and definitely it will grow every month and every year, and it will be beneficial to both countries,'' the crown prince said. ''We have been a brotherly country, a friendly country to Pakistan. We've walked together in tough and good times, and we [will] continue.''
Bin Salman's optimism was shared by the Pakistani PM, who lauded their joint efforts in creating ''a great future'' for the two countries.
''Saudi Arabia has always been a friend in need, which is why we value it so much,'' said Khan, while seated next to the prince. ''I want to thank you for the way you helped us when we were in a bad situation.''
The situation for Pakistan is not very bright, as the cash-strapped country has had a budget deficit for nearly a decade. Recently, Islamabad has struggled to reach a new bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). If the negotiations succeed, it would become the 13th IMF bailout the country has received since the 1980s. As negotiations with the IMF have been dragging on for months now, Saudi Arabia has already come to the rescue, giving Pakistan a US$6 billion loan to replenish the dwindling foreign exchange reserves.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
'Mastermind' of Kashmir suicide car bomb attack killed after 12-hour siege '-- RT World News
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 20:55
The suspected mastermind behind the terrorist attack in Pulwama in the disputed Kashmir region that took the lives of 44 paramilitary police officers has been killed by Indian security forces following a 12-hour gun battle.
Kamran, believed to be an elite member of the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), and mastermind behind one of the deadliest attacks in the disputed region, was among seven people killed in the battle on Monday.
READ MORE: India to 'isolate' Pakistan after suicide car bomb attack on police convoy kills 44
Two Jaish terrorists, three soldiers and one policeman were killed in the battle just 10km from the site of the February 14 suicide attack, in Jammu and Kashmir's disputed Pulwama district.
''One of the two slain JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed) terrorists was a top commander and belonged to Pakistan,'' Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia told NDTV.
The Valentine's Day car bomb attack targeted a large convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and was the worst attack on security forces since the insurgency began in the region in 1989.
The incident has led to a marked deterioration in what were already tense relations between the neighboring states. Islamabad denied allegations that it supports armed insurgents in the area, but on Monday India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the time for dialogue with Pakistan is over.
''Hesitation to take action against terrorism and those who support it is akin to encouraging terrorism,'' Modi told a press conference.
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Iran says Pakistan to 'pay high price' over attack, warns Saudi Arabia - Middle East - Jerusalem Post
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 22:11
Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011.. (photo credit: REUTERS)
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UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me laterDUBAI, Feb 16 - Iran warned neighboring Pakistan on Saturday it would "pay a heavy price" for allegedly harboring militants who killed 27 of its elite Revolutionary Guards in a suicide bombing near the border earlier this week, state television reported.
Revolutionary Guards chief Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari also accused Tehran's regional rival Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of supporting militant Sunni groups that attack Iranian forces, saying they could face "reprisal operations."
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE deny backing such militants.
"Why do Pakistan's army and security body ... give refuge to these anti-revolutionary groups? Pakistan will no doubt pay a high price," Jafari said in remarks live on state television.
Jafari was addressing a large crowd gathered for the funeral of the victims of Wednesday's suicide bombing, which took place in a southeastern region where security forces are facing a rise in attacks by militants from the country's Sunni Muslim minority.
"Just in the past year, six or seven suicide attacks were neutralized but they were able to carry out this one," Jafari told the mourners, who packed a square in the central city of Isfahan and roads leading to it.
The Sunni group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic minority Baluchis, claimed responsibility for the attack.
"The treacherous Saudi and UAE governments should know that Iran's patience has ended and we will no longer stand your secret support for these anti-Islam criminals," Jafari said.
"We will avenge the blood of our martyrs from the Saudi and UAE governments and ask the President (Hassan Rouhani) ... to leave our hands free more than ever for reprisal operations," Jafari told the crowd, drawing chants of "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest).
Iran's Shi'ite Muslim authorities say militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan and have repeatedly called on the neighboring country to crack down on them.Jafari's remarks came amid heightening regional tensions after Israel and the Gulf Arab states attended a summit in the Polish capital Warsaw this week where the United States hoped to ratchet up pressure against Iran. Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>
War is Peace
Mixed messages? US drops record number of bombs on Afghanistan amid peace efforts with Taliban '-- RT World News
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 04:06
The US military dropped an eye-popping 7,362 bombs on Afghanistan last year, Pentagon data shows, making 2018 the most airstrike-abundant year for the country in at least a decade '' even as the US seeks peace with the Taliban.
Manned and unmanned US military aircraft pounded Afghanistan with a combined payload of 7,362 ''weapons'' in 2018, according to the latest figures released by the US Air Force's Central Command. With an average of 20 ''weapons'' released each day, more bombs were dropped on Afghanistan in 2018 than in the previous three years combined, and publicly available data shows it was the most kinetic year since at least 2009.
Also on rt.com After 17 years of war, top US commander in Afghanistan admits Taliban cannot be defeated For contrast, 947 bombs were dropped on the country in 2015.
The record-setting uptick in airstrikes ''deterred aggression, maintained security, and defended our networks,'' said Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, Combined Forces Air Component Commander, in a news release. He claimed that the trigger-happy year had led to ''significant progress in Afghanistan.''
Incredibly, the spike in bomb dropping has coincided with Washington's efforts to broker peace between Kabul and the Taliban.
Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Monday, where he urged the country's leaders to enter into negotiations with their long-time nemesis.
The US military has been bogged down in Afghanistan since it invaded the infamous ''graveyard of empires'' in October, 2001. After more than 17 years, the Pentagon has signalled that continuing the conflict is futile.
Also on rt.com Acting US Defense Secretary makes surprise visit to Afghanistan, urges Kabul to join peace talks Gen. Austin Scott Miller, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, conceded in November that the war ''is not going to be won militarily,'' adding that ''this is going to be a political solution.''
US President Donald Trump '' who boosted troop levels in the country and vowed to deliver the decisive blow against the Taliban '' has hinted that the 14,000 US service members stationed in Afghanistan may be coming home soon.
Surprisingly, it seems that raining bombs on Afghanistan had little effect on the military realities on the ground. In recent months, the war has been tipping in the Taliban's favor. Even by US military estimates, the Afghan government controls or influences just over half of the country's 407 districts '' a record low since the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, began tracking district control in November 2015.
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5G
Donald J. Trump on Twitter: "I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is n
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 14:37
I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on.........
5:55 AM - 21 Feb 2019
Motorola's 5G Moto Mod has feature to limit radiation exposure, but why?
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:29
Motorola's 5G Moto Mod has a feature to limit millimeter wave radiation exposure.An FCC filing shows that the add-on has several sensors to detect fingers around the module.Antennas close to those fingers will shut down in order to reduce exposure.The 5G Moto Mod will allow the Moto Z3 to become one of the first commercially 5G-enabled smartphones in the world. We're inching ever closer to a release, and an FCC filing for the add-on has revealed it has a way to limit radiation exposure from millimeter waves.
Motorola's filing, spotted by The Verge, mentions that the 5G Moto Mod has capacitive and proximity sensors to detect your fingers. These sensors aren't for Edge Sense functionality, however, as it shuts off any antenna close to your fingers.
''The control mechanism is a simple one in which, if proximity detectors indicate the potential presence of the user within a roughly conical region in front of the module where power density may approach the MPE [maximum permissable exposure '' ed] limit, that module is disabled from use by the modem. This terminates and prevents transmission from the module in question until the condition is cleared,'' reads an excerpt of the filing.
Any reason for the feature?In any event, the outlet notes that millimeter wave radiation is non-ionizing, and is also encountered at airport security scanners. But it's still interesting to see Motorola take this approach in order to reduce exposure '-- even if the module is only approaching (and not exceeding) FCC limits.
All you need to know about every 5G phone confirmed so far (Updated January 28)''5G is coming.''We've heard it repeated by telecom giants and smartphone OEMs for years now. The fifth-generation network promises lightning fast download speeds, an IoT revolution, and rapid streaming with essentially zero latency, but what '...
The feature seems to imply that radiation is a concern of some kind in the transition to 5G, even if it's still within the allowed limits. Or it could simply be a case of Motorola being excessively cautious. We've contacted the manufacturer for comment regarding the functionality, and will update the story if/when they respond.
Motorola's filing also notes that the 5G Moto Mod is compatible with the Moto Z3 Pro. Unless this is an error, it means that we should expect a souped-up Moto Z3. The device packed 2017's Snapdragon 835 chipset and a ho-hum 3,000mAh battery, so a Moto Z3 Pro would presumably offer a more powerful chipset and bigger battery. It's unclear when this model will launch, but a release alongside the 5G Moto Mod seems like a sensible decision.
NEXT: Here's our first look at LG V50 '-- 5G, triple cameras, and a 4,000mAh battery
Den Haag - Den Haag gaat in 2020 als eerste stad van Nederland volledig over op 5G
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:54
Persbericht
Gepubliceerd: 19 februari 2019 Laatste wijziging: 18 februari 2019
Den Haag wordt de eerste stad in Nederland die volledige 5G-dekking krijgt. Hiermee breidt ze haar ambities om een 'Smart City' te worden verder uit. Vandaag kondigde de wethouder van de gemeente Den Haag Saskia Bruines (Kenniseconomie) en S¸ren Abildgaard, CEO van T-Mobile Nederland, de gezamenlijke ambities aan. T-Mobile Nederland start dit jaar al met de uitrol van 5G in Den Haag.
In een Smart City worden nieuwe, digitale toepassingen ingezet om overheid en burgers te ondersteunen. De introductie van 5G speelt een belangrijke rol in de ontwikkeling van Smart Cities. Naast hogere snelheden van het mobiele datanetwerk, zorgt 5G ook voor de mogelijkheid veel meer apparaten gelijktijdig aan te sluiten op een netwerk. Daarnaast is het betrouwbaarder dan 4G. Door de stad Den Haag uit te rusten met goede connectiviteit kan de gemeente verder innoveren op het gebied van veiligheid, mobiliteit en het gebruik van de openbare ruimte. Hierin staat het oplossen van maatschappelijke vraagstukken centraal, zodat de stad veiliger, efficinter en duurzamer wordt. Vooruitlopend op de uitrol van 5G gaan T-Mobile en de gemeente Den Haag samen werken in verschillende 5G-pilots in de stad. T-Mobile levert de connectiviteit voor dit grootschalige 5G-experiment. In 2020 is 5G in Den Haag werkelijkheid. Doordat 5G zowel een landelijk als internationaal karakter heeft, zijn ook het Rijk en de Vereniging Nederlandse Gemeenten (VNG) betrokken bij deze pilots.Innovatie in Den Haag stimulerenS¸ren Abildgaard, CEO T-Mobile Nederland:
Samen met de gemeente gaan we op zoek naar partners binnen en buiten de stad om 5G-toepassingen uit te proberen waar de stad en haar inwoners profijt van hebben. Samen onderzoeken we hoe we inwoners, studenten en bedrijven zo goed mogelijk toegang kunnen geven tot 5G en hoe we innovatie in Den Haag kunnen stimuleren. In deze eerste fase werken we met name aan 5G-toepassingen op het gebied van logistiek en industrie. Dit zijn bijvoorbeeld toepassingen die de bereikbaarheid van de stad verbeteren door het bieden van zeer lokale verkeers- en parkeerinformatie, op basis van een snelle en betrouwbare 5G-connectie.Wethouder Saskia Bruines:
Den Haag staat de komende jaren voor een enorme groeiopgave van inwoners en werkgelegenheid. De komst van supersnel mobiel internet opent veel nieuwe deuren voor de Haagse inwoners en bedrijven. Door als eerste stad volledig over te zijn op 5G laat Den Haag zien koploper te zijn op dit gebied. Dit is van belang voor het vestigingsklimaat en de werkgelegenheid in de stad. Het ontwikkelen van nieuwe digitale innovatieve concepten is daarbij cruciaal om de stad bereikbaar, duurzaam en leefbaar te houden. Bij deze ontwikkelingen hebben we nadrukkelijk oog voor zaken zoals veiligheid en gezondheid.5G Field Lab in Den HaagEen eerste belangrijke stap binnen het project is het opzetten van een nieuw 5G Field Lab. In dit lab krijgen scholen en bedrijven de mogelijkheid te experimenteren met op 5G gebaseerde toepassingen. Om de toepassingen daadwerkelijk werkbaar te maken op 5G stelt T-Mobile Nederland op locatie 5G connectiviteit en ondersteuning door experts beschikbaar. Ook worden regelmatig 5G-evenementen georganiseerd door T-Mobile's Future Lab. Ge¯nteresseerden krijgen hier hulp en ondersteuning bij de ontwikkeling van eigen toepassingen en het testen van conceptontwerp. De gemeente Den Haag kijkt uit naar de mogelijkheden die een Smart City biedt. De gemeente en T-Mobile verwelkomen ook graag andere bedrijven en partners die willen mee denken over nieuwe 5G-toepassingen en de mogelijkheden in de stad. Aanmelden kan via 5G@t-mobile.nl.
S¸ren Abildgaard (CEO T-Mobile Nederland) en Saskia Bruines (wethouder Kenniseconomie)
ADA
Lawsuits Surge Over Websites' Access for the Blind - WSJ
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:59
Businesses with websites that can't be navigated by the blind are getting pummeled with lawsuits.
The new frontier in federal disability litigation has accelerated dramatically in recent years, with some companies now getting hit by lawsuits for the second or third time even after they've reached settlements to upgrade their sites.
The complaints typically detail roadblocks that visually impaired individuals face when using ''screen reader'' tools that read the contents of a website aloud. The lawsuits often seek improvements to websites to ensure the technology functions.
Companies say the suits'--targeting restaurants and retail stores, art galleries and banks'--are fueled by plaintiffs' lawyers looking for an easy payday. Disabled consumers argue they deserve to be able to access the internet freely.
The number of website-access lawsuits filed in federal court reached 2,250 in 2018, almost three times the 814 filed in 2017, according to law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Most of the cases have been filed in New York and Florida, the firm's data shows, though a recent appellate decision is likely to prompt more action in California.
Navigating the internet can be a frustrating experience for the visually impaired. Joseph DiNero, an assistive technology specialist with Helen Keller Services for the Blind, said when he tries to use websites and mobile apps, it sometimes feels like ''I'm penalized because I'm blind.''
On an inaccessible site, screen readers can't properly translate the content. They get stuck, simply saying ''image'' instead of describing it, or not saying which information should be typed into blank fields on an ordering page.
Defense lawyers say their clients aren't trying to exclude the visually impaired, but rather that the federal Americans With Disabilities Act isn't clear on whether and how websites should comply with the law.
The ADA prohibits discrimination against the disabled in all places of public accommodation, which most courts have interpreted to include websites connected to a physical business.
The Justice Department said in 2010 it would create website-access guidelines. It delayed the rule-making, then dropped it'--leaving businesses to argue that they can't upgrade websites to standards that don't exist. The Justice Department declined to comment.
Plaintiffs' lawyers and courts say that argument is a poor excuse.
In a closely watched ruling, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently sided with a blind man who sued Domino's Pizza in 2016 after he was unable to order customized pizzas from the restaurant's website. The court said the federal disability law unequivocally applies to the pizza chain's website and mobile app.
Domino's ''has received fair notice'' of the need for its technology to be accessible, the court said, adding that, ''Our Constitution does not require that Congress or DOJ spell out exactly how Domino's should fulfill this obligation.''
A Domino's spokesman declined to comment.
Most website-access lawsuits settle, lawyers involved say'--often for $20,000 or less in attorney fees and costs, plus an agreement to improve websites within two years. Overhauling a website to make it work seamlessly with screen readers can cost from several thousand to several hundred thousand dollars, depending on the complexity.
''There's no excuse for companies today not to have fixed and remediated their websites,'' said Jeffrey Gottlieb, a New York attorney who has filed hundreds of ADA website cases. ''I find only a lawsuit pushes them to do it.''
Florida defense lawyer Anastasia Protopapadakis says her clients usually don't resist updating their websites. But when they get hit with a complaint, she said, ''a lot of them feel this is just a method of legal extortion.''
An analysis by UsableNet, a provider of accessibility technology and services, found that 20% of the website lawsuits filed in 2018 were against companies that had already been sued.
Retailers including Prada USA Corp., the Sherwin-Williams Co. , Michael Kors Retail Inc. and Forever 21 Inc. all have been sued multiple times, court filings show. So has restaurant chain Applebee's and financial company PNC Financial Services . The companies either declined to comment or didn't respond to requests for comment.
Write to Sara Randazzo at sara.randazzo@wsj.com
Out There
Israel to launch first privately funded moon mission | Science | The Guardian
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:18
Attempt to become fourth country to send spacecraft to the surface blasts off this week
Technicians with the the SpaceIL lunar module.Photograph: Ariel Schalit/APA team of Israeli scientists is to launch what will be the first privately funded mission to land on the moon this week, sending a spacecraft to collect data from the lunar surface.
Named Beresheet, the Hebrew word for Genesis, the 585kg (1,290lb) robotic lander will blast off from Florida at 01.45 GMT on Friday, propelled by one of Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets. Once it touches down, in several weeks, it will measure the magnetic field of the moon to help understand how it formed.
Beresheet will also deposit a ''time capsule'' of digital files the size of coins containing the Bible, children's drawings, Israel's national anthem and blue and white flag, as well as memories of a Holocaust survivor.
''It's going to be on the moon forever,'' said Yonatan Weintraub, the co-founder of SpaceIL, the non-profit organisation leading the project.
While it is not a government-led initiative, the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) corporation joined as a partner. If the mission is successful, Israel will become the fourth country, after Russia, the US and China, to reach the moon.
''This is the lowest-budget spacecraft to ever undertake such a mission,'' an IAI statement said of the £77m project. ''The superpowers who managed to land a spacecraft on the moon have spent hundreds of millions.'' It added that although it was a private venture, Beresheet was a ''national and historic achievement''.
Crewed trips to the moon in the late 1960s and early 70s took around three days, but the probe will take a less direct route. It will first move in ever-growing elliptical orbits around the Earth until it intercepts the moon's gravitational pull. Its creators have estimated it will land on 11 April.
SpaceIL was established in 2011 with the goal of winning the Google Lunar XPrize, which put up a $30m (£23m) reward for a privately funded team to land an automated spacecraft on the moon, ''hop'' 500 metres and transmit images back to Earth.
Although the contest closed without a winner, SpaceIL decided to continue and gather funds elsewhere. Morris Kahn, a South African-born Israeli billionaire, is the main backer but SpaceIL said US Republican party and pro-Israel funder Miriam Adelson and her casino-owning husband, Sheldon, gave $24m.
Russia was the first country to make a soft landing, rather than a plummeting crash, on the surface of the moon in 1966. But following the end of the space race in the 1970s, there was no return until China sent a lander in 2013. In January this year, Beijing made history by landing a spacecraft on the far side of the moon.
With Mars remaining a distant and challenging prospect, there has been a revival of interest in lunar visits. Later in 2019, two more moon missions are scheduled, one rover made by India and another Chinese lander.
The Trump administration has made human flight to the moon a top priority, while Nasa increasingly looks to private firms to help it reduce the cost. A US-led plan to build a small crewed space station orbiting the moon is under way, and Nasa has asked the commercial sector to bid to make the technology.
EU Africa
14 African Nations Forced To Pay French Colonial Tax | PopularResistance.Org
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 17:13
14 African Nations Forced To Pay French Colonial TaxBy: Mawuna Remarque Koutonin,
www.siliconafrica.com February 7, 201414 African Nations Forced To Pay French Colonial Tax 2014-02-07 2014-02-07 https://popularresistance-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2017/12/popres-shorter.png PopularResistance.Org https://popularresistance-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2014/02/French-Empire-1919-to-1939-150x78.png 200px 200px
The French Colonial Tax Is For the Benefits of Slavery and ColonizationDid you know many African countries continue to pay colonial tax to France since their independence till today!When S(C)kou Tour(C) of Guinea decided in 1958 to get out of french colonial empire, and opted for the country independence, the french colonial elite in Paris got so furious, and in a historic act of fury the french administration in Guinea destroyed everything in the country which represented what they called the benefits from french colonization.
Three thousand French left the country, taking all their property and destroying anything that which could not be moved: schools, nurseries, public administration buildings were crumbled; cars, books, medicine, research institute instruments, tractors were crushed and sabotaged; horses, cows in the farms were killed, and food in warehouses were burned or poisoned.
The purpose of this outrageous act was to send a clear message to all other colonies that the consequences for rejecting France would be very high.
Slowly fear spread trough the african elite, and none after the Guinea events ever found the courage to follow the example of S(C)kou Tour(C), whose slogan was ''We prefer freedom in poverty to opulence in slavery.''
Sylvanus Olympio, the first president of the Republic of Togo, a tiny country in west Africa, found a middle ground solution with the French.He didn't want his country to continue to be a french dominion, therefore he refused to sign the colonisation continuation pact De Gaule proposed, but agree to pay an annual debt to France for the so called benefits Togo got from french colonization.It was the only conditions for the French not to destroy the country before leaving. However, the amount estimated by France was so big that the reimbursement of the so called ''colonial debt'' was close to 40% of the country budget in 1963.
The financial situation of the newly independent Togo was very unstable, so in order to get out the situation, Olympio decided to get out the french colonial money FCFA (the franc for french african colonies), and issue the country own currency.
On January 13, 1963, three days after he started printing his country own currency, a squad of illiterate soldiers backed by France killed the first elected president of newly independent Africa. Olympio was killed by an ex French Foreign Legionnaire army sergeant called Etienne Gnassingbe who supposedly received a bounty of $612 from the local French embassy for the hit man job.
Olympio's dream was to build an independent and self-sufficient and self-reliant country. But the French didn't like the idea.
On June 30, 1962, Modiba Keita , the first president of the Republic of Mali, decided to withdraw from the french colonial currency FCFA which was imposed on 12 newly independent African countries. For the Malian president, who was leaning more to a socialist economy, it was clear that colonisation continuation pact with France was a trap, a burden for the country development.
On November 19, 1968, like, Olympio, Keita will be the victim of a coup carried out by another ex French Foreign legionnaire, the Lieutenant Moussa Traor(C).
In fact during that turbulent period of African fighting to liberate themselves from European colonization, France would repeatedly use many ex Foreign legionnaires to carry out coups against elected presidents:
On January 1st, 1966, Jean-B(C)del Bokassa, an ex french foreign legionnaire, carried a coup against David Dacko, the first President of the Central African Republic.On January 3, 1966, Maurice Yam(C)ogo, the first President of the Republic of Upper Volta, now called Burkina Faso, was victim of a coup carried by Aboubacar Sangoul(C) Lamizana, an ex French legionnaire who fought with french troops in Indonesia and Algeria against these countries independence.On 26 October 1972, Mathieu K(C)r(C)kou who was a security guard to President Hubert Maga, the first President of the Republic of Benin, carried a coup against the president, after he attended French military schools from 1968 to 1970.In fact, during the last 50 years, a total of 67 coups happened in 26 countries in Africa, 16 of those countries are french ex-colonies, which means 61% of the coups happened in Francophone Africa.
Number of Coups in Africa by country
Ex French colonies Other African countriesCountry Number of coupCountrynumber of coupTogo1Egypte1Tunisia1Libye1Cote d'Ivoire1Equatorial Guinea1Madagascar1Guinea Bissau2Rwanda1Liberia2Algeria2Nigeria3Congo '' RDC2Ethiopia3Mali2Ouganda4Guinea Conakry2Soudan5SUB-TOTAL 113Congo3Tchad3Burundi4Central Africa4Niger4Mauritania4Burkina Faso5Comores5SUB-TOTAL 232TOTAL (1 + 2)45TOTAL22As these numbers demonstrate, France is quite desperate but active to keep a strong hold on his colonies what ever the cost, no matter what.
In March 2008, former French President Jacques Chirac said:
''Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power''
Chirac's predecessor Fran§ois Mitterand already prophesied in 1957 that:
''Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century''
At this very moment I'm writing this article, 14 african countries are obliged by France, trough a colonial pact, to put 85% of their foreign reserve into France central bank under French minister of Finance control. Until now, 2014, Togo and about 13 other african countries still have to pay colonial debt to France. African leaders who refuse are killed or victim of coup. Those who obey are supported and rewarded by France with lavish lifestyle while their people endure extreme poverty, and desperation.
It's such an evil system even denounced by the European Union, but France is not ready to move from that colonial system which puts about 500 billions dollars from Africa to its treasury year in year out.
We often accuse African leaders of corruption and serving western nations interests instead, but there is a clear explanation for that behavior. They behave so because they are afraid the be killed or victim of a coup. They want a powerful nation to back them in case of aggression or trouble. But, contrary to a friendly nation protection, the western protection is often offered in exchange of these leaders renouncing to serve their own people or nations' interests.
African leaders would work in the interest of their people if they were not constantly stalked and bullied by colonial countries.
In 1958, scared about the consequence of choosing independence from France, Leopold S(C)dar Senghor declared: ''The choice of the Senegalese people is independence; they want it to take place only in friendship with France, not in dispute.''
From then on France accepted only an ''independence on paper'' for his colonies, but signed binding ''Cooperation Accords'', detailing the nature of their relations with France, in particular ties to France colonial currency (the Franc), France educational system, military and commercial preferences.
Below are the 11 main components of the Colonisation continuation pact since 1950s:
#1. Colonial Debt for the benefits of France colonizationThe newly ''independent'' countries should pay for the infrastructure built by France in the country during colonization.
I still have to find out the complete details about the amounts, the evaluation of the colonial benefits and the terms of payment imposed on the african countries, but we are working on that (help us with info).
#2. Automatic confiscation of national reservesThe African countries should deposit their national monetary reserves into France Central bank.
France has been holding the national reserves of fourteen african countries since 1961: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
''The monetary policy governing such a diverse aggregation of countries is uncomplicated because it is, in fact, operated by the French Treasury, without reference to the central fiscal authorities of any of the WAEMU or the CEMAC. Under the terms of the agreement which set up these banks and the CFA the Central Bank of each African country is obliged to keep at least 65% of its foreign exchange reserves in an ''operations account'' held at the French Treasury, as well as another 20% to cover financial liabilities.
The CFA central banks also impose a cap on credit extended to each member country equivalent to 20% of that country's public revenue in the preceding year. Even though the BEAC and the BCEAO have an overdraft facility with the French Treasury, the drawdowns on those overdraft facilities are subject to the consent of the French Treasury. The final say is that of the French Treasury which has invested the foreign reserves of the African countries in its own name on the Paris Bourse.
In short, more than 80% of the foreign reserves of these African countries are deposited in the ''operations accounts'' controlled by the French Treasury. The two CFA banks are African in name, but have no monetary policies of their own. The countries themselves do not know, nor are they told, how much of the pool of foreign reserves held by the French Treasury belongs to them as a group or individually.
The earnings of the investment of these funds in the French Treasury pool are supposed to be added to the pool but no accounting is given to either the banks or the countries of the details of any such changes. The limited group of high officials in the French Treasury who have knowledge of the amounts in the ''operations accounts'', where these funds are invested; whether there is a profit on these investments; are prohibited from disclosing any of this information to the CFA banks or the central banks of the African states .'' Wrote Dr. Gary K. Busch
It's now estimated that France is holding close to 500 billions African countries money in its treasury, and would do anything to fight anyone who want to shed a light on this dark side of the old empire.
The African countries don't have access to that money.
France allows them to access only 15% of the money in any given year. If they need more than that, they have to borrow the extra money from their own 65% from the French Treasury at commercial rates.
To make things more tragic, France impose a cap on the amount of money the countries could borrow from the reserve. The cap is fixed at 20% of their public revenue in the preceding year. If the countries need to borrow more than 20% of their own money, France has a veto.
Former French President Jacques Chirac recently spoke about the African nations money in France banks. Here is a video of him speaking about the french exploitation scheme. He is speaking in French, but here is a short excerpt transcript: ''We have to be honest, and acknowledge that a big part of the money in our banks come precisely from the exploitation of the African continent.''
#3. Right of first refusal on any raw or natural resource discovered in the countryFrance has the first right to buy any natural resources found in the land of its ex-colonies. It's only after France would say, ''I'm not interested'', that the African countries are allowed to seek other partners.
#4. Priority to French interests and companies in public procurement and public bidingIn the award of government contracts, French companies must be considered first, and only after that these countries could look elsewhere. It doesn't matter if the african countries can obtain better value for money elsewhere.
As consequence, in many of the french ex-colonies, all the majors economical assets of the countries are in the hand of french expatriates. In C´te d'Ivoire, for example, french companies own and control all the major utilities '' water, electricity, telephone, transport, ports and major banks. The same in commerce, construction, and agriculture.
In the end, as I've written in a previous article, Africans now Live On A Continent Owned by Europeans!
#5. Exclusive right to supply military equipment and Train the country military officersThrough a sophisticated scheme of scholarships, grants, and ''Defense Agreements'' attached to the Colonial Pact, the africans should send their senior military officers for training in France or French ran-training facilities.
The situation on the continent now is that France has trained hundreds, even thousands of traitors and nourish them. They are dormant when they are not needed, and activated when needed for a coup or any other purpose!
#6. Right for France to pre-deploy troops and intervene military in the country to defend its interestsUnder something called ''Defence Agreements'' attached to the Colonial Pact, France had the legal right to intervene militarily in the African countries, and also to station troops permanently in bases and military facilities in those countries, run entirely by the French.
French military bases in Africa
When President Laurent Gbagbo of C´te d'Ivoire tried to end the French exploitation of the country, France organized a coup. During the long process to oust Gbagbo, France tanks, helicopter gunships and Special Forces intervened directly in the conflit, fired on civilians and killed many.
To add insult to injury, France estimated that the French business community had lost several millions of dollars when in the rush to leave Abidjan in 2006 the French Army massacred 65 unarmed civilians and wounded 1,200 others.
After France succeeded the coup, and transferred power to Alassane Outtara, France requested Ouattara government to pay compensation to French business community for the losses during the civil war.
Indeed the Ouattara government paid them twice what they said they had lost in leaving.
#7. Obligation to make French the official language of the country and the language for educationOui, Monsieur. Vous devez parlez fran§ais, la langue de Moli¨re!
A French language and culture dissemination organization has been created called ''Francophonie'' with several satellites and affiliates organizations supervised by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs.
As demonstrated in this article, if French is the only language you speak, you'd have access to less than 4% of humanity knowledge and ideas. That's very limiting.
#8. Obligation to use France colonial money FCFAThat's the real milk cow for France, but it's such an evil system even denounced by the European Union, but France is not ready to move from that colonial system which puts about 500 billions dollars from Africa to its treasury.
During the introduction of Euro currency in Europe, other european countries discovered the french exploitation scheme. Many, specially the nordic countries, were appalled and suggested France get rid of the system, but unsuccessfully.
#9. Obligation to send France annual balance and reserve report.Without the report, no money.
Anyway the secretary of the Central banks of the ex-colonies, and the secretary of the bi-annual meeting of the Ministers of Finance of the ex-colonies is carried out by France Central bank / Treasury.
#10. Renonciation to enter into military alliance with any other country unless authorized by FranceAfrican countries in general are the ones with will less regional military alliances. Most of the countries have only military alliances with their ex-colonisers! (funny, but you can't do better!).
In the case France ex-colonies, France forbid them to seek other military alliance except the one it offered them.
#11. Obligation to ally with France in situation of war or global crisisOver one million africans soldiers fought for the defeat of nazism and fascism during the second world war.
Their contribution is often ignored or minimized, but when you think that it took only 6 weeks for Germany to defeat France in 1940, France knows that Africans could be useful for fighting for la ''Grandeur de la France'' in the future.
There is something almost psychopathic in the relation of France with Africa.
First, France is severely addicted to looting and exploitation of Africa since the time of slavery. Then there is this complete lack of creativity and imagination of french elite to think beyond the past and tradition.
Finally, France has 2 institutions which are completely frozen into the past, inhabited by paranoid and psychopath ''haut fonctionnaires'' who spread fear of apocalypse if France would change, and whose ideological reference still comes from the 19th century romanticism: they are the Minister of Finance and Budget of France and the Minister of Foreign affairs of France.
These 2 institutions are not only a threat to Africa, but to the French themselves.
It's up to us as African to free ourselves, without asking for permission, because I still can't understand for example how 450 french soldiers in C´te d'Ivoire could control a population of 20 millions people!?
People first reaction when they learn about the french colonial tax is often a question: ''Until when?''
For historical comparison, France made Haiti to pay the modern equivalent of $21 billion from 1804 till 1947 (almost one century and half) for the losses caused to french slave traders by the abolition of slavery and the liberation of the Haitian slaves.
African countries are paying the colonial tax only for the last 50 years, so I think one century of payment might be left!
Ministry of Truthiness
Lara Logan - Wikipedia
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 01:48
Lara Logan
Lara Logan in 2013
Born ( 1971-03-29 ) 29 March 1971 (age 47) EducationDegree in commerce, 1992Alma materUniversity of Natal, DurbanOccupationJournalist, since 1988EmployerCBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent (2006''present) Spouse(s) Jason Siemon (m. 1998)Joseph Burkett (m. 2008)Awards Radio & Television Association David Bloom Award, 2008American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award, 2008, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 2000Association of International Broadcasters' Best International News Story Award, 2007Emmy Award, Overseas Press Club Award, and a Murrow Award, 2008Murrow Award for "Marines on Patrol in Afghanistan" 2010[1]John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award, 2011[2]John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, 2011Daniel Pearl Award, 2011[3]WebsiteCBS webpageLara Logan (born 29 March 1971)[4] is a South African television and radio journalist and war correspondent. She is a former chief foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News.[5]
Early life Logan was born in Durban, South Africa,[1] and attended high school at Durban Girls' College.[6] She graduated from the University of Natal in Durban in 1992 with a degree in commerce. She went on to earn a diploma in French language, culture and history at Alliance Fran§aise in Paris.[1]
Career Logan worked as a news reporter for the Sunday Tribune in Durban during her studies (1988''1989), then for the city's Daily News (1990''1992). In 1992 she joined Reuters Television in Africa, primarily as a senior producer. After four years she branched out into freelance journalism, obtaining assignments as a reporter and editor/producer with ITN and Fox/SKY, CBS News, ABC News (in London), NBC, and the European Broadcast Union. She also found work with CNN, reporting on incidents such as the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Nairobi and Tanzania, the conflict in Northern Ireland, and the Kosovo war.[1]
Logan was hired in 2000 by GMTV Breakfast Television (in the UK) as a correspondent; she also worked with CBS News Radio as a freelance correspondent. Days after the September 11 attacks, she asked a clerk at the Russian Embassy in London to give her a visa to travel to Afghanistan. In November 2001, while in Afghanistan working for GMTV, she infiltrated the American-British-backed Northern Alliance and interviewed their commander, General Babajan, at the Bagram Air Base.[7]
CBS News offered her a full-fledged correspondent position in 2002. She spent much of the next four years reporting from the battlefield, including war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq, often embedded with the United States Armed Forces. But she also interviewed famous figures and explorers such as Robert Ballard, discoverer of the wreck of the RMS Titanic.[8] Many of her reports were for 60 Minutes II. She is also a regular contributor to the CBS Evening News, The Early Show and Face the Nation.[9] In February 2006, Logan was promoted to "Chief foreign affairs correspondent" for CBS News.[1]
Haifa Street fighting In late January 2007, Logan filed a report of fighting along Haifa Street in Baghdad, but the CBS Evening News did not run the report; deeming it "a bit strong".[10][11] To reverse the decision, Logan enlisted public support; requesting them to watch the story and pass the link to as many of their friends and acquaintances as possible, saying "It should be seen".[11][12]
Criticism of Michael Hastings Logan was criticized in June 2010 for her remarks about another journalist, Michael Hastings, and her view that reporters who embed with the military ought not to write about the general banter they hear. An article by Hastings in Rolling Stone that month quoted General Stanley A. McChrystal and his staff'--comments Hastings overheard while traveling with McChrystal'--criticizing U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden and other officials, after which President Obama fired McChrystal as his commander in Afghanistan.[13][14] Logan told CNN that Hastings' reporting had violated an unspoken agreement between reporters who travel with military personnel not to report casual comments that pass between them.[15]
Quoting her statement, "I mean, the question is, really, is what General McChrystal and his aides are doing so egregious, that they deserved to end a career like McChrystal's? I mean, Michael Hastings has never served his country the way McChrystal has." CNN's former chief military correspondent, Jamie McIntyre, said that what they did was indeed egregious, and that her comments "unfortunately reinforced the worst stereotype of reporters who 'embed' with senior military officers but are actually 'in bed' with them."[16] He went on to quote Admiral Mike Mullen's statement that military personnel must be neutral and should not criticize civilian leaders.
Glenn Greenwald of Salon wrote that she had done courageous reporting over the years, but had come to see herself as part of the government and military.[17]
Reporting from Egypt and sexual assault Logan and her CBS crew were arrested and detained for one night by the Egyptian Army on 3 February 2011, while covering the Egyptian revolution. She said the crew was blindfolded and handcuffed at gunpoint, and their driver beaten. They were advised to leave the country, but were later released.[18][19]
On 15 February 2011, CBS News released a statement that Logan had been beaten and sexually assaulted on 11 February, while covering the celebrations in Tahrir Square following Hosni Mubarak's resignation.[20] CBS 60 Minutes broadcast an interview with her about it on 1 May 2011; she said she was speaking out because of the prevalence of mass sexual assault in Egypt, and to break the silence about the sexual violence women reporters are reluctant to report in case it prevents them from doing their jobs.[21][22][23]
She said the incident involved 200 to 300 men and lasted around 25 minutes. She had been reporting the celebrations for an hour without incident when her camera battery failed. One of the Egyptian CBS crew suggested they leave, telling her later he heard the crowd make inappropriate sexual comments about her. She felt hands touching her, and can be heard shouting "stop", just as the camera died. One of the crowd shouted that she was an Israeli, a Jew, a claim that CBS said, though false, was a "match to gasoline". She went on to say that they tore off her clothes and, in her words, raped her with their hands, while taking photographs with their cellphones. They began pulling her body in different directions, pulling her hair so hard she said it seemed they were trying to tear off chunks of her scalp. Believing she was dying, she was dragged along the square to where the crowd was stopped by a fence, alongside which a group of women were camping. One woman wearing a chador put her arms around Logan, and the others closed ranks around her, while some men who were with the women threw water at the crowd. A group of soldiers appeared, beat back the crowd with batons, and one of them threw Logan over his shoulder. She was flown back to the U.S. the next day, where she spent four days in the hospital.[21][22] She was contacted by President Obama when she arrived home.[24] CBS said it remained unclear who the attackers were, and unlikely that any will be prosecuted.[21][22]
Comments about Afghanistan and Libya In October 2012, Logan delivered a speech before the annual luncheon of the Better Government Association in which she sharply criticized the Obama Administration's statements about the War in Afghanistan and other conflicts in the Arab world. In particular, Logan criticized the Obama Administration's claims that the Taliban was weakening in Afghanistan, calling such claims "a major lie" made in preparation for ending the U.S. military role in that country. She also stated that she hoped that the United States would "exact revenge" for the 2012 Benghazi attack, in which U.S. diplomatic personnel were attacked and killed in Libya.[25]
Benghazi report apology On 8 November 2013, Logan went on CBS This Morning to apologize for an inaccurate 60 Minutes report about the Benghazi attack, which had aired on 27 October. She indicated that an investigation uncovered that the source of much of her reporting was inaccurate and blamed it on Dylan Davies, manager of the local guard force at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi. Logan said he lied about information but insisted they looked into his credibility and relied on such things as photographs and documents he supplied. In hindsight, Logan said they learned that the story told by Davies didn't match what he told federal investigators. "You know the most important thing to every person at 60 Minutes is the truth," she said in the on-air apology on the morning show. "And today the truth is we made a mistake. And that's ah ... that's very disappointing for any journalist. That's very disappointing for me." Logan went on to add, "Nobody likes to admit they made a mistake. But if you do, you have to stand up and take responsibility '' and you have to say you were wrong. And in this case we were wrong."[26] She was criticized for this apology by Jeremy Holden of Media Matters for America and Michael Calderone of The Huffington Post, who saw the apology as inadequate.[27][28]
On 26 November 2013, Logan was forced to take a leave of absence due to the errors in the Benghazi report.[9][29] Al Ortiz, Executive Director of Standards and Practices for CBS News, wrote in a memo, "Logan made a speech in which she took a strong public position arguing that the U.S. Government was misrepresenting the threat from Al Qaeda, and urging actions that the U.S. should take in response to the Benghazi attack. From a CBS News Standards perspective, there is a conflict in taking a public position on the government's handling of Benghazi and Al Qaeda, while continuing to report on the story."[30][31]
Personal life She married Jason Siemon, an Iowan playing professional basketball in the U.K., but the marriage ended in divorce.[9] In 2008 she married Joseph Burkett, a U.S. government defense contractor from Texas, whom she had met years before in Afghanistan.[32][33] They live in Washington, D.C., with their son Joseph (born December 2008) daughter Lola (born March 2010),[34][33] and Burkett's daughter, Ashley, from a previous marriage.[33]
See also Women in journalismReferences ^ a b c d e "Lara Logan". CBS News. 2 December 2002. ^ "CBS News' Lara Logan, al Jazeera's Dorothy Parvaz win John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award for 2011". The Sacramento Bee. Washington. PR Newswire. 22 July 2011 . Retrieved 25 July 2011 . The National Press Club has selected CBS News correspondent Lara Logan and al Jazeera's Dorothy Parvaz as winners of the John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award for 2011. [permanent dead link ] ^ Foster, Stella (17 October 2011). "Stella Foster recognized for journalism career". Chicago Sun-Times . Retrieved 8 November 2011 . ^ Logan, Lara, entry: Current Biography Yearbook. 67. H. W. Wilson Company. 2006. p. 344. ^ Maxwell Tani (February 18, 2019). "Tweet from Twitter user @maxwelltani with CBS News statement". Lara Logan stopped working for CBS News (in 2018) ^ "Lara Logan". NNDb . Retrieved 20 June 2008 . ^ Steinberg, Jacques (23 November 2005). "War Zone "It Girl" Has a Big Future at CBS News". The New York Times. ^ "Bob Ballard, The Great Explorer". CBS, 60 Minutes . Retrieved 9 January 2017 . ^ a b c Joe Hagan (May 4, 2014). "Benghazi and the Bombshell. Is Lara Logan too toxic to return to 60 Minutes?". New York magazine. ^ Logan, Lara (18 January 2007). "Battle for Haifa Street". CBS News . Retrieved 2 February 2007 . ^ a b "Helping Lara Logan". Mediachannel.org. Archived from the original on 21 May 2010 . Retrieved 1 February 2007 . ^ David, Bauder (1 February 2007). "CBS Correspondent Makes Plea for Airtime". Casper Star Tribune. Archived from the original on 2 August 2012 . Retrieved 2 February 2007 . ^ Hastings, Michael (22 June 2010). "The Runaway General". Rolling Stone . Retrieved 9 March 2014 . ^ Cooper, Helene; Sanger, David E. (23 June 2010). "Obama Says Afghan Policy Won't Change After Dismissal". The New York Times . Retrieved 9 March 2014 . ^ Kurtz, Howard (27 June 2010). "Interview With Michael Hastings; Interview With Lara Logan". CNN. ^ McIntyre, Jamie (30 June 2010). "Lara Logan's Friendly Misfire". Line of Departure. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012. ^ Greenwald, Glen (28 June 2010). "The two poles of journalism". Salon. ^ Kamer, Foster (February 11, 2011). "Lara Logan's Egypt Interrogation Tell-All". Esquire. ^ "TIME Exclusive: CBS's Lara Logan and Crew Detained in Cairo As Violence Escalates". Time. 3 February 2011. ^ Stelter, Brian (15 February 2011). "CBS Says Lara Logan Suffered 'Brutal' Attack in Cairo". The New York Times. ^ a b c "Lara Logan breaks her silence". 60 Minutes, CBS, 1 May 2011. transcript. ^ a b c "After the assault: Lara Logan comes home". 60 Minutes, CBS, 1 May 2011, additional footage from the same interview. ^ Stelter, Brian (28 April 2011). "CBS Reporter Recounts a 'Merciless' Assault". The New York Times. ^ "Lara Logan Assaulted During Egypt Protests". CBS News. 15 February 2011. ^ Reporter Lara Logan brings ominous news from Middle East, Chicago Sun-Times, 7 October 2012 ^ Guthrie, Marisa (November 8, 2013). "Lara Logan Apologizes For '60 Minutes' Benghazi Report on 'CBS This Morning". The Hollywood Reporter. ^ Holden, Jeremy (10 November 2013). "Will Media Let 60 Minutes Off The Hook After Hollow 'Correction'?". Media Matters for America ^ Calderone, Michael (11 November 2013). "'60 Minutes' Benghazi Apology Leaves Key Questions Unanswered". The Huffington Post. ^ Carter, Bill (26 November 2013). " ' Leave of Absence' for Lara Logan After Flawed Benghazi Report". The New York Times . Retrieved 26 November 2013 . ^ Calderone, Michael (27 November 2013). "CBS News' Lara Logan Taking Leave Of Absence Over Discredited '60 Minutes' Benghazi Report". The Huffington Post . Retrieved 11 December 2013 . ^ "CBS asks Lara Logan to take leave after flawed Benghazi report". CBS News. 26 November 2013 . Retrieved 26 November 2013 . ^ "Coverage of messy divorce ensnares CBS reporter with ties to Quad-Cities". The Washington Post via Quad-City Times. 8 July 2008. Archived from the original on 24 March 2015 . Retrieved 25 November 2013 . ^ a b c Singer, Sally (17 February 2012). "Safe at Home". The New York Times . Retrieved 4 December 2013 . ^ Dornic, Matt (4 March 2010). "Lara Logan Delivers". FishbowlDC/Adweek. Archived from the original on 24 March 2015 . Retrieved 24 March 2015 . External links Profile at CBS NewsLara Logan on IMDb Appearances on C-SPAN
Yellow Jackets
Demonstratie taxichauffeurs op 19 februari | TaxiPro
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:46
Taxichauffeurs uit Rotterdam en Amsterdam willen op dinsdag 19 februari demonstreren op het Malieveld in Den Haag. De initiatiefnemers eisen onder meer dat er in de grote steden een tijdelijke taxistop komt en eisen een verbod op Uber X. Deze en andere eisen worden ook in een petitie gezet.
Het idee voor de demonstratie is afkomstig uit Rotterdam en zou weerklank vinden onder taxichauffeurs in Amsterdam. De hoop is dat ook vanuit andere grote steden chauffeurs zich bij de actie aansluiten. Voor nu is het plan dat vanuit zowel Rotterdam als Amsterdam een colonne van taxi's naar Den Haag rijdt. Er zou toestemming zijn om de taxi's daar op het Malieveld te zetten. De chauffeurs willen tijdens de demonstratie gebruikmaken van hesjes en megafoons.
Vakbekwaamheid taxiondernemerMet hun protest willen de taxichauffeurs een aantal zaken aankaarten. Zo willen ze in de grote steden een capaciteitsbeleid, zodat een (tijdelijke) taxistop kan zorgen voor wat lucht in de overvolle markt. Daarnaast willen ze een verbod op Uber X, omdat veel van de recente problemen op de weg zouden worden veroorzaakt door chauffeurs die voor deze specifieke Uber-dienst rijden.
Een ander teer punt is de in het recente verleden afgeschafte vakbekwaamheidseis voor taxiondernemers. De bedenkers van de demonstratie willen dat deze eis weer word ingevoerd. Verder willen ze in gesprek met de minister of staatssecretaris van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat. Meer in zijn algemeenheid willen ze een gelijk speelveld voor alle taxidiensten. De eisen worden vertaald in een petitie, die na de demonstratie moet worden aangeboden.
Nette demonstratieOver de omvang van de demonstratie valt nu nog weinig te zeggen. De komende dagen gaan de initiatiefnemers aan promotie te doen, onder meer door te flyeren op de drukkere standplaatsen. De petitie zal mogelijk ook een digitale variant krijgen om het bereik ervan te vergroten. De organisatoren dringen er op aan dat de deelnemende chauffeurs fatsoenlijk demonstreren en zich niet bedienen van agressie of geweld.
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Benghazi
Obama DOJ drops charges against alleged broker of Libyan weapons - POLITICO
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 13:56
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks with President Barack Obama on Sept. 12, 2012, where he spoke about the death of U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. | AP Photo
Arms dealer had threatened to expose Hillary Clinton's talks about arming anti-Qadhafi rebels.
The Obama administration is moving to dismiss charges against an arms dealer it had accused of selling weapons that were destined for Libyan rebels.
Lawyers for the Justice Department on Monday filed a motion in federal court in Phoenix to drop the case against the arms dealer, an American named Marc Turi, whose lawyers also signed the motion.
Story Continued Below
The deal averts a trial that threatened to cast additional scrutiny on Hillary Clinton's private emails as Secretary of State, and to expose reported Central Intelligence Agency attempts to arm rebels fighting Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi.
Government lawyers were facing a Wednesday deadline to produce documents to Turi's legal team, and the trial was officially set to begin on Election Day, although it likely would have been delayed by protracted disputes about classified information in the case.
A Turi associate asserted that the government dropped the case because the proceedings could have embarrassed Clinton and President Barack Obama by calling attention to the reported role of their administration in supplying weapons that fell into the hands of Islamic extremist militants.
''They don't want this stuff to come out because it will look really bad for Obama and Clinton just before the election,'' said the associate.
In the dismissal motion, prosecutors say ''discovery rulings'' from U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell contributed to the decision to drop the case. The joint motion asks the judge to accept a confidential agreement to resolve the case through a civil settlement between the State Department and the arms broker.
''Our position from the outset has been that this case never should have been brought and we're glad it's over,'' said Jean-Jacques Cabou, a Perkins Coie partner serving as court-appointed defense counsel in the case. ''Mr Turi didn't break the law'....We're very glad the charges are being dismissed.''
Under the deal, Turi admits no guilt in the transactions he participated in, but he agreed to refrain from U.S.-regulated arms dealing for four years. A $200,000 civil penalty will be waived if Turi abides by the agreement.
A State Department official confirmed the outlines of the agreement.
''Mr. Turi cooperated with the Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls in its review and proposed administrative settlement of the alleged violations,'' said the official, who asked not be named. ''Based on a compliance review, DDTC alleged that Mr. Turi'...engaged in brokering activities for the proposed transfer of defense articles to Libya, a proscribed destination under [arms trade regulations,] despite the Department's denial of'...requests for the required prior approval of such activities.''
Turi adviser Robert Stryk of the government relations and consulting firm SPG accused the government of trying to scapegoat Turi to cover up Clinton's mishandling of Libya.
''The U.S. government spent millions of dollars, went all over the world to bankrupt him, and destroyed his life '-- all to protect Hillary Clinton's crimes,'' he said, alluding to the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Republicans hold Clinton responsible for mishandling the circumstances around that attack. And Stryk said that Turi was now weighing book and movie deals to tell his story, and to weigh in on the Benghazi attack.
Representatives of the Justice Department, the White House and Clinton's presidential campaign either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment on the case or the settlement.
Turi was indicted in 2014 on four felony counts: two of arms dealing in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and two of lying to the State Department in official applications. The charges accused Turi of claiming that the weapons involved were destined for Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, when the arms were actually intended to reach Libya.
Turi's lawyers argued that the shipments were part of a U.S. government-authorized effort to arm Libyan rebels.
It's unclear if any of the weapons made it to Libya, and there's no evidence linking weapons provided by the U.S. government to the Benghazi attacks.
''The proposal did not result in an actual transfer of defense articles to Libya,'' the State Department official told POLITICO on Tuesday.
But questions about U.S. efforts to arm Libyan rebels have been mounting, since weapons have reportedly made their way from Libya to Syria, where a civil war is raging between the Syrian Government and ISIL-aligned fighters.
In an interview last year, Turi said the U.S. was aware that weapons being shipped into Libya during the unrest there were being immediately diverted to Syria.
"When this equipment landed in Libya, half went one way, and the half went the other way," Turi said in an interview broadcast on Fox Business Channel. "The half that went the other way is the half that ended up in Syria."
Turi also said he came up with an idea he termed "zero footprint," where the U.S. would send weapons to Libyan rebels through Arab countries, like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
During 2013 Senate hearings on the 2012 Benghazi attack, Clinton, under questioning from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), said she had no knowledge of weapons moving from Libya into Turkey, for ultimate transfer to Syria.
Wikileaks head Julian Assange in July suggested that he had emails proving that Clinton ''pushed'' the ''flows'' of weapons ''going over to Syria.''
Additionally, Turi's case had delved into emails sent to and from the controversial private account that Clinton used as Secretary of State, which the defense planned to harness at any trial.
At a court hearing in 2015, Cabou said emails between Clinton and her top aides indicated that efforts to arm the rebels were '-- at a minimum '-- under discussion at the highest levels of the government.
''We're entitled to tell the jury, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the Secretary of State and her highest staff members were actively contemplating providing exactly the type of military assistance that Mr. Turi is here to answer for,'' the defense attorney said, according to a transcript.
Turi's defense was pressing for more documents about the alleged rebel-arming effort and for testimony from officials who worked on the issue for the State Department and the CIA. The defense said it planned to argue that Turi believed he had official permission to work on arms transfers to Libya
''If we armed the rebels, as publicly reported in many, many sources and as we strongly believe happened and as we believe at least one witness told the grand jury, then documents about that process relate to that effort,'' Cabou told Campbell at the same hearing last year.
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John Wayne's 1971 Playboy interview draws fire for 'white supremacy' comments
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:20
'I believe in white supremacy': 1971 Playboy interview with John Wayne draws fire
An almost 50-year-old interview with Hollywood legend John Wayne, which features the late actor espousing racist and homophobic views, has gone viral after resurfacing on Twitter.
In the interview, published in Playboy in May 1971, Wayne took aim at black civil rights activist Angela Davis for suggesting racial discrimination was the reason she was sacked from a professor's post at UCLA in 1969.
"With a lot of blacks, there's quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can't all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks," Wayne said. "I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to the point of responsibility."
When questioned on the potential for black integration in Hollywood, Wayne said he only supported casting black actors in their "proper position".
"If it's supposed to be a black character, naturally I use a black actor," he said. "I don't go so far as hunting for positions for them. I think the Hollywood studios are carrying their tokenism a little too far... I suppose there should be the same percentage of the coloured race in films as in society. But it can't always be that way."
John Wayne finds himself in controversy decades after his death.
The actor was also asked about the representation of Native Americans in his Westerns, and whether he felt "any empathy with them".
"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them, if that's what you're asking," Wayne responded. "Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.
"Look, I'm sure there have been inequalities," he continued. "But what happened 100 years ago in our country can't be blamed on us today."
The interview also finds Wayne pondering the era's "perverted" films, including Easy Rider and Midnight Cowboy, which he described as "a story about two fa--".
"But don't get me wrong. As far as a man and woman is concerned, I'm awfully happy there's a thing called sex. It's an extra something God gave us," Wayne said. "I see no reason why it shouldn't be in pictures. Healthy, lusty sex is wonderful."
Wayne, who won an Oscar in 1969 for playing Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, a role that played on his Western mythology, died in 1979, aged 72.
The resurfaced interview has sparked widespread discussion across social media.
Many have criticised Wayne's revered status in Hollywood lore, while others have questioned the value in digging up an almost 50-year-old interview with a star whose outdated social views were formed around a century ago. Others yet suggested the actor's "unearthed" views aren't so revelatory.
Public Enemy frontman Chuck D, whose 1989 rap classic Fight the Power features the iconic Elvis Presley-directed missive "Motherf--- him and John Wayne!", was among celebrity commenters to address the resurfaced interview.
"Fact and reading and comprehension is a beautiful thang," he wrote.
Robert Moran is an entertainment reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age
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Martina Navratilova dropped by LGBT group over 'transphobic' comments | World News | Sky News
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:29
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has been sacked as an ambassador for a group campaigning for LGBT sportspeople over "transphobic" comments.
She wrote in The Sunday Times that it was "insane" and "cheating" for male-to-female athletes to be allowed to compete in women's sport.
"A man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires," she said.
Campaign group Athlete Ally decided to sever ties with the 18-time Grand Slam winner after calling the comments transphobic and saying they "perpetuated myths".
In a statement posted to its website, the organisation said: "The trans community is under attack, and we firmly stand opposed to any and all people who perpetuate attacks against them - regardless of who they are or their accolades."
Image: The tennis star said was "insane" and "cheating" for male-to-female athletes to be allowed to compete in women's sportNavratilova joined the organisation as an ambassador in 2014 and was given an award at the group's first annual gala.
The 62-year-old came out as gay herself in the 1980s and has long campaigned for gay rights.
Transgender athlete Rachel McKinnon, who became the first transgender woman to win a world track cycling title, said Navratilova's comments were "disturbing, upsetting and deeply transphobic".
The tennis star previously came under fire after tweeting in December that transgender women should not be able to compete in women's sport.
"There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard," she said.
Activists have argued that transgender women do not have an advantage when competing in sport, as the hormones they use lower the body's performance.
We're pretty devastated to discover that Martina Navratilova is transphobic. If trans women had an advantage in sport, why aren't trans women winning gold medals left, right & centre? Coz trans women don't have an advantage. Look up the changes that oestrogen makes to the body.
'-- Trans Actual (@TransActualUK) February 17, 2019UK-based campaign group TransActual tweeted: "We're pretty devastated to discover that Martina Navratilova is transphobic.
"If trans women had an advantage in sport, why aren't trans women winning gold medals left, right and centre?"
Athletes transitioning from female to male are allowed to participate in events without restrictions, under guidelines introduced by the International Olympic Committee in 2016.
However, male to female competitors have to keep their testosterone levels below a certain amount for at least a year.
Navratilova's comments come as a legal tussle begins between South African runner Caster Semenya and the IAAF, the athletics governing body.
The IAFF want to put restrictions on Semenya and other athletes with "differences of sexual development (DSD)", in order to ensure a "level playing field for athletes".
Semenya has faced intense scrutiny throughout her career and took a gender verification test in 2009.
Navratilova has voiced her support for Semenya and retweeted a comment from fellow tennis star Billie Jean King saying that the IAFF's treatment of the track athlete is "barbaric, dangerous, and discriminatory".
Why Chaucer said 'ax' instead of 'ask,' and why some still do | 89.3 KPCC
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:31
The most common stereotype of black vernacular is the pronunciation of the word "ask" as "ax."
"Ax" has gotten a bad rap for years. Pronounce "ask" as "ax" and immediately many will assume that you're poor, black, and uneducated. New York City's first African-American schools chancellor, Dr. Richard R. Green put it on his list of "speech demons." He insisted that "ax" be eradicated from the vocabulary of students.
Garrard McClendon, professor at Chicago State University is the author of "Ax or Ask? The African American Guide to Better English." He says his parents were well aware of the stigma attached to "ax" and taught him there's a time and a place to use it.
"When you're with your little friends, you can speak the way you want, but when you're in a spelling bee or a job interview, switch it up quick," says McClendon. "I've taught my children to do that as well."
Sketch comedy duo Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele, joke that because they're half-white, they're constantly switching back and forth. "If it happens four times in a sentence," Key says, "you're probably going to get two 'ax's' and two 'asks.'"
"But when a cop comes up to you, you definitely use a lot of 'asks,'" Peele says. "Ask away, officer, ask away! Anything you want to ask me, I'll be happy to answer, officer."
Jesse Sheidlower, the president of the American Dialect Society, says ax has been used for a thousand years. "It's not a new thing, it's not a mistake," he says, "it is a regular feature of English."
Sheidlower says you can trace "ax" back to the eighth century. The pronunciation derives from the Old English verb "acsian." Chaucer used "ax." It's in the first complete English translation of the Bible (the Coverdale Bible): "Axe and it shall be given."
"So at that point it wasn't a mark of people who weren't highly educated or people who were in the working class," Stanford University linguist John Rickford says. He says it's hard to pin-point why "ax" stopped being popular but stayed put in the American South and the Carribbean, where he's originally from. "But over time it became a marker of identity," he says.
Indians in South Africa use "ax," black Caribbeans use "ax," African Americans use "ax." Rickford says it's the empire striking back: taking language that has been imposed and making it your own. He adds that eliminating words like "ax" may help one fare better in a job interview, "but not necessarily fare better in terms of the people you hang out with or not necessarily fare better in asserting your own identity. You got to remember a lot of these language varieties are learned in people's homes. It's how people's mothers spoke, their fathers spoke, their friends spoke. I don't think any linguist is recommending that you get rid of your vernacular, because you need it '-- in a sense '-- for your soul."
Linguistic versatility is ideal, Rickford says, interchanging "ax" and "ask" depending on the setting: code switching. But, he adds, there's nothing technically wrong with saying "ax," it's just no longer considered mainstream English.
"Except for linguists, the average person doesn't know that and it doesn't affect the social standing of the word," says Rickford.
We can anticipate the discussion that will happen in the comments about this piece. So we'll go ahead and share two common perspectives about this linguistic phenomenon. We leave it up to you to decide who makes the better argument.
First, from YouTube user fblairmd66:
And second, from the British actor and writer Stephen Fry:
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Blackface, racist photos rampant in yearbooks at colleges nationwide
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 14:31
In one of the most extensive searches of college yearbooks ever, we found blackface and Ku Klux Klan photos like Ralph Northam's far beyond Virginia.
T he old yearbook photos capture the lighthearted moments from college worth remembering '' smiling faces, pep rallies and cans of cheap beer.
But tucked in and among those same pages are pictures of students dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes and blackface, nooses and mock lynchings, displays of racism not hidden but memorialized as jokes to laugh about later. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, a stunning number of colleges and university yearbooks published images of blatant racism on campus, the USA TODAY Network found in a review of 900 publications at 120 schools across the country. At Cornell University in New York, three fraternity members are listed in the 1980 yearbook as ''Ku,'' ''Klux'' and ''Klan.'' For their 1971 yearbook picture, a dozen University of Virginia fraternity members, some armed, wore dark cloaks and hoods while peering up at a lynched mannequin in blackface. In one of the most striking images '' from the 1981 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign yearbook '' a black man is smiling and holding a beer while posing with three people in full KKK regalia.
Reporters collected more than 200 examples of offensive or racist material at colleges in 25 states, from large public universities in the South, to Ivy League schools in the Northeast, liberal arts boutiques and Division I powerhouses.
STORY BEHIND THE STORY: How '-- and why '-- we reviewed 900 yearbooks The yearbook photos reflect campus communities that tolerated open displays of racism at the parties they attended, parades they marched in and posters they hung '' despite the hard-learned lessons of the civil rights movement they grew up with. In almost every picture, people appear happy. Minority students from that era say the comfort with public behavior that would likely meet swift condemnation today further marginalized minorities on campus. And the choice to publish the images for posterity cut even deeper. Cassandra Thomas, a black student at the University of Texas in the late 1970s, remembers seeing the photograph of someone wearing a KKK costume draped in a Confederate flag in her yearbook. But she felt she had no recourse on a campus where an almost all-white student body and administration decided what was acceptable and what wasn't. ''It was about keeping your head down,'' said Thomas, 60. ''We were trying to get our degree and get out with the least amount of trouble.''
The volume of shocking imagery found in the examination, which was not comprehensive, suggests that there are likely more yearbooks that recorded racism on campuses nationwide '' and countless more acts never captured on camera or submitted for publication.
The review also gives new perspective to an array of cases that have emerged since reports showed that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's 1984 medical school yearbook page features a person wearing blackface and another in a KKK hood. The image, uncovered in early February, has endangered Northam's career and galvanized student newspapers and local outlets around the country to dig up other cases of politicians in racist situations.
No politicians were identified by USA TODAY Network's review, which focused on the same time period as Northam's yearbook, in the era after sweeping civil rights reform. Few images had captions to provide names or context and people's faces were often hidden behind hoods or blackface.
In one yearbook, from Arizona State University, reporters discovered that USA TODAY Editor Nicole Carroll had designed a page that included a photo of two people, at a fraternity's Halloween party, in black makeup as actress Robin Givens and boxer Mike Tyson. Carroll, who was editor of the yearbook in 1989 when the photo ran, expressed regret after learning of the photo.
EDITOR'S COLUMN: I became part of our story on racist images. I'm here to apologize for publishing that
FROM ARIZONA: More on the yearbook ''I was shocked when a colleague told me of my role in publishing a racist and hurtful photo in my college yearbook,'' Carroll said in a statement. ''I am truly sorry for the harm my ignorance caused then, and the hurt it will cause now, 30 years later.''
Images pulled from multiple yearbooks reviewed by USA TODAY. None
Experts say that even if school officials don't have direct oversight over the yearbooks, responsibility rests with the entire institution: A campus culture that fostered racist behavior; yearbook staffs that chose to memorialize it; and administrations that failed to condemn the images when they were published for the world to see.
Andre M. Perry, a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, has studied his alma mater's yearbooks at the University of Maryland. He said racism in higher education has a way of involving everyone on campus, so he wasn't surprised to see it documented so regularly.
''The way to fit in, sadly, is to make fun of black people,'' Perry said. ''It's a unifying act. It's sad but racism pulls people, particularly white people, together.''
The yearbooks in the USA TODAY Network examination also show students saluting in Nazi uniforms on Halloween or wearing orange paint and a headdress to depict a stereotype of a Native American on game day. There are ''slave sale'' fundraisers that auctioned off young women, ''plantation parties'' and a ''sharecroppers ball.'' One picture shows a swastika banner hung up on what appears to be a dormitory wall.
But the vast majority of the offensive material show racist imagery, such as students in blackface or KKK robes, sometimes just pages away or even alongside images of minority students and university leaders.
BLACKFACE: What it means and why it won't go away
Read more: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam slammed for referring to 'first indentured servants from Africa' instead of slaves
Since the Northam news broke, Steve LaCarter, 64, said he has been waiting for a phone call about the party he and his fraternity friends threw at the University of South Carolina in the 1976 school year. They put shoe polish on their faces, wore matching pink suits and lip synced soul music on stage. Someone took a picture, which he said he keeps in a bible at home along with other old photographs.
''I don't feel like I harmed anybody,'' he said. ''There were no black people in the room watching that.''
But he didn't know the yearbook had published it, which seemed to recalibrate his position.
''I can see that, for black people, even in the '70s, seeing that in the University of South Carolina yearbook, that's not right,'' he said. ''But I didn't think about that. I didn't think about it.''
Similar scenes are splashed across the yearbooks: There are white people dressed up as Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Aunt Jemima for skits. A ''sleazy pimp'' in blackface at a fraternity's ''Pimps and Whores'' party. Some students painted their face like 19th-century minstrel shows. Others marched in parades wearing blackface. Groups of friends put on KKK robes for costume parties and Halloween.
''If you dress like that for Halloween and you knock on the door of a black family, how would they perceive your costume?'' said Mia Moody-Ramirez, a professor at Baylor University who researches depictions of race and gender in the media. ''Would you still feel as comfortable if you're in the company of African-Americans and you're wearing blackface?"
As more offensive images surface from yearbooks, Americans are trying to weigh how to reckon past actions with today's cultural norms, sharpened by more empowered minorities and social consciousness.
Images pulled from multiple yearbooks reviewed by USA TODAY. None
Experts said this is an opportunity for colleges not only to address the past, but also to focus on the racial inequalities that are still present on campus, just better hidden and more readily cast as separate from the school.
''It's easy to forbid things when you know they're going on behind closed doors,'' Perry said.
Hilary O. Shelton, director of the NAACP's Washington Bureau, said there is likely a range of intentions behind all of the photographs. The students in blackface dressing up for Halloween as a favorite black celebrity may have been trying to be funny and were just insensitive or oblivious to the harm they caused. The ones in KKK robes, or those who used blackface in a mocking way, might have worse motivations.
''They can argue they were ignorant to it, but it was still racist,'' Shelton said. The more meaningful distinction is how those same people respond in retrospect '' whether they accept responsibility and apologize or deny having done something wrong.
''That's the bigger problem,'' said Shelton. ''Ignorant arrogance, which is a very dangerous thing.''
"How does that get into the yearbook?"USA TODAY Network reached out to each university and fraternity named in this story where reporters found offensive pictures in yearbooks.
Nearly every president or spokesperson condemned the images as antithetical to school values and said they've taken steps over the years to become more inclusive, distancing themselves from the past while also acknowledging history's stain on the campus.
''Many of these photos are extremely offensive and painful to view,'' Jim Ryan, president of the University of Virginia, said in a statement. ''But while the photos themselves are shocking, their existence is not.''
Images pulled from multiple yearbooks reviewed by USA TODAY. None
But experts say schools have a long way to go to solve disparities still entrenched in higher education today.
''The patterns of behavior in place in 1975 are not perhaps that different,'' said psychologist Beverly Daniel Tatum, a former Spelman College president who graduated from Wesleyan University that year and has since written several books about racism in education.
Some universities, including American, Elon and Wake Forest, released findings from their own internal reviews to identify offensive images in past yearbooks.
On the New York school's 150th anniversary in 1979, the Rochester Institute of Technology yearbook published a photo of nine students in KKK robes, one holding a noose. The photo is grainy, which makes it difficult to know for certain, but posing with them is either a white student in blackface or a black student.
The school blocked access to its digital archive on the web after receiving inquiries from a reporter.
''We find the photos highly offensive and not reflective of today's RIT,'' spokeswoman Ellen Rosen explained in an email, ''so we did not want them easily shared.''
Tom Grotta, who now owns and curates a contemporary art gallery with his wife, was the editor of the RIT yearbook in 1979. He said the school was a progressive campus with little racial tension and that he did not remember including the photograph.
After viewing the photo, which shares a page with photos from a Halloween party, Grotta suspected that the students had just acted in a play because of the canvas wall behind them. Like the vast majority of the images reviewed by USA TODAY, it has no caption and very little context outside of other photos around it.
''I don't regret the picture,'' Grotta said. ''I regret not having a caption.''
At Cornell, the Sigma Nu fraternity submitted KKK and Nazi references instead of the members' names for captions in their 1980 yearbook photo.
Images pulled from multiple yearbooks reviewed by USA TODAY. None
Three former fraternity members at the time, including two who are Jewish, said they hadn't seen the yearbook page until a USA TODAY reporter emailed it to them. Both said they never felt hostility from peers at the fraternity '' even if some were less welcoming than others '' but were stunned to learn what had been published.
''I lived in the house with all these guys,'' said Eric Babat, a freshman at the time and now an attorney in New York. ''How does that get into the yearbook without somebody flagging it? I don't understand. This was in the Cornell yearbook?''
Sigma Nu spokesman Drew Logsdon denounced the ''deeply offensive images'' in a statement.
After publication, Martha Pollack, the president of Cornell University, denounced the captions. A spokesman for the university had initially declined to comment.
A Tradition of RacismThough many colleges began prohibiting Confederate flag displays on campus decades ago, Confederate imagery remains a part of the fabric at some schools in the South.
For generations, the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity at schools across the South, including the University of South Carolina and Auburn University, maintained traditions of the ''Old South'' with parades and parties in Confederate clothing and flags, some the size of a basketball court, all recorded in dozens of yearbooks.
The fraternity has since banned the display of the flags, and in 2010 prohibited members from wearing Confederate uniforms at events. Kappa Alpha Order spokesman Jesse S. Lyons said in a statement that the racist acts documented at fraternity parties ''are not appropriate at any time, do not reflect who we are, and would not be tolerated.''
Read More: In blackface controversy, Virginia remains haunted by its Confederate past
At the University of Texas, prejudice at the school was so acute and institutionalized that some professors lectured about black inferiority in the classrooms, former student Cassandra Thomas recalled.
Thomas shared another moment that stung: Her white roommate freshman year moved out immediately after discovering she had been paired with a black student. She said she could go a whole day without seeing another person of color.
''We weren't trying to change the world then the way we would do it today,'' Thomas said.
While southern schools may be the crucible for racist customs, the photos captured by the USA TODAY review show they extend to other parts of the country as well.
In schools across the Midwest and North, campuses often touted as bastions of liberalism and tolerance, yearbooks chronicle some of the same displays.
Until 1969, the University of Vermont celebrated a ''Kake Walk'' festival that featured white students who dressed in blackface as an homage to minstrel shows. But references to it, including blackface, emerged in the yearbooks in the following decades.
Minstrel shows had helped perpetuate negative stereotypes about black people '' who weren't allowed to play themselves '' before the growing black political and social power of the civil rights movement squashed it from popular culture in the 1960s.
Experts say those same sort of displays can show the extreme power structures on campuses today, where the pressure to conform and protect yourself often outweighs your sense of injustice.
''People ask, 'Why are the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?''' said Beverly Daniel Tatum, the psychologist and author. ''It's because they are protecting themselves from this kind of toxic environment.''
Reporters found five examples of black students appearing in or alongside KKK robes, including the 1981 Illinois photograph from a Halloween party.
''As a black or brown student, you have to navigate those social relationships: Try to fit in or get punished by that same social structure?'' said Andre M. Perry at the Brookings Institution. ''Many students just grin and bear it. They know deep down this is wrong; they're making fun of people like me.''
Jeffrey Barkstall, 57, was one of few black students who attended Illinois at the time the yearbook published the picture of a black man, who is not identified, posing with three individuals hidden by KKK outfits.
''I'm sure at the time they probably thought that was funny,'' said Barkstall, now a realtor in Illinois.
He paused for a moment to consider his time at college almost 40 years ago and whether he might have known who was behind the Klan hoods.
''Who knows?'' he said. ''There may be senators under those masks.''
With contributions from: Elisha Anderson, David Andreatta, Rachel Axon, Clairissa Baker, Dave Bangert, Megan Banta, John Barry, Natasha Blakely, Bonnie Bolden, Giacomo Bologna, Anthony Borrelli, Katie Sullivan Borrelli, Matt Brannon, Mary Chao, Trish Choate, Ellen Ciurczak, Mark Curnutte, Nicole Higgins DeSmet, Michael Diamond, Will DiGravio, Byron Dobson, Bob Dohr, Alana Edgin, Allison Ehrlich, Rilyn Eischens, Kirsten Fiscus, Maggie Gilroy, Jason Gonzales, Emily Havens, Holly Hays, Samantha Hernandez, Brinley Hineman, Brandon Holveck, Tyler Horka, Stephanie Ingersoll, Kyle Jones, Sara Karnes, Monica Kast, Corinne Kennedy, Cameron Knight, Rachel Leingang, Dann Miller, Trevor Mitchell, Justin Murphy, Amanda Oglesby, Tovah Olson, Darrin Peschka, Dan Radel, Gege Reed, Mike Reicher, Gus Garcia-Roberts, Peggy Santoro, Jeff Schwaner, Caryn Shaffer, Devi Shastri, Svetlana Shkolnikova, Georgie Silvarole, Mollie Simon, Seth Slabaugh, Nichelle Smith, Zachary Smith, Matt Steecker, Joe Szydlowski, Sarah Taddeo, Jason Truitt, Natasha Vaughn, Rose Velazquez, Katie Wadington, Tom Whitehurst Jr. and Candy Woodall
BTC
Is Bitcoin Really Following The Gold Trend?
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 20:50
Recently an article was published that caught my attention, its topic was on an 'uncanny correlation' between the long-term charts of Bitcoin and Gold. With my holdings in Crypto and my interest in Gold, this sparked my interest. At first glance the monthly charts do have similarities, the price of both assets started relatively low, then both exploding in value before pulling back and stabilising within a range for a prolonged period of time. With this being said, do I think this is enough to claim an uncanny correlation between the digital currency and Gold? Probably not. The article posted a chart which does make the two appear to have taken an extremely similar path in terms of price history. The two charts, however, have been manipulated in such a way to make them appear drastically more similar than they are in reality, note the inconsistent price scale on the right axle.
Commodity analyst Christopher Louney at RBC Capitals claims to have found a slight inverse relationship between Gold and Bitcoin after studying the two markets earlier this year. The inverse correlation only started to surface during the bull run of 2017 during peak volatility and carried very little statistical significance. Louney claims this correlation has strengthened throughout 2018 but remains weak and unreliable.
There are several theories flying around the internet on the potential current or future relationship between these two assets, as it stands none of them hold any true substance nor are they supported by solid evidence. The fact of the matter is, the Cryptocurrency market is still in its infancy stages and hasn't cemented its place in the financial world just yet. This makes it near impossible to make a valid claim that the price of one affects the value of the other.
Something we cannot ignore, however, is the possibility that one-day Digital currency and Commodities will be somehow linked. It was only 150 years ago that Gold was pegged against the US Dollar with the Bretton Woods Act. Such situations in the digital world would be extremely rare as the whole philosophy of Cryptocurrency is that it is a decentralised entity so no government in the world possesses the power to do so. It will be interesting to see ten, twenty or even fifty years from now where these two assets will be. With the impending death of Fiat currency, which digital coins will step up to claim dominance if any? and how will this change the dynamics of the world we know today? It's impossible to know, we can only speculate. Will any of the current front runners in the Crypto world become a new safe haven for investors, or will they simply slot in where Fiat dropped out, creating new relationships between Gold and digital money as demand for both increases and decreases through current market climate and world events.
One thing is for certain though, our world is evolving. We are entering a brand new age, the age of digital currency and with that comes an immense opportunity for investors from all four corners of the earth to capitalise on these changes. Anyone with a WiFi connection can now invest in their future, it's no longer a secret among the elite, whether it's Commodities, Forex or Crypto's, with the right education and a focused mind you can create your perfect reality.
-Sam Moore, Gold Analyst
Nobel Prize
Nobel Chief Says He 'Deeply Regrets' Giving Obama Peace Prize
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 14:31
Former Nobel boss, Geir Lundestad, says he deeply regrets giving Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
According to his recently published autobiography, Lundestad reveals how the Nobel Peace Prize committee became increasingly horrified at Obama's failures as his Presidency unravelled:
''No Nobel Peace Prize ever elicited more attention than the 2009 prize to Barack Obama,'' Mr. Lundestad writes.
''Even many of Obama's supporters believed that the prize was a mistake,'' he says. ''In that sense the committee didn't achieve what it had hoped for''.
Godfatherpolitics.com reports: Lundestad that at first Obama greeted the situation with some good sense and initially said he did not even want to come pick the thing up.
But, soon enough his natural (and proper) embarrassment at being given the award for no logical reason was overcome by his arrogance and desire for personal adulation. He went and picked it up in person anyway.
Of course, Obama's detractors here in the U.S.A. widely made fun of the idiotic award.
As well they should. Obama did not deserve any ''peace prize'' before he had even fairly begun his first term.
And eight years later, even Lundestad now admits that Obama did nothing even after two terms to deserve it.
It's about time they admit it.
Khashoggi
Thread by @40_head: "1. ! confirmed! Prince (Dopey) Al-Waleed plot to take out MBS? Man tells BBC, is alive! @findtruthQ ['...]" #QuestionTheNarrative #QDrops #Khashoggi #Q
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 23:34
12,399 views
2. #Q told us Saudi Arabia (SA) was behind HRC and BU5H! The BU5H's surrendered power to the Saud family decades ago in exchange for riches. SA is Huma Abedin's handler, HRC was THEIR candidate. My best SA thread. PLEASE read this before continuing!
https://twitter.com/40_head/status/1072116112546877441
3. A lot of you know, I took a special interest in Khashoggi right away. The whole story stunk of fake news. I researched and found a lot of intel on the situation that exposed some major players, and forced a lot of new questions to be asked. That has all paid off!
4. I know some people have absolutely no desire to read about the Khashoggi case but they'll be missing one of the most important pieces of intel that
#QAnon has received from
#Q in the past 15 months if they ignore it. The media followed a shared script hoping to oust
#MBS. Why?
5. First things first. A
#QDrop so you know why this is such a big deal to me.
"Senator McCain and others roundly criticized Rep. Michele Bachmann in 2012 when she and four members of the House Permanent Select Committee Intelligence and the House Judiciary Committee...
6. ...cited Ms. Abedin in letters sent to the Inspectors General of the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, warning about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of...
7. ... the United States government.
Why is this relevant?
Who took an undisclosed trip to SA?
What was the purpose of a f2f v phone call?
qmap.pub/read/57Huma Abedin, BO, and Keith Ellison all have ties to the muslim brotherhood. Bachmann knew it!
8. "Undisclosed trip?"
Jared Kushner secretly went to SA a day or two before 1st Q drop on 10/28/2017 - just days before Al-Waleed arrested!
"HRC = Alice
SA = Wonderland
WHO ARE THE WHITE RABBITS?
Re_read drops re: SA
Have faith.
Q"
qmap.pub/read/2049
9. "How did SA welcome POTUS during his trip?Why was this historic and not covered by MSM?How did SA welcome BO during his trip?How did SA welcome HRC during her trip?Why relevant? Not suggesting SA is clean by any means but they play a role in this global game of RISK."
10. That is
#QDrop #59.
qmap.pub/read/59I don't pretend to know how to decode all QDrops but I do know how to follow the simple form Q gave, A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. By working out RISK, I found 18.9.19.11, punched into a search engine, and voila!
ip-tracker.org/locator/ip-loo'...
11. An IP address belonging to MIT? Out of the Green Street Grill in Cambridge Massachusetts?
Back to what I'm dealing with before I get a knock on the door!
DJT called out SA prince "Dopey" Al-Waleed, accusing him of buying off US elected officials.
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/675523728055410689
12. Why is Dopey important? Because DJT singled this one guy out, from the entire royal family. Why?
Well, look at the story. The 31 yr old "kid" was fast tracked to 1st in line, as Crown Prince. All older contenders are out! MBS will reign for decades!
stepfeed.com/saudi-arabia-a'...
13. The 1st king of Saudi had 38 sons, 7 of them from his "favorite" wife Sudairi. They were the ones he preferred to rule. Just before he died, King Abdullah changed the line of succession which SHOULD have gone to prince Talal, Al-Waleed's father!
affordablehousinginstitute.org/blogs/us/wp-co'...
14. When Al-Waleed's father was passed over, that meant Al-Waleed too, would never see the throne. This pissed him off! He began a campaign to overthrow Salman, Abdullah's choice to succeed him.
The important kicker, Jamal Khashoggi worked for and was friends with Al-Waleed!
15. "'Jamal wasn't only my friend. He was working with me. Actually, his last job in Saudi Arabia was with me and with the Arab TV channel. What took place in the Saudi Consulate [in Istanbul] was clearly horrific, despicable, unspeakable and tragic,'"
gulfnews.com/world/gulf/sau'... 16. So, of all the people in SA that DJT could've pointed to as the "corrupt" in the kingdom, why did he focus on Al-Waleed?
"Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a prominent member of the country's royal family and a wealthy investor, has been swept up in connection...
17. ...with a wide-ranging anti-corruption initiative"
cnbc.com/2017/11/04/bil'...Is it coincidence Q's 1st 2 drops are October 28th, talking about HRC being detained and asking "Where's Huma", the same same day Jared Kushner secretly visits SA? Days later, Al-Waleed is arrested!
18. Huma has connections! Besides her father being a sharia believing muslim who runs a newspaper in Saudi that teaches as much, she also has quite the social network! Along with Arianna Huffington, Jenna Bush, and is that...Prince Al-waleed's wife? WOW!
freebeacon.com/issues/weiner-'...
19. "Khashoggi graduated from Indiana State University in 1982. His four adult children were all U.S. educated, and at least two are U.S. citizens, according to his friends."
npr.org/2018/10/19/658'...So, why Khashoggi? And, why did every media outlet JUMP to murder instantly?
20. Coincidence? Khashoggi's disappearance hadn't been reported yet, so, why was NPelosi there Oct. 3rd, within hours of him going missing? (She hasn't had a recorded visit with SA in years.) NO MSM reported this, just the Saudi embassy in DC..And me!
https://twitter.com/SaudiEmbassyUSA/status/1047555718914736130
21. BTW, important to note from my thread I posted at the beginning of this...a few days after Pelosi met this Prince at the embassy in DC, he fled the US and reports from DJT and the Royals said he would not return! In fact, last month, he came back! What a weird turn of events.
22. WHY Khashoggi? Because he's perfect! He wrote for Washington Post, enabling the media to cry over a murdered journalist, and he had a convincing anti-MBS backstory. If MBS was implicated, King Salman would probably abdicate. But who would benefit from his removal from power?
23. Prince Al-Waleed! After all, he's watching his young counterpart preparing to rule the kingdom for A LONG time. Al-Waleed and his family will NEVER rule!
And power is key, especially to the man who owns the controlling shares of Citibank and twitter!
cnbc.com/id/42034426
24. ''...we now have a glimpse of exactly who is feeding the establishment media reporting on the Khashoggi matter -- including at least one source who was tied to a joint Libyan intelligence and al-Qaeda plot to assassinate the Saudi crown prince.''
pjmedia.com/trending/bewar'...
26. Did you know Mike Pompeo and James Mattis held a briefing with the ENTIRE senate and told them all there was no evidence to suggest MBS was behind this alleged crime? They couldn't even confirm a crime had happened! When the senators left the meeting, they were all confused.
27. A week or so later, ClA director Hapsel briefed just a few senators in a private meeting. When it was over, you couldn't stop Lindsay Graham. He said there's absolute proof MBS is behind it, that he's guilty, and that there's no doubt in his mind that Khashoggi was murdered.
28. The entire senate unanimously backed a decision to declare that MBS was guilty of Khashoggi's murder!
Keep in mind, as a researcher, you have to always be ready to accept some of your former conclusions are going to be effected when you learn new details.
29. You may see some slight variations in older threads from what you're reading today. For a thorough research on the differences between Pompeo/Mattis and Hapsel presentations, see my thread here
https://twitter.com/40_head/status/1070639539910139904 By the way, all of you who say Mattis is a traitor'...
30. ...you need to learn the Q comms and stop jumping on and off trains as they rolls through. It's called ''optics'' and Q refers to it constantly. There has to be an appearance of certain things to make it all believable to those who have no idea what's really going on.
32. You must understand: ''One bit of uncertainty in the story is that the claim the Khashoggi was killed seems to come from a Turkish police investigation, leaked to the press in Turkey and abroad.''
talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/is-the-'...
33. Turkey's story of what happened to Khashoggi changed a dozen times or more PROVING they didn't have evidence or facts! It seemed like every day they had some, new, gruesome clues. The next day they retracted that statement and presented other, with even more gruesome clues.
34. The next day they'd retract those statements and offer something different a couple days later. These rapidly changing stories were met with reactions from SA that were just as strange!
Turkey's stories changed more than anybody and it was like SA was just trying to keep up!
35. The 3 most influential sources outside of the Turkish government itself are these 3 characters.
The Fiance ''While she claims to be Khashoggi's fianc(C)e, his family has denied ever hearing or knowing about her.'' '' So, you mean she lied about being his fianc(C)? You don't say!
36. Eyewitness ''He had claimed that 15 Saudi security personnel killed Khashoggi. But that news was later debunked by Turkish officials as the team of Saudis was actually investigators who arrived after Khashoggi's disappearance in agreement with Turkish authorities.'' - He lied!
37. The Reporter ''Elshayyal's brother is the director of a Qatari-funded news website al-Araby al-Jadeed, which is supervised by the Muslim Brotherhood in Doha and in London and is run by Palestinian politician, Azmi Bishara, the advisor to the Emir of Qatar...
38. ...Their father is a leading Brotherhood figure who works for the Emir.''
'' You mean this guy is related to muslim brotherhood and wants MBS ousted?
english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/'...
39. ''Referring to the journalist's fiancee, Trump said: "His wife wrote us a letter. And addressed it to my wife and myself. And we're in contact with her now, and we want to bring her to the White... House. It's a very sad situation."''
washingtonexaminer.com/news/white-hou'... 40. So, DJT promises this woman he's looking into what happened and offers her a chance to come to the White House and meet with him. She REFUSES! I wonder why???
cnn.com/2018/10/26/pol'...
41. So, who exactly is this woman? Well, here's her bio. Please note'...she's 5'6'' tall. That will come into play in just a moment. Crucial information!
dreshare.com/hatice-cengiz/
42. So, I am not drawing any conclusions except to say that all the conclusions drawn so far appear to be total and utter bull crap. I have one last thing to show you here. This may be the biggest and most explosive fact that PROVES the Khashoggi story is an outright fabrication!
43. Resist the narrative! I told you to remember that the woman claiming to be his fianc(C) is 5'6'', right? I've looked on several sites and this has been confirmed. I cant find a height for Khashoggi BUT I found this photo of him shaking Edrogan's hand.
le1.ma/disparition-de'... 44. Can we agree they're the same height? Edrogan may even dominate by an inch or so? Edrogan's specifics are easily attainable as he is a popular public figure. He's apparently, exactly 6 feet tall. Can we agree, Khashoggi is 5'11'' by this photo? (add photo)
45. Now watch this video. It's just a minute or so:
It comes from this site.
trtworld.com/turkey/exclusi'...Pray tell then, how tall do you think that man is that they're saying is Jamal Khashoggi? He's towering over everybody, INCLUDING his fianc(C)!
46. It looks like she's up to about his shoulder line, which means he's at least a foot taller than her in this photo'...minimum! That would make this guy 6'6'' at least. He's taller than the cyclone fences, which are usually right at 6 feet. He's towering over the security staff.
47. This "flaming gun" video footage does NOT look like Jamal Khashoggi!
How can we believe ANY of this story, if it's so easily debunked by what THEY claim to evidence!
I feel this thread completely blows away the narrative on the Khashoggi disappearance. It's all lies!
48. The biggest question is why! And it NEEDS to be answered! Terrorists conspiring to take out MBS? Al-Waleed vying for power? Media moguls trying to reinsert their leader? Cabal going after those who cut off Huma and HRC from funding?
You decide!
Is Khashoggi still alive?
49. That's it for me folks. I hope this thread has got you thinking! Can you believe that ALL THE HYPE THAT WAS GIVEN TO A BIG FAT LIE!
Can you believe the mass effort that was made to push that story? #PANIC!
God bless you all. #WWG1WGA, #QAnon, #GreatAwakening
End
Did Khashoggi Really Die?
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 23:37
Did Khashoggi Really Die? By F. William Engdahl23 January 2019 Image Credit: Alfagih at Arabic Wikipedia License: GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts https://bit.ly/2CE61fi
I have not been convinced about the claims coming from Turkey and from the Washington Post and others regarding the allegations of a gruesome murder of intelligence asset, Jamal Khashoggi, in October, 2018. There are too many anomalies as it was portrayed by various statements from Turkey President Erdogan, and echoed by a chorus of the Western mainstream media. Recent research suggests that perhaps Khashoggi was never in that Saudi Consulate in Istanbul that day, and in fact may still be quite alive and in hiding. If so, it suggests a far larger story behind the affair. Let's consider the following .
The best way to outline this is to go back to the events around the surprise arrest and detention of numerous Saudi high-ranking persons in late 2017, by Prince Mohammed bin Salman or MBS as he is known. On November 4, 2017 MBS announced via state TV that numerous leading Saudis including one of the wealthiest, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, had been arrested on charges of corruption, and were being detained in the Riyadh Ritz Carlton hotel. Prince Alwaleed is clearly the critical person.
The son-in-law of President Trump had reportedly made a non-publicized visit to Riyadh for private talks with MBS just days before the mass arrests. A report in the UK Mail newspaper in 2018 claimed that Jared Kushner, representing the President, had informed MBS of a rival Saudi Royals plot to eliminate the Crown Prince. Prince Alwaleed was reported to be at the center of the plotters.
After three months imprisonment, Alwaleed was released from detention on 27 January 2018, following a reported financial settlement. In March 2018 he dropped out from Forbes' World's Billionaires' list. Before his arrest Alwaleed was the largest shareholder in Citibank, a major owner of Twitter, once partner of Bill Gates in Gates Foundation vaccine programs, and generous donor to select Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. According to media reports, Hillary campaign aide Huma Abedin's brother, Hassan Abedin, Muslim Brotherhood member, worked with Bin Talal on a project called ''Spreading Islam to the West.'' Bin Talal and other Saudi sources donated as much as $25 million to the Clinton Foundation as she was preparing her Presidential bid. The Prince was also an open foe of Donald Trump.
Who was Khashoggi Really?
Jamal Khashoggi was no ordinary journalist. He actually worked for Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. In an interview in the Gulf Times in November last year Alwaleed stated, ''Jamal wasn't only my friend. He was working with me. Actually, his last job in Saudi Arabia was with me'...'' Jamal was, or is, nephew of CIA-linked asset, the recently deceased Adnan Khashoggi, a nefarious arms dealer involved in the CIA-Saudi BCCI bank and Iran-Contra. Nephew Jamal also worked for the then-Saudi Ambassador in Washington, Prince Bandar, someone so close to the Bush family that George W. nicknamed him ''Bandar Bush.'' In short, Khashoggi was part of Saudi circles close to the Bush-Clinton group. When King Abdullah decided to skip over Alwaleed's father, Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, dubbed ''The Red Prince'' for his reformist views, in his succession, a move that led to Salman, father of MBS, as successor, Alwaleed was on the outs in the Saudi power calculus of King Salman and Crown Prince MBS.
The Saudi government as well as the Brookings Institution confirm that Khashoggi had been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood was banned from Saudi Arabia in 2011 following the Obama-Hillary Clinton Arab Spring, when the Saudi monarch, King Abdullah, and those around him realized that the royal house itself was a potential target for brotherhood regime change, as in Egypt and Tunisia.
The Obama Administration, as I detail in Manifest Destiny, working with the CIA, planned a drastic series of regime changes across the Islamic world to install Muslim Brotherhood regimes ''friendly'' with the CIA and the Obama administration. Key members of the Obama Administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's special assistant, Huma Abedin, had deep ties to the Saudi part of the Muslim Brotherhood where Abedin's mother lives. Her mother, Saleha Abedin'' an academic in Saudi Arabia where Huma grew up'' according to a report on Al Jazeera and other Arab media, is a prominent member of the womens' organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Huma's brother is also reported linked to the organization. Notably, the late John McCain, whose ties to leading members of ISIS and Al Qaeda is public record, tried to discredit fellow Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for pointing to Abedin's Muslim Brotherhood ties. This is the faction within Saudi Arabia that Khashoggi was tied to.
As President, Trump's first foreign trip was to meet MBS and the Saudi King, a trip sharply criticized by Democrat Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. Once a Trump Presidency moved to rebuild the frayed relations that had developed between Obama and the Saudi monarchy under King Abdullah and later King Salman, father of Crown Prince MBS, the faction around pro-Obama Prince Bin Talal Alwaleed was out of favor, to put it mildly, especially after Hillary Clinton lost. In June 2017 Alwaleed's former employee, Jamal Khashoggi, fled into self-imposed exile in the US where he had studied earlier, after the government banned his twitter account in Saudi.
Khashoggi alive?
Once MBS acted to arrest Alwaleed and numerous others, the future of the money flows between Alwaleed to not only Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and to other Democrats he had ''supported'' with Saudi millions, was in jeopardy. While it is difficult to confirm, a BBC Turkish journalist in Istanbul reportedly told an arab language paper after the alleged gruesome murder and dismemberment of Khashoggi that, in fact, Jamal Khashoggi was alive and well, somewhere in hiding.
It is a fact that former CIA head and now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, along with then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, gave a briefing to the US Senate in which they told the senators that there was no evidence to suggest MBS was behind this alleged crime. They added that they couldn't even confirm a crime had happened! Only CIA head Gina Haspel, former CIA London station chief, disputed their claims. The Erdogan claims that the body was chopped up and then dissolved in acid for disposal without trace harkens back to the account of the Navy Seal disposal of the dead body allegedly of Osama bin Laden, which the Obama Administration claimed they dumped at sea ''according to Muslim tradition.'' Conveniently in both cases there was no body to forensically confirm.
Indeed the allegations to world media around the Khashoggi affair were tightly controlled by Turkey's President Erdogan who repeatedly promised then failed to reveal, what he said were secret Turkish intelligence tapes of the alleged murder. Erdogan is reported very close to the Muslim Brotherhood if not a hidden member, one reason for his close support of Qatar after MBS and the Saudi king declared economic sanctions on Qatar for support of terrorism, in fact Qatari support of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Here we are dealing with shifting political alliances with huge consequences potentially for US and world politics given the enormous size of the Saudi financial resources. It's also bizarre that Khashoggi allegedly agreed to go to a Saudi Consulate in Turkey and to supposedly get divorce papers. Further, his reported fianc(C)e, Hatice Cengiz, seems to be equally mysterious, with some asking whether she in fact is an agent of Turkish intelligence used to discredit Saudi Arabia.
The claims of Erdogan of the assassination of Jamal by a Saudi team were buttressed by a mysterious Khaled Saffuri, who told Yahoo News reporter, Michael Isikoff, that Khashoggi became a bitter foe of MBS for his articles in the media criticizing the arrests of Prince Bin Talal and others. Research reveals that Saffuri, media source on the Khashoggi alleged murder, also has had close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood front organization, American Muslim Council, and to Qatar, host to the exiled Brotherhood for years. Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood was a factor in the break between MBS and Qatar two years ago.
Saffuri is also the prot(C)g(C) of al-Qaeda fundraiser Abdurahman Alamoudi, reportedly also an influential Muslim Brotherhood supporter who before 2004 met with both G.W. Bush and Hillary Clinton. Alamoudi is currently in US federal prison since 2004 for his role as bagman for a Libyan/Al-Qaeda assassination plot to assassinate then- Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. In brief, the prime sources on the Khashoggi murder are few and hardly without bias.
At this point it is difficult to go beyond speculation. Clear is that Jamal Khashoggi is missing from public view since early October. But until the Turkish government or someone else presents serious forensic evidence, habeas corpus, that indeed shows Alwaleed's former employee, Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by a Saudi assassination team, let alone by one commanded by Crown Prince bin Salman, the situation warrants more serious examination. It is curious that the same liberal media such as Jeff Bezos' Washington Post that attacks MBS for the alleged murder of their reporter, Khashoggi, fails to criticize previous Saudi executions or even subsequent ones.
Did Khashoggi really die at the Istanbul Consulate or was something else going on? To stage a fake execution of Khashoggi to discredit and even possibly topple MBS might possibly have appeared to Alwaleed and his CIA friends in Washington to be a clever way of restoring their power and financial influence. If so, it seems to have failed.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine''New Eastern Outlook''
Back
Clinton Emails
Who is Peter Comey and Why it Matters
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 23:40
Who is Peter Comey and Why it Matters By F. William Engdahl10 December 2018 Image Credit: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - Creative Commons License https://bit.ly/2Gn0C1l
On December 7 after weeks of legal resistance, former FBI Director James Comey was forced to appear at a closed-door hearing convened by Republicans in the House of Representatives. The hearing was called to investigate political bias by Comey and other officials against then-candidate Donald Trump. In the last days the focus has begun to shift to the surprise of many to the Democratic Party DNC, to Hillary Clinton and James Comey .
For almost two years the world has been inundated with select leaks and claims of Russian bias on behalf of Trump's candidacy. We saw naming of a Justice Department Special Council to investigate and presentation of a dossier to the Democratic National Committee in 2015 from ex-British MI6 agent Christopher Steele of dubious quality. Now, in the wake of the November US mid-term elections where Republicans actually increased their Senate majority to 53-47, the focus is turning to Hillary Clinton, James Comey and to the controversial and highly-interesting Clinton Foundation.
Without repeating the details here, the basic facts revolve around major mainstream media accusations of Trump obstruction of justice and wrongful dismissal of Comey in addition to Trump's alleged Russian crimes that Special Counsel, ex-FBI head Robert Mueller, is supposedly investigating. For two years the public has been inundated with salacious details and leaks around those investigations against Trump and associates. Now, to the surprise of some, the spotlight seems to shift to misdeeds not of Trump but of Hillary Clinton, Comey and of the increasingly controversial Clinton Foundation.
Reopening email investigation
Recall that during the contentious 2016 US Presidential campaign pitting Clinton against Trump, it became known that as Secretary of State under Obama, Clinton had used a private e-mail server for her work as Secretary of State, violation of security laws and, according to a clear whitewash investigation by then FBI chief James Comey where, in July 2016, Comey declared that, ''Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, my judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.'' The final Comey declaration also chose to ignore critical issues as to how many contained secret or top secret classification. It later emerged that Comey had drafted his statement of Clinton's exoneration almost two months before the investigation by the FBI ended. Keep in mind those emails also link to activities at the time of the Clinton Foundation run by husband Bill.
Now US Federal District Judge Royce Lamberth has ordered the Hillary Clinton email case reopened. ''At worst, career employees in the State and Justice departments colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this court,'' Lamberth wrote.
Clinton Foundation
Now US Republican Congressman Mark Meadows has told press that the evidence against the Clinton Foundation is mounting. Meadows currently sits as chairman of the House Oversight Committee on Government Operations and was involved in the December 7 Comey questioning. Meadows declared that preliminary examination of testimony from numerous witnesses ''raises grave concerns their operations were not above-board'...''
Republican Rep. Mark Meadows says the evidence against the Clinton Foundation is mounting. The North Carolina congressman is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee on Government Operations and is poised to examine the organization next week in hearings.
Meadows told Fox News Thursday that hundreds of pages of evidence from witnesses have to be assessed, but that a cursory examination ''raises grave concerns their operations were not above-board as the American people have been led to believe.'' Meadows heads a special subcommittee that is to hear testimony on December 13 from John Huber, a special US Attorney named a year ago to investigate possible illegal activities around the Clinton Foundation when Hillary was Secretary of State.
Clinton Whistleblower
On December 7 The Hill online site reported that 6,000 pages of evidence that was attached to a whistleblower submission was filed secretly more than a year ago with the IRS and FBI by someone with inside knowledge of the Clinton Foundation. The documents reportedly reveal that the Clinton Foundation engaged in illegal activities and may be liable for millions of dollars in delinquent taxes and penalties. Huber is to testify on this and other findings his staff of some 470 attorneys have been accumulating since 2017.
In this light, a news item from December 4, 2018 suggests that things could get very explosive around Clinton Foundation revelations. On that day US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, released a sealed indictment against a Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, on charges including ''Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Tax Evasion, Wire Fraud, and Money Laundering Conspiracy.'' Mossack Fonseca attorney Ramses Owens, a 50-year-old from Panama, remains at large.
Mossack Fonseca, was at the heart of the 2015 Wikileaks revelations of the so-called Panama Papers. It has several ties to the Clinton Foundation. They include Gabrielle Fialkoff, finance director for Hillary Clinton's first US Senate campaign and today ''senior adviser'' to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Fialkoff has donated to the Clinton Foundation and to Hillary's presidential campaign. It includes shady Canadian mining billionaire Frank Giustra, a business partner with Bill Clinton and board member of Clinton Foundation who is in the center of the soon-to-be infamous Uranium One affair. Guistra's offshore company UrAsia Energy Ltd was in the Mossack Fonseca Panama Papers leak.
Indications and investigations including court-ordered disclosues have shown evidence suggesting that while Hillary Clinton was Obama Secretary of State, she and husband Bill used the Clinton Foundation to solicit hundreds of millions of dollars in ''charitable'' donations from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Bahrain to the foundation in return for direct access to Secretary of State Clinton. At the time, Hillary Clinton's State Department Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills also served on the board of the Clinton Foundation. Mills today is also listed on the foundation board.
James Comey's Brother
Now it so happens that James Comey has a brother, Peter Comey, who had an executive position with the Washington law firm that did the audit of the Clinton foundation in 2015. Peter Comey was officially DLA Piper ''Senior Director of Real Estate Operations for the Americas,'' in 2015 when the Clinton Foundation scandals first broke and Hillary was preparing her Presidential campaign. Not only was DLA Piper, the firm where Comey's brother worked, involved in the audit of the Clinton Foundation. According to the foundation's donor records, DLA Piper has given between $50,000 and $100,000 to the foundation.
There are other ''coincidences'' such as James Comey's role before becoming FBI head as Vice President for top defense contractor Lockheed Martin, which became a corporate donor to the Clinton Foundation.
Peter Comey, working for the law firm that did the audit of the Clinton Foundation, at the time his brother headed the FBI and led the whitewash of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton matters a heck of a lot. Even the mere hint of such conflict of interest ought to have led to FBI director Comey recusing himself from any contact with the 2016 Clinton email server investigation.
Now the emergence of a Clinton Foundation insider whistleblower working with the US Justice Department and the Huber investigation threatens to blow the lid off what increasingly looks like one of the most egregious centers of political corruption in Washington. It begins to become more clear why Hillary and friends used all influence in government and mainstream media to discredit the President and try to close all investigations that could put them in the docket. Now it gets interesting, as the signs are the Justice Department Clinton investigation is ready to be presented.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine''New Eastern Outlook''
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Build the Wall
Donald Trump Border Wall Emergency Declaration: Legal, Likely to Be Upheld by Courts | National Review
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:18
Migrants cross a river next to an construction crew working on a section of the new U.S.-Mexico wall between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, February 5, 2019.(Jose Luis Gonzalezz/Reuters) For all the legal analysts wringing their hands at the prospect of such a move, the courts would likely uphold it. I t seems increasingly likely that President Trump will declare a national emergency at our southern border in order to access funds to build a wall. Last week, I had the pleasure of debating National Review 's very own David French on the legality of such a move in a Federalist Society-sponsored tele-conference. I wanted to take the opportunity to further explain my defense of Trump's legal authority in response to David's excellent points.
David and I agree that Congress has not placed any serious limits on the president's power to declare an emergency and that the Supreme Court was unlikely to second-guess him. For much of our history, presidents have understood the Constitution's grant of ''the executive power'' to include a power to declare national emergency. Thomas Jefferson effectively did so in response to Aaron Burr's effort to raise a rebellion in Louisiana; Abraham Lincoln did so, with far more justification, at the start of the Civil War; FDR did so, with far less justification, at the start of his presidency in response to the Great Depression; and Harry Truman did so at the start of the Korean War.
In 1976, Congress enacted the National Emergency Act in its burst of post-Watergate reforms designed to restrict presidential power. While the new law terminated most existing emergencies, it did not set out any definition of a national emergency or limit the president's ability to declare one. The law only sets out the process for publication and congressional notification of the president's declaration. So David and I agree that there are few limits on the president's ability to declare an emergency for good reason. Indeed, every president since 1976 has used the NEA to declare a national emergency, several under circumstances far less immediate than this one, and the Supreme Court has never overturned one.
But David and I disagree on a broad conceptual question. I think he, and other prominent critics, view Trump's apparently impending declaration through the lens of Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952). In Youngstown, the Supreme Court reversed President Truman's seizure of the nation's steel mills, which a broad labor strike had closed. President Truman argued that steel was critical to the production of armaments needed for the Korean War. Writing for a 6''3 majority, Justice Hugo Black concluded that taking possession of private property '-- here, the steel mills '-- was a legislative function of government vested in Congress, not the president. Since Congress had rejected amendments to the federal labor laws that would have granted the executive such a power, Black concluded, Truman was without constitutional or statutory authority to seize the mills. According to David, a Trump declaration of emergency would amount to a similar act without legal authority.
I believe, however, that Youngstown is not the right analogy to the present circumstances. Trump does not claim that he has an inherent presidential power to declare an emergency and build a wall. Even if he did, I think that there would be important differences between Truman's seizure of the steel mills and a wall. Here, unlike Youngstown, there is no direct conflict between Congress and the President. Congress has not passed a law denying the President the authority to take measures to protect the border; in fact, in 2006 Congress passed a law by bipartisan majorities authorizing the construction of a wall. In Dames & Moore v. Regan (1981), the Court found that when Congress broadly delegates a general power to the executive branch in the area of foreign affairs, such as the power to impose economic sanctions, it would not read Congress's neglect to grant a more specific, related authority as foreclosing the president from exercising that authority. Instead, it would treat Congress's silence as acquiescence to presidential initiative, especially in times of emergency. That is exactly the case here: Congress has authorized a wall and other security measures at the border, it has not passed any law forbidding such a wall, and the president has invoked delegated powers to continue the wall's construction.
Justice Black also found important that Truman's seizure of the mills occurred outside the ''theatre of war'' and so was ''a job for the Nation's lawmakers, not for its military authorities.'' A World War II case, by contrast, had correctly upheld the destruction of civilian property in the Pacific as a matter of military necessity. The construction of a border wall would be closer to the latter case than to Youngstown. President Trump does not seek to nationalize a large segment of the domestic economy far from the battlefield. Instead, he seeks to order the military to build a border wall directly at the point of the emergency, without any seizure of domestic industry. Private-property owners whose land the government might need for construction would have a right to just compensation, which the administration should wisely, and quickly, pay.
Trump would not even need to invoke his inherent constitutional powers. The White House could declare an emergency under the NEA and then draw funds from any statutes which allow new spending during such periods (more on those shortly). He would not have to claim a constitutional power to move money around during an emergency, which Lincoln did when he raised an army and navy after the firing on Fort Sumter without congressional appropriation. Instead, he could claim he was acting pursuant to congressional delegation of authority to the executive branch.
In that respect, this case would be governed not by Youngstown, but by Dames & Moore v. Regan. In Dames & Moore, the Supreme Court addressed the actions taken by the Carter and Reagan administrations to settle the Iran hostage crisis. Under the deal reached with the mullahs in Tehran, the United States had to suspend claims against Iran in U.S. courts, nullify any attachment of Iranian assets pursuant to court order, and transfer all Iranian funds in U.S. banks to a U.S.''Iran claims tribunal in the Hague. President Carter triggered emergency powers under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977, which allowed him to suspend the claims and to transfer bank funds '-- but, importantly, did not allow him to lift court orders freezing assets. The Court, however, upheld Carter's order in toto anyway. His action was ''supported by the strongest of presumptions and the widest latitude of judicial interpretation,'' Justice William Rehnquist wrote, ''and the burden of persuasion would rest heavily upon any who might attack it.'' Because the president was acting pursuant to congressional delegation, the Court observed, ''a contrary ruling would mean that the Federal Government as a whole lacked the power exercised by the President, and that we are not prepared to say.''
I believe that the Roberts Court '-- but perhaps not lower courts, especially those that view themselves as part of the resistance to the Trump administration '-- would grant the same generous deference to President Trump. Here, Congress has passed at least two laws that give the president the power to transfer funds to a construction project, such as a wall, after a declaration of emergency. The first, Section 2808 of Title 10 states that:
In the event of a declaration of war or the declaration by the President of a national emergency in accordance with the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) that requires use of the armed forces, the Secretary of Defense, without regard to any other provision of law, may undertake military construction projects, and may authorize the Secretaries of the military departments to undertake military construction projects, not otherwise authorized by law that are necessary to support such use of the armed forces. Such projects may be undertaken only within the total amount of funds that have been appropriated for military construction, including funds appropriated for family housing, that have not been obligated.
David and I agree that if Section 2808 applies, then the courts would not stand in the way of a Trump order redirecting funds from existing military construction projects to a border wall. David argues, however, that the emergency would not be one that ''requires use of the armed forces'' and that a wall would not be ''necessary to support such use of the armed forces.'' He has asserted that immigration law is under the jurisdiction of civilian authorities '-- namely, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security '-- and that statistics show that there is no increase in illegal migration across the southern border that requires deployment of troops or construction of a wall.
I disagree here with David's analysis of Section 2808. As commander-in-chief, President Trump has ordered 3,000 troops to defend the integrity of the border. This recalls the U.S. Army to its roots: safeguarding the frontier. For much of American history, the primary purpose of the armed forces was border defense, not exporting democracy or keeping the peace in Europe and Asia. I do not think that Congress can unilaterally transform a historic military mission '-- safeguarding the nation's territorial integrity '-- into a civilian law-enforcement mission through immigration laws. That would effectively allow Congress to reduce the Constitution's grant of the commander-in-chief and executive powers to the president through a law's characterization of the border. This argument is even stronger if the military at the border is not enforcing immigration laws '-- which it appears not to be, and which it arguably could not because of the Posse Comitatus Act's bar on military enforcement of federal law within the country '-- but providing protection of the border and supporting civilian agencies operating there. The U.S. Army is not catching illegal aliens and handing them over to immigration courts. That remains ICE's job.
David further argues that a wall is not ''necessary to support such use of the armed forces.'' There might be an unusual, technical meaning to ''military construction projects'' that are ''necessary'' to support troops, much like words in the tax code do not seem to mean what common sense would suggest they do. But if we go by the plain words of the statutory text, a wall would clearly support the troops deployed at the border. A wall would make the troops safer by protecting them and reducing the size of migrant flows. A wall would also reduce the size of necessary deployments along the border by reducing the area that must be patrolled. Further, decisions over what ''requires'' the armed forces and what is ''necessary to support'' them traditionally have rested with the president and have rarely, if ever, been second-guessed by the courts.
The second law involved here is Section 2293 of Title 33 of the U.S. Code. That law allows the secretary of defense to reallocate funds from military construction projects:
In the event of a declaration of war or a declaration by the President of a national emergency in accordance with the National Emergencies Act [50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.] that requires or may require use of the Armed Forces, the Secretary, without regard to any other provision of law, may (1) terminate or defer the construction, operation, maintenance, or repair of any Department of the Army civil works project that he deems not essential to the national defense, and (2) apply the resources of the Department of the Army's civil works program, including funds, personnel, and equipment, to construct or assist in the construction, operation, maintenance, and repair of authorized civil works, military construction, and civil defense projects that are essential to the national defense.
This statute appears even more generous than Section 2808. It does not demand that a national emergency require the use of the U.S. Armed Forces; it allows that an emergency that ''requires or may require'' their use will do. It also does not require that the construction be necessary to support the armed forces. Instead, it requires that (a) the civil works, military construction, or civil defense project be ''authorized''; and (b) the project be ''essential to the national defense.''
As John Eastman has observed, the Secure Fence Act of 2006 authorized construction of a wall along the U.S.''Mexico border, which satisfies condition (a). David could argue, in response, that a wall would not be ''essential to the national defense,'' and would thus fail condition (b). We probably agree that the courts would be reluctant to review what construction projects are essential or not to the national defense. This is especially so where, as here, the phrase is repeated, but nowhere defined, in the U.S. Code. A quick spin through various federal laws and regulations indicates that the phrase arises primarily with regard to the president's authority to designate commodities, workers, and even industries as essential to the national defense, or the president's right to protect classified information. There does not appear to be any definition of what construction projects are essential to the national defense. The Supreme Court would likely give the president the broadest deference to decide whether any construction project, even a border wall, satisfied this statutory language.
This makes perfect sense. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to define by antecedent law what is militarily necessary. Would the courts review whether the president's decision to build a particular base, road, waterway, airport, fortification, defense structure, storage facility, arsenal, or even a bunker was ''essential'' to the national defense? Such a decision would depend on the circumstances and the nature of the threat, which almost by definition could not be fully anticipated by Congress. Indeed, the Framers created the federal government and the presidency precisely because they knew that it was impossible to define beforehand the nature of emergencies and crises, and that the better course was to create a body of government with the authority to act as circumstances arose. Because the ''circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite,'' Alexander Hamilton warned in Federalist No. 23, ''no constitutional shackles can wisely be imposed on the power.''
Our Framers explained that they vested the whole executive power of the federal government in a single person, the president, so that the nation would not be disabled from responding forcefully to emergencies. ''Good government,'' Hamilton explained in Federalist No. 70, requires ''energy in the executive,'' which is ''essential to the protection of the community from foreign attacks'' and ''the steady administration of the laws.'' In this case, the web of congressional authorizations and emergency powers does not contradict the constitutional scheme, but instead amplifies it. Not only do presidents still have some reservoir of constitutional authority to declare emergencies, but Congress has seen fit to enhance it with the right to re-allocate spending to support such a declaration. Despite the pleas of administration critics, the Supreme Court will almost certainly agree.
Clips
VIDEO - You Are Not Allowed to Eavesdrop in Public - Lehto's Law Ep. 5.90 - YouTube
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:58
VIDEO - The US cannot crush us, says Huawei founder - BBC News
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:55
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Media caption Ren Zhengfei described the arrest of his daughter as politically motivatedThe founder of Huawei has said there is "no way the US can crush" the company, in an exclusive interview with the BBC.
Ren Zhengfei described the arrest of his daughter Meng Wanzhou, the company's chief financial officer, as politically motivated.
The US is pursuing criminal charges against Huawei and Ms Meng, including money laundering, bank fraud and stealing trade secrets.
Huawei denies any wrongdoing.
Mr Ren spoke to the BBC's Karishma Vaswani in his first international broadcast interview since Ms Meng was arrested - and dismissed the pressure from the US.
"There's no way the US can crush us," he said. "The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit."
However, he acknowledged that the potential loss of custom could have a significant impact.
What else did Mr Ren say about the US?Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the country's allies against using Huawei technology, saying it would make it more difficult for Washington to "partner alongside them".
Australia, New Zealand, and the US have already banned or blocked Huawei from supplying equipment for their future 5G mobile broadband networks, while Canada is reviewing whether the company's products present a serious security threat.
Mr Ren warned that "the world cannot leave us because we are more advanced".
"If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine. And if the North goes dark, there is still the South. America doesn't represent the world. America only represents a portion of the world."
What did Mr Ren say about investment in the UK?The UK's National Cyber Security Centre has decided that any risk posed by using Huawei technology in UK telecoms projects can be managed.
Many of the UK's mobile companies, including Vodafone, EE and Three, are working with Huawei to develop their 5G networks.
They are awaiting a government review, due in March or April, that will decide whether they can use Huawei technology.
Commenting on the possibility of a UK ban, Mr Ren said Huawei "won't withdraw our investment because of this. We will continue to invest in the UK.
"We still trust in the UK, and we hope that the UK will trust us even more.
"We will invest even more in the UK. Because if the US doesn't trust us, then we will shift our investment from the US to the UK on an even bigger scale."
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Huawei has denied that it poses any risk to the UK or any other country What does Mr Ren think about his daughter's arrest?Mr Ren's daughter Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer, was arrested on 1 December in Vancouver at the request of the US, and is expected to be the subject of a formal extradition request.
In total, 23 charges are levelled against Huawei and Ms Weng. The charges are split across two indictments by the US Department of Justice.
The first covers claims Huawei hid business links to Iran - which is subject to US trade sanctions. The second includes the charge of attempted theft of trade secrets.
Mr Ren was clear in his opposition to the US accusations.
"Firstly, I object to what the US has done. This kind of politically motivated act is not acceptable.
"The US likes to sanction others, whenever there's an issue, they'll use such combative methods.
"We object to this. But now that we've gone down this path, we'll let the courts settle it."
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver last December What did Mr Ren say about Chinese government spying?Huawei, which is China's largest private company, has been under scrutiny for its links to the Chinese government - with the US and others expressing concern its technology could be used by China's security services to spy.
Under Chinese law, firms are compelled to "support, co-operate with and collaborate in national intelligence work".
But Mr Ren said that allowing spying was a risk he wouldn't take.
"The Chinese government has already clearly said that it won't install any backdoors. And we won't install backdoors either.
"We're not going to risk the disgust of our country and of our customers all over the world, because of something like this.
"Our company will never undertake any spying activities. If we have any such actions, then I'll shut the company down."
Is Huawei part of the Chinese state?Analysis - Karishma Vaswani, BBC Asia business correspondent - Shenzhen
For a man known as reclusive and secretive, Ren Zhengfei seemed confident in the conviction that the business he's built for the last 30 years can withstand the scrutiny from Western governments.
Mr Ren is right: the US makes up only a fraction of his overall business.
But where I saw his mood change was when I asked him about his links to the Chinese military and the government.
While he answered all of my questions, he refused to be drawn into a conversation on this, only to say that these were not facts, simply allegations - and insisted that political connections are not what has led Huawei to be successful today.
When I put to him the reports that his former chairwoman, Sun Yafang, had once worked with China's Ministry of State Security, he told me that her profile was up on the company's corporate website and that he didn't think it was "OK to suspect or guess where this person used to be".
He also confirmed that there is a Communist Party committee in Huawei, but he said this is what all companies - foreign or domestic - operating in China must have in order to abide by the law.
Read Karishma's blog: Ren Zhengfei: Reclusive but confident
VIDEO - Trump Breaking News 2/20/19 | Tucker Carlson Tonight February 20, 2019 | Breaking News Today.org
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:47
Trump Breaking News 2/20/19 | Tucker Carlson Tonight February 20, 2019
World '' World United States '' Google NewsSaudi Crown Prince arrives in China, kingdom's biggest trading partner - CNN February 21, 2019Saudi Crown Prince arrives in China, kingdom's biggest trading partner CNNChina walks Saudi-Iran tightrope as MBS visits Aljazeera.comOn Journalist Murder, Saudi Minister Answers With Iraq Prison Reference NDTVSaudi Aramco in talks on further Indian investments ReutersSaudi Crown Prince Heads to China to Meet With Xi Bloomberg VideoView full coverage on Google News
Heavily armed foreigners arrested in Haiti sent to United States, officials say - Reuters February 21, 2019Heavily armed foreigners arrested in Haiti sent to United States, officials say ReutersHaiti PM says detained Americans are 'terrorists' targeting government CNNView full coverage on Google News
Exclusive: China's Dalian port bans Australian coal imports, sets 2019 quota - source - Reuters February 21, 2019Exclusive: China's Dalian port bans Australian coal imports, sets 2019 quota - source ReutersBEIJING (Reuters) - Customs at China's northern Dalian port has banned imports of Australian coal and will cap overall coal imports for 2019 through its harbors ...View full coverage on Google News
North Korean envoy separated from his daughter, former ambassador claims - CNN February 21, 2019North Korean envoy separated from his daughter, former ambassador claims CNNThe daughter of a missing North Korean diplomat who is believed to be seeking asylum in Europe was separated from her parents and returned to Pyongyang, ...View full coverage on Google News
US says it will deliver aid blocked by Venezuela, setting up confrontation with Maduro regime - Fox News February 21, 2019US says it will deliver aid blocked by Venezuela, setting up confrontation with Maduro regime Fox NewsVenezuela security forces punish anti-Maduro protesters: Amnesty Aljazeera.comVenezuelans Fleeing Crisis Face Desperate Hike to 12,000 Feet The New York TimesMaduro's Soldiers Have Begun Disobeying Orders, Rubio Says BloombergVenezuela security forces kill, punish anti-Maduro protesters: Amnesty ReutersView full coverage on Google News
'It was genuinely heartfelt': Tucker Carlson curses at guest during tax discussion - USA TODAY February 21, 2019'It was genuinely heartfelt': Tucker Carlson curses at guest during tax discussion USA TODAYTucker Carlson, Rutger Bregman clash: Fox News host has meltdown with historian guest Vox.comHistorian who confronted Davos billionaires leaks Tucker Carlson rant The GuardianDutch historian exposes Tucker Carlson's fraud The Washington PostHow to Succeed in Advertising Boycotts Without Really Trying RealClearPoliticsView full coverage on Google News
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Trump Breaking News 2/20/19 | Tucker Carlson Tonight February 20, 2019============Thank you for watching! Please subscribe my channel and don't forget Click the! (BELL) Icon to Get notification for the latest videos uploaded. Thank you!👉 Do not forget to subscribe: https://bit.ly/2S2AhqD👉 https://www.facebook.com/FoxNews/👉 https://www.foxnews.com/
VIDEO - Lara Logan Mike Drop Clip (Media Bias) - YouTube
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:38
VIDEO - (1) Good Morning America on Twitter: "What's next for Jussie Smollett? @danabrams and @sunny discuss the legal implications of Smollett turning himself in earlier this morning. https://t.co/HuliI9y5rg https://t.co/gJshhD196i" / Twitter
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 14:46
Enter a topic, @name, or fullname
VIDEO - Don Lemon EXPLAINS How Trump and Tucker Carlson Will Use Jussie Smollett's Story to ATTACK The Press - YouTube
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 13:35
VIDEO - Obama: If you're confident about your sexuality, you don't need eight women twerking around you
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 04:59
What if you want eight women twerking around you, though? ''Need'' and ''want'' are very different things.
I don't ''want'' 13 beers a day to cope with current events in the Trump era. You see what I'm saying here?
To cleanse the palate, if you had ''former president implies that the dudes in hip-hop videos are closeted'' on today's 2019 news-bingo card, congratulations. I appreciate his family-oriented message here but (a) if there's a problem with men prone to having multiple women twerk in close proximity, it's clearly that they're a little too confident in their sexuality, and (b) his tribute to Michelle is cloying even within the uxorious parameters of this whole riff.
''We need to provide for those unwilling to twerk,'' says Alex Griswold, reimagining how this debate might sound in classic Obama-ese. To which I'd add, ''I do think at a certain point you have enough women twerking around you.''
Barack Obama praises Michelle Obama in discussion about 'being a man' https://t.co/MBDKcHZNIp pic.twitter.com/XU1RXsoLW8
'-- TIME (@TIME) February 20, 2019
VIDEO - Brexit III: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) - YouTube
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 03:19
VIDEO - Tucker Carlson Blows Up at Rutger Bregman in Unaired Fox News Interview | NowThis - YouTube
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 22:17
VIDEO - Audioboom / Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative unravels in Pakistan. @GordonGChang @ThadMcCotter
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:24
PhotoCaravan on the Silk Road, 1380
Cresques Abraham - Atlas catalan
Caravane sur la Route de la soie - Caravan on the Silk Road
Public Domain
File:Caravane sur la Route de la soie - Atlas catalan.jpg
Created: 31 December 1379
Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative unravels in Pakistan. @GordonGChang @ThadMcCotter
https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Will-China-let-Belt-and-Road-die-quietly
But beneath the surface there is growing unease in China about BRI. And rightly so. With the country feeling an economic squeeze, fighting a trade war with the U.S. and facing criticism from nations receiving BRI funds, Chinese skeptics, including academics, economists and business people, of BRI are quietly asking if their government is putting its scarce resources to the right use. To be sure, there are no official announcements that Beijing is about to pare back Xi's BRI dreams. Tight censorship has removed any direct criticisms of BRI from the media.
Yet, one can detect tantalizing signs that Beijing is already curtailing BRI, at least rhetorically. The official propaganda machine, cranked to full steam to tout BRI's achievements not too long ago, has turned down the volume these days. In January 2018, the People's Daily, the Communist Party's mouthpiece, carried 20 stories on BRI. In January this year, there were only seven. If we keep track of BRI stories in the official Chinese media in 2019 and compare the coverage with previous years, we should have a clearer picture about where BRI is headed.
VIDEO - Tips potential homeowners should ask when deciding where to move | khou.com
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 17:21
LOCAL A Rapid DNA machine can cut DNA testing time from weeks or months to under two hours. However, Houston's recent trial run with the machines revealed some serious concerns.
HOUSTON '-- ''Rapid DNA'' is a new technology that aims to get criminals off the streets faster.
A Rapid DNA machine can cut DNA testing time from weeks or months to under two hours. However, Houston's recent trial run with the machines revealed some serious concerns.
When crime happens in Houston, the race is on to find that person responsible and get them behind bars as soon as possible.
Now imagine you could link someone to a crime scene in the time it takes to watch a movie.
''I think that speed has a real advantage,'' said Dr. Peter Stout, president and CEO of the Houston Forensic Science Center. They wrapped up a months-long pilot program last year with HPD.
The study protocol is swab the evidence twice, process one sample the old-school way, the other with the Rapid DNA, then compare the results.
The Rapid DNA sample alone is not admissible in court, but it can help lead to evidence that is.
"I can't discuss specific cases. But yes, we have been able to develop leads as well as eliminate potential suspects from cases, which is equally important,'' said Lt. Warren Meeler with the Houston Police Department.
But Dr. Stout says one big drawback is the machines consume whatever evidence they sample.
''So if the result from the instrument is different from the laboratory or there's something unexpected happens in the instrument that swab collected from that scene is gone,'' Dr. Stout said.
That happened with a blood-stained piece of glass in one investigation.
Dr. Stout also has concerns on how the machines distinguish mixtures of DNA, for example, a doorknob touched by several people.
''This is people's lives and freedom, and how that gets used needs to be carefully done,'' Dr. Stout said.
A 2017 study of Rapid DNA in Sweden was stopped early when 25 percent of blood samples weren't usable.
''For an answer to be quick and wrong is obviously somebody's life. It's also somebody's life is the answer is wrong and too late,'' Dr. Stout said.
Dr. Stout said that the FBI and Texas DPS agree the potential for this technology is huge, but until the proper procedures and protocol are put in place, the risk of losing evidence is too great.
An HPD spokesperson said they're still using Rapid DNA in very limited cases to pursue leads in violent crime cases.
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VIDEO - Burberry Apologizes After Featuring Noose in Fashion Show | Fortune
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:42
Fashion is often about taking risks, but Burberry concedes it went too far with a hoodie that featured a noose around the neck during London Fashion Week.
In an unusual move, Liz Kennedy, the model who wore the controversial item on the runway, led the charge against it afterward, saying her backstage objections to the accessory were ignored. The retailer has since removed the item from its collection.
''We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection Tempest,'' said Burberrry CEO Marco Gobbetti in a statement provided to Fortune. ''I called Ms. Kennedy to apologize as soon as I became aware of this on Monday and we immediately removed the product and all images that featured it. Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake. The experience Ms. Kennedy describes does not reflect who we are and our values. We will reflect on this, learn from it and put in place all necessary actions to ensure it does not happen again.''
Kennedy, in describing her objections to the accessory, didn't hold back in an Instagram post.
''Suicide is not fashion,'' she wrote. ''It is not glamorous nor edgy. '... [chief creative officer] Riccardo Tisci and everyone at Burberry it is beyond me how you could let a look resembling a noose hanging from a neck out on the runway. How could anyone overlook this and think it would be okay to do this especially in a line dedicated to young girls and youth.?''
Kennedy went on to say the noose design dredged up memories of a family member who had committed suicide. When she tried to address her concerns before the show, she says, she was told to ''write a letter'' and ''it's fashion. Nobody cares about what's going on in your personal life so just keep it to yourself''
''I am so deeply sorry for the distress that has been caused as a result of one of the pieces in my show,'' said Tisci in a statement. ''While the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realize that it was insensitive. It was never my intention to upset anyone. It does not reflect my values nor Burberry's and we have removed it from the collection. I will make sure that this does not happen again.''
Burberry is hardly the only company apologizing for a faux pas that many think should have been caught earlier of late. H&M last year had a black child model a sweatshirt with the words ''Coolest Monkey in The Jungle''. Groupon issued an apology after a racial slur was used to describe boots. And the Gap found itself in trouble for printing shirts with an incomplete map of China last year.
VIDEO - 024 Lara Logan - YouTube
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:39
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Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:24
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VIDEO - Trump administration launches global effort to end criminalization of homosexuality
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:12
Breaking News EmailsGet breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
Feb. 19, 2019, 5:00 PM GMT
By Josh Lederman
BERLIN '-- The Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations where it's still illegal to be gay, U.S. officials tell NBC News, a bid aimed in part at denouncing Iran over its human rights record.
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Berlin. The U.S. embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality '-- mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.
''It is concerning that, in the 21st century, some 70 countries continue to have laws that criminalize LGBTI status or conduct,'' said a U.S. official involved in organizing the event.
Although the decriminalization strategy is still being hashed out, officials say it's likely to include working with global organizations like the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as other countries whose laws already allow for gay rights. Other U.S. embassies and diplomatic posts throughout Europe, including the U.S. Mission to the E.U., are involved, as is the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
Narrowly focused on criminalization, rather than broader LGBT issues like same-sex marriage, the campaign was conceived partly in response to the recent reported execution by hanging of a young gay man in Iran, the Trump administration's top geopolitical foe.
Grenell, as Trump's envoy to Germany, has been an outspoken Iran critic and has aggressively pressed European nations to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions. But while the Trump administration has had some success in pressuring Iran through stepped-up U.S. penalties, efforts to bring the Europeans along have thus far largely fallen flat.
Reframing the conversation on Iran around a human rights issue that enjoys broad support in Europe could help the United States and Europe reach a point of agreement on Iran. Grenell called the hanging ''a wake-up call for anyone who supports basic human rights,'' in Bild, a leading German newspaper, this month.
''This is not the first time the Iranian regime has put a gay man to death with the usual outrageous claims of prostitution, kidnapping, or even pedophilia. And it sadly won't be the last time,'' Grenell wrote. ''Barbaric public executions are all too common in a country where consensual homosexual relationships are criminalized and punishable by flogging and death.''
He added that ''politicians, the U.N., democratic governments, diplomats and good people everywhere should speak up '-- and loudly.''
Yet by using gay rights as a cudgel against Iran, the Trump administration risks exposing close U.S. allies who are also vulnerable on the issue and creating a new tension point with the one region where Trump has managed to strengthen U.S. ties: the Arab world.
In Saudi Arabia, whose monarchy Trump has staunchly defended in the face of human rights allegations, homosexuality can be punishable by death, according to a 2017 worldwide report from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). The report identified 72 nations that still criminalize homosexuality, including eight where it's punishable by death.
That list includes the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Afghanistan '-- all U.S. allies '-- although those countries aren't known to have implemented the death penalty for same-sex acts. In Egypt, whose leader Trump has effusively praised, homosexual relations aren't technically illegal but other morality laws are used aggressively to target LGBT people.
New U.S. pressure on those countries to change their laws comes as the Trump administration is working to use nascent ties between Arab nations and Israel to form a powerful axis against Iran, a strategy that dovetails with the administration's planned rollout of an ambitious plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
In the Gulf state of Oman, for example, the Trump administration has touted a recent, historic visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a sign that old taboos are eroding. But any campaign to decriminalize homosexuality would ostensibly also have to call out Oman, where prison sentences can be handed out for being gay.
The push to end laws that outlaw homosexuality abroad also stands in contrast to the Trump administration's mixed record on gay rights at home.
As a candidate, Trump was ambiguous about his position on many gay rights issues, but notably became the first Republican nominee to mention LGBT rights in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. His convention also featured another first: PayPal founder Peter Thiel became the first gay person to acknowledge his sexuality in a speech to the GOP convention, declaring he was ''proud to be gay.''
Trump, after being elected, also said he was ''fine'' with same-sex marriage. But since he took office, his administration has scaled back some workplace protections for gay people and has argued in court that a federal anti-discrimination law doesn't protect gay employees. He has also announced a ban on transgender people serving openly in the U.S. military, which the Supreme Court last month said could be implemented even as lower-court challenges play out.
U.S. officials said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is supporting the work by U.S. embassies and consulates to fight violence and discrimination against LGBT people. In his Senate confirmation hearing, Pompeo asserted: ''I deeply believe that LGBTQ persons have every right that every other person in the world would have.''
Grenell, known for his hawkish views on national security, is also currently under consideration to be Trump's ambassador to the U.N., three U.S. officials tell NBC News, after Trump's previous pick for the job, Heather Nauert, withdrew from consideration over the weekend. Grenell once served as spokesman for the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. when that role was inhabited by John Bolton, who is now Trump's national security adviser.
Planning for the campaign to decriminalize homosexuality started before the U.N. job became open. It was a topic of conversation over the weekend at the Munich Security Conference, where Grenell discussed it with a visiting congressional delegation that included Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.; and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.
Despite the dozens of countries that still outlaw homosexuality, LGBT rights have proliferated in recent years in many parts of the world. Two dozen countries now recognize same-sex marriage, according to the ILGA report, while another 28 recognize domestic partnerships. The last U.S. laws outlawing same-sex activity were invalidated by the Supreme Court in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas.
Grenell, in his editorial in Bild, pointed out that India, Belize, Angola, and Trinidad and Tobago recently decriminalized same-sex conduct among consenting adults. But he said ''reasonable people'' must keep speaking out about laws in other places, including Iran and Chechnya, the Russian region where authorities have cracked down violently on gay people in recent years.
''While a student at Evangel University, a Christian liberal arts college in Missouri, I was taught by biblical scholars that all truth is God's truth, no matter where it is found. The truth for LGBT people is that we were born gay,'' Grenell wrote. ''People can disagree philosophically about homosexuality, but no person should ever be subject to criminal penalties because they are gay.''
Josh Lederman is a national political reporter for NBC News.
VIDEO - CNN's Stelter on Smollett 'Hate Crime' Imploding: 'This Is Not About the Media' :: Grabien News
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 10:55
'Perhaps the questioning was not tough enough on Good Morning America'RUSH TRANSCRIPT:
CABRERA: "Exactly. You're our media expert. How does he use the media going forward?" STELTER: "I think in retrospect, that Good Morning America interview which allowed him to tell his side of the story made things worse for him. Perhaps the questioning was not tough enough on Good Morning America. But this is not about the media or politicians or activists, or other people that might have been fooled. It is about Jussie. This is about why he might, we don't know, why he might have made this up. It just boggles the mind."
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VIDEO - NYT's Blow: If Smollett Fakes His Hate Crime, 'He's an Insane Person, He's a Psychopath' :: Grabien News
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 10:54
'Nothing is adding up about why he would do this'Feb 18, 2019 4:00 PM
By Grabien Staff
EXCERPT:
BLOW: ''Well listen, if Jussie has done what the Chicago police say he's done, it's not just that he's an actor, Brian. This is insane person. This is a psychopath. Like -- and -- and there's nothing in his history that suggests he's a psychopath. That's why it's so hard for everybody to '-- that's why people are waiting trying to figure out, like, please go back and interview him, Chicago PD. But we need to understand what's the motive? Because nothing '-- I met him one time. He was the sweetest '-- it was just in passing at ESSENCE Fest and I was with a girl that went to college with him, she's a big fan and she had his picture. He was the most gracious person. And I think that that's the kind of feeling people have. So if you did this, we need to know are you crazy? Like, did you literally lose it? Because nothing is adding up about why he would do this.''
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VIDEO - Trump administration launches global effort to end criminalization of homosexuality
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 05:11
Breaking News EmailsGet breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
Feb. 19, 2019, 5:00 PM GMT
By Josh Lederman
BERLIN '-- The Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations where it's still illegal to be gay, U.S. officials tell NBC News, a bid aimed in part at denouncing Iran over its human rights record.
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Berlin. The U.S. embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality '-- mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.
''It is concerning that, in the 21st century, some 70 countries continue to have laws that criminalize LGBTI status or conduct,'' said a U.S. official involved in organizing the event.
Although the decriminalization strategy is still being hashed out, officials say it's likely to include working with global organizations like the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as other countries whose laws already allow for gay rights. Other U.S. embassies and diplomatic posts throughout Europe, including the U.S. Mission to the E.U., are involved, as is the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
Narrowly focused on criminalization, rather than broader LGBT issues like same-sex marriage, the campaign was conceived partly in response to the recent reported execution by hanging of a young gay man in Iran, the Trump administration's top geopolitical foe.
Grenell, as Trump's envoy to Germany, has been an outspoken Iran critic and has aggressively pressed European nations to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions. But while the Trump administration has had some success in pressuring Iran through stepped-up U.S. penalties, efforts to bring the Europeans along have thus far largely fallen flat.
Reframing the conversation on Iran around a human rights issue that enjoys broad support in Europe could help the United States and Europe reach a point of agreement on Iran. Grenell called the hanging ''a wake-up call for anyone who supports basic human rights,'' in Bild, a leading German newspaper, this month.
''This is not the first time the Iranian regime has put a gay man to death with the usual outrageous claims of prostitution, kidnapping, or even pedophilia. And it sadly won't be the last time,'' Grenell wrote. ''Barbaric public executions are all too common in a country where consensual homosexual relationships are criminalized and punishable by flogging and death.''
He added that ''politicians, the U.N., democratic governments, diplomats and good people everywhere should speak up '-- and loudly.''
Yet by using gay rights as a cudgel against Iran, the Trump administration risks exposing close U.S. allies who are also vulnerable on the issue and creating a new tension point with the one region where Trump has managed to strengthen U.S. ties: the Arab world.
In Saudi Arabia, whose monarchy Trump has staunchly defended in the face of human rights allegations, homosexuality can be punishable by death, according to a 2017 worldwide report from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). The report identified 72 nations that still criminalize homosexuality, including eight where it's punishable by death.
That list includes the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Afghanistan '-- all U.S. allies '-- although those countries aren't known to have implemented the death penalty for same-sex acts. In Egypt, whose leader Trump has effusively praised, homosexual relations aren't technically illegal but other morality laws are used aggressively to target LGBT people.
New U.S. pressure on those countries to change their laws comes as the Trump administration is working to use nascent ties between Arab nations and Israel to form a powerful axis against Iran, a strategy that dovetails with the administration's planned rollout of an ambitious plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
In the Gulf state of Oman, for example, the Trump administration has touted a recent, historic visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a sign that old taboos are eroding. But any campaign to decriminalize homosexuality would ostensibly also have to call out Oman, where prison sentences can be handed out for being gay.
The push to end laws that outlaw homosexuality abroad also stands in contrast to the Trump administration's mixed record on gay rights at home.
As a candidate, Trump was ambiguous about his position on many gay rights issues, but notably became the first Republican nominee to mention LGBT rights in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. His convention also featured another first: PayPal founder Peter Thiel became the first gay person to acknowledge his sexuality in a speech to the GOP convention, declaring he was ''proud to be gay.''
Trump, after being elected, also said he was ''fine'' with same-sex marriage. But since he took office, his administration has scaled back some workplace protections for gay people and has argued in court that a federal anti-discrimination law doesn't protect gay employees. He has also announced a ban on transgender people serving openly in the U.S. military, which the Supreme Court last month said could be implemented even as lower-court challenges play out.
U.S. officials said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is supporting the work by U.S. embassies and consulates to fight violence and discrimination against LGBT people. In his Senate confirmation hearing, Pompeo asserted: ''I deeply believe that LGBTQ persons have every right that every other person in the world would have.''
Grenell, known for his hawkish views on national security, is also currently under consideration to be Trump's ambassador to the U.N., three U.S. officials tell NBC News, after Trump's previous pick for the job, Heather Nauert, withdrew from consideration over the weekend. Grenell once served as spokesman for the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. when that role was inhabited by John Bolton, who is now Trump's national security adviser.
Planning for the campaign to decriminalize homosexuality started before the U.N. job became open. It was a topic of conversation over the weekend at the Munich Security Conference, where Grenell discussed it with a visiting congressional delegation that included Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.; and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.
Despite the dozens of countries that still outlaw homosexuality, LGBT rights have proliferated in recent years in many parts of the world. Two dozen countries now recognize same-sex marriage, according to the ILGA report, while another 28 recognize domestic partnerships. The last U.S. laws outlawing same-sex activity were invalidated by the Supreme Court in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas.
Grenell, in his editorial in Bild, pointed out that India, Belize, Angola, and Trinidad and Tobago recently decriminalized same-sex conduct among consenting adults. But he said ''reasonable people'' must keep speaking out about laws in other places, including Iran and Chechnya, the Russian region where authorities have cracked down violently on gay people in recent years.
''While a student at Evangel University, a Christian liberal arts college in Missouri, I was taught by biblical scholars that all truth is God's truth, no matter where it is found. The truth for LGBT people is that we were born gay,'' Grenell wrote. ''People can disagree philosophically about homosexuality, but no person should ever be subject to criminal penalties because they are gay.''
Josh Lederman is a national political reporter for NBC News.
--VIDEO--Why Saudi Arabia Is Investing $20 Billion in Pakistan | Time
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 04:45
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been shunned by much of the world after the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October, which the CIA concluded he had ordered. A-list executives pulled out of his Riyadh investment forum (dubbed 'Davos in the Desert'), street protests greeted his arrival in Tunisia in November, and there were reports Morocco's King Mohammed VI snubbed him on a visit to the North African country. That wasn't the case earlier this week in Pakistan, however, which bestowed its highest civilian award on the young Saudi prince, gave him a gold-plated gun, and declared Monday a public holiday in honor of his two-day visit to Islamabad.
''Saudi Arabia has always been a friend in need, which is why we value it so much,'' Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday, while seated next to MBS, as the crown prince is known. Earlier Saudi's de-facto leader had announced investments in Pakistani petrochemicals, power generation, and mining projects worth more than $20 billion.
In addition to the staggering financial package, MBS '-- on Khan's request '-- ordered the ''immediate release'' of more than 2,000 Pakistani prisoners incarcerated in the Kingdom. He ''won the hearts of the people of Pakistan,'' the prime minister '-- who broke protocol to personally drive MBS to his official residence '-- later gushed on Twitter.
MBS's visit to Islamabad is widely regarded as an attempt to repair his tarnished credentials as an international statesman. It precedes stops in India and China, which'--like Pakistan'--have not spoken out about Khashoggi's murder. But Saudi Arabia's investment in the nuclear-armed South Asian state is more than just a PR exercise.
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View Sample Why does Pakistan need Saudi funds?
Saudi Arabia has a long history of providing financial support to Pakistan. That includes funneling money through Pakistan's madrassa education system, cushioning the impact of international sanctions following its nuclear test in the late 1990s, and loaning Islamabad $1.5 billion when the Pakistani rupee crashed in 2014.
But the latest round of investment comes at a critical time for Islamabad, which is in the middle of an economic crisis. The foreign exchange reserves that Pakistan uses to purchase crucial fuel imports have dwindled to less than $8 billion. Since he was sworn in as prime minister last August, the populist Khan has been engaged in a highly public ''austerity drive'' while appealing to friendly nations for financial support.
In fact, in October his government received Saudi funds to the tune of $6 billion, including $3 billion import payment deferrals. The Kingdom proffered that support package after Khan's visit to Riyadh, when Pakistan's central bank reserves had plummeted 40% on the previous year's figures. Islamabad is currently negotiating a bailout from the IMF'--the country's 13th since the 1980s.
What are the economic incentives for Saudi Arabia?
Historically known for spending lavishly to win hearts and minds, the Saudi Kingdom now faces financial constraints of its own. It urgently needs to diversify its oil-dependent economy. ''The largesse that the Saudis were able to afford in the 80s and 90s, we haven't seen recently, and we definitely haven't seen it under MBS,'' says Andreas Krieg, a Middle East security expert at King's College, London. The pledged $20 billion in ''not just a bailout they do because they like the Pakistanis,'' he says. Instead there is oversight to ensure investments are ''sustainable and will actually have returns in the future.''
Some $8 billion of the funds pledged to Pakistan have been earmarked for the construction of an oil refinery at Gwadar Port, the jewel in the crown of the China''Pakistan economic corridor and an area in which Saudi Arabia's Gulf neighbor UAE has also invested. With Beijing set to pump some $62 billion into the economic corridor under its transnational Belt and Road Initiative, Saudi stands to massively increase its own oil export market in Pakistan.
How might Saudi money affect regional dynamics?
Khan's government has welcomed Saudi's $20 billion investment pledge but ''it's one that's potentially fraught with risk,'' says Farzana Shaikh, associate fellow at the London-based think tank, Chatham House.
Gwador Port is situated in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province, which borders Iran's similarly volatile Sistan and Baluchestan Province. On Feb. 13 a Sunni militant group claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack that killed 27 Revolutionary Guards on the Iranian side of the border. Iran blames Pakistan for sheltering militants and accuses Saudi of promoting Sunni violence against its majority Shi'ite population. Pakistan has been trying to ''navigate this very delicate terrain between Saudi and Iranian interests in the region, and the attempt of each one to establish its own regional hegemony in this part of the world,'' Shaikh says.
Saudi's investment also risks exacerbating Pakistan's conflict with India. MBS arrived in New Delhi Tuesday as tensions flared between the nuclear-armed neighbors in the wake of the deadly Feb. 14 terrorist attack in Indian-administered Kashmir. Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad'--which Shaikh says has been a recipient of funds originating from Saudi Arabia'--claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police. Before leaving Islamabad Monday, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister said the Arab state would work to ''de-escalate tensions'' between India and Pakistan, but New Delhi is likely to regard Saudi's bumper investment in its regional rival with wariness.
Is there a military quid-pro-quo?
The optics seem to suggest that. Fighter jets flanked MBS's inbound plane, a troop of soldiers fired off a 21-gun salute, and a spokesman for Pakistan's armed forces told Arab News the country's military is committed to ''standing by our Saudi brethren.'' Pakistan's military is among the 20 most powerful in the world, according to U.S. website Global Firepower and the country is one of only eight to have declared possessing nuclear weapons. Global Firepower ranks nuclear-armed India's military the world's fourth most powerful.
''Pakistan is providing capacity to militaries across the Gulf, but particularly Saudi Arabia. They couldn't function without the Pakistanis,'' says Krieg, the Middle East security expert, adding that estimates of how many Pakistani soldiers are serving in the Kingdom go as high as 65,000. ''If ever relations went sour, Saudi Arabia wouldn't have another source of manpower to fuel the massive military machine,'' Krieg says.
Separately, Saudi Arabia has long been rumored to have nuclear weapons ''on order'' from Pakistan. Although Riyadh currently purchases billions of dollars worth of weapons from the U.S., the U.K., and other nations, the U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary recently said Washington would not help the Kingdom develop nuclear technology without guarantees it would only be used for civilian purposes, CNBC reports. In addition to its economic pivot to Asia, Riyadh is attempting to diversify its supply of military assets, Krieg says. ''The Pakistanis are a very important part of this because they can procure technology that nobody else might be willing to procure at this point.''
Write to Joseph Hincks at joseph.hincks@timeinc.com.
VIDEO - Jussie Smollett attack: Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx recuses herself from investigation | 6abc.com
Wed, 20 Feb 2019 00:18
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 07:02PM
CHICAGO --
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx has recused herself from the investigation surrounding the alleged attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, her office told ABC News on Tuesday.
The Cook County State's Attorney's Office did not explain why Foxx recused herself. First Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Magats will act as the state's attorney for this matter, a spokeswoman for Foxx's office said.
Earlier Tuesday, a tip that Smollett was seen on the night of his attack with two brothers who were arrested and later released without charges was deemed "unfounded" by Chicago police, according to CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Smollett reported in January that he was attacked by two masked men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, beat him and looped a rope around his neck in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood.
An unknown person who lived in Smollett's building or was visiting a resident of the building reported seeing the three men together in an elevator in the building on the night in question, Guglielmi said.
The tip was not supported by video evidence obtained by detectives, Guglielmi tweeted Tuesday evening.
Hours earlier, the brothers and their lawyer were seen at the Leighton Criminal Court Building. The attorney was seen leaving about 3:45 p.m. without comment. Chicago police told ABC News that the brothers met with prosecutors and police but did not testify before a grand jury Tuesday.
On Monday, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told ABC News that the brothers told police that Smollett staged the attack on himself because he was upset a threatening letter he received a week prior did not get enough attention.
Detectives are actively investigating the allegation, but have not confirmed it to be true, the official said.
Chicago police said this weekend that they are "eager" to re-interview Smollett after releasing the two brothers, who were initially identified as persons of interest in the alleged attack. A spokeswoman for Smollett said his attorneys are talking to police.
The brothers, who are not considered suspects in the attack, also told police that they were paid to stage the attack, the official said.
"We are not racist. We are not homophobic and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens," the brothers said in a statement.
RELATED: Timeline of key moments in alleged attack on 'Empire' actor
The FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are investigating the letter, which was sent to the Chicago studio for "Empire" on Jan. 22, and whether Smollett played a role in sending the letter, two federal officials confirmed to ABC News. The letter is currently in the FBI crime lab for analysis, according to one of those sources.
The accusation, made by the brothers who were persons of interest, has not been confirmed.
Last week, Smollett sat down with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts and spoke about the letter.
"Just because on the letter, it had a stick figure hanging from a tree with a gun pointing towards it with the words that said, 'Smollett, Jussie, you will die, black (expletive),'" Smollett said. "There was no address, but the return address said in big, red, you know, like caps, 'MAGA.' Did I make that up too?"
WATCH: Jussie Smollett interview with "Good Morning America": 'I am not weak'
After the police department investigated Smollett's attack for weeks as a possible hate crime, they discovered that one of the brothers bought the rope to be used in the attack at a local hardware store. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the store was the Crafty Beaver hardware store in Ravenswood.
RELATED: Brothers tell police that Jussie Smollett paid them to stage attack, sources sayLate Saturday, Smollett's attorneys Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson released a statement, addressing reports that the actor may have staged the attack.
"As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."One of these purported suspects was Jussie's personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video. It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie's complicity.
"Jussie and his attorneys anticipate being further updated by the Chicago Police Department on the status of the investigation and will continue to cooperate. At the present time, Jussie and his attorneys have no inclination to respond to "unnamed" sources inside of the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels."
A CPD spokesman said Sunday, "While we are not in a position to confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what's been unofficially released, there are some developments in this investigation and detectives have some follow-ups to complete which include speaking to the individual who reported the incident."
ABC7 Eyewitness News also learned Tuesday that Smollett pleaded no contest to DUI, driving without a license and providing false information to law enforcement in Los Angeles in 2007. He was sentenced to two years of probation and either spent three days in jail or paid a fine of $100 for the three misdemeanor charges, according to the LA city attorney's office, though it's unclear which option he chose.
If convicted of filing false police report, which is a felony in Illinois, Smollett could face up to three years in prison.
Also Tuesday, a group of mothers who lost their sons to violence and whose cases remain unsolved gathered to speak out about the amount of resources dedicated to the Smollett case rather than their sons' unsolved cases.
"I'm just calling on Chicago police today to listen to our words and listen to what we are talking about today," said Sheila Rush, whose son was murdered. "Like I said, it's been nine years and I want justice."
VIDEO - F. WILLIAM ENGDAHL ~ "Gods Of Money & Climate Change Hoax" [Age Of Truth TV] [HD] - YouTube
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 22:36
VIDEO - Study shows drug commonly prescribed to veterans could be making suicidal thoughts worse | WZTV
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 14:47
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) '-- A FOX 17 News investigation found a drug treating PTSD in our veterans could be killing them. Prazosin is a blood pressure medication commonly prescribed to treat PTSD nightmares. Only two drugs are approved by the FDA to treat PTSD, and Prazosin is not one of them.
Retired Sgt. Allen Chapman said he takes 10 pills a day to treat depression, PTSD, and all the other side effects that come with working in a war zone overseas.
''I've got so many medications, it takes a while to take them all in the morning,'' Sgt. Chapman said.
He served in the 230th Signal Company of the National Guard. He spent time in Afghanistan from 2011-2012.
''When you get back, you're used to all that high-speed stuff and then people here, people are just slow,'' Sgt. Chapman said.
It's one of the reasons readjusting is so hard, and why Sgt. Chapman went to the VA for help.
''I was referred to a psychiatrist and we tried different medication, but it took a while to find the right balance, to find the right medication,'' Sgt. Chapman said.
One of those medications is Prazosin, a blood pressure medication that a VA doctor prescribed him to help with nightmares.
''I didn't wanna go to sleep. There are times I didn't wanna lie down. I just didn't want to go to sleep,'' Sgt. Chapman said.
Over time, he realized his nightmares weren't getting any better. In fact, he said they got worse.
''I was killing people, and cutting up body parts, and chopping up their body, and it was always with a knife,'' Sgt. Chapman said, describing his nightmares.
Finally, Sgt. Chapman took himself off the medication, too afraid of the side effects.
Dr. Vaughn McCall of Augusta University recently did a study on the drug. He found responses like Sgt. Chapman's aren't uncommon.
"We found that not only did the Prazosin not seem to do much as an advantage to the suicidal ideation, it seemed to reduce the degree of improvement that we see in the nightmares and the general sleep disturbance," Dr. McCall said.
He said patients who took a placebo saw more of an improvement.
''It makes me pause and, at a minimum, I would hesitate giving Prazosin to a suicidal patient with PTSD,'' Dr. McCall said.
The VA declined an interview but sent FOX 17 News a statement saying, ''Prazosin may not be as effective as we once thought and that it should no longer be routinely prescribed for PTSD nightmares, but that it could still benefit certain patients.''
The VA responded to Dr. McCall's study by saying, "While it adds to evidence that Prazosin may not be effective for PTSD nightmares, it should not raise any significant safety concerns."
However for Sgt. Chapman, the idea of increased suicidal thoughts certainly seems like a safely concern.
LOSING A SON TO SUICIDESgt. John Toombs took a video of himself on an early November morning in 2016.
''I went to the VA for help and they opened up a Pandora's box inside me and just kicked me out the door,'' Toombs said in the video.
The day before, he said the VA kicked him out of a residential drug treatment program for being late to take his medicine.
''I came for help and they threw me out like a stray dog in the rain,'' Toombs said in the video.
Just moments after recording the video, he hung himself from a construction site on the Murfreesboro VA campus.
Now his dad is speaking out about his son's struggle leading up to his death.
''People don't realize that it's something you just don't get over,'' his dad, David Toombs said.
David Toombs thinks about his son every moment of every day.
''He was extremely smart, and a quick, dry, sense of humor, that would catch you off guard so fast and then he'd answer you so fast,'' David said.
Sgt. Toombs served as the man riding on the back of a convoy in Afghanistan, eyes peeled, looking for suicide bombers or anyone else who posed a threat to his team. His dad says, when he came back home, things were good for a couple years, but when he decided not to reenlist, it became harder and harder to recognize his son.
''He just wasn't the same person,'' David said. ''He said for him, the main thing was being helpless and hopeless. If he was in a position that felt helpless and hopeless that's when it kicked in the worst.''
His dad said getting kicked out of the drug rehab program was one of those helpless and hopeless times.
At the time of his death, Sgt. Toombs had six medications in his system that listed suicidal thoughts as a side effect. It's something his father thinks is a rampant problem in the VA.
''They're over medicated and they're dealing with an over complicated system and they just give up at some point,'' David said.
The VA declined an interview but sent FOX 17 News a statement saying, "Prescribers evaluate a veteran's response to medication at each encounter including the presence of any side effects.''
However, Sgt. Allen Chapman, who served with Sgt. Toombs and lives with PTSD himself, says that hasn't been his experience.
''I can go to the VA and request a certain medication and there's no questions asked,'' Sgt. Chapman said.
He said his 10 different prescriptions are refilled without any discussion about how they're making him feel.
''I'm in and out within 10 minutes and I'm like 'You didn't ask me anything!''' Sgt. Chapman said.
According to their website, the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System says they process more than 5,000 prescriptions daily. David Toombs chalks it up as a quick fix when trying to keep up with the thousands of veterans walking through the VA doors.
''It's not a situation where they can just keep filling medication and fix, it sometimes gets worse,'' David said.
Now, he'll keep fighting for a better outcome for the men and women who fight for our country.
Here's the full statement from the VA:
''Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medication prescribers at VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System consider several factors when deciding if a medication is safe and effective for a specific Veteran. Prescribers evaluate a Veteran's response to medications at each encounter including the presence of any side effects. Medications are discontinued if the risk of continuing treatment due to side effects is thought to outweigh the benefits. Clinical pharmacists with specialty training are available facility-wide to provide medication guidance based on the most current research and expert recommendations.
The VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for The Management of PTSD and Acute Stress Disorder was updated in 2017 to reflect the most recent literature which shows prazosin may not be as effective for PTSD nightmares as originally found in early studies. While it should no longer be routinely prescribed for PTSD nightmares, experience and research shows it may still be beneficial in certain patients. Results from the study published by McCall and colleagues in December 2018 adds to evidence that prazosin may be not be effective for PTSD nightmares but should not raise significant safety concerns. The study included Veterans with PTSD experiencing suicidal thoughts but there was no evidence that prazosin worsened this particular symptom. Larger studies would be needed to be more certain that prazosin could be responsible for worsening nightmares or insomnia.''- Chris Vadnais, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
VIDEO - New York City Joins Movement To Stop Hairstyle Discrimination '' CBS New York
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:56
February 18, 2019 at 2:57 pmNEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) '-- A person's
hair is as protected as their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or other cultural factor, according to new legal guidance announced Monday for New York City.
''Hair is a part of you. Race discrimination based on hair is illegal in NYC,'' Human Rights Commission Chairwoman Carmelyn P. Malalis tweeted Monday after releasing the guidelines, first reported by The New York Times. They're believed to be the first such measures nationwide, the newspaper said.
In effect, the guidance enables people to seek fines and other remedies if they've been harassed or punished in workplaces, schools or public spaces because of their hair texture or style. Hair nets, ties and the like can still be required for health and safety reasons.
The protections apply to everyone but were prompted largely by what the commission calls ''racist stereotypes that black hairstyles are unprofessional.''
The guidance specifically warns employers they could face legal trouble for banning styles associated with black people, such as Afros, dreadlocks or cornrows, or for instructing black workers to straighten their hair.
Around the country, some schools have drawn attention for banning dreadlocks, do-rags, Afros and other ways of wearing hair.
''Bias against the curly textured hair of people of African descent is as old as this country and a form of race-based discrimination,'' said'¯Chirlane McCray, first lady of New York City.'¯''There are too many places, from schools to workplaces and beyond, where the idea that the hair that grows on the heads of people of African descent is, in its natural state, not acceptable.''
In December, there was an outcry after a white referee told a black New Jersey high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks right before a match or forfeit it. The teen had the haircut, but many criticized the demand, including the state's governor and an Olympic wrestler.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court declined last year to hear a discrimination suit involving a black Alabama woman who said she lost a job offer because she wouldn't cut her dreadlocks. An appeals court had sided with the employer, saying federal law protects people from discrimination based on ''immutable characteristics, but not their cultural practices.''
New York City's human rights law is distinct from federal anti-discrimination law, and Malalis told the Times ''there's nothing keeping us from calling out these policies prohibiting natural hair or hairstyles most closely associated with black people.''
((C) Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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VIDEO - Andrew McCabe "60 Minutes" interview: Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe talks President Trump investigation and taking over for James Comey during the Russia investigation '-- full transcript - CBS News
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 22:28
Tonight you will hear for the first time from the man who ordered the FBI investigations of the president. Former Acting Director Andrew McCabe is about to describe behind-the-scenes chaos in 2017, after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey . In the days that followed, McCabe says that law enforcement officials discussed whether to secretly record a conversation with the president and whether Mr. Trump could be removed from office through invoking the 25th Amendment. McCabe is the first person present in those meetings to describe them publicly.
McCabe's "bizarre" job interview with President Trump and other unaired clips from the 60 Minutes interview Did President Trump say: "I believe Putin" over U.S. intelligence? McCabe is a lifelong Republican who had a sterling 21-year career at the FBI; serving as head of counter-terrorism and number two under Comey. But he was fired last year for allegedly lying to his own agents about a story he leaked to a newspaper. Not since Watergate has the FBI been drawn so deeply into presidential politics. Andrew McCabe was pulled into the center of the tempest on May 9, 2017 when he was summoned by the president hours after Comey was fired.
"I was speaking to the man who had just... won the election for the presidency and who might have done so with the aid of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage." Andrew McCabe: I'd never been to a meeting in the Oval Office before. I'm a career FBI agent-government worker.
Scott Pelley: Oval Office was above your pay grade.
Andrew McCabe: It certainly was. And the president immediately went off on a almost a gleeful description of what had happened with the firing of Jim Comey. And then he went on to state that people in the FBI were '-- were thrilled about this, that people really disliked Jim Comey and that they were very happy about this and that it was, it was a great thing.
Scott Pelley: He was telling you what the reaction inside the FBI was?
Andrew McCabe: He was. It was very different than the reaction I had seen immediately before I came to the White House.
Andrew McCabeScott Pelley: Which was what?
Andrew McCabe: People were shocked. We had lost our leader, a leader who was respected and liked by the vast majority of FBI employees. People were very sad. But anyway, that night in the Oval Office what I was hearing from the president was, not reality. It was the version of the events that I quickly realized he wished me to adopt. As he went on talking about how happy people in the FBI were, he said to me, "I heard that you were part of the resistance."
Scott Pelley: What did he mean by that?
Andrew McCabe: Well I didn't know. And so I asked him. And he said, "I heard that you were one of the people that did not support Jim Comey. You didn't agree with him and the decisions that he'd made in the Clinton case. And is that true?" And I said, "No sir. That's not true. I worked very closely with Jim Comey. I was a part of that team and a part of those decisions."
Scott Pelley: You had the sense you'd given him the wrong answer.
Andrew McCabe: I knew I'd given him the wrong answer.
Scott Pelley: You weren't trying to hang onto this job.
Andrew McCabe: I wasn't willing to lie to keep it. I didn't know when I'd be out of the job. I thought it would probably be pretty soon. And so I just put my head down and got to work trying to stabilize the people around me and do the things that I felt we needed to do with the Russia investigation, getting cases opened and getting a special counsel appointed.
After firing Comey, Trump calls McCabe about FBI plane useAfter Comey was fired, McCabe says he ordered two investigations of the president himself. They asked two questions. One, did Mr. Trump fire Comey to impede the investigation into whether Russia interfered with the election. And two, if so, was Mr. Trump acting on behalf of the Russian government.
Andrew McCabe: I was speaking to the man who had just run for the presidency and won the election for the presidency and who might have done so with the aid of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage. And that was something that troubled me greatly.
Scott Pelley: How long was it after that that you decided to start the obstruction of justice and counterintelligence investigations involving the president?
Andrew McCabe: I think the next day, I met with the team investigating the Russia cases. And I asked the team to go back and conduct an assessment to determine where are we with these efforts and what steps do we need to take going forward. I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground in an indelible fashion that were I removed quickly or reassigned or fired that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace.
Scott Pelley: You wanted a documentary record'--
Andrew McCabe: That's right'--
Scott Pelley: '--That those investigations had begun because you feared that they would be made to go away.
Andrew McCabe: That's exactly right.
Correspondent Scott Pelley with Andrew McCabeMcCabe says that the basis for both investigations was in Mr. Trump's own statements. First, Mr. Trump had asked FBI Director Comey to drop the investigation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts. Then, to justify firing Comey, Mr. Trump asked his deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, to write a memo listing the reasons Comey had to go. And according to McCabe, Mr. Trump made a request for that memo that came as a surprise.
Andrew McCabe: Rod was concerned by his interactions with the president, who seemed to be very focused on firing the director and saying things like, "Make sure you put Russia in your memo." That concerned Rod in the same way that it concerned me and the FBI investigators on the Russia case.
If Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein listed the Russia investigation in his memo to the White House, it could look like he was obstructing the Russia probe by suggesting Comey's firing. And by implication, it would give the president cover.
Scott Pelley: He didn't wanna put Russia in his memo.
Andrew McCabe: He did not. He explained to the president that he did not need Russia in his memo. And the president responded, "I understand that, I am asking you to put Russia in the memo anyway."
When the memo justifying Comey's firing was made public, Russia was not in it. But, Mr. Trump made the connection anyway, telling NBC, then, Russian diplomats that the Russian investigation was among the reasons he fired Comey.
Andrew McCabe: There were a number of things that caused us to believe that we had adequate predication or adequate reason and facts, to open the investigation. The president had been speaking in a derogatory way about our investigative efforts for weeks, describing it as a witch hunt'...
President Trump on Feb. 16, 2017: Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven't made a phone call to Russia in years.
Andrew McCabe: ...publicly undermining the effort of the investigation. The president had gone to Jim Comey and specifically asked him to discontinue the investigation of Mike Flynn which was a part of our Russia case. The president, then, fired the director. In the firing of the director, the president specifically asked Rod Rosenstein to write the memo justifying the firing and told Rod to include Russia in the memo. Rod, of course, did not do that. That was on the president's mind. Then, the president made those public comments that you've referenced both on NBC and to the Russians which was captured in the Oval Office. Put together, these circumstances were articulable facts that indicated that a crime may have been committed. The president may have been engaged in obstruction of justice in the firing of Jim Comey.
Scott Pelley: What was it specifically that caused you to launch the counterintelligence investigation?
Andrew McCabe: It's many of those same concerns that cause us to be concerned about a national security threat. And the idea is, if the president committed obstruction of justice, fired the director of the of the FBI to negatively impact or to shut down our investigation of Russia's malign activity and possibly in support of his campaign, as a counterintelligence investigator you have to ask yourself, "Why would a president of the United States do that?" So all those same sorts of facts cause us to wonder is there an inappropriate relationship, a connection between this president and our most fearsome enemy, the government of Russia?
Scott Pelley: Are you saying that the president is in league with the Russians?
Andrew McCabe: I'm saying that the FBI had reason to investigate that. Right, to investigate the existence of an investigation doesn't mean someone is guilty. I would say, Scott, if we failed to open an investigation under those circumstances, we wouldn't be doing our jobs.
Scott Pelley: When you decided to launch these two investigations, was the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, onboard with that.
Andrew McCabe: Absolutely.
Calling Comey? McCabe says Rosenstein wanted Comey's adviceRod Rosenstein has spent 28 years at the Department of Justice. A Republican, he was appointed by President Trump as deputy attorney general, number two at the department. Mr. Trump's firing of James Comey on May 9, 2017 set off a week of crisis meetings between Rosenstein, who was in charge of the Russia investigation and acting FBI director Andrew McCabe.
Andrew McCabe: I can't describe to you accurately enough the pressure and the chaos that Rod and I were trying to operate under at that time. It was incredibly turbulent, incredibly stressful. And it was clear to me that that stress was'-- was impacting the deputy attorney general. We talked about why the president had insisted on firing the director and whether or not he was thinking about the Russia investigation and did that impact his decision. And in the context of that conversation, the deputy attorney general offered to wear a wire into the White House. He said, "I never get searched when I go into the White House. I could easily wear a recording device. They wouldn't know it was there." Now, he was not joking. He was absolutely serious. And in fact, he brought it up in the next meeting we had. I never actually considered taking him up on the offer. I did discuss it with my general counsel and my leadership team back at the FBI after he brought it up the first time.
Scott Pelley: The point of Rosenstein wearing the wire into a meeting with the president was what? What did he hope to obtain?
Andrew McCabe: I can't characterize what Rod was thinking or what he was hoping at that moment. But the reason you would have someone wear a concealed recording device would be to collect evidence and in this case, what was the true nature of the president's motivation in calling for the firing of Jim Comey?
Scott Pelley: The general counsel of the FBI and the leadership team you spoke with said what about this idea?
Andrew McCabe: I think the general counsel had a heart attack. And when he got up off the floor, he said, "I, I, that's a bridge too far. We're not there yet."
Scott Pelley: That it wasn't necessary at that point in the investigation to escalate it to that level.
Andrew McCabe: That's correct.
But McCabe says Rosenstein raised another idea. The 25th Amendment to the constitution allows the vice president and a majority of the cabinet to remove the president.
Andrew McCabe: Discussion of the 25th Amendment was simply, Rod raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort. I didn't have much to contribute, to be perfectly honest, in that'-- conversation. So I listened to what he had to say. But, to be fair, it was an unbelievably stressful time. I can't even describe for you how many things must have been coursing through the deputy attorney general's mind at that point. So it was really something that he kinda threw out in a very frenzied chaotic conversation about where we were and what we needed to do next.
Scott Pelley: What seemed to be coursing through the mind of the deputy attorney general was getting rid of the president of the United States
Andrew McCabe: Well'--
Pelley: One way or another.
Andrew McCabe: I can't confirm that. But what I can say is the deputy attorney general was definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity, and about his intent at that point in time.
Scott Pelley: How did he bring up the idea of the 25th amendment to you?
Andrew McCabe: Honestly, I don't remember. He, it was just another kinda topic that he jumped to in the midst of a wide-ranging conversation.
Scott Pelley: Seriously? (LAUGH) Just'--
Andrew McCabe: Yeah'--
Scott Pelley: '--another topic
Andrew McCabe: Yeah.
Scott Pelley: Did you counsel him on that?
Andrew McCabe: I didn't. I mean, he was discussing other cabinet members and whether or not people would support such an idea, whether or not other cabinet members would, shared, his belief that the president was '-- was really concerning, was concerning Rod at that time.
Scott Pelley: Rosenstein was actually openly talking about whether there was a majority of the cabinet who would vote to remove the president.
Andrew McCabe: That's correct. Counting votes or possible votes.
Scott Pelley: Did he assign specific votes to specific people?
Andrew McCabe: No, not that I recall.
Scott Pelley: As you're sitting in this meeting in the Justice Department, talking about removing the president of the United States, you were thinking what?
Andrew McCabe: How did I get here? Confronting these confounding legal issues of such immense importance, not just to the FBI but to the entire country, it was'-- it was disorienting.
"The president replied, 'I don't care. I believe Putin.'" In response to our interview, the Justice Department gave us a carefully worded statement. It says McCabe's story is "inaccurate and factually incorrect." "The deputy attorney general never authorized any recording" [of the president.] "Nor was the deputy attorney general in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment."
McCabe told us, as the weeks wore on, the president continued to express what McCabe thought was a strange affinity for russia. He remembers a day when an FBI official returned from the White House to brief McCabe on the results of a meeting with the president.
Andrew McCabe: The president'-- launched into'-- several unrelated diatribes. One of those was commenting on the recent missile launches by the government of North Korea. And, essentially, the president said he did not believe that the North Koreans had the capability to hit us here with ballistic missiles in the United States. And he did not believe that because President Putin had told him they did not. President Putin had told him that the North Koreans don't actually have those missiles.
Scott Pelley: And U.S. intelligence was telling the president what?
Andrew McCabe: Intelligence officials in the briefing responded that that was not consistent with any of the intelligence our government possesses, to which the president replied, "I don't care. I believe Putin."
Scott Pelley: What did you think when you heard that?
Andrew McCabe: It's just an astounding thing to say. To spend the time and effort and energy that we all do in the intelligence community to produce products that will help decision makers and the ultimate decision maker, the President of the United States'-- make policy decisions, and to be confronted with an absolute disbelief in those efforts and a unwillingness to learn the true state of affairs that he has to deal with every day was just shocking.
McCabe wouldn't have much time to be shocked. His FBI career soon spiraled to its destruction.
Andrew McCabe's FBI job interview with President TrumpThe FBI's perilous proximity to presidential politics began with the investigation into whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used an unsecured server for classified emails. Later, the FBI launched its investigation into Russian interference in the election. For Andrew McCabe, the former acting director of the FBI, an investigation involving politics would destroy his career and damage his credibility after he allegedly lied about an FBI leak to a newspaper.
It was a turn of events that began when candidate Donald Trump unexpectedly took aim at McCabe's wife.
Dr. Jill McCabe, an emergency room pediatrician, dabbled briefly in politics back in 2015 when she ran for state office in Virginia. Like other Democratic candidates that year, she was funded by a political action committee controlled by Virginia's governor, a friend of the Clintons.
Scott Pelley: During the time that Jill was running for office, what responsibilities did you have at the FBI over the Clinton investigations?
Andrew McCabe: None. I was not at headquarters where the case was initiated and run. I was in the field office.
Jill McCabe: There was no connection in any way between my campaign and Bill and Hillary Clinton. I've never met them. I don't know them.
But in the closing days of the 2016 presidential campaign, The Wall Street Journal ran an article headlined "Clinton Ally Aided FBI Wife." It was about Jill McCabe's funding the year before. The article noted, accurately, that her husband's role in the Clinton email investigation began months after she lost. But candidate Donald Trump seemed to conflate the two.
President Trump at Rally: It was just learned that one of the closest people to Hillary Clinton with long-standing ties to her husband and herself'... gave more than $675,000 to the campaign of the spouse, the wife, of the top FBI official who helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton's illegal email server.
Scott Pelley: How do you feel when you see that?
Jill McCabe: Sick. Sick to my stomach.
Andrew McCabe: I think sickening is the right word. It's disgusting. To see the candidate for the presidency taking those lies and manipulating them for his own advantage, and then to hear you know, the chants and the boos of thousands of people who are just accepting those lies at face value, it's chilling.
Jill and Andrew McCabeThree months after Jill McCabe lost the election, Andrew McCabe was promoted to deputy director, number two under James Comey. Nine months after that, because of his wife's campaign, he recused himself from the Clinton Investigations. Then President Trump fired Comey and McCabe became acting director. In one of their first conversations, McCabe says, Mr. Trump asked about his wife.
Andrew McCabe: "What was it like when your wife lost her race for state senate? It must have been really tough to lose." And I said, "Well, it's tough to lose anything. But my wife has refocused her efforts on her career. And he then said, "Ask her what it was like to lose. It must be tough to be a loser."
Scott Pelley: What did you think?
Andrew McCabe: No man wants to hear anyone call his wife a loser, most of all me. My wife is a wonderful, brilliant, dedicated physician who tried to help her community. So she is no loser. It was just bullying. So rather than get into an argument with the president of the United States, we, I said, "Okay, sir." And we hung up and ended the call.
That was the crisis week, after Comey was fired, when McCabe argued for an independent counsel to take over the investigations of the president.
Andrew McCabe: I knew from past experience with the Clinton case how dangerous, how perilous it was for the FBI to be investigating now not just a candidate for the presidency but the president, himself. This was a situation that clearly called for the appointment of a special counsel who would bring a level of independence. And that's the argument I made to the deputy attorney general.
Pelley calls Andrew McCabe interview "astonishing"The deputy attorney general is Rod Rosenstein, a career federal prosecutor who Mr. Trump appointed to the number two job at the Justice Department. McCabe says it was Rosenstein who offered to wear a wire into the White House and Rosenstein who initially resisted appointing a special counsel.
Andrew McCabe: He was concerned of what would happen to him if he appointed the special counsel, that if he did it might mean that he would lose his job. And, then, we would no longer have a Senate-confirmed official at the Justice Department to oversee all these efforts.
Eight days after Comey was fired, Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller had been a career prosecutor who was appointed FBI director by George W. Bush. So far, Mueller has obtained public indictments, convictions, or guilty pleas involving six Trump campaign associates, including the campaign chairman, plus 25 Russian intelligence agents.
Andrew McCabe: We survived those crazy days in the wake of Jim Comey's firing. You know, we got to the point of having a new director appointed and confirmed, we got the cases opened that we needed opened, we got the special counsel and probably the best special counsel we possibly could have hoped for in charge of an investigation that I think everyone would admit is one of the most important efforts underway right now.
But if McCabe had navigated the crisis around President Trump, he would not survive a controversy involving Hillary Clinton. About a week before election day, McCabe authorized the leak of a story to The Wall Street Journal. At this time, he was still deputy director under Comey. The resulting story said that McCabe had defended the FBI investigating the Clinton Charitable Foundation after a Justice Department official had cast doubt on that investigation.
Scott Pelley: You are accused of providing information to a Wall Street Journal reporter because you thought the story the Journal was writing was going to be wrong. Do I have that right?
Andrew McCabe: That's correct.
Scott Pelley: You are authorized by the FBI to release information to the media.
Andrew McCabe: That's correct.
Scott Pelley: You did so through the public affairs office at the FBI.
Andrew McCabe: I did.
The Journal attributed the story to an unnamed source. And it seemed like a garden-variety leak of the kind that happens every day. But, according to a detailed investigation by the Justice Department inspector general, McCabe lied under oath three times when investigators asked if he was the source the inspector general concluded that mccabe leaked the story only to make himself look good, which would violate FBI regulations. McCabe says correcting a story that he believed would be in error was in the public interest. As for lying, McCabe told us he was confused by the investigators' questions and distracted by the Comey crisis.
Andrew McCabe: There's absolutely no reason for anyone and certainly not for me to misrepresent what happened. So no. Did I ever intentionally mislead the people I spoke to? I did not. I had no reason to. And I did not.
If the inspector general is right, about McCabe lying, this would be another Washington story of an embarrassing matter made lethal by a coverup. President Trump weighed in, tweeting, "FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 Days to go?!!!"
Scott Pelley: Did you expect to be fired 26 hours before you were able to collect your pension?
Andrew McCabe: I guess I should have because the president spoke about it publicly. He made it quite clear that he wanted me gone before I could retire. I believe I was fired because I opened a case against the president of the United States.
Scott Pelley: The president tweeted, "Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for'... the FBI '-- A great day for Democracy."
Andrew McCabe: The idea that this president would know what a great day for the FBI or a great day for democracy was is preposterous.
McCabe is considering whether to sue the government to get his full pension. Prosecutors are considering whether to charge him with lying to the FBI, a crime which, worst case, could bring five years in prison on each count.
McCabe has written a new book about the campaign crisis and his 21-year career. Entitled, "The Threat '-- How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump."
We asked the White House for comment on McCabe's specific claims, but we received a general reply, "Andrew McCabe was fired in disgrace from the FBI for lying, and he opened a completely baseless investigation into the president '-- everyone knows he has no credibility."
Scott Pelley: You seem to have a very clear memory of your conversations with the president. Why so?
Andrew McCabe: I made memorandums to myself to make sure that I preserved my contemporaneous recollections of those interactions.
Scott Pelley: That's what FBI agents are trained to do, write memos to the file after they speak to witnesses.
Andrew McCabe: That's what we're trained to do.
Scott Pelley: And where are those memos today?
Andrew McCabe: Those memos are in the custody of the special counsel's team.
Scott Pelley: Robert Mueller's team'--
Andrew McCabe: That's correct.
Scott Pelley: '--has your memos.
Andrew McCabe: He does.
Produced by Pat Milton, Robert G. Anderson and Aaron Weisz
(C) 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO - Love Island contestants discuss Brexit - YouTube
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 19:32
VIDEO - 'This is SO RICH'! Al Sharpton weighs in on Jussie Smollett case collapse (now 'who wants to tell him?') [video] '' twitchy.com
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 17:32
The Jussie Smollett case is unraveling faster and faster, and you know what that means: It's time to call in the expert on race-baiting hoaxes. Ladies and gentlemen, the one, the only, the king: Rev. Al Sharpton.
Rev Al Sharpton: Jussie Smollett Ought to 'Face Accountability to the Maximum' If He Perpetrated a Hoax https://t.co/qubYCv4Xe8 pic.twitter.com/KP9hkmbhy5
'-- Mediaite (@Mediaite) February 18, 2019
More from Mediaite:
When initial reports broke, Sharpton claimed ''we should come with all that we can come within law enforcement to find out what happened and the guilty should suffer the maximum.'' Now that the story appears to be very different, Sharpton ''still maintain(s) that.'' And if it is found that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetrate something that is not true, they ought to ''face accountability to the maximum.''
Watch:
This effing guy.
Er'... https://t.co/ImCIb9pnKj
'-- Pradheep J. Shanker, M.D., M.S. (@Neoavatara) February 18, 2019
ಠ__ಠhttps://t.co/YTNntg26zg
'-- Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) February 18, 2019
That's hilarious!
'-- Richard Underwood (@RDUESQ) February 18, 2019
LMFAO. Who wants to tell him?https://t.co/ZFkeje7Z8D
'-- David Henry (@imau2fan) February 18, 2019
This is SO RICH
'-- Tim Liddle (@timothyliddle) February 18, 2019
So rich that Al Sharpton owes taxes on it.
Really? Big Al talking about a hoax. He may want to look up a couple of words. HYPOCRITE. CHARLATAN. IRONY
'-- Gary Kaltbaum (@GaryKaltbaum) February 18, 2019
'...of course the Rev has his own hoax problem'...Tawana Brawley was her name
'-- Elbridge Condee (@econdee) February 18, 2019
Oh yeah? Al Charlatan still hasn't owned up to the Tawana Brawley hoax he helped perpetrate https://t.co/84T6LYg5tj
'-- Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) February 18, 2019
Sharprton to this day has yet to apologize for his role and condemn Tawana Brawley. https://t.co/1eAEkDdoJc
'-- Sean Agnew (@seanagnew) February 18, 2019
Flashback:
This is great. Lesley Stahl practical yells at him (2011), and @TheRevAl still won't back down.https://t.co/AeoIEs0L41
'-- Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) February 18, 2019
LOL.
NOTHING MATTERS.
'-- Pradheep J. Shanker, M.D., M.S. (@Neoavatara) February 18, 2019
Not to MSNBC, anyway.
MSNBC is fine with it, apparently'...
'-- Pradheep J. Shanker, M.D., M.S. (@Neoavatara) February 18, 2019
Will he get a show on @MSNBC too??
'-- Steve Miller (@boompa812) February 18, 2019
''Hate Crimes and Hoaxes with Jussie Smollett'' has a nice ring to it.
VIDEO - Scott Adams on Twitter: "TDS reaches a new high. https://t.co/9j4s9hC3h2" / Twitter
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 17:14
Enter a topic, @name, or fullname
VIDEO - TheLastRefuge on Twitter: "Look up the textbook definition of "Duping Delight". At precisely 03:33 of the McCabe interview you'll see it: https://t.co/1TQlikD735'... https://t.co/sXcdjQ4hN2"
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 03:47
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VIDEO - WATCH: Hillary Not Giving In; REFUSES To Rule Out Another White House Run
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 00:11
There is another person besides President Trump who stands to greatly benefit from the stunning array of socialists, race-baiters, and cranks who will comprise a Democratic party field that promises to have more clowns than a small circus.
That beneficiary of her own party's radicalism and ineptitude would be Hillary Clinton who continues to leave open the possibility that she is itching for a rematch with Trump and would immediately become the frontrunner if she decides to jump into the race.
Mrs. Clinton has never gotten over the humiliation of being rejected by voters in 2016, a loss that nobody saw coming '' especially her '' and has frequently conducted herself like the leader of a government in exile ever since her bitter concession to the billionaire outsider who pulled off the upset.
SURVEY: Does Trump have your vote in 2020?
Even though her former campaign manager '' the creepy John Podesta '' has denied that she intends to launch another White House bid, Hillary herself has never closed the door.
Once again, she left the possibility dangling that she would declare her candidacy when asked during the memorial services for recently deceased longtime Democrat John Dingle, the penultimate career politician who spent six decades as a member of the House Of Representatives.
WATCH:
READER POLL: Should Hillary Be In Jail?
Via The Daily Caller, ''Hillary Refuses To Answer Question On 2020 Run'':
Hillary Clinton refused to answer questions from reporters Friday about whether she plans to run for president in 2020.
Clinton was attending the funeral for former Democratic Michigan Rep. John Dingell, who passed away Feb. 7. Video shows reporters asking Clinton about Dingell's legacy before moving on to the topic of her long-rumored 2020 run.
''Secretary Clinton, one other question for you about 2020,'' the reporter says, to which Clinton laughs. ''Are you '-- what do you think of the candidates? Are you happy?''
The second reporter then interjects, asking, ''Are you going to run?''
Clinton puts off the question, saying, ''We've got '-- we've got to think about John Dingell and his legacy.''
Clinton has cultivated mystery around her possible candidacy since 2018. Clinton associate Mark Penn published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in November 2018 claiming Clinton would almost certainly run again.
''Do not underestimate Hillary's positioning to run again,'' Penn said on Fox News days after publishing the op-ed. ''Clintons never stop until they get where they want to go.''
[RELATED: Rush Limbaugh Says This ONE Person Could Beat Trump In 2020]
Ironically, another Clinton campaign may be the only thing that could prevent the party from going totally socialist because if there is anyone who has the backbone to stand up to Ocasio-Cortez and her Twitter mob it would be Hillary
She would crush AOC like an annoying gnat and then proceed to chew up and spit out the rest of the dismal field of wannabes and amateurs who would be dispensed in short order. The carnage would be horrific and the damage would be lasting.
No matter what one may think about Hillary and the reign of terror that would be launched if she ever did win the presidency, she is a force of nature and nothing would be left standing after the primaries if she decides to launch her revenge tour.
The greatest show on earth may be about to get even more entertaining and hell hath no fury like this particular woman scorned.
Just imagine the steel cage death match that Trump-Clinton II would be.
VIDEO - Andrew Wimsatt on Twitter: "Here are two of @kmele's comments on CNN's Reliable Sources concerning the Jussie Smollett story. Great comments! (@mattwelch @mcmoynihan @anthonyLfisher)'... https://t.co/1YOHMjqjW8"
Sun, 17 Feb 2019 22:51
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VIDEO - Ryan Saavedra on Twitter: "Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) refuses to comment until the facts come out on the allegations that Jussie Smollett orchestrated the attack When the story first broke, Booker didn't wait for the facts, he immediately called it "
Sun, 17 Feb 2019 22:48
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VIDEO - Jussie Smollett Case: Brothers Questioned By Police Were Paid $3,500 To Stage Attack, Which Was Rehearsed Days Before, Sources Say '' CBS Chicago
Sun, 17 Feb 2019 22:45
CHICAGO (CBS) '-- Jussie Smollett paid two brothers to stage an attack against him, directed them to buy items used in the alleged assault and actually rehearsed it with them, sources say.
Sources say at least one of the brothers bought the rope used in the incident at Smollett's request. The sources also say the ''Empire'' actor paid for the rope, which was purchased at the Crafty Beaver Hardware Store in the Ravenswood neighborhood the weekend of Jan. 25.
The brothers, who were questioned by police this week before being released, were paid $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria and were promised an additional $500 upon their return.
They left for Nigeria later in the day on Jan. 29, after the attack.
Sources said one of the brothers held the rope and poured bleach while the other wore a plain red hat and yelled slurs at Smollett.
The sources say the red hat was bought at an Uptown beauty supply store and that the attack was supposed to happen before Jan. 29. The brothers told detectives the three men rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening.
Smollett claims two men attacked him in Streeterville early Jan. 29 as he was heading to his apartment. He said they yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, poured a chemical on him and put a rope around his neck.
RELATED What You Need To Know About The Jussie Smollett Investigation | Potential Evidence Found Amid Investigation Into Jussie Smollett's Attack | 'Empire' Actor Jussie Smollett Orchestrated Attack, Source Says
The brothers are now cooperating with police.
Since being released Friday night, the brothers have been staying in an undisclosed location.
Chicago police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said:
''We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation. We've reached out to the Empire cast member's attorney to request a follow-up interview.''
Police raided the the brothers' home on Wednesday, the same day police met them at O'Hare International Airport, as they were returning from Nigeria.
The two were in custody at Area Central detective headquarters since Wednesday night, before they were released on Friday evening.
Police at one point had placed them under arrest and referred to them as suspects in the case. Then, after interviews on Friday, they were released.
Pictures from the raid show the front door busted off its frame, items thrown across the living room, bedroom doors damaged and clothes tossed everywhere.
Police left behind an inventory list. Some of the items seized include a black face mask hat, an Empire script, phone, receipts, a red hat and bleach.
CBS 2's Brad Edwards reported Thursday that a source with intimate knowledge of the investigation said investigators believe Jussie Smollett ''potentially staged the attack.''
TOP SOURCE: '''... indicators point to Smollett orchestrating the event '....'' @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/t3T5kQmeko
'-- Brad Edwards (@tvbrad) February 15, 2019
Smollett's attorneys, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, released a statement Saturday about the latest allegations.
''As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.
''One of these purported suspects was Jussie's personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video. It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie's complicity.

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  • 0:00
    I love my piehole Adam I love my piehole
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    Adam I'm glad you've got it in full play
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    we could use some of that over here in
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  • 0:47
    the president said so this morning did
  • 0:50
    you see his tweet what you're gonna dab
  • 0:52
    nuke us close enough I quote from Donald
  • 0:57
    J Trump on Twitter I want 5g even 6g
  • 1:02
    technology in the United States as soon
  • 1:05
    as possible it is far more powerful
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    faster and smarter than the current
  • 1:10
    standard American companies must step up
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    their efforts or left get left behind
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    there's no time to waste was writing
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    that for him you know what 5g is there
  • 1:27
    is it bears is barely even a standard
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    but as predicted on this show that's
  • 1:32
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    I got a quick interview just since we're
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    on this topic with the founder of Huawei
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    with AI you did you got you you how'd
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    you get ahold of him oh I'm sorry you
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    the founders name is Ren Zhang Fei and I
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    think Yngwie is that wrong
  • 2:21
    Renton Jiang hey but it is a short
  • 2:25
    interview from Europe but I liked it as
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    a good retort to this the president
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    saying that we're gonna be the kings of
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    five and six gee there's no way the US
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  • 2:37
    the world needs Huawei because we are
  • 2:40
    more advanced even if they persuade more
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    countries not to use us temporarily we
  • 2:45
    could just scale things down a bit and
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    because the u.s. keeps targeting us and
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    finding fault with us it has forced us
  • 2:53
    to improve our products and services
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    what kind of impact would it have on
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    your business if the US is successful in
  • 3:01
    getting many of its partners in the West
  • 3:03
    to shut your equipment out if the lights
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    go out in the West the East will still
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    shine and if the North goes down can the
  • 3:14
    south isn't that great but don't worry
  • 3:17
    it'll be plenty bright where there 5g
  • 3:19
    burning up the universe America doesn't
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    represent the world how importantly yes
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    we do the future of Huawei in the UK
  • 3:27
    with regards to your investment plans
  • 3:29
    and jobs are you are you able to
  • 3:32
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    jobs out of the UK we will continue to
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    invest in the UK we still trust in the
  • 3:44
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    the UK because if the US doesn't trust
  • 3:53
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  • 4:00
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    issue of your daughter this is a
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    personal event this is very interesting
  • 4:07
    so he's going to talk about his daughter
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    in a way that no dad really talks about
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    his daughter very challenging time for
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    you she is in Canada she's been arrested
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    by the USS request and she faces
  • 4:18
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  • 4:20
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  • 4:22
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