840: Hemicycle

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 56m
July 7th, 2016
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Executive Producers: Sir Mr Nick Baron of the Double Stonation, Henry Claeys, Nicholas Nafpliotis, Sir Daniel Miller, Baronet Sir Sluf

Associate Executive Producers: Anonymous

Cover Artist: Nick the Rat

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Clinton vs Comey
Peak FBI Corruption? Meet Bryan Nishimura, Found Guilty For "Removal And Retention Of Classified Materials" | Zero Hedge
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 19:32
In a scandalous announcement, FBI director James Comey moments ago said that "although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information" and he gave extensive evidence of just that, "our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case." He added that "prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person's actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past."
What is shocking is that the FBI director was clearly ignoring the US code itself, where in Section 793, subsection (f),"Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information", it makes it quite clear that intent is not a key consideration in a case like this when deciding to press charges, to wit:
Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer'-- Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
What is even more shocking is that according to Comey, "we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts."
Well, we did. Here is the FBI itself, less than a year ago, charging one Bryan H. Nishimura, 50, of Folsom, who pleaded guilty to "unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials" without malicious intent, in other words precisely what the FBI alleges Hillary did (h/t @DavidSirota):
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman immediately sentenced Nishimura to two years of probation, a $7,500 fine, and forfeiture of personal media containing classified materials. Nishimura was further ordered to surrender any currently held security clearance and to never again seek such a clearance.
According to court documents, Nishimura was a Naval reservist deployed in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. In his role as a Regional Engineer for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Nishimura had access to classified briefings and digital records that could only be retained and viewed on authorized government computers. Nishimura, however, caused the materials to be downloaded and stored on his personal, unclassified electronic devices and storage media. He carried such classified materials on his unauthorized media when he traveled off-base in Afghanistan and, ultimately, carried those materials back to the United States at the end of his deployment. In the United States, Nishimura continued to maintain the information on unclassified systems in unauthorized locations, and copied the materials onto at least one additional unauthorized and unclassified system.
Nishimura's actions came to light in early 2012, when he admitted to Naval personnel that he had handled classified materials inappropriately. Nishimura later admitted that, following his statement to Naval personnel, he destroyed a large quantity of classified materials he had maintained in his home. Despite that, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation searched Nishimura's home in May 2012, agents recovered numerous classified materials in digital and hard copy forms. The investigation did not reveal evidence that Nishimura intended to distribute classified information to unauthorized personnel.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jean M. Hobler prosecuted the case
Here is Nishimura, this man charged after committing the same crimess as Hillary:
It doesn't end there.
Here is former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker who told CNBC moments ago, that in his view Comey should have brought charges as "he seemed to be building a case for that and he laid out what I thought were the elements under the gross negligence aspect of it, so I was very surprised at the end when he said that there was a recommendation of no prosecution and also given the fact-based nature of this and the statement that no reasonable prosecutor would entertain prosecution, I don't think that's the standard."
His conclusion: "The facts are the facts, and in this case I think there are a lot of things that are very unusual about this."
And then there is Ian Bremmer who said that "it's very clear that in trying to make it go away actually lied, repeatedly, about whether or not these materials were classified at the time. And it's the cover up frequently that gets people in trouble, it's not the actual misdeed. This was very badly mishandled by Hillary all the way through."
But then she got some much needed help from the FBI to complete the cover up.
In retrospect, perhaps former Attorney General Eric Holder said it best when he justified with the US DOJ simply refuses to bring up criminal cases against those it deems "too big to prosecute":
if you do bring a criminal charge it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps world economy
And just like that, Hillary is "systemically important", if mostly for her countless Wall Street donors.
FBI '-- Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton's Use of a Personal E-Mail System
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 19:32
Remarks prepared for delivery at press briefing.
Good morning. I'm here to give you an update on the FBI's investigation of Secretary Clinton's use of a personal e-mail system during her time as Secretary of State.
After a tremendous amount of work over the last year, the FBI is completing its investigation and referring the case to the Department of Justice for a prosecutive decision. What I would like to do today is tell you three things: what we did; what we found; and what we are recommending to the Department of Justice.
This will be an unusual statement in at least a couple ways. First, I am going to include more detail about our process than I ordinarily would, because I think the American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest. Second, I have not coordinated or reviewed this statement in any way with the Department of Justice or any other part of the government. They do not know what I am about to say.
I want to start by thanking the FBI employees who did remarkable work in this case. Once you have a better sense of how much we have done, you will understand why I am so grateful and proud of their efforts.
So, first, what we have done:
The investigation began as a referral from the Intelligence Community Inspector General in connection with Secretary Clinton's use of a personal e-mail server during her time as Secretary of State. The referral focused on whether classified information was transmitted on that personal system.
Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system, in violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way, or a second statute making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.
Consistent with our counterintelligence responsibilities, we have also investigated to determine whether there is evidence of computer intrusion in connection with the personal e-mail server by any foreign power, or other hostile actors.
I have so far used the singular term, ''e-mail server,'' in describing the referral that began our investigation. It turns out to have been more complicated than that. Secretary Clinton used several different servers and administrators of those servers during her four years at the State Department, and used numerous mobile devices to view and send e-mail on that personal domain. As new servers and equipment were employed, older servers were taken out of service, stored, and decommissioned in various ways. Piecing all of that back together'--to gain as full an understanding as possible of the ways in which personal e-mail was used for government work'--has been a painstaking undertaking, requiring thousands of hours of effort.
For example, when one of Secretary Clinton's original personal servers was decommissioned in 2013, the e-mail software was removed. Doing that didn't remove the e-mail content, but it was like removing the frame from a huge finished jigsaw puzzle and dumping the pieces on the floor. The effect was that millions of e-mail fragments end up unsorted in the server's unused'--or ''slack'''--space. We searched through all of it to see what was there, and what parts of the puzzle could be put back together.
FBI investigators have also read all of the approximately 30,000 e-mails provided by Secretary Clinton to the State Department in December 2014. Where an e-mail was assessed as possibly containing classified information, the FBI referred the e-mail to any U.S. government agency that was a likely ''owner'' of information in the e-mail, so that agency could make a determination as to whether the e-mail contained classified information at the time it was sent or received, or whether there was reason to classify the e-mail now, even if its content was not classified at the time it was sent (that is the process sometimes referred to as ''up-classifying'').
From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were ''up-classified'' to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.
The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014. We found those additional e-mails in a variety of ways. Some had been deleted over the years and we found traces of them on devices that supported or were connected to the private e-mail domain. Others we found by reviewing the archived government e-mail accounts of people who had been government employees at the same time as Secretary Clinton, including high-ranking officials at other agencies, people with whom a Secretary of State might naturally correspond.
This helped us recover work-related e-mails that were not among the 30,000 produced to State. Still others we recovered from the laborious review of the millions of e-mail fragments dumped into the slack space of the server decommissioned in 2013.
With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level. There were no additional Top Secret e-mails found. Finally, none of those we found have since been ''up-classified.''
I should add here that we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them. Our assessment is that, like many e-mail users, Secretary Clinton periodically deleted e-mails or e-mails were purged from the system when devices were changed. Because she was not using a government account'--or even a commercial account like Gmail'--there was no archiving at all of her e-mails, so it is not surprising that we discovered e-mails that were not on Secretary Clinton's system in 2014, when she produced the 30,000 e-mails to the State Department.
It could also be that some of the additional work-related e-mails we recovered were among those deleted as ''personal'' by Secretary Clinton's lawyers when they reviewed and sorted her e-mails for production in 2014.
The lawyers doing the sorting for Secretary Clinton in 2014 did not individually read the content of all of her e-mails, as we did for those available to us; instead, they relied on header information and used search terms to try to find all work-related e-mails among the reportedly more than 60,000 total e-mails remaining on Secretary Clinton's personal system in 2014. It is highly likely their search terms missed some work-related e-mails, and that we later found them, for example, in the mailboxes of other officials or in the slack space of a server.
It is also likely that there are other work-related e-mails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere, and that are now gone because they deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.
We have conducted interviews and done technical examination to attempt to understand how that sorting was done by her attorneys. Although we do not have complete visibility because we are not able to fully reconstruct the electronic record of that sorting, we believe our investigation has been sufficient to give us reasonable confidence there was no intentional misconduct in connection with that sorting effort.
And, of course, in addition to our technical work, we interviewed many people, from those involved in setting up and maintaining the various iterations of Secretary Clinton's personal server, to staff members with whom she corresponded on e-mail, to those involved in the e-mail production to State, and finally, Secretary Clinton herself.
Last, we have done extensive work to understand what indications there might be of compromise by hostile actors in connection with the personal e-mail operation.
That's what we have done. Now let me tell you what we found:
Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.
For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later ''up-classified'' e-mails).
None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government'--or even with a commercial service like Gmail.
Separately, it is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked ''classified'' in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.
While not the focus of our investigation, we also developed evidence that the security culture of the State Department in general, and with respect to use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular, was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government.
With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton's personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton's use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's personal e-mail account.
So that's what we found. Finally, with respect to our recommendation to the Department of Justice:
In our system, the prosecutors make the decisions about whether charges are appropriate based on evidence the FBI has helped collect. Although we don't normally make public our recommendations to the prosecutors, we frequently make recommendations and engage in productive conversations with prosecutors about what resolution may be appropriate, given the evidence. In this case, given the importance of the matter, I think unusual transparency is in order.
Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person's actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.
In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.
To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.
As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.
I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout this investigation. What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done competently, honestly, and independently. No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.
I know there were many opinions expressed by people who were not part of the investigation'--including people in government'--but none of that mattered to us. Opinions are irrelevant, and they were all uninformed by insight into our investigation, because we did the investigation the right way. Only facts matter, and the FBI found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way. I couldn't be prouder to be part of this organization.
What is Slack Space? | Database Administration content from SQL Server Pro
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 19:38
Slack space is a form of internal fragmentation, i.e. wasted space, on a hard disk. When a file is written to disk it's stored at the ''beginning'' of the cluster. A cluster is defined as a collection of logically contiguous sectors and the smallest amount of disk space that can be allocated to hold a file.
Rarely will there be an even match between the space available in a cluster (or collection of clusters for longer files) and the number of bytes in the file. Left over bytes in the cluster are unused, hence the name slack space.
For more information, see "E-Discovery Q & A for Data Warehouse Administrators."
FBI Agents Angered By Obama's Attempt to Influence Hillary Clinton Investigation - Breitbart
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 19:50
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The FBI agents investigating Hillary Clinton's potential violations of the Espionage Act with her private email server were ''angered'' by President Obama's attempt to defend her on national television, the New York Times reports.
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''I don't think it posed a national security problem,'' Mr. Obama said Sunday on CBS's ''60 Minutes.'' He said it was a mistake for Mrs. Clinton to use a private email account when she was secretary of state, but his conclusion was unmistakable: ''This is not a situation in which America's national security was endangered.''
Those statements angered F.B.I. agents who have been working for months to determine whether Ms. Clinton's email setup had in fact put any of the nation's secrets at risk, according to current and former law enforcement officials.
Investigators have not reached any conclusions about whether the information on the server had been compromised or whether to recommend charges, according to the law enforcement officials. But to investigators, it sounded as if Mr. Obama had already decided the answers to their questions and cleared anyone involved of wrongdoing.
The White House quickly backed off the president's remarks and said Mr. Obama was not trying to influence the investigation. But his comments spread quickly, raising the ire of officials who saw an instance of the president trying to influence the outcome of a continuing investigation '-- and not for the first time.
If we weren't so numb to lawlessness and politicized bureaucracy from seven years of Obama scandals, this would be a national outrage. The President just tried to influence the outcome of a criminal investigation, on behalf of a powerful Democrat politician. Of course, he loves to insert himself into politically useful criminal matters, while having nothing to say about politically damaging ones, such as sanctuary-city murders by illegal aliens.
Outrage requires at least a pinch of surprise, and Obama has so numbed the American people to corruption and the lawless exercise of power that it's not surprising to watch him influence an active FBI investigation. As the Times notes later in its article, Obama made similar thoughtless '' and, as it turned out, incorrect '' comments when former CIA director David Petraeus was under investigation. Petraeus did have to face the music, but Obama's politicized Justice Department arranged a misdemeanor plea bargain for him'... even though he demonstrably lied to FBI agents during the investigation.
Unfortunately for Clinton, Obama's effort to tip the scales on her behalf doesn't seem to be working well. The White House was obliged to issue an extraordinary retraction of the President's remarks, and the FBI agents working the case seem to be more inspired than ever.
As former FBI official Ron Hosko told the New York Times, ''Injecting politics into what is supposed to be a fact-finding inquiry leaves a foul taste in the F.B.I.'s mouth and makes them fear that no matter what they find, the Justice Department will take the president's signal and not bring a case.''
Notice that in the White House walkback, spokesman Josh Earnest still tried to pump a little hot air into Clinton's favorite narrative trial balloon, namely her contention that she knows more about what should be ''classified'' than everyone in the intelligence community combined, and was trying to correct the spy kids on their excessive zeal for securing documents.
''There's a debate among national security experts, as part of their ongoing, independent review, about how or even whether to classify sections of those emails,'' said Earnest. ''But, as the president said, there is no evidence to indicate that the information in those emails endangered our national security.''
Earnest appears to have forgotten that one of the classification rules Clinton violated most promiscuously was an executive order signed by his boss, Barack Obama.
Also, classified documents are not defined as ''something that will instantly destroy America if unauthorized people read it.'' The standard for indictable violation of the Espionage Act does not require proof that the exposed information has been certified damaging to national security with 100 percent certainty by some secret tribunal.
One of the reasons violations of the classification system must be punished vigorously, without regard to the apparent significance of the documents years after the fact, is that people who handle such material must not get the idea they can make personal value judgments and disregard security markings they find excessive. No intelligence service can afford to send that signal. If Clinton gets away with it, the damage to national security in the future will be far worse than whatever Chinese and Russian hackers might have gotten by raiding her email server.
Fox News reports that a group of national security whistleblowers held a news conference on Thursday to denounce the double standard working for Clinton, and demand she be treated the same way they were. They noticed Obama's effort to give her cover on 60 Minutes, too:
NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake was indicted in 2010 under the Espionage Act for sharing unclassified material with a Baltimore Sun reporter. Drake, who also went to Congress with his concerns about the NSA, said his goal was to expose government misconduct.
''This is the secretary of state, one of the most targeted individuals by other intelligence entities and agencies in the world using a private server to traffic highly sensitive information and no doubt including classified information and no doubt including info about sources and methods,''Drake said at Thursday's event.
He added the whistleblowers' treatment shows there is a law for the average citizen, and apparently a different set of rules for the powerful.
''But hey, I'm secretary of state,'' Drake said in a sarcastic tone. ''Even Obama gave her cover.''
Another whisteblower, former Justice Department ethics adviser Jesselyn Radack, brought up the Petraeus case, recalling how he ''gave away more secret information, classified at a much higher level, to his mistress and received a sweetheart plea deal for a minor misdemeanor,'' consequences she described as a mere ''slap on the wrist.''
Fox also suggests that in addition to possible Espionage Act violations, the FBI might be considering obstruction-of-justice charges:
A former FBI agent, who is not involved in the case, said the inconsistent release of emails, with new documents coming to light from outside accounts, such as that of adviser Sidney Blumenthal, could constitute obstruction. In addition, Clinton's March statement that there was no classified material on her private server has proven false, after more than 400 emails containing classified information were documented.
The FBI agents working on Clinton's case are obviously justified in fearing political involvement. Unfortunately, there isn't much they can do about it.
FBI Director James B. Comey likes to boast that ''if you know my folks, they don't give a rip about politics.'' Doubtless that is true, but their hyper-political superiors at the Justice Department most certainly do, and they're not likely to allow anything but the most ironclad case derail the Democrat frontrunner for the 2016 presidential nomination'... unless they get a thumbs-up from the White House.
There are many ways this particular lightning bolt of scandal could be grounded, most obviously including the use of a few select Clinton aides as lightning rods. On the other hand, the description recently offered of the Espionage Act investigation makes it seem like the charges would be difficult to pin on underlings, given Clinton's overall responsibility for creating the email system. Downgrading the consequences to a misdemeanor ''slap on the wrist,'' as with Petraeus, might not contain the political fallout in this case. ''Vote Hillary 2016: She Was Only Indicted For Misdemeanor Offenses'' isn't much of a campaign slogan.
If the FBI decides to float some charges against Clinton, they had better have battleship armor, or else the same DOJ that swept Operation Fast and Furious under the rug is going to sink them. What Obama said on 60 Minutes might not have been aimed at the FBI, but rather intended to prepare the media battlespace for a high-level torpedoing of whatever case the agents come up with.
Huma Abedin admits that Clinton burned daily schedules | New York Post
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 20:06
Hillary Clinton's closest aide revealed in a deposition last week that her boss destroyed at least some of her schedules as secretary of state '-- a revelation that could complicate matters for the presumptive Democratic nominee, who, along with the State Department she ran, is facing numerous lawsuits seeking those public records.
Huma Abedin was deposed in connection with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit into Clinton's emails '-- but her admission could be relevant to another lawsuit seeking Clinton's schedules.
''If there was a schedule that was created that was her Secretary of State daily schedule, and a copy of that was then put in the burn bag, that'‚.'‰.'‰. that certainly happened on'‚.'‰.'‰.'‚on more than one occasion,'' Abedin told lawyers representing Judicial Watch, the conservative organization behind the emails lawsuit.
Abedin made the surprising admission in response to a question about document destruction at the Department of State. A lawyer for Judicial Watch asked: ''And during your tenure at the State Department, were you aware of your obligation not to delete federal records or destroy federal records?''
'I've never seen anyone put their schedule in the burn bag.'
- Richard Grenell, former diplomatAbedin was not pressed for more details.
Clinton has admitted to destroying ''private personal emails'' as secretary of state. But Abedin's admission that she used so-called ''burn bags'' '-- a container that material is placed in before it is destroyed '-- for some of her schedules is the first time anyone close to her has disclosed destroying public records.
The exact circumstances surrounding those destroyed records will likely come under intense scrutiny, critics said.
A former State Department official told The Post it was unprecedented for a diplomat to destroy a schedule like this.
''I spent eight years at the State Department and watched as four US ambassadors and two secretaries of state shared their daily schedules with a variety of State Department employees and US officials,'' said Richard Grenell, former diplomat and US spokesman at the United Nations.
Huma AbedinPhoto: AP''I've never seen anyone put their schedule in the burn bag '-- because every one of them had a state.gov email address and therefore their daily schedules became public records, as required by law.''
Others said Clinton's careful approach to her schedule further highlights her recklessness in using a personal server for all her email communications.
''The [president's] schedule was not classified but it was deemed 'highly sensitive.' Instructions were given at the White House and on the road that schedules would be disposed of through the use of 'burn bags' and/or shredding,'' said Brad Blakeman, a scheduler for President George W. Bush.
''This shows, in my opinion, a skewed sense of security. The Clinton people would dispose of the secretary's schedule in the same manner as if it were classified yet those same safeguards were not in place with regard to email communications.''
Ambassador John Bolton, a Clinton critic, said the matter shows Clinton's ''recklessness'' regarding her emails. But he noted it's unlikely Clinton could have completely destroyed her schedules.
''They can't eliminate it even if they wanted to,'' Bolton said.
The Associated Press has been seeking Clinton's schedule through Freedom of Information Act requests asking for Clinton's public and private calendars and schedules from Jan. 21, 2009, through Feb. 1, 2013. The wire service sued the State Department for those schedules in 2015.
The Department of Political Justice by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano | Creators Syndicate
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 22:24
Is it worth impairing the reputation of the FBI and the Department of Justice to save Hillary Clinton from a deserved criminal prosecution by playing word games?
What has become of the rule of law '-- no one is beneath its protections or above its requirements '-- when the American public can witness a game of political musical chairs orchestrated by Bill Clinton at an airport in a bizarre ruse to remove the criminal investigation of his wife from those legally responsible for making decisions about it?
How hairsplitting can the FBI be in acknowledging "extreme recklessness" while denying "gross negligence" about the same events, at the same time, and in the same respect?
These are questions that now beg for answers in light of what can only be the politically motivated FBI report delivered earlier this week on the likely criminal behavior of Hillary Clinton.
The espionage statute that criminalizes the knowing or grossly negligent failure to keep state secrets in a secure venue is the rare federal statute that can be violated and upon which a conviction may be based without the need of the government to prove intent.
Thus, in the past two years, the DOJ has prosecuted a young sailor for sending a single selfie to his girlfriend that inadvertently showed a submarine sonar screen in its background. It also prosecuted a Marine lieutenant who sent his military superiors a single email about the presence of al-Qaida operatives dressed as local police in a U.S. encampment in Afghanistan '-- but who inadvertently used his Gmail account rather than his secure government account.
And it famously prosecuted Gen. David Petraeus for sharing paper copies of his daily calendar in his guarded home with a military colleague also in the home '-- someone who had a secret security clearance herself '-- because the calendar inadvertently included secret matters in the pages underneath the calendar.
Yet earlier this week, FBI Director James Comey '-- knowing that his bosses in the DOJ would accept his legal conclusions about Clinton's failure to keep state secrets secure, because they had removed themselves from independently judging the FBI's work '-- told the public that whereas the inadvertence of the above defendants was sufficient to justify their prosecutions, somehow Clinton's repeated extreme recklessness was not.
It is obvious that a different standard is being applied to Clinton than was applied to Petraeus and the others. It is also now painfully obvious that the game of musical chairs we all witnessed last week when Bill Clinton entered the private jet of Comey's boss '-- Attorney General Loretta Lynch '-- unannounced and spent 30 private minutes there with her at a time when both he and his wife were targets of FBI criminal probes was a trick to compromise Lynch and remove her and her aides from the DOJ chain of command regarding the decision as to whether to present evidence of crimes against either of the Clintons to a federal grand jury.
Why do we stand for this?
The criminal case against Mrs. Clinton would have been overwhelming. The FBI acknowledged that she sent or received more than 100 emails that contained state secrets via one of her four home servers. None of those servers was secure. Each secret email was secret when received, was secret when sent and is secret today. All were removed from their secure venues by Clinton, who knew what she was doing, instructed subordinates to white out "secret" markings, burned her own calendars, destroyed thousands of her emails and refuses to this day to recognize that she had a duty to preserve such secrets as satellite images of North Korean nuclear facilities, locations of drone strikes in Pakistan and names of American intelligence agents operating in the Middle East under cover.
Why do we stand for this?
Comey has argued that somehow there is such a legal chasm between extreme recklessness and gross negligence that the feds cannot bridge it. That is not an argument for him to make. That is for a jury to decide after a judge instructs the jury about what Comey fails to understand: There is not a dime's worth of difference between these two standards. Extreme recklessness is gross negligence.
Unless, of course, one is willing to pervert the rule of law yet again to insulate a Clinton yet again from the law enforcement machinery that everyone else who fails to secure state secrets should expect.
Why do we stand for this?
Photo credit: Jason Rosenberg
What About the Clinton Foundation Investigation? | PJ Media
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 22:43
The investigation into the Clinton Foundation didn't come up at all during FBI Director James Comey's press conference Tuesday, prompting pundits like Fox News national security analyst K.T. McFarland to ask why.
Fox News reported Tuesday evening that despite the FBI's ruling on her emails, "Hillary Clinton may not be completely in the clear. "
"The Clinton Foundation may still be the subject of its own investigation," Megyn Kelly reported Tuesday evening on The Kelly File. "Director Comey made no mention of the foundation today or whether the FBI is investigating it, at all."
According to Chief Intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge, Republican Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Jason Chaffetz pressed Comey after his statement at FBI headquarters about whether there would be charges against Clinton's aides, and whether the entire investigation was closed.
"I specifically asked him what about the other people -- what about the IT guy, what about the inner circle, what about the other things. And he quickly said, 'I can't tell you about that yet.'" Chaffetz explained on Special Report.
As Fox News reported back in January, the FBI expanded its investigation into Clinton's emails to include the possible intersection of State Department business and the Clinton Foundation and whether public corruption laws were violated (as chronicled in Peter Schweizer's book "Clinton Cash").
Herridge noted that it wasn't typical for Comey to not take questions after making a statement. "He seemed to anticipate the backlash," she said.
https://pjmedia.com/trending/2016/07/06/what-about-the-clinton-foundation-investigation/
Trump Says Clinton Attempted to 'Bribe' AG Loretta Lynch Amid Email Investigation | Video | TheBlaze.com
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 23:14
Donald Trump accused U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch of accepting a ''bribe'' to get Hillary Clinton ''off the hook'' for the investigation into her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state.
Trump, responding to reports that Clinton may keep Lynch on as her attorney general, should she win the presidency in the fall, said, ''That's like a bribe, isn't it? Isn't that sort of a bribe? I think it's a bribe.''
''So Hillary said today, at least according to what I saw on television, which you can't always believe. I found it hard to believe she'd said this, but she said today that we may consider the Attorney General to go forward,'' the presumptive Republican nominee said during a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, Tuesday.
Trump said he was not ''knocking'' the attorney general, but wanted to know why Clinton was permitted to indicate she may retain Lynch, who is overseeing the investigation into her tenure at the State Department, while the probe is ongoing.
''I mean, the attorney general is saying, 'If I get Hillary off the hook, I'm going have four more years or eight more years, but if she loses I'm out of a job,''' Trump said. ''It's a bribe! It's a disgrace! It's a disgrace! She is laughing at the stupidity of our system. She is laughing and so is her husband, Bill, laughing at what's going on.''
Earlier Tuesday, FBI Director James Comey said Clinton was ''extremely careless'' with her handling of classified information but ultimately recommended no charges against the presumptive Democratic nominee.
''Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,'' he said during a press conference. ''We are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.''
This comes two weeks after Lynch held a private 30-minute meeting with former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac of Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport. At the time, the attorney general told reporters she did not discuss the FBI probe into Clinton's private email server with the former commander in chief.
'--Follow the author of this story on Twitter:
AP Fact Check: Clinton's Email Claims Fall Apart Under FBI Investigation | TheBlaze.com
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 23:17
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- Key assertions by Hillary Clinton in defense of her email practices have collapsed under FBI scrutiny.
The agency's yearlong investigation found that she did not, as she claimed, turn over all her work-related messages for release. It found that her private email server did carry classified emails, also contrary to her past statements. And it made clear that Clinton used many devices to send and receive email despite her statements that she set up her email system so that she only needed to carry one.
FBI Director James Comey's announcement Tuesday that he will not refer criminal charges to the Justice Department against Clinton spared her from prosecution and a devastating political predicament. But it left much of her account in tatters and may have aggravated questions of trust swirling around her Democratic presidential candidacy.
Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally with U.S. president Barack Obama on July 5, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hillary Clinton is campaigning with president Obama in North Carolina. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A look at Clinton's claims since questions about her email practices as secretary of state surfaced and how they compare with facts established in the FBI probe:
CLINTON: ''I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.'' News conference, March 2015.
THE FACTS: Actually, the FBI identified at least 113 emails that passed through Clinton's server and contained materials that were classified at the time they were sent, including some that were Top Secret and referred to a highly classified special access program, Comey said.
Most of those emails '-- 110 of them '-- were included among 30,000 emails that Clinton returned to the State Department around the time her use of a private email server was discovered. The three others were recovered from a forensic analysis of Clinton's server. ''Any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about the matters should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation,'' Comey said. Clinton and her aides ''were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,'' he said.
___
CLINTON: ''I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.'' NBC interview, July 2016.
THE FACTS: Clinton has separately clung to her rationale that there were no classification markings on her emails that would have warned her and others not to transmit the sensitive material. But the private system did, in fact, handle emails that bore markings indicating they contained classified information, Comey said.
He said the marked emails were ''a very small number.'' But that's not the only standard for judging how officials handle sensitive material, he added. ''Even if information is not marked classified in an email, participants who know, or should know, that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.''
___
CLINTON: ''I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work related'' to the State Department. News conference, March 2015.
THE FACTS: Not so, the FBI found.
Comey said that when his forensic team examined Clinton's server it found there were ''several thousand work-related emails that were not in the group of 30,000'" that had been returned by Clinton to the State Department.
___
CLINTON: ''I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for personal emails instead of two.'' News conference, March 2015.
THE FACTS: This reasoning for using private email both for public business and private correspondence didn't hold up in the investigation. Clinton ''used numerous mobile devices to view and send email'' using her personal account, Comey said. He also said Clinton had used different servers.
___
CLINTON: ''It was on property guarded by the Secret Service, and there were no security breaches. '... The use of that server, which started with my husband, certainly proved to be effective and secure.'' News conference, March 2015.
CLINTON campaign website: ''There is no evidence there was ever a breach.''
THE FACTS: The campaign website claimed ''no evidence'' of a breach, a less categorical statement than Clinton herself made last year, when she said there was no breach. The FBI did not uncover a breach but made clear that that possibility cannot be ruled out.
''We assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton's personal email account,'' Comey said.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2nd R) checks her Blackberry phone alongside Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan (R) as she attends the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea, November 30, 2011. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Saul LOEB (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
He said evidence would be hard to find because hackers are sophisticated and can cover their tracks. Comey said his investigators learned that Clinton's security lapses included using ''her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries.'' Comey also noted that hackers breached the email accounts of several outsiders who messaged with Clinton.
Comey did not mention names, but a Romanian hacker who called himself Guccifer accessed and later leaked emails from Sidney Blumenthal, an outside adviser to Clinton who regularly communicated with her.
___
CLINTON: ''I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department.'' News conference, March 2015.
THE FACTS: Comey did not address Clinton's reason for using a private server instead of a government one, but he highlighted the perils in routing sensitive information through a home server.
The FBI found that Clinton's personal server was ''not even supported by full-time security staff like those found at agencies and departments of the United States government or even with a commercial email service like Gmail,'' the director said.
A May 2016 audit by the State Department inspector general found there was no evidence Clinton sought or received approval to operate a private server, and that she ''had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business with their offices.'' Courts have frowned on such a practice.
In an unrelated case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that the purpose of public records law is ''hardly served'' when a department head ''can deprive the citizens of their right to know what his department is up to'' by maintaining emails on a private system.
'--
FBI '-- FBI Releases 2015 Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 04:41
Preliminary statistics released today by the FBI show that 41 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2015. This is a decrease of almost 20 percent when compared with the 51 officers killed in 2014. By region, 19 officers died as a result of criminal acts that occurred in the South, nine officers in the West, five officers in the Midwest, four in the Northeast, and four in Puerto Rico.
By circumstance, eight officers were investigating suspicious persons/circumstances; seven were engaged in tactical situations; six officers were conducting traffic pursuits/stops; four were killed as a result of ambushes (entrapment/premeditation); three officers were killed as a result of unprovoked attacks; three died from injuries inflicted while answering disturbance calls (all three being domestic disturbance calls); three officers were killed while answering robbery in progress calls or pursuing robbery suspects; two were handling, transporting, or maintaining custody of prisoners; two officers were handling persons with mental illness; one sustained fatal injuries while performing an investigative activity; one was answering a burglary in progress call or pursuing a burglary suspect; and one officer was killed while attempting other arrest.
Offenders used firearms in 38 of the 41 felonious deaths. These included 29 incidents with handguns, seven incidents with rifles, one incident with a shotgun, and one incident in which the firearm type was not reported. Three victim officers were killed with vehicles used as weapons.
Thirty of the 41 killed officers were confirmed to be wearing body armor at the times of the incidents. Six of the 41 slain officers fired their own weapons, and six officers attempted to fire their service weapons. Three victim officers had their weapons stolen; three officers were killed with their own weapons.
Forty-one victim officers died from injuries sustained in 38 separate incidents. Thirty-six of those incidents have been cleared by arrest or exceptional means.
An additional 45 officers were killed in 2015 in line-of-duty accidents, which include officer deaths that are found not to be willful and intentional. This total is the same number of officers who were accidentally killed in 2014. By region, 29 officers died due to accidents in the South, six in the Midwest, five in the Northeast, and five in the West.
Twenty-nine of the officers died as a result of automobile accidents, seven were struck by vehicles, and four were fatally injured due to motorcycle accidents. Two of the 45 officers were killed from accidental shootings, one from an aircraft accident, one due to a fall, and one from an all-terrain vehicle accident.
Of the 29 officers who died due to automobile accidents, 18 officers were wearing seatbelts. Eight officers were not wearing seatbelts (four of whom were ejected from the vehicles), and seatbelt use was not reported for three of the officers who were killed due to automobile accidents.
Final statistics and complete details will be available in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program's publication, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2015, which will be published on the FBI's Internet site in the fall.
Chilcot Report
Aangirfan: CHILCOTT COVER UP - UPDATES
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 20:10
The Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war has criticised Blair for misrepresenting intelligence.But, the wars and lies will continue.
In 2011, Britain's Members of Parliament voted overwhelmingly to support action in Libya.
This 'action' led to the destruction of Libya.
557 MPs, including all the spooky Scottish National Party MPs, supported action in Libya.
13 MPs opposed action.
The full list of how MPs voted on Libya action.
Richard Sale, the UPI Intelligence Correspondent, wrote that Saddam Hussein worked for the CIA. (Exclusive: Saddam Was key in early CIA plot). Saddam was allowed to escape from Iraq. How do you persuade MPs to vote for the destruction of a country?
Two SNP MPs accused of having affairs.
The 557 MPs who voted for 'action' in Libya already knew that the 'action' in Iraq was based on lies.Denis Healey, former UK cabinet minister and Bilderberg member, with Jimmy Savile, suspected agent of the spooks.
The Members of Parliament are controlled through child abuse rings, false flag incidents and even mind control.
...
The public is usually fed untrue information before a war.
The Rock, apparently used by MI6.
Before the Iraq War, MI6 reported on chemical weapons, but, it was apparently describing invented chemical weapons equipment in a Hollywood film called The Rock.
MI6 described scenes from Hollywood film.
...
Chilcot report says Tony Blair was not prepared for Iraq War consequences | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 23:11
Damning: Sir John Chilcot has said that Tony Blair chose to invade when there was still peaceful ways to continue and ignored warning of the consequences
Tony Blair was blind to the consequences of the Iraq War despite 'explicit warnings' as he doggedly pursued an invasion with US president George W Bush, the Chilcot Inquiry revealed today.
Mr Blair's planning for the occupation of four provinces in south-eastern Iraq following the 2003 war was found to be 'wholly inadequate' by the seven-year investigation into the conflict and its aftermath.
The inquiry's report rejected then prime minister Tony Blair's argument that the threat of armed insurgency and terrorism causing instability following the invasion could not have been known in advance.
It also blamed ministers for not seeking a viable plan for rebuilding Iraq despite having information that gave a 'clear indication' that extremist violence - including sectarian bloodshed and the fostering of al Qaida would be a risk of occupation.
Sir John Chilcot concluded: 'The government, which lacked both clear ministerial oversight of post-conflict strategy, planning and preparation, and effective co-ordination between government departments, failed to analyse or manage those risks adequately.'
Mr Blair gave evidence to the inquiry that it was not possible to foresee at the time of the invasion Iraq's post-war collapse into sectarian fighting, insurgency and violence, much of it stirred up by neighbouring Iran and the al Qaida terror group.
But Sir John said: 'We do not agree that hindsight is required. The risks of internal strife in Iraq, active Iranian pursuit of its interests, regional instability and al Qaida activity in Iraq were each explicitly identified before the invasion.'
The report found that Britain attempted to persuade US president George Bush that the United Nations should lead the interim post-conflict administration to govern Iraq after Saddam's removal.
After Washington rejected this option, the Government succeeded only in the 'less ambitious goal' of getting White House agreement to accept UN authorisation of a coalition-led administration.
'Mr Blair, who recognised the significance of the post-conflict phase, did not press President Bush for definite assurances about US plans, did not consider or seek advice on whether the absence of a satisfactory plan called for reassessment of the terms of UK engagement and did not make agreement on such a plan a condition of UK participation in military action.'
He said Saddam Hussein was 'undoubtedly a brutal dictator' but the 'UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.'
He added: 'It is now clear that policy on Iraq was made on the basis of flawed intelligence and assessments. They were not challenged, and they should have been'.
In 2003 Mr Blair had said that Iraq's dictator could strike with weapons of mass destruction, and potentially hit the UK, but Sir John said: 'There was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein'.
Mr Blair also 'overestimated his ability to influence US decisions on Iraq', Sir John concluded.
And he said that the war had gone 'badly wrong' and the consequences continue in Iraq today, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens having been killed.
Families of the 179 soldiers killed in the conflict are now set to take legal action against the former prime minister as the report revealed he had twisted evidence to build his case for war.
Conspiracy? Families want to know once and for all if Tony Blair did secretly agree to invade Iraq in 2002 (pictured together at Camp David that year) and then build a case towards war
Tony Blair has said that his decision to take military action against Saddam Hussain was taken 'in good faith and in what I believed to be the best interests of the country'.
But he said the report there 'was no falsification or improper use of Intelligence', 'no deception of Cabinet' and 'no secret commitment to war whether at Crawford Texas in April 2002 or elsewhere'.
In its damning report the inquiry panel found:
There was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein in March 2003 and Mr Blair took us to war 'before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted'. Sir John said: 'Military action at that time was not a last resort. Mr Blair, his then foreign secretary Jack Straw and the government presented judgements about intelligence on the threat posed by Iraq's WMD with a 'certainty that was not justified'.Attorney General Lord Goldsmith only agreed that the invasion would be legal based on assurances from Mr Blair that Iraq had committed 'material breaches' of UN resolution 1441. But the inquiry said it was 'unclear' what evidence Mr Blair had for this and branded the process 'far from satisfactory'.Mr Blair, who has been frequently criticised for his 'sofa government' style, repeatedly failed to involve his whole Cabinet in key decisions.The inquiry dismissed the ex-PM claims that he could not have known how difficult the post-invasion situation would be.The government were aware that the US had 'inadequate' plans for stabilising Iraq but had little influence over key decisions such as dismantling Hussein's Ba'ath party and security services.The Ministry of Defence was slow to respond to the threat from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and delays in providing more heavily armoured patrol vehicles for personnel were 'intolerable'.The 'most consistent strategic objective' in Iraq was to reduce the number of troops it had deployed there, particularly after operations in Afghanistan became more intense.One symptom of the failures was that UK forces had to strike a 'humiliating' deal with militia in Basra to swap prisoners in return for an end to deadly attacks on soldiers.Tony Blair has said that his decision to take military action against Saddam Hussain was taken 'in good faith and in what I believed to be the best interests of the country'. Presenting a summary of his inquiry's findings, Sir John Chilcot hit out at the 'wholly inadequate' planning for the period after the fall of Saddam, which saw British troops involved in a prolonged and bloody occupation.
The former Whitehall mandarin was setting out the findings of his inquiry into the UK's most controversial military engagement since the end of the Second World War.
Although his inquiry did not express a view on whether the invasion was legal, Sir John criticised the way in which Mr Blair and his attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, had reached their decision on the legal basis.
He added: 'In the absence of a majority in support of military action, we consider that the UK was in fact undermining the security council's authority.
'Second the inquiry has not expressed a view on whether military action was legal. That could of course only be resolved by a properly constituted and recognised court. We have however concluded that the circumstances on which it was decided there was a legal basis for UK military action were far from satisfactory'.
Sources close to Mr Blair said today he will say that 'the intelligence we received was wrong' as his reputation was badly damaged by Sir John's report.
Facing the music: A grim-faced Tony Blair leaves his London mansion today as his part in bringing about the Iraq War was laid bare by Sir John Chilcot
Judgement day: Sir John Chilcot, left today clutching his speech, finally revealed the findings of the £10m Iraq Inquiry, seven years after it began, in which Tony Blair, right, is criticised
Families of British soldiers killed in the conflict, which started 13 years ago, have instructed solicitors to examine the report and consider dragging the former PM through the courts.
Since the invasion and toppling of Saddam Hussein tens of thousands of Iraqis have died in the civil war that followed with 250 being killed in a Baghdad car bomb on Sunday, the worst bloodshed since 2003.
John Miller's son, Simon, was one of six military policemen murdered in Iraq in 2003, and today he said of Mr Blair: 'There's got to be some kind of court case, be that In The Hague or elsewhere. I want to see him in the dock'.
Master Engineer Gary Nicholson, 42, from Hull, was one of 10 servicemen who died when their Hercules C-130 aircraft was shot down in 2005.
His mother Julia is boycotting the event and said: 'It will be a whitewash. I'm absolutely disgusted. I'm not going because it will be a whitewash. Tony Blair has got blood on his hands. He will have covered his back and (George) Bush's back'.
The families believe Mr Blair is guilty of 'malfeasance in public office' because he misused his constitutional powers which led to mass casualties. They could also seek to sue him for damages and secure compensation from his estimated £60million wealth.
Blair's former foreign secretary Jack Straw, pictured today, also faces criticism for his role in the conflict
Hopes Mr Blair could face a war criminal trial were dashed because Sir John said he could not rule on whether the invasion in 2003 was 'legal' and he was 'not judge and jury' of a court.
But to the fury of families it has emerged that prosecutors in The Hague have indicated they will pore over the 2.6 million-word report for evidence of war crimes by British troops.
The report, believed to have cost around £10million to produce, is published amid calls for former prime minister Tony Blair to be held to account for 'misleading the public and Parliament' when taking the UK into the conflict.
Among the most explosive revelations are the details of 29 secret letters, notes and conversations between Mr Blair and former US President George W. Bush in the run-up to war.
The leaders are alleged to have 'signed in blood' an agreement to oust Saddam Hussein in secret talks at the President's ranch in Texas a year before the March 2003 invasion without telling MPs or the public '' a claim denied by Mr Blair.
Tony Blair advised George W Bush in the hours after the 9/11 attacks he should immediately tackle states and individuals with weapons of mass destruction and justify it later, it was revealed today.
In a private note to the US President on September 12, 2001, Mr Blair both offered support to bring to justice the hijackers who destroyed the Twin Towers and looked ahead to the 'next stage after this evil'.
In documents revealed for the first time by Sir John Chilcot's Iraq Inquiry, Mr Blair said some would 'balk' at the measures necessary to control 'biological, chemical and other WMD'.
But he urged the President: 'We are better to act now and explain and justify our actions than let the day be put off until some further, perhaps even worse catastrophe occurs.'
Mr Blair gave evidence to the inquiry that it was not possible to foresee at the time of the invasion Iraq's post-war collapse into sectarian fighting, insurgency and violence, much of it stirred up by neighbouring Iran and the al Qaida terror group.
But Sir John said: 'We do not agree that hindsight is required. The risks of internal strife in Iraq, active Iranian pursuit of its interests, regional instability and al Qaida activity in Iraq were each explicitly identified before the invasion.'
The report found that Britain attempted to persuade US president George Bush that the United Nations should lead the interim post-conflict administration to govern Iraq after Saddam's removal. After Washington rejected this option, the Government succeeded only in the 'less ambitious goal' of getting White House agreement to accept UN authorisation of a coalition-led administration.
As the military action began, ministers and officials were working on the assumption that there would be 'a well-executed US-led and UN-authorised operation in a relatively benign security environment'.
But the inquiry found that ministers should have been aware of a 'significant risk' that this would not be the case.
Its report stated: 'Before the invasion of Iraq, ministers, senior officials and the UK military recognised that post-conflict and military operation were likely to be the strategically decisive phase of the coalition's engagement in Iraq.
'UK planning and preparation for the post-conflict phase of operations, which rested on the assumption that the UK would be able quickly to reduce its military presence in Iraq and deploy only a minimal number of civilians, were wholly inadequate.
'The information available to the Government before the invasion provided a clear indication of the potential scale of the post-conflict task and the significant risk associated with the UK's planned approach.'
Ministers were 'aware of the inadequacy of US plans and concerned about the inability to exert significant influence on US planning' but Mr Blair 'over-estimated' his ability to influence US policy, the report found.
'He did not establish clear ministerial oversight of UK planning and preparation,' said Sir John. 'He did not ensure there was a flexible, realistic and fully resourced plan that integrated UK military and civilian contributions and addressed the known risks.
'The failure in the planning and preparations continued to have an effect after the invasion.'
The inquiry examined the so-called notorious dossier published by the government on September 24, 2002, as Mr Blair started to lay the ground for a potential move on Iraq.
It claimed that Hussein's regime had the ability to launch a WMD strike within 45 minutes.
Mr Blair told the House of Commons the same day that the threat from the dictator was severe and would become a reality at some point in the future.
But Sir John said: 'The judgements about Iraq's capabilities in that statement, and in the dossier published the same day, were presented with a certainty that was not justified.'
Anger: Protestors unfurled a giant banner outside Tony Blair's central London home today calling for him to face a criminal trial
Protests: Several demonstrators were wearing Tony Blair masks and painted blood on their hands as they called for Mr Blair to be prosecuted
Movement: More than a million people marched in 2003 to protest against the war and many returned to central London today to repeat their concerns about what happened
Uproar: Protesters have returned to Whitehall to protest over the war afresh today after the report slammed the way it was planned
Under pressure: Mr Blair, pictured with troops in Iraq in 2003, has been accused of 'misleading Parliament and the public' in taking the UK into the Iraq War and is facing calls for criminal action
The report criticised the 'ingrained belief' among UK policy formers and intelligence services that Iraq had retained WMD.
It said the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) had agreed the content of the dossier itself, and there was 'no evidence' that evidence was improperly included or that Downing Street influenced the text.
But the JIC was rebuked for not ensuring that its real assessment '' that it had not been established beyond doubt that Hussein's regime was still producing WMD '' was not clear.
And the report said the way a foreword written by Mr Blair had been attached to the dossier would have given MPs and the public a different impression.
'In the foreword, Mr Blair stated that he believed the 'assessed intelligence' had 'established beyond doubt' that Saddam Hussein had 'continued to produce chemical and biological weapons, that he continues in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons and that he had been able to extend the range of his ballistic missile programme'.'
The report went on: 'The Inquiry is not questioning Mr Blair's belief, which he consistently reiterated in his evidence to the Inquiry, or his legitimate role in advocating Government policy.
'But the deliberate selection of a formulation which grounded the statement in what Mr Blair believed rather than in the judgements which the JIC had actually reached in its assessment of the intelligence, indicates a distinction between his beliefs and the JIC's actual judgements'...
'The assessed intelligence at the time had not established beyond doubt that Saddam Hussein had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons.'
While stressing that it did not have a remit to decide whether the invasion had been legal, the inquiry panel said they had 'concluded that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for UK military action were far from satisfactory'.
In mid-January 2003 Lord Goldsmith, the government's chief law officer, told Mr Blair that a further Security Council resolution would be needed to provide a legal basis for action.
By the end of February the peer had told Mr Blair that although a second resolution would be preferable, a 'reasonable case' could be made under the existing UNSC 1441.
He put that advice in writing in on March 7.
However, after the military and civil service asked for more clarity he then stated that the 'better view' was that the legal basis was secure.
Peter Brierley, left, whose son Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley was one of the first soldiers to be killed in the conflict, claimed Mr Blair 'ordered young men and women to be killed on the basis of a lie'
The inquiry began when Gordon Brown, right, was prime minister and has heard extensive witness reports from the then government, including Mr Blair, left
On March 14, Lord Goldsmith asked Mr Blair to confirm that Iraq had committed further 'material breaches' of UNSC 1441, saying that was an essential part of his justification.
Mr Blair's office responded that it was the PM's 'unequivocal view' that there had been further breaches of the resolution.
But the report said: 'It is unclear what specific grounds Mr Blair relied upon in reaching this view.'
THE CHILCOT REPORT IN NUMBERS 7 - Years since the Chilcot Inquiry was launched.
2,579 - Days between June 15, 2009, when the inquiry was announced on by then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and July 6, 2016, when the report is expected to be ready for private inspection and security check.
3 - Foreign secretaries to have been in the post since the inquiry was launched - David Miliband under Mr Brown, and William Hague and Philip Hammond under David Cameron.
2.3 million - Words estimated to be included in the report, making it almost four times longer than Leo Tolstoy's epic War and Peace.
10 million - Estimated cost, in pounds, of the inquiry as of January this year.
179 - UK military personnel that died during the Iraq war.
Sir John said: 'Given the gravity of the situation, Lord Goldsmith should have been asked to provide written advice explaining how, in the absence of a majority in the Security Council, Mr Blair could take that decision.'
Sources close to Mr Blair said today he will say that 'the intelligence we received was wrong' as his reputation is likely to be lacerated by Sir John's report.
Families of British soldiers killed in the conflict, which started 13 years ago, have instructed solicitors to examine the report and consider dragging the former PM through the courts.
John Miller's son, Simon, was one of six military policemen murdered in Iraq in 2003, and today he said of Mr Blair: 'There's got to be some kind of court case, be that In The Hague or elsewhere. I want to see him in the dock'.
Master Engineer Gary Nicholson, 42, from Hull, was one of 10 servicemen who died when their Hercules C-130 aircraft was shot down in 2005.
His mother Julia is boycotting the event and said: 'It will be a whitewash. I'm absolutely disgusted. I'm not going because it will be a whitewash. Tony Blair has got blood on his hands. He will have covered his back and (George) Bush's back'.
The families believe Mr Blair is guilty of 'malfeasance in public office' because he misused his constitutional powers which led to mass casualties. They could also seek to sue him for damages and secure compensation from his estimated £60million wealth.
Since the invasion and toppling of Saddam Hussein tens of thousands of Iraqis have died in the civil war that followed with 250 being killed in a Baghdad car bomb on Sunday, the worst bloodshed since 2003.
Hopes Mr Blair could face a war criminal trial were dashed because Sir John said he could not rule on whether the invasion in 2003 was 'legal' and he was 'not judge and jury' of a court.
But to the fury of families it has emerged that prosecutors in The Hague have indicated they will pore over the 2.6 million-word report for evidence of war crimes by British troops.
A British soldier dives from a burning tank which was set ablaze in the southern Iraqi city of Basra in 2005. Critics have slated Mr Blair for starting a war, pictured, which killed 179 UK soldiers, claiming it contributed to the rise of ISIS
Sir John said families of soldiers were at the forefront of his mind during the inquiry and that there would be no 'whitewash'. A British soldier looks through the scope of his rifle after a roadside bomb attack that targeted their convoy in Basra, 420 km (260 miles) northeast of Baghdad September 12, 2008.
ANTI-WAR DEMONSTRATORS TO TAKE TO THE STREETS DEMANDING 'TRUTH AND JUSTICE' OVER IRAQ CONFLICTAnger: Michael Culver, 78, stands outside the London home of former Prime Minister Tony Blair today
Anti-war campaigners will stage a demonstration in Westminster today as Sir John Chilcot presents his long-awaited report on the UK's role in the Iraq war.
Leaders of the Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and other groups will demand 'truth and justice'.
There will also be calls for former prime minister Tony Blair and others involved in the conflict to face the full force of the law.
It comes as the report, which has taken seven years to produce, is expected to criticise Mr Blair's role in the war, although it will not question its legality.
Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said: 'The Iraq war was a disaster, a disaster that began with a lie.
'If Tony Blair and other politicians responsible had told the truth it would never have happened. A country was destroyed, millions of innocent Iraqis were killed, British soldiers were killed, and terrorism has spread across the Middle East. Those responsible must now be brought to justice.
'We seek from the Chilcot Inquiry an accurate reckoning of the factors involved and finally to get clarity from the British state about this disastrous war. But it must not end there.
'The anti-war movement will gather in Westmister to demand truth and justice. It comes down to a principle - where individuals, no matter how lofty, are found to be responsible for crimes, they should face the full force of the law. No-one is exempt from justice.'
Chris Nineham, of the Stop the War Coalition, said: 'What the majority of people want from the next few days is an open admission that the war on Iraq was disastrous, illegal and wrong in itself, and that those who took us into it, led by Tony Blair, did so knowingly and by lying to people and Parliament.
'Anything short of this will surely confirm people's suspicions that the Chilcot circus has been yet another convoluted attempt at a cover-up.
'Over the next few days, and for as long as it takes, Stop the War will be campaigning for the truth about Iraq to be publicly acknowledged.
'Many people also want to see that being a public figure and extremely rich doesn't exempt you from being held accountable when you commit crimes.'
Among the revelations of the report will be details of 29 secret communications between former US president George Bush, left, and Mr Blair, right, in the run-up to the war
Families of the 179 dead say the report, which will be released this morning, must answer these questions:
The report, believed to have cost around £10million to produce, is published amid calls for former prime minister Tony Blair to be held to account for 'misleading the public and Parliament' when taking the UK into the conflict.
BAGHDAD HIT BY ISIS BOMB KILLING 250 IN WORST BLAST SINCE 2003Crowded: The suicide bombing killed at least 250 people
An ISIS suicide attack that ripped through a packed Baghdad shopping centre has claimed the lives of at 250 people.
The bomb blast in Iraq's capital is the deadliest attack in the country since the Iraq War started in 2003.
Some families have lost up to four relatives in the bombing, including four-year-old Ruqaya Al-Issa, who was killed alongside her shopkeeper father Hassan and two brothers, Hadi, 15, and Zaid, 17.
The family were among the hundreds of shoppers at the mall preparing for Eid festival when a truck laden with explosives was blown up outside by an ISIS suicide bomber.
'We found Hassan's daughter, Ruqaya, [but] her body was burnt and very difficult to identify,' her distraught uncle, Ghader Al-Issa, told MailOnline.
'I have lost four of my relatives. We could not find the rest of them and their bodies, but we know they are dead.
'They could not have survived that devastation.'
Rescuers are continuing their gruesome task of searching for more victims of Saturday night's attack, which was the single deadliest incident in Iraq's war-weary capital in years.
Many of the victims' bodies are so badly damaged that the task of identifying them presents an enormous challenge for authorities.
Among the most explosive revelations are the details of 29 secret letters, notes and conversations between Mr Blair and former US President George W. Bush in the run-up to war.
The leaders are alleged to have 'signed in blood' an agreement to oust Saddam Hussein in secret talks at the President's ranch in Texas a year before the March 2003 invasion without telling MPs or the public '' a claim denied by Mr Blair.
But there are concerns that large swathes of the report will focus on reprimanding senior military figures for not standing up to Number 10 before the conflict.
It came as families of soldiers who fought and died in the war said servicemen and women should not be made scapegoats for political failures, days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) said its prosecutors would comb through the 2.3 million word report for evidence of war crimes committed by British troops.
The families are set to clamour for some form of legal action against the former prime minister if - as many expect - he is strongly criticised by Sir John and his inquiry panel.
Karen Thornton, whose son Gunner Lee Thornton died in 2006 after being shot while on patrol in Iraq, said she wanted Mr Blair to face war crimes charges if it is proved he lied.
'I just think it was all based on lies, I think everything that comes out of that man's mouth has been a lie regarding Iraq,' she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
'I think the people who lied should be held to account for what they have done,' she said. Asked what that would mean, she said: 'Charged with war crimes. They are responsible for the deaths of so many people.'
The parents of Senior Aircraftsman Peter McFerran, 24, from North Wales, who was killed in southern Iraq in 2007, arrived shortly before the report was released to families at 8am.
The couple had travelled to London from Flintshire and wore 'Justice for Peter' T-shirts.
Mr McFerran's mother Ann, 64, said she was 'apprehensive' and 'didn't know what to expect'.
She said it was her husband Bob's 73rd birthday and added: 'The right outcome would be a good birthday present.'
Asked what that outcome would be, she replied: 'Justice for Peter.'
Sarah O'Connor, whose brother, Sergeant Bob O'Connor, was killed when his Hercules plane was shot down in 2005, said the length of time it had taken to complete the report made 'a mockery of the inquiry system'.
Speaking from London, she said: 'For many people this has been - from the first knock on the door - that next step. But it has taken so long.
'At the beginning, Sir John came around to the families and said we were at the forefront of the investigation. I had such faith in this process.
'But it has been like the toner cartridge in a printer. What has started off strong and bold has now become just a faint line.
'The length of time it has taken to get this has made a mockery of the inquiry system - for Iraq, for Rotherham ... anybody who has found themselves on either side of the scales, this has taken too long. It's been a farce.'
The inquiry is thought to have cost £10million so far, running to 12 volumes and a summary containing a total of 2.6 million words.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: 'Tony Blair knowingly lied to the public to justify this war, and his actions have damaged public trust, damaged the UK's standing in the world and crippled the ability of the UK to make humanitarian interventions. It is time he accepts responsibility and acknowledged his catastrophic mistake.'
The Chilcot Inquiry, set up in 2009, is looking at the UK's decision to take part in the invasion which toppled Saddam Hussein, whether troops were properly prepared, how the conflict was conducted and what planning there was for its aftermath.
Issues covered will include the diplomatic build-up to the invasion following the September 11 attacks in 2001 through to the end of UK combat operations in 2009.
It will look at equipment failures, amid evidence British troops were not given adequate protection, and the descent of Iraq into bloodshed and violence since Saddam Hussein, which has led to the
'Better to act now and explain later': Blair's private message to Bush on WMD nearly TWO YEARS before Iraq invasion
Tony Blair advised George W Bush in the hours after the 9/11 attacks he should immediately tackle states and individuals with weapons of mass destruction and justify it later, it was revealed today.
In a private note to the US President on September 12, 2001, Mr Blair both offered support to bring to justice the hijackers who destroyed the Twin Towers and looked ahead to the 'next stage after this evil'.
In documents revealed for the first time by Sir John Chilcot's Iraq Inquiry, Mr Blair said some would 'balk' at the measures necessary to control 'biological, chemical and other WMD'.
But he urged the President: 'We are better to act now and explain and justify our actions than let the day be put off until some further, perhaps even worse catastrophe occurs.'
Messages which passed between Tony Blair and George W Bush in the build-up to the Iraq war have been published today
The memo from September 12 makes no reference to Iraq specifically but warns: 'We know that there are countries and individuals trading in WMD and/or trying to acquire them. We need a range of sanctions and pressures to stop this.'
The Iraq Inquiry today published for the first time a raft of private correspondence sent by Mr Blair to Mr Bush from the period before, during and after the 2003 invasion.
In the months and years ahead of the March 2003 attack, the revelations expose efforts by Mr Blair to both support and exert influence over the US President.
In late 2001, Mr Blair was encouraging Mr Bush to focus on the campaign in Afghanistan and not mix the two objectives.
By July 2002, Mr Blair had told the President 'I will be with you, whatever' - but warned him the planning of war would be the 'toughest yet' and was more difficult than Afghanistan, Kosovo or the 1991 Gulf War.
In the final weeks before the 2003 invasion, Mr Blair's notes focus on pushing Mr Bush to pursue a second UN resolution explicitly authorising war.
But in his conclusions, Sir John said the UK took 'false comfort' from its perceived involvement in US decision making. The Inquiry does not reveal Mr Bush's replies.
The detail of the 2.6 million word report recounts that after attending a memorial service for the British victims in New York on September 20, 2001, Mr Blair travelled to Washington for a meeting with President Bush.
The inquiry reveals the record, noted in a letter by Britain's US Ambassador Sir David Manning, shows Mr Blair assured the President he believed Saddam was evil and told him: 'Before any action was taken against him, we would need to be very sure indeed there was compelling evidence.
'It would be best to deal with Afghanistan initially and then take our time to see whether we could build up the case against Iraq or other countries.'
Around three weeks later, Mr Blair appears to be attempting to rein in the president's immediate ambitions to take on Iraq - but indicates support for action against Saddam 'at a later date'.
The messages reveal the Prime Minister told Bush after the September 11 attacks that they should go after states with weapons of mass destruction
On October 11, 2001, in a section of a note entitled 'extending war aims', Mr Blair said there was a 'real willingness in the Middle East' to remove Saddam '' but warned him of 'total opposition' to doing so in connection with operations in Afghanistan.
Mr Blair said he 'no doubt we need to deal with Saddam' and added: 'But if we hit Iraq now, we would lose the Arab world, Russia, probably half the EU.
'I am sure we can devise a strategy for Saddam deliverable at a later date.'
Mr Blair visited Washington again on November 7 for talks with Mr Bush about the Afghanistan campaign.
But the Inquiry uncovered a private note handed to Mr Bush by the PM which under a section on 'international initiatives' referred to the need for a new UN resolution on Iraq and a wider 'WMD agreement'.
The public record of the talks makes no mention of Iraq.
Government records show a further telephone call between the two leaders five days later, on November 12 but no official record of the conversation has been found. The inquiry said other sources indicate the subject was Afghanistan.
The inquiry concluded that in December 2001, Mr Blair did not have 'military action of any sort in mind' but did note Mr Blair was prepared to militarily support a rebellion in Iraq were one to occur.
Bush and Blair in the White House in July 2003. Blair both supported and exerted influence over the US President in the build-up to war, the emails reveal
However, after Mr Bush named Iraq in his 2002 state of the union address as a 'regime that has something to hide from the civilised world', Mr Blair and Mr Straw began to argue in public that Iraq had to be dealt with.
Mr Blair then discussed the issue with Mr Bush in Crawford, Texas, on April 5 and 6, 2002, and agreed a partnership based on an ultimatum to Iraq over the readmission of weapons inspectors. Mr Bush agreed to consider the idea.
Cabinet Office papers report Mr Blair told the President at the Crawford meeting that the UK would support military action if certain conditions '' relating to a coalition, the Israel/Palestine crisis and UN weapon inspectors '' were met.
By July 2002, Mr Blair wrote to Mr Bush to set out the framework for the partnership and told him: 'I will be with you, whatever.
'But this is the moment to assess bluntly the difficulties.
'The planning on this and the strategy are the toughest yet. This is not Kosovo. This is not Afghanistan. It is not even the Gulf War.'
He urged him the military part of the plan was 'hazardous' but said getting rid of Saddam was 'the right thing to do', adding that 'containment'... is always risky'.
The Inquiry said the note reflected Mr Blair's own views and said they had not been discussed with colleagues in the Cabinet.
Weeks later, President Bush addressed the UN General Assembly on September 12, 2002, to set out the 'grave and gathering danger' posed by Saddam in Iraq, challenging the UN to stand up to Iraq if it refused to meet its obligations.
Mr Bush said the 'first time' the world may be certain of Saddam's possession of nuclear weapons is 'when'... he uses one' and told the UN: 'We owe it to all our citizens to prevent that day from coming.'
In a handwritten note to the president the same day, Mr Blair said it was a 'brilliant speech' that 'put us on exactly the right strategy to get the job done'.
He said: 'The reception has been very positive with everyone now challenged to come up to the mark. Well done.'
In the next item of private correspondence, around three months before the invasion, Mr Blair warned the President on January 24, 2003, that if UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix could not find a 'smoking gun' there was a risk 'the thing drags on forever until we give up or get distracted'.
He said: 'The world is in contradiction. No one is really prepared for war, except us.
'But equally no one believes Saddam is telling the truth. In part we are victims of our own success.
'Your strength'... has forced Saddam to let inspectors back in; has made him seem weak and back in his box. So everyone asks: why bother?'
Mr Blair used the note to press the case for a second UN resolution, insisting it would be 'the best protection' for a 'military hitch' or protracted campaign.
He told the President delay was not necessary for military preparation but the extra month could help find the smoking gun, make Saddam 'crack' and build political support at home and abroad.
In a subsequent phone call, Mr Blair proposed setting a deadline of a month later and told Mr Bush: 'If this were not achievable, military action would follow anyway.'
In a note entitled 'countdown' on January 30, 2003, Mr Blair advised the President he believed more time would bring public and international opinion around to military action without a smoking gun.
The note set out a timetable for action, anticipating further reports from Mr Blix on February 14 and 28 that were each 'harder on non-co-operation' than the previous document.
It said the timetable could be 'shortened if either dramatic find by Blix or 14 February report sufficiently hard; lengthened but not beyond end March if resolution takes more time'.
At a meeting the following day, Mr Blair assured Mr Bush he was 'solidly with the President and ready to do whatever it took to disarm Saddam' after Mr Bush agreed to support a second resolution.
Talk of going after countries with WMDs started between the pair the day after terrorists attacked the World Trade Centre
It was clear at the meeting military action had a narrow window and could begin 'around March 10'.
In the press conference which followed the meeting, the position was left publicly ambiguous but a clear message was given that Saddam was running out of time.
The Inquiry concluded that while Mr Blair's strategy was discussed in general by the Cabinet on January 30 there was no 'detailed and in depth analysis' of it it and no alternative options were considered.
In a further note on February 19, 2003, Mr Blair told the President that public opinion was 'not against conflict in all circumstances.
'What they fear is we are hell bent on war, come what may, that we don't really want the UN to succeed'.
The PM insisted this fear was 'absurd' and said the heart of the issue was a 'confusion between active and passive cooperation' from Saddam.
Mr Blair warned the French-German view was to give inspectors time to 'sniff out' weapons but said this could take 'months or years'.
He told Mr Bush: 'Our view, which is correct, is that time is irrelevant unless he is cooperating fully and actively. If he isn't, the time needed is just the time necessary to make a judgement as to his cooperation: is it full or not.
'And actually no one'... is seriously suggesting Saddam is cooperating fully.'
Mr Blair said the 'trick' was to re-focus debate onto 'full co-operation'.
And he told Mr Bush he would speak to Mr Blix the following day to try and 'tie' him to the proposed timetable.
Mr Blair said there was a risk Saddam 'might conceivably fully comply' but that this was unlikely and delaying military action by a week might increase the 'very slim' chances of securing a second resolution by the end of February.
He told Mr Bush: 'A successful second resolution would be an enormous success for your diplomacy over the last few months.'
In a phone call the same day, the two leaders agreed on a draft resolution and Mr Blair said it was a 'defining moment'.
Mr Blair told the President winning nine UN votes for the second resolution was vital to him securing Parliamentary approval.
But within days, the attempt to secure a second UN resolution would collapse but Mr Blair tested the House of Commons anyway on March 18, 2003.
Mr Blair won the vote and told President Bush British forces would join the invasion when it began the next day.
WHO'S WHO IN THE CHILCOT INQUIRY: THE LEADING FIGURES IN THE BUILD-UP TO THE IRAQ WAR Tony Blair
Elected as Prime Minister with a landslide in 1997, Blair became the strongest ally of the US after the 9/11 attacks, regularly meeting George W Bush and forming a close friendship.
Having supported military intervention in Kosovo and Sierra Leone earlier in his premiership, he became a strong advocate of so-called 'humanitarian intervention'.
He made the case for invading Iraq in 2002 on the back of a dossier in which he claimed intelligence had 'established beyond doubt' that Saddam Hussein was producing chemical and biological weapons.
The war and the implosion of Iraq since the invasion have become the defining events of Blair's term in power and claims he should be tried for war crimes have dogged his work since he resigned in 2007.
Tony Blair (left) and George W Bush (centre) made the case for war. Lord Goldsmith (right) was the UK government's main legal adviser
George W Bush
Elected US President in January 2001, he was only eight months into his first time when the September 11 attacks took place, rocking the US and shocking the world.
The son of former president George HW Bush, who had overseen the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein in 1991, George W Bush launched the 'War on Terror' in response to 9/11, which included large-scale military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.
After the swift collapse of Hussein's regime, Bush made a speech on board a US aircraft carrier in May 2003 beneath a banner proclaiming 'Mission Accomplished'.
Following his re-election in 2004, Bush faced increased criticism as the situation in Iraq deteriorated and went on to claim the lives of more than 4,000 US servicemen and women.
Lord Goldsmith
As Attorney General at the time of the invasion, he was the main legal adviser to Tony Blair and the government.
Lord Goldsmith advised on the legality of going to war and initially said a second UN resolution was necessary authorising force if necessary.
However, he changed his opinion in March 2003 after meeting with US officials. He then said that UN accords on Iraq from the 1990s justified an invasion.
The 66-year-old, who resigned as Attorney General in 2007, has denied his the change in his views was due to political pressure.
Jack Straw
Straw was Blair's foreign secretary during the Iraq war and once said that Britain would not have joined the conflict if he had opposed the war.
The former minister was involved in gaining legal backing for the invasion after rejecting advice from Foreign Office advisers that the war would be illegal.
Straw, now 69, has since described going to war as 'the most difficult decision I have ever faced', but has insisted Britain's involvement was 'justified'.
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw (left), spin doctor Alastair Campbell (centre) and MI6 boss Sir Richard Dearlove (right) were also involved
Alastair Campbell
Campbell was Tony Blair's director of communications between 1997 and 2003, managing the government's internal relationships and handling the media.
He was heavily involved in the campaign behind making the case for war in 2002 and 2003, but has denied claims he 'sexed up' the second dossier of intelligence, often called the 'dodgy dossier'. He told Chilcot: 'I defend every single word of the dossier.'
Campbell resigned in August 2003 during the Hutton Inquiry into the death of weapons expert Dr Kelly.
Sir Richard Dearlove
As head of the MI6 - a position known as 'C' - between 1999 to 2004, Sir Richard and his agents were responsible for the intelligence reports which were used to justify the invasion.
His role in build-up to war is disputed but he is understood to have warned ministers that intelligence was being 'fixed around policy' by the US.
There have been claims that Sir Richard was too close to Blair and Campbell and helped in the alleged 'sexing up' of the dossiers, which all three men deny doing.
Much of his evidence to Chilcot was redacted for security reasons, but it is known he branded claims he was too close to Blair 'complete rubbish'.
Dr David Kelly
A distinguished government scientist who was a former UN weapons inspector and had worked in Iraq.
He became the centre of the argument over the invasion of Iraq when he gave a briefing to a BBC journalist which led to a report that claims about Hussein's weapons had been 'sexed up'.
After Dr Kelly was outed as the source of the story he was found dead in woodland near his Oxfordshire home. It is understood he felt his reputation had been tarnished and his death was ruled a suicide.
Hans Blix
The Swedish diplomat was chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq in the build-up to the war and his views on the extent of tyrant's weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) became of huge importance.
In 2002, he said he believed the Iraqi regime did have such weapons but by 2003 he said his inspectors had not found any. He urged Western powers to give him more time before launching an invasion.
Blix has said he believes the invasion of Iraq was illegal and has accused the Pentagon of smearing him to help justify the war.
Dr David Kelly (left) took his own life after he was outed as a source of a story criticised the case for war. UN weapons inspector Hans Blix (right) was in charge of looking for chemical and biological weapons in Iraq during the build-up to war
179 dead: The brave British servicemen and women who lost their lives in the Iraq War
The six-year Iraq War claimed the lives of 179 British servicemen and women before the conflict came to an end in May 2009.
According to a study of the war-torn nation, an estimated 461,000 Iraqis were also killed between March 2003 and June 2011 as a direct or indirect result of the fighting.
Here are the faces of the British men and women who died for their country:
(left to right top row) Captain Philip Guy, Naval Rating Ian Seymour, Warrant Officer 2nd Class Mark Stratford (Silhouette), Marine Sholto Hedenskog, Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Evans, Colour Sgt John Cecil, Major Jason Ward, Sergeant Les Hehir, Lt Philip Green, Lt Tony King; Lt James Williams, Lt Philip West, Lt Marc Lawrence, Lt Andrew Wilson, Flight Lt Kevin Main, Flight Lt Dave Williams (Silhouette), Sapper Luke Allsopp, Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth, Sergeant Steven Roberts, Lance-Corporal Barry Stephen;
(left to right second row) Corporal Stephen Allbutt, Trooper David Clarke, Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull, Royal Marine Christopher Maddison, Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley, Major Stephen Ballard, Staff Sergeant Chris Muir, Lance Corporal Karl Shearer, Fusilier Kelan John Turrington, Lance Corporal Ian Malone, Piper Christopher Muzvuru, Lt Alexander Tweedie, Lance Corporal James McCue, Private Andrew Kelly, Gunner Duncan Pritchard (Silhouette), Corporal David Sheppard (Silhouette), Leonard Harvey, Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell, Corporal Russell Aston, Corporal Paul Graham Long;
(left to right third row) Corporal Simon Miller, Lance Corporal Benjamin McGowan Hyde, Lance Corporal Thomas Keys, Captain James Linton, Private Jason Smith (silhouette), Captain David Jones, Major Matthew Titchener, Warrant Officer Colin Wall, Corporal Dewi Pritchard, Fusilier Russell Beeston, Sergeant John Nightingale, Corporal Ian Plank, Private Ryan Thomas, Major James Stenner (Silhouette), Sergeant Norman Patterson (Silhouette), Lance Corporal Andrew Craw, Rifleman Vincent Windsor, Sapper Robert Thompson, Corporal Richard Ivell, Fusilier Gordon Gentle;
(left to right fourth row) Flight Lt Kristian Gover (Silhouette), Private Christopher Rayment, Private Lee O'Callaghan, Private Marc Ferns, Lance Corporal Paul Thomas, Fusilier Steven Jones, Corporal Marc Taylor, Gunner David Lawrence (Silhouette), Private Kevin McHale, Staff Sergeant Denise Rose, Private Paul Lowe, Sergeant Stuart Gray, Private Scott McArdle, Private Pita Tukatukawaqa (Silhouette), Sergeant Paul Connolly (Silhouette), Squadron Leader Patrick Marshall, Flight Lt David Stead, Flight Lt Andrew Smith, Flight Lt Paul Pardoel, Master Engineer Gary Nicholson;
(left to right fifth row) Chief Technician Richard Brown, Flight Sergeant Mark Gibson, Sergeant Robert O'Connor, Corporal David Williams, Acting Lance-Corporal Steven Jones, Private Mark Dobson, Guardsman Anthony Wakefield, Lance-Corporal Alan Brackenbury, Signaller Paul Didsbury, 2nd Lt Richard Shearer, Private Philip Hewett, Private Leon Spicer, Fusilier Donal Meade, Fusilier Stephen Manning, Major Matthew Bacon, Captain Ken Masters, Sergeant Chris Hickey, Sergeant John Jones, Lance Corporal Allan Douglas, Corporal Gordon Pritchard;
(left to right sixth row) Trooper Carl Smith, Captain Richard Holmes, Private Lee Ellis, Lt Richard Palmer, Flight Lt Sarah-Jane Mulvihill, Wing Commander John Coxen, Lt Commander Darren Chapham, Lt David Dobson, Marine Paul Collins, Private Joseva Lewaicei, Private Adam Morris, Lt Tom Mildinhall, Lance Corporal Paul Farrelly, Corporal John Cosby, Corporal Matthew Cornish, Gunner Samuela Vanua, Gunner Stephen Wright, Gunner Lee Thornton, Lance Corporal Dennis Brady, Lt Tom Tanswell;
(left to right seventh row) Kingsman Jamie Hancock, Staff Sergeant Sharron Elliott, Warrant Officer 2nd Class Lee Hopkins, Marine Jason Hylton, Corporal Ben Nowak, Sergeant Jonathon Hollingsworth (Silhouette), Sergeant Graham Hesketh, Sergeant Wayne Rees, Kingsman Alex Green, Private Michael Tench, 2nd Lt Jonathan Bracho-Cooke, Private Luke Daniel Simpson, Rifleman Daniel Coffey, Private Jonathon Dany Wysoczan, Kingsman Danny Wilson, Rifleman Aaron Lincoln, Corporal Kris O'Neill, Second Lieutenant Joanna Yorke Dyer, Kingsman Adam James Smith, Private Eleanor Dlugosz;
(left to right eighth row) Colour Sergeant Mark Powell, Sergeant Mark J McLaren, Corporal Ben Leaning, Trooper Kristen Turton, Kingsman Alan Joseph Jones, Rifleman Paul Donnachie, Major Nick Bateson, Private Kevin Thompson, Corporal Jeremy Brookes, Corporal Rodney Wilson, Lance Corporal James Cartwright, Major Paul Harding, Corporal John Rigby, Corporal Paul Joszko, Private Scott Kennedy, Private James Kerr, Rifleman Edward Vakabua, Lance Corporal Ryan Francis, Corporal Christopher Read, Aircraftsman Peter McFerran;
(left to right ninth row) Senior Aircraftsman Matthew Caulwell, Senior Aircraftsman Christopher Dunsmore, Lance Corporal Timothy Darren 'Daz' Flowers, Corporal Steve Edwards, Private Craig Barber, Leading Aircraftman Martin Beard, Lance Sergeant Chris Casey, Corporal Kirk Redpath, Sergeant Eddie Collins (Silhouette), Sergeant Mark Stansfield, Lance Corporal Sarah Holmes, UNIDENTIFIED(Silhouette), Trooper Lee Fitzsimmons, Guardsman Stephen Ferguson, Sergeant Duane 'Baz' Barwood, UNIDENTIFIED(Silhouette), Lance Corporal David Kenneth Wilson, Corporal Lee Churcher (Silhouette), Private Ryan Wrathall.
HOW BRITAIN AND US BROUGHT WAR TO IRAQ AND THE SEVEN LONG YEARS WAITING FOR CHILCOT INQUIRY TO END A statue of Saddam Hussein is toppled in Baghdad in April 2003. The optimism at his overthrown turned to horror as the country descended into bloody civil war with opposing militias and terror groups killing tens of thousands
THE PATH TO WAR
2001
September 11 - Suicide attacks on New York and Washington spark international crisis as US and its allies declare war on terror - and those who harbour terrorists.
2002
April 6: Blair heads to the US to meet George W Bush in Texas where the president is said to have demanded Blair's assurances he would back an Iraq war stance on Iraq 'tightened' and it is claimed he gave an 'undertaking in blood' to support a US invasion.
July 24: Attorney General Lord Goldsmith tells Downing Street self-defence and humanitarian intervention are no basis for war. Warns Blair in writing he can't agree to war with U.S. without UN support
September 24: Labour government publish their first dossier, which contains claim Saddam Hussein had ability to set off weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes.
November 8: UN Security Council pass Resolution 1441 declaring Iraq in 'material breach' of its obligations and need for weapons inspectors to return
2003
January 14: Tony Blair given draft advice saying another resolution authorising use of force is needed. Legal advice continues to say that war would not be legal without it.
January 30: The so-called 'dodgy dossier' is published, but later emerges it was based on internet research
February 27: Lord Goldsmith tells No10 he's changed his mind, giving 'green light' for war
March 18: MPs vote to back war by 412 to 149
March 20: Invasion begins.
THE CHILCOT REPORT
Evidence: On an extraordinary day Tony Blair is forced to give evidence to the inquiry but insists he did not go to war on the basis of a 'lie' and has no regrets over removing Saddam Hussein
2009
June 15: Prime Minister Gordon Brown announces that a panel of privy councillors led by Sir John Chilcot will conduct an inquiry of 'unprecedented' scope, covering the lead up to the invasion from summer 2001 to the withdrawal of the main body of British troops earlier that year.
July 30: Sir John says late 2010 is 'probably the earliest possible' date for his report to be published.
November 11: The first public hearings take place.
2010
January 29: Tony Blair makes his long-awaited appearance before the inquiry and insists he did not go to war on the basis of a 'lie', has no regrets over removing Saddam Hussein and would do the same again. Audience members shout 'liar' and 'murderer' as he leaves.
March 5: Prime Minister Gordon Brown defends his decision to curb defence spending after the Iraq invasion and tells the inquiry he provided money every time defence chiefs asked for new equipment. Days later he admits he was wrong to claim the defence budget had risen in real terms every year under Labour and will clarify his evidence.
2011
November 17: The Iraq Inquiry says its report will be delayed by six months because of wrangling over the release of secret documents.
2012
July 16: Sir John writes to David Cameron alerting him to a further delay and revealing letters to people who were set to be criticised would not start to be sent until the middle of 2013.
2014
May 16: Mr Cameron says he is frustrated by delays, but hopes the report will be published by the end of the year.
2015
August 13: Families of soldiers killed in the Iraq War threaten legal action if a publication date for the report is not set within two weeks.
August 26: In the face of mounting criticism over delays in publishing the report, Sir John issues a statement saying he understands 'the anguish of the families of those who lost their lives in the conflict', but adds 'it is critically important that the report should be fair'.
October 25: Mr Blair apologises for aspects of the Iraq War, sparking claims of attempted 'spin' ahead of the Chilcot Inquiry findings. The former prime minister uses a US television interview to express regret over the failure to plan properly for the aftermath of the 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein and the false intelligence used to justify it.
2016
May 6: The chairman of the inquiry writes again to the Prime Minister, this time confirming a date for publication of July 6, 2016.
July 6: The inquiry committee intends to publish the Report of the Iraq Inquiry. It will include all but the most sensitive information which could threaten national security. Parliament will then debate the findings. Family members of some of the victims are expected in London for the findings, with a protest planned by Stop The War Coalition.
Brexit
BBC story, young kids definitely want to leave the UK and have freedom of movement to live in Berlin and other cool places because of housing and cost-of-living in the UK
Elections 2016
Donald Trump Meets With Senator Joni Ernst, a Possible Running Mate - NYTimes.com
Tue, 05 Jul 2016 04:30
Donald J. Trump met in New Jersey on Monday with Senator Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa, as he screens potential running mates in a series of meetings.
One person briefed on the process, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said that the campaign began vetting Ms. Ernst in recent days as a possible vice-presidential pick. But it is not clear how seriously Ms. Ernst is being considered for a position that Mr. Trump has kept close counsel about filling.
Jason Miller, a senior communications adviser for Mr. Trump, declined to comment. In a statement on Monday, Ms. Ernst confirmed that she had met with Mr. Trump.
Ms. Ernst is a retired National Guard lieutenant colonel and a veteran of the Iraq war. Her military background could help Mr. Trump given his lack of foreign policy experience or national security experience. The fact that she is a woman could also help Mr. Trump with a group of voters with whom he currently polls poorly.
Ms. Ernst is also considered a possiblekeynote speaker at the Republican National Convention, which begins on July 18 in Cleveland.
In the statement, Ms. Ernst said that her focus was on defeating Hillary Clinton, saying, ''I had a good conversation with Donald Trump today, and we discussed what I am hearing from Iowans as I travel around the state on my 99-county tour, and the best path forward for our country.''
She added: ''I will continue to share my insights with Donald about the need to strengthen our economy, keep our nation safe and ensure America is always a strong, stabilizing force around the globe.''
According to a source briefed on the meeting, both Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump's chief strategist who is handling much of the vice presidential search, and Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, also attended.
It is unusual in recent history for a presumptive nominee of a major party to tease out the process for choosing a running mate in such a public way, but it is in reflective of Mr. Trump's approach on his reality TV show, ''The Apprentice.''
Earlier in the weekend, Mr. Trump met with Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, another potential vice-presidential candidate. The two met at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., where Mr. Trump is expected to meet with Ms. Ernst.
In a post on Twitter on Monday, Mr. Trump praised Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, another military veteran who some Republicans hope will be chosen by Mr. Trump.
Meanwhile, Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and another potential vice presidential nominee, is set to appear with Mr. Trump at an event in North Carolina on Tuesday. It will be the first time that any of the people on Mr. Trump's short list of contenders will appear with him since he began the process in earnest.
Interactive Feature | 2016 Election Polls Get the latest national and state polls on the presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump.
Correction: July 4, 2016
An earlier version of this article misstated Jason Miller's role in Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign. He is a senior communications adviser to Mr. Trump, not his communications director.
Anopheliphobia - Phobia Wiki - Wikia
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 04:15
'† Back to: List of phobias
Anopheliphobia (from Greek anopheli, "mosquito") is the fear of mosquitoes. Anopheliphobia is a branch of entomophobia, fear of insects, since mosquitoes are insects. This phobia is linked with pruritophobia, fear of itches, since mosquito bites are itchy. People can fear mosquitoes because they can suffer malaria through mosquito bites, or itches from it. Sufferers would not go outdoors at night while limiting going outdoors during the day as there are few mosquitoes active during the day. Getting bit by a mosquito can induce panic to anopheliphobes. It is commonly treated using relaxation method.
Template:Animal phobias
Six Week Cycle
UPDATE: Sterling Man Charged with Aiding Islamic State '' Loudoun Now
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 13:43
Loudoun Now Staff Report
A 26-year-old Sterling man is behind bars after allegedly plotting to aid a mass shooting and providing other support to the group known as Islamic State.
Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, identified as a former member of the Army National Guard, was arrested Sunday. In a brief appearance in federal district court Tuesday, he was arraigned and held without bond.
According to the federal complaint released Tuesday, Jalloh allegedly attempted to help purchase weapons to be used in what he believed was going to be an attack on U.S. soil committed in the name of ISIS. Investigators also say he provided money to help individuals seeking to join ISIS.
The FBI's affidavit also alleges Jalloh said he was considering a ''Nidal Hassan-style attack.'' Hasan is the former U.S. Army major who killed 13 people and injured 32 in a mass shooting at Fort Hood, TX, in 2009. The FBI's confidential informant had told Jalloh that the weapons would be used in an attack on two U.S. military personnel inside the country, followed by an unspecified attack by ISIS.
The affidavit says Jalloh was born in Sierra Leone and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. While his Facebook page says he works as a control room operator at Amazon, an Amazon spokesperson said Jalloh was briefly assigned to Amazon as a contractor but was never an employee of the company.
Jalloh was arrested after Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly, working with the FBI, sold him a disabled AR-15 on Saturday, July 2.
Earl Curtis, owner of Blue Ridge Arsenal, said Jalloh could not purchase the weapon on his first visit because he did not have the three forms of identification required to purchase an assault firearm.
''He seemed like a normal guy walking in,'' Curtis said in an interview Tuesday. A few minutes after Jalloh left, FBI agents came into the store.
''Normally, I would have said, if the guy comes back in I'm going to refuse him,'' Curtis said. ''You just don't want to have somebody purchase a gun that's going to cause some type of harm.''
Instead, the FBI persuaded Curtis to sell Jalloh a disabled firearm. Jalloh came back to the store in the evening, purchased a Stag Arms SA1, which a Blue Ridge Arsenal employee disabled, and was arrested the next day.
According to court documents and court proceedings, in March, a now-deceased member of ISIS brokered an introduction between Jalloh and an individual in the U.S. who was working with the FBI as confidential source. The ISIS member was plotting an attack in the U.S. and believed the attack would be carried out with the assistance of Jalloh and FBI's confidential source.
Jalloh allegedly met with the FBI source in April and May. During the April meeting, Jalloh told the source that he was a former member of the Virginia Army National Guard, but that he had decided to quit after listening to online lectures by Anwar al-Aulaqi, a deceased leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Jalloh stated that he recently had taken a six-month trip to Africa, where he had met with ISIS members in Nigeria and began communicating online with the ISIS member who later brokered his introduction to the FBI source.
During that meeting, Jalloh also told the source that he often thought about conducting an attack and that he knew how to shoot guns. Jalloh praised the gunman who killed five U.S. military members in a terrorist attack in Chattanooga, TN, last July, and stated that he had been thinking about conducting an attack similar to the 2009 attack at Ft. Hood, TX.
During the May meeting, Jalloh asked the source about the timeline for an operation and commented that it was better to plan an operation for the month of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month currently being observed. ''I will support with whatever you need from me, I need the reward from Allah and my sins to be forgiven,'' Jalloh said, according to the FBI avadavat.
Jalloh also asked whether the source could assist him by donating to ISIS. Ultimately, Jalloh provided a prepaid cash transfer of $500 to a contact of the FBI source that Jalloh believed was a member of ISIS, but who was in fact an undercover FBI employee.
In June, Jalloh travelled to North Carolina and made multiple unsuccessful attempts to obtain firearms, before he bought an assault rifle rendered inoperable at Blue Ridge Arsenal on Saturday. He was arrested the following day and the FBI seized the gun.
All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Sterling, one of the nation's largest mosques, has been proactive in its efforts to build bridges among other faiths and to denounce violence and radical teachings. Following the news of Jalloh's arrest, Rizwan Jaka, who chairs the ADAMS board emailed a statement.
He cautioned the public to remember that criminal complaints are not evidence of guilt, and that law enforcement informants should not go so far as to target one group based on race or religion. ''We refuse to allow our faith to be held hostage by the criminal actions of a fringe minuscule minority of miscreants acting outside the teachings of both the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him),'' he wrote.
But Jaka also called for a complete investigation and prosecution if Jalloh is found guilty. He condemned violent extremism and said the Muslim community in Northern Virginia disassociates itself with these ''un-Islamic acts.''
''ADAMS has always been clear and very forthright in our position that those who commit acts of terror, murder and cruelty in the name of Islam are not only destroying innocent lives, but are also betraying the values of the faith they falsely claim to represent,'' he said.
[See ADAMS' full statement here.]
Jaka urged anyone with information about any suspicious activities related to Jalloh to contact the FBI Washington Field Office at 202-278-2000.
If convicted on the charges, Jalloh faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Net Neutrality
Federal regulation of Internet coming, warn FCC, FEC commissioners | Washington Examiner
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 13:28
Democrats targeting content and control of the Internet, especially from conservative sources, are pushing hard to layer on new regulations and even censorship under the guise of promoting diversity while policing bullying, warn commissioners from the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Election Commission.
''Protecting freedom on the Internet is just one vote away,'' said Lee E. Goodman, a commissioner on the FEC which is divided three Democrats to three Republicans. ''There is a cloud over your free speech.''
Freedom of speech on the Internet, added Ajit Pai, commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, ''is increasingly under threat.''
Pai and Goodman cited political correctness campaigns by Democrats as a threat. Both also said their agencies are becoming politicized and the liberals are using their power to push regulations that impact business and conservative outlets and voices.
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''One of the things that is critical for this country is to reassert the value of the First Amendment, the fact that robust discourse, that is sometimes cacophonous, is nonetheless a value, in fact it creates value,'' said Pai.
At a CATO Institute discussion on online speech Wednesday night, both said that regulators are eager to issue new rules that could put limits on what people could say on blogs, online news and even YouTube. Washington Examiner reporter Rudy Takala and Cato's digital manager Kat Murti were also on the panel.
Goodman drew attention to the political divide on the FEC and how Republicans have been able to block Democrats from moving against conservative media. He noted a new decision expected to be released today in which Democrats in executive session voted for the first time ever to punish a TV outlet, Fox News, for its handling of presidential debates.
That 3-3 vote killed any action against Fox, but he warned that protecting further regulation is ''held together by just one vote.''
Pai said that at the FCC, ''bipartisan consensus has unraveled over the last couple of years,'' most notably the recent vote on net neutrality. Democrats are in control, 3-2.
Also from the Washington Examiner
"I mean if I were a delegate, that's the way I would feel. But that's a decision for them to make."
'07/07/16 9:23 AM
Pai, addressing Goodman, added, ''The common thread of our experiences I think is this impulse of control, whether it's the FCC and the impulse of the government to want to control how these networks operate, and the FEC to control the content of the traffic that traverses over those networks, and I think that certainly highlights the importance of the First Amendment.''
Goodman concluded, ''We need to be ever mindful and vigilant not to let governmental agencies through 3-2 votes, or 4-2 votes at the FEC take that away from us.''
Top Story
The move to end the Clinton email probe without charging anyone involved with a crime has raised questions.
'07/07/16 12:01 AM
Ottomania
Georgian trace emerges in Istanbul airport attack
Tue, 05 Jul 2016 13:12
The Chechen accused of masterminding the bombing on June 28 formerly served as an agent for the Georgian secret services, according to the head of Georgia's parliamentary national security committee.
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A national flag hangs from a building above a taxi rank as colleagues of Ali Zulfikar Yorulmaz, a taxi driver killed in the blasts on June 28, gather for a memorial ceremony at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Thursday, June 30, 2016. Source: AP
The head of Georgia's parliamentary national security committee has said that the suspected mastermind of the Istanbul airport attack, Ahmet Chatayev, a native of Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, was a Georgian secret service agent under former President Mikheil Saakashvili and had been tasked by the latter in person. Officials in Georgia intend to launch a probe.
Chatayev has been identified as the mastermind of the suicide bombings at Istanbul airport that killed at least 44 people. Source: AP
''Ahmet Chatayev was a government security agent. He received instructions from Saakashvili through [former interior minister] Lordkipanidze,'' Irakli Sesiashvili, head of the parliamentary national security committee and a member of the Georgian Dream party, told the Rustavi-2 TV channel on July 3. The deputy insisted that he has evidence supporting this claim.
Earlier, Abufet Mukhadinov, deputy police chief for the Vedensky District in Russia's Chechen Republic, said that Chatayev has Georgian citizenship.
''We have reports that he has more than once been detained in Europe, in Austria, in Ukraine. From Ukraine he was extradited to Georgia, where he lived and received Georgian citizenship. In 2015, he ended up in Syria,'' said Mukhadinov.
According to Chechen law-enforcement agencies, Chatayev was recruiting young people who had arrived in Turkey. The Turkish authorities had been informed about this via Interpol channels, said Mukhadinov.
Lordkipanidze denies the accusations against him. Saakashvili, meanwhile, who is currently serving as the governor of Ukraine's Odessa Region, says that it was he who first accused the incumbent Georgian authorities over Chatayev.
The former president points out that Chatayev was released after the change of government in Georgia.
''The new government headed by Russian oligarch Ivanishvili immediately released Chatayev because many of the government leaders proclaimed him a political prisoner,'' Saakashvili wrote in a post on Facebook.
First published in Russian by Vzglyad
Earon
Know Comment: The cash behind the Iran deal - Opinion - Jerusalem Post
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 00:27
As the July 14 first anniversary of the JCPOA nears, you can be sure that the Obama administration and its think tank and business allies will treat us to a slew of congratulatory stories about the nuclear agreement with Iran, with an eye to making it irreversible as Barack Obama leaves office.
It is, of course, absurd to celebrate an accord that has strengthened the ayatollahs in their quest for regional hegemony. It's utterly nonsensical '' until you begin to understand how much big money is behind the deal.
Boeing, for example, just announced the sale of passenger and cargo planes worth up to $25 billion to Iran Air, Tehran's state-owned airline. This will be by far the most lucrative business transaction between the US and Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Only five years ago, the Obama administration imposed sanctions on the Iranian airline for transporting Revolutionary Guard Corps rockets and missiles to Hezbollah in Syria and for other terrorist activities, and there is every reason to believe that such activity continues. So why would the administration be so quick to back this contract? Well, perhaps it is because one of the Obama administration's top shills for the nuclear sellout deal with Iran has been a lobbyist for Boeing all along '' as revealed last week by The Daily Beast.
I'm referring to Thomas R. Pickering, a former under secretary of state for political affairs, considered by many the ultimate American career diplomat. He was ambassador to Russia, the UN and Israel. The Obama administration relied on him to lead (and squelch) important investigations, such as the probe into the Benghazi fiasco where the American ambassador to Libya was killed.
About the same time (late 2012), Pickering popped up at the head of a panel of former senior US officials and experts called ''The Iran Project,'' urging President Obama to drop sanctions and covert action against Iran, and instead negotiate more intensively with Tehran.
Pickering pontificated to the effect that sanctions were only ''contributing to an increase in repression and corruption within Iran,'' and were ''sowing the seeds of long-term alienation between the Iranian people and the US.''
Pickering then showed up in Israel to test out his soft views of Iran (''a significant regional and global actor that must be engaged''). He asked to meet with associates of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and gave a public lecture at the center.
Pickering got a cold shower from his Israeli interlocutors.
Nobody wanted to believe that he represented a serious trend in American thinking.
But I immediately wrote a column in these pages warning that Pickering was paving the way in Washington for a climb-down from Obama's declared policy of preventing Iran's obtainment of a nuclear weapon.
Soon afterward the softer signals and acquiescent music increasingly became hard to miss. Pickering's call for American capitulation to Iran began to echo across the Washington wag world.
The Center for a New American Security released an early 2013 report primarily authored by Colin Kahl, a former Obama administration defense official. It outlined ''a comprehensive framework to manage and mitigate the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran.''
In other words, stopping the Iranian nuclear effort already was a pass(C) discussion.
The Atlantic Council then called for ''reinvigorated diplomacy that offers Iran a realistic and face-saving way out of the nuclear standoff.'' The Defense Department-allied Rand Corporation concluded that a nuclear-armed Iran would not pose a fundamental threat to the United States and its regional allies. ''Iran does not have territorial ambitions and does not seek to invade, conquer, or occupy other nations,'' Rand risibly wrote.
Then Ken Waltz of Columbia University, a leading realist theorist, argued (in his last published article) that Iran should get the bomb! It would create ''a more durable balance of military power in the Middle East,'' he wrote in the establishment journal Foreign Affairs.
The writing was on the wall. Washington's retreat from confrontation with Iran was there for those willing to see, long before Obama owned up to it.
Where did this big burst of pro-Iran engagement poppycock come from? Well, we now know. From the Boeing Corporation, which had Pickering on its payroll (first as staff then as a consultant) from 2001 to 2015. And from the Ploughshares Fund and other fronts that funneled cash to think tanks, journalists and lobby groups (including J Street) that pumped Obama's realignment with Iran.
Ploughshares alone gifted more than 85 organizations and 200 individuals for ''creating the conditions necessary for supporters of the Iran agreement to beat the political odds.''
Now, in summer 2016, the Obama administration has come full circle, and become the broker for big business with Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry says that America's ''credibility as a leader of diplomacy'' is dependent on giving Iran the economic benefits it expects for signing the JCPOA.
Kerry trots the globe and runs from one congressional committee to another seeking to overcome lagging investor interest in Iran. The administration also is considering dollarizing Iranian transactions (something it expressly promised not to do), and it pushed the Financial Action Task Force (a global agency charged with monitoring money laundering) to suspend several banking restrictions on Iran. All in the name of American ''credibility'' '' since obviously Obama led the Iranians to expect major economic windfalls.
Listen to Kerry's cockamamie defense of the Boeing deal at the Aspen Ideas Festival this week: ''It's complex, folks. We were not good for a long period of time looking at other countries through their lens, not through ours. And if what we do is interpret problems in other countries, as Americans, in our lens, and through our felt of need, we are neglecting the felt need of all the other people who will also make up policy decisions that have an impact on us...
''The distinction between the planes and the other things is, I think, trying to draw a line that threads a needle. It's a very difficult needle to thread, but very important in order to have a transformation in Iran that doesn't send you down the road to a needless confrontation or to misunderstanding, or to lost opportunity.''
Capeesh? Kerry seeks ''transformation'' in Iran. He is worried about the ''felt need'' of Iran; about avoiding ''needless confrontation'' with Iran; and about ''lost (business) opportunity'' with Iran.
Similar to Pickering's pap, Kerry is offering strategic drivel as a cover for business greed and oversize ego.
Hey folks, blather on and keep things lucrative.
www.davidmweinberg.com
Whistle Blowers
Chelsea Manning 'rushed to hospital after trying to take own life' | Americas | News | The Independent
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 20:16
Chelsea Manning, the military whistleblower serving a 35 year sentence, has been rushed to hospital after reportedly trying to take her own life.
A US media report said that Manning, who us being held at in a cell at the US Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, was taken to hospital early on Tuesday morning. CNN said that it was believed that the 28-year-old had tried to kill herself.
There was no immediate independent confirmation of this. A spokesman for the US Army told The Independent he was waiting for an approved statement before being able to comment.
Manning was sentenced in August 2013 to 35 years' imprisonment, with the possibility of parole in the eighth year after being convicted of leaking classified material to Wilileaks.
Manning, who was born Bradley Manning, said in a statement after the sentencing that she had felt female since childhood and wanted to be known as Chelsea.
''As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,'' she said at the time.
Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin
''I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.''
Last year, in a legal first, the US Army granted her hormone therapy to transition while serving her sentence at the Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks, deeming it ''medically appropriate and necessary''.
Chelsea Manning sued the military for the right to live as a woman
Approval came after she filed a lawsuit against the army because she said she had been been denied the treatment she needed for over a year.
Last week, Manning wrote an essay for the Guardian in which she welcomed the military's decision to end its ban on transgender people in service, but arguing that the reforms did not go far enough in establishing equality.
Reuse content
Fal$e Flag
Orlando alligator: 'Second' animal involved in attack - BBC News
Mon, 04 Jul 2016 12:54
Image copyrightReutersImage caption The records quote Mr Graves as saying that he struggled with two alligators at the time his son was snatched The father of a toddler killed by an alligator at Disney World in Florida in June is reported to have said that two animals were involved in the attack.
According to public records, Matt Graves said he was attacked by a second alligator as he tried to rescue his son.
It was previously reported that only one animal was involved in the attack.
Police found the body of Lane Graves from Nebraska in the water two days after he was seized on 14 June.
The records obtained by the Orlando Sentinel from the Reedy Creek Fire Department describe how Mr Graves tried to extract his son from the jaws of the alligator as he wrestled with it. His wife Melissa screamed for a lifeguard to help.
Image copyrightOrange County Sheriff's Office/PAImage caption Lane Graves was wading in shallow water when he was taken by the alligator It is the first time details about the attack from Mr Graves' perspective have been released.
The records show that the distraught father initially refused to leave the area of the attack - as rescuers searched for his son - despite needing stitches and antibiotics for alligator bites.
While travelling to hospital Mr Graves described "the horror that he experienced" as his son was being dragged into the water and how "another gator attacked him as he fought for his son,'' the email records show.
Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesman Angelo Nieves told the Orlando Sentinel that a witness also saw a second alligator attack Mr Graves.
Immediately after the attack, five alligators were seized and killed in an attempt to find the boy's remains.
Later the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced that it had caught the alligator that had grabbed the boy.
Read more: How often do alligators attack people?
Image copyrightAPImage caption Officers searched the Seven Seas Lagoon near Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in the aftermath of the attack
API vs AI
White House: U.S. wants to be at the forefront of automation policy
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 00:49
The White House is exploring how AI-powered automation could change everything from jobs to weaponry.
The Obama administration wants the U.S. to be a world leader in economic and defense policy related to a new wave of automation powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said Tuesday.
''We can return to these questions in a way that America can kind of set the space and then set the parameters for how we go about it,'' McDonough said during a White House conversation on the topic that he moderated.
The conversation comes as the White House looks to wrap up its string of workshops on artificial intelligence Thursday.
In May, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced plans to explore the uses and risks of AI. Since then the office has hosted three workshops and another event on the matter. The conversation Tuesday previewed the last of the four workshops, slated for Thursday in New York City and titled "The Social and Economic Implications of Artificial Intelligence Technologies in the Near-Term."
Increased automation could mean a significant loss in lower-and-middle class jobs, experts said Tuesday, contributing to even more inequality.
An example: Jobs that earn less than $20-an-hour have a 83-percent chance of automation, according to the 2016 Economic Report of the President.
The two speakers in the conversation '-- Robin Chase, co-founder of Zipcar, and Martin Ford, author of the book "Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future" '-- said policymakers should explore establishing a universal basic income to combat the potential impact of jobs lost due to automation.
The rate at which the industry is changing, Chase said, means the effects of AI-powered automation could play out in five-to-10 years, not 50.
''We need to start thinking about universal basic income,'' Chase said. ''Meaning, you would have a small amount of money you would have every month so that you would be protected against this incredibly dynamic work.''
Finland is considering implementing a universal basic income, McDonough said. But he added that he thinks existing programs in the U.S. could be improved for maximum, unencumbered impact at a faster rate than trying to implement something similar.
In addition to addressing economic concerns surrounding automation, he also said weaponizing automation is one of the administration's concerns.
''We are looking, through the Department of Defense, at how we can use artificial intelligence '-- machine-learning '-- to increase our defenses,'' McDonough said. ''But we are also very clear-eyed about making sure that there's an appropriate human interaction in any kind of weaponization of any of this artificial intelligence.''
He added that maybe ''arms control arrangements and negotiations'' would be needed to take some capabilities ''off the table.''
''This I think we can be a world leader in, and we're designing our policy to be a world leader, on establishing a code of conduct or a set of understandings,'' McDonough said.
[Read more: White House seeks public input on artificial intelligence]
OSTP also submitted a request for information last week to learn ''how America can best prepare for the future of AI, including information about AI research and the tools, technologies, and scientific training that are needed,'' U.S. Deputy CTO Ed Felten wrote in an OSTP blog post.
The deadline for responses to the RFI is July 22, and comments can be submitted via the web form.
Contact Samantha via email at samantha.ehlinger@fedscoop.com, or follow her on Twitter at @samehlinger. Subscribe to the Daily Scoop for stories like this in your inbox every morning by signing up here: fdscp.com/sign-me-on.
F-Russia
Russia's strict new anti-terror laws: What is the debate about? | Russia Beyond The Headlines
Tue, 05 Jul 2016 05:21
A new package of "anti-terrorist" laws adopted by the State Duma on the last day of the legislative season has the potential to affect many areas of the lives of ordinary Russians. What do lawmakers hope to achieve with the new legislation and why has it been criticized?
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A controversial package of "anti-terrorist" laws was initiated by State Duma deputy Irina Yarovaya and Federation Council member Viktor Ozerov. Source: Anna Isakova/TASS
A controversial package of "anti-terrorist" laws initiated by State Duma deputy Irina Yarovaya and Federation Council member Viktor Ozerov has become the parting gift from the current convocation of the State Duma '' after its adoption, the Duma went on summer vacation; the Russians will elect a new parliament in the fall.
The automatic media analysis and monitoring system Medialogia ranked the "Yarovaya package" in first place among the State Duma's 10 most resonant initiatives over the last five years.
The package of dozens of bills, which seriously toughen the current Russian anti-terrorist legislation has already caused widespread controversy and heated public debate.
Several controversial amendments, including one that contained provisions for depriving people of Russian citizenship in certain cases, which is forbidden by the constitution, were removed from the package before it was adopted, but the rest can still seriously affect the lives of Russians.
Why is the package needed?The new legislation is intended to counteract extremism and terrorism more effectively, and includes a number of laws and amendments aimed at achieving this.
In particular, the Criminal Code will be augmented by a new law on "failing to report a crime." It stipulates imprisonment of up to one year for anyone found guilty of hiding information about the preparation of terrorist attacks, an armed rebellion and other crimes (a total of 15 are listed).
Under the new law on international terrorism, life imprisonment will be given for terrorist attacks or a threat to commit terrorist attacks outside Russia if Russian nationals are killed or injured.
Among other amendments, the age of criminal responsibility will be lowered to 14 years, and punishment for those found guilty of justifying terrorism on the internet will be brought in line with that for making similar statements in the media (seven years in prison), etc.
A number of new requirements concern the telecommunications sector: From now on, operators will be required to store the content of calls and correspondence of all subscribers for six months and metadata (records confirming that the calls were made) for three years, while providers of internet services with data encryption will be obliged to submit decoding keys at the request of the Federal Security Service (FSB).
How was it adopted?The furor around "Yarovaya's Package" lasted for months: Before the first reading, the document, for example, proposed to deprive people of Russian citizenship for terrorist attacks or extremist activity (such as an internet post considered to be an incitement).
However, the Presidential Human Rights Council (HRC) subsequently accused the lawmakers of "an absence of logic," and recalled that the Constitution prohibits depriving people of citizenship.
The government singled out only one point for criticism '' the obligation of operators to store such a large amount of information. They have no such technical possibilities, they concluded. But the point was eventually adopted.
What do the authorities and the public say about the package?Speaking about the package, State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin said the parliament had been able to find a "happy medium" between human rights and the security of citizens.
"Of course, there were disputes, but, in my opinion, a compromise solution was found," he said.
The chairman of the HRC, on the contrary, said that the law package is "not fully developed, ill-conceived and inaccurate," and should be sent back for revision '' something that Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov agrees with. According to Nikiforov, the Duma was in such a hurry that it failed even to hear the position of the relevant ministry.
But lawyer Sergei Badamshin says it was apparently important for Yarovaya and Ozerov that the package was adopted during the current parliamentary season: "This is a publicity stunt ahead of the elections, an attempt to probe public opinion," he was quoted as saying by online newspaper Gazeta.ru.
However, public activists are posting links on social networks to pages where people can sign petitions against the amendments.
What will happen to the Russian telecommunications industry?The country's leading mobile operators warn that the cost of communications will grow as a result of the new legislation. Mobile operator MegaFon's public relations director Pyotr Lidov told business daily RBK that prices would rise by "at least two-three times," with rivals Beeline and Tele2 making similar estimates.
Telecom companies will have to install expensive additional equipment to meet the requirements of the legislation, with internet communications and entertainment services company Mail.Ru Group calculating that it will cost $2 billion, while annual support costs will amount to another $80-$100 million.
Foreign encrypted instant messaging services are also concerned, as they can be blocked if they do not submit encryption keys.
Pavel Durov, the co-founder and CEO of instant messaging app Telegram, has already announced his refusal to comply with the requirements of the new law.
"Telegram does not give data or encryption keys to third parties, including the government," he said.
Can anything still be changed?The package has already been approved by the upper house of parliament, and now it is up to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Theoretically, he could veto it, but this is an extremely rare occurrence. Most likely, the laws will be signed, but as soon as the elections are over, they will be begin to slowly be revised and modified.
The Federation Council has admitted that it is ready to make changes, if mobile operators can prove the inevitability of tariff escalation.
Read more: How Russia deals with terrorism in the North Caucasus>>>
Altai-based company looks to export Russian Mead to China
Tue, 05 Jul 2016 13:32
Chinese distributors take interest in honey-based alcoholic beverage.
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Russian Mead. Source: Lori/Legion-Media
Medovedov, an Altai-based company, is in talks with Chinese distributors to supply mead, a Russian honey-based alcoholic beverage.
''China is a limitless consumer market with a high demand for quality products,'' Medovedov Chief Executive Alexander Grebenyuk told Altapress.ru. He added that Chinese companies were pondering over how to market the beverage, which is not well known in China.
According to the International Trade Center, Russia's honey exports in 2014 stood at $3 million. China, Kazakhstan, UAE, and the U.S. are the main consumers of Russian honey.
Read more: Russia, China, Mongolia to promote tourism on 'Great Tea Road'
War on Old People
Don't Let Old People Vote! | Immodest proposal | OZY
Tue, 05 Jul 2016 17:35
Sixteen years. That's how much longer the average British voter aged 65 and older will live, according to one analysis, which means that's how long they'll have to live with the outcome of last week's Brexit referendum. Since older voters are estimated to have turned out in huge numbers '-- and voted overwhelmingly to leave the European Union '-- Britain's graying generation is partly responsible for the biggest drop in the pound in decades, for the uncertainty in lives of millions of EU citizens in Britain and British citizens in the EU, and for bringing to power a group of conservative politicians who trafficked in racist rhetoric and outright lies to win.
There's a decent argument to be made for denying suffrage to anyone old enough to collect Social Security.
So why do we even let old people vote? After all, there are minimum voting ages '-- 16- and 17-year-olds fought for the chance to vote in the EU referendum and were denied. Had that 1.46-million-member voting bloc been allowed to contribute, it would likely have swung the vote for ''Remain'' '-- 82 percent of them said they'd have voted to stay in the EU. When Scotland voted on its independence in 2014, 16- and 17-year-olds were given a vote, under the logic that it was their future being irrevocably altered. There's a decent argument to be made for denying suffrage to anyone old enough to collect Social Security. Most are no longer working or raising children. Why should they create the future when they won't be around to deal with the consequences?
Pragmatic, the idea is not. It's hard to imagine any legislator introducing such a bill (we hear you, AARP!), or, for that matter, a court diluting or limiting the power of an older-person bloc. For starters, doing so would blatantly violate the U.S. Constitution, points out voting rights expert Nathan Persily: The 26th Amendment declares that voting cannot be ''denied or abridged'' on account of age, so long as the voter is 18 or older. And apart from that, such a proposal is mean and disrespectful; not all older people are shortsighted (we love you, Mom and Dad!). It also sounds a bit like millennial grousing. Instead of trying to dilute the power of an older voting bloc, why can't young people turn out in greater numbers? Get thee to the polls, young people!
Outlandish though the idea of restricting the suffrage of elders is, a reasonable argument does exist that ''there is bias against the youth vote in the system as currently constituted,'' says Persily. Younger people tend to be more transient than older ones. Not necessarily in a bad way, mind you. Some are attending college and working summer jobs. Others are moving from job to job, or house to house, or partner to partner, in an effort to get settled and put down roots. Mobility, it turns out, is an important predictor of voter registration, and because young people move more, fewer are registered. Indeed, sometimes localities try to dilute the influence of college students by scheduling elections in the summer.
So why not make voting registration easier? In most countries, Persily says, voter registration is a state responsibility and the default status of citizens is ''registered.'' Most jurisdictions in the U.S., on the other hand, put the burden on its citizens to register. In 2012, the Pew Charitable Trusts estimated that 51 million eligible voters were not registered, a whopping 24 percent of the eligible population. A disproportionate number of those were young people.
Automatic voter registration is changing this fact '-- but in the meantime, consider this: Americans don't get to vote in Mexican elections, and Canadians don't get a say in who leads France, or whether France remains in the EU, or whether Paris' arrondissements should be redistricted. The future is a country, and if you're not going to be there, don't expect to get to govern it.
'-- Pooja Bhatia contributed reporting to this story.
NWO
Nederland werkte mee aan uitlokking door VS, Kamer onjuist ge¯nformeerd | Binnenland | de Volkskrant
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 14:36
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Ministry of Truth
Russia's largest media holdings create advertising alliance
Tue, 05 Jul 2016 05:12
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Russia media holdings VGTRK, Channel One, Gazprom-Media Holding and National Media Group established a united company National Advertising Alliance (NAA) for advertising sales. Sales of partners' TV advertising will be consolidated in NAA, Gazprom-Media Holding said on July 4.
Each participant in the alliance has a 25 percent stake in the new company.
"Implementation of advertising opportunities of founding media holding and provision of services to advertisers will be the core business of the new company. Consolidation of efforts in creation of a trading floor addressing interests of all stakeholders in dynamically changing media advertising market environment will provide for emerging new capabilities of services offering to various customer segment, make possible to achieve balanced costs management and support stability and economic viability of the advertising segment in the midterm and strategically," NAA Chief Executive Oganes Sobolev said.
Media holdings were working out on the alliance initiative since 2014. The consolidated trading floor is expected to address interests of the TV industry and support balance of interests of advertisers and broadcasters.
Source: Tass.com
Read more: Creative ads spotlight social issues in Russia>>>
PBS Caught Using Old Footage in ''Live'' Broadcast of Washington, D.C. Fireworks | E! News
Tue, 05 Jul 2016 17:31
PBS Caught Using Old Footage in ''Live'' Broadcast of Washington, D.C. Fireworks
byKendall Fisher |
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana
PBS was forced to apologize for a snafu with their popular "A Capitol Fourth" broadcast of the "live" fireworks in Washington, D.C. on Monday.
People noticed the footage that was aired during the broadcast differed from the actual weather in the Capitol on the holiday, showing clear skies when it was actually quite foggy and misty.
Not to mention, the broadcast also showed the Capitol'--which is currently under construction'--without the scaffolding that is currently set up.
As you can imagine, many people took to Twitter to point out the noticeable differences, criticizing PBS for using old footage and claiming it was live.
After much commotion, PBS'--which has broadcast the show for 36 years'--took to their Twitter account to apologize and explain their reasoning behind the old footage.
"We are very proud of the 2016 A Capitol Fourth celebration," PBS said in a statement. "Because this year's fireworks were difficult to see due to the weather, we made the decision to intercut fireworks footage from previous A Capitol Fourth concerts for the best possible television viewing experience. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused."
They also added, "We showed a combination of the best fireworks from this year and previous years. It was the patriotic thing to do."
NA-tech News
My Song Was Played 178 MM Times on Spotify. I Got $5,679...
Tue, 05 Jul 2016 16:15
Update: Kadish (the songwriter) was actually referring to Pandora-specific streaming radio, instead of broader streaming (which would include on-demand Spotify streams).
If streaming is now worth billions of dollars, where's all the money going? That's now a serious question in light of information surrounding Meghan Trainor's ''All About That Bass,'' easily one of the top tracks across streaming platforms since its mid-2014 release. Yet one of the song's key writers, Kevin Kadish, is making virtually zero off of that success, despite a play count surpassing 178 million streams.
''I mean $5,679?''Kadish shared the figures during a copyright-focused discussion at Belmont University in Nashville this week, where The Tennessean was taking notes. ''For a song like 'All About That Bass,' that I wrote, which had 178 million streams,'' Kadish began, without specifying any streaming services. ''I mean $5,679? That's my share. That's as big a song as a songwriter can have in their career and number one in 78 countries.
''But you're making $5,600. How do you feed your family?''
That's the thing about groceries: you need to pay for them. Yet Kadish's figures outline why this is essentially impossible on streaming platforms, paid or otherwise. ''I've never heard a songwriter complain about radio royalties as much as streaming royalties,'' Kadish continued.
US Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) led the proceedings, with Representatives Darrell Issa (R-California), Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), Doug Collins (R-Georgia), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) in tow. That Congressional posse is digging into music copyright ecosystem that seems to be rewarding major corporations and investors but doing little for artists, songwriters, producers, and others in the creative supply chain.
Leading streaming companies like Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube typically respond to songwriter payout problems by pointing to big, top-level payouts. Just yesterday, for example, Pandora pointed to cumulative royalty payouts of $1.5 billion, yet songwriters and publishers are getting scraps. Similarly, Spotify says it has paid more than $3 billion in cumulative royalties, but a large percentage of that money is getting hoarded by major labels without being distributed to artists.
This keeps coming up, over and over again. Earlier this week, another successful artist, La Roux, pointed to a paltry payment of £100 for the past three months of streaming. ''@Spotify, thanks for the £100 for this quarter just gone, one more month and I might be able to afford your premium service,'' La Roux tweeted. ''Lucky me!''
Meanwhile, songwriters are a dying breed: according to data released by the Nashville Songwriters Association International in January, the number of actively-working songwriters in Nashville has plunged 80 percent since 2000. And that doesn't even count the supporting cast of studio technicians, licensing administrators, producers, and session musicians that once earned solid salaries.
Kevin KadishLa RouxMeghan TrainorNashville
North Korea
North Korea Designations
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 18:09
OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL
Specially Designated Nationals List Update
The following individuals have been added to OFAC's SDN List:
CHO, Il-U (a.k.a. CHO, Ch'o'l; a.k.a. CHO, Il Woo; a.k.a. JO, Chol), Korea, North; DOB 10 May 1945; POB Musan, North Hamgyo'ng Province, North Korea; nationality Korea, North; Passport 736410010 (Korea, North); Director of the Fifth Bureau of the Reconnaissance General Bureau (individual) [DPRK2].
CHO, Yon Chun (a.k.a. JO, Yon Jun), Korea, North; DOB 28 Sep 1937; First Vice Director of the Organization and Guidance Department (individual) [DPRK2].
CHOE, Chang Pong, Korea, North; DOB 02 Jun 1964; Passport 381320227 (Korea, North) expires 29 Jul 2016; Director of the Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of People's Security (individual) [DPRK2].
CHOE, Pu Il (a.k.a. CH'OE, Pu-il; a.k.a. CHOI, Bu-il), Korea, North; DOB 06 Mar 1944; Minister of People's Security (individual) [DPRK3] (Linked To: MINISTRY OF PEOPLE'S SECURITY).
KANG, Song Nam, Korea, North; DOB 28 Jul 1962; POB North P'yo'ngan Province, North Korea; citizen Korea, North; Passport 654410025 (Korea, North) expires 14 Oct 2019; Bureau Director (individual) [DPRK3] (Linked To: MINISTRY OF STATE SECURITY).
KIM, Jong Un, Korea, North; DOB 08 Jan 1984; Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (individual) [DPRK3].
KIM, Ki Nam, Korea, North; DOB 28 Aug 1929; Director of the Workers' Party of Korea Propaganda and Agitation Department (individual) [DPRK2].
KIM, Kyong Ok (a.k.a. KIM, Kyong Ok), Korea, North; DOB 01 Jan 1937 to 31 Dec 1938; First Vice Director of the Organization and Guidance Department (individual) [DPRK2].
O, Chong Ok (a.k.a. O, Chong Euk; a.k.a. O, Chong-kuk), Korea, North; DOB 01 Jan 1953 to 31 Dec 1953; POB North Hamgyo'ng Province, North Korea; Director of the First Bureau of the Reconnaissance General Bureau (individual) [DPRK2].
RI, Jae Il (a.k.a. RI, Chae-Il), Korea, North; DOB 01 Jan 1934 to 31 Dec 1934; First Vice Director of the Workers' Party of Korea Propaganda and Agitation Department (individual) [DPRK2].
RI, Song Chol (a.k.a. RI, So'ng-ch'o'l), Korea, North; DOB 15 Aug 1959; Passport 290210124 (Korea, North) expires 24 May 2015; Ministry of People's Security Counselor (individual) [DPRK3] (Linked To: MINISTRY OF PEOPLE'S SECURITY).
The following entities have been added to OFAC's SDN List:
MINISTRY OF PEOPLE'S SECURITY (a.k.a. MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY; a.k.a. "MPS"), Korea, North [DPRK3].
MINISTRY OF PEOPLE'S SECURITY CORRECTIONAL BUREAU (a.k.a. MINISTRY OF PEOPLE'S SECURITY CORRECTIONAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU; a.k.a. MINISTRY OF PEOPLE'S SECURITY PRISON BUREAU), Korea, North [DPRK3].
MINISTRY OF STATE SECURITY (a.k.a. STATE SECURITY DEPARTMENT), Korea, North [DPRK3].
MINISTRY OF STATE SECURITY PRISONS BUREAU (a.k.a. MINISTRY OF STATE SECURITY FARM BUREAU; a.k.a. MINISTRY OF STATE SECURITY FARM GUIDANCE BUREAU; a.k.a. MINISTRY OF STATE SECURITY FARMING BUREAU; a.k.a. STATE SECURITY DEPARTMENT PRISONS BUREAU), Korea, North [DPRK3].
ORGANIZATION AND GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT, Korea, North [DPRK2].
Big Pharma
The Lancet: Most antidepressant drugs ineffective for children and teens, according to study | EurekAlert! Science News
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 20:15
But authors warn that lack of available data from published and unpublished trials leads to great uncertainty around true effects
Most available antidepressants are ineffective, and some may be unsafe, for children and teenagers with major depression, according to the most comprehensive comparison of commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs so far, published in The Lancet.
The findings indicate that out of 14 antidepressant drugs [1], only fluoxetine was more effective at relieving the symptoms of depression than placebo, whilst taking venlafaxine was linked with an increased risk of engaging in suicidal thoughts and attempts compared with placebo and five other antidepressants.
However, the true effectiveness and risk of serious harms such as suicidal thoughts and attempts remains unclear because of the small number and poor design of clinical trials assessing these antidepressants, and the selective reporting of findings in published trials and clinical study reports, caution the authors.
"The balance of risks and benefits of antidepressants for the treatment of major depression does not seem to offer a clear advantage in children and teenagers, with probably only the exception of fluoxetine. We recommend that children and adolescents taking antidepressants should be monitored closely, regardless of the antidepressant chosen, particularly at the beginning of treatment," explains co-author Professor Peng Xie from The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China. [2]
"Without access to individual-level data it is difficult to get accurate effect estimates and we can't be completely confident about the accuracy of the information contained in published and unpublished trials. It has been widely argued that there needs to be a transformation of existing scientific culture to one where responsible data sharing should be the norm," says lead author Dr Andrea Cipriani at the University of Oxford in the UK. "Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have agreed to participate in trials aiming to find better treatments for their disorders and, ultimately, help the progress of medical science. Patients' privacy must be guaranteed by adequate policies and technological measures, but delay in implementing responsible data sharing policies has negative consequences for medical research and patient outcomes, as demonstrated by this study. Access to raw clinical trial data provides the unique opportunity not only for validation and replication of results but also the in-depth study of specific factors that may affect treatment outcome at the individual patient level."[2]
Major depressive disorder is common in children and adolescents, affecting around 3% of children aged 6 to 12 years and about 6% of teenagers aged 13 to 18 years. Psychological treatments are recommended as the first-line treatment for depression in many clinical guidelines, and in 2004 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) black box warning against the use of antidepressants in young people up to 24 years because of concern about increased risk of suicidality. However, use of antidepressants has slowly increased between 2005 and 2012. For example, the proportion of US children and teenagers (aged 0-19 years) taking antidepressants increased from 1.3% to 1.6%, and in the UK from 0.7% to 1.1% [3]. Sertraline is the most widely prescribed antidepressant in the USA and fluoxetine is the most common in the UK.
Cipriani and colleagues did a systematic review and network meta-analysis of all published and unpublished randomised trials comparing the effects of 14 antidepressants in young people with major depression up to the end of May 2015. They ranked antidepressants by efficacy (change in depressive symptoms and response to treatment), tolerability (discontinuation due to adverse events), acceptability (discontinuation due to any cause), and associated serious harms (ie, suicidal thoughts and attempts). They took into account the quality of included studies (Cochrane risk of bias) and also assessed the overall quality of the retrieved evidence (GRADE).
Analysis of 34 trials involving 5260 participants (average age 9 to 18 years) showed that the benefits outweighed the risks in terms of efficacy and tolerability only for fluoxetine (figure 3). Nortriptyline was less efficacious than seven other antidepressants and placebo. Imipramine, venlafaxine, and duloxetine had the worst profile of tolerability, leading to significantly more discontinuations than placebo. Venlafaxine was linked with an increased risk of engaging in suicidal thoughts or attempts compared with placebo and five other antidepressants (figure 4). The authors warn that due to the lack of reliable data, it was not possible to comprehensively assess the risk of suicidality for all drugs.
22 (65%) trials were funded by pharmaceutical companies. Ten (29%) trials were rated as high risk of bias, 20 (59%) as moderate, and four (12%) as low (appendix pages 18-21).
Overall quality of evidence for primary outcomes was rated as very low for most comparisons, which restricts the implications of the results for clinical practice (appendix pages 77-86).
Writing in a linked Comment, Dr Jon Jureidini at the University of Adelaide in Australia questions how many more suicidal events might have been revealed had individual patient-data been available. He points out, "[For example], in four trials of paroxetine versus placebo, only 13 (3%) of 413 events were reported in the paroxetine group; this seems implausible when individual patient-level data reanalysis of just one of those studies found ten events in only 93 patients given paroxetine (10.8%)."
He adds, "The effect of misreporting is that antidepressants, possibly including fluoxetine, are likely to be more dangerous and less effective treatments than has been previously recognised, so there is little reason to think that any antidepressant is better than nothing for young people...Patients who take part in randomised controlled trials have a right to expect that maximum benefit will come from the data they generate. We doctors and researchers are failing to meet our obligation to research participants and to our patients, and we will only succeed if independent researchers such as Cipriani and colleagues are able to analyse individual patient-level data. Claims that appropriate access to such data is incompatible with intellectual property constraints and patient privacy must be strongly resisted."
###
NOTES TO EDITORS:
This study was funded by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program).
[1] Amitriptyline, citalopram, clomipramine, desipramine, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, imipramine, mirtazapine, nefazodone, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, and venlafaxine.
[2] Quotes direct from authors and cannot be found in text of Article.
[3] http://www.europeanneuropsychopharmacology.com/article/S0924-977X(16)00037-7/abstract
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Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.
War on Guns
All countries compared for Crime > Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 05:21
DEFINITION: Homicides per 100'000 residents. Homicide is the death of a person purposefully inflicted by another person (it excludes suicides) outside of a state of war. Homicide is a broader category than murder, as it also includes manslaughter. The exact legal definition varies across countries, some of which include infanticide, assisted suicide, euthanasia and deaths caused by dangerous driving.
Citation"All countries compared for Crime > Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate", Wikipedia: List of countries by intentional homicide rate by decade. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Violent-crime/Intentional-homicide-rate
"All countries compared for Crime > Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate, Wikipedia: List of countries by intentional homicide rate by decade. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster." 1920-2013. .
'All countries compared for Crime > Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate, Wikipedia: List of countries by intentional homicide rate by decade. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster.', [assessed 1920-2013]
"All countries compared for Crime > Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate", Wikipedia: List of countries by intentional homicide rate by decade. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. [Internet]. 1920-2013. Avaliable from: .
"All countries compared for Crime > Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate", Wikipedia: List of countries by intentional homicide rate by decade. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1920-2013.
"All countries compared for Crime > Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate, Wikipedia: List of countries by intentional homicide rate by decade. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster.," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Violent-crime/Intentional-homicide-rate (assessed 1920-2013)
"All countries compared for Crime > Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate", Wikipedia: List of countries by intentional homicide rate by decade. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster., http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Violent-crime/Intentional-homicide-rate (last visited 1920-2013)
"All countries compared for Crime > Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate", Wikipedia: List of countries by intentional homicide rate by decade. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster., http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Violent-crime/Intentional-homicide-rate (as of 1920-2013)
Crime > Violent crime > Intentional homicide rate: Countries Compared MapInteresting observations about Crime > Violent crime > Intentional homicide rateMonaco has ranked last for violent crime > intentional homicide rate since 2007.Lesotho has had the highest violent crime > intentional homicide rate since 1974.Honduras has ranked in the top 2 for violent crime > intentional homicide rate since 2008.Jamaica has ranked in the top 5 for violent crime > intentional homicide rate since 1975.El Salvador has ranked in the top 2 for violent crime > intentional homicide rate since 2009.Venezuela has ranked in the top 6 for violent crime > intentional homicide rate since 2000.Colombia has ranked in the top 9 for violent crime > intentional homicide rate since 1980.Guatemala has ranked in the top 6 for violent crime > intentional homicide rate since 2003.South Africa has ranked in the top 10 for violent crime > intentional homicide rate since 1994.Soviet Union has ranked in the top 5 for violent crime > intentional homicide rate since 1988.Add NationMaster content to your website. Copy code below and paste it into your website.
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO-Noah's ark of biblical proportions ready to open in Kentucky | Fox News
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 13:24
WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. '' A 510-foot-long, $100 million Noah's ark attraction built by Christians who say the biblical story really happened is ready to open in Kentucky this week.
Since its announcement in 2010, the ark project has rankled opponents who say the attraction will be detrimental to science education and shouldn't have won state tax incentives.
"I believe this is going to be one of the greatest Christian outreaches of this era in history," said Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, the ministry that built the ark.
Ham said the massive ark, based on the tale of a man who got an end-of-the-world warning from God about a massive flood, will stand as proof that the stories of the Bible are true. The group invited media and thousands of supporters for a preview Tuesday, the first glimpse inside the giant, mostly wood structure.
"People are going to come from all over the world," Ham said to thousands of people in front of the ark.
The ark will open to the public Thursday and Ham's group has estimated it will draw 2 million visitors in its first year, putting it on par with some of the big-ticket attractions in nearby Cincinnati.
The group says the ark is built based on dimensions in the Bible. Inside are museum-style exhibits: displays of Noah's family along with rows of cages containing animal replicas, including dinosaurs.
The group believes that God created everything about 6,000 years ago '-- man, dinosaur and everything else '-- so dinosaurs still would've been around at the time of Noah's flood. Scientists say dinosaurs died out about 65 million years before man appeared.
An ark opponent who leads an atheist group called the Tri-State Freethinkers said the religious theme park will be unlike any other in the nation because of its rejection of science.
"Basically, this boat is a church raising scientifically illiterate children and lying to them about science," said Jim Helton, who lives about a half-hour from the ark.
Ham said the total cost of the ark surpassed $100 million, a far cry from a few years ago, when fundraising for the boat was sluggish and much larger theme park plans had to be scaled back.
Millions of people first learned about plans for the ark during a debate on evolution between TV's Bill Nye "the Science Guy" and Ham in early 2014.
A few weeks later, a local bond issuance infused tens of millions of dollars into struggling fundraising efforts. And earlier this year, a federal judge ruled the ark could receive a Kentucky sales tax incentive worth up to $18 million while giving a strict religious test to its employees.
Months later, the tax incentive ruling still has some opponents of the boat scratching their heads.
"It's a clear violation of separation of church and state. What they're doing is utterly ridiculous and anywhere else, I don't think it would be allowed," Helton said.
The court ruled in January that Kentucky officials could not impose requirements on the ark that were not applied to other applicants for the tax incentive, which rebates a portion of the sales tax collected by the ark. That cleared the way for the group to seek out only Christians to fill its labor force. New applicants will be required to sign a statement saying they're Christian and "profess Christ as their savior."
Philip Steele, one of the thousands who got an early preview of the ark Tuesday, echoed Ham's often repeated comment that the sales tax generated by the ark wouldn't exist if the ark was never built.
"I just don't think they understand it," Steele said of the ark's critics. "They'll be able to keep a portion of (the sales tax) to further their ministry, but so be it."
When Ham was asked about the tax incentive at the Tuesday event, he drew loud cheers when he proclaimed no taxpayer money was used to the build the ark.
As much of a boon as the $18 million tax break would be, Bill Nye's agreeing to debate Ham may have helped turn the tide of years of sluggish fundraising.
Nye, a high-profile science advocate and former TV personality, debated Ham on evolution and drew a huge online audience. Nye later said he didn't realize the attention it would draw and said he was "heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky."
The video of the debate posted by Answers in Genesis on YouTube has 5.4 million views.
About three weeks after the debate, Ham announced that a bond offering from the city of Williamstown had raised $62 million for the project, and a few months later Answers in Genesis was breaking ground at the site of the ark.
VIDEO-"Right Now! The Rest Of The World Thinks We're Pretty Darn GREAT!" Obama And Hillary In NC - YouTube
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 05:16
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VIDEO-AUDIO-Robot lawyers could make time-consuming, expensive court conflict thing of the past - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 00:45
Updated July 06, 2016 11:05:30
An artificial intelligence platform, called Rechtwijzer, could soon give lawyers in Australia a run for their money by being called on in legal battlegrounds like divorce, custody, employment and debt disputes.
Key points:Program has been moved into debt and tenancy issues in CanadaNetherlands have working system for family law issues, resolution of child supportMr Warner says it is more than just a robot, can handle sensitive casesWorks as an affordable alternative for those who cannot afford a lawyerNational Legal Aid and RMIT University are showcasing Dutch technology that could make time-consuming and expensive court conflict a thing of the past.
The technology would be similar to eBay's dispute resolution service that helps people log on, rather than lawyer up.
The dispute resolution robot was born in the Netherlands and can mediate everything from divorces, tenancy disputes, and employment, debt and consumer matters.
For custody matters, for example, it will ask the ages of the children to be sensitive to their development needs.
It remembers who you are and gives proposals based upon predictive results on what other people have achieved in the resolution when they come to separate.
Rechtwijzer 'empowers people in their legal dispute'Bevan Warner, from Victoria Legal Aid, said the Dutch technology, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, had already been snapped up in the UK and Canada.
In Canada the program had been moved into debt and tenancy issues, and in the Netherlands they have a working system for family law issues and resolution of child support.
And Mr Warner said the program was more than just a robot and could handle those types of sensitive issues.
"So, the system works by moving people into the care of a trusted adviser, so referral to an online mediator, when they need it," he said.
"But the key to this is, unlike traditional modes of legal service delivery where the client's in the back seat and the lawyer's driving the car, here people are empowered to experience the controls themselves."
Mr Warner said the system's machine learning was developed within the justice system as it was already present in other industries and settings.
"For instance, Google reportedly can predict the outbreak of influenza in particular locations by analysing the intensity of searches around headache and cold symptoms," he said.
"It was Australia that brought the combine harvester to the world that revolutionised agriculture and it was wifi that's revolutionised the way in which we interact and connect to information.
"So we're the 16th-largest economy in the world with a proven record of innovating in oil and gas and mining innovation.
"There's no reason in my mind why we can't lead the world in using these adaptive technologies to close the justice gap."
Allows access to justice to those who cannot afford a lawyerRob Hulls, from RMIT's Centre of Innovative Justice, visited the Netherlands to see how the new technology worked in action.
He said that, particularly in family law matters, the best agreements were those reached by individuals, not imposed by others.
"Many, many people in our community simply can't afford to see a lawyer," he said.
"Many of them forsake their legal rights altogether. Many don't qualify for legal aid.
"If we think outside the square and embrace online dispute resolution, it means that access to justice becomes a real thing for many, many Australians that miss out at the moment."
Mr Hulls said he had no doubt that in the future courts would begin to be seen online.
"I saw examples of that in the UK. They're thinking about courts as a service, not a place. And I think that's the future of courts here," he said.
He said lawyers should not be worried about their jobs, but they should be thinking "outside the square".
"Access to justice is a crucial part of our democracy and the way we operate our justice system in the adversarial approach to resolving disputes in many cases is past its use-by date.
"And I think designed thinking is the key to access to justice."
Topics:courts-and-trials, law-crime-and-justice, family-law, robots-and-artificial-intelligence, science-and-technology, judges-and-legal-profession, vic, australia, melbourne-3000
First posted July 06, 2016 11:02:44
VIDEO-Election 2016: Indigenous MP Linda Burney labels One Nation founder Pauline Hanson 'ignorant' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 00:42
Updated July 06, 2016 08:47:05
The first Indigenous woman elected into the House of Representatives has labelled Pauline Hanson ignorant, after the One Nation founder's comments about Australia being "swamped by Asians".
Linda Burney, the Labor MP for the southern Sydney seat of Barton, told Lateline: "You cannot excuse stupidity for ignorance and that's what is being displayed."
Ms Hanson made her first appearance in politics 20 years ago and has now been elected to the Senate.
She had previously criticised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for getting what she has referred to as special and preferential treatment.
Ms Burney said Ms Hanson had also claimed that Aboriginal people "ate their babies at some point in the distant past".
Since her comeback at the weekend, Ms Hanson has called for a royal commission into Islam and said that some suburbs, like Hurstville, were being swamped by Asians.
Hurstville falls within Ms Burney's electorate and she has praised its multiculturalism.
"It is one of the most dynamic, wonderful suburbs that you could go to. Pauline Hanson is speaking from a point of ignorance," she said.
"There is no excuse for racism."
Meanwhile, with nearly a quarter of voters turning away from the major parties at this election, Ms Burney said there was a lack of trust for politicians.
"People have grown to think that politicians are there for themselves, they've grown to distrust politicians, and I think one of the reasons that Labor did so well in this election is because we put as our slogan, people first," she said.
Queensland Liberal Senator Matt Canavan also acknowledged that both sides of politics had not responded to the concerns of voters.
"In Central Queensland where I am, there is a great adjustment to the mining downturn and that does cause a level of anxiousness that we need to respond to and I will be upfront, I don't think we've done a good job at responding to it on both sides of politics," he told Lateline.
"We've got to do a better job."
Topics:federal-government, government-and-politics, elections, federal-elections, federal-election, australia
First posted July 05, 2016 22:46:23
VIDEO-\Bloody Harvest / The Slaughter '-- An Update - YouTube
Thu, 07 Jul 2016 00:31
VIDEO-Anti-Hillary Video Quickly Seizes on 'Clinton's Lie' After FBI Director Reveals Findings of Email Investigation | Video | TheBlaze.com
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 23:16
FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday seemingly contradicted Hillary Clinton's repeated claim that she did not email any information that was ''classified'' at the time.
''From the group of 30,000 emails returned to the State Department in 2014, 110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received,'' Comey said during an unexpected press conference.
The Republican super PAC America Rising quickly turned the revelation into an anti-Clinton attack ad titled, ''Clinton's Lie: At The Time Sent or Received.'' The video compares Clinton's past claims to the details shared by Comey on Tuesday.
Comey also announced the FBI would be recommending no charges for Clinton in connection to the investigation into her emails, but said the former secretary of state and her staff were ''extremely careless.''
The FBI determined Clinton used multiple private email servers and mobile devices to send and receive email. In addition to the 110 emails marked classified at the time, investigators also found eight ''top secret'' emails in the course of its probe.
The final decision whether to bring charges against Clinton rests with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Department of Justice. After meeting with former President Bill Clinton privately, Lynch said she would accept the recommendation of the FBI.
'--
VIDEO-Trump: The U.S.'s Enemies 'Almost Certainly Have a Blackmail File' on Clinton | TheBlaze.com
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 23:13
Donald Trump said Tuesday that U.S. ''adversaries almost certainly have a blackmail file on Hillary Clinton'' following the FBI's decision to not recommend charges against the former secretary of state for her use of a private email server.
FBI Director James Comey, who said Hillary Clinton's practice was ''extremely careless,'' suggested it is ''possible'' the presumptive Democratic nominee's personal email was accessed by ''hostile actors.''
Image by JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images
''The FBI Director laid out today a detailed case of how Hillary Clinton compromised the safety of the American people by storing highly classified information on a private email server with no security,'' Trump said in a statement. ''He confirmed that her email could easily have been hacked by hostile actors, and confirmed that those she emailed with were hacked.''
Trump went on to say that, ''because of our rigged system that holds the American people to one standard and people like Hillary Clinton to another,'' it is unlikely she will face the criminal charges ''she deserves.''
''The final jury will be the American people, and they will issue the verdict on her corruption, incompetence, and bad judgment on November 8th,'' he remarked.
The billionaire businessman also slammed former President Bill Clinton for his controversial impromptu meeting with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch last week and the fact that Hillary Clinton was interviewed by the FBI during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
''Bill Clinton didn't accidentally run into the Attorney General on the airport tarmac last week in Phoenix,'' Trump said. ''Hillary Clinton didn't accidentally sneak into the FBI during one of the country's biggest holiday weekends to testify on her illegal activities, something that wouldn't be afforded to others under investigation (and on a Saturday of all days).''
''It was no accident that charges were not recommended against Hillary the exact same day as President Obama campaigns with her for the first time,'' he added.
Trump also sid Comey ''revealed'' that Hillary Clinton ''lied'' when she claimed ''she did not send classified information.'' The New York real estate developer noted that fact that the FBI director ''confirmed that over 100 emails were deemed classified at the time they were sent, including emails classified as top secret.''
''Folks '' the system is rigged,'' he continued. ''The normal punishment, in this case, would include losing authority to handle classified information, and that too disqualifies Hillary Clinton from being President.''
Earlier Tuesday, Trump '-- and other Republican leaders '-- took to Twitter to criticize the FBI's decision.
Lynch has insisted her 30-minute meeting with the former commander in chief was purely social and that the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email was not discussed. The attorney general is expected to accept Comey's recommendation.
'--Follow the author of this story on Twitter:
VIDEO-Why James Comey stood alone - CNNPolitics.com
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 22:46
On Tuesday, Comey held a press conference with little advance notice, on the same day President Barack Obama was to campaign with Clinton in North Carolina. Comey noted that he had not told his boss, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, or any other agency in the government about his decision to not recommend charges be brought against anyone in the Clinton investigation."They do not know what I am about to say," Comey said, with about a dozen FBI agents and high-level officials who helped oversee the probe standing in the back of the room.
Indeed, very few knew, with most inside the FBI seemingly unaware of what he was about to say. The notice to the press only saying Comey would "speak to reporters" with no topic disclosed.
Senior law enforcement officials described the deliberations inside the FBI and Justice Department in recent months for this account. The FBI said Comey's remarks were the only ones that would be made public. The Justice Department didn't comment.
Comey's solo appearance Tuesday stood out for historical reasons, because it's highly unusual for the FBI to make public findings when investigators have decided no charges should be brought.
And Comey occasionally has publicly described his discomfort with the power wielded by the FBI's first director, J. Edgar Hoover, particularly the surveillance of suspected enemies of the era. But his public announcement on Clinton underscored how, arguably, Comey has become the most powerful FBI director since Hoover.
It's the power that Comey wielded Tuesday that prompted some former Justice officials to publicly criticize the FBI director.
Matthew Miller, the former top Justice spokesman under Attorney General Eric Holder, called Comey's announcement "outrageous."
"The FBI's job is to investigate cases and when it's appropriate to work with the Justice Department to bring charges," he said on CNN.
Instead, Miller said: "Jim Comey is the final arbiter in determining the appropriateness of Hillary Clinton's conduct. That's not his job."
Comey last navigated politics this turbulent in 2004, when he was deputy attorney general and he was at the center of a dramatic showdown with the White House over a surveillance program ordered by President George W. Bush. Comey and other Justice Department and FBI officials threatened to resign in the dispute, and Comey, a Republican, emerged a hero to the political left.
He is no stranger to Clinton political controversy either, having served as deputy special counsel on the Senate Whitewater Committee and also having investigated the pardon by President Bill Clinton of donor Marc Rich.
The Clinton probe posed similar thorny issues. Comey closely managed the probe, getting updates daily. With the Democratic convention just weeks away, the fate of Clinton as presumptive nominee was in the hands of the FBI.
Earlier this year, top officials at the Justice Department and FBI began formulating a rough plan for how the findings in the unusual Clinton probe would be announced, officials close to the matter said.
The idea that some top officials supported was that the FBI and the Justice Department, which have jointly managed the probe, would announce their decision together and at the same time announce how they came to it. This would prevent the spectacle of the FBI concluding its investigation then handing over recommendations to the Justice Department for review, with a final decision to be announced by Lynch.
But as the investigation drew to a close in the late spring, Comey began having other thoughts.
The political furor of the investigation was reaching a fever pitch.
FBI officials and Clinton's lawyers began discussing plans for her interview and possible dates when she could come by FBI headquarters, preferably without a mob of reporters following her. There were some internal disputes about timing, with some at the FBI believing the interview could have happened weeks ago and Justice lawyers pushing to wait for more investigative work to be completed.
And last week, just when the political atmosphere surrounding the FBI investigation couldn't seem more charged, things took a new bizarre turn. Former President Bill Clinton charged uninvited onto Lynch's plane parked on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport. Lynch and the former president said they discussed nothing related to the probe and kept the visit to social matters.
Officials said Comey was already of the view that he had to make the FBI's announcement alone. The Clinton-Lynch debacle didn't sway him, but underscored why it was important for him to stand alone, the officials said.
Across the street at the Justice Department, Lynch already was looking for her own ways to make sure the public knew that political considerations would play no role in her final decision. Even before the untimely visit by the former president, she and her staff were weighing how to publicly describe the internal process at play, and that career prosecutors and investigators would be the ones steering any final decision.
On Friday, amid controversy over her meeting with the former president, Lynch said she would accept the decision of career officials in the department and at FBI. It was a clumsy announcement and Justice officials took pains later to make clear that Lynch wasn't recused and Comey wasn't now in charge.
A day later, Clinton left her home in Washington and drove a few miles to FBI headquarters for her long-awaited interview.
Officials said it was already clear that there wasn't enough evidence to bring criminal charges. The interview cemented that decision among FBI and Justice officials who were present.
By Monday night, Comey and other FBI officials decided the public announcement should come at the earliest opportunity.
The fact that Tuesday would also mark the first public campaign appearance by Obama alongside Hillary Clinton didn't enter in the calculation, officials said.
Comey notified the attorney general that he planned to make a public announcement but didn't provide any details, officials said. A little after 11 a.m., as Hillary Clinton was about to take the stage at an event nearby in Washington, he entered the FBI conference room and began what he called, simply, "an update on the FBI's investigation."
VIDEO-State Department Asks For Delay Release Of Clinton Emails | The Daily Caller
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 22:43
David N. Bossie, president of Citizens United, which requested the documents under the Freedom of Information Act, called the delay ''totally unacceptable'' and charged that ''the State Department is using taxpayer dollars to protect their candidate, Hillary Clinton.''
''The American people have a right to see these emails before the election,'' Bossie told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras, a President Obama-appointed judge, had previously ordered the State Department to release the requested documents by July 21. But Department of Justice lawyers informed Contreras Wednesday night that ''the [State] department discovered errors in the manner in which the searches had been conducted in order to capture documents potentially responsive to plaintiff's request.'' The motion was filed by Justice Department attorney Joseph Borson on behalf of the State Department.
Borson also provided new details about how few resources the State Department has devoted to answering 106 separate Freedom of Information Act requests that are pending before it, many of them ordered by federal judges. Only 71 ''part-time'' retired foreign service officers are being used to review all of the pending FOIA requests.
The State Department also revealed that despite the large number of requests seeking information about Secretary Clinton's ties to the Clinton Foundation over the last two years, the Obama administration has not requested additional funds for reviewers.
The amount budgeted has remained at about $16 million over the last several years, according to Eric Stein, co-director of the State Department Office of Information Programs and Services. The department claims with its current workforce, it would only be able to release 500 documents each month.
The FBI has a ''public corruption'' probe underway investigating whether Clinton used her position to benefit or recruit donors to the Clinton Foundation.
Bossie told TheDCNF that ''the conflicts of interest that were made possible by the activities of Hillary Clinton's State Department in tandem with the Clinton Foundation are of significant importance to the public and the law enforcement community.''
In addition to the Clinton Foundation, Citizens United requested communications between the four aides and Teneo Holdings, the firm created by Doug Band, Bill Clinton's personal aide in the White House and thereafter as a former chief executive. The former President was a paid consultant to Teneo until 2012.
Huma Abedin simultaneously served as an employee for both Teneo and as deputy chief of staff to Clinton at the State Department in 2012, an issue which Congress has raised as a key conflict of interest.
Mills, Clinton's chief of staff also worked at the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative while she served at the State Department.
Follow Richard on Twitter
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].
David N. Bossie, president of Citizens United, which requested the documents under the Freedom of Information Act, called the delay ''totally unacceptable'' and charged that ''the State Department is using taxpayer dollars to protect their candidate, Hillary Clinton.''
''The American people have a right to see these emails before the election,'' Bossie told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras, a President Obama-appointed judge, had previously ordered the State Department to release the requested documents by July 21. But Department of Justice lawyers informed Contreras Wednesday night that ''the [State] department discovered errors in the manner in which the searches had been conducted in order to capture documents potentially responsive to plaintiff's request.'' The motion was filed by Justice Department attorney Joseph Borson on behalf of the State Department.
Borson also provided new details about how few resources the State Department has devoted to answering 106 separate Freedom of Information Act requests that are pending before it, many of them ordered by federal judges. Only 71 ''part-time'' retired foreign service officers are being used to review all of the pending FOIA requests.
The State Department also revealed that despite the large number of requests seeking information about Secretary Clinton's ties to the Clinton Foundation over the last two years, the Obama administration has not requested additional funds for reviewers.
The amount budgeted has remained at about $16 million over the last several years, according to Eric Stein, co-director of the State Department Office of Information Programs and Services. The department claims with its current workforce, it would only be able to release 500 documents each month.
The FBI has a ''public corruption'' probe underway investigating whether Clinton used her position to benefit or recruit donors to the Clinton Foundation.
Bossie told TheDCNF that ''the conflicts of interest that were made possible by the activities of Hillary Clinton's State Department in tandem with the Clinton Foundation are of significant importance to the public and the law enforcement community.''
In addition to the Clinton Foundation, Citizens United requested communications between the four aides and Teneo Holdings, the firm created by Doug Band, Bill Clinton's personal aide in the White House and thereafter as a former chief executive. The former President was a paid consultant to Teneo until 2012.
Huma Abedin simultaneously served as an employee for both Teneo and as deputy chief of staff to Clinton at the State Department in 2012, an issue which Congress has raised as a key conflict of interest.
Mills, Clinton's chief of staff also worked at the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative while she served at the State Department.
Follow Richard on Twitter
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].
VIDEO-audioBoom / Cold War Never Ended on the Eve of NATO. Stephen F. Cohen, NYU, Princeton University, EastWestAccord.com.
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 21:48
07-05-2016
(Photo: Riga, Latvia: waiting for the Russians?)
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Cold War Never Ended on the Eve of NATO. Stephen F. Cohen, NYU, Princeton University, EastWestAccord.com.
"Putin calls for improved relations with US in Fourth of July message" hill.cm/jUu7zeK pic.twitter.com/XILZllg2ES
http://tass.ru/en/defense/886110
_______________
'''...The museum, one of the main historical institutions in Latvia, is sometimes a direct target of aggression. Nagels said his building had to be evacuated on May 9, Russia's Victory Day, after receiving a bomb threat.
''To activists on the other side of the Latvian-Russian divide, however, the Latvian attitudes toward the past are part of a broader campaign to marginalize the Russian-speakers who remain in the country, about a third of Latvia's 2 million residents. Because Latvian citizenship requires a language test, many of the Russian-speakers are not citizens. The high point of tensions comes every year on May 9, the celebration of the Nazi defeat.
''The answer is always the same: You're serving Putin if you're celebrating,'' said Elizabete Krivcova, an ethnic Russian rights campaigner who organized a rally tied to Victory Day this year.
''There is a basic Russophobia,'' she said. ''It's very similar to undemocratic developments in Russia.''
''Krivcova said that many ­Russian-speakers in Latvia acknowledge that the Soviet Union took over Latvia at gunpoint '-- but she said that using the word ''occupation,'' in many of their minds, could lead to being stripped of their rights'....''
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/in-tense-confrontation-with-russia-a-battle-over-history-suggests-cold-war-never-ended/2016/06/30/0d2de07a-2cc9-11e6-a949-82110a957074_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_nato-221pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory
VIDEO-ABC's Martha Raddatz adds the word "crooked" in front of "Hillary Clinton." - YouTube
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 21:12
VIDEO-Hillary Clinton vs. James Comey: Email Scandal Supercut - YouTube
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 20:14
VIDEO-Klein: Comey And 'A Lot Of Other FBI Agents' Will Resign If Hillary Is Not Indicted [VIDEO] | The Daily Caller
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 19:51
Host Stuart Varney responded, ''That wouldn't happen? Because that would be a way around the political problem of indicting the likely Democrat nominee for the presidency.''
''Right, but James Comey is after all'... the Eliot Ness of our time. He is really not going to let politics interfere with what he finally decides.'' (RELATED: Will FBI Director James Comey Actually Interview Hillary In Email Investigation?)
Varney then asked Klein, ''But it's up to the judgment of the Justice Department to say 'yes indict' or 'No, don't indict.' It is not James Comey's call, is it?
''Well, it's his call to make the referral and it's up to the Justice Department. And if the Justice Department decides not to listen to what James Comey is suggesting, I think there's going to be hell to pay.''
''Do you think James Comey would resign,'' Varney asked.
''Yes, he already threatened to resign during the Bush Administration as you may recall when things did not go right,'' Klein said. Adding, ''Absolutely, I think he would resign and I think a lot of other FBI agents would go along with him.'' (RELATED: Report: Feds Moving Forward With Plan To Interview Hillary In Email Investigation)
WATCH:
Follow Steve on Twitter and Facebook
Host Stuart Varney responded, ''That wouldn't happen? Because that would be a way around the political problem of indicting the likely Democrat nominee for the presidency.''
''Right, but James Comey is after all'... the Eliot Ness of our time. He is really not going to let politics interfere with what he finally decides.'' (RELATED: Will FBI Director James Comey Actually Interview Hillary In Email Investigation?)
Varney then asked Klein, ''But it's up to the judgment of the Justice Department to say 'yes indict' or 'No, don't indict.' It is not James Comey's call, is it?
''Well, it's his call to make the referral and it's up to the Justice Department. And if the Justice Department decides not to listen to what James Comey is suggesting, I think there's going to be hell to pay.''
''Do you think James Comey would resign,'' Varney asked.
''Yes, he already threatened to resign during the Bush Administration as you may recall when things did not go right,'' Klein said. Adding, ''Absolutely, I think he would resign and I think a lot of other FBI agents would go along with him.'' (RELATED: Report: Feds Moving Forward With Plan To Interview Hillary In Email Investigation)
WATCH:
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VIDEO-Terrorist Blows Himself up with Mortar - YouTube
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 19:35
VIDEO-Syria 2012 | Dirty Tricks in the Syrian Civil War: Spiked Ammo | The New York Times - YouTube
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 19:34
VIDEO-Uh-Uh-Uh... Obama Turns Into Stuttering Mess Again While Talking About Trump in North Carolina (VIDEO)
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 16:30
Poor Barack'... He's got Trump on the brain.Obama turned into a stuttering mess again today while talking about Donald Trump at his rally with Hillary Clinton.
Obama: So, if if if, you voting for the other team, it's not because of the economy. It's not because of the economy'... I mean even, even, even, even, even the, uh, even the, uh, the, the Republicans on the other side don't really know what the guy's talking about.
Poor guy.He just can't help it.
ArchivesArchives
VIDEO-FBI Proves Hillary Clinton Is a liar - YouTube
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 14:45
VIDEO-Chilcot delivers crushing verdict on Blair and the Iraq war | UK news | The Guardian
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 14:39
Sir John Chilcot has delivered a devastating critique of Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003, with his long-awaited report concluding that Britain chose to join the US invasion before ''peaceful options for disarmament'' had been exhausted.
The head of the Iraq war inquiry said the UK's decision to attack and occupy a sovereign state for the first time since the second world war was a decision of ''utmost gravity''. He described Iraq's president, Saddam Hussein, as ''undoubtedly a brutal dictator'' who had repressed his own people and attacked his neighbours.
What is Chilcot?But Chilcot '' whom Gordon Brown asked seven years ago to head an inquiry into the conflict '' was withering about Blair's choice to join the US invasion. Chilcot said: ''We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.''
The report suggests that Blair's self-belief was a major factor in the decision to go to war. In a section headed Lessons, Chilcot writes: ''When the potential for military action arises, the government should not commit to a firm political objective before it is clear it can be achieved. Regular reassessment is essential.''
The report also bitterly criticises the way in which Blair made the case for Britain to go to war. It says the notorious dossier presented in September 2002 by Blair to the House of Commons did not support his claim that Iraq had a growing programme of chemical and biological weapons.
The then Labour government also failed to anticipate the war's disastrous consequences, the report says. They included the deaths of ''at least 150,000 Iraqis '' and probably many more '' most of them civilians'' and ''more than a million people displaced''. ''The people of Iraq have suffered greatly,'' Chilcot says.
Chilcot does not pass judgment on whether the war was legal. But it says the way the legal basis was dealt with before the 20 March invasion was far from satisfactory. The attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, should have given written advice.
Goldsmith told Blair that war without a second UN resolution would be illegal, only to change his mind after a trip to Washington in March 2003 and meetings with Bush administration legal officials.
Chilcot's report is more damning than expected and amounts to arguably the most scathing official verdict given on any modern British prime minister. His 2.6m-word, 12-volume report was released on Wednesday morning, together with a 145-page executive summary.
It concludes:
' There was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein.
' The strategy of containment could have been adopted and continued for some time.
' The judgments about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction '' WMDs '' were presented with a certainty that was not justified.
' Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam were wholly inadequate.
' The government failed to achieve its stated objectives.
It report also sheds fresh light on the private discussions between Blair and the US president, George W Bush, in the run-up to war. The report says that after the 9/11 attacks Blair urged Bush ''not to take hasty action on Iraq''. The UK's formal policy was to contain Saddam's regime.
But by the time the two leaders met in April 2002 at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, the UK's thinking had undergone ''a profound change''. The joint intelligence committee had concluded that Saddam could not be removed ''without an invasion'', with the government saying Iraq was a threat ''that had to be dealt with''.
'I will be with you whatever'Blair sent Bush a series of private notes setting out his thinking. One written on 28 July 2002, and released for the first time on Wednesday, in the face of opposition from the Cabinet Office, said: ''I will be with you [Bush] whatever.''
It added: ''This is the moment to assess bluntly the difficulties. The planning on this and the strategy are the toughest yet. This is not Kosovo. This is not Afghanistan. It is not even the Gulf war.''
Tony Blair returns from Iraq's Green Zone back to Baghdad airport in a Puma helicopter with armed escort. Photograph: Dan Chung for the GuardianAt times, Blair's notes read more like stream of consciousness than considered policy documents. The note continued: ''He [Saddam] is a potential threat. He could be contained. But containment '... is always risky.''
According to Chilcot, Blair shaped his diplomatic strategy around the need to get rid of Saddam which '' he told Bush '' was the ''right thing to do''. Blair suggested that the simplest way to come up with a casus belli was to give an ultimatum to Iraq to disarm, preferably backed by UN authority.
Chilcot rejects Blair's view that spurning the US-led military alliance against Iraq would have done major damage to London's relations with Washington. ''It's questionable it would have broken the partnership,'' he writes, noting that the two sides had taken different views on other major issues including the Suez crisis, the Vietnam war and the Falklands.
Related:The Iraq war inquiry has left the door open for Tony Blair to be prosecuted | Joshua Rozenberg
The report says that by January 2003 Blair had concluded ''the likelihood was war''. He accepted a US military timetable for action by mid-March, while at the same time publicly blaming France for failing to support a second UN resolution in the security council authorising military action.
Chilcot is again unimpressed. ''In the absence of a majority in support of military action, we consider that the UK was, in fact, undermining the security council's authority,'' he says.
The report also demolishes Blair's claim made when he gave evidence to the inquiry in 2010 that the difficulties encountered by British forces in post-invasion Iraq could not have been known in advance.
''We do not agree that hindsight is required,'' Chilcot says. ''The risks of internal strife in Iraq, active Iranian pursuit of its interests, regional instability, and al-Qaida activity in Iraq, were each explicitly identified before the invasion.''
Blair: report clears me of bad faithBlair released a statement immediately after the publication of the report, saying that Chilcot found he had not made any ''secret commitment to war'' with George Bush, that there was no falsification or improper use of intelligence, nor any deception of the cabinet.
He added: ''The report should lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit. Whether people agree or disagree with my decision to take military action against Saddam Hussein, I took it in good faith and in what I believed to be the best interests of the country.''
Blair said he would hold a press conference later in the day, saying he needed to answer Chilcot's ''serious criticisms''.
The report is critical of the Ministry of Defence and military commanders who were tasked with occupying four southern provinces of Iraq once Saddam had been toppled. ''The scale of the UK effort in post-conflict Iraq never matched the scale of the challenge,'' Chilcot says, noting that security in Baghdad and south-east Iraq deteriorated soon after the invasion.
Sir John Chilcot delivers his report. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesIn the end, 179 British service personnel died before UK forces pulled out in 2009. Chilcot said the MoD was ''slow in responding to the threat from improvised explosive devices''. He said that delays in providing properly armoured patrol vehicles ''should not have been tolerated''. Nor was it clear which official was in charge. ''It should have been,'' Chilcot said.
As part of his remit, Chilcot also sets out what lessons can be learned. He says that Blair ''overestimated his ability to influence US decisions on Iraq''.
He adds: ''The UK's relationship with the US has proved strong enough over time to bear the weight of honest disagreement. It does not require unconditional support where our interest or judgments differ.''

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API vs AI

Rechtwijzer-Robot lawyers could make time-consuming, expensive court conflict thing of the past.mp3

Chilcot Report

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Chiner$

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Clinton vs Comey

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Elections 2016

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EuroLand

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JCD Clips

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Hillary the most qualified NEW obama.mp3
Inside a few emails RT.mp3
Katie Hopkins and safety pins.mp3
Lawyers debate email on pbs cutoff.mp3
Lead found in DC Water.mp3
PBS Fireworks.mp3
perino on comey and hillary.mp3
post NATO RT ONR.mp3
post NATO RT two.mp3
shame DN report on trump and rape lawsuit.mp3
the honest cabbie.mp3
Trump rant with code at end WTF.mp3
USA promote alafism.mp3
venezuela.mp3

MIC

Dutch Mali Military Deaths-Syria 2012 | Dirty Tricks in the Syrian Civil War- Spiked Ammo | The New York Times.mp3
McCain- Obama's Latest Troop Reduction Goes Against Recommendation of Military Commanders.mp3
Obama- 'The Taliban Remains a Threat,' So He's Slowing the U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan.mp3

Ministry of Truth

Fail- PBS Wash DC WETA-Shows Fireworks from Previous Years Due to Weather, Says Nothing On-Air.mp3

Obama Nation

Obama Turns Into Stuttering Mess Again While Talking About Trump in North Carolina.mp3

War on Religion

Noah's ark of biblical proportions ready to open in Kentucky.mp3
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