895: Yes Wee Can

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 4m
January 15th, 2017
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Executive Producers: Sir Matthew Eskridge, Keith Losset, David Poole

Associate Executive Producers: Nikola Nikolov Sir Gavin of St. George, Laura Dziadzio, Sir Craig Cuttner, Tod & Kate Gilbert, Larry T.

Cover Artist: PacManRetro

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The Trip
Schengen FAQ
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 15:24
Watch our video on the importance of having six months' validity left on your passport.
Check the expiration date on your passport carefully before traveling to Europe. Entry into any of the 26 European countries in the Schengen area for short-term tourism, a business trip, or in transit to a non-Schengen destination, requires that your passport be valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure. If your passport does not meet the Schengen requirements, you may be refused boarding by the airline at your point of origin or while transferring planes. You could also be denied entry when you arrive in the Schengen area. For this reason, we recommend that your passport have at least six months'validity remaining whenever you travel abroad. You can find passport validity requirements for your destination country, along with other important information, on our Country Specific Information pages. To ensure that your travel plans are not disrupted, plan ahead to renew your passport before traveling. Visit our passport website for more information on applying for a new or renewal passport.
The European countries that make up the Schengen area are enforcing the requirement that short-term tourism or business visitors' passports be valid for at least three months beyond the intended date of departure from the Schengen area, though adherence varies from country to country. Some Schengen countries assume all travelers will stay the full three months allowed for visa-free visitors, meaning you may not be admitted unless your passport is valid for at least six months, regardless of the duration of your stay. This requirement may also apply if you are transiting a Schengen airport for several hours en route to a non-Schengen destination.
If you are a U.S. citizen with a valid U.S. passport traveling for tourism or business, you can apply to enter the Schengen area without a visa for a period of three months within each six-month period. If you spend three months in the Schengen area during any six-month period, you must wait another three months before you can apply to enter the Schengen area again without a visa. If you do not meet these conditions, or plan to stay in the Schengen area longer than three months, contact the embassy of the country where you plan to spend the majority of your time to apply for a visa.
When you first cross any external border of the Schengen area and present your passport for entry, an immigration official will determine if you qualify for entry into the Schengen area. You may be denied entry if the officer determines you do not qualify for entry. When moving from one Schengen country to another, you do not need to show your passport until you exit the Schengen area. Ensure your passport is stamped upon entry and exit. For additional information on traveling to and within the Schengen area, see our FAQ below.
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FaceBag ANZNACK Tour Names
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credit card deposits for hair dressers etc as a trend
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Golden Showers
Jeremy Young Analysis
Hi Adam
About the Trump dossier, have you considered that Trump is not the target?
It is well known that Trump has a thing about urine... Ruby's American Pie... @24 minutes - https://youtu.be/nM831KNZN74
So perhaps the aim is to wind him up.
I would suggest that the real target is Brexit.
Tony Blair has declared he is campaigning to block Brexit.
The obvious political comparison is Winston Churchill and The Focus - I offer this David Irving video about his book Churchill's War - https://youtu.be/8qAdJTHQysI - obviously one should ear rubber gloves when handling Irving's material.
And there are currently two by-elections pending, one in Copeland, Cumbria and another in Stoke on Trent - both of the Labour MPS standing down are moderate centre left Remainers, in Leave constuencies, both are considered Blairite, both are going into well paid jobs in the public sector, and both seats are about to disappear under boundary changes.
Thus we get to Orbis, who all reports state made their name breaking open FIFA. Yet what did they actually do? All of the allegations have been swirling around the world of football for years. And then suddenly the DoJ decides it is going to press corruption charges
Here's an odd thing, Tony Blair's son, Nicky, happens to start up as a football agent, in Central and South America, at roughly the same time as Loretta Lynch starts her indictments.
And before you call this tenuous, remember that Blair introduced the Human Rights legislation into British law - his wife being a a human rights lawyer.
And it shouldn't be overlooked that Tony Blair already has a grudge against FIFA because of the 2006 World Cup going to Germany, when it was supposed to be his triumph. And oddly the people criticized for betraying Britain (read Tony Blair), particularly Jack Warner.
And if you look at the Wikileaks emails with between Hillary and the Rothchild's - who are on record as opposing Brexit - the name Tony Blair keeps cropping up.
In 2008 when John McCain is running out of money, who does he turn to? The Rothchild's.
And before you leap to conclusions, my having mentioned Irving and the Rothschild's, no I am not suggesting this is a vast Zionist conspiracy.
The story of the dossier is rather murky as to when it is produced, in what form it took, and when it started to be touted, but July 2016 is the date at which it certainly exists - i.e in the month after the Brexit vote.
Yet no one touches it, for the obvious reason that it is nonsense - again if you watch the Ruby Wax film, I would suggest that the problem for the Democrats, or indeed anyone trying to blackmail Trump, is that he might be obsessional and slighty mad but he is honest, to the point of anal retentiveness.
And if you read it the document it is a typical Clinton style a direct to counter to what they are accused of.... i.e. you've been messing around with semen and blood, and pimping out kids... oh yeah well you hire hookers to pee on the bed in hotels. You sold uranium to the Russians.. oh yeah well you have, well we don't now quite what, but you're in bed the Russians too.
And the beauty of hiring Orbis is,that rather like the story of the Trump campaign and the Russian server, is because they are Ex MI6, they have a ping to the British government: because as ex-MI6 they have to check that they can talk to the FBI, as they are covered by the official secrets act, and various protocols.
And so to Brexit.
Theresa May is due in Washington this month. She needs a trade deal with the US in order to go into the negotiations in March, when supposedly she is going to trigger Article 50.
We know from the Brexit campaign that Britain will be at the back of the queue for TTP under Obama (these people aren't that bright, and that statement alone lost the Remain side votes), but apparently now we are at the front of the queue under Trump... because his election is a blow for liberty, just like Brexit, my old mate Nigel Farage... blah, blah....
So who, apparently, told McCain that he should take another look at this dossier that had been rejected by every news organization as bogus.... Sir Andrew Wood has gone on record as saying that he did speak to McCain at a security conference in Canada, and urged him of it's importance.
That would be the same Sir Andrew Wood who was an advisor to Tony Blair.
So suddenly McCain, as 'concerned citizen' gives it to the FBI, so that the report can be laundered, and fed out through the heavily Amazon Subsidized site, Buzzfeed - TOP TEN SEX TOYS OF 2017, and all available at the click of a mouse from Amazon (Amazon being a company who is hardly likely to what controls on Eastern European labour for it's British operations)
And of course this perfectly because it plays into the latent hostility of Americans for the British. At the word Russia, they duck and cover, and the word British, they immediately get arrogant and say 'fuck those guys, we beat their arse in 1776..... again watch the Ruby Wax film and Trump perfectly displays this with his comment about 'she's big in Britain, but she is nothing over here.'
So winding Trump up, especially on top of Theresa May being the home secretary that allowed the debate on whether Trump should be banned from the country, seems the perfect way of scuppering Brexit, or at least undermining any negotiations on Britain's exit.
I'll throw in some links below to videos I have made on the subject, should you wish to click on the advertising.
Keep up the good work
yours
jeremy young
ps do remind John of his theory of cyclical economic collapse - of which Trump is the perfect candidate, or not,as he is a billionaire.
pps it may, or may not be a clue to who is paying for and funding this, that the Daily Mail described George Soros as 'and 86 year old survivor of the Holocaust".... won't somebody think of the pensioners....
links
https://youtu.be/ILBKfvLSbPU
https://youtu.be/BCH1uJK3duM
https://youtu.be/egexzko36zw
Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele in hiding after Trump dossier - BBC News
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:34
Image caption Christopher Steele is believed to have left his home this week An ex-MI6 officer who is believed to have prepared memos claiming Russia has compromising material on US President-elect Donald Trump is now in hiding, the BBC understands.
Christopher Steele, who runs a London-based intelligence firm, is believed to have left his home this week.
The memos contain unsubstantiated claims that Russian security officials have compromising material on Mr Trump.
The US president-elect said the claims were "fake news" and "phoney stuff".
Mr Steele has been widely named as the author of a series of memos - which have been published as a dossier in some US media - containing extensive allegations about Mr Trump's personal life and his campaign's relationship with the Russian state.
Among the allegations are that Moscow has a video recording of Mr Trump with prostitutes and damaging information about his business activities.
'In fear'BBC News correspondent Paul Wood said he understood Mr Steele left his home on either Tuesday or Wednesday, before he was publicly named, and was now "in hiding".
He said he had been told Mr Steele, a father of four, had asked his neighbour to look after his three cats.
Media captionHere's what Donald Trump had to say at his press conferenceOur correspondent said he had been shown the memos about Mr Trump in October last year, when he was told Mr Steele was "in fear of his life", having spoken out about potential Russian involvement in Mr Trump's election.
He said he had been told by members of the intelligence community that Mr Steele was "extremely highly regarded" and was thought of as "competent".
The central allegation made in the memos was that Mr Trump was "vulnerable to blackmail", he added.
Mr Steele has not responded to the BBC's request for a comment about the revelations about Mr Trump.
AnalysisImage copyrightAPImage caption Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump a "puppet" of Russia's leader Vladimir Putin during the election campaign By Paul Wood, BBC news correspondent
Claims about a Russian blackmail tape were made in one of a series of reports written by a former British intelligence agent.
As a member of MI6, he had been posted to the UK's embassy in Moscow and now runs a consultancy giving advice on doing business in Russia. He spoke to a number of his old contacts in the FSB, the successor to the KGB, paying some of them for information.
They told him that Mr Trump had been filmed with a group of prostitutes in the presidential suite of Moscow's Ritz-Carlton hotel.
I know this because the Washington political research company that commissioned his report showed it to me during the final week of the election campaign.
The BBC decided not to use it then, for the very good reason that without seeing the tape - if it exists - we could not know if the claims were true. The detail of the allegations were certainly lurid.
The entire series of reports has now been posted by BuzzFeed.
Read more from Paul Wood
Mr Steele, who was initially named in the US, is believed to be a former member of the Secret Intelligence Service - MI6 - and is a director of Orbis Business Intelligence - which describes itself as a leading corporate intelligence consultancy.
Founded in 2009 by former British intelligence professionals, the firm - based in Grosvenor Gardens, central London - has a "global network" of experts and "prominent business figures", according to its website.
Orbis says it offers "strategic advice", as well as mounting "intelligence-gathering operations" and cross-border investigations.
Christopher Burrows, who is listed as a co-director of Orbis alongside Mr Steele, refused to confirm or deny whether the firm had produced the reports on Mr Trump.
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said Mr Steele had previously been an intelligence officer - rather than agent - in MI6, who would have run a team of agents as an intelligence gatherer.
However, as Mr Steele was now working in the private sector, our correspondent said, there was "probably a fair bit of money involved" in the commissioning of the reports.
He said there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations and it was still possible the dossier had been based on what "people had said" about Mr Trump "without any proof".
Image copyrightReutersImage caption Orbis, where Christopher Steele works, is based in central London Image copyright@realDonaldTrumpImage caption Mr Trump tweeted that national intelligence director James Clapper has rung him Mr Steele reportedly spent years under diplomatic cover working for MI6 in Russia and France, as well as at the Foreign Office in London.
He is reported to have supplied the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on allegations of corruption at Fifa, football's world governing body.
Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokeswoman said she would not comment on allegations against Mr Trump, other than to say those allegedly involved in producing the document were "former employees" of the government.
Asked whether Downing Street knew if any current British agents had any role in the dossier, she said she had seen nothing in any of the reports to suggest so.
Labour MP Mary Creagh called for Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to tell parliament what the UK government knew about the dossier.
Meanwhile, Marina Litvinenko, the widow of murdered Alexander Litvinenko, who was critical of Russia's leader Vladmir Putin, said Mr Steele had been put in danger by collecting such information.
She told the BBC: "I believe it is very dangerous, particularly after death of my husband, because when you just approach very specific information, particularly when this information very close to very powerful people, you might be in this line and you just easily might be killed."
Obama briefingThe 35-page dossier on Mr Trump - which is believed to have been commissioned initially by Republicans opposed to Mr Trump - has been circulating in Washington for some time.
Media organisations, uncertain of its credibility, initially held back from publication. However, the entire series of reports has now been posted online, with Mr Steele named as the author.
Intelligence agencies considered the claims relevant enough to brief both Mr Trump and President Obama last week.
But the allegations have not been independently substantiated or verified and some details have been challenged as incorrect by those who are mentioned.
Mr Trump himself was briefed about the existence of the allegations by the US intelligence community last week but has since described them as fake news, accusing the US intelligence services of leaking the dossier.
Cyprus
Building Totalitarianism in Europe '' The Last Coup of Victoria Nuland | Katehon think tank. Geopolitics & Tradition
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 21:11
Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State, did not spend much time and energy with Christmas and New Year celebrations this year. She has...
2016 is over, and it's thus time to review the most significant events that occurred in each region and prognosticate how they may influence the...
As yet another 'High Noon' looms over Cyprus, with the usual Western/NATO threats about this being the last chance for a solution, let us consider...
The Syrian government and the so-called moderate opponent groups signed a ceasefire treaty, and from the night of 29th December countrywide ceasefire...
Andrew Mango, who died not long ago, was one of the historians held in high esteem by the Turkish public. May he rest in peace. His book about...
In Norway, a Court meeting, was held, the purpose of meeting was to consider the of Appeal of the Anders Behring Breivik about inhumane conditions...
President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Mustafa Akinci are to meet today
In a very rare gesture, the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos, in his Christmas message, read in all churches, has criticized, in unusually harsh...
The next round of discussions on a possible reunification of the island will be hosted today in Geneva.
Bolivia's President Evo Morales said at the Security Council of the United Nations on Sunday that the country will be the voice of the people and...
The Cyprus problem is a Russian problem as well. The current purblind negotiations, ostensibly between the two Cypriot communities (82% Greek and 18...
There is every reason to believe that the consequences will be numerous and considerable, but it is too soon to speculate about it.
Building Totalitarianism in Europe '' The Last Coup of Victoria Nuland, by Dimitri Konstantakopoulos
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:38
The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, receives the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland.Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State, did not spend much time and energy with Christmas and New Year celebrations this year. She has another very urgent and pressing problem to solve, before leaving the State Department, and this is the ''Cyprus conflict''. The way she wants to solve this conflict is by transforming a second member of the EU, after Greece, into a protectorate. As the proposed solution for Cyprus is higlhy unstable, powers outside the EU will be provided also with a bomb inside it, that is with the possibillity of provoking a Bosnian-type conflict inside, not outside EU borders.
In the same time she wants also to get Turkey admitted immediately to the EU, by the window of the ''Cypriot settlement''. By virtue of the provisions of the ''Cyprus settlement'' under consideration now, Turkey is invested after January 12 with many of the rights and powers (and none of the obligations) of the member-states. It will also legalize in Geneva, its military presence and its right to intervene militarily inside the European Union.
Such an outcome of the Geneva conference will have enormous strategic consequences for Europe and for the Middle East, transforming the whole ''Eastern Meditarranean'', a sea lane of vital importance, into a kind of ''Mare Nostrum'' of the ''Naval Forces'', excluding from there any ''foreign'' strategic influence (German, Russian or Chinese) and laying one more foundation for encircling Russia from the South with a kind of ''security belt'' and trying to hinder its access to the ''warm seas'', a centuries long dream of British imperial planners. It will constitute the deeper change of the Mediterranean strategic landscape, since the eruption of the so-called Eastern Question or, at least, since the Greek national revolution, two centuries ago.
Annan Plan '' Creating a Frankestein ''state'' in CyprusThe type of settlement Mrs. Nuland wants to impose on Cyprus is a new version of the Annan Plan, rejected by the overwhelming majority of Cypriots during the 2004 referendum, in spite of enormous pressure they had suffered and a real terror campaign against them, warning the day of Doom would come on the aftermath of a No vote. The Annan Plan is violating all essential provisions of European, International and Constitutional Law, including the UN Charter. In the light of its provisions, it represents the most comprehensive effort undertaken, since the defeat of Nazism, in 1945, to impose a totalitarian system in any western country.
The Annan plan is instituting a kind of Frankestein state in Cyprus, where, among other things, the rule of majority (democracy) will be formally abolished, where there will be permanent vetos of the two Cypriot communities in every level of decision making and in all branches of power (executive, legislative, judicial), and, in the very probable case that system would be brought to an impasse, foreign judges will decide everything. In reality, the new ''state'' will be governed by foreign judges, concentrating upon themselves, three centuries after Montesqieu, all powers.
The solution provides for imposing to the new ''state'' a complete disarmament status, that is forbid it from the right of self-defense and the means to exercise it (an army). And do it in a permanent terms, not as a temporary measure, as it happened with Germany and Japan after the 2nd World War. In Orwellian terms, this is called ''Cyprus demilitarized''. In reality there will be many traffic problems there provoked, because of the military vehicles of Britain, Turkey, other NATO countries and Police cars from various ''Christian and Muslim countries'' which will be present there. Britain and Turkey will have the legal right to intervene militarily inside a territory of the European Union.
''Fuck'' ReferendumsMrs. Nuland does not want to wait for any referendum. She knows that she can hardly win a second referendum in Cyprus (or in any other European country these times) on such terms. She has no time, she leaves the State Department on the 20th of January and she wants to end her career with a triumph, that is succeeding where MacMillan, Johnson, Kissinger, Bush, Annan, before her, failed miserably. There are also more essential reasons she wants to solve (or to create?) now this problem. Both the Greek and the European crises may enter a new and more dramatic phase next year. As for the Middle East, adjacent to Cyprus, it is waiting now for a Big Deal or a Big War.
The only way to do what she wants, in order to circumvent the provision for a referendum, is to have the President of Cyprus Mr. Anastasiades and the leader of Turkish Cypriots Mr. Akinci sign all that, or as much as they can of that. Then, Mr. Tsipras, Mr. Erdogan and Mrs May will endorse them and they will do something else also, legalize the Turkish military presence inside the European Union for some indefinite, as we write period. Mr. Juncker plans also to be there to applaud all that in the name of the European Union. The State Department has already warned the US Congress to be ready to adopt bills on Cyprus and the Commission altered all its programs for January 12. That day, CNN will announce to all the world that the Cyprus conflict has already been solved. When people will realize what happened, and they will begin to tear their hairs, there will be no Obama or Nuland to answer any questions. (And maybe that arranges many more people than one can figure out).
Mr. Anastasiades has already agreed to all that, Mr. Tsipras is under pressure also to agree. Mr. Juncker, Mrs. May and Mr. Erdogan already agreed. There remain some serious differences still on the composition of the Conference which remain to be settled as we write this article.
And the referendum? you will probably ask. Ok, they will promiss to make two referendums, one for the Greeks and one for the Turkish Cypriots. Maybe they will do them, but only if they are sure of the result. Anyway, even if those referendums take place, they will not have much sense, as it will be impossible for the inhabitants to return to the status quo ante. The Republic of Cyprus as we know it will be dead and the Turkish military presence on the island legal. As for the voters they will be in front of the choice to accept after all what is too late to change or risk a chaotic situation, if they refuse it post factum.
Is anything of all that legal?Is all that legal? No, nothing here is legal. (Look below, for the opinion of the Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law, Professor Kasimatis). On the contrary they represent a coup d'Etatstricto sensu and in two ways. They constitute the most serious possible breach of the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus and of the Treaties of the European Union, as Cyprus is a member of this Union.
No international conference and not even the President of Cyprus himself (or, for that matter, the Greek PM) has any right to sign agreements that infringe on the sovereignty of the Cypriot state (like for instance legalizing the Turkish military presence on the island, when numerous UN resolutions ask for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish forces, which invaded the island in 1974). Even more, nobody, including the President of Cyprus, has the right to change the constitutional structure of his state, much more, abolish it altogether! If they do it, it would be a coup d'Etat, in the strict legal sense of the word, that is a serious breach of the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus and, as this Republic is also a full member of the European Union, of the Treaties of the EU. Such things would be probably legal, only if we were living still under a medieval regime of absolute monarchies, not in Europe in 2016.
The whole Geneva conference reminds us very much of what happened in Vichy, France, on the 10th of July 1940, when the French National Assembly invested, with an overwhelming majority, Marshal P(C)tain with constituent powers. In spite of the fact that even it was the National Assembly itself which took this decision, everything P(C)tain did was considered a coup d'Etat and, inspite of being a hero of the First World War, he was condemned to death after the liberation of France. Charles De Gaulle has become what he became, in the history of France and of the world, because he refused to recognize this, supposedly legal coup, by the French deputies and P(C)tain and fought against it.
In Cyprus, unlike P(C)tain, Mr. Anastasiades not only did not get an authorization of his parliament for what he is doing, he even refused a demand of the opposition for an urgent debate.
Since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, Ankara illegally occupies the northeast of the island and has set up a government called the ''Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus''. Its president, Mustafa Akıncı, is a friend of Victoria Nuland.The purpose of Geneva: Destroy Cyprus as a sovereign, democratic and independent stateBy the way and until some weeks ago, all Cypriot and Greek governments since 1974 refused the Turkish proposal to convene such a conference, claiming that the only thing they could discuss about Cyprus with Turkey, was the withdrawal of the Turkish troops which invaded the island and remained there in spite of UN resolutions calling for their immediate withdrawal.
But this was until December 1st. That day, Mr. Anastasiades has announced to his citizens that he is accepting the proposal without explaining much why he is doing it, what will be the purpose and the agenda of this strange conference. He did not consult with political parties in the island or the Greek government before announcing his decision. The most absolute confusion was reigning in the island, until December 27, when the leader of the Turkish Cypriots Mr. Akinci, speaking to the Turkish Cypriot media, probably to warn Anastasiades not to deviate from what they had already agreed in secret, explained a little bit what will happen in Geneva.
According to what he said the Republic of Cyprus will not be present in the Geneva conference. All documents there will be signed by the ''new Cyprus federation to be constituted''. In that way he revealed the real purpose of the operation, which is no other than to abolish the existing state in Cyprus (we repeat, a member of UN and the EU) and to create a new one, without asking the opinion of the citizens, without electing a Constitutional Assembly and without any authorization from anybody to do that. In that case, we don't speak even about an operation of regime change. We have to speak about ''country change''.
A Greek Cypriot politician who is friend of Mr. Akinci answered to him explaining that he better avoid much public talk.
The citizens of the Republic themselves are now in a state of complete shock, as they cannot believe that they will live in another state by January 12, they know nothing about it! Cyprus has a tradition of invasions and coups, but it is difficult still for the citizens to grasp the new and unbelievable reality that their own President is planning to sign the death of his own state! It is very difficult, psychologically and intellectually, to stop believing that Mr. Anastasiades is not their leader (even if some they may consider his as bad, wrong, corrupted or incompetent), but he is their killer!
If the Cyprus thing succeeds it will in itself represent a colossal advancement of new political technologies. The trick is simple and genious. For a rape to be recognized as a rape, the victim has to resist and denounce the rapist. But here the rapist and the person charged with denouncing the rape is the same, the President of the Republic.
The Greek factorAnastasiades himself is the most powerful weapon US ever had in Cyprus. But Mrs Nuland has also another very powerful weapon and this is the situation in Greece, the confusion and the dependence of Greek political forces. The cooperation of Greece to this operation is deemed absolutely necessary for political reasons.
Mr. Tsipras in Athens, is now under enormous US pressure to give his consent and in a very difficult condition otherwise. SYRIZA is characterized also by a huge confusion regarding the Cyprus conflict. The Greek economy and society are very much into a death spiral, and the PM seems to be to the absolute mercy of Creditors, including the IMF. The German government nearly declared war against Greece, when his government decided, on the eve of Christmas, to give some financial peanuts to very poor Greek pensioners in a very real danger for their life and respecting the discipline of the program imposed to Greece (against the will of its people). The Finance Minister had to send a humiliating letter, promising more pension cuts in the next year, in order to get an armistice from Scheuble. If all that was not enough, Mr. Erdogan is threatening to fluid Greece with new waves of refugees.
From P(C)tain to Yeltsin '' what is a coup d'EtatLet us come back at this point to the term coup d'Etat we used. Maybe the readers are associating this with tanks and machine guns. Concerning the use of weapons they have to be a little patient. They will hear most probably their noise (as they heard it from Kiev), but they have first to wait until the Geneva operation succeeds and if it succeeds. But a coup d'Etat has nothing to do with the means used. It has to do with the breach of the constitutional (and European in our case) order of a given state.
Maybe the readers will also question if a head of a given state can make himself or participate in a coup d' etat against his own state. Not only he can, he is a thousand times more effective if he chooses to do it, as the only thing he has to do is use and abuse the powers he already legally possesses and can use. For example, the legal head of the Greek state, King Constantin, has participated in a US-backed coup d'Etat against the constitutional order of his own state in 1967, by legalizing the government of the Colonels.
The same thing was done by the head of the Russian state Boris Yeltsin in 1991, when he dissolved the USSR and in October 1993, when he bombed his own Parliament, if we examine those events from the point of view of soviet and Russian constitutional order. But nobody in the West has noticed of course this legal aspect of things, as westerners liked very much what Yeltsin did. We refer to this example, because it bears great analogies to what they are trying to do now in Cyprus.
Professor Kasimatis on the legal aspect of the Geneva Conference
We asked the top Greek specialist on Constitutional Law and Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law, Professor Yiorgos Kasimatis, about what and what is not legal for this Geneva conference to do. This is his opinion:
''The Republic of Cyprus is internationally recognized as a full sovereignty state, by its admission to the United Nations and to the European Union. Nobody, including the President of Cyprus, the Greek PM or any international conference are entitled to take any decisions infringing, directly or indirectly, upon the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus or alter its constitutional structure. If they do it, it will be a very serious violation of both the Cyprus constitution and of the Treaties of the European Union. Only a constitutional assembly or the citizens themselves via a referendum, are entitled to adopt such measures. The only subject an international conference could discuss is how to apply the UN resolutions asking for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish occupation forces and the full restoration of the sovereignty of the Republic. It is not legal to connect or depend those international obligations, directly or indirectly, on any constitutional changes in the country. On the contrary, all third parties have the obligation to abstain from any actions or declarations, much more from signing any documents, which constitute a direct or indirect infringement upon the right of Cypriot citizens to decide by their own free will on the fundamentals of their state structure and on the international status of the Republic. All parties should do everything in their power to assure to the Cypriots the conditions for the free expression of their will, without any threats, blackmails, pressures, faits accmplis etc.''
Annan Plan for Cyprus - Wikipedia
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:41
Annan Plans I & IIEditFollowing the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1250 of 29 June 1999, which requested the Secretary-General to invite the two leaders of the communities on Cyprus to negotiations, Alvaro de Soto was appointed as Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Cyprus (1 November), the Secretary-General visited Turkey and U.S. President Bill Clinton visited Turkey and Greece (November),[3] and proximity talks in New York were arranged beginning 3 December. The motivation for this renewed attempt at a Cyprus settlement was Cyprus' impending membership of the EU, and the fear that this development would create an obstacle to Turkey's hopes of joining. This prospect was of particular concern not only to Turkey, but also to the USA and the UK, which were both keen to promote Turkey's membership of the EU.[4][5] A further concern was the future of the British military bases and installations on Cyprus which were regarded as essential by both the UK and USA.
On 10''11 December the Helsinki EU summit's conclusions welcomed the launch of the talks in New York and declared that "a political settlement will facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the European Union." This was followed by the observation that "If no settlement has been reached by the completion of accession negotiations, the Council's decision on accession will be made without the above being a precondition." However the EU kept its options open by adding: ''In this the Council will take account of all relevant factors.''[6]
Following the talks in New York, four more rounds of proximity talks were held in Geneva: 31 January '' 8 February 24 July '' 4 August, 12''26 September, and 1''10 November 2000.[7] On 24 November, in response to the Secretary General's assessment of the talks (8 November 2000), which the leader of the Turkish Cypriots Rauf Denktaş rejected, Denktaş announced his withdrawal from the talks "because no progress could be made until two separate states are recognized". He was supported in his decision by Turkey.[8]
After almost a year of no talks and therefore little progress, Alvaro de Soto announced on 5 September 2001 that "on behalf of the Secretary-General I have conveyed to his Excellency The Greek Cypriot Leader Mr. Glafcos Clerides and his Excellency Mr. Rauf Denktaş, the Turkish Cypriot leader, an invitation to resume the search for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem under the Secretary-General's auspices... with separate meetings of the Secretary-General with each of the two leaders on 12 September 2001 in New York."[9] Denktaş rejected Annan's invitation on the same day,[10] but the visit to Cyprus in October 2001 of the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi prompted him to think again. During his visit Prodi stated that Cyprus would become an EU member with or without a settlement.[11] Shortly thereafter Denktaş entered into correspondence with Clerides, and a meeting in the presence of Alvaro de Soto was organised in Nicosia on 4 December 2001.[12] After the meeting, de Soto announced that the two leaders had agreed the following:
That the United Nations Secretary-General, in the exercise of his mission of good offices, would invite the two leaders to direct talks;That these talks would be held in Cyprus starting in mid January 2002 on UN premises;That there would be no preconditions;That all issues would be on the table;That they would continue to negotiate in good faith until a comprehensive settlement was achieved;That nothing would be agreed until everything was agreed.[13]The new round of talks was held in Nicosia and ran from 16 January. In September the venue was moved to Paris, and then, in October, meetings were held in New York. After the New York meetings Alvaro de Soto, read a message from the Secretary-General to the effect that "a comprehensive settlement has to be a complex, integrated, legally binding and self-executing agreement, where the rights and obligations of all concerned are clear, unambiguous, and not subject to further negotiations."[14]
On 11 November 2002, Alvaro de Soto presented a comprehensive plan for the resolution of the Cyprus issue (Annan Plan I). Following feedback, but no negotiations between the two sides, a revised version was published on 10 December (Annan Plan II), two days before the EU Copenhagen summit. In his report to the Security Council of 1 April 2003, Kofi Annan reveals that the Copenhagen European Council Summit of 12 and 13 December 2002 was seen as a deadline:
My Special Adviser helped to guide the discussions and by mid-2002 he was making concrete suggestions to assist the parties to build bridges. I refrained however from making a written substantive input until 11 November 2002, when, no breakthrough having been achieved, and believing that no other course of action remained open if the opportunity was to be seized, I put forward a document which I believed constituted a sound basis for agreement on a comprehensive settlement. Following intensive consultations, I put forward a revised proposal on 10 December 2002, hoping to assist the parties to reach agreement in time for the Copenhagen European Council on 12 and 13 December 2002.[15]
According to Claire Palley, the revisions to Annan Plan I "were not even-handed".
"... seen overall, the changes to Annan I, made before the Copenhagen summit, began to tilt the balance further than the existing 'compromises' in the 'bridging proposals' even though, for the sake of 'face', some relatively minor changes were made in response to Greek-Cypriot representations."[16]
Intense pressure was exerted on both sides to agree to Annan Plan II before the Copenhagen Summit decision regarding Cyprus' membership application but to no avail.[17] Nevertheless, the summit confirmed that all of Cyprus would become a member on 1 May 2004, but "in the absence of a settlement, the application of the acquis to the northern part of the island shall be suspended".
Cyprus will be admitted as a new Member State to the European Union. Nevertheless, the European Council confirms its strong preference for accession to the European Union by a united Cyprus. In this context it welcomes the commitment of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots to continue to negotiate with the objective of concluding a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem by 28 February 2003 on the basis of the UNSG's proposals. The European Council believes that those proposals offer a unique opportunity to reach a settlement in the coming weeks and urges the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to seize this opportunity....
The European Council has decided that, in the absence of a settlement, the application of the acquis to the northern part of the island shall be suspended, until the Council decides unanimously otherwise, on the basis of a proposal by the Commission. Meanwhile, the Council invites the Commission, in consultation with the government of Cyprus, to consider ways of promoting economic development of the northern part of Cyprus and bringing it closer to the Union.[18]
At the same time Turkey was told that a decision on a start date for accession negotiations would be delayed until after Cyprus had joined.
If the European Council in December 2004, on the basis of a report and a recommendation from the Commission, decides that Turkey fulfils the Copenhagen political criteria, the European Union will open accession negotiations with Turkey without delay.[19]
Annan Plan IIIEditThere now followed a hasty attempt on the part of Alvaro de Soto and his team to come up with a version of the Plan which both sides could accept before 28 February 2003,[20] a deadline which had been set by the EU so that the whole process could be completed before Cyprus's signature of the EU accession treaty, which took place on 16 April 2003.
In his Report of 1 April 2003, Kofi Annan wrote that he believed Annan III, which was submitted to the two sides two days before the deadline, should be the final version of the plan.
During the last week in February, I visited Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, and on 26 February I formally presented a third, and what I believed should be final, version of my plan, entitled Basis for a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem. Prior to my visit my Special Adviser had contributed to writing the important changes I had in mind. This version contained further refinements, particularly addressing the basic requirements of the Turkish side at the same time as meeting a number of Greek Cypriot concerns in order to maintain the overall balance. I also filled in all remaining gaps in the core parts of the plan, particularly those relating to security on which Greece and Turkey had not been able to agree.[21]
According to Claire Palley, the UN team had "again made changes meeting Turkish concerns", and she cites the phrase "particularly addressing the basic requirements of the Turkish side" from the paragraph above as confirmation.[22]
Having presented the "final" version of the Plan, Kofi Annan invited the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders to The Hague on 10 March, where they were to inform him whether they were prepared "to sign a commitment to submit the plan for approval at separate simultaneous referenda on 30 March 2003".[23] In the meantime the Plan had been altered with the addition of extensive "Corrigenda and clarifications", and in this new form was presented to the leaders on 7 March 2003. On the Greek Cypriot side there had been a change of leadership following elections on 16 February in which Tassos Papadopoulos was elected President of the Republic of Cyprus. He received the altered Plan when he was on his way to The Hague to meet the Secretary General.[24]
On 10 March 2003 in The Hague, Netherlands, the UN effort collapsed when Denktaş told the Secretary-General he would not put the Annan Plan to referendum. According to the BBC, "ultimately it was the Turkish Cypriot side which refused to even talk further, and which was blamed for the failure of the peace process." In the same news article Denktaş is quoted as saying: "The plan was unacceptable for us. This was not a plan we would ask our people to vote for."[25]
In his report, Kofi Annan saw this as the end of the road:
On 11 March, at 0530 hours and following negotiations with the two leaders and the guarantor Powers lasting more than 19 hours, I announced that there had been no such agreement, and at that point the process which had begun in December 1999 reached the end of the road. The office in Cyprus of my Special Adviser, which opened in advance of the direct talks, is to close during April.[26]
Annan Plans IV & VEditAs 2003 came to a close and the date for Cyprus's accession to the EU approached, a flurry of diplomatic activity got under way to revive the negotiations. US State Department Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston met with Foreign Minister George Papandreou in Washington on 17 September 2003 and told him the USA wanted "an immediate restart of talks by the two sides on the island".[27]
At the meeting of the European Council in Brussels on 12 December 2003, the Council reiterated its preference "for a reunited Cyprus to join the Union on 1 May 2004" and urged "all parties concerned, and in particular Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership, to strongly support the UN Secretary General's efforts" in an "immediate resumption of the talks on the basis of his proposals".[28]
In December Thomas Weston visited Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey;[29][30] and the US President George Bush wrote to the Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis on 26 December urging him to push for a Cyprus settlement: ''We now have a window of opportunity to reach a settlement so that a united Cyprus joins the European Union. We must not let that window close.''[31]
Simitis responded by praising the Greek Cypriot side and pointing out that "time is running out due to the Turkish side's unwillingness to cooperate".[32]
In the meantime parliamentary elections in Northern Cyprus (14 December 2003) had changed the political landscape. Mehmet Ali Talat leading a coalition of pro-Annan-Plan parties had narrowly defeated the incumbent Prime Minister Derviş Eroğlu. Elections had recently brought about a change of leadership in Turkey too, and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had become prime minister on 14 March 2003.[33] Erdoğan, keen to make progress on the issue of EU membership for Turkey, was "not in favor of following the Cyprus policy that has been followed for the last 30 or 40 years." He criticised Denktaş, saying, "This is not Mr. Denktaş's personal business," and adding that Denktaş "should pay more attention to what Turkish Cypriots think and the growing protest against his rule".[34][35] However analysts have suggested that he and Denktaş were not so far apart in what they wanted from a settlement'--they merely disagreed on tactics, with Erdoğan preferring that: "Neither Turkey nor Turkish Cyprus should give an uncompromising impression. We should not be the side keeping away from the negotiating table."[36]
Following intervention by Erdoğan, the outcome of post-election manoeuvring in Northern Cyprus was that Talat formed a government in alliance with the Democratic Party led by Rauf Denktaş's son Serdar Denktaş. However Rauf Denktaş remained President, since the President is elected at separate elections.
On 4 February 2004, after having discussed matters with President Bush,[37] Kofi Annan sent a letter to both sides in which he invited them to New York on 10 February 2004.[38] In his letter, Annan proposed that talks resume with the aim of finalizing the plan by 31 March, and holding the referendum on 21 April. He also reserved for himself the task of completing the text of the plan if necessary:
''It is clearly desirable that the text should emerge completed from the negotiations... However, should that not happen, I would, by 31 March, make any indispensable suggestions to complete the text. Naturally I would only do this with the greatest of reluctance...''[39]
At New York pressure was exerted on the two sides to grant the Secretary General the powers of an arbitrator or mediator, but the Greek-Cypriot side would not agree. The Security Council had asked the Secretary General to facilitate negotiations within the framework of his "good offices", and any extension to that mandate should have been sought from the Security Council, where, however, any one of its members could have used a veto to deny the request.
After intense negotiations the procedure outlined in Annan's letter was organised into phases. In Phase 1 the Cypriot parties would negotiate "within the framework of my [Annan's] mission of good offices" in Nicosia from 19 February in order to produce a final text by 22 March.[40] Negotiations were to be restricted to matters that fell "within the parameters of the Plan".[41]
In the absence of agreement, Phase 2 would involve the Secretary General convening a meeting of the two sides, "with the participation of Greece and Turkey in order to lend their collaboration, in a concentrated effort to agree on a finalized text by 29 March.''
In Phase 3 the Secretary General would use his "discretion to finalize the text to be submitted to referenda on the basis of my plan".
The procedure enlarged the role foreseen for me, from completing any unfinished parts of the plan (filling in the blanks) to resolving any continuing and persistent deadlocks in the negotiations...[42]
When Phase 1 got under way, the two Cypriot leaders, Rauf Denktaş and Tassos Papadopoulos, met nearly every day for negotiations facilitated by Alvaro de Soto. In addition, numerous technical committees and subcommittees met in parallel to work on the details. In his report the UNSG noted that Phase 1 of the effort ''did not produce significant progress at the political level. However, positive results were achieved at the technical level by experts from the two sides assisted by United Nations experts.''[43]
According to Claire Palley, problems and delays were created in this phase by Denktaş's insistence on "producing proposals well beyond the Plan's parameters". For example, the Turkish side "demanded massive EU derogations", and "insisted on a right for all Turkish settlers to remain".[44] James Ker-Lindsay notes that: ''The situation was also hindered by the bad atmosphere generated by Rauf Denktaş, who appeared determined to scupper the process by holding frequent press conferences at which he revealed as much as he could to the media.''[45]
In addition Denktaş caused a "mini-crisis" (so described in Annan's Report) by declaring that he would not be attending the Phase 2 talks. In fact it was a major crisis. Technically the Phase 2 talks could not take place without the Turkish Cypriot leader there to negotiate with the Greek Cypriot leader, and Tassos Papadopoulos would have been within his rights to refuse to participate in the absence of the leader of the Turkish Cypriots. As it was he merely "stressed the need for a credible interlocutor who would represent the Turkish Cypriot side" and pointed out at the last Phase 1 meeting that no progress had been achieved on substantial issues.[46]
Phase 2 was scheduled to take place in B¼rgenstock on 24 March 2004. After consultation with the Turkish government, Denktaş agreed to confer full negotiating authority on Talat the Prime Minister, and his son Serdar Denktaş, the Foreign Minister. According to Claire Palley, the Greek Cypriot side was pressured by "the UN and various Powers" to treat Talat and Serdar Denktaş as leaders, but in reality Rauf Denktaş remained leader of the Turkish Cypriots "able at any time to withdraw his negotiating authority or to veto decisions."[47]
At B¼rgenstock, the Turkish side wanted quadrilateral meetings (the two Cypriot delegations plus Greece and Turkey), but the Greek Cypriots objected that this had been discussed and rejected at the New York meetings. The role of the Greek and Turkish representatives was not supposed to include participating directly in the negotiations.
The first meeting for negotiations between the Cypriot sides was arranged for 24 March, but it was cancelled by de Soto at the request of Talat, two hours before it was to take place. No further formal meetings were arranged.[citation needed] Instead de Soto tried to get Tassos Papadopoulos to give him a prioritised wish list. The Greek Cypriots feared that if they gave such a list it would be used to justify "trade-offs" and thus allow for drastic changes to the plan in Phase 3 outside of already agreed parameters.
On 25 March de Soto tried to get the Cypriot parties to sign a commitment document, but it was pointed out to him that this was not part of the agreed procedure.
On 26 March Ambassador Uğur Ziyal of Turkey's Foreign Ministry gave a list of "Final Points" to de Soto with the demand that the changes requested therein be made by the UN team. When the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan arrived in B¼rgenstock on 29 March, he was informed by Annan that nine of his eleven "points" had been agreed to by the UN team, and that the other two were virtually met.[48] That this was the case became clear when Annan Plan IV was presented to the two sides on 29 March, and the Turkish side leaked Ziyal's document.[49]
The delegations were asked by Annan to provide him with their comments on Annan IV, which contained "numerous amendments, including changes on core issues and reopening substantial trade-offs, previously agreed" within less than 24 hours so that he could finalise the Plan.[50] The final plan, Annan Plan V, was tabled on 31 March. It met all of Turkey's demands. In presenting it Kofi Annan said:
Let me be clear. The choice is not between this settlement plan and some other magical or mythical solution. In reality, at this stage, the choice is between this settlement and no settlement.... This plan is fair. It is designed to work. And I believe it provides Cypriots with a secure framework for a common future. At the end of the day, of course, it does not matter what I think. It is what the people think that counts. They decide'--and rightly so.[51]
Support for the planEditUnited NationsEdit''The Security Council... respects the outcome of both referenda... shares the Secretary-General's disappointment that efforts since 1999 to reunify the island have not succeeded and regrets that an extraordinary and historic opportunity to resolve the Cyprus issue has been missed. The Security Council reiterates its strong support for an overall political settlement in Cyprus.
Security Council Statement on Cyprus, 30 April 2004.[55]"I remain convinced that the plan I put forward is the only realistic basis for reunifying the island, which I believe is the sincere desire of the majority of Cypriots in both communities. I hope that before too long the Greek Cypriots will have an opportunity to consider the plan more calmly, and to judge it on its true merits."
Kofi Annan, U.N. Secretary General, Press Conference, UN Headquarters, New York, 28 April 2004.[56]"Together with a broad cross-section of the international community, the Secretary-General remains convinced that the settlement plan put to the two sides in today's referenda represents a fair, viable and carefully balanced compromise'--one that conforms with the long-agreed parameters for a solution and with the Security Council's vision for a settlement, and meets the minimum requirements of all concerned."
Statement attributable to the Spokesman of the Secretary-General lvaro de Soto, 24 April 2004.[57]European UnionEditA few days before the referendum, on Wednesday, 21 April 2004 The European Parliament passed a resolution on Cyprus which included the following statements:
The European Parliament
2. Expresses its support, and welcomes the initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General... 3. Acknowledges '' although it would unreservedly welcome a united Cyprus as a member of the European Union '' the right of Cypriots to decide for themselves on the plan in a referendum without pressure from the outside and will respect such a decision, but points out that a broad, fact-based information campaign is still necessary; 4. Considers that this final document constitutes a historic compromise which would end one of the longest-running conflicts in Europe and could serve as a shining example for handling equally difficult international issues;
5. Considers that the final revised plan institutionalises a functional federal system of government which is able to ensure that a reunited Cyprus can speak with one voice and fully play its role in the framework of the European institutions, and calls on all parties to fulfil their obligations with honesty and openness;[58]Following the referendum the European Commission issued the following statement to the press:
The European Commission deeply regrets that the Greek Cypriot community did not approve the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, but it respects the democratic decision of the people. A unique opportunity to bring about a solution to the long-lasting Cyprus issue has been missed. The European Commission would like to warmly congratulate Turkish Cypriots for their "Yes" vote. This signals a clear desire of the community to resolve the island's problem. The Commission is ready to consider ways of further promoting economic development of the northern part of Cyprus...[59]
United KingdomEdit"We must now act to end the isolation of northern Cyprus. That means lifting the sanctions on trade and travel. That means also ensuring that EU funds currently available for dispersal are actually dispersed."
"The UK Government believes steps should be taken as quickly as possible to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots."
"The Turkish Cypriots can reasonably ask that they should not be the victims of this setback; and yet it is they who are left in limbo outside the European Union. But what is now needed, surely, is to remove all discrimination against people who are, after all, citizens of the European Union and to prepare the Turkish Cypriots and their legislation and administrative practices for eventual European membership."
"I believe that it was a great shame that the Greek Cypriots voted no, and that it was a mistake to reject the Annan plan. We strongly believe that the Turkish Cypriots, who voted for a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem, should not be penalised because the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN settlement plans. Turkish Cypriots demonstrated their desire to be in the EU, as part of a united island.... The clear majority vote by the Turkish Cypriot community at the referendum on 24 April to accept the UN Secretary General's plan for a settlement of the Cyprus problem has not gone unnoticed. The Government of UK believes steps should be taken as quickly as possible to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots."
United StatesEdit"We have certainly been looking at steps to ease the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot side. Our ambassador in Cyprus last week announced a step with regard to extending the validity of visas for Turkish Cypriots that makes it easier for them to travel, particularly for the students who might come to the United States. So that's one thing that we've announced already. We'll be looking at other steps that we can take and making those known at the appropriate time."
"We are disappointed that a majority of Greek Cypriots voted against the settlement plan. Failure of the referenda in the Greek Cypriot community is a setback to the hopes of those on the island who voted for the settlement and to the international community."
"We think that a Greek Cypriot vote against the settlement means that a unique and historic opportunity was lost. We believe the settlement was fair. It has been accepted by the Turkish Cypriot side. There will not be a better settlement. There is no other deal. There is no better deal available. And we hope that the Greek Cypriots will come to comprehend this in due time.
We have nothing but praise for the courageous Turkish Cypriots who voted for this settlement.... There's not a new negotiation plan, there's not a renegotiation plan. This is the deal.
We do think that there was a lot of manipulation by the Greek Cypriot leaders in the run-up to the election; that the outcome was regrettable but not surprising, given those actions. I think the Europeans as well have made clear --statements by External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten, European Parliamentary President Pat Cox, Enlargement Commissioner Verheugen'--that they have strong concerns in that regard as well."
OtherEdit"Pretending that a plan better conceived, more functional, or otherwise more favourable to the Greek Cypriot position could be offered any time soon is quite misleading. Protestations to that effect have only the generic purpose of leaving room for hope and goodwill that could come to fruition under favourably evolving circumstances. The future of peaceful accommodation in the region depends on constructive relations between Turkey and the European Union and on continued prudence in the bilateral relations between Greece and Turkey". [61]
Germany "The German Government regrets that a "yes" vote was only achieved in the northern part of the island in today's referenda in Cyprus. It is disappointing that the citizens in the south of the island did not seize the great opportunity for reunification which the Annan Plan offered. Unfortunately, a reunited Cyprus will not now be joining the European Union on 1 May."
France "France hopes that the Commission, in accordance with the conclusions of the Copenhagen European Council of December 2002, proposes that proper measures be taken to promote the economic development of the northern part of the island and bring it closer to the Union."
Bangladesh "Bangladesh expresses its deep disappointment at the rejection of the UN Plan for the reunification of Cyprus, by one community in Cyprus.... Bangladesh believes that those who voted for the UN plan in Cyprus should now be given the opportunity to restore immediately their economic and trade activities internationally without any restriction."
Bangladesh Foreign Ministry's Press Release of 25 April 2004[citation needed]
Czech Republic "On 1st May 2004, Cyprus will become EU member. The Turkish inhabitants of Cyprus have expressed in the referendum their will for the unification of Cyprus. They should not become hostages of the situation they will face after 1st May resulting from the refusal of the Annan plan in the south part of the island. The Czech MFA believes that the EU and the international community will find a way to help the north part of Cyprus to overcome economic and social consequences of the decades of international isolation."
Sweden "We appreciate the initiative of Prime Minister Erdoğan and of the Turkish Government in order to re-unite Cyprus. Now, the EU must evaluate how it can contribute and facilitate the trade in the island and the border crossings between the two parts."
Austria "The Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner expressed her regret at the negative outcome of the referendum on the Greek side of Cyprus.
The fact that the referendum resulted in a positive vote on the Turkish side of Cyprus should be appropriately honored by the international community."
Organisation of the Islamic Conference "It is our duty to put an end to the isolation of Turkish Cypriots."
Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) Mr. Belkeziz 2004.[citation needed]"What happened in Cyprus with the Annan plan in reality has nothing to do with the Turkish Cypriots, but the main issue was Turkey's accession into the European Union and the pseudo-state was used as pawn."
Eser Karakas, Professor at the Bahcesehir University in Turkey, as quoted in Haravgi (Greek Cypriot) newspaper, 27 October 2004[citation needed]"If the Greek-Cypriots say 'no' to the Annan plan, we will take them to a new referendum, until they say yes."
Against the planEdit"I consider the Annan plan to be fundamentally flawed. To put it in common language I consider that plan to be a non-starter. It is so incompatible with international law and international human rights norms that it is nothing less than shocking that the organisation would bend to political pressure and political interest on the part of my country of nationality [the USA] and Great Britain, in order to cater for the interests of a NATO partner.... I think it is not salvageable, quite honestly. I think it cannot be saved, and if it were saved I think it would be a major disservice not only to the Cypriot people but a disservice to international law; because everything that we at the UN have tried to build over 60 years, the norms of international law that have emerged in international treaties, in resolutions of the Security Council, would be weakened if not made ridiculous by an arrangement that essentially ignores them, makes them irrelevant or acts completely against the letter and spirit of those treaties and resolutions." Alfred de Zayas, a leading expert in the field of human rights, as well as a former high-ranking United Nations official.[62]"It appeared that the UN and the EU were bent on legitimising at least some of the consequences of the Turkish invasion of 1974, because the EU wanted to take the Cyprus issue off the table in order to facilitate negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU... Greek Cypriots would not have freedom of movement in their own country. In a way, the Greek Cypriots would have been ghettoised." Shlomo Avineri, Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and former Director-General of Israel's foreign ministry."... had he [Annan] been more closely involved in the details, [he] would not have wished his name to be historically associated with such departures from international law and human rights standards. ...a significant opportunity to reach an agreed settlement was lost as a result of the conduct of the UN Secretariat, advised by the USA and the UK.... The Secretariat sought to mislead the international community through the Secretary-General's Reports and briefings it prepared, so as to pressure a small state effectively to accept the consequences of aggression by a large neighbouring state allied to two permanent members of the Security Council." Claire Palley, Constitutional Law adviser to Cypriot governments since 1980, in 'An International Relations Debacle', 2005"The terms of the Annan Plan would in fact have embedded instability into the heart of a Cyprus settlement and would inevitably have led to increasing friction and destabilisation. This is underlined by the provisions concerning the position of foreign nationals with effective control over key areas of governmental activities in Cyprus. Examples where non-Cypriots would (in the event of disagreement between the equal numbers of Greek and Turkish Cypriots) have effective control appeared to include the Reconciliation Commission; the Supreme Court invested with legislative and executive powers; the Central Bank; the Relocation Board; the Property Court and the organs of the Property Board. Bearing in mind the experience of the period 1960''63, the need for stability in the ordering of governmental activities is critical. Further, the foreign nationals concerned would not be democratically accountable to the people of Cyprus." International Group of Legal Experts (Andreas Auer, Switzerland, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Geneva; Mark Bossuyt, Belgium, Professor of International Law, University of Antwerp; Peter T. Burns, Canada, Former Dean of the UBC Law Faculty, Professor of Law, University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Alfred de Zayas, USA, Geneva School of Diplomacy, Former Secretary, UN Human Rights Committee; Silvio-Marcus Helmons, Belgium, Emeritus Professor of Universit(C) Catholique de Louvain, Public International Law and Human Rights; George Kasimatis, Greece, Emeritus Professor of University of Athens, Constitutional Law, Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law; Dieter Obernd¶rfer, Germany, Professor Emeritus, Political Science, University of Freiburg; Malcolm N. Shaw QC, UK, The Sir Robert Jennings Professor of International Law, University of Leicester.)[63]"With regard to the referendums in Cyprus, Parliament's primary objective should be to apply to itself the principles which it is shouting from the rooftops: observance of human rights and respect for democracy. On the first point, the Annan plan raises fundamental objections. How could the European Parliament endorse a proposed settlement which denies refugees the right to recover the property taken from them, which constitutes a permanent restriction on people's freedom of movement and establishment, which perpetuates the presence of occupying troops and which does not provide any recourse against violations of human rights before the Strasbourg Court? On the second point, Parliament must not go along with the scandalous pressure being piled onto the Greek Cypriots by both the United States and the European Commission '' and in particular by Commissioner Verheugen, one of the keenest advocates of Turkey's accession to the European Union. The rule of democracy means that the decision of the people must be respected, especially if expressed in the most undeniable way in this respect: a referendum.'' Dominique Souchet, Member European Parliament, France.[64]"The parties to the UN negotiations, Greece, Turkey, the (Greek) Cypriot government and the (still internationally unrecognized) Turkish Cypriot administration met in April at B¼rgenstock in Switzerland, having allowed Kofi Annan in advance to make his own arbitration decisions on any unresolved issues when the negotiations ended; in their final stages a last minute tranche of extra demands were made by the Turkish military'--which the Turkish Cypriots had not asked for and did not want. Urged on by the EU and the US, Annan accepted them all'--including the proposal that Turkish troops remain in the island in perpetuity. This concession was calculated to smooth the path of Turkey towards EU membership (the deadline for negotiation on which has been set for the end of 2004) and to demonise the Greek Cypriots as scapegoats if a political solution did not materialise. In the short term this part of the plot has worked. The Turkish Cypriot "yes" and the Greek Cypriot "no" in the subsequent referenda generated carefully choreographed accusations against the Greek Cypriots of "democratic irresponsibility", not wanting the island's reunification and jeopardising Turkey's EU membership." Christopher Price, former Labour politician in the United Kingdom.[65]"The final version of the plan isn't a package on which the parties ever agreed. It is a mass of coercions written by aides to the UN secretary- general saying, 'this meets you halfway' and then communicated to the parties. Secondly, there's no precedent in international law of bringing such a blueprint to a referendum. A referendum should be based on a definite text prepared by an authority, or it should be a text on which the parties are agreed so that the people know that the agreement will be accepted if they vote in its favor. None of these conditions now exists. The UN General Secretariat, whose authority is controversial, exercised its 'goodwill mission' [good offices mission] granted by the Security Council and made the parties accept it through threats and deception. The text is devoid of compromise. Thirdly, setting aside judicial disagreements on various issues, this 'map of zones' is a map being presented to those who'll live there without any discussion." Mumtaz Soysal in "Mistakes and Deception", Cumhuriyet,2 April 2004.[66]
Building Totalitarianism in Europe: Destroy Cyprus, The Last Coup of Victoria Nuland | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 08:29
Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State, did not spend much time and energy with Christmas and New Year celebrations this year. She has another very urgent and pressing problem to solve, before leaving the State Department, and this is the ''Cyprus conflict''. The way she wants to solve this conflict is by transforming a second member of the EU, after Greece, into a protectorate. As the proposed solution for Cyprus is higlhy unstable, powers outside the EU will be provided also with a bomb inside it, that is with the possibillity of provoking a Bosnian-type conflict inside, not outside EU borders.
In the same time she wants also to get Turkey admitted immediately to the EU, by the window of the ''Cypriot settlement''. By virtue of the provisions of the ''Cyprus settlement'' under consideration now, Turkey is invested after January 12 with many of the rights and powers (and none of the obligations) of the member-states. It will also legalize in Geneva, its military presence and its right to intervene militarily inside the European Union.
Such an outcome of the Geneva conference will have enormous strategic consequences for Europe and for the Middle East, transforming the whole ''Eastern Meditarranean'', a sea lane of vital importance, into a kind of ''Mare Nostrum'' of the ''Naval Forces'', excluding from there any ''foreign'' strategic influence (German, Russian or Chinese) and laying one more foundation for encircling Russia from the South with a kind of ''security belt'' and trying to hinder its access to the ''warm seas'', a centuries long dream of British imperial planners. It will constitute the deeper change of the Mediterranean strategic landscape, since the eruption of the so-called Eastern Question or, at least, since the Greek national revolution, two centuries ago.
Annan Plan '' Creating a Frankestein ''state'' in CyprusThe type of settlement Mrs. Nuland wants to impose on Cyprus is a new version of the Annan Plan, rejected by the overwhelming majority of Cypriots during the 2004 referendum, in spite of enormous pressure they had suffered and a real terror campaign against them, warning the day of Doom would come on the aftermath of a No vote. The Annan Plan is violating all essential provisions of European, International and Constitutional Law, including the UN Charter. In the light of its provisions, it represents the most comprehensive effort undertaken, since the defeat of Nazism, in 1945, to impose a totalitarian system in any western country.
The Annan plan is instituting a kind of Frankestein state in Cyprus, where, among other things, the rule of majority (democracy) will be formally abolished, where there will be permanent vetos of the two Cypriot communities in every level of decision making and in all branches of power (executive, legislative, judicial), and, in the very probable case that system would be brought to an impasse, foreign judges will decide everything. In reality, the new ''state'' will be governed by foreign judges, concentrating upon themselves, three centuries after Montesqieu, all powers.
The solution provides for imposing to the new ''state'' a complete disarmament status, that is forbid it from the right of self-defense and the means to exercise it (an army). And do it in a permanent terms, not as a temporary measure, as it happened with Germany and Japan after the 2kd World War. In Orwellian terms, this is called ''Cyprus demilitarized''. In reality there will be many traffic problems there provoked, because of the military vehicles of Britain, Turkey, other NATO countries and Police cars from various ''Christian and Muslim countries'' which will be present there. Britain and Turkey will have the legal right to intervene militarily inside a territory of the European Union.
''F**k'' ReferendumsMrs. Nuland does not want to wait for any referendum. She knows that she can hardly win a second referendum in Cyprus (or in any other European country these times) on such terms. She has no time, she leaves the State Department on the 20th of January and she wants to end her career with a triumph, that is succeeding where MacMillan, Johnson, Kissinger, Bush, Annan, before her, failed miserably. There are also more essential reasons she wants to solve (or to create?) now this problem. Both the Greek and the European crises may enter a new and more dramatic phase next year. As for the Middle East, adjacent to Cyprus, it is waiting now for a Big Deal or a Big War.
The only way to do what she wants, in order to circumvent the provision for a referendum, is to have the President of Cyprus Mr. Anastasiades and the leader of Turkish Cypriots Mr. Akinci sign all that, or as much as they can of that. Then, Mr. Tsipras, Mr. Erdogan and Mrs May will endorse them and they will do something else also, legalize the Turkish military presence inside the European Union for some indefinite, as we write period. Mr. Yuncker plans also to be there to applaud all that in the name of the European Union. The State Department has already warned the US Congress to be ready to adopt bills on Cyprus and the Commission altered all its programs for January 12. That day, CNN will announce to all the world that the Cyprus conflict has already been solved. When people will realize what happened, and they will begin to tear their hairs, there will be no Obama or Nuland to answer any questions. (And maybe that arranges many more people than one can figure out)
Mr. Anastasiades has already agreed to all that, Mr. Tsipras is under pressure also to agree. Mr. Yuncker, Mrs. May and Mr. Erdogan already agreed. There remain some serious differences still on the composition of the Conference which remain to be settled as we write this article.
And the referendum? you will probably ask. Ok, they will promiss to make two referendums, one for the Greeks and one for the Turkish Cypriots. Maybe they will do them, but only if they are sure of the result. Anyway, even if those referendums take place, they will not have much sense, as it will be impossible for the inhabitants to return to the status quo ante. The Republic of Cyprus as we know it will be dead and the Turkish military presence on the island legal. As for the voters they will be in front of the choice to accept after all what is too late to change or risk a chaotic situation, if they refuse it post factum.
Is anything of all that legal?Is all that legal? No, nothing here is legal. (Look to the appendix 1, for the opinion of the Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law, Professor Kasimatis). On the contrary they represent a coup d' etat stricto sensu and in two ways. They constitute the most serious possible breach of the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus and of the Treaties of the European Union, as Cyprus is a member of this Union.
No international conference and not even the President of Cyprus himself (or, for that matter, the Greek PM) has any right to sign agreements that infringe on the sovereignty of the Cypriot state (like for instance legalizing the Turkish military presence on the island, when numerous UN resolutions ask for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish forces, which invaded the island in 1974). Even more, nobody, including the President of Cyprus, has the right to change the constitutional structure of his state, much more, abolish it altogether! If they do it, it would be a coup d' etat, in the strict legal sense of the word, that is a serious breach of the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus and, as this Republic is also a full member of the European Union, of the Treaties of the EU. Such things would be probably legal, only if we were living still under a medieval regime of absolute monarchies, not in Europe in 2016.
The whole Geneva conference reminds us very much of what happened in Vichy, France, on the 10th of July 1940, when the French National Assembly invested, with an overwhelming majority, Marshal Petain with constituent powers. In spite of the fact that even it was the National Assembly itself which took this decision, everything Petain did was considered a coup d' etat and, inspite of being a hero of the First World War, he was condemned to death after the liberation of France. Charles De Gaulle has become what he became, in the history of France and of the world, because he refused to recognize this, supposedly legal coup, by the French deputies and Petain and fought against it.
In Cyprus, unlike Petain, Mr. Anastasiades not only did not get an authorization of his parliament for what he is doing, he even refused a demand of the opposition for an urgent debate.
The purpose of Geneva: Destroy Cyprus as a sovereign, democratic and independent stateBy the way and until some weeks ago, all Cypriot and Greek governments since 1974 refused the Turkish proposal to convene such a conference, claiming that the only thing they could discuss about Cyprus with Turkey, was the withdrawal of the Turkish troops which invaded the island and remained there in spite of UN resolutions calling for their immediate withdrawal.
But this was until December 1st. That day, Mr. Anastasiades has announced to his citizens that he is accepting the proposal without explaining much why he is doing it, what will be the purpose and the agenda of this strange conference. He did not consult with political parties in the island or the Greek government before announcing his decision. The most absolute confusion was reigning in the island, until December 27, when the leader of the Turkish Cypriots Mr. Akinci, speaking to the Turkish Cypriot media, probably to warn Anastasiades not to deviate from what they had already agreed in secret, explained a little bit what will happen in Geneva.
According to what he said the Republic of Cyprus will not be present in the Geneva conference. All documents there will be signed by the ''new Cyprus federation to be constituted''. In that way he revealed the real purpose of the operation, which is no other than to abolish the existing state in Cyprus (we repeat, a member of UN and the EU) and to create a new one, without asking the opinion of the citizens, without electing a Constitutional Assembly and without any authorization from anybody to do that. In that case, we don't speak even about an operation of regime change. We have to speak about ''country change''.
A Greek Cypriot politician who is friend of Mr. Akinci answered to him explaining that he better avoid much public talk.
The citizens of the Republic themselves are now in a state of complete shock, as they cannot believe that they will live in another state by January 12, they know nothing about it! Cyprus has a tradition of invasions and coups, but it is difficult still for the citizens to grasp the new and unbelievable reality that their own President is planning to sign the death of his own state! It is very difficult, psychologically and intellectually, to stop believing that Mr. Anastasiades is not their leader (even if some they may consider his as bad, wrong, corrupted or incompetent), but he is their killer!
If the Cyprus thing succeeds it will in itself represent a colossal advancement of new political technologies. The trick is simple and genious. For a rape to be recognized as a rape, the victim has to resist and denounce the rapist. But here the rapist and the person charged with denouncing the rape is the same, the President of the Republic.
The Greek factorAnastasiades himself is the most powerful weapon US ever had in Cyprus. But Mrs Nuland has also another very powerful weapon and this is the situation in Greece, the confusion and the dependence of Greek political forces. The cooperation of Greece to this operation is deemed absolutely necessary for political reasons.
Mr. Tsipras in Athens, is now under enormous US pressure to give his consent and in a very difficult condition otherwise. SYRIZA is characterized also by a huge confusion regarding the Cyprus conflict. The Greek economy and society are very much into a death spiral, and the PM seems to be to the absolute mercy of Creditors, including the IMF. The German government nearly declared war against Greece, when his government decided, on the eve of Christmas, to give some financial peanuts to very poor Greek pensioners in a very real danger for their life and respecting the discipline of the program imposed to Greece (against the will of its people). The Finance Minister had to send a humiliating letter, promising more pension cuts in the next year, in order to get an armistice from Scheuble. If all that was not enough, Mr. Erdogan is threatening to fluid Greece with new waves of refugees.
From Petain to Yeltsin '' what is a coup d' etatLet us come back at this point to the term coup d' etat we used. Maybe the readers are associating this with tanks and machine guns. Concerning the use of weapons they have to be a little patient. They will hear most probably their noise (as they heard it from Kiev), but they have first to wait until the Geneva operation succeeds and if it succeeds. But a coup d' etat has nothing to do with the means used. It has to do with the breach of the constitutional (and European in our case) order of a given state.
Maybe the readers will also question if a head of a given state can make himself or participate in a coup d' etat against his own state. Not only he can, he is a thousand times more effective if he chooses to do it, as the only thing he has to do is use and abuse the powers he already legally possesses and can use. For example, the legal head of the Greek state, King Constantin, has participated in a US-backed coup d' etat against the constitutional order of his own state in 1967, by legalizing the government of the Colonels.
The same thing was done by the head of the Russian state Boris Yeltsin in 1991, when he dissolved the USSR and in October 1993, when he bombed his own Parliament, if we examine those events from the point of view of soviet and Russian constitutional order. But nobody in the West has noticed of course this legal aspect of things, as westerners liked very much what Yeltsin did. We refer to this example, because it bears great analogies to what they are trying to do now in Cyprus.
Appendix '' Professor Kasimatis on the legal aspect of the Geneva ConferenceWe asked the top Greek specialist on Constitutional Law and Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law, Professor Yiorgos Kasimatis, about what and what is not legal for this Geneva conference to do. This is his opinion:
''The Republic of Cyprus is internationally recognized as a full sovereignty state, by its admission to the United Nations and to the European Union. Nobody, including the President of Cyprus, the Greek PM or any international conference are entitled to take any decisions infringing, directly or indirectly, upon the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus or alter its constitutional structure. If they do it, it will be a very serious violation of both the Cyprus constitution and of the Treaties of the European Union. Only a constitutional assembly or the citizens themselves via a referendum, are entitled to adopt such measures. The only subject an international conference could discuss is how to apply the UN resolutions asking for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish occupation forces and the full restoration of the sovereignty of the Republic. It is not legal to connect or depend those international obligations, directly or indirectly, on any constitutional changes in the country. On the contrary, all third parties have the obligation to abstain from any actions or declarations, much more from signing any documents, which constitute a direct or indirect infringement upon the right of Cypriot citizens to decide by their own free will on the fundamentals of their state structure and on the international status of the Republic. All parties should do everything in their power to assure to the Cypriots the conditions for the free expression of their will, without any threats, blackmails, pressures, faits accmplis etc.''
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos is a journalist and writer. He worked as an advisor on East-West Relations and Arms Control in the office of Greek PM Andreas Papapndreou (1985-88) and he was the chief correspondent of the Greek news agency ANA in Moscow (1989-99). He collaborated with Michel Pablo in launching the international review for self-management Utopie Critique. He has been a member of the Central Committee and the Secretariat and of the Committee on Foreign Policy of SYRIZA. He stopped having any relations with SYRIZA in July 2015.
De laatste coup van Victoria Nuland '' Cyprus - Blog op DeWereldMorgen.be
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 08:26
Victoria Nuland, Maidan - Oekra¯ne - Kiev
Sinds april 2016 hebben de Amerikaanse neoconservatieven geprobeerd om de status van Cyprus te veranderen.
1. Het eiland te herenigen en zijn soevereiniteit te ontmantelen.
2. Het ontnemen van zijn leger.
Victoria Nuland, zij zou minister van Buitenlandse Zaken (BZ) geworden zijn onder Hillary Clinton, is in haar laatste dagen aan het manoeuvreren. Haar plan is om Turkije vast te koppelen aan de NAVO om zo Turkije haar toenadering tot Rusland te voorkomen.
Victoria Nuland heeft haast '' veel haast:
Victoria Nuland, de Amerikaanse onderminister van Buitenlandse Zaken, kon niet veel tijd en energie besteden aan Kerstmis en Nieuwjaar afgelopen december. Ze heeft nog een zeer urgent en dringend probleem op te lossen, voor zij het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken verlaat, het ''Cyprus conflict''. De manier waarop zij dit conflict wil oplossen is het eiland te transformeren in een zogenaamd tweede lid van de EU, na Griekenland, in een protectoraat. Aangezien de voorgestelde oplossing voor Cyprus een instabiele oplossing zal zijn, gezien het conflict, is er de mogelijkheid van het uitlokken van een Bosnisch-type conflict binnen, grenzen van de EU.
Tegelijkertijd wil ze ook van Turkije een totale overeenkomst met de EU en NAVO. Op grond van diverse bepalingen, de overeenkomst is momenteel in behandeling via een (spoed) conferentie in Gen¨ve en wordt aldaar besproken en misschien wel goedgekeurd. Het zal na akkoord gelegaliseerd worden in Gen¨ve, Turkije heeft dan het recht op militaire aanwezigheid en het recht om militair in te grijpen in de Europese Unie.
Een positieve uitkomst van de conferentie in Gen¨ve zal enorme strategische gevolgen hebben voor Europa en het Midden-Oosten, het zal de hele ''Oostelijke Mediterraanse regio'', transformeren in een soort van ''Mare Nostrum'' van de ''Naval Forces marine strijdkrachten'', een bezetting, van de totale Middelandse zee en een nieuw wapen tegen de geo-politieke invloed van Rusland en China, een eeuwenoude lange droom van het Britse imperiale rijk. Het zal een grote verandering van het Middellandse strategische landschap vormen. Het laatste bolwerk wat ''beschermd''moet worden door de EU/NAVO en VS.
Mevrouw Nuland wil op Cyprus een nieuwe versie van het Annan-plan (Kofi Annan VN, de zacht overkomende man van de VN) , destijds verworpen door de overgrote meerderheid van de Cyprioten tijdens het referendum 2004. Ondanks de enorme druk die ze (Cyprioten) hadden vanuit de EU en de VN werd er een ware terreurcampagne tegen hen gevoerd, waarschuwingen over wat hen wel niet te wachten stond als ze nee zouden stemmen.
Het Annan-plan schendt alle essentile onderdelen van het Europees, internationaal en constitutioneel recht, met inbegrip van het VN-Handvest. In het licht van de bepalingen ervan en het vertegenwoordigt de meest uitgebreide inspanning om een JA te krijgen, die ooit ondernomen is. Om zo de nederlaag van het nazisme, in 1945, namelijk een totalitair systeem in elk westers land op te leggen nu (gedeeltelijk) voorbij was.
Het idee achter plan:
De oplossing voorziet in het opleggen van een nieuwe ''staat'' een volledige status van ontwapening voor Cyprus, een permanente maatregel, net zoals dat gebeurde met Duitsland en Japan na de 2e Wereldoorlog. In Orwelliaanse termen heet dit ''Cyprus gedemilitariseerd''. In werkelijkheid zullen er veel problemen uitgelokt worden, als gevolg van de militaire bewapening van Groot-Brittanni, Turkije en andere NAVO-landen vol met ''oorlogstuig uit diverse landen'' die er aanwezig zullen zijn op Cyprus. Groot-Brittanni en Turkije zullen het het wettelijke recht hebben om militair in te grijpen, omdat het dan grondgebied is van de Europese Unie. Kortom een nieuwe bezetting zal plaatsvinden, onder het mom van veiligheid.
Zo zijn oost-Europese landen ook bezet geraakt, alles onder het mom van veiligheid in hun zelf gecreerde vijand die nu Rusland heet en binnenkort zal China ook onderdeel van het vijandsbeeld (zuid-Chinese zee conflict) worden. De bevolking in diverse delen van (oost) Europa worden overgoten met ''Color Revoluties'', evenzo de Cyprioten. Mits Trump zijn buitenlandbeleid zal wijzigen. De toekomst zal het uitwijzen en laten we hopen dat ''Frau'' Nuland geen tijd meer overheeft voor haar ''snode''plannen met Cyprus. Vandaag zal het in het nieuws zijn! Ik vrees dat dit plan goedgekeurd zal worden. Sultan Erdogan waait met alle winden mee!
Bron: http://freesuriyah.eu/?p=241
F-Russia
IPC declines Russia naming Paralympians mentioned in McLaren report
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 06:10
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Sochi's Paralympic Villages are now ready to welcome the athletes and members of national delegations. Source: RIA Novosti
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) declined the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) naming the country's athletes, who have been mentioned in the infamous McLaren report, a statement from the RPC press service said on Jan. 12.
According to the statement, the RPC earlier asked the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to provide the names of the Russian Paralympians mentioned in the report of the agency's Independent Commission in regard to doping abuse allegations.
IPC Executive Director Xavier Gonzalez, however, said in response to the Russian inquiry that the global organization believed it was unfeasible at the moment to make public the names of the Russian Paralympians at the issue.
On Aug. 7, the IPC decided to bar the whole Russian Paralympic team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The ruling came on the heels of a report delivered in July by the WADA Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren.
The McLaren-led commission claimed in particular that a total of 35 doping samples were concealed by Russian Paralympic sports between 2012 and 2015.
Besides collectively punishing the Russian national team by banning it from the Rio Games, the IPC also decided to suspend the RPC's membership.
The IPC later put forward a list of criteria needed for Russia to implement in order to regain its membership in the global organization and set up a special Taskforce group to monitor the implementation of the requirements in question.
According to the Part Two of the McLaren report, delivered in London on Dec. 9, Russia's six winners of 21 Paralympic medals were found to have had their urine samples tampered with at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics. However, no names were provided.
Source: TASS
Kremlin sees deployment of U.S. armor in Poland as threat
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 06:25
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The deployment of U.S. tanks and other armed vehicles in Poland is seen Russia as a threat, Source: Reuters
The deployment of U.S. tanks and other armed vehicles in Poland is seen Russia as a threat, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
"Any country can regard a buildup of foreign military presence near its borders negatively and it will do so. This is precisely the way we see it," he said. "We interpret this as a threat to us and as actions that endanger our interests and our security."
Peskov pointed out that "a third country is building up its military presence near our borders in Europe."
"That country is not even a European one," he said, adding that the size of the military contingent did not matter.
"Be it one thousand or ten thousand, it's all the same. That's a buildup of the military presence and I have nothing to add," he said.
Source: TASS
Read more: U.S. tanks on their way to Europe to counter Russian 'threat'
Syria blames Israel, threatens 'repercussions' over airbase strike
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 08:20
A general view shows flames and smoke at the Mezzeh military airport on the southwestern outskirts of the capital Damascus following an explosion early on January 13, 2017. (AFP)
By Times of Israel staff
A strike on an airbase near Damascus blamed on Israel killed high-ranking Syrian officials, activists there said Friday, according to a Saudi report.
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Activists quoted by the al-Arabiya news outlet said several high-ranking officials in the regime of Syrian president Bashar Assad were killed in the bombing on the military airport to the southwest of Damascus.
There was no confirmation of the reports.
The Syrian state-run Sana news agency blamed the explosions that rocked the airport early Friday morning on Israeli missiles, and reported a fire, but no injuries.
''At 3:00 a.m., the Israeli enemy fired several surface-to-surface missiles from inside occupied territory,'' the state news agency SANA said, citing a military source. It claimed the missiles had been fired from near the Sea of Galilee
The regime source also threatened ''repercussions'' against Israel over the ''flagrant'' strikes.
Several local media outlets reported ambulances were dispatched to the scene.
The Lebanese al-Meyadeen news outlet reported that the strike targeted a weapons depot at the strategic base, wounding four soldiers.
Mazzeh is located near Assad's presidential palace and has been used by troops and elite forces to shell rebel-held areas during the country's civil war.
The report of Israeli military action was the first in over a month. The last incident also involved an attack on the Mazzeh airbase. In early December Syrian state media reported that the IDF fired missiles from within ''occupied'' territory at an important Syrian regime airbase outside Damascus.
The IDF, which doesn't comment on foreign reports of military operations, refused to confirm the reports.
Videos posted online purporting to show Friday's attack showed several massive fires, with sirens wailing in the background.
Officials in Jerusalem have said they take action to stop the transfer of advanced weapons to terror groups; over a dozen strikes inside Syria have been attributed to Israel.
Judah Ari Gross and AFP contributed to this report.
___http://www.timesofisrael.com/syria-strike-blamed-on-israel-said-to-kill-regime-officials/
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Words Matter
Trump Transition
Trevor on the Meryl Streep setup
Hi Adam,
Quick observation on the Streep/Golden Globes anti Trump speech.
This is portrayed as an impassioned and emotional speech given by Streep in an attempt to form the publics' perceptions/opinions on the subject of a Trump presidency.
It is delivered as being ad hoc and unrehearsed.... But
In reality we can see that during the live production the camera cuts very subliminally to the faces of each actor mentioned by Streep, one by one. It is so well done that in is almost imperceptible to anyone lacking insight to production ( the public). But then at around 1min 20secs. the camera is already showing the face of Ruth Nega before Streep mentions her by name.... The confusion comes because of the absence of Nathalie Portman in the audience in relation to the list that Streep recites.
This is an obvious proof that the whole scene was scripted and produced rather than being the unrehearsed thoughts of Streep.
I realise this is a visual and hard to translate to the show but thought it worth sharing. Link below; approx 5 mins relevant parts in first 2 mins.
https://youtu.be/EV8tsnRFUZw
Great shows as always, am trying to keep up but farming is a damn hard profession...
Best regards Trevor.
Logan Act - Wikipedia
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 07:24
The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799 (1799-01-30)) is a United States federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments having a dispute with the U.S. It was intended to prevent the undermining of the government's position.[2] The Act was passed following George Logan's unauthorized negotiations with France in 1798, and was signed into law by President John Adams on January 30, 1799. The Act was last amended in 1994, and violation of the Logan Act is a felony.
To date, only one person has ever been indicted for violating the act's provisions.[2] However, no person has ever been prosecuted for alleged violations of the act.[2]
Contents
In 1798, amid tensions between the U.S. and France, President Adams sent three envoys to France to negotiate. Negotiations were unsuccessful. Dr. George Logan of Pennsylvania, a state legislator and pacifist, in 1798 engaged in semi-negotiations with France as a private citizen during the Quasi-War.[2][3]
Kevin Kearney, writing in the Emory Law Journal, described Dr. Logan's activities in France:
Upon his arrival in Paris, he met with various French officials, including Talleyrand. During these meetings, he identified himself as a private citizen, discussed matters of general interest to the French, and told his audience that anti-French sentiment was prevalent in the United States. Logan's conversation with Merlin de Douai, who occupied the highest political office in the French republic, was typical. Logan stated that he did not intend to explain the American government's position, nor to criticize that of France. Instead, he suggested ways in which France could improve relations with the United States, to the benefit of both countries. He also told Merlin that pro-British propagandists in the United States were portraying the French as corrupt and anxious for war, and were stating that any friend of French principles necessarily was an enemy of the United States. Within days of Logan's last meeting, the French took steps to relieve the tensions between the two nations; they lifted the trade embargo then in place, and released American seamen held captive in French jails. Even so, it seems that Logan's actions were not the primary cause of the Directory's actions; instead, Logan had merely provided convenient timing for the implementation of a decision that had already been made.[4]
Despite the apparent success of Logan's mission, his activities aroused the opposition of the Federalist Party in Congress, who were resentful of the praise showered on Logan by oppositional Democratic-Republican newspapers. Secretary of StateTimothy Pickering, also of Pennsylvania, responded by suggesting that Congress "act to curb the temerity and impudence of individuals affecting to interfere in public affairs between France and the United States." The result was that Rep. Roger Griswold introduced the Logan Act.[5] It was pushed through by the Federalist majority in Congress by votes of 58''36 in the House, and 18''2 in the Senate.[4]
Subsequently, Logan himself was appointed and then elected as a Democratic-Republican to the United States Senate from Pennsylvania, and served from July 13, 1801, to March 3, 1807. He was unsuccessful in getting the Logan Act repealed. Despite the Logan Act, he went to England in 1810 on a private diplomatic mission as an emissary of peace in the period before the outbreak of the War of 1812, but was not successful.
§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.1 Stat. 613, January 30, 1799, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953 (2004).
Constitutional authority for foreign relationsEditArticle II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution includes the 'Treaty Clause,' which empowers the President of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements, which must be confirmed by the Senate, between the United States and other countries, which become treaties between the United States and other countries after the advice and consent of a supermajority of the United States Senate.
[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur...
In United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., 299 U.S. 304 (1936), Justice Sutherland, writing for the Court, observed,
"[T]he President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation. He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude; and Congress itself is powerless to invade it. As Marshall said in his great argument of March 7, 1800, in the House of Representatives, 'The President is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign nations.'
Accusations of violationsEditIn general, the Act is intended to prohibit unauthorized American citizens from interfering in disputes or controversies between the United States and foreign governments. Although attempts have been made to repeal the Act, it remains law and at least a potential sanction to be used against anyone who without authority interferes in the foreign relations of the United States.
Washington has threatened to use the Act to stop Americans from negotiating with foreign governments. For example, in February 1941 Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles told the press that former President Herbert Hoover might be a target for prosecution because of his negotiations with European nations over sending food relief.[6]
The only actual indictment under the Logan Act was one that occurred in 1803 when a grand jury indicted Francis Flournoy, a Kentucky farmer, who had written an article in the Frankfort Guardian of Freedom under the pen name of "A Western American." In the article, Flournoy advocated a separate nation in the western part of the United States that would ally with France. The United States Attorney for Kentucky, an Adams appointee and brother-in-law of Chief Justice John Marshall, went no further than procuring the indictment of Flournoy, and there was no further prosecution of the Kentucky farmer. The purchase of the Louisiana Territory later that year appeared to cause the separatism issue to become moot, and the case was abandoned.[2][7]
During the 1968 presidential election, Nixon supporter Anna Chennault told the South Vietnamese government that Nixon would give them a better deal if they waited.[8][9]
In 1975, Senators John Sparkman and George McGovern were accused of violating the Logan Act when they traveled to Cuba and met with officials there. In considering that case, the U.S. Department of State concluded:
The clear intent of this provision [Logan Act] is to prohibit unauthorized persons from intervening in disputes between the United States and foreign governments. Nothing in section 953 [Logan Act], however, would appear to restrict members of the Congress from engaging in discussions with foreign officials in pursuance of their legislative duties under the Constitution. In the case of Senators McGovern and Sparkman the executive branch, although it did not in any way encourage the Senators to go to Cuba, was fully informed of the nature and purpose of their visit, and had validated their passports for travel to that country.
Senator McGovern's report of his discussions with Cuban officials states: "I made it clear that I had no authority to negotiate on behalf of the United States'--that I had come to listen and learn..." (Cuban Realities: May 1975, 94th Cong., 1st Sess., August 1975). Senator Sparkman's contacts with Cuban officials were conducted on a similar basis. The specific issues raised by the Senators (e.g., the Southern Airways case; Luis Tiant's desire to have his parents visit the United States) would, in any event, appear to fall within the second paragraph of Section 953.
Accordingly, the Department does not consider the activities of Senators Sparkman and McGovern to be inconsistent with the stipulations of Section 953.[10]
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan stated that the activities of the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who had traveled to Cuba and Nicaragua that year and had returned with several Cuban political prisoners seeking asylum in the United States, may have violated the Logan Act, but Jackson was never indicted.[2]
In 1987 and 1988, President Reagan was furious at what he felt to be House Speaker Jim Wright's "intrusion" into the negotiations between Nicaragua's Sandinista government and the Contras for a cease-fire in the long civil war. The National Security Council considered using the Logan Act to muzzle Wright, but nothing ever came of it.
In June 2007, Representative Steve King introduced legislation that would prohibit then-Speaker of the HouseNancy Pelosi from drawing on federal funds to travel to foreign states which the U.S. deemed to sponsor terrorism. King claimed that Pelosi's dialogue with the Syrian government violated the Logan Act.[11] The amendment was not adopted.
In March 2015, 47 Republican senators released an open letter to the Iranian government regarding President Barack Obama's attempts to broker a nuclear arms agreement between Iran and six major powers (P5+1).[12][13] The letter warns Iran of the limitations of President Obama's term in office and constitutional powers and notes that anything done without the advice and consent of the Senate could be undone by the next President. This prompted some commentators to suggest that the letter may have violated the Logan Act.[9][14][15][16] A petition on the White House's We The People website requesting that the Obama administration prosecute the 47 senators under the Logan Act accumulated signatures from over 320,200 people.[3]
In July 2016, U.S. Secretary of AgricultureTom Vilsack accused Donald Trump of encouraging the Russian government to hack the email of Hillary Clinton, Trump's opponent in the 2016 Presidential Election. Several other Democratic Senators claimed Trump's comments appeared to violate the Logan Act.[17][18][19]Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School, also commented on the incident saying, "Trump's "jokes" inviting an adversary to wage cyberwar against the U.S. appear to violate the Logan Act and might even constitute treason."[20]
There has been little judicial discussion of the constitutionality of the Logan Act. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Waldron v. British Petroleum Co., 231 F. Supp. 72 (S.D.N.Y. 1964), mentioned in passing that the Act was likely unconstitutional due to the vagueness of the terms "defeat" and "measures," but did not rule on the question.[2]
In 2006, the U.S. House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct warned departing members of the terms of the Act in an official Memorandum. The Committee commented in the Memorandum that the Act, "...has never been the basis of a prosecution, and this Committee has publicly questioned its constitutionality... Members should be aware, however, that the law remains on the books."[21]
The chair of the House Judiciary Committee in the 109th Congress, F. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, proposed a comprehensive revision and modernization of the federal criminal code in 2006. The bill, H.R. 6253, was not enacted into law. The Logan Act was significantly revamped in the proposed legislation to prohibit only knowingly false statements made under oath. The section revising the Logan Act was proposed to read as follows:
Sec. 923. False statements influencing foreign government '-- Whoever, in relation to any dispute or controversy between a foreign government and the United States, knowingly makes any untrue statement, either orally or in writing, under oath before any person authorized and empowered to administer oaths, which the affiant has knowledge or reason to believe will, or may be used to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government, or of any officer or agent of any foreign government, to the injury of the United States, or with a view or intent to influence any measure of or action by the United States or any department or agency thereof, to the injury of the United States, shall be imprisoned not more than ten years.[22]
^History of laws prohibiting correspondence with a foreign government and acceptance of a commission : Memorandum on the history and scope of the laws prohibiting correspondence with a foreign government and acceptance of a commission to serve a foreign state in war, being sections five and nine of the federal penal code. Charles Warren. Government Printing Office, 1917.]^ abcdefgMichael V. Seitzinger (February 1, 2006). "Conducting Foreign Relations Without Authority: The Logan Act"(PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 2007-04-09. ^ ab"Why The GOP Iran Letter Is Spurring Debate Over An 18th Century Law". NPR.org. March 11, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2015. ^ abKearney, Kevin M. (1987). "Private Citizens in Foreign Affairs: A Constitutional Analysis". Emory Law Journal. 36. (winter). ^Jacobs, Ben. "Were 47 Republican senators who wrote to Iran guilty of a crime? Erm, maybe ...". The Guardian. The Guardian. ^George H. Nash, ed. Freedom Betrayed (2011) p xlix^Logan Act^Robert Dallek (2007), Kissinger and Nixon: Partners in Power, HarperCollins, pp. 74''75. In 1997, Chennault said that "I was constantly in touch with Nixon and [John] Mitchell."^ abWaldman, Paul (March 9, 2015). "Republicans are beginning to act as though Barack Obama isn't even the president". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 10, 2015. ^DIGEST OF UNITED STATES PRACTICE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW 1975, p. 750^Kucinich, Jackie (2007-06-21). "House Republican wants to restrict Pelosi's travel". The Hill. ^http://go.bloomberg.com/assets/content/uploads/sites/2/150309-Cotton-Open-Letter-to-Iranian-Leaders.pdf[full citation needed]^Baker, Peter (March 9, 2015). "G.O.P. Senators' Letter to Iran About Nuclear Deal Angers White House". The New York Times. Retrieved March 10, 2015. ^Benen, Steve (March 9, 2015), Playing with fire: Senate GOP tries to sabotage nuclear talks, MSNBC, retrieved March 10, 2015 ^Shepherd, Ken (March 9, 2015). "Hardball's Chris Matthews Suggests GOP Senators May Have Committed 'Sedition' Over Iran Letter". Newsbusters. Retrieved March 10, 2015. ^Luciano, Michael (March 9, 2015). "47 Republicans May Have Just Broken the Law By Writing An Outrageous Letter To Iran". The Daily Banter. Retrieved March 10, 2015. ^O'Brien, Cortney. "Dem Senator Suggests Trump Violated Federal Law With Russian Remarks". Townhall. ^"Reid Says Trump Should Get Fake Intel Briefings". Roll Call. Retrieved 28 July 2016. ^"Trump's Russia comments could be a felony, Vilsack charges". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 28 July 2016. ^"Former Obama mentor: Trump's Russian hack 'jokes' could 'constitute treason'". Retrieved 2016-07-29. ^"Memorandum for all Members and Officers". United States House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. September 29, 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-04-02. Retrieved 2007-04-09. ^"H.R.6253". Library of Congress.
Assange Agrees to Extradition if US Releases Chelsea Manning
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 08:22
Manning is currently serving a 35-year sentence in solitary confinement for handing over 700,000 sensitive documents from the U.S. State Department.
WkiLeaks founder Julian Assange will agree to be extradited to the United States if President Barack Obama grants clemency to the former U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, jailed for leaking documents, the organization said on Thursday.
RELATED: Chelsea Manning on 'Short List' for Obama Commutation
''If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ (US Department of Justice) case,'' WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter.
Assange has been living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.
The Australian former computer hacker said he fears Stockholm will in turn extradite him to the U.S., where he angered Washington over WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of U.S. military and diplomatic documents leaked by former US soldier Manning.
Manning is currently serving a 35-year sentence in solitary confinement for handing over the 700,000 sensitive documents from the U.S. State Department.
Supporters of the transgender soldier are putting their hopes in a pardon by Obama before he leaves office later this month, although the White House has said the president will not be granting her clemency.
OPINION:Presidential Pardons and the United States' Unpardonable Crimes
Manning has already made two suicide attempts and currently has an appeal pending before a military court.
Washington has maintained the threat of prosecuting Assange over the 2010 leak, though no charges have been filed.
WikiLeaks' post on Twitter was accompanied by a letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in which Assange's lawyer Barry Pollack argues there is no legitimate basis for continuing the investigation into the WikiLeaks founder.
Plan for Pink 'Pussyhats' in DC After Trump's Inauguration
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 03:34
The name of the hats was inspired by president-elect Trump's sexist and misogynist comments in the infamous 2005 tape that came to light during his campaign.
The National Mall in Washington, D.C., could become a sea of bright pink the day after Donald Trump is inaugurated as U.S. president if the vision of a pair of Los Angeles women is realized.
For the last two months, Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman have been calling on people around the world to make 1.17 million pink "pussyhats" for those attending the Women's March, a rally on Jan. 21 organized with hopes bringing attention to civil and human rights issues.
The name of the hats comes partly from president-elect Trump's comments in the infamous 2005 tape that came to light during his campaign, in which - discussing women - he said: "Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."
The project is meant to "create a sea of pink hats which is going to be a strong collective visual statement," Zweiman said.
It is also meant to involve "people across the country and the world who want to be a part of the march but can't physically be there and want to support the marchers," she said.
The women have asked for help from volunteers around the world to sew, crochet or knit pink hats with ears by using simple patterns available on the project's website.
Marchers can get a hat by contacting a maker through an online distribution system, through social media or at sites in Washington, D.C.
"So it's a distribution system that's very grass roots and our aim is to get a hat on every marcher's head who wants one," Zweiman said.
"We're using the charge of the word to get people's attention and get people to pay attention to women's rights and we're also using the word as an opening to conversation and to deeper issues politically," Suh said.
President-Elect Trump Announces Rudy Giuliani as Cyber Security Czar'... | The Last Refuge
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:43
(New York, NY)'Š'-- 'ŠPresident-elect Trump is very pleased to announce former Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector cyber security problems and emerging solutions developing in the private sector. This is a rapidly evolving field both as to intrusions and solutions and it is critically important to get timely information from all sources.
In addition, from time to time because of the changing nature of this problem, it is contemplated that the President-elect will be hosting a series of meetings with senior corporate executives from companies which have faced or are facing challenges similar to those facing the government and public entities today, such as hacking, intrusions, disruptions, manipulations, theft of data and identities, and securing information technology infrastructure.
The President-elect's intent is to obtain experiential and anecdotal information from each executive on challenges faced by his/her company, how the company met the challenges, approaches which were productive or successful, and those which were not. The attendees may or may not change from session to session, but the specific agenda subjects will likely change because of the rapidly evolving field of cyber security, and frequent developments, both positive and negative. No consensus advice or recommendations resulting from group deliberations or interaction is expected or will be solicited.
Cyber intrusion is the fastest growing crime in the United States and much of the world. Its impact is felt from the individual citizen whose identity is stolen to the large private and government entities that have seen their confidential information seriously compromised. It is also a major threat to our national security.
As the use of modern communications and technology has moved forward at unparalleled speed the necessary defenses have lagged behind. The President-elect recognizes that this needs immediate attention and input from private sector leaders to help the government plan to make us more secure.
Mr. Giuliani was asked to initiate this process because of his long and very successful government career in law enforcement and his now sixteen years of work providing security solutions in the private sector.
Mr. Giuliani is the chairman of the global cyber security practice at Greenberg Traurig and the Chairman and CEO of Giuliani Partners, an international security consulting firm. (link)
Trump's Housing Pick Ben Carson Slips Up During Senate Hearing | News | teleSUR English
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 05:58
Things didn't go so smoothly for Trump's former presidential rival-turned-housing department nominee.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of housing and urban development, Dr. Ben Carson, said Thursday that he will monitor Trump's conflicts of interest between government and his large property portfolio. But the Senate hearing for the nomination came with some embarrassing slip ups.
RELATED:Donald Trump's Cabinet One of Wealthiest in Modern History
During Thursday's hearing in front of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Carson said he knows of at least one Trump-controlled property that is eligible for federal funding from the department and said that he would monitor any possible conflicts of interest.
Carson was grilled by Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who pressed him to assure that none of the money from the department would fall into the hands of Donald Trump and family.
After repeated questioning from Warren, Carson responded, ''It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American,'' who then corrected himself ''It's for all Americans.''
Warren continued her assault saying that Carson could not assure the committee that money will not end up in Trump pockets ''because the president-elect is hiding his family's business interests from you, from me, from the rest of America.''
RELATED:Tillerson's South China Sea Talk Could Erupt into Crisis
In another embarrassing gaffe for the retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate, Carson's prepared written remarks for the hearing appeared to include plagiarized sections.
Carson did not present the written remarks, which were already published on the committee's website and released to the public. Two paragraphs of Carson's remarks appeared to be copied verbatim from a 2008 report from the philanthropy organization the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Trump's transition team later said that the copied sections in Carson's written report were intended to be supported with hyperlinks and footnotes, but they were left off in an apparent error.
While Carson previously ran for the Republican nomination for president last year, he has no previous experience in government. Carson has been criticized for his views of Islam, homophobia and attacking the Black Lives Matter movement.
Why The Flurry Of Calls From Flynn To Russian Envoy On Day Obama Expelled Diplomats?
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 06:33
It would be a hell of a lot easier to dismiss the allegations in that bombshell dossier if Trump and his closest advisers didn't keep confirming it.
Here's today's bombshell, via David Ignatius:
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Trump's choice for national security adviser, cultivates close Russian contacts. He has appeared on Russia Today and received a speaking fee from the cable network, which was described in last week's unclassified intelligence briefing on Russian hacking as ''the Kremlin's principal international propaganda outlet.''
According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about ''disputes'' with the United States. Was its spirit violated? The Trump campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
On the day President Obama imposed sanctions and expelled diplomats, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn had multiple phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. What did he say, and why did he say it?
I can think of a couple of things, right off the top. He might have promised to lift the sanctions and reverse the expulsions right after Trump's inaugural to calm Putin down. He might have had to explain that he had no influence over President Obama and apologize for his actions.
The thing is, that's all speculation. We don't know why, but it's certainly quite suspicious to see that it did, in fact, happen.
Paris conference to send Trump a warning over Israel and Palestinians | World news | The Guardian
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 15:15
The international community will send Donald Trump a strong warning that only a two-state solution can solve the Israel-Palestinian crisis, amid signs that the EU is willing to diverge from the US on Israel policy.
A conference in Paris on Sunday of more than 70 countries, organised by the French government and coming five days before Trump is inaugurated, will warn that the two-state solution is under threat and urge both sides in the conflict to resume talks.
It comes as Palestinians expressed concern that Trump advisers endorse the controversial Israeli settlement programme and want to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
The Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has warned that such a symbolic move could derail the peace process.
Critics have claimed that the conference, the second organised by the French in less than a year, is pointless, since neither Abbas nor the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be present.
Netanyahu has called the event futile, rigged and ''a relic'', saying: ''It's a last gasp of the past before the future sets in.''
The French had at one point hoped the conference might lead to an agreement for Netanyahu and Abbas to meet, but that is off the table.
Instead, Abbas, pleased with the direction of European diplomacy, will meet the French soon after the conference.
In a statement alongside the conference, the French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, defended the initiative. ''For more than six years, the absence of a peace process has given way to a deceptive status quo,'' he said. ''Palestinians are seeing their future state shrinking as settlement expansion continues at an unprecedented speed. This, in turn, generates more occupation, since there is never one without the other.''
The French say the conference, to be addressed by the president, Fran§ois Hollande, is not just a vital symbolic show of support for a two-state solution, but a chance to set out practical incentives for peace, including aiding Palestinian capacity-building and help for civil society, to promote dialogue.
Despite Israeli objections to the conference, and disapproval from the Trump team, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, will attend, and he is eager for the event not to be dismissed as a swansong for his frustrated efforts to seek peace.
In a move that gave the conference a new relevance, the US broke with precedent in December by refusing to veto a UN security council resolution that condemned Israeli settlements as ''illegal and dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-state solution''. The resolution also called on ''states in their relevant dealings to distinguish between the territory of the state of Israel and territories occupied since 1967''.
The clause, repeated in the draft Paris communique, has been taken as a green light for campaigns to boycott goods from illegally occupied territory. The EU will meet this week to discuss how the proposal could be developed.
The draft communique, under negotiation over the weekend, also reaffirms existing international resolutions, urges both sides to restate their commitment to a negotiated two-state solution and disavows officials who reject it.
The text urges the protagonists to ''refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations''.
In a sign that the Obama administration had lost patience with Israel, Kerry followed the UN vote with a lengthy speech on 28 December detailing the scale of settlement activity, and the threat it posed to a contiguous Palestinian state. Describing the Israeli government as the most rightwing in the country's history, he warned that Israel would never have true peace with the Arab world if it ''goes down the path of one state''.
Although Israel has voiced concerns that the Paris conference may be used as a lever for a UN resolution, the more likely theatre for further activity is the EU, including over boycotts of goods generated within occupied territories. More broadly, it may represent the start of a EU foreign policy more independent of Washington.
Britain, caught between its support for a two-state solution and desire to gain traction with the Trump administration, was deciding at what level to attend the conference.
To complicate matters further, the Russians are holding separate meetings in Moscow this week with Palestinian groups.
Trump has pledged to pursue more pro-Israeli policies, but in nomination hearings last week, neither the proposed secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, nor the expected defence secretary, James Mattis, supported moving the embassy from Tel Aviv. But David Friedman, Trump's choice for ambassador to Israel, has said he looks forward to working ''from Israel's eternal city, Jerusalem''.
A move to Jerusalem would endorse the disputed city as Israel's capital.
Agenda 2030
'Doesn't seem right': Funeral home overcharges grieving families for cremation carbon tax - Calgary - CBC News
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:37
Two grieving Alberta families have each been slapped with a $100 carbon tax bill after having a relative cremated, just days after the tax was introduced in that province.
The $100 fee was handwritten on Ed Connon's bill when he paid to cremate his 93-year-old mother, Margaret Connon, who died Jan. 7. The funeral home staff had no explanation for him.
"I said, 'wow.' She just kind of looked at me and I said, 'this doesn't seem right'."
'‹Terry MacLeod had the same thing on her bill. Her 78-year-old mother, Eunice Larson, died Jan. 1.
"It said right there '-- carbon tax. I didn't want to get into a confrontation," MacLeod said. "You just want to finalize everything.
"I'm an only child and this was my mom."
Enough gas to heat a homeBoth families complained to the business, Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services Airdrie, just outside Calgary.
MacLeod was told her mother's cremation used enough natural gas to create five tonnes of carbon dioxide, or the amount of natural gas used to heat an average home for almost a year, leading to the $100 charge.
Terry MacLeod says she was charged $100 carbon tax when cremating her mother at an Airdrie, Alta., funeral home. (Mike Symington/CBC)
"You just go to a business and expect it to be fair," MacLeod said.
The province says that charge was out of line, claiming the carbon tax per cremation should equal, on average, less than $1 and not more than $4.
A cremation generally costs between from $1,500 and $2,700.
The $100 fee charged for cremation would almost pay the carbon tax for a year of home heating. (CBC)
At first, funeral home owner Diann Rowat told Go Public that the price was so high because "carbon tax is not just on cremation. It's on every fuel product you use, so it's also on the gas on our funeral vehicles."
'We feel foolish'A day later, Rowat recontacted the CBC, saying she asked her accountants to double-check '-- and they found they were off by a decimal point.
The funeral home apologized and offered refunds to families, saying it made a mistake calculating the new tax meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, the funeral home should have charged $10.09, Rowat said.
"We feel foolish and extremely apologetic that it took a complaint to you guys to make me ask to re-do the math on this," Rowat told Go Public. "It was totally our fault."
All families charged the $100 fee will be reimbursed and receive an apology phone call, she said.
Alberta criticizes funeral homeAlberta Trade and Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous said the funeral home was "not being accurate and honest" by charging grieving families the needlessly high fee.
"It's disappointing that the company is choosing to increase their costs '-- which is a business decision should they so choose '-- but to blame the carbon levy is more than a little misleading to consumers," Bilous said.
On Jan. 1, Alberta's carbon levies kicked in. With few exceptions, a tax is being charged on all fuels that release greenhouse gases with the goal of reducing emissions.
Overestimates are a problemSince then, businesses have struggled to estimate its impact '-- and what to pass on to Albertans, said Jennifer Winter, area director of energy and environmental policy at the University of Calgary.
Correctly calculating the cost of the carbon tax is difficult when considering indirect carbon use, such as heating and shipping.
"And that is what's causing a lot of the overestimates of the effect of the carbon tax," Winter said.
'Hasn't been a lot of explanation'Other provinces introducing a similar tax should learn from mistakes made by the Alberta NDP government, she said. Most of Alberta's focus has been on educating households about increases in heating fuel and grocery costs, she said.
"There hasn't been a lot of explanation around how businesses should be treating the carbon levy or the carbon tax, and whether or not there should be rules about passing it on to consumers," Winter said.
Jennifer Winter, an energy and environmental policy director at the University of Calgary, says businesses may not know how to calculate the carbon tax. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)
Connon said he was even more disappointed because his mother bought her funeral package more than 20 years ago.
"It's disturbing to hear all of a sudden these costs are coming out at us, under the contract signed by her," he said.
'Tip of the iceberg'When told about the fee, Connon found it difficult to get a straight answer about what would be an appropriate charge for a carbon tax on cremation.
"This is the tip of the iceberg," he said.
"People are going to be charged the tax for everything '-- and in some cases, they shouldn't be taxed for."
Calgary families get slammed with carbon tax on cremation bill 0:33
Connon wants the Alberta government to release guidelines for all industries so consumers can tell if they're being overcharged.
A handful of exceptions to the carbon tax overall include Indigenous people and farmers, but funeral homes and crematoriums are expected to pay.
Connon says the Alberta government should make carbon tax charges clear to citizens. (Justin Pennell/CBC)
British Columbia also has a carbon tax that applies to cremation services.
In October, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a national "floor price" on carbon that would require all provinces and territories to have some form of carbon pricing by 2018.
Ontario and Quebec have opted for a cap-and-trade plan, in which the government limits the total amount of carbon emissions allowed for business.
Connon received a handwritten charge of $100 for carbon tax on the bill for his mother's cremation. (Justin Pennell/CBC)
Cameron Davis, chairman of Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board, said all Canadians will soon pay more for funeral services '-- although he can't say how much '-- when other provinces start their own carbon-reduction policies.
"You're going to see it in cremation, you're going to see it in burial," he said.
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NA-Tech News
CES Electric cars want to be iPhones with software upgrades etc.
China's Anti-Teslas: Cheap Models Drive Electric Car Boom
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 05:59
For those set on buying a plug-in vehicle in China, price is key.
More electric cars are sold in China than in the rest of the world combined, but are mainly locally-branded models that are cheaper and have a shorter range than those offered by foreign automakers such as Tesla and Nissan.
The Chinese-branded electric vehicle market is propped up by huge government subsidies as part of Beijing's policy to build global leadership in cleaner energy driving.
China has spent billions of dollars on subsidies to help companies including Warren Buffett-backed BYD and BAIC Motor achieve large-scale production of plug-in vehicles, which are gaining traction among urban drivers as well as taxi fleets and government agencies.
Sales of battery electric and plug-in hybrids increased 60 percent in January-November, to 402,000 vehicles. By 2020, China wants 5 million plug-in cars on its roads.
The domestic electric vehicles don't have the 'wow' factor of a fast, longer-range and luxury-style Tesla. They sell on price.
In Shanghai last year, a two-door battery electric Chery eQ cost around 60,000 yuan, or about US$8,655, after subsidies.
At this week's Detroit auto show, General Motors showed off its latest Bolt electric car, which costs around US$30,000 after a US$7,500 federal tax credit.
Bottoms Down! Silicon Valley Sobers Up
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 06:32
When Peter Shallard goes to parties and networking events, he sometimes finds green juices, not martinis. Instead of shots, he hears excuses about waking up early to crush work. It's just the ''radical nature'' of Silicon Valley '-- its all-on, all-off mindset '-- only this time it's applied to alcohol, says the business consultant. Entrepreneurs are more ''self-aware and more optimization-focused than ever before.''
In the Valley, the new burgeoning normality is to teetotal '-- at least for as long as humanly possible. From the Twitter blasts of Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of Bulletproof Coffee, urging his 350,000 followers to drink kava instead of alcohol, to life optimizer Tim Ferriss' no-alcohol, no-masturbation 30-day challenge of a few years ago, the movement to put down the bottle has grown stronger. CEOs seeking an edge are abstaining, and employees are following their bosses' lead, or that of life optimizers. Of course, in the metrics-obsessed Valley, it's important to slap a number on heightened productivity without alcohol. Asprey points to a 15 percent boost, while Ferris claimed in a 2014 blog post that abstaining for 30 days meant he got ''roughly 50 to 100 percent'' more done while master of his domain. Even the Valley's wingdings are changing, according to San Francisco tech party-planner Christina Millikin. That's right: It's mocktails on the menu or bust. ''It's kind of cool not to drink now,'' Millikin says.
[I] found a lot of other ways to [create company cohesion] than having a fridge stocked with whiskey.
Elaine Wherry, co-founder of Meebo
As the world grows ever more competitive and automated, and as returns on startups decline for venture capital funds, turning away from booze is one way to remain successful. Texts about how to succeed in business without really drinking abound, including books with great titles like Drinking to Distraction and Drink Less, Be More. And while some high-powered teetotalers find abstinence can get in the way of closing deals, others say the stigma of going dry is fading. ''If people say 'I don't drink' or 'I don't want to drink,' it's usually a supportive response,'' says Dan Scholnick, a venture capitalist with partners who abstain. Asprey, for instance, credits the Valley's willingness to give the older generation the boot as a reason to say no to booze. Some believe that older employees cost more and are less productive. ''If you're 45 and looking to remain competitive, maybe having a couple glasses of wine every night isn't going to serve you well,'' he says.
The trend isn't exclusive to Silicon Valley power circles, either. President-elect Donald J. Trump refuses to get boozy, lifting a glass of anything but Champagne when toasting. Other political teetotalers include Democratic rising star Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former governor and 2016 presidential candidate Gary Johnson of New Mexico and former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
Abstaining from knocking one back is an about-face response to the narrative that Silicon Valley's binge-drinking culture has gotten out of hand. Kegerators proliferate in offices and WeWork spaces. Research conducted by the University of Washington found binge drinking in Santa Clara County rose 28 percent between 2002 and 2012, the highest of any county in California. San Mateo County and San Francisco closely tailed Santa Clara. For some, the ubiquity of alcohol in tech fridges is causing an adverse reaction to drinking. ''If someone wants to get something at the end of the day, it's already there,'' Millikin says. Instead, people find ways to get more, um '... disruptive.
CEOs often get to encourage or discourage the taps, leading to top-down change if CEOs don't drink. One study from 2015 shows that more than half of the executives interviewed thought CEOs had the biggest impact on company culture. For a non-drinking co-founder like Elaine Wherry (Meebo), abstinence proved to be a strength, she claims. While many leaders use alcohol to create cohesion, she says, she ''found a lot of other ways to do that than having a fridge stocked with whiskey.''
Of course, the trend has limits. Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg find time to eat, drink and be merry. Plenty of schmoozing sessions with venture capitalists still take place over drinks. The idea that alcohol might disappear as a social lubricant is ''totally false,'' Shallard says. And if you need an excuse to tipple, look no further than a 2012 study that showed drinking can lead to divergent, creative thoughts that fuel good work. Non-drinkers are in the minority, Wherry says.
Still, a backlash to heavy drinking clearly is occurring in San Francisco, which has the second-healthiest residents in America, according to a 2015 NerdWallet survey. Anyway, it's not as though the bottle is the only reality-altering vice to enjoy. For instance, Potluck Mittal, a software developer at a San Francisco startup, may have taken time off drinking '-- but that was because of an acid trip. ''At one point I became cogent enough to start typing my thoughts into Evernote,'' he says. ''I was kind of like, Potluck, why do you do drugs?'' He made a pros-and-cons list for each drug and found that pot and others skewed positive. Given those results, it's fortunate that Mittal resides in California, where voters have just approved the legalization of recreational marijuana.
By contrast, alcohol is bad for him, Mittal says, and doesn't provide a big buzz. For six months, instead of nursing a beer (totally comfortably, he says) at many company happy hours, he brought his vape pen '-- proving that booze or not, innovation is alive and well in the Valley.
BitChute
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 20:45
How did this idea come about?Throughout 2015 and 2016 several prominent YouTubers reported a loss of video monetization when covering certain topics or for having particular opinions. YouTube claimed this was due to tighter enforcement of existing rules, even if true this will restrict the type of content that gets made and is a form of censorship.
Here we believe people should be able to express their opinions and choose their topics. If existing services cannot allow that, then let's make some that will. The question is, how to disrupt a platform as well established as YouTube? It cannot be on their terms; we think we might have an answer, decentralization by torrents and tailored matchups for monetization. *More on the monetization to come soon.
Rather than needing massive data centers with humongous bandwidth costs, torrents depend on many people sharing videos from their home computers. While this has been possible for many years through bit torrent, bit torrent applications have steep learning curves; this site aims to make the torrent experience seamless by working entirely in the web browser.
The Revolution Will Not Be YouTubed - The Corbett Report, March 2015
Youtube Responded, But It Gets Even More Confusing... - Philip DeFranco, September 2016
Making Sense Of YouTube's Great Demonetization Controversy Of 2016 - Forbes, September 2016
How is this torrent greatness even possible?BitChute is powered by WebTorrent. WebTorrent is an independent project started by Feross Aboukhadijeh in October 2013 and is the first torrent client that works in the browser. YEP, THAT'S RIGHT. THE BROWSER.
I cannot overstate the importance of WebTorrent. The Internet is full of centralized monsters and WebTorrent is the magical sword we will use to slay them.
You can find out more about WebTorrent here: https://webtorrent.io/faq.
Can I host a torrent on my site?Yes, the more the better. Otherwise, this project is just another YouTube wannabe. We will eventually have tools and tutorials to assist and encourage this. Torrents take on a life of their own and can operate independently of any web site that indexes them. Your website can be another index as we work towards a decentralized Internet.
Is the bit in BitChute because of BitCoin?Not really, we will probably integrate the blockchain and bitcoin in some way but the 'Bit' is in honour of BitTorrent. Unlike Youtube this is a p2p network, you can host content as well as watch. I do plan to make a video to explain this a lot better.
Where can I get a channel and upload a video?This site is still under development. Channel access has been given to some early sign-ups but general access is not yet available. We'll update you as soon as this changes. In the meantime, you can still browse, like, comment and subscribe to existing channels.
Todo listNot exactly the correct order... As you can tell this site is still under development.
Figure out a whole bunch of stuffDo a whole bunch of stuff, too much to mentionAdd a TODO list, well DOH, you're hereAdd signupsView countersSubscriptionsLike/DislikesPage meta data - Twitter cards, Open Graph etcComplete the settings screenCreate a torrent seeding management screenAllow direct video uploadsIntegrate Redis for more scalable view countersIntegrate Lambda and SQS for scalabilitySocial Media SetupsNotificationsBetter searchingMake Hashtags workAdd an open source search engineSite content - explaining thingsSingle Sign-on integrationSetup Mixlr as a sourcePromotional materialMarketing ideas and slogansMore graphicsCustom Channel SkinsKickstarter Striked for now, there may not be a need.StatisticsIntegrate advertisingGamification rewardsOptimize media sizesMobile appsWordpress integrationRSS feeds - Thanks for the anonymous suggestion, whoever you are.Build our own CDNOpen up API toolsSmart TV castingLive StreamingMicro video clips - with chainingPlan out what else there is todoWant to help? Contact [email protected]How many users does this site have anyway?We currently have 946 registered users. Please do add one more here.
December 23rd 2016: 1January 11th 2017: 100ThanksJames Evan Pilato and James Corbett who have been saying for years, "create your own platforms and media."
Apollo Slater for the chats about creating such a site and design input. Apollo is currently working on a monetisation platform which will be integrated here.
KB1OIQ - Andy's Ham Radio Linux download | SourceForge.net
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 03:27
339 Downloads(This Week) Last Update: 2016-12-20 Downloadandy-v20-64bit.isoBrowse All FilesScreenshotsDescriptionThis is a remastered version of Ubuntu Linux. There are 32-bit and 64-bit versions available, as well as a (much older) image for the PengPod 1000.
This version contains a lot of amateur radio software including Fldigi, NBEMS, Gpredict, earthtrack, xcwcp and qrq, XLog and cqrlog, flrig and grig, xnec2c, fl_moxgen, aa-analyzer, owx, VOACAP, glfer, Xastir, gqrx, gEDA, GNU Radio Companion, quisk, direwolf, linamc, FreeDV, wsjt-x, Micro-Fox 15 Config, and a TinyTrak3 configuration program.
Version 20 is updated to match Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS.
This software collection uses the icewm window manager with menus customized for Amateur Radio use. It is designed to be light weight to run on older computers, while still having modern functionality.
Recommended: 1GHz CPU, 1GB memory, and 10-15 GB disk space at an absolute bare minimum (SDR applications will require more).
KB1OIQ - Andy's Ham Radio Linux Web Site
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Shut Up Slave!
Chicago PD sued over 'Stingray' surveillance of attorney, activists '-- RT America
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 15:06
The Chicago Police Department used a cell-site simulator, or "Stingray" device, to surveil citizens and activists in 2015, amounting to a warrantless, unconstitutional search, a new federal lawsuit filed by a Chicago attorney has alleged.
Jerry Boyle, an attorney and legal observer with the National Lawyers Guild, filed the federal lawsuit on Thursday, naming as defendants the City of Chicago and various former and current officials with the Chicago Police Department.
The Harris Corporation's "Stingray" is the most well-known brand of the controversial spying technology, used by the FBI, the Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Agency and many state and local police agencies. By impersonating cell towers, the cell-site simulators compel phones in an area to broadcast information that can be used to identify and locate users. The devices are able to indiscriminately collect and intercept data, including the content of voice and text communications, from several of phones at once.
The surveillance in question took place on January 15, 2015, according to the lawsuit, when activists and residents took part in a protest and march in Chicago as part of an action dubbed "Reclaim Martin Luther King Jr. Day." Police brutality was one focus of the demonstration, according to reports.
The Chicago PD used a cell-site simulator to search his phone and those of "protesters, bystanders, and Chicago residents" at "approximately 8:00pm at the protest, near the 2200 block of West Ogden Avenue," Boyle alleged in the suit.
The Chicago PD "deployed the cell site simulator in the immediate vicinity of private homes, private offices, juvenile courts, medical facilities, and at least one church, as well as protesters engaging in protected political speech," according to the lawsuit. Police did so without a "warrant or probable cause to search and seize the private cell phones" of those in the vicinity, the suit claimed.
The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, said the surveillance of innocent citizens is a violation of the First and Fourth Amendments of the US Constitution.
Read more
"The people of Chicago should be able to exercise their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, association, and assembly without being spied upon by police," Boyle said. "Government spying on its citizens without appropriate judicial oversight is inconsistent with the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution."
It is unclear how Boyle knows of the Chicago PD's use of a cell-site simulator.
"The evidence regarding CPD's use at that event is something that will be disclosed during the litigation," Matt Topic, a attorney for Boyle, told Ars Technica.
The civil lawsuit may be the first in which a legal challenge to the use of a cell-site simulator does not come from a criminal defendant alleging unlawful deployment of the technology or a plaintiff seeking public records regarding simulator usage, according to one legal expert.
Read more
"Typically the posture is that some criminal defendant learns about the use of a stingray related to their criminal proceedings and there's a challenge based on that," Brian Owsley, a former federal magistrate judge and current law professor at the University of North Texas, told Ars Technica.
"Boyle hasn't been charged with anything and doesn't appear likely that he's going to be charged and still is coming in and asserting that his constitutional rights were violated. That's really the unique part. That's the atypical thing at a minimum."
Use of cell-site simulators is inherently unconstitutional, said Topic, Boyle's attorney.
"There is no dispute that even when CPD has a valid basis to track a legitimate suspect, the technology results in a search of every other phone in the area to find the suspect," Topic said, adding that the basic rights of "hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent bystanders" are violated "every time it is used."
EuroLand
Conservative German lawmaker is quitting Merkel's party - StarTribune.com
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 14:50
BERLIN '-- A lawmaker who has long been critical of Chancellor Angela Merkel's policies says she is leaving the German leader's conservative party, citing discontent over Merkel's approach to migrants.
Erika Steinbach, 73, has been a lawmaker for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union since 1990. But the conservative hardliner has increasingly been at odds with the chancellor, who has steered her party toward the center. Steinbach has criticized the most recent Greek bailout and Merkel's welcoming approach to migrants in 2015.
Germany saw 890,000 asylum-seekers arrive in 2015 and 280,000 last year.
Steinbach was quoted Saturday as telling the Welt am Sonntag newspaper: "Would I vote CDU at the moment? No. Would I join the CDU today? No. I can only draw the honest conclusion of leaving the CDU."
Steinbach said that allowing people into Germany for months without identifying them properly went "against our laws and against EU treaties."
More broadly, she complained that in the CDU's program "the conservative element has been deliberately marginalized step by step, even stigmatized."
Steinbach doesn't plan for now to join the nationalist Alternative for Germany, or AfD, which has gained in polls by attacking Merkel's migrant policies, Welt am Sonntag reported. But she said she hopes AfD will enter the German parliament in an election expected in September "so that there is finally an opposition there again."
Danish minister alleges 'Russia ready to attack hospitals, infrastructure & electrical supply' '-- RT News
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 14:51
Denmark's Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen has launched a series of wide-ranging and grave accusations against Moscow, saying that it presents a ''direct, very frightening and serious threat'' against his homeland.
''We need to make clear to ourselves in Denmark that we are in danger, and we need to act upon this,'' the center-right politician told the Danish Berlingske newspaper.
Read more
Frederiksen was asked to expound on his brief in the first extensive interview since the 69-year-old was appointed to his post in November last year. Instead, the politician, who previously served as minister of finance during two stints, spoke almost exclusively about Russia.
''State-supported Russian hacker groups are ready to attack hospitals, infrastructure and the electrical supply by breaking into computer systems and creating a mess of notices and treatments within the health system,'' said Frederiksen, referring to a report published by the country's intelligence agency last month, as well as conversations with other Western politicians and security officials.
And why would Russia target civilian infrastructure in a small country with which it shares no border? ''To spread fear and insecurity among the population and paralyze our democracy.''
"It's a way to destabilize our countries and democracies in a very physical and tangible way, and this places an urgent demand on our resources to defend ourselves against such attacks,'' said Frederiksen.
READ MORE: 'Witch hunt': Kremlin slams ODNI report claiming Russia hacked US elections
Frederiksen's accusations echo those of US intelligence officials, who published a report last week, alleging that Russia ordered hackers to meddle in the US election, specifically by releasing emails related to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied charges of interference.
The politician also believes that the Iskander-M missiles that Russia has deployed in its westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad pose an immediate danger to Denmark.
''We can confirm that the Russians are right now installing new missiles in Kaliningrad that can reach Copenhagen. That is of course a major risk,'' said Frederiksen.
Read more
Moscow says the missiles are a response to the continuing unrolling of the US missile defense shield across Eastern Europe, and has beefed up its other armaments in the region, following an increase in NATO presence on the Russian border. The Western alliance is seeking to limit Moscow's purported ambitions in the region through Operation Atlantic Resolve, commenced following the breakout of the conflict in Ukraine in 2014, and comprises the transfer of troops and modernized equipment to Eastern Europe.
Frederiksen also said that Russia's "increased military activity'' in the Arctic, in which both Moscow and Copenhagen have territorial claims '' the latter through Greenland '' were another potential source of conflict, which must require ''extensive monitoring.''
As a solution, Frederiksen advocates increased military spending, though he declined to specify if Denmark intended to hit the NATO target of 2 percent of GDP being spent on defense (currently it spends 1.17 percent).
''NATO must be our common defense and our deterrent. We have to show the strength that it takes, and thus spend the money it takes to prevent the Russians from trying anything. That is basically what is the essence of our thinking,'' said Frederiksen.
As a symbolic gesture Frederiksen emphasized the importance of the deployment of 200 Danish soldiers as part of the new 5,000-strong rapid response force in Eastern Europe next year.
"It is not of course because we think that the 200 Danish soldiers can stop the Russian army. But they should know that the territorial defense of the immediate area begins there and crossing the line, then the common solidarity in NATO will take effect,'' said Frederiksen.
The newspaper said that the Russian embassy refused to comment on the accusations.
CGI
WARN Details - New York State Department of Labor
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 14:53
Date of Notice: 1/12/2017
Event Number: 2016-0132
Rapid Response Specialist: Stuart Goldberg
Reason Stated for Filing: Plant Layoff
Company:The Clinton Foundation1271 Avenue of the Americas, 42nd FloorNew York, NY 10020
County: New York | WIB Name: NEW YORK CITY | Region: New York City
Contact: Veronika Shiroka
Phone: (646) 775-9184
Business Type: Social Advocacy Organization - Clinton Global Initiative
Number Affected: 22
Total Employees: -----
Layoff Date: 4/15/2017
Closing Date: -----
Reason for Dislocation: Discontinutation of the Clinton Global Initative
ERNUM: 86-83268
Union: The affected workers are not represented by a Union.
Classification: Plant Layoff
ANZNACK Tour
Boaty McBoatface: What You Get When You Let the Internet Decide - NYTimes.com
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 03:40
A proposal by a British government agency to let the Internet suggest a name for a $287 million polar research ship probably seemed like a good idea at the time.
Now, the agency is the latest group to see what happens when web users are asked to unleash their creative energy: R.R.S. Boaty McBoatface is a clear front-runner.
People quickly disregarded the more dignified names suggested by the Natural Environment Research Council '-- Shackleton, Endeavour, Falcon. Instead the contest became the latest in the Internet's long, storied history to end up with social media users gleefully offering ridiculous names to government-funded projects.
The initiatives are often hilarious but don't often succeed. Remember when Slovak lawmakers overrode the public's vote in 2012 to rename a pedestrian bridge after the actor Chuck Norris? Or the debacle in Austin, Tex., a year earlier, when people unsuccessfully tried to name the city's waste management service after Limp Bizkit's frontman, Fred Durst?
Corporations have also tried the tactic, and the penalty for trying to play with the Internet tends to be meaner: Mountain Dew learned the hard way when 4 Chan took control of a vote to name a new flavor, and the joke was on Taylor Swift and VH1 when the Internet chose a school for the deaf as a concert location.
We have James Hand, a public relations professional and former BBC employee, to thank (blame?) for this latest episode. Mr. Hand became a bit of an overnight sensation when he submitted the name Boaty McBoatface after seeing reports of the competition last week. Then he watched his creation spin completely out of control.
''The storm that has been created has got legs of its own,'' Mr. Hand told the BBC on Monday, and added that he had submitted Boaty McBoatface in another competition. (For what it's worth, Mr. Hand voted for the name R.R.S. David Attenborough.)
The research council would not comment on whether it would override the Internet's suggestion, but Alison Robinson, a spokeswoman, said in an email that the group was ''delighted by the enthusiasm and creativity'' of people vying for names like Boaty McBoatface. The ship is scheduled to set sail in 2019.
''We've had thousands of suggestions made on the website since we officially launched; many of them reflect the importance of the ship's scientific role by celebrating great British explorers and scientists,'' Ms. Robinson said. ''We are pleased that people are embracing the idea in a spirit of fun.''
Sure they are.
The poll closes April 16 '-- that is, if the Natural Environment Research Council can ever get the crashed polling website back online again.
Drop bear - Wikipedia
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 07:50
A drop bear (sometimes dropbear) is a hoax in contemporary Australian folklore featuring a predatory, carnivorous version of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). This imaginary animal is commonly spoken about in tall tales designed to scare tourists. While koalas are typically docile herbivores (and notably, not bears), drop bears are described as unusually large and vicious marsupials that inhabit treetops and attack unsuspecting people (or other prey) that walk beneath them by dropping onto their heads from above.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]
Contents
Stories and tall tales
Stories about drop bears are generally used as an in-joke intended to frighten and confuse outsiders while amusing locals, similar to the jackalope and other North American fearsome critters.[8] Tourists are the main targets of such stories.[9][10] These tales are often accompanied by advice that the hearer adopt various tactics purported to deter drop bear attacks '' including placing forks in the hair, having Vegemite or toothpaste spread behind the ears or in the armpits, urinating on oneself, and only speaking English in an Australian accent.[6][11][full citation needed]
Popularisation
Australian MuseumThe website of the Australian Museum contains an entry for the drop bear written in a serious tone similar to entries for other, real, species. The entry classifies the Drop Bear as Thylarctos plummetus (the genus, Thylarctos, is a combination of thylacine and phascolarctos) and describes them as "a large, arboreal, predatory marsupial related to the koala", the size of a leopard, having coarse orange fur with dark mottling, with powerful forearms for climbing and attacking prey, and a bite made using broad powerful premolars rather than canines. Specifically it states that they weigh 120 kilograms (260 lb) and have a length of 130 centimetres (51 in).[12] The tongue-in-cheek entry was created for "silly season".[13][14]
The Australian Museum has also established a small display in the museum itself, exhibiting artefacts which it says "may, or may not, relate to actual Drop Bears".[14]
Australian GeographicAustralian Geographic ran an article on its website on 1 April 2013 (April Fools' Day) purporting that researchers had found that drop bears were more likely to attack tourists than people with Australian accents.[15] The article was based on a 2012 paper published in Australian Geographer, and despite referencing the Australian Museum entry on drop bears in several places, images included with the Australian Geographic article were sourced from Australian Geographer and did not match the Australian Museum's species description.[6][12][15]
Nature's Weirdest EventsNature's Weirdest Events part 4 (BBC TV 2, 8 to 9 pm, Thursday 20 October 2016) theorized seriously that the "drop bear" may have started as a long-persisting Australian native memory of encounters with Thylacoleo carnifex, the marsupial lion, including showing an old native rock painting that seems to show a Thylacoleo standing on a tree branch.[16]
See also
References
^Lang, Anouk (June 2010). "Troping the masculine: Australian animals, the nation, and the popular imagination". Antipodes Volume 24 Issue 1.^Butler, Susan. The Dinkum Dictionary, p. 98 Text Publishing, 2010.^Staff Writers. Herald Sun, 24 October 2014. "Australia's greatest hoaxes: the pranks that tricked a nation".^Switek, Brian. Slate, "These Horrifying Creatures Ought to Be Movie Stars".^David Wood, "Yarns spun around campfireArchived 10 May 2005 at the Wayback Machine.", in Country News, byline, 2 May 2005, accessed 4 April 2008 Archived 10 May 2005 at the Wayback Machine.^ abcJanssen, Volker (2012). "Indirect Tracking of Drop Bears Using GNSS Technology". Australian Geographer. 43 (4): 445''452. doi:10.1080/00049182.2012.731307. ^Seal, Graham (2010). Great Australian Stories: Legends, Yarns and Tall Tales. ReadHowYouWant.com. p. 136. ISBN 9781458716811. ^Wood, Brian D. (2011). KASAI: OUTBACK: Kasai Saga:. Xlibris Corporation. p. 35. ISBN 9781456863937. ^Miller, John, The Lingo Dictionary: Of Favourite Australian Words and Phrases. p. 88. 2011.^Seal, Graham (2010). Great Australian Stories: Legends, Yarns and Tall Tales. ReadHowYouWant.com. p. 135. ISBN 9781458716811. ^Canberra City News, "Spreading the Myth", 6 August 2003.^ ab"Animal species: Drop bear". Official site. Australian Museum. Retrieved 6 April 2013. ^http://australianmuseum.net.au/blogpost/museullaneous/socialmusings-stories-from-july^ abAustralian Museum - In the News Dec 2010 Describes the entry on Drop Bears as being inspired by "the 'silly season'".^ abMiddleton, Amy (1 April 2013). "Drop bears target tourists, study says". Official site. Australian Geographic. Retrieved 17 November 2016. ^http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02fbwtt
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO - Joe Biden Says What We've All Been Thinking - YouTube
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 15:29
VIDEO - Head of D.C. National Guard to be removed from post in middle of inauguration - The Washington Post
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 07:08
The Army general who heads the D.C. National Guard and has an integral part in overseeing the inauguration said Friday that he will be removed from command effective at 12:01 p.m. Jan. 20, just as Donald Trump is sworn in as president.
Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz's departure will come in the middle of the presidential ceremony '-- classified as a national special security event '-- and while thousands of his troops are deployed to help protect the nation's capital during an inauguration he has spent months helping to plan.
''The timing is extremely unusual,'' Schwartz said in an interview Friday morning, confirming a memo announcing his ouster that was obtained by The Washington Post. During the inauguration, Schwartz will command not only members of the D.C. Guard but also 5,000 unarmed troops dispatched from across the country to help. He also will oversee military air support protecting Washington during the inauguration.
''My troops will be on the street,'' said Schwartz, who turned 65 in October. ''I'll see them off, but I won't be able to welcome them back to the armory.'' He said he would ''never plan to leave a mission in the middle of a battle.''
Unlike in the states, where the governor appoints the National Guard commander, in the District that duty falls to the president.
(Claritza Jimenez,Danielle Kunitz,Julio Negron/The Washington Post)
Military officials and Trump transition officials provided contradictory versions of the decision to replace Schwartz. As is customary for presidential appointees, the general submitted a letter of resignation to give the new administration a clean start.
Two military officials with knowledge of the situation said the Trump team decided to accept the resignation. A person close to the transition said transition officials wanted to keep Schwartz in the job for continuity, but the Army pushed to replace him.
Schwartz, who was appointed to head the Guard by President George W. Bush in 2008, maintained the position through President Obama's two terms. He said his orders came from the Pentagon in the form of an email that names his interim successor, a brigadier general, who takes over at 12:01 p.m. next Friday.
Army Maj. Jamie Davis, a spokesman at the Defense Department, said Schwartz is classified as a ''non-career status employee.'' He noted that the interim commander ''is ready to assume complete mission'' and handle the inauguration.
One of the military officials said the Trump transition team receives lists of political appointees and can decide which resignations to accept. All resignations are effective at 12:01 p.m. on Inauguration Day.
D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) blasted the decision to remove Schwartz, particularly during the inauguration.
''It doesn't make sense to can the general in the middle of an active deployment,'' Mendelson said. He added that Schwartz's sudden departure will be a long-term loss for the District. ''He's been really very good at working with the community, and my impression was that he was good for the Guard.''
Schwartz said he will work up until that moment, and then plans to retire from the Army. ''I'm a soldier,'' he said. ''I'm a presidential appointee. Therefore, the president has the power to remove me.''
Like other deployments, Inauguration Day will be a complicated one for the D.C. National Guard '-- at least on paper. Since the District is not a state, its mayor cannot call up Guard members to active duty as a state governor can.
The District must send a letter to the secretary of the Army requesting the support. The District and the Army must then go through a seven-step process to initiate the deployment, during which Guard members carry out duties at the request of the mayor and city homeland security officials.
The two entities have been able to work together to make that happen quickly in response to unfolding natural disasters, such as last year's record January snowfall. During that storm, which dumped 22 inches of snow, the Guard was activated in anticipation of the storm's arrival, and troops helped shuttle officials, plow drivers and supplies back and forth across the city.
Schwartz began his military career in 1976 by enlisting in the Guard, formally called the Militia of the District of Columbia National Guard. He also oversees the Air National Guard, which combined with the Army Guard has an authorized strength of 2,700. He has served in several leadership positions, notably commanding the 372nd Military Police Battalion.
He graduated in 1980 from the University of the District of Columbia with a degree in electrical engineering and received a master's degree in business management from Central Michigan University and in national security strategy from the National Defense University at Fort McNair in the District.
Schwartz said that he is most proud of the Youth Challenge Academy, a school for teenage dropouts run by the Guard with an infusion of federal money. The school, separate from D.C. public and charter schools, is located at the former Oak Hill facility, the District's old juvenile jail. Schwartz said that about 60 percent of the student body have obtained high school diplomas, and some have gone on to college.
''These are kids with high potential,'' Schwartz said. ''They just need to be steered a little bit. That's what guardsmen can do.'' He said he has told his wife that he might stay active in the school.
''I don't mind walking the halls and knocking on doors wearing a suit and tie,'' he said.
Dan Lamothe contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Reports link Syrian president Assad to chemical attacks for the first time, Reuters | Euronews
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 06:15
Next Article
world news
14/01/2017Obamacare days 'numbered' after US Republicans take first step to 'repeal and replace'
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VIDEO - Congressman John Lewis Says Donald Trump Is NOT A Legitimate President Because Of The Russians! - YouTube
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:58
VIDEO - Obama Sends 4,000 U.S. Soldiers To Poland! - YouTube
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:51
VIDEO - "This Is The First Time In The History Of America That We Have A Russian President!" - YouTube
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:46
VIDEO - ABC's Hostin's Rallying Cry: 'We Are United As Journalists' In War Against Trump | MRCTV
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:24
On Thursday's The View, the hosts spouted off on Wednesday's press conference where Donald Trump refused to call on CNN reporter Jim Acosta, calling his news organization ''fake news.'' The conflict came over CNN repeating an unsubstantiated report from Buzzfeed which claimed that Russia had ''compromising information'' on Trump. Though many in the media denounced the report, many still shared it. The panel on ABC's The View thought it was perfectly acceptable for CNN to share this story and rejected Trump calling the story and CNN ''fake news.''
Read more on Newsbusters here.
VIDEO - CNN Lectures Trump, Decries 'Far From Normal' Situation With Press | MRCTV
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:16
[More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]
CNN's Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter, with the help of Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota, blasted Donald Trump on 12 January 2017 edition of New Day over the President-Elect's treatment of the media at his Wednesday press conference. Acosta, who got in a face-off with Trump at the event, expressed his "hope...that Donald Trump can get past this...'Clinton News Network, CNN sucks' mentality that we saw out on the campaign trail. The campaign is over. It's time to be president."
Stelter bewailed how "the environment right now is so far from normal," and asserted that "we're so from the norms of respect when it comes to the President or the President-Elect...saying the right things about respecting the First Amendment." He also played up that his "inbox is stuffed with people thanking you, Jim, for standing there yesterday; and thanking this network for its reporting about Trump and Russia; and thanking the press...yes, there's a portion of the country that distrusts the media. Let's not lose sight of the majority of the public that, I think, really wants and needs this help right now."
VIDEO - Bitter Nets Tout Investigation into Comey's Clinton E-Mail Probe | MRCTV
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:12
The Big Three networks seemed full of glee Thursday evening as they reported that FBI Director James Comey was being investigated by the Justice Department's inspector general. ''Hoping for a measure of vindication,'' announced anchor Lester Holt to kick off NBC Nightly News, ''The Hillary Clinton campaign is welcoming the surprise news out of Washington today,that the Justice Department's Inspector General will take a deep look into how the FBI handled the investigation'...''
They were all eager to slam Comey for making things difficult for Hillary Clinton. ''You'll remember Director James Comey going public reigniting the e-mail investigation involving Hillary Clinton only to then reveal there was nothing,'' declared an angry sounding David Muir on ABC's World News Tonight, ''Critics say there is no question it affected the election'...'' ABC's coverage was the most viscous, with their senior justice correspondent, Pierre Thomas reporting:
Tonight, the FBI director James Comey under intense new scrutiny. A new Inspector General investigation asking the critical question, ''Did Comey's actions in the Clinton e-mail probe violate Justice Department policies and protocol?'' Something critics have maintained severely hurt Clinton's chance at the presidency.
Thomas whined that Comey ''spent 15 minutes laying out the case harshly criticizing her'' before saying he wouldn't bring charges against her. He noted that Clinton's team believes Comey's statements were ''devastating'' before playing audio of Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon proclaiming, ''If this election had been held ten days earlier, prior to the sending of Jim Comey's letter, Hillary Clinton would be the 45th president of the United States.''
Following Comey's testimony in a Congressional hearing, Thomas seemed to accuse the FBI director of misdeeds by asking, ''Director Comey are you comfortable in the role that you played in the election, sir?''
On NBC, justice correspondent Pete Williams parroted Clinton lines that, ''the review should've been launched much earlier, right after the unusual news conference in July.'' ''If he opened an investigation then, it might have prevented Comey from sending that letter in October, which I think ultimately might have been decisive in the presidential election,'' a Clinton support told Williams.
What they failed to mention was that the investigation would also be looking into whether there as any breach in protocol in Clinton's favor. ''The OIG investigation is also exploring whether FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should've recused himself from the Clinton e-mail case after his wife received about a million dollars for a state senate race from Democrats including longtime Clinton confidant Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe,'' reported Fox News' Catherine Herridge on Special Report.
She also noted that the investigation would include ''Justice Department Official Peter Kadzik, a longtime friend of Clinton's campaign manager'' because of allegations he passed along information regarding e-mail dumps and congressional hearings to Clinton.
CBS Evening News was the only network to mention these other facets of the investigation, but they were quick to hammer Comey for not being willing to talk about investigations involving Trump during a Congressional hearing this week.
VIDEO - ABC Writes-Off Trump's Defense, Highlights KGB Blackmail Tactics | MRCTV
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:10
ABC seemed to be holding out hope Thursday evening on World News Tonight that BuzzFeed's salacious accusations against President-elect Donald Trump were true. ''The Russians and Trump have angrily denounced the allegations as completely false, including the unverified claim that Trump was secretly recorded when he visited Moscow,'' declared Brian Ross giving the impression that the president-elect was mistaken, ''Trump says he knows better than to let that happen.''
''But spies for the former KGB are famous for just that kind of blackmail tactic against foreign visitors,'' Ross hyped, ''U.S. officials say the Russians posted this video of an American diplomat with an alleged prostitute, complete with background music, after the diplomat refused to become a double agent.''
Ross reported that both President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden were briefed on the details of the claims, with Biden telling the press he was told, ''We can't say it's not true. We can't say it is true.'' Ross also noted that the source of the information, Christopher Steele a British spy, was reportedly now in hiding. Both of these pieces of information were delivered in a way as to try and add weight to the allegations.
''The cold war ended, but the Russian intelligence operations in hotels in Moscow, targeted against Americans, has never stopped,'' Richard Clarke, a former National Security official told Ross.
The ABC reporter had, even more, Russian exploits to tout, including the phone tapping of an American diplomat. ''Three years ago, the Russians intercepted the very undiplomatic phone conversation of a top American diplomat, Victoria Nuland, and posted it online,'' he recalled
''Trump said Wednesday the Russians have nothing on him,'' Ross reiterated before wrapping up his report claiming, ''As for that former British spy, authorities tell ABC News tonight he is considered a trusted source who has been helpful with past FBI investigations,with both the Kremlin and Russian organized crime.''
It's baffling to believe that ABC thought it was appropriate to conjecture that Russia had compromising information on the president-elect. By showing off Russia's success in obtaining evidence to blackmail diplomats and then making the argument that no official has said the claims were false does just that. It could be argued that ABC was effectively gambling on the salacious accusations, published by BuzzFeed, being true.
VIDEO - Matt Lauer: 'I Just Burst Out Crying' When Obama Gave Biden Medal of Freedom | MRCTV
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 04:31
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
Following a gushing report on Friday's NBC Today about President Obama awarding Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, co-host Matt Lauer revealed that he was overtaken by emotion while watching the White House ceremony on Thursday: ''So I'm glad there were no cameras in my apartment yesterday because I was just sitting there weeping....I just burst out crying when I saw that moment. It was incredible.''
Introducing the three-minute segment, Lauer proclaimed: ''...there was something special in Washington yesterday. It's getting a lot of attention. President Obama surprising his vice president, Joe Biden, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.'' Correspondent Andrea Mitchell followed: ''It was extraordinary, Matt....Barack Obama had a parting gift for his vice president, Joe Biden. Also on display, the kind of friendship rarely seen between high-powered politicians here in Washington.''
VIDEO - Carlson Throws Down with Ex-Holder Spokesman Who Says Trump's Presidency Is Illegitimate | MRCTV
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 04:26
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
On Thursday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson confronted former Obama Department of Justice spokesman Matthew Miller for suggesting that Donald Trump's presidency is illegitimate and the election was not ''fair and square.''
Such debates have been catalysts for drawing eyeballs to Carlson's eponymous FNC show and his promotion to 9:00 p.m. Eastern. That being said, this particular one didn't disappoint.
VIDEO - Nicole Kidman Clarifies Her Controversial 'Support' For Donald Trump In New Interview | The Huffington Post
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 03:16
Nicole Kidman is clarifying her controversial comments encouraging all Americans to accept President-elect Donald Trump in a new interview.
The ''Lion'' actress came under fire this week for declaring that it's time to support the reality-TV-host-turned-politician now that he's been elected because ''that's what the country's based on.''
Many considered Kidman's statements to be dismissive of the potential problems of a Trump presidency, especially in light of her ''Hours'' co-star Meryl Streep's Golden Globes appeal to ''safeguard the truth'' during this political moment.
''I was trying to stress that I believe in democracy and the American Constitution, and it was that simple,'' she told Access Hollywood on Saturday.
When asked to comment further on the backlash, the Oscar-actress refused to elaborate on her stance. ''I'm out of it now,'' she added. ''That's what I said and it's that simple.''
Speaking with the BBC in her initial interview, Kidman explained that she was ''reticent to start commenting politically'' and prefers to keep her opinions about U.S. and Australian politics to herself. Kidman, who was born in Hawaii, is a dual citizen of both countries.
However, the actress maintained that her passion for advocating for women's rights like the fight against ovarian and breast cancer remains resolute.
''I'm issue-based,'' she said. ''I'm very, very committed to women's issues.''
Kidman is currently starring in ''Lion,'' which is in theaters now.
VIDEO - Ruby's American Pie - When Ruby Wax met Donald Trump (full show) - YouTube
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 15:58
VIDEO - MAD DOG WON'T BITE! Mattis Doesn't Take Bait, Defends LGBT [VIDEO]
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:22
Written by: David Fisher
General ''Mad Dog'' Mattis defended LGBT in the military yesterday during his confirmation hearing, calling them ''patriots'' and later not taking Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's bait when pressed on LGBT service members.
''Frankly, Senator, I've never cared much about two consenting adults and who they go to bed with.''
When pressed again, General Mattis explained that his position was to have the most lethal force. General Mattis continues to prove he is a class act and unconcerned with playing political games. He has already changed Trump's tune on torture and will arguably be the most pro-peace Secretary of Defense in recent history.
Watch the exchange below. Semper Fi!
VIDEO - LGBT groups 'heartened' by Mattis' testimony | TheHill
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:15
Groups that advocate for LGBT troops were said they were assuaged by retired Gen. James Mattis' Thursday testimony suggesting he won't roll back rules set by the Obama administration allowing such service members to serve openly.
''We are heartened by Gen. Mattis' stated commitment during his testimony not to reverse the profound progress we have made in ensuring LGBT service members and their families are able to serve our nation with pride,'' American Military Partner Association President Ashley Broadway-Mack and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Matt Thorn said in a joint statement.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter lifted the ban on transgender troops serving openly last summer and the repeal of the ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' policy that banned gay service members from serving openly also came during the Obama administration.
Outside groups had been worried that Mattis, President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFlawed Democratic idealismTrump rips John Lewis: Worry about your 'crime infested' districtTrump on 'One China' policy: 'Everything is under negotiation'MORE's pick to head the Department of Defense, would be hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender troops based on past statements he's made blasting civilian leaders with a ''progressive agenda'' imposing ''social change'' on the military.
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He was pressed on those issues by multiple Democrats during Thursday's confirmation hearing and ultimately said he would not roll back the changes unless a service secretary tells him there is a proven issue with the policy.At first, he demurred when asked if gay troops were undermining the military's lethality. But asked later by Sen. Mazie HironoMazie HironoLGBT groups 'heartened' by Mattis' testimonyMattis cruises through confirmation hearingLive coverage: Mattis confirmation hearing for PentagonMORE (D-Hawaii) whether there's anything innate about being a woman or identifying as LGBT that would prevent someone from serving in a lethal force, Mattis flatly said, ''No.''
That answer made Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, optimistic about Mattis' commitment to upholding the existing policies. Prior the hearing, Belkin had said he expected Mattis to ''take aim'' at women and LGBT troops.
''When Gen. Mattis agreed that women and LGBT troops can contribute to the military's lethality, he was supporting the long standing argument, backed up by a solid consensus in the research as well the experiences of foreign militaries, that inclusive policy promotes readiness,'' Belkin said in a statement Thursday.
In their statement, Broadway-Mack and Thorn said that after Thursday's hearing, they look forward to working with Mattis.
''Because questions had been raised about his commitment on this front, uncertainty in the future had given our military families great cause for concern,'' they said. ''His comments today give us hope for a working relationship between our organizations and the new Defense Department leadership. If confirmed, we look forward to working with Gen. Mattis in supporting our nation's brave heroes and their families.''
They also pledged to hold the incoming administration accountable.
''We are committed to holding the incoming administration accountable and ensuring all who serve, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, have the support and respect they need and deserve,'' they said.
VIDEO - Glenn Greenwald on the Trump memo, the CIA and Russia - BBC Newsnight - YouTube
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:06
VIDEO - Meryl Streep powerful speech at the Golden Globes (2017) - YouTube
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 13:31
VIDEO - 'What's next, Mr. Putin? Invade the Disney channel?' - Galloway on RT C-SPAN interruption - YouTube
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 08:01
VIDEO - Scott Thompson & Chris Franjola | Getting Doug with High - YouTube
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:52
VIDEO - Moonbats Go After L.L. Bean After Founder's Granddaughter Supported Pro-Trump Super PAC'... | The Last Refuge
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 06:04
A pro-Trump political action committee bankrolled by Linda Bean, a granddaughter of L.L. Bean founder Leon Leonwood Bean gained media attention due to FEC filings. The Social Justice Moonbats caught wind of Linda Bean supporting Donald Trump and immediately began a boycott effort of the L.L. Bean Company.
The company responded: ''We were disappointed to learn that Grab Your Wallet is advocating a boycott against L.L.Bean solely because Linda Bean, who is only one of 50+ family members involved with the business, personally supported Donald Trump for President''. (Facebook)
Linda Bean appeared on Fox News Morning:
Linda Bean says she ain't backing down. Which prompted President-elect Donald Trump to step up and tweet support for Linda Bean.
In addition to their famous ''duck boots'', they make super comfy blankets and all kinds of clothes. And they have a sale going on right now '' SHOP HERE '' just saying.
Of course the professional pearl-clutchers are apoplectic talking about how the world will come to an end if President Trump promotes an individual company etc., inconveniently forgetting all of the Barack and Michelle Obama promoted companies like: Costco, Starbucks, Olive Garden etc.
Whatever.
Freedom !
I shall buy a pair of pricey socks.
VIDEO - Glenn Greenwald Discusses ''The Deep State'' With Tucker Carlson'... | The Last Refuge
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 06:03
While it might be disconcerting for some, and Glenn Greenwald is not a political ally, we hold no reservations about exposing the UniParty's connections to Deep State constructs whenever it surfaces.
Fox host Tucker Carlson invites The Intercept's Glen Greenwald to discuss why the intelligence agencies appear to be in conflict with President Elect Donald Trump. Glenn Greenwald breaks down how the recently leaked 35-page-dossier could have only been injected into the media narrative from one of the intel agencies at odds with, and at risk from, President Trump. WATCH:
Mounting evidence supports the ongoing thesis the Department of Defense has actually seceded from the political elites; and with the election of President Donald Trump, they are poised on the horizon to reconstruct a nationalist-minded defense, intelligence and security apparatus.
This is the fundamental paradigm shift many have discussed, yet few imagined possible.
With General Mattis as Secretary of Defense, Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor, General John Kelly the Department of Homeland Security, a top-of-class West Point graduate in Mike Pompeo brought in to take over and undoubtedly purge the CIA, and a lame duck struggle breaking out over NSA with Admiral Mike Rogers, the implications are pretty obvious.
['...] The white hats we have needed within the national security and intelligence departments are responding from a very select group within the Defense Department. (more)
Understanding The UniParty ''DEEP STATE'' '' During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi's regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there.
At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom's Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country's intelligence.
Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields.
This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. Yes, they need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.
Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.
['...] The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council.
Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress. Also included are a handful of vital federal trial courts, such as the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of Manhattan, where sensitive proceedings in national security cases are conducted.
The final government component (and possibly last in precedence among the formal branches of government established by the Constitution) is a kind of rump Congress consisting of the congressional leadership and some (but not all) of the members of the defense and intelligence committees.
The rest of Congress, normally so fractious and partisan, is mostly only intermittently aware of the Deep State and when required usually submits to a few well-chosen words from the State's emissaries.
[T]he Deep State does not consist only of government agencies. What is euphemistically called ''private enterprise'' is an integral part of its operations. In a special series in The Washington Post called ''Top Secret America,'' Dana Priest and William K. Arkin described the scope of the privatized Deep State and the degree to which it has metastasized after the September 11 attacks.
There are now 854,000 contract personnel with top-secret clearances '-- a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government. While they work throughout the country and the world, their heavy concentration in and around the Washington suburbs is unmistakable: Since 9/11, 33 facilities for top-secret intelligence have been built or are under construction. Combined, they occupy the floor space of almost three Pentagons '-- about 17 million square feet.
Seventy percent of the intelligence community's budget goes to paying contracts. And the membrane between government and industry is highly permeable: The Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, is a former executive of Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the government's largest intelligence contractors. His predecessor as director, Admiral Mike McConnell, is the current vice chairman of the same company; Booz Allen is 99 percent dependent on government business.
These contractors now set the political and social tone of Washington, just as they are increasingly setting the direction of the country, but they are doing it quietly, their doings unrecorded in the Congressional Record or the Federal Register, and are rarely subject to congressional hearings.
Washington is the most important node of the Deep State that has taken over America, but it is not the only one. Invisible threads of money and ambition connect the town to other nodes. One is Wall Street, which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater.
Should the politicians forget their lines and threaten the status quo, Wall Street floods the town with cash and lawyers to help the hired hands remember their own best interests. The executives of the financial giants even have de facto criminal immunity.
On March 6, 2013, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder stated the following: ''I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.''
This, from the chief law enforcement officer of a justice system that has practically abolished the constitutional right to trial for poorer defendants charged with certain crimes. It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice '-- certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee.
The corridor between Manhattan and Washington is a well trodden highway for the personalities we have all gotten to know in the period since the massive deregulation of Wall Street: Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner and many others.
Not all the traffic involves persons connected with the purely financial operations of the government: In 2013, General David Petraeus joined KKR (formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) of 9 West 57th Street, New York, a private equity firm with $62.3 billion in assets. KKR specializes in management buyouts and leveraged finance. General Petraeus' expertise in these areas is unclear. His ability to peddle influence, however, is a known and valued commodity.
Unlike Cincinnatus, the military commanders of the Deep State do not take up the plow once they lay down the sword. Petraeus also obtained a sinecure as a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. The Ivy League is, of course, the preferred bleaching tub and charm school of the American oligarchy.
Petraeus and most of the avatars of the Deep State '-- the White House advisers who urged Obama not to impose compensation limits on Wall Street CEOs, the contractor-connected think tank experts who besought us to ''stay the course'' in Iraq, the economic gurus who perpetually demonstrate that globalization and deregulation are a blessing that makes us all better off in the long run '-- are careful to pretend that they have no ideology.
Their preferred pose is that of the politically neutral technocrat offering well considered advice based on profound expertise. That is nonsense. They are deeply dyed in the hue of the official ideology of the governing class, an ideology that is neither specifically Democrat nor Republican.
Domestically, whatever they might privately believe about essentially diversionary social issues such as abortion or gay marriage, they almost invariably believe in the ''Washington Consensus'': financialization, outsourcing, privatization, deregulation and the commodifying of labor. Internationally, they espouse 21st-century ''American Exceptionalism'': the right and duty of the United States to meddle in every region of the world with coercive diplomacy and boots on the ground (keep reading).
This, dear friends, is yet only part of what President Donald Trump is up against'...'....there are trillions of dollars at stake.
MUST WATCH: Insider on BBC says Christopher Steele WAS PAID BY JEB BUSH.. and the #fakenews story was created to get more money out of him. pic.twitter.com/NEwfbS6Oh0
'-- Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) January 12, 2017
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Important note that everyone must remember.The Washington Post is the designated media outlet for the public position of the CIA. And CNN is the specifically funded media outlet for the positions of the U.S. State Department.
VIDEO - Obama surprises Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 05:20
(Victoria Walker/The Washington Post)
President Obama awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to a shocked Vice President Biden on Thursday at the White House.
Biden and the president had gathered with others for what the White House had described as a final tribute to the vice president.
[The Obama-Biden bond is among the strongest in White House history]
The event began with a playful and heartfelt tribute from Obama to one of his closest friends and confidants in Washington. As he finished his remarks, the president asked one of his military aides to come to the stage.
''For the final time as president I am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor .'‰.'‰.'' Obama began as a Marine officer bearing the medal stood by.
(Victoria Walker/The Washington Post)
Biden immediately spun around, turning his back to the crowd, and wiped his face and eyes with his handkerchief. The president bestowed the medal ''with distinction,'' an additional level of veneration that his three immediate predecessors had reserved for only three others '-- Pope John Paul II, former president Ronald Reagan and Gen. Colin Powell.
''I had no inkling,'' Biden said after the medal was draped around his neck. ''I thought we were going .'‰.'‰. to toast one another and say what an incredible journey it has been.''
In his remarks, Biden praised Obama for serving the nation with dignity and insisted that he was not worthy of the honor.
''I don't deserve this,'' the vice president said repeatedly.
Obama described Biden as a ''lion of American history'' and praised his long service in the Senate. As vice president, Biden's influence has spanned both domestic and international policy initiatives. He was a critical voice in crafting strategy in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in encouraging Obama to send Navy SEALs on a mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden in 2011.
Biden also helped oversee the president's first-term economic stimulus package and pressed unsuccessfully for gun-control legislation after the killing of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
(Erin Patrick O'Connor/The Washington Post)
Obama embraced a common Biden tactic in his remarks by including a quote from an Irish poet and words of wisdom from the vice president's parents.
The president also spoke of their friendship forged through tough times and tragedy. In 2015, Beau Biden, the vice president's son, died of brain cancer, and Obama delivered the eulogy at his funeral. Biden's first wife and daughter were killed in a 1972 car crash shortly after he was first elected to the Senate. That tragedy has been a key feature of Biden's political identity, and much of Obama's remarks focused on the vice president's compassion for his fellow Americans.
''When Joe talks about hope and opportunity for our children, we hear the father who rode the rails home there every night so he could be there to tuck his kids into bed,'' Obama said. ''When Joe talks to Gold Star families who have lost a hero, we hear a kindred spirit, another father of an American veteran, somebody whose faith has been tested and has been forced to wander through the darkness himself and who knows who to lean on to find the light.''
Biden recounted that Obama offered help when Biden's son was battling cancer and the vice president was weighing whether to sell his house to cover the bills.
''I'll give you the money,'' Biden recalled Obama telling him. ''Promise me. Promise me you won't sell that house.''
Biden said that he and Obama had on occasion differed on matters of policy but that he had never doubted Obama's judgment.
''I just hope that the asterisk in history that is attached to my name when they talk about this presidency is that I can say I was part of the journey of a remarkable man who did remarkable things for this country,'' Biden said.
Biden closed by grabbing the medal, which had been draped around his neck, and lifting it off his chest. ''This honor is not only well beyond what I deserve but it is a reflection of the extent and generosity of your spirit,'' he said, turning to the president. ''I don't deserve this, but I know it came from the president's heart.''
[The Obama-Biden bond is among the strongest in White House history]
VIDEO - Watch: Dem Sen Warren Questions Ben Carson If Trump Family Will Profit From HUD Grants - Breitbart
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:43
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Thursday at the HUD secretary confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Dr. Ben Carson, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for the position, fielded questions from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on as to whether or not he would direct money in a way that would benefit Trump's business interests.
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''Now housing development is an area at which President-elect Trump and his family have significant business interests,'' Warren said. ''Can you assure me that not a single taxpayer that you give out will financially benefit the president elect or his family?''
''I can assure you that the things that I do are driven by a sense of morals and values, and therefore I will absolutely not play favorites for anyone,'' he replied.
Rest of the exchange as follows:
WARREN: My concern is whether or not, among the billions of dollars that you'll be responsible for handing out in grants and loans, can you assure us that not one dollar will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family.
CARSON: It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American, particularly. It's for all Americans, everything that we do.
WARREN: Do I take that to mean that you may manage programs that will significantly benefit the president-elect?
CARSON: You can take it to mean that I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people. That is going to be the goal. If there happens to be an extraordinarily good program that's working for millions of people and it turns out that someone that you're targeting is going to gain $10 from it, am I going to say 'no, the rest of you Americans can't have it?' I think logic and common sense probably would be the best way.
WARREN: This just highlights the absurdity and the danger of the president-elect's refusal to put his assets in a true blind trust. He knows, the president-elect knows, what will benefit him and his family financially, but the public doesn't. Which means he can divert taxpayer money into his own pockets without anyone knowing about it.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor
VIDEO - Obama Surprises Joe Biden With Presidential Medal Of Freedom : NPR
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:31
President Obama awarded outgoing Vice President Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday afternoon.
Calling the former longtime Delaware senator "the best vice president America's ever had" and a "lion of American history," Obama gave his White House partner the surprise award in an emotional ceremony, initially billed as a farewell.
After extolling the job that Biden has done, Obama ended it with the unexpected news that he was giving the vice president the nation's highest civilian honor, with distinction '-- a designation previously given only to President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Gen. Colin Powell.
"To know Joe Biden is to know love without pretense, service without self-regard, and to live life fully," Obama said.
Overcome with tears and completely caught off guard by the award, Biden praised the president as "remarkable man who did remarkable things for this country" who had truly treated him like an equal partner in governance.
"This honor is not only well beyond what I deserve, but it's a reflection of the generosity of your spirit," Biden told Obama. "I don't deserve this. But I know it came from the president's heart."
President Obama presents a teary-eyed Vice President Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Thursday. Susan Walsh/APhide caption
toggle captionSusan Walsh/APPresident Obama presents a teary-eyed Vice President Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Thursday.
Susan Walsh/APThe two have enjoyed an unusually close working relationship over the past eight years, and Obama himself even joked at the outset of the ceremony that "this also gives the Internet one last chance to talk about our 'bromance.' "
Throughout the ceremony it was evident not just how close the two men were but how close their families and staffs had become, and Obama said his "family is honored to call ourselves honorary Bidens."
Obama has frequently said that picking Biden, his former primary rival, as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made. Before accepting the nomination, Biden had spent more than three decades in the Senate, amassing a large portfolio and body of work, including stints as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The president said, laughing, that the people of Delaware sent Biden to the Senate as soon as they could, electing him to the Senate at the age of 29 (he turned the constitutionally required age of 30 before he was sworn in).
But before Biden could even head to Washington, his life would be marked with unspeakable tragedy for the first time. While Christmas shopping, his first wife and 1-year-old daughter were killed in a car wreck; his sons Hunter and Beau were injured in the accident. Biden considered resigning before he even took office but was persuaded not to. He was sworn into office at the hospital beside his sons, and for years he would famously commute back and forth every day on Amtrak to be with his family. Later on, he would meet and marry his now-wife, Jill, and they would have a daughter together, Ashley.
In 2015, tragedy would strike the Biden family again when his eldest son, Beau, the former Delaware attorney general who was long seen as his father's political heir, died at the age of 46 from brain cancer. The loss came as the elder Biden was weighing whether he should make his own run at the Oval Office to succeed Obama. Months later, the still very emotional vice president acknowledged his window had passed and said that he wouldn't launch his own presidential campaign.
VIDEO - Erdogan calls for Turkish 'national mobilisation' to defend lira | Reuters
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 21:16
Thu Jan 12, 2017 | 8:58 PM GMT
ByErcan Gurses and Behiye Selin Taner|ANKARA/ISTANBUL
ANKARA/ISTANBUL President Tayyip Erdogan accused Turkey's enemies on Thursday of using currency speculation to try to topple the state and urged the central bank to "thwart these games", saying it had all the tools it needed after the lira plunged to record lows.
Erdogan repeated his call to Turks to sell foreign currency, urging a "sense of national mobilisation" against speculators. He evoked last July's military coup attempt, when people took to the streets to block tanks, and said anybody who helped the nation achieve its targets would be a hero.
"There is no difference in terms of goals between the terrorist with a gun in his hand and a terrorist with dollars and euros in his hands," Erdogan said in a speech to local administrators at the presidential palace in Ankara.
"The goal is to topple Turkey, to make it kneel and stray from its goals. They are using the foreign exchange rate as a weapon," he said. "Of course, we have some problems, but none of these explain the exchange rate in our country."
The lira has lost as much as 10 percent against the dollar since the start of 2017, making it the worst-performing major currency of the new year, as concern over political and economic stability is compounded by doubts about whether the authorities will take decisive steps to stabilise it.
It has also lost almost a quarter of its value in the six months since the failed coup attempt. TRYTOM=D3
Economists say the central bank needs to raise interest rates sharply to prevent further weakening. But the bank is reluctant to make such an outright move, with Erdogan and the government pre-occupied by slowing economic growth and eager for lower borrowing costs to spur investment.
"It's clear that the speculation on the forex rate has no depth.... Our central bank and other banks must thwart these games. The central bank has the necessary tools and ability to take measures on this," Erdogan said.
He also took aim at commercial lenders. "Banks should not be involved in other calculations when the survival of the entire nation is on the line. I am also calling to the business world, it is time to invest and create jobs."
Erdogan, his aides, and some ministers have repeatedly cast the lira's decline as part of a conspiracy against Turkey by outside powers, drawing parallels with bombings by Islamic State and Kurdish militants and the coup attempt.
Pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak said German banks in collaboration with the German secret service were to blame for the speculation against the lira, publishing the headline "Deutsche Bank operation" on its front page.
TEMPORARY RESPITE
The central bank took steps to tighten lira liquidity on Thursday by encouraging lenders to borrow at a higher rate, taking some pressure off the lira.
It did not open its regular one-week repo auction, through which it usually funds the market at 8 percent, leaving banks to resort to its overnight lending rate of 8.5 percent interest or its late liquidity window at 10 percent.
"By taking liquidity measures, the central bank is attempting to raise rates without directly raising the official rates," said HSBC Asset Management strategist Ibrahim Aksoy.
The lira firmed to 3.7897 to the dollar by 1400 GMT, after weakening as much as 1.5 percent to 3.9290 in early trade. It hit a record low of 3.9417 on Wednesday.
But it was helped by a weaker dollar. The U.S. currency nursed widespread losses on Thursday after President-elect Donald Trump said little about his future fiscal policies at a long-awaited news conference.
"The lira may enjoy some very short-term respite and take a breather because of general market conditions and this attempt by the central bank to tighten some of the short-term monetary conditions," said Cristian Maggio, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities.
"But none of that is structural and long-term, and the lira will remain skewed to extreme weakness until the central bank decides to hike in large scale on interest rates."
The economy contracted for the first time in seven years in the third quarter and growth is forecast at 3.2 percent for last year, a far cry from the high single-digit rates on which Erdogan built his reputation as prime minister from 2003-14.
He is keen to prevent the economy losing too much momentum as the country prepares for an expected referendum in the spring on constitutional changes that would create a full presidential system and hand him greater powers.
At its last rate-setting meeting in December, the central bank defied expectations of an increase and left rates on hold. It will meet again to set rates on Jan. 24, with many economists saying it need to make a sharp increase.
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Twitter that the bank's hands were not tied.
"The run on the lira is a glass half empty stance. Even with occasional delays, central bank has acted in the past. It should and will act again," he said, adding that the dust would settle on the lira rout and that the fundamentals of the Turkish economy were what ultimately mattered.
(Additional reporting by Tuvan Gumrucku and Orhan Coskun in Ankara, Daren Butler in Istanbul, Karin Strohecker in London; Writing by Nick Tattersall; editing by David Stamp)

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EuroLand

894 Northern Ireland's government looks like it's about to collapse.pdf
894-Northern Irelands power-sharing government on brink of collapse - The Washington Post.pdf
Obama Sends 4,000 U.S. Soldiers To Poland.mp3

F-Russia

'What's next, Mr. Putin? Invade the Disney channel?' - Galloway on RT C-SPAN interruption.mp3
MSNBC Russia Glitch Or Not Glitch.m4a
REPORTS LINK SYRIAN PRESIDENT ASSAD TO CHEMICAL ATTACKS FOR THE FIRST TIME, REUTERS.mp3
Sharpton Rally in DC-Rev Richards-First time we have a russian president.mp3

Fake News

CNN's Stelter-1 and Avlon Fret Term 'Fake News' Misused.mp3
CNN's Stelter-2 Frets Term 'Fake News' Is 'Misused,' Should Be 'Retired.mp3

Golden Shower

ABC Writes-Off Trump’s Defense, Highlights KGB Blackmail Tactics.mp3
Ruby Wax with Trump in 2000-GERMAPHOBE.mp3
Trump Insider Ted Malloch on BBC says Christopher Steele WAS PAID BY JEB BUSH.mp3

JCD Clips

blitzer m korea teaser.mp3
BROOKS nwo 1.mp3
BROOKS nwo 2.mp3
Clapper talks to Trump NBC.mp3
CNN saga all along ONE.mp3
CNN saga all along THREE Negroponte.mp3
CNN saga all along TWO.mp3
comey intrique NBC makes sense.mp3
erin on comey cnn.mp3
gingrich comments.mp3
journalists on a list in EU.mp3
LAWRENCE ON DONNEL ON Trump.mp3
LESTER HOLT WITH OBAMA 1.mp3
LESTER HOLT WITH OBAMA 2.mp3
NBC goading Russia with a sit down.mp3
negroponte on divergent views.mp3
pbs MARGARET WARNER LONG REPORT WITH AN ISSUE.mp3
suppressor story.mp3
tillerson ad.mp3

NWO

Charlie Rose Invokes NWO Script.m4a

Ottomania

Erdogan calls for Turkish 'national mobilisation' to defend lira.mp3

Parallel Universes

Paralell Universe-Judge Janine with Coco Soodek-Trump.mp3
Paralell Universes-Carlson Throws Down with Ex-Holder Spokesman Matthew MillerWho Says Trump’s Presidency Is Illegitimate.mp3
Paralell Universes-Sen. Franken- 'There Has to Be an Investigation' Into 'Charges' That Trump Campaign Coordinated With Russia.mp3

Trump Transition

ABC's Hostin's Rallying Cry- 'We Are United As Journalists' In War Against Trump.mp3
ABC2 on DoJ COmey investigation.mp3
CNN's Gupta Highlights Doctor Who Opposes ObamaCare.mp3
Congressman John Lewis Says Donald Trump Is NOT A Legitimate President Because Of The Russians.mp3
Head of D.C. National Guard to be removed from post in middle of inauguration.mp3
Improvisational Government-FoxNews Abby Huntsman Shows She Is A Moron.m4a
Kamal Harris-Trump's CIA Nominee Pressed on LGBT-Friendly Policies for Spies.mp3
Matt Lauer- ‘I Just Burst Out Crying’ When Obama Gave Biden Medal of Freedom.mp3
NBC1 on DoJ COmey investigation.mp3
Nicole Kidman Clarifies Her Controversial ‘Support’ For Donald Trump In New Interview.mp3
Pelosi- Defunding Planned Parenthood-Finalis a ‘Manhood Thing.mp3
Presidential Inauguration Announcer Canned.m4a
Sen Gillebrand D-NY-Gen. Mattis Says He Has 'No Plan' to Oppose Women or LGBTs Serving in Military.mp3
What Nicole Kidman really said about Trump- 'He's There and Let's Go'.mp3

Words Matter

Joe Biden Says What We've All Been Thinking.mp3

SOURCE VIDEOS

VIDEO - Joe Biden Says What We've All Been Thinking - YouTube
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Archived Version
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 15:29
VIDEO - Head of D.C. National Guard to be removed from post in middle of inauguration - The Washington Post
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Archived Version
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 07:08
The Army general who heads the D.C. National Guard and has an integral part in overseeing the inauguration said Friday that he will be removed from command effective at 12:01 p.m. Jan. 20, just as Donald Trump is sworn in as president.
Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz's departure will come in the middle of the presidential ceremony '-- classified as a national special security event '-- and while thousands of his troops are deployed to help protect the nation's capital during an inauguration he has spent months helping to plan.
''The timing is extremely unusual,'' Schwartz said in an interview Friday morning, confirming a memo announcing his ouster that was obtained by The Washington Post. During the inauguration, Schwartz will command not only members of the D.C. Guard but also 5,000 unarmed troops dispatched from across the country to help. He also will oversee military air support protecting Washington during the inauguration.
''My troops will be on the street,'' said Schwartz, who turned 65 in October. ''I'll see them off, but I won't be able to welcome them back to the armory.'' He said he would ''never plan to leave a mission in the middle of a battle.''
Unlike in the states, where the governor appoints the National Guard commander, in the District that duty falls to the president.
(Claritza Jimenez,Danielle Kunitz,Julio Negron/The Washington Post)
Military officials and Trump transition officials provided contradictory versions of the decision to replace Schwartz. As is customary for presidential appointees, the general submitted a letter of resignation to give the new administration a clean start.
Two military officials with knowledge of the situation said the Trump team decided to accept the resignation. A person close to the transition said transition officials wanted to keep Schwartz in the job for continuity, but the Army pushed to replace him.
Schwartz, who was appointed to head the Guard by President George W. Bush in 2008, maintained the position through President Obama's two terms. He said his orders came from the Pentagon in the form of an email that names his interim successor, a brigadier general, who takes over at 12:01 p.m. next Friday.
Army Maj. Jamie Davis, a spokesman at the Defense Department, said Schwartz is classified as a ''non-career status employee.'' He noted that the interim commander ''is ready to assume complete mission'' and handle the inauguration.
One of the military officials said the Trump transition team receives lists of political appointees and can decide which resignations to accept. All resignations are effective at 12:01 p.m. on Inauguration Day.
D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) blasted the decision to remove Schwartz, particularly during the inauguration.
''It doesn't make sense to can the general in the middle of an active deployment,'' Mendelson said. He added that Schwartz's sudden departure will be a long-term loss for the District. ''He's been really very good at working with the community, and my impression was that he was good for the Guard.''
Schwartz said he will work up until that moment, and then plans to retire from the Army. ''I'm a soldier,'' he said. ''I'm a presidential appointee. Therefore, the president has the power to remove me.''
Like other deployments, Inauguration Day will be a complicated one for the D.C. National Guard '-- at least on paper. Since the District is not a state, its mayor cannot call up Guard members to active duty as a state governor can.
The District must send a letter to the secretary of the Army requesting the support. The District and the Army must then go through a seven-step process to initiate the deployment, during which Guard members carry out duties at the request of the mayor and city homeland security officials.
The two entities have been able to work together to make that happen quickly in response to unfolding natural disasters, such as last year's record January snowfall. During that storm, which dumped 22 inches of snow, the Guard was activated in anticipation of the storm's arrival, and troops helped shuttle officials, plow drivers and supplies back and forth across the city.
Schwartz began his military career in 1976 by enlisting in the Guard, formally called the Militia of the District of Columbia National Guard. He also oversees the Air National Guard, which combined with the Army Guard has an authorized strength of 2,700. He has served in several leadership positions, notably commanding the 372nd Military Police Battalion.
He graduated in 1980 from the University of the District of Columbia with a degree in electrical engineering and received a master's degree in business management from Central Michigan University and in national security strategy from the National Defense University at Fort McNair in the District.
Schwartz said that he is most proud of the Youth Challenge Academy, a school for teenage dropouts run by the Guard with an infusion of federal money. The school, separate from D.C. public and charter schools, is located at the former Oak Hill facility, the District's old juvenile jail. Schwartz said that about 60 percent of the student body have obtained high school diplomas, and some have gone on to college.
''These are kids with high potential,'' Schwartz said. ''They just need to be steered a little bit. That's what guardsmen can do.'' He said he has told his wife that he might stay active in the school.
''I don't mind walking the halls and knocking on doors wearing a suit and tie,'' he said.
Dan Lamothe contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Reports link Syrian president Assad to chemical attacks for the first time, Reuters | Euronews
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Archived Version
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 06:15
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world news
14/01/2017Obamacare days 'numbered' after US Republicans take first step to 'repeal and replace'
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VIDEO - Congressman John Lewis Says Donald Trump Is NOT A Legitimate President Because Of The Russians! - YouTube
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Archived Version
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:58
VIDEO - Obama Sends 4,000 U.S. Soldiers To Poland! - YouTube
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Archived Version
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:51
VIDEO - "This Is The First Time In The History Of America That We Have A Russian President!" - YouTube
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Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:46
VIDEO - ABC's Hostin's Rallying Cry: 'We Are United As Journalists' In War Against Trump | MRCTV
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Archived Version
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:24
On Thursday's The View, the hosts spouted off on Wednesday's press conference where Donald Trump refused to call on CNN reporter Jim Acosta, calling his news organization ''fake news.'' The conflict came over CNN repeating an unsubstantiated report from Buzzfeed which claimed that Russia had ''compromising information'' on Trump. Though many in the media denounced the report, many still shared it. The panel on ABC's The View thought it was perfectly acceptable for CNN to share this story and rejected Trump calling the story and CNN ''fake news.''
Read more on Newsbusters here.
VIDEO - CNN Lectures Trump, Decries 'Far From Normal' Situation With Press | MRCTV
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Archived Version
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:16
[More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]
CNN's Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter, with the help of Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota, blasted Donald Trump on 12 January 2017 edition of New Day over the President-Elect's treatment of the media at his Wednesday press conference. Acosta, who got in a face-off with Trump at the event, expressed his "hope...that Donald Trump can get past this...'Clinton News Network, CNN sucks' mentality that we saw out on the campaign trail. The campaign is over. It's time to be president."
Stelter bewailed how "the environment right now is so far from normal," and asserted that "we're so from the norms of respect when it comes to the President or the President-Elect...saying the right things about respecting the First Amendment." He also played up that his "inbox is stuffed with people thanking you, Jim, for standing there yesterday; and thanking this network for its reporting about Trump and Russia; and thanking the press...yes, there's a portion of the country that distrusts the media. Let's not lose sight of the majority of the public that, I think, really wants and needs this help right now."
VIDEO - Bitter Nets Tout Investigation into Comey's Clinton E-Mail Probe | MRCTV
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Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:12
The Big Three networks seemed full of glee Thursday evening as they reported that FBI Director James Comey was being investigated by the Justice Department's inspector general. ''Hoping for a measure of vindication,'' announced anchor Lester Holt to kick off NBC Nightly News, ''The Hillary Clinton campaign is welcoming the surprise news out of Washington today,that the Justice Department's Inspector General will take a deep look into how the FBI handled the investigation'...''
They were all eager to slam Comey for making things difficult for Hillary Clinton. ''You'll remember Director James Comey going public reigniting the e-mail investigation involving Hillary Clinton only to then reveal there was nothing,'' declared an angry sounding David Muir on ABC's World News Tonight, ''Critics say there is no question it affected the election'...'' ABC's coverage was the most viscous, with their senior justice correspondent, Pierre Thomas reporting:
Tonight, the FBI director James Comey under intense new scrutiny. A new Inspector General investigation asking the critical question, ''Did Comey's actions in the Clinton e-mail probe violate Justice Department policies and protocol?'' Something critics have maintained severely hurt Clinton's chance at the presidency.
Thomas whined that Comey ''spent 15 minutes laying out the case harshly criticizing her'' before saying he wouldn't bring charges against her. He noted that Clinton's team believes Comey's statements were ''devastating'' before playing audio of Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon proclaiming, ''If this election had been held ten days earlier, prior to the sending of Jim Comey's letter, Hillary Clinton would be the 45th president of the United States.''
Following Comey's testimony in a Congressional hearing, Thomas seemed to accuse the FBI director of misdeeds by asking, ''Director Comey are you comfortable in the role that you played in the election, sir?''
On NBC, justice correspondent Pete Williams parroted Clinton lines that, ''the review should've been launched much earlier, right after the unusual news conference in July.'' ''If he opened an investigation then, it might have prevented Comey from sending that letter in October, which I think ultimately might have been decisive in the presidential election,'' a Clinton support told Williams.
What they failed to mention was that the investigation would also be looking into whether there as any breach in protocol in Clinton's favor. ''The OIG investigation is also exploring whether FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should've recused himself from the Clinton e-mail case after his wife received about a million dollars for a state senate race from Democrats including longtime Clinton confidant Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe,'' reported Fox News' Catherine Herridge on Special Report.
She also noted that the investigation would include ''Justice Department Official Peter Kadzik, a longtime friend of Clinton's campaign manager'' because of allegations he passed along information regarding e-mail dumps and congressional hearings to Clinton.
CBS Evening News was the only network to mention these other facets of the investigation, but they were quick to hammer Comey for not being willing to talk about investigations involving Trump during a Congressional hearing this week.
VIDEO - ABC Writes-Off Trump's Defense, Highlights KGB Blackmail Tactics | MRCTV
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Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:10
ABC seemed to be holding out hope Thursday evening on World News Tonight that BuzzFeed's salacious accusations against President-elect Donald Trump were true. ''The Russians and Trump have angrily denounced the allegations as completely false, including the unverified claim that Trump was secretly recorded when he visited Moscow,'' declared Brian Ross giving the impression that the president-elect was mistaken, ''Trump says he knows better than to let that happen.''
''But spies for the former KGB are famous for just that kind of blackmail tactic against foreign visitors,'' Ross hyped, ''U.S. officials say the Russians posted this video of an American diplomat with an alleged prostitute, complete with background music, after the diplomat refused to become a double agent.''
Ross reported that both President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden were briefed on the details of the claims, with Biden telling the press he was told, ''We can't say it's not true. We can't say it is true.'' Ross also noted that the source of the information, Christopher Steele a British spy, was reportedly now in hiding. Both of these pieces of information were delivered in a way as to try and add weight to the allegations.
''The cold war ended, but the Russian intelligence operations in hotels in Moscow, targeted against Americans, has never stopped,'' Richard Clarke, a former National Security official told Ross.
The ABC reporter had, even more, Russian exploits to tout, including the phone tapping of an American diplomat. ''Three years ago, the Russians intercepted the very undiplomatic phone conversation of a top American diplomat, Victoria Nuland, and posted it online,'' he recalled
''Trump said Wednesday the Russians have nothing on him,'' Ross reiterated before wrapping up his report claiming, ''As for that former British spy, authorities tell ABC News tonight he is considered a trusted source who has been helpful with past FBI investigations,with both the Kremlin and Russian organized crime.''
It's baffling to believe that ABC thought it was appropriate to conjecture that Russia had compromising information on the president-elect. By showing off Russia's success in obtaining evidence to blackmail diplomats and then making the argument that no official has said the claims were false does just that. It could be argued that ABC was effectively gambling on the salacious accusations, published by BuzzFeed, being true.
VIDEO - Matt Lauer: 'I Just Burst Out Crying' When Obama Gave Biden Medal of Freedom | MRCTV
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Sun, 15 Jan 2017 04:31
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
Following a gushing report on Friday's NBC Today about President Obama awarding Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, co-host Matt Lauer revealed that he was overtaken by emotion while watching the White House ceremony on Thursday: ''So I'm glad there were no cameras in my apartment yesterday because I was just sitting there weeping....I just burst out crying when I saw that moment. It was incredible.''
Introducing the three-minute segment, Lauer proclaimed: ''...there was something special in Washington yesterday. It's getting a lot of attention. President Obama surprising his vice president, Joe Biden, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.'' Correspondent Andrea Mitchell followed: ''It was extraordinary, Matt....Barack Obama had a parting gift for his vice president, Joe Biden. Also on display, the kind of friendship rarely seen between high-powered politicians here in Washington.''
VIDEO - Carlson Throws Down with Ex-Holder Spokesman Who Says Trump's Presidency Is Illegitimate | MRCTV
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Sun, 15 Jan 2017 04:26
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
On Thursday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson confronted former Obama Department of Justice spokesman Matthew Miller for suggesting that Donald Trump's presidency is illegitimate and the election was not ''fair and square.''
Such debates have been catalysts for drawing eyeballs to Carlson's eponymous FNC show and his promotion to 9:00 p.m. Eastern. That being said, this particular one didn't disappoint.
VIDEO - Nicole Kidman Clarifies Her Controversial 'Support' For Donald Trump In New Interview | The Huffington Post
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Sun, 15 Jan 2017 03:16
Nicole Kidman is clarifying her controversial comments encouraging all Americans to accept President-elect Donald Trump in a new interview.
The ''Lion'' actress came under fire this week for declaring that it's time to support the reality-TV-host-turned-politician now that he's been elected because ''that's what the country's based on.''
Many considered Kidman's statements to be dismissive of the potential problems of a Trump presidency, especially in light of her ''Hours'' co-star Meryl Streep's Golden Globes appeal to ''safeguard the truth'' during this political moment.
''I was trying to stress that I believe in democracy and the American Constitution, and it was that simple,'' she told Access Hollywood on Saturday.
When asked to comment further on the backlash, the Oscar-actress refused to elaborate on her stance. ''I'm out of it now,'' she added. ''That's what I said and it's that simple.''
Speaking with the BBC in her initial interview, Kidman explained that she was ''reticent to start commenting politically'' and prefers to keep her opinions about U.S. and Australian politics to herself. Kidman, who was born in Hawaii, is a dual citizen of both countries.
However, the actress maintained that her passion for advocating for women's rights like the fight against ovarian and breast cancer remains resolute.
''I'm issue-based,'' she said. ''I'm very, very committed to women's issues.''
Kidman is currently starring in ''Lion,'' which is in theaters now.
VIDEO - Ruby's American Pie - When Ruby Wax met Donald Trump (full show) - YouTube
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Sat, 14 Jan 2017 15:58
VIDEO - MAD DOG WON'T BITE! Mattis Doesn't Take Bait, Defends LGBT [VIDEO]
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Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:22
Written by: David Fisher
General ''Mad Dog'' Mattis defended LGBT in the military yesterday during his confirmation hearing, calling them ''patriots'' and later not taking Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's bait when pressed on LGBT service members.
''Frankly, Senator, I've never cared much about two consenting adults and who they go to bed with.''
When pressed again, General Mattis explained that his position was to have the most lethal force. General Mattis continues to prove he is a class act and unconcerned with playing political games. He has already changed Trump's tune on torture and will arguably be the most pro-peace Secretary of Defense in recent history.
Watch the exchange below. Semper Fi!
VIDEO - LGBT groups 'heartened' by Mattis' testimony | TheHill
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Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:15
Groups that advocate for LGBT troops were said they were assuaged by retired Gen. James Mattis' Thursday testimony suggesting he won't roll back rules set by the Obama administration allowing such service members to serve openly.
''We are heartened by Gen. Mattis' stated commitment during his testimony not to reverse the profound progress we have made in ensuring LGBT service members and their families are able to serve our nation with pride,'' American Military Partner Association President Ashley Broadway-Mack and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Matt Thorn said in a joint statement.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter lifted the ban on transgender troops serving openly last summer and the repeal of the ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' policy that banned gay service members from serving openly also came during the Obama administration.
Outside groups had been worried that Mattis, President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFlawed Democratic idealismTrump rips John Lewis: Worry about your 'crime infested' districtTrump on 'One China' policy: 'Everything is under negotiation'MORE's pick to head the Department of Defense, would be hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender troops based on past statements he's made blasting civilian leaders with a ''progressive agenda'' imposing ''social change'' on the military.
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He was pressed on those issues by multiple Democrats during Thursday's confirmation hearing and ultimately said he would not roll back the changes unless a service secretary tells him there is a proven issue with the policy.At first, he demurred when asked if gay troops were undermining the military's lethality. But asked later by Sen. Mazie HironoMazie HironoLGBT groups 'heartened' by Mattis' testimonyMattis cruises through confirmation hearingLive coverage: Mattis confirmation hearing for PentagonMORE (D-Hawaii) whether there's anything innate about being a woman or identifying as LGBT that would prevent someone from serving in a lethal force, Mattis flatly said, ''No.''
That answer made Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, optimistic about Mattis' commitment to upholding the existing policies. Prior the hearing, Belkin had said he expected Mattis to ''take aim'' at women and LGBT troops.
''When Gen. Mattis agreed that women and LGBT troops can contribute to the military's lethality, he was supporting the long standing argument, backed up by a solid consensus in the research as well the experiences of foreign militaries, that inclusive policy promotes readiness,'' Belkin said in a statement Thursday.
In their statement, Broadway-Mack and Thorn said that after Thursday's hearing, they look forward to working with Mattis.
''Because questions had been raised about his commitment on this front, uncertainty in the future had given our military families great cause for concern,'' they said. ''His comments today give us hope for a working relationship between our organizations and the new Defense Department leadership. If confirmed, we look forward to working with Gen. Mattis in supporting our nation's brave heroes and their families.''
They also pledged to hold the incoming administration accountable.
''We are committed to holding the incoming administration accountable and ensuring all who serve, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, have the support and respect they need and deserve,'' they said.
VIDEO - Glenn Greenwald on the Trump memo, the CIA and Russia - BBC Newsnight - YouTube
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Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:06
VIDEO - Meryl Streep powerful speech at the Golden Globes (2017) - YouTube
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Sat, 14 Jan 2017 13:31
VIDEO - 'What's next, Mr. Putin? Invade the Disney channel?' - Galloway on RT C-SPAN interruption - YouTube
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Sat, 14 Jan 2017 08:01
VIDEO - Scott Thompson & Chris Franjola | Getting Doug with High - YouTube
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Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:52
VIDEO - Moonbats Go After L.L. Bean After Founder's Granddaughter Supported Pro-Trump Super PAC'... | The Last Refuge
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Fri, 13 Jan 2017 06:04
A pro-Trump political action committee bankrolled by Linda Bean, a granddaughter of L.L. Bean founder Leon Leonwood Bean gained media attention due to FEC filings. The Social Justice Moonbats caught wind of Linda Bean supporting Donald Trump and immediately began a boycott effort of the L.L. Bean Company.
The company responded: ''We were disappointed to learn that Grab Your Wallet is advocating a boycott against L.L.Bean solely because Linda Bean, who is only one of 50+ family members involved with the business, personally supported Donald Trump for President''. (Facebook)
Linda Bean appeared on Fox News Morning:
Linda Bean says she ain't backing down. Which prompted President-elect Donald Trump to step up and tweet support for Linda Bean.
In addition to their famous ''duck boots'', they make super comfy blankets and all kinds of clothes. And they have a sale going on right now '' SHOP HERE '' just saying.
Of course the professional pearl-clutchers are apoplectic talking about how the world will come to an end if President Trump promotes an individual company etc., inconveniently forgetting all of the Barack and Michelle Obama promoted companies like: Costco, Starbucks, Olive Garden etc.
Whatever.
Freedom !
I shall buy a pair of pricey socks.
VIDEO - Glenn Greenwald Discusses ''The Deep State'' With Tucker Carlson'... | The Last Refuge
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Fri, 13 Jan 2017 06:03
While it might be disconcerting for some, and Glenn Greenwald is not a political ally, we hold no reservations about exposing the UniParty's connections to Deep State constructs whenever it surfaces.
Fox host Tucker Carlson invites The Intercept's Glen Greenwald to discuss why the intelligence agencies appear to be in conflict with President Elect Donald Trump. Glenn Greenwald breaks down how the recently leaked 35-page-dossier could have only been injected into the media narrative from one of the intel agencies at odds with, and at risk from, President Trump. WATCH:
Mounting evidence supports the ongoing thesis the Department of Defense has actually seceded from the political elites; and with the election of President Donald Trump, they are poised on the horizon to reconstruct a nationalist-minded defense, intelligence and security apparatus.
This is the fundamental paradigm shift many have discussed, yet few imagined possible.
With General Mattis as Secretary of Defense, Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor, General John Kelly the Department of Homeland Security, a top-of-class West Point graduate in Mike Pompeo brought in to take over and undoubtedly purge the CIA, and a lame duck struggle breaking out over NSA with Admiral Mike Rogers, the implications are pretty obvious.
['...] The white hats we have needed within the national security and intelligence departments are responding from a very select group within the Defense Department. (more)
Understanding The UniParty ''DEEP STATE'' '' During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi's regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there.
At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom's Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country's intelligence.
Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields.
This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. Yes, they need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.
Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.
['...] The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council.
Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress. Also included are a handful of vital federal trial courts, such as the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of Manhattan, where sensitive proceedings in national security cases are conducted.
The final government component (and possibly last in precedence among the formal branches of government established by the Constitution) is a kind of rump Congress consisting of the congressional leadership and some (but not all) of the members of the defense and intelligence committees.
The rest of Congress, normally so fractious and partisan, is mostly only intermittently aware of the Deep State and when required usually submits to a few well-chosen words from the State's emissaries.
[T]he Deep State does not consist only of government agencies. What is euphemistically called ''private enterprise'' is an integral part of its operations. In a special series in The Washington Post called ''Top Secret America,'' Dana Priest and William K. Arkin described the scope of the privatized Deep State and the degree to which it has metastasized after the September 11 attacks.
There are now 854,000 contract personnel with top-secret clearances '-- a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government. While they work throughout the country and the world, their heavy concentration in and around the Washington suburbs is unmistakable: Since 9/11, 33 facilities for top-secret intelligence have been built or are under construction. Combined, they occupy the floor space of almost three Pentagons '-- about 17 million square feet.
Seventy percent of the intelligence community's budget goes to paying contracts. And the membrane between government and industry is highly permeable: The Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, is a former executive of Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the government's largest intelligence contractors. His predecessor as director, Admiral Mike McConnell, is the current vice chairman of the same company; Booz Allen is 99 percent dependent on government business.
These contractors now set the political and social tone of Washington, just as they are increasingly setting the direction of the country, but they are doing it quietly, their doings unrecorded in the Congressional Record or the Federal Register, and are rarely subject to congressional hearings.
Washington is the most important node of the Deep State that has taken over America, but it is not the only one. Invisible threads of money and ambition connect the town to other nodes. One is Wall Street, which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater.
Should the politicians forget their lines and threaten the status quo, Wall Street floods the town with cash and lawyers to help the hired hands remember their own best interests. The executives of the financial giants even have de facto criminal immunity.
On March 6, 2013, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder stated the following: ''I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.''
This, from the chief law enforcement officer of a justice system that has practically abolished the constitutional right to trial for poorer defendants charged with certain crimes. It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice '-- certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee.
The corridor between Manhattan and Washington is a well trodden highway for the personalities we have all gotten to know in the period since the massive deregulation of Wall Street: Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner and many others.
Not all the traffic involves persons connected with the purely financial operations of the government: In 2013, General David Petraeus joined KKR (formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) of 9 West 57th Street, New York, a private equity firm with $62.3 billion in assets. KKR specializes in management buyouts and leveraged finance. General Petraeus' expertise in these areas is unclear. His ability to peddle influence, however, is a known and valued commodity.
Unlike Cincinnatus, the military commanders of the Deep State do not take up the plow once they lay down the sword. Petraeus also obtained a sinecure as a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. The Ivy League is, of course, the preferred bleaching tub and charm school of the American oligarchy.
Petraeus and most of the avatars of the Deep State '-- the White House advisers who urged Obama not to impose compensation limits on Wall Street CEOs, the contractor-connected think tank experts who besought us to ''stay the course'' in Iraq, the economic gurus who perpetually demonstrate that globalization and deregulation are a blessing that makes us all better off in the long run '-- are careful to pretend that they have no ideology.
Their preferred pose is that of the politically neutral technocrat offering well considered advice based on profound expertise. That is nonsense. They are deeply dyed in the hue of the official ideology of the governing class, an ideology that is neither specifically Democrat nor Republican.
Domestically, whatever they might privately believe about essentially diversionary social issues such as abortion or gay marriage, they almost invariably believe in the ''Washington Consensus'': financialization, outsourcing, privatization, deregulation and the commodifying of labor. Internationally, they espouse 21st-century ''American Exceptionalism'': the right and duty of the United States to meddle in every region of the world with coercive diplomacy and boots on the ground (keep reading).
This, dear friends, is yet only part of what President Donald Trump is up against'...'....there are trillions of dollars at stake.
MUST WATCH: Insider on BBC says Christopher Steele WAS PAID BY JEB BUSH.. and the #fakenews story was created to get more money out of him. pic.twitter.com/NEwfbS6Oh0
'-- Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) January 12, 2017
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Important note that everyone must remember.The Washington Post is the designated media outlet for the public position of the CIA. And CNN is the specifically funded media outlet for the positions of the U.S. State Department.
VIDEO - Obama surprises Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom
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Fri, 13 Jan 2017 05:20
(Victoria Walker/The Washington Post)
President Obama awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to a shocked Vice President Biden on Thursday at the White House.
Biden and the president had gathered with others for what the White House had described as a final tribute to the vice president.
[The Obama-Biden bond is among the strongest in White House history]
The event began with a playful and heartfelt tribute from Obama to one of his closest friends and confidants in Washington. As he finished his remarks, the president asked one of his military aides to come to the stage.
''For the final time as president I am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor .'‰.'‰.'' Obama began as a Marine officer bearing the medal stood by.
(Victoria Walker/The Washington Post)
Biden immediately spun around, turning his back to the crowd, and wiped his face and eyes with his handkerchief. The president bestowed the medal ''with distinction,'' an additional level of veneration that his three immediate predecessors had reserved for only three others '-- Pope John Paul II, former president Ronald Reagan and Gen. Colin Powell.
''I had no inkling,'' Biden said after the medal was draped around his neck. ''I thought we were going .'‰.'‰. to toast one another and say what an incredible journey it has been.''
In his remarks, Biden praised Obama for serving the nation with dignity and insisted that he was not worthy of the honor.
''I don't deserve this,'' the vice president said repeatedly.
Obama described Biden as a ''lion of American history'' and praised his long service in the Senate. As vice president, Biden's influence has spanned both domestic and international policy initiatives. He was a critical voice in crafting strategy in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in encouraging Obama to send Navy SEALs on a mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden in 2011.
Biden also helped oversee the president's first-term economic stimulus package and pressed unsuccessfully for gun-control legislation after the killing of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
(Erin Patrick O'Connor/The Washington Post)
Obama embraced a common Biden tactic in his remarks by including a quote from an Irish poet and words of wisdom from the vice president's parents.
The president also spoke of their friendship forged through tough times and tragedy. In 2015, Beau Biden, the vice president's son, died of brain cancer, and Obama delivered the eulogy at his funeral. Biden's first wife and daughter were killed in a 1972 car crash shortly after he was first elected to the Senate. That tragedy has been a key feature of Biden's political identity, and much of Obama's remarks focused on the vice president's compassion for his fellow Americans.
''When Joe talks about hope and opportunity for our children, we hear the father who rode the rails home there every night so he could be there to tuck his kids into bed,'' Obama said. ''When Joe talks to Gold Star families who have lost a hero, we hear a kindred spirit, another father of an American veteran, somebody whose faith has been tested and has been forced to wander through the darkness himself and who knows who to lean on to find the light.''
Biden recounted that Obama offered help when Biden's son was battling cancer and the vice president was weighing whether to sell his house to cover the bills.
''I'll give you the money,'' Biden recalled Obama telling him. ''Promise me. Promise me you won't sell that house.''
Biden said that he and Obama had on occasion differed on matters of policy but that he had never doubted Obama's judgment.
''I just hope that the asterisk in history that is attached to my name when they talk about this presidency is that I can say I was part of the journey of a remarkable man who did remarkable things for this country,'' Biden said.
Biden closed by grabbing the medal, which had been draped around his neck, and lifting it off his chest. ''This honor is not only well beyond what I deserve but it is a reflection of the extent and generosity of your spirit,'' he said, turning to the president. ''I don't deserve this, but I know it came from the president's heart.''
[The Obama-Biden bond is among the strongest in White House history]
VIDEO - Watch: Dem Sen Warren Questions Ben Carson If Trump Family Will Profit From HUD Grants - Breitbart
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Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:43
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Thursday at the HUD secretary confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Dr. Ben Carson, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for the position, fielded questions from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on as to whether or not he would direct money in a way that would benefit Trump's business interests.
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''Now housing development is an area at which President-elect Trump and his family have significant business interests,'' Warren said. ''Can you assure me that not a single taxpayer that you give out will financially benefit the president elect or his family?''
''I can assure you that the things that I do are driven by a sense of morals and values, and therefore I will absolutely not play favorites for anyone,'' he replied.
Rest of the exchange as follows:
WARREN: My concern is whether or not, among the billions of dollars that you'll be responsible for handing out in grants and loans, can you assure us that not one dollar will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family.
CARSON: It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American, particularly. It's for all Americans, everything that we do.
WARREN: Do I take that to mean that you may manage programs that will significantly benefit the president-elect?
CARSON: You can take it to mean that I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people. That is going to be the goal. If there happens to be an extraordinarily good program that's working for millions of people and it turns out that someone that you're targeting is going to gain $10 from it, am I going to say 'no, the rest of you Americans can't have it?' I think logic and common sense probably would be the best way.
WARREN: This just highlights the absurdity and the danger of the president-elect's refusal to put his assets in a true blind trust. He knows, the president-elect knows, what will benefit him and his family financially, but the public doesn't. Which means he can divert taxpayer money into his own pockets without anyone knowing about it.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor
VIDEO - Obama Surprises Joe Biden With Presidential Medal Of Freedom : NPR
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Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:31
President Obama awarded outgoing Vice President Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday afternoon.
Calling the former longtime Delaware senator "the best vice president America's ever had" and a "lion of American history," Obama gave his White House partner the surprise award in an emotional ceremony, initially billed as a farewell.
After extolling the job that Biden has done, Obama ended it with the unexpected news that he was giving the vice president the nation's highest civilian honor, with distinction '-- a designation previously given only to President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Gen. Colin Powell.
"To know Joe Biden is to know love without pretense, service without self-regard, and to live life fully," Obama said.
Overcome with tears and completely caught off guard by the award, Biden praised the president as "remarkable man who did remarkable things for this country" who had truly treated him like an equal partner in governance.
"This honor is not only well beyond what I deserve, but it's a reflection of the generosity of your spirit," Biden told Obama. "I don't deserve this. But I know it came from the president's heart."
President Obama presents a teary-eyed Vice President Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Thursday. Susan Walsh/APhide caption
toggle captionSusan Walsh/APPresident Obama presents a teary-eyed Vice President Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Thursday.
Susan Walsh/APThe two have enjoyed an unusually close working relationship over the past eight years, and Obama himself even joked at the outset of the ceremony that "this also gives the Internet one last chance to talk about our 'bromance.' "
Throughout the ceremony it was evident not just how close the two men were but how close their families and staffs had become, and Obama said his "family is honored to call ourselves honorary Bidens."
Obama has frequently said that picking Biden, his former primary rival, as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made. Before accepting the nomination, Biden had spent more than three decades in the Senate, amassing a large portfolio and body of work, including stints as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The president said, laughing, that the people of Delaware sent Biden to the Senate as soon as they could, electing him to the Senate at the age of 29 (he turned the constitutionally required age of 30 before he was sworn in).
But before Biden could even head to Washington, his life would be marked with unspeakable tragedy for the first time. While Christmas shopping, his first wife and 1-year-old daughter were killed in a car wreck; his sons Hunter and Beau were injured in the accident. Biden considered resigning before he even took office but was persuaded not to. He was sworn into office at the hospital beside his sons, and for years he would famously commute back and forth every day on Amtrak to be with his family. Later on, he would meet and marry his now-wife, Jill, and they would have a daughter together, Ashley.
In 2015, tragedy would strike the Biden family again when his eldest son, Beau, the former Delaware attorney general who was long seen as his father's political heir, died at the age of 46 from brain cancer. The loss came as the elder Biden was weighing whether he should make his own run at the Oval Office to succeed Obama. Months later, the still very emotional vice president acknowledged his window had passed and said that he wouldn't launch his own presidential campaign.
VIDEO - Erdogan calls for Turkish 'national mobilisation' to defend lira | Reuters
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Thu, 12 Jan 2017 21:16
Thu Jan 12, 2017 | 8:58 PM GMT
ByErcan Gurses and Behiye Selin Taner|ANKARA/ISTANBUL
ANKARA/ISTANBUL President Tayyip Erdogan accused Turkey's enemies on Thursday of using currency speculation to try to topple the state and urged the central bank to "thwart these games", saying it had all the tools it needed after the lira plunged to record lows.
Erdogan repeated his call to Turks to sell foreign currency, urging a "sense of national mobilisation" against speculators. He evoked last July's military coup attempt, when people took to the streets to block tanks, and said anybody who helped the nation achieve its targets would be a hero.
"There is no difference in terms of goals between the terrorist with a gun in his hand and a terrorist with dollars and euros in his hands," Erdogan said in a speech to local administrators at the presidential palace in Ankara.
"The goal is to topple Turkey, to make it kneel and stray from its goals. They are using the foreign exchange rate as a weapon," he said. "Of course, we have some problems, but none of these explain the exchange rate in our country."
The lira has lost as much as 10 percent against the dollar since the start of 2017, making it the worst-performing major currency of the new year, as concern over political and economic stability is compounded by doubts about whether the authorities will take decisive steps to stabilise it.
It has also lost almost a quarter of its value in the six months since the failed coup attempt. TRYTOM=D3
Economists say the central bank needs to raise interest rates sharply to prevent further weakening. But the bank is reluctant to make such an outright move, with Erdogan and the government pre-occupied by slowing economic growth and eager for lower borrowing costs to spur investment.
"It's clear that the speculation on the forex rate has no depth.... Our central bank and other banks must thwart these games. The central bank has the necessary tools and ability to take measures on this," Erdogan said.
He also took aim at commercial lenders. "Banks should not be involved in other calculations when the survival of the entire nation is on the line. I am also calling to the business world, it is time to invest and create jobs."
Erdogan, his aides, and some ministers have repeatedly cast the lira's decline as part of a conspiracy against Turkey by outside powers, drawing parallels with bombings by Islamic State and Kurdish militants and the coup attempt.
Pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak said German banks in collaboration with the German secret service were to blame for the speculation against the lira, publishing the headline "Deutsche Bank operation" on its front page.
TEMPORARY RESPITE
The central bank took steps to tighten lira liquidity on Thursday by encouraging lenders to borrow at a higher rate, taking some pressure off the lira.
It did not open its regular one-week repo auction, through which it usually funds the market at 8 percent, leaving banks to resort to its overnight lending rate of 8.5 percent interest or its late liquidity window at 10 percent.
"By taking liquidity measures, the central bank is attempting to raise rates without directly raising the official rates," said HSBC Asset Management strategist Ibrahim Aksoy.
The lira firmed to 3.7897 to the dollar by 1400 GMT, after weakening as much as 1.5 percent to 3.9290 in early trade. It hit a record low of 3.9417 on Wednesday.
But it was helped by a weaker dollar. The U.S. currency nursed widespread losses on Thursday after President-elect Donald Trump said little about his future fiscal policies at a long-awaited news conference.
"The lira may enjoy some very short-term respite and take a breather because of general market conditions and this attempt by the central bank to tighten some of the short-term monetary conditions," said Cristian Maggio, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities.
"But none of that is structural and long-term, and the lira will remain skewed to extreme weakness until the central bank decides to hike in large scale on interest rates."
The economy contracted for the first time in seven years in the third quarter and growth is forecast at 3.2 percent for last year, a far cry from the high single-digit rates on which Erdogan built his reputation as prime minister from 2003-14.
He is keen to prevent the economy losing too much momentum as the country prepares for an expected referendum in the spring on constitutional changes that would create a full presidential system and hand him greater powers.
At its last rate-setting meeting in December, the central bank defied expectations of an increase and left rates on hold. It will meet again to set rates on Jan. 24, with many economists saying it need to make a sharp increase.
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Twitter that the bank's hands were not tied.
"The run on the lira is a glass half empty stance. Even with occasional delays, central bank has acted in the past. It should and will act again," he said, adding that the dust would settle on the lira rout and that the fundamentals of the Turkish economy were what ultimately mattered.
(Additional reporting by Tuvan Gumrucku and Orhan Coskun in Ankara, Daren Butler in Istanbul, Karin Strohecker in London; Writing by Nick Tattersall; editing by David Stamp)
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