918: Kim Jong Yum Yum

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 57m
April 6th, 2017
Share at 0:00

Executive Producers: Curtis Sarles->WOW The Beast, Henry, Baron of Outpost West

Associate Executive Producers: Rodney E

Cover Artist: Comic Strip Blogger

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
Suggest a new chapter
1984
And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth.
"Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."
And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered.
Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting.
It was quite simple.
All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory.
"Reality control," they called it: in Newspeak, "doublethink."
F-Russia
Taibbi: Putin Derangement Syndrome Arrives - Rolling Stone
Tue, 04 Apr 2017 11:01
So Michael Flynn, who was Donald Trump's national security adviser before he got busted talking out of school to Russia's ambassador, has reportedly offered to testify in exchange for immunity.
Taibbi on Trump the DestroyerTrump has stuffed his Cabinet with tyrants, zealots and imbeciles '' all bent on demolishing our government from within
For seemingly the 100th time, social media is exploding. This is it! The big reveal!
Perhaps it will come off just the way people are expecting. Perhaps Flynn will get a deal, walk into the House or the Senate surrounded by a phalanx of lawyers, and unspool the whole sordid conspiracy.
He will explain that Donald Trump, compromised by ancient deals with Russian mobsters, and perhaps even blackmailed by an unspeakable KGB sex tape, made a secret deal. He'll say Trump agreed to downplay the obvious benefits of an armed proxy war in Ukraine with nuclear-armed Russia in exchange for Vladimir Putin's help in stealing the emails of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and John Podesta.
I personally would be surprised if this turned out to be the narrative, mainly because we haven't seen any real evidence of it. But episodes like the Flynn story have even the most careful reporters paralyzed. What if, tomorrow, it all turns out to be true?
What if reality does turn out to be a massive connect-the-dots image of St. Basil's Cathedral sitting atop the White House? (This was suddenly legitimate British conspiracist Louise Mensch's construction in The New York Times last week.) What if all the Glenn Beck-style far-out charts with the circles and arrows somehow all make sense?
This is one of the tricks that keeps every good conspiracy theory going. Nobody wants to be the one claiming the emperor has no clothes the day His Highness walks out naked. And this Russia thing has spun out of control into just such an exercise of conspiratorial mass hysteria.
Even I think there should be a legitimate independent investigation '' one that, given Trump's history, might uncover all sorts of things. But almost irrespective of what ends up being uncovered on the Trump side, the public prosecution of this affair has taken on a malevolent life of its own.
One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn't believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks.
The aforementioned Mensch, a noted loon who thinks Putin murdered Andrew Breitbart but has somehow been put front and center by The Times and HBO's Real Time, has denounced an extraordinary list of Kremlin plants.
She's tabbed everyone from Jeff Sessions ("a Russian partisan") to Rudy Giuliani and former Assistant FBI Director James Kallstrom ("agents of influence") to Glenn Greenwald ("Russian shill") to ProPublica and Democracy Now! (also "Russian shills"), to the 15-year-old girl with whom Anthony Weiner sexted (really, she says, a Russian hacker group called "Crackas With Attitudes") to an unnamed number of FBI agents in the New York field office ("moles"). And that's just for starters.
Jeff Sessions Nicholas Kamm/Getty Others are doing the same. Eric Boehlert of Media Matters, upon seeing the strange behavior of Republican Intel Committee chair Devin Nunes, asked "what kind of dossier" the Kremlin has on Nunes.
Dem-friendly pollster Matt McDermott wondered why reporters Michael Tracey and Zaid Jilani aren't on board with the conspiracy stories (they might be "unwitting" agents!) and noted, without irony, that Russian bots mysteriously appear every time he tweets negatively about them.
Think about that last one. Does McDermott think Tracey and Jilani call their handlers at the sight of a scary Matt McDermott tweet and have the FSB send waves of Russian bots at him on command? Or does he think it's an automated process? What goes through the heads of such people?
I've written a few articles on the Russia subject that have been very tame, basically arguing that it might be a good idea to wait for evidence of collusion before those of us in the media jump in the story with both feet. But even I've gotten the treatment.
I've been "outed" as a possible paid Putin plant by the infamous "PropOrNot" group, which is supposedly dedicated to rooting out Russian "agents of influence." You might remember PropOrNot as the illustrious research team the Washington Post once relied on for a report that accused 200 alternative websites of being "routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season."
Politicians are getting into the act, too. It was one thing when Rand Paul balked at OKing the expansion of NATO to Montenegro, and John McCain didn't hesitate to say that "the senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin."
Even Bernie Sanders has himself been accused of being a Putin plant by Mensch. But even he's gotten on board of late, asking, "What do the Russians have on Mr. Trump?"
So even people who themselves have been accused of being Russian plants are now accusing people of being Russian plants. As the Russians would say, it's enough to make your bashka hurt.
Sanders should know better. Last week, during hearings in the Senate, multiple witnesses essentially pegged his electoral following as unwitting fellow travelers for Putin.
Former NSA chief Keith Alexander spoke openly of how Russia used the Sanders campaign to "drive a wedge within the Democratic Party," while Dr. Thomas Rid of Kings College in London spoke of Russia's use of "unwitting agents" and "overeager journalists" to drive narratives that destabilized American politics.
This testimony was brought out by Virginia Democrat Mark Warner. Warner has been in full-blown "precious bodily fluids" mode throughout this scandal. During an interview with TheTimes on the Russia subject a month back, there was a thud outside the window. "That may just be the FSB," he said. The paper was unsure if he was kidding.
Warner furthermore told TheTimes that in order to get prepared for his role as an exposer of 21st-century Russian perfidy, he was "losing himself in a book about the Romanovs," and had been quizzing staffers about "Tolstoy and Nabokov."
This is how nuts things are now: a senator brushes up on Nabokov and Tolstoy (Tolstoy!) to get pumped to expose Vladimir Putin.
Even the bizarre admission by FBI director (and sudden darling of the same Democrats who hated him months ago) James Comey that he didn't know anything about Russia's biggest company didn't seem to trouble Americans very much. Here's the key exchange, from a House hearing in which Jackie Speier quizzed Comey:
SPEIER: Now, do we know who Gazprom-Media is? Do you know anything about Gazprom, director?
COMEY: I don't.
SPEIER: Well, it's a '' it's an oil company.
(Incidentally, Gazprom '' primarily a natural-gas giant '' is not really an oil company. So both Comey and Speier got it wrong.)
As Leonid Bershidsky of Bloomberg noted, this exchange was terrifying to Russians. The leader of an investigation into Russian espionage not knowing what Gazprom is would be like an FSB chief not having heard of Exxon-Mobil. It's bizarre, to say the least.
James Comey and Mike Rogers at the March 20th House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia. Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Getty Testimony of the sort that came from Warner's committee last week is being buttressed by news stories in liberal outlets like Salon insisting that "Bernie Bros" were influenced by those same ubiquitous McDermott-chasing Russian "bots."
These stories insist that, among other things, these evil bots pushed on the unwitting "bros" juicy "fake news" stories about Hillary being "involved with various murders and money laundering schemes."
Some 13.2 million people voted for Sanders during the primary season last year. What percentage does any rational person really believe voted that way because of "fake news"?
I would guess the number is infinitesimal at best. The Sanders campaign was driven by a lot of factors, but mainly by long-developing discontent within the Democratic Party and enthusiasm for Sanders himself.
To describe Sanders followers as unwitting dupes who departed the true DNC faith because of evil Russian propaganda is both insulting and ridiculous. It's also a testimony to the remarkable capacity for self-deception within the leadership of the Democratic Party.
If the party's leaders really believe that Russian intervention is anywhere in the top 100 list of reasons why some 155 million eligible voters (out of 231 million) chose not to pull a lever for Hillary Clinton last year, they're farther along down the Purity of Essence nut-hole than Mark Warner.
Moreover, even those who detest Trump with every fiber of their being must see the dangerous endgame implicit in this entire line of thinking. If the Democrats succeed in spreading the idea that straying from the DNC-approved candidate '' in either the past or the future '' is/was an act of "unwitting" cooperation with the evil Putin regime, then the entire idea of legitimate dissent is going to be in trouble.
Imagine it's four years from now (if indeed that's when we have our next election). A Democratic candidate stands before the stump, and announces that a consortium of intelligence experts has concluded that Putin is backing the hippie/anti-war/anti-corporate opposition candidate.
Or, even better: that same candidate reminds us "what happened last time" when people decided to vote their consciences during primary season. It will be argued, in seriousness, that true Americans will owe their votes to the non-Putin candidate. It would be a shock if some version of this didn't become an effective political trope going forward.
But if you're not worried about accusing non-believers of being spies, or pegging legitimate dissent as treason, there's a third problem that should scare everyone.
Last week saw Donna Brazile and Dick Cheney both declare Russia's apparent hack of DNC emails an "act of war." This coupling seemed at first like political end times: as Bill Murray would say, "dogs and cats, living together."
But there's been remarkable unanimity among would-be enemies in the Republican and Democrat camps on this question. Suddenly everyone from Speier to McCain to Kamala Harris to Ben Cardin have decried Russia's alleged behavior during the election as real or metaphorical acts of war: a "political Pearl Harbor," as Cardin put it.
That no one seems to be concerned about igniting a hot war with nuclear-powered Russia at a time when both countries have troops within "hand-grenade range" of each in Syria other is bizarre, to say the least. People are in such a fever to drag Trump to impeachment that these other considerations seem not to matter. This is what happens when people lose their heads.
There are a lot of people who will say that these issues are of secondary importance to the more important question of whether or not we have a compromised Russian agent in the White House.
But when it comes to Trump-Putin collusion, we're still waiting for the confirmation. As Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters put it, the proof is increasingly understood to be the thing we find later, as in, "If we do the investigations, we will find the connections."
But on the mass hysteria front, we already have evidence enough to fill a dozen books. And if it doesn't freak you out, it probably should.
Watch illustrator Victor Juhasz discuss what it means to draw President Donald Trump.
Sign up for our newsletter to receive breaking news directly in your inbox.
Please enable javascript to sign up for the newsletter.
Ranked on a scale from 1 to 10, the trending score reflects the number of users reading a story in real time. What is this?
Russia's Designs for Afghanistan Run Deep | theTrumpet.com
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 21:03
The ramifications of the Soviet resurgence in Afghanistan are far-reaching.
R ussia's involvement in Afghanistan may be deeper than United States officials have previously publicized.
During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on March 23, nato 's Supreme Allied Commander and America's leading military official in Europe, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, said he had ''seen the influence of Russia of late'--increased influence in terms of association and perhaps even supply to the Taliban.''
This candid pronouncement was the United States' ''first significant'' official statement about Russia's deepening relationship with the Taliban, according to Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Prior official remarks on the issue were not as revealing of the actual reality in Afghanistan.
Not surprisingly, Russia dismissed General Scaparrotti's statement as ''absolutely false.'' Russia's special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said the U.S. was fabricating accounts of Russian meddling in Afghanistan ''to justify the failure of the U.S. military and politicians in the Afghan campaign.''
What then is the plain truth?
The United States has indeed been failing remarkably in its Afghan campaign'--its longest-running war. It has essentially been buried in the graveyard of empires, along with the British Empire and even the Soviet Union.
But Russia, under President Vladimir Putin, has been seeking to resurrect the Soviet empire. Its demise, according to President Putin, was ''the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.'' Reestablishing superpower status in Afghanistan, however, has compelled Russia to undermine American interests while advancing its own. And one way Russia did this was by engaging with the Taliban in ways that run much deeper than Russia's special envoy to Afghanistan indicated.
Taliban officials told Reuters that Russia had been providing them with ''moral and political support'' since at least 2007. Russia's ''sole purpose,'' said the Taliban, ''was to strengthen us against the U.S. and its allies.''
Russia has said that its cooperation with the Taliban was to help with fighting against the Islamic State; that their designs against the Islamic State ''objectively coincide.'' But a senior Taliban official told Reuters that ''in early 2008, when Russia began supporting us, [the Islamic State] didn't exist anywhere in the world.''
Russia has also said that its cooperation with the Taliban was ''aimed at encouraging the Taliban movement to join the national reconciliation process under the leadership of Kabul '....'' That leadership in the Afghan capital only controls 57 percent of the country and 62 percent of the population, according to America's leading commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson. The remainder is largely controlled by the Taliban. It is more power and territory than the group possessed when it was first toppled by the U.S.-led invasion of 2001.
It remains to be seen if Russia can tame the Taliban. But what is certain is that Russia is aggressively taking charge of the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
In February, Russia held a six-nation conference on the future of Afghanistan. The nations represented there were Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, India and Iran. Russia is planning a similar but bigger conference in mid-April. It invited the United States for the first time, but the U.S. refused to attend because ''the U.S. wasn't consulted before receiving the invitation and doesn't know Russia's objectives for the gathering,'' according to the Associated Press.
While the U.S. still has a heavy military presence in Afghanistan, it seemingly is abdicating responsibility for the future of the nation to Russia. The U.S. even had to lift sanctions against a Russian defense contractor that alone can repair Afghanistan's sorely needed Russian-made Mi-17 transport helicopters.
These are distressing signs of the depth of Russian influence in Afghanistan and of ''the failure of the U.S. military and politicians in the Afghan campaign.''
The big question to ask now is, ''What happens after a superpower dies?'' as Trumpet columnist Joel Hilliker asked in January 2014. What happens when a superpower wages a war for 16 years without any success? What happens when a resurging rival power meddles in its foreign campaigns with some success? What happens when such a turn of events increasingly worries other rival powers?
nato 's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan currently has 13,459 troops, and 4,226 of them are from European Union member states. The mission is divided into five Train Advise Assist Command (taac ) multinational formations: taac -Capital, led by Turkey; taac -East and taac -South, led by the U.S.; taac -West, led by Italy; and taac -North, led by Germany.
Events in Afghanistan are a deep concern for Europe. In October, the EU pledged $3.75 billion in annual aid to Kabul in exchange for Afghanistan's receipt of hundreds of thousands of its unwanted migrants to Europe.
What happens when America's influence in Afghanistan diminishes and Russia's clout in Afghanistan expands? Europe's foreign engagement will increase'--to the extent of boosting foreign aid, expanding military operations abroad, and uniting into a more robust union. This is a trend the Trumpet has been watching ever since Putin's United Russia party won the parliamentary elections of December 2003. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in ''Russia Frightens Europe'--and Fulfills Bible Prophecy'':
Russia has been outside the mainstream of world affairs for over a decade. But now it is moving back to the center of global events, and even the Russian people don't understand why it is happening. But you can know. All we need to do is understand the Bible, which tells us to watch world events'--not dates. World events will date the Bible's prophecies and reveal where we are in the overall time frame. A more dictatorial Russian government is coming fast, and you need to know where it is leading. That power will be able to challenge Europe, when nobody else can, including the U.S. The EU is going to become the world's number one superpower. So says Bible prophecy. '... Europe has not forgotten Russia's recent dictatorial history. It is nervous for good reason. And it is going to get a lot more nervous in a few short years.
Follow this trend as Russia undermines America's influence in Afghanistan. Take note of how Europe reacts. The entire process might be slow-moving, but it is a definite trend that is moving forward with every headline about America's Afghan campaign.
Syria
How Is Syria Still Using Chemical Weapons? - The Atlantic
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:21
The Assad regime has been accused of using chemical agents on rebels and civilians several times over more than six years of civil war in Syria. The first prominent attack came in 2013 in Ghouta, a Damascus suburb'--about a year after Barack Obama declared that using such weapons would cross a ''red line'' and ''would change our calculus'' about intervening. That attack killed 1,000 people. The latest, on Tuesday in Idlib province, is said to have killed dozens, and came days after Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, said that America's ''priority is no longer to sit and focus on getting Assad out.''
In the intervening period, the U.S. and Russia formulated an agreement under which Syria agreed to allow international monitors to destroy its chemical-weapons stockpile by 2014, but that deal has apparently done little to deter the continued use of chemical weapons in the conflict.
Syria acknowledged in July 2012 that it possessed chemical weapons, which a foreign-ministry spokesman said would be used only against ''external aggression;'' a month later, President Obama drew his famous ''red line.'' There were several reports in the ensuing months of that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons. Then in August 2013, following the Ghouta attack, the U.S. government assessment said it was ''highly likely'' Assad's regime was responsible. John Kerry, who was U.S. secretary of state at the time, said the regime used chemical weapons ''multiple'' times that year. Obama then sought congressional approval for the use of limited military force in Syria. A few days later, Kerry said a military strike could be averted if Syria turned over its chemical weapons to the international community. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov proposed such a plan almost immediately'--and Syria signed onto it.
On September 14, 2013, Kerry and Lavrov reached an agreement to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons. The plan called for Syria to disclose its stockpile within a week, and provide international inspectors access to all its chemical-weapons sites. It also called for the destruction of the Syrian stockpile by the first half of 2014. Kerry hailed the diplomacy that made the deal possible. Obama told The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg he was ''very proud'' of his decision not to strike Assad.
Despite the agreement, however, there were subsequent reports that Assad used chlorine gas against civilians. The deal struck with the international community did not include chlorine because the Assad regime hadn't added it to a list it submitted to international monitors of the chemical weapons it possessed. News reports at the time said Syria had 1,000 tons of chemical weapons, including mustard gas, sarin, and VX, the nerve agent. There were other problems with the agreement, as well: Among several other deadlines in the agreement, Syria missed the June 30, 2014, deadline for the weapons' destruction. As Paul Wolfowitz wrote in May 2014 in The Wall Street Journal:
Earlier this month on C-Span, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said that, ''with 92.5% of the declared chemical weapons out of the country'' we have accomplished more than any ''number of airstrikes that might have been contemplated would have done.'' Yet much more important than what's been removed is what's still left, and it seems likely that more remains than just what was declared by Syria last year. For one thing, it appears that the regime is now using chlorine gas as a kind of poor man's chemical weapon even though, as Time reported on May 23, it has made no declaration about its chlorine stocks. Chlorine as such is not a prohibited substance, since it has many civilian uses. But its use as a weapon is prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention that Syria joined in 2013.
The possibility that Syria is using chlorine gas is not the most disturbing factor. The experience with Libya demonstrates that there is no reason to be confident that Syria has even declared its entire stockpile of its more lethal weapons, such as sarin.
It's unclear so far what type of chemical agent was used in Tuesday's attack in Idlib province. Chlorine typically kills just a few people. The death toll in this attack'--58 so far by one estimate'--is the largest since the Ghouta attack in 2013, when sarin was used.
The New York Timesreports the symptoms in Tuesday's attack were also different from those associated with chlorine: ''They included the pinpoint pupils of victims that characterize nerve agents and other banned toxins. One doctor posted a video of a patient's eye, showing the pupil reduced to a dot. Several people were sickened simply by coming into contact with the victims.''
Assad's regime has consistently denied using such weapons'--despite evidence to the contrary. Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, called the attack a ''reprehensible'' act, but added the ''political reality'' in Syria made it unlikely the U.S. would pursue a policy of regime change there. Indeed, Assad is more in control of Syria today than at any point since the civil war began more than six years ago.
U.S. 'planned to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad' | Mail Online
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:47
Leaked emails from defense contractor refers to chemical weapons saying 'the idea is approved by Washington'Obama issued warning to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that use of chemical warfare was 'totally unacceptable'By Louise Boyle
PUBLISHED: 14:16 EST, 29 January 2013 | UPDATED: 18:17 EST, 29 January 2013
Leaked emails have allegedly proved that the White House gave the green light to a chemical weapons attack in Syria that could be blamed on Assad's regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country.
A report released on Monday contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence where a scheme 'approved by Washington' is outlined explaining that Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons.
Barack Obama made it clear to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that the U.S. would not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons against its own people.
Scroll down for video
War games: An explosion in the Syrian city of Homs last month. It has been now been suggested that the U.S. backed the use of chemical weapons to spur international military intervention
According to Infowars.com, the December 25 email was sent from Britam's Business Development Director David Goulding to company founder Philip Doughty.
It reads: 'Phil... We've got a new offer. It's about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.
'We'll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.
'They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.
'Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?
'Kind regards, David.'
Britam Defence had not yet returned a request for comment to MailOnline.
Leaked: The email was allegedly sent from a top official at a British defense contractor regarding a 'Washington approved' chemical attack in Syria which could be blamed on Assad's regime
The emails were released by a Malaysian hacker who also obtained senior executives resum(C)s and copies of passports via an unprotected company server, according to Cyber War News.
Dave Goulding's Linkedin profile lists him as Business Development Director at Britam Defence Ltd in Security and Investigations. A business networking profile for Phil Doughty lists him as Chief Operationg Officer for Britam, United Arab Emirates, Security and Investigations.
The U.S. State Department had not returned a request for comment on the alleged emails to MailOnline today at time of publication.
However the use of chemical warfare was raised at a press briefing in D.C. on January 28.
A spokesman said that the U.S. joined the international community in 'setting common redlines about the consequences of using chemical weapons'.
Countless losses: Families attempt to identify the bodies of Syrian fighters shot and dumped in a river in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo today
Devastation: People gather at a site hit by what activists said was missiles fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter jet from forces loyal to Assad, at the souk of Azaz, north of Aleppo on January 13
A leaked U.S. government cable revealed that the Syrian army more than likely had used chemical weapons during an attack in the city of Homs in December.
The document, revealed in The Cable, revealed the findings of an investigation by Scott Frederic Kilner, the U.S. consul general in Istanbul, into accusations that the Syrian army used chemical weapons in the December 23 attack.
An Obama administration official who had access to the document was reported as saying: 'We can't definitely say 100 per cent, but Syrian contacts made a compelling case that Agent 15 was used in Homs on Dec. 23.'
Mr Kilner's investigation included interviews with civilians, doctors, and rebels present during the attack, as well as the former general and head of the Syrian WMD program, Mustafa al-Sheikh.
Dr. Nashwan Abu Abdo, a neurologist in Homs, is certain chemical weapons were used. He told The Cable: 'It was a chemical weapon, we are sure of that, because tear gas can't cause the death of people.'
Threats: Barack Obama said during a speech last month that if Syria used chemical weapons against its own people it would be 'totally unacceptable'
Tyrant: Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, pictured with his wife Asma, is facing increasing international pressure over his brutal massacre of his own people
Eye witness accounts from the investigation revealed that a tank launched chemical weapons and caused people exposed to them to suffer nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, delirium, seizures, and respiratory distress.
The symptoms suggest that the weaponized compound Agent-15 was responsible. Syria denied using chemical weapons and said it would never use them against citizens.
Speaking to Pentagon reporters at the time, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said his biggest concern was how the U.S. and allies would secure the chemical and biological weapons sites scattered across Syria and ensure the components don't end up in the wrong hands if the regime falls, particularly under violent conditions.
Government forces and rebels in Syria have both been accused by human rights groups of carrying out brutal warfare in the 22-month-old conflict, which has claimed more than 60,000 lives.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT : 'SYRIAN REBELS TESTING CHEMICAL WEAPONS
ON RABBITS'
Play Video Loading video...
SJW BLM LGBBTQQIAAP
Who We Are '-- Resistance School
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 21:17
'' A country is only as strong as the people who make it up and the country turns into what the people want it to become. Now, this country is going to be transformed. It will not be transformed by an act of God, but by all of us, by you and me. ''
'-- James BaldwinWe are a group of progressive graduate students at Harvard who came together in response to the election of Donald Trump, with a desire to help transform our country to better reflect our shared values.
Our team includes former staffers from the Obama, Bernie, and Hillary presidential election campaigns; community organizers; advocates for human rights, campaign finance reform, and veterans' affairs; and journalists for publications in the US and abroad. Of note, Resistance School is an independently organized project developed by students at Harvard University. It is not an official course or offering of Harvard University or any of its schools.
About Us
On November 8, we lost more than just the presidency. We lost yet more ground in the decades-long campaign against progressive values. Republicans now control the Senate, House, and more state legislatures than they have in almost 200 years. Those losses have emboldened the right to launch an all-out attack against our nation's creed '' that all are created equal.
Like so many Americans, the election moved us '' a group of progressive graduate students at Harvard '' to ask ourselves: How can we most effectively fight Trump's agenda?
What we came up with: Resistance School.
Resistance School is a free four-week practical training program that will sharpen the tools we need to fight back at the federal, state, and local levels. Our goal is to keep the embers of resistance alive through concrete learning, community engagement, and forward-looking action.
We believe that both long-time activists and new additions to the movement need to forge effective offensive strategies to secure progressive victories. Throughout April, we invite you to join with neighbors, friends, or classmates to participate in livestreamed interactive workshops with renowned political campaigners, communicators, and organizers. Each of the skills they'll showcase is critical to amplifying our collective impact.
Together we'll learn how to:
Interested? Sign up here and we will follow up with more information.
Onward,
The Resistance School Team
Lindsay Lohan sports Burkini in Thailand | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 22:08
She has been sharing swimsuit snaps from her latest sunny getaway.
But Lindsay Lohan - who has recently been studying Islam - opted for a Burkini as she set out for a paddleboarding session in Phuket, Thailand last week.
The two-piece ensemble covered the 30-year-old Mean Girls actress head-to-toe as she got to grips with a large board on the beach before venturing out into the water.
Forgoing the skimpy beachwear: Lindsay Lohan donned a Burkini as she went paddleboarding in Phuket, Thailand last week
Strike a pose: The two-piece ensemble covered the Mean Girls actress head to toe
Lohan's head was covered with a black hood which also concealed her ears.
The long tunic stopped midway down her thighs and was layered over some black pants with stirrups.
It was a novel new look for the star especially as the main religion practiced in Thaliand is Buddhism.
Modest attire: Lohan's head was covered with a black hood which also concealed her ears
Something different: The star layered the long red and black tunic over some black pants with stirrups
The Burkini was originally designed in Australia by Aheda Zanetti as an option for women who want to conserve their modesty in respect of Islamic traditions
The actress has been vacationing in the country for two weeks and before that was in Dubai visiting family, according to her Instagram.
Lohan has become fond of headscarves in recent months and has also revealed she's been studying the Qur'an.
She recently revealed she has finally found a sense of 'solace' in her life, after hitting the milestone age of 30 and embracing her spiritual side.
Covered up: The 30-year-old actress posed with a paddle as she prepared to head out into the waves
Change of direction: Lindsay recently revealed she has found solace by studying the Qur'an and has taken to wearing headscarves
The main religions practiced in Thailand are Buddhism and Hinduism
Wet and wild: Lindsay knelt on the paddleboard as she launched herself off into the waves
She explained: 'Studying the Koran is something I found solace in, a religion where I found a lot of peace.
'I have reached inside and I found what I want my intentions to be in the world... focusing on taking control of what I want out of life.'
'You can't just convert to a religion overnight - it's a culture and practice [and] I don't want to comment on something I haven't finished', she told the programme.
Finding her footing: The Parent Trap star appeared to be getting some lessons
Up and away! It seemed Lindsay found her balance quite easily
Globe-trotting: The star has been vacationing in Thaliand for the past two weeks and before that was in Dubai
The Burkini was originally designed in Australia by Aheda Zanetti as an option for women who want to conserve their modesty in respect of Islamic traditions.
It can also be worn as protection from the sun and is light enough for swimming.
Zanetti explained last year that the garment is not worn exclusively by Muslims.
'We've sold to Jews, Hindus, Christians, Mormons, women with various body issues. We've had men asking for them, too,' Zanetti told The Washington Post.
The designer estimated around 40 percent of her client base was non-Muslim.
Versatile: The Burkini can also be worn as protection from the sun and is light enough for swimming
Fun in the sun: Lindsay opted for something skimpier over the weekend
Making a statement: Lohan covers her head and captions in Arabic in a recent Instagram
Earlier this month the 30-year-old hinted she was releasing her own line of headscarves when she posted this image writing: 'New Fashion Line coming soon ...'
Stonewall calls for gender-neutral X option for UK passports | Society | The Guardian
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 22:09
Stonewall said people feared intrusive questioning over gender at passport control. Photograph: Jim O Donnell/Alamy
UK passports should allow people who do not identify as male or female to define themselves as X, an LGBT rights group has said.
In its five-year-plan to create equality for transgender people in Britain, Stonewall said many people are afraid to travel abroad for fear of intrusive questioning or difficulties at passport control.
In addition, those who do not consider themselves either male or female are provided with no other option when applying for legal documentation.
The plan, titled A Vision for Change, was created by the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group (Stag) and comes after HSBC said it was to offer its transgender community a choice of 10 new gender-neutral titles.
Tara Stone, a member of Stag and one of 17 who drew up the plan, explained why an X option on the passport application was justified.
She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: ''For trans people who identify as non-binary '' that is, neither male or female, or some combination thereof '' it would give them an option that wasn't prescriptive, whereas the only options at the moment are prescriptive for them.
''It basically allows them to express their identity, and it's not just trans people it impacts, it's important to illustrate it would have a lot of benefits for intersex people as well.''
Intersex describes a person who may have the biological attributes of both sexes.
Asked if the X option would cause difficulty for those travelling to countries with a poor record on LGBT rights, Stone said: ''It's important that we have that option but that good advice is given by via the Home Office for people travelling.
''We do that to a certain extent now. It's just a case of having the information there to make people aware so they can make good, informed choices.''
The plan also includes proposals for lobbying for a reformed Gender Recognition Act and Equality Act, producing workplace guides specifically on trans-inclusive policies and improving LGBT inclusion in health care.
HSBC last week said its account holders would no longer have to use conventional titles such as Mr, Mrs and Ms but instead be able to choose from a long list that includes Mx, Ind, M, Mre, and Misc. HSBC said titles chosen would be applied across customers' accounts, including on their bank cards and all correspondence.
Public university to host talk on animal-based sex fetishes - The College Fix
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 22:32
Public university to host talk on animal-based sex fetishes
A discussion scheduled for later this month at California State University San Marcos appears slated to delve into the wild world of animal-based sex fetishes.
The event, ''Furries Vs. Pet Play,'' is one among many slated as the campus marks ''gAyPRIL,'' billed on the school's website as a monthlong campuswide celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and ally community.
A brief description of the 50-minute discussion, set for April 25 at the campus LGBTQA Pride Center, states on the university's website: ''How much do you know about these two groups? Do you know that they are two different fish in a pond. Come find out why in this weekday discussion.''
Online definitions of ''furries'' vary, but basically it's a group of people who enjoy dressing up in human-sized animal costumes. They like to call themselves a ''community'' and often get together through large conventions. Not all furries turn their fascination into a sexual thing, or have sex in their costumes, but plenty do.
''Pet play,'' on the other hand, is described online as a subculture within the BDSM world in which a person likes to pretend to be an animal and engages in submissive and other animal-like behaviors in part to enjoy and achieve sexual gratification. Likewise, the other person gets aroused when their partner role-plays as a pet. Sometimes people use animal tail butt plugs in this capacity to heighten their sexual enjoyment.
Cal State San Marcos' media relations office on Monday and Tuesday rebuffed and ignored several calls and multiple email requests for comment on the nature of the ''pet play'' discussion and what specific role it serves in educating and supporting its students. The Office of Diversity, Education Equity and Inclusion similarly ignored several email requests for comment.
The student who alerted The College Fix to gAyPRIL, who wished to remain anonymous, said they felt the observance is a waste of taxpayer dollars, calling it ''ridiculous.''
In addition to ''Furries Vs. Pet Play,'' the campus this month will host: Pride Fest, Take Back the Night, Color Out Hunger Run, Pridefully Political activist training, and a Queer People of Color discussion.
The documentary ''Raising Zoey,'' which celebrates a 13-year-old ''trans activist'' encouraged by her mother and older sister to ''fight school officials for the right to self-identify in school,'' will also be screened.
Another event will discuss queer parenting. Its description states: ''There is more than one-way to start a family: sex, adoption, surrogacy, and insemination. We have invited queer community members to tell their stories about their journey in starting a family.''
During last year's gAyPRIL at Cal State San Marcos, students were invited to a lecture titled ''NOT GAY: Sex Between Straight White Males,'' described by a university press release as a talk by a UC Riverside gender and sexuality studies professor on how ''sex between straight white men allows them to leverage whiteness and masculinity to authenticate their heterosexuality in the context of sex with men.''
''By understanding their same-sex sexual practice as meaningless, accidental, or even necessary, straight white men can perform homosexual contact in heterosexual ways.''
MORE: Sex Week includes love enchantments, 'sexual pain' workshop
Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter
About the Author
Will Nardi is the host of "The American Standard" and co-Host of "Raised Right" on Right Side Broadcasting Network. Published by Daily Caller, Hypeline, College Conservative, Odyssey, Lone Conservative and Rabble-Rouser, his articles have been featured on Drudge Report, Fox News, National Review, Gun Owners of America and more. Nardi is a sophomore at Liberty University's Helm's School of Government.
Six Week Cycle
US teen pleads guilty to IS-inspired plot to kill pope
Tue, 04 Apr 2017 02:56
A New Jersey teen plotted to kill Pope Francis as he visited Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2015 (AFP Photo/JUSTIN SULLIVAN)
More Washington (AFP) - A New Jersey teen pleaded guilty Monday to a plot allegedly inspired by the Islamic State group to kill Pope Francis during his 2015 visit to the United States.
The US Justice Department said Santos Colon, 15 years old at the time, sought to recruit a sniper to shoot the pope as he celebrated mass in Philadelphia on September 27, 2015. Colon also allegedly planned to set off explosives.
But the teen unwittingly recruited an undercover FBI agent for the job, and was arrested quietly 12 days before the event.
"Colon engaged someone he believed would be the sniper, but in reality was an undercover FBI employee. Colon engaged in target reconnaissance with an FBI confidential source and instructed the source to purchase materials to make explosive devices," the Justice Department said in a statement.
Court documents said Colon sought to carry out the act in support of the Islamic State group and that he had used the adopted name Ahmad Shakoor.
In a plea bargain with prosecutors, Colon, now 17, agreed to forego trial and plead guilty as an adult to one charge of providing material support to a terror group.
With the deal, prosecutors dropped three other charges filed against him as a juvenile.
Court documents said the charges were in relation to the Islamic State group, which Washington has designated a foreign terrorist organization.
But there were no details on how Colon became interested in the group and if or how he communicated with them.
Pope Francis celebrated mass for tens of thousands of followers in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the historic east coast city to cap a week-long visit for the World Meeting of Families
Colon's home is in Lindenwold, New Jersey, just east of Philadelphia.
Colon faces a maximum of 15 years in prison but sentencing would likely be held off until 2021 while he undergoes psychiatric treatment in a secure facility.
In a plea statement, Colon acknowledged having been a patient in a mental institution in the past.
Jobs x 3
Please, can someone brief the president on the unemployment rate? - The Washington Post
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 03:36
President Trump falsely claimed people who have given up on finding work are "considered statistically employed" for the purposes of the unemployment rate, on April 4 at the White House. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)
''When you look for a job, you can't find it and you give up, you are now considered statistically employed. But I don't consider those people employed.''
'-- President Trump, remarks to CEO town hall, April 4, 2017
The president made these comments as he described the method of calculating the unemployment rate as ''ridiculous.'' Since no one at the White House, apparently, has explained to the president how the unemployment rate is calculated, here's a quick and easy briefing.
Spoiler alert: It's exactly the opposite of what Trump said.
The FactsThe Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is part of the Labor Department, details the process at length on its website.
The data that makes up the unemployment rate comes from a monthly sample of 60,000 households, or about 110,000 people, from 800 geographic areas across the country. Each household is interviewed for four months, so each month about one-quarter of the households are changed. Census Bureau employees interview the households to determine whether people ages 16 and over have jobs, are seeking jobs or are out of the labor force.
Here are the basic concepts used by the BLS:
' People with jobs are employed.
' People who are jobless, looking for a job and available for work are unemployed.
' The labor force is made up of the employed and the unemployed.
' People who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force.
In other words, a person working some period during the week is considered employed. A person who was laid off and is seeking a new job is unemployed. And a person who is a stay-at-home parent or retired is not in the labor force.
Trump thus has it entirely backward. If you can't find a job and have given up looking for work, you are considered not in the labor force. You are not considered ''statistically employed.'' However, within the ''not in labor force'' category, you would be listed as wanting a job but either discouraged or marginally attached to the workforce. In the most common unemployment rate, known as the U-3, you are considered unemployed only if you are actively looking for a job. (There is an alternative rate, the U-4, which includes discouraged workers; the rate for February 2017 increases from 4.7 percent to 5 percent in the U-4.)
America's monthly jobs report can be hard to understand. Here's what you need to know about non-farm payroll employment and the unemployment rate'--with gummy bears to help explain. (Kate M. Tobey,Gillian Brockell,Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)
Speaking to the chief executives, Trump also repeated his Four-Pinocchio claim that ''100 million people'' are seeking jobs. ''A lot of those people came out and voted for me.'' Trump said. ''I call them the forgotten man, the forgotten woman. But a lot of those people '-- a good percentage of them '-- would like to have jobs, and they don't.''
Trump uses an exaggerated number for the people not in the labor force. But as we have explained repeatedly, most of those people '-- 93 percent '-- do not want jobs. That's because they are people who are retired, students, stay-at-home parents or disabled.
The Pinocchio TestWe can only imagine the confusion among the corporate chieftains as they heard the president utter gibberish about the unemployment rate. Let's hope this briefing finds its way to the president and he speaks with more authority in the future.
Four Pinocchios
(About our rating scale)
Send us facts to check by filling out this form
Keep tabs on Trump's promises with our Trump Promise Tracker
Sign up for The Fact Checker weekly newsletter
How would you rate this claim? (The check mark means you think the statement is true, not that you agree with the rating.)
Pardon the interruption!We need to verify that you are an actual person.
View ResultsThis is a non-scientific user poll. Results are not statistically valid and cannot be assumed to reflect the views of Washington Post users as a group or the general population.
Share the Facts
5
6
Washington Post Rating:Four Pinocchios
''When you look for a job, you can't find it and you give up. You are now considered statistically employed. But I don't consider those people employed.''
at the CEO Town hall, Washington, DC
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
04/04/2017
STINGRAY
Susan Rice Requested Unmasking of Incoming Trump Administration Officials
Mon, 03 Apr 2017 23:43
Susan Rice, who served as the National Security Adviser under President Obama, has been identified as the official who requested unmasking of incoming Trump officials, Cernovich Media can exclusively report.
The White House Counsel's office identified Rice as the person responsible for the unmasking after examining Rice's document log requests. The reports Rice requested to see are kept under tightly-controlled conditions. Each person must log her name before being granted access to them.
Upon learning of Rice's actions, H. R. McMaster dispatched his close aide Derek Harvey to Capitol Hill to brief Chairman Nunes.
''Unmasking'' is the process of identifying individuals whose communications were caught in the dragnet of intelligence gathering. While conducting investigations into terrorism and other related crimes, intelligence analysts incidentally capture conversations about parties not subject to the search warrant. The identities of individuals who are not under investigation are kept confidential, for legal and moral reasons.
Under President Obama, the unmasking rules were changed. Circa originally reported:
As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama's top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency's incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats, Circa has learned.
Three people close to President Obama, including his ''fall guy'' for Benghazi (Susan Rice), had authorization to unmask.
Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about U.S. citizens were Obama's national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Not even mainstream outlets denied that some Trump officials had been spied on, with the NY Times reporting:
WASHINGTON'Š'--'ŠA pair of White House officials helped provide Representative Devin Nunes of California, a Republican and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with the intelligence reports that showed that President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.
According to WaPo, there were three sources for the reports, with Michael Ellis ultimately being blamed by WaPo and AP.
What's striking about the Times story is the spin it took. Trump had previously claimed he had been ''wire tapped'' (quotation marks in his original Tweet), leading to media screams that he prove it. The Times' own reporting proves that President Trump and his associates were spied on.
The Times, rather than admit Trump had been vindicated, instead focused its attention on the question of who leaked the reports to Nunes:
Since disclosing the existence of the intelligence reports, Mr. Nunes has refused to identify his sources, saying he needed to protect them so others would feel safe going to the committee with sensitive information. In his public comments, he has described his sources as whistle-blowers trying to expose wrongdoing at great risk to themselves.
Since when did journalists attempt to unmask sources? The Times, WaPo, and other outlets rely on anonymous sources in nearly every article about national security. It's clear they have an agenda'Š'--'Šthat agenda is not telling the truth.
This reporter has been informed that Maggie Haberman has had this story about Susan Rice for at least 48 hours, and has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.
'-- '--
Mike Cernovich is a journalist, lawyer, author, and filmmaker. Cernovich Media is not owned by large corporate donors or robber barons. The NY Times' largest shareholder (whose very word can crash the stock, crippling 401K and other retirement plans) is Carlos Slim. WaPo is owned by Jeff Bezos, who has a $600 million contract with deep state. WaPo has also been caught in a pay-for-play scandal.
Top Obama Adviser Sought Names of Trump Associates in Intel - Bloomberg View
Tue, 04 Apr 2017 10:43
White House lawyers last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The pattern of Rice's requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government's policy on "unmasking" the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like "U.S. Person One."
Nunes Says Trump Team Caught in U.S. Surveillance Net
The National Security Council's senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, was conducting the review, according to two U.S. officials who spoke with Bloomberg View on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. In February Cohen-Watnick discovered Rice's multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons in intelligence reports that related to Trump transition activities. He brought this to the attention of the White House General Counsel's office, who reviewed more of Rice's requests and instructed him to end his own research into the unmasking policy.
The intelligence reports were summaries of monitored conversations -- primarily between foreign officials discussing the Trump transition, but also in some cases direct contact between members of the Trump team and monitored foreign officials. One U.S. official familiar with the reports said they contained valuable political information on the Trump transition such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration.
Rice did not respond to an email seeking comment on Monday morning. Her role in requesting the identities of Trump transition officials adds an important element to the dueling investigations surrounding the Trump White House since the president's inauguration.
Both the House and Senate intelligence committees are probing any ties between Trump associates and a Russian influence operation against Hillary Clinton during the election. The chairman of the House intelligence committee, Representative Devin Nunes, is also investigating how the Obama White House kept tabs on the Trump transition after the election through unmasking the names of Trump associates incidentally collected in government eavesdropping of foreign officials.
Rice herself has not spoken directly on the issue of unmasking. Last month when she was asked on the "PBS NewsHour" about reports that Trump transition officials, including Trump himself, were swept up in incidental intelligence collection, Rice said: "I know nothing about this," adding, "I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today."
Rice's requests to unmask the names of Trump transition officials do not vindicate Trump's own tweets from March 4 in which he accused Obama of illegally tapping Trump Tower. There remains no evidence to support that claim.
But Rice's multiple requests to learn the identities of Trump officials discussed in intelligence reports during the transition period does highlight a longstanding concern for civil liberties advocates about U.S. surveillance programs. The standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything. This suggests Rice's unmasking requests were likely within the law.
The news about Rice also sheds light on the strange behavior of Nunes in the last two weeks. It emerged last week that he traveled to the White House last month, the night before he made an explosive allegation about Trump transition officials caught up in incidental surveillance. At the time he said he needed to go to the White House because the reports were only on a database for the executive branch. It now appears that he needed to view computer systems within the National Security Council that would include the logs of Rice's requests to unmask U.S. persons.
The ranking Democrat on the committee Nunes chairs, Representative Adam Schiff, viewed these reports on Friday. In comments to the press over the weekend he declined to discuss the contents of these reports, but also said it was highly unusual for the reports to be shown only to Nunes and not himself and other members of the committee.
Indeed, much about this is highly unusual: if not how the surveillance was collected, then certainly how and why it was disseminated.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
To contact the author of this story:
Eli Lake at elake1@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Philip Gray at philipgray@bloomberg.net
RCMP reveals use of secretive cellphone surveillance technology for the first time - Technology & Science - CBC News
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:53
The RCMP for the first time is publicly confirming it uses cellphone surveillance devices in investigations across Canada '-- but at the same time says the potential of unauthorized snooping in Ottawa, as reported by CBC News, poses a threat to national security.
"Absolutely," RCMP Chief Supt. Jeff Adam, who is in charge of technical investigations services, said in an unprecedented technical briefing Wednesday with reporters from CBC News, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail.
The RCMP held the briefing in the wake of a CBC News investigation that found evidence that devices known as IMSI catchers may be in use near government buildings in Ottawa for the purpose of illegal spying.
'It is publicly known there is equipment out there that is not limited in its capturing of communications between devices.' - RCMP Chief Supt . Jeff Adam
"Not everyone uses the equipment in the way the RCMP does," Adam said. "It is publicly known there is equipment out there that is not limited in its capturing of communications between devices. And so it's a security risk when it is used in proximity to government and/or any other commercial enterprises."
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Tuesday the devices detected did not belong to any Canadian police or intelligence agency.
Adam told reporters that while he isn't "personally aware" of foreign agencies using the technology in Canada, "I can't rule that out."
The RCMP and CSIS are now investigating.
But on Wednesday, after shrouding their own use of the technology in secrecy for years, the RCMP took the unprecedented step of speaking publicly about the devices '-- also known as Stingrays or Mobile Device Identifiers (MDIs) '-- to address public concern amidst mounting questions about their use.
Other police forces have them, tooThe RCMP says that MDIs '-- of which it owns 10 '-- have become "vital tools" deployed scores of times to identify and track mobile devices in 19 criminal investigations last year and another 24 in 2015.
He says in all cases but one in 2016, police got warrants. The one exception was an exigent circumstance '-- in other words, an emergency scenario "such as a kidnapping," said Adam, whose office tracks every instance where an MDI has been used by the RCMP.
"This technology is a vital tool in providing valuable assistance to criminal investigations," Adam said, adding some recent media reporting has misstated how police use MDIs and what the technology can actually do.
An IMSI catcher pretends to be a cellphone tower to attract nearby cell signals. When it does, it can intercept the unique ID number associated with your phone, the International Mobile Subscriber Identity, or IMSI. That number can then be used to track your phone. (CBC)
He says using an MDI requires senior police approval as well as getting a judge's order. And he says the technology provides only a first step in an investigation allowing officers to identify a device.
He says only then can police apply for additional warrants to obtain a user's "basic subscriber information" such as name and address connected to the phone. Then, he says, only if the phone and suspect are targets of the investigation can police seek additional warrants to track the device or conduct a wiretap to capture communications.
Adam says the RCMP currently has 24 technicians trained and authorized to deploy the devices across Canada. He knows other police forces own and use them too, but declined to name them.
RCMP device 'does not collect' texts, emails, callsHe said the RCMP's devices are restricted in their use, with software that only allows them to identify a mobile device and to potentially track the location of that phone.
"What the RCMP technology does not do is collect private communication," Adam said. "In other words, it does not collect voice and audio communications, email messages, text messages, contact lists, images, encryption keys or basic subscriber information."
There do exist interception tools that allow eavesdropping on phone calls and direct interception of digital messages but Adam said the RCMP does not own them or use them.
He said anyone operating in Canada without a proper licence or judge's authorization would be breaking section 191.1 of the Criminal Code that prohibits possession of these kinds of interception devices. He also said it would be a violation of the Radiocommunications Act.
RCMP lacked proper approvalAdam conceded that until two months ago the RCMP itself failed to get express approval to use MDIs from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED, formerly Industry Canada), the government body responsible for regulating technology that might interfere with wireless communications.
He said the RCMP believed at one point that an exemption introduced in early 2015 to the Radiocommunications Act allowing the use of cellular "jammers" might also exempt the use of MDIs '-- but ISED ultimately disagreed.
Otherwise, he said police have almost always sought a warrant, though he noted a few exceptions.
He said in recent years the law has changed to catch up with emerging technologies.
Police used to apply for a general warrant to use the technology. In 2015, Adam said there was a period of at least six months '-- between March and October '-- when the RCMP didn't seek a warrant at all, acting on advice from the Department of Justice and government prosecutors.
RCMP say that in the past five years '-- including this period '-- police used the devices without a warrant in 11 investigations.
Innocent users' dataIMSI catchers have been highly controversial for fear that hundreds of innocent device users can be swept up in the collection of cellular data.
Adam said all data collected is strictly protected, isolated and reported to judges, preserved until it is no longer needed and then destroyed.
A special cellphone made by ESD America and purchased by CBC and Radio-Canada that can detect when an IMSI catcher is trying to intercept it. (CBC)
"The data, once it is seized lawfully to the judge, will be secured and locked up for criminal court purposes. It will not be accessed other than the target information," Adam said.
He said the RCMP has been fully co-operating with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, which has been investigating police use of cellphone-tracking equipment in Canada.
He also said police are very aware that cell MDIs can potentially disrupt mobile users' signals and even, in older phones, interfere with the ability to dial 911.
Adam said the RCMP has developed protocols to ensure the MDIs '-- which essentially highjack all cellular signals in a given area '-- are only used for a few minutes at a time to limit potential disruption for users.
He said that while his office is tracking the numbers of warrants and applications, currently the law requiring police to report to Parliament on interception techniques does not expressly require them to detail how many times they use cellphone-catching technology.
"We're not averse to reporting, to a degree, on the number of times this technology is used, but there is as of yet no requirement to do so," Adam said.
RCMP MDI Breifing April 5, 2017 (PDF)
RCMP MDI Breifing April 5, 2017 (Text)
Full transcript of RCMP briefing on MDIsCBC is not responsible for 3rd party content
Canadian Prosecutors Cut Loose 35 Mafia Suspects Rather Than Turn Over Info On Stingray Devices | Techdirt
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:53
Canadian law enforcement brought down a massive criminal conspiracy. Now, thanks to information it doesn't want to release to the court, most of what was brought down will be re-erected by the suspects it's cutting loose. (h/t Techdirt reader Pickle Monger)
Thirty five people accused of serious crimes like kidnapping and drug trafficking saw the cases brought against them in a major RCMP investigation into the Montreal Mafia dropped on Tuesday because the Crown no longer wants to prosecute them.
The Crown's sudden change of stance in an investigation dubbed Project Clemenza meant there are only 11 accused left with cases pending following three series of arrests made between 2014 and May last year. Federal prosecutor Sabrina Delli Fraine informed Quebec Court Judge Lori Ren(C)e Weitzman of the Crown's position during a hearing at the Montreal courthouse.
One of the defendants released is believed to be one of the leaders of the Montreal Mafia (which sounds like a Chicago mob farm team). The suspects were snared through the interception of communications, many of which appeared to originate on BlackBerry phones. As was covered here a year ago, the RCMP used a built-in BlackBerry "feature" to intercept and decrypt over "one million messages" during its investigation of a Mafia killing.
Here's the key part of the interception effort:
The RCMP maintains a server in Ottawa that "simulates a mobile device that receives a message intended for [the rightful recipient]." In an affidavit, RCMP sergeant Patrick Boismenu states that the server "performs the decryption of the message using the appropriate decryption key." The RCMP calls this the "BlackBerry interception and processing system."
This is part of the reason these Mafia defendants are seeing their charges dropped. The RCMP does not want to publicly discuss its BlackBerry interception methods. The other reason has to do with how the RCMP tracked down the phone numbers it wanted to intercept.
The RCMP used a mobile device identifier and Stober ordered that the Crown disclose information like the device's signal strength and its potential impact on a BlackBerrys ability to make or receive phone calls while text messages are being intercepted from it.
This would likely be RCMP Stingray devices. Just like here in the US, Canadian law enforcement would rather see perps walk out of courtrooms than turn over information on interception efforts to defendants.
This is the largest of the RCMP's catch-and-release efforts, but it isn't the first. The National Post points out a similar dumping of defendants occurred last year for the same reason.
The Crown apparently does not want to disclose the investigative techniques used with the device. Last year, it did an about face in a murder trial and six men who were about to go on trial for the first-degree murder of Mafioso Salvatore Montagna were able to plead guilty to the lesser charge of conspiracy to commit murder.
At least in that case, law enforcement still ended up with a few convictions -- albeit on charges lower than what it had hoped to obtain going in.
Cell tower spoofers are resulting in a lot of contradictory law enforcement behavior. Cops say they don't want to turn over info on Stingrays to public records requesters for "public safety" reasons, claiming it could compromise methods and techniques and allow criminals to stay out of their reach. They make the same claims in court when refusing to turn over information to defendants, which results in freshly-caught criminals being put back on the streets -- something that certainly doesn't make the public any safer.
Trump Transition
Gary Cohn (investment banker) - Wikipedia
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 22:49
Gary D. Cohn (born August 27, 1960) is an American investment banker. He is the chief economic advisor to President Donald Trump and Director of the National Economic Council.[1][2] He was formerly the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs. Cohn is a registered Democrat.[3]
Early life and education [ edit] Gary Cohn was born to an Eastern European Jewish family,[4][5] the son of Victor and Ellen Cohn;[6] and was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio. His father was an electrician who later became a real estate developer.[7] Cohn was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age and attended four schools by the time he reached the sixth grade.[8] Cohn studied at Gilmour Academy, and received his bachelor's degree from American University's Kogod School of Business.[7]
National Economic Council director [ edit] On January 20, 2017 Cohn took office as Director of the National Economic Council (NEC) in President Donald Trump's administration, a position which did not require Congressional confirmation. By February 11, 2017, The Wall Street Journal described Cohn as an "economic-policy powerhouse"[9][10] and The New York Times called him Trump's "go-to figure on matters related to jobs, business and growth".[11] With the confirmation of Trump's December 12, 2016 nominee for Secretary of Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, being held back by Congressional hearings, Cohn filled in the "personnel vacuum" and pushed "ahead on taxes, infrastructure, financial regulation and replacing health-care law".[9] Had Cohn stayed at Goldman Sachs, some believed he would have become CEO when Lloyd Blankfein vacated that office.[9] His severance package at Goldman Sachs amounted to $285 million.[12] Additionally, Cohn sold a stake valued at $16 million in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world's largest bank as of 2017.[13]
Cohn started his career at the U.S. Steel home products division in Cleveland, Ohio.[14] After a few months, he left U.S. Steel and started his career as an options dealer in the New York Mercantile Exchange.[14] He taught himself the basics of options by reading about it in the days between meeting the hiring manager and joining the New York Mercantile Exchange.[15]
Goldman Sachs [ edit] Cohn was recruited by Goldman Sachs in 1990.[16] In 1996, he was named head of the commodities department and in 2002, he was named the head of the entire Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Division (FICC) division. In 2003, he was named co-head of Equities and in January 2004, Cohn was named the co-head of global securities businesses .[17] He became President and Co-Chief Operating Officer and director in June 2006.[18]
In late 2009, Cohn led a delegation from Goldman Sachs to meetings with the government of Greece, which included proposals (that were not adopted) to push debt-due dates far into the future, "much as when strapped homeowners take out second mortgages to pay off their credit cards."[19] Goldman Sachs had been scrutinized for creating or pitching products used by Greece to "obscure billions in debt from the budget overseers in Brussels".[19]
In 2010, Cohn testified to Congress on the role of Goldman Sachs in the 2007-2008 financial crisis.[20] Cohn testified: "During the two years of the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs lost $1.2 billion in its residential mortgage-related business. We did not 'bet against our clients,' and the numbers underscore this fact."[21]
In February 2015, Cohn hosted the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco. As host, Cohn asked questions of Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc., while Cook was on stage.[22]
Compensation [ edit] Cohn's salary at Goldman Sachs was US$22 million in 2014.[23] He received $21 million in 2015.[24]
He received a $285 million severance package from Goldman Sachs upon leaving to join the administration of Donald Trump.[12]
Personality and work style [ edit] Critics of Cohn attribute to him an arrogant, aggressive, abrasive and risk-prone work style. They see his "6-foot 3-inch & 220lbs" as intimidating, as he might "sometimes hike up one leg, plant his foot on a trader's desk, his thigh close to the employee's face and ask how markets were doing"[16] According to former Bear Stearns Asset Management CEO Richard Marin, Cohn's arrogance is at the root of the problem.
When you become arrogant, in a trading sense, you begin to think that everybody's a counterparty, not a customer, not a client.[16]
Cohn's supporters see these qualities as advantages. Michael Ovitz, co-founder and former chairman of Creative Artists Agency and former president of The Walt Disney Company, stated that he is impressed with Cohn. Ovitz said:
"He's a trader. He has that whole feel in his body and brain and fingertips."[16]
Ovitz sees Cohn's toughness as a "positive" value, explaining that a high ranking executive can't be "all peaches and cream."[7][16]
Donna Redel, who was Chairman of the Board of the New York Mercantile Exchange when Cohn worked there as a silver trader, remembers Cohn as "firm," "strategic" and "driven." Martin Greenberg, her predecessor, said Cohn "was tough," and added that "Gary got in with the right people, worked his ass off and used his head."[16]
Personal life [ edit] Cohn is married to Lisa A Pevaroff-Cohn.[25][26] They have three daughters and reside in New York City.[6][14]
Philanthropy [ edit] Cohn and his wife are founding board members of the New York University Child Study Center. The couple funded the Pevaroff Cohn Professorship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine in 1999. He financed the Gary D. Cohn Endowed Research Professorship in Finance at American University, his alma mater.[27]
In 2009, the Hillel International building at Kent State University was named the Cohn Jewish Student Center in recognition of a gift from Cohn and his wife.[28] It is the first Hillel building built directly on the campus of a state university.[29]
Cohn has been a supporter of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities and has supported Harlem RBI since 2011. At that time, Harlem RBI was given the chance to build its own charter school. Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees and Harlem RBI director Rich Berlin asked Cohn if he could help them raise the capital they needed to build the school.[30]
In December 2012, Cohn attended the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief which raised money for the Robin Hood Relief fund to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.[31]
Cohn is active as a trustee of his alma mater, American University, and of his school, Gilmour Academy.[32]
In 2010, the Hospital for Joint Diseases at NYU Langone Medical Center named Cohn the chairman of the HJD Advisory Board.[33]
On June 17, 2013, Cohn was honored at the annual "Bid for Kids" gala in order to raise funds for Harlem RBI and the DREAM charter school. Cohn said in an interview that Harlem RBI is a project that is "very near and dear to his heart."[30]
Published works [ edit] Cohn has written editorials in prestigious journals and newspapers.[citation needed ] In March 2014, he wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, discussing "The Responsible Way to Rein in Super-Fast Trading."[34]
Memberships [ edit] Cohn is a member of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.[35]
Cohn is a member of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.[36]
References [ edit] ^ Ruben, Greg. "Inside Trump World". Axios. ^ "Trump to name Goldman Sachs veteran, Gary Cohn, to head National Economic Council". The Washington Post. December 9, 2016. ^ "Goldman Sachs President Offered Top National Economic Council Job". USNews. ^ Jewish Business News: "Watch: Goldman Sachs CEO Gary Cohn Says Mark Cuban Is Wrong On Bursting Tech Bubble, But Is He?" March 12, 2015 ^ "Hillel at Kent State Dedicates New Cohn Jewish Student Center". Hillel International. September 15, 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2016 . ^ ab Hillel News (November 15, 2010). "Goldman Sachs Pres. Cohn Addresses Capital Friends of Hillel". Hillel International. Retrieved December 1, 2015 . ^ abc Max Abelson and Christine Harper (July 28, 2011). "Why Gary Cohn May Not Be Goldman's Next CEO". Bloomberg. Retrieved July 16, 2012 . ^ La Roche, Julia (June 1, 2015). "Goldman Sachs' 2nd-most-powerful executive pulled an audacious move to get his 1st job on Wall Street". Business Insider. ^ abc Damian Paletta, Mike Bender and Nick Timiraos (February 11, 2017), Gary Cohn Has Emerged as an Economic-Policy Powerhouse in Trump Administration, Washington: The Wall Street Journal, retrieved February 12, 2017 ^ Gary Cohn Is Leaving Goldman Sachs To Chair Donald Trump's National, December 12, 2016, retrieved February 12, 2017 ^ Kate Kelly (February 11, 2017), Trump's Economic Cabinet Is Mostly Bare. This Man Fills the Void, The New York Times, retrieved February 12, 2017 , With crucial posts still vacant, Gary Cohn, a longtime Goldman Sachs executive, has become the president's go-to figure on matters related to jobs, business and growth. ^ ab Egan, Matt (January 27, 2017). "Trump adviser Gary Cohn's $285 million Goldman Sachs exit raises eyebrows". CNN Money. Retrieved January 27, 2017 . ^ Kate Kelly and Steve Eder (2017-03-16). "Trump Adviser Gary Cohn to Sell Stake in Chinese Bank Giant". = The New York Times. ^ abc "Gary Cohn, Kogod School of Business Commencement Speaker" American University. ^ David and Goliath (book) ^ abcdef Max Abelson and Christine Harper (July 24, 2011). "Succeeding Blankfein at Goldman May Be Hurdle Too High for Cohn". Bloomberg L.P.Retrieved August 7, 2011 . ^ "Gary Cohn". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 24, 2015 . ^ "Gary D. Cohn" Goldman Sachs. ^ ab Louise Story, Landon Thomas Jr. And Nelson D. Schwartz (February 13, 2010). "Wall St. Helped to Mask Debt Fueling Europe's Crisis". New York Times. ^ Susanne Craig (June 30, 2010). "Goldman's Cohn Is Next on Hot Seat". Wall Street Journal. ^ Michael Corkery (June 30, 2010). "Gary Cohn Testimony: Goldman Didn't Bet Against Clients". Wall Street Journal. ^ Colt, Sam (February 10, 2015). "Tim Cook talks about Apple's astonishing success". Business Insider. Retrieved March 24, 2015 . ^ Cohan, William D. (April 2015). "Wall Street Executives from the Financial Crisis of 2008: Where Are They Now?". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 29, 2015 . ^ Portia Crowe (January 22, 2016). "Here's how much Goldman Sachs' most senior execs were paid last year". Business Insider. ^ Emily Smith and Carlos Greer (August 8, 2016). "Bethenny hurls her drink when she can't see Coldplay". Page Six. ^ Cleveland Jewish News: "SANFORD PEVAROFF" August 2, 2010 ^ Professor Jeffrey Harris Becomes First Gary D. Cohn Goldman Sachs Chair ^ "Hillel at Kent State Dedicates New Cohn Jewish Student Center". Hillel International. September 15, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2015 . ^ Kent State University News: "Dedication of the New Cohn Jewish Student Center" October 12, 2009 ^ ab La Roche, Julia (June 17, 2013). "What Goldman's COO Gary Cohn Is Doing About Our 'Unfair' World". Business Insider. Retrieved April 5, 2015 . ^ Gordon, Amanda (December 13, 2012). "Springsteen, Gary Cohn, Clapton, Jagger, Joel: Scene". Bloomberg L.P.Retrieved April 5, 2015 . ^ Gary D. Cohn at nndb.com. ^ "2010 Hospital for Joint Diseases' Founders Gala Raises over $1.7 Million". NYU School of Medicine. November 10, 2010. Retrieved March 24, 2015 . ^ Cohn, Gary (March 20, 2014). "The Responsible Way to Rein in Super-Fast Trading". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 24, 2015 . ^ Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County Annual Report 2013 ^ "Goldman Sachs Group Inc-Bdr-Gary D Cohn". Bloomberg L.P.Retrieved April 5, 2015 .
Migrants
Around 270,000 Syrians have right to bring families to Germany - report | Reuters
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:27
FILE PHOTO - Workers fix containers at a construction site for a refugee centre to house asylum seekers in the Koepenick district of Berlin, Germany November 27, 2014. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo
BERLIN Around 270,000 Syrians in Germany have the right to bring in their family members, a newspaper said on Wednesday - a statistic that could fuel the debate about migration less than six months before a national election.
Mass-selling tabloid Bild cited a government paper as showing a total of 431,376 Syrians applied for asylum in Germany in 2015 and 2016 and said that of those 267,500 would be entitled to family reunifications in Germany.
That could play into the hands of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which has lost support in recent months as the refugee issue recedes from the headlines ahead of a Sept. 24 election.
Senior AfD member Alexander Gauland condemned the figures, saying it was "absolute madness" to allow so many people to bring their families to Germany: "Billions and billions of tax money are being swallowed and the social state is being steered towards breakdown while our eyes are wide open."
Neither the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) nor the Interior Ministry immediately responded to requests for comment on the report.
In 2016, the government decided to suspend family re-unifications for two years for migrants who get "subsidiary protection" - granted to people who are not considered as being persecuted individually but in whose home country there is war, torture or other inhumane treatment.
Syrians are the biggest group of asylum applicants in Germany. They are increasingly being granted subsidiary protection rather than refugee status and that means they are only granted the right of residence for a year, although this can be extended.
But Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), their Bavarian sister party - the Christian Social Union (CSU) - and the Social Democrats (SPD), their junior coalition partner, decided last week to make exceptions for people with subsidiary protection status in hardship cases.
More than a million migrants flocked to Germany in 2015 and 2016 but arrivals have dropped significantly. The AfD, which has made immigration one of its key rallying points, is currently on between 7 and 11 percent in opinion polls, above the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament.
CSU leader Horst Seehofer told German magazine Stern tackling the AfD was a main aim.
"If we govern the country sensibly and don't attack each other personally in the election campaign, we can push the AfD under 5 percent," Seehofer said.
However, while his party is behind Merkel in the election campaign he said it was sticking to its demand for a cap on the number of migrants coming here - a proposal which the chancellor has rejected.
In 2016, some 280,000 migrants arrived in Germany, a sharp drop compared with 890,000 the previous year. Bild said while there were no numbers for 2017 yet, the federal police had already caught more than 20,000 illegal migrants on the borders in the first three months of this year.
Separately, the German cabinet on Wednesday approved a draft law that would prevent child marriages conducted abroad from being recognised in Germany. It says marriages should automatically be void if at least one of the partners was younger than 16 at the time they wed.
(Additional reporting by Thorsten Severin; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Alison Williams)
Next In World News Loud explosion heard in St Petersburg building, no one hurtST PETERSBURG A loud explosion was heard on Thursday in a residential building close to the site in St Petersburg where explosives were found earlier in the day, Reuters witnesses said.
Germany anti-immigrant party sees itself as a guarantor of Jewish lifeBERLIN The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) is a guarantor of Jewish life in Germany because it opposes immigration from largely Muslim migrants, the co-leader of the far-right party told a German newspaper on Thursday.
Iranian conservative cleric to run in May's presidential vote - IRNAANKARA A bloc of conservative Iranian political parties has nominated a powerful cleric as their candidate to run in next month's presidential election to try to unseat the moderate Hassan Rouhani, Iran's state news agency IRNA said.
From Around the Web Promoted by Revcontent
Video of gender-segregated Muslim school bus leaves Swedish authorities fuming '-- RT News
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 14:39
Swedish Prime Minister has slammed the policy of gender segregation in a Muslim school after a Swedish TV channel revealed that girls are forced to board their school bus through the back door, while boys use the front one.
The video is part of the latest episode of TV4's ''Kalla Fakta,'' or Cold Facts, show, which was to be aired on Tuesday evening. It features secret footage showing children between six and 10 years old being segregated by gender while boarding a school bus. The boys freely use the front door while the girls are directed to the rear door.
Read more
The Cold Facts' reporter, Helena Gissen, also found out that the pupils are being divided by gender during school prayers as girls sit in one room, and boys in another one. Gissen asked the school headmaster, Hussein Ibrahim, to comment on the situation but he refused to do it and then demanded that the journalists leave the school, threatening to call the police if they do not.
"I think this is disgusting. This doesn't belong in Sweden," PM Stefan Lofven told reporters in Stockholm, adding that, in Sweden, "we take the bus together whether you are a girl or a boy, a woman or a man," AP reports.
He also said that the issue ''indicates that we have more to tackle when it comes to segregation," adding that he had already given a corresponding task to his government.
The prime minister's words were echoed by Education Minister Gustav Fridolin, who said that rules preventing gender segregation in schools are apparently ''too weak'' and called for the tightening of the regulation concerning religious schools.
''This is completely unacceptable,'' Fridolin said, referring to the situation in the publicly funded but privately managed Al-Azhar school located in Stockholm's northwest neighborhood of Vaellingby, which was revealed by the Swedish TV4 Channel.
Read more
''Obviously, we have weak rules. It is clear that we both need to tighten the curriculum to prevent mechanistic gender separation from taking place, and to strengthen the regulatory framework when it comes to denominational schools,'' the education minister added, as cited by the Swedish Expressen daily.
He also stressed that if school does not comply with the directives given by the educational authorities, its license should be revoked.
The school's vice principal denied that the school authorities had any intention of dividing the pupils by gender. ''This is not something that has been known or sanctioned by school management. Both the principal and I note, after seeing the video, that it has happened, but it is of course nothing we support," Roger Lindquist, the school's deputy headmaster, told the Swedish TT news agency, adding that it was apparently ''a mistake.''
Lindquist also claimed that around 80 percent of the school staff are non-Muslims, even though the educational facility describes itself as a school with a ''Muslim profile.''
"It is important to point out that the staff is not driven by religion but a passion to work with cultural and integration issues. It is also important that the school is not based on Muslim values but democratic ones," he said.
Read more
Al-Azhar school has some 120 employees and 660 students. The school, founded in 1995, says that Islam is taught as a separate subject. Children are allowed to pray during school hours. It already provoked controversy in late August 2016 when it was revealed that the school had gender-segregated gym classes.
At that time, the education inspectorate gave a green light to this move, even though Fridolin called such decision ''surprising.''
In February 2017, the Swedish government proposed a ban on single-sex classrooms across all subjects as part of a definitive measure to guarantee equality of education for all Swedish citizens.
Sweden's socialized school system is state-funded but privately run, which allows religious organizations to operate educational institutions so long as they adhere to the secular curriculum produced by the state.
Doping
Jamaicaanse atleten niet geschorst ondanks vondst kleine hoeveelheden doping - Sport - Voor nieuws, achtergronden en columns
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 12:11
Cookiewall: Cookies op de Volkskrant | de VolkskrantVolkskrant.nl gebruikt cookies om u een optimale gebruikerservaring te bieden
Ja, ik accepteer cookiesVolkskrant.nl gebruikt cookies en vergelijkbare technologien (cookies) onder andere om u een optimale gebruikerservaring te bieden. Ook kunnen we hierdoor het gedrag van bezoekers vastleggen en analyseren en daardoor onze website verbeteren. Cookies van onszelf en van derden kunnen worden gebruikt om advertenties te tonen en artikelen aan te bevelen op volkskrant.nl die aansluiten op uw interesses. Ook derden kunnen uw internetgedrag volgen. Cookies kunnen gebruikt worden om op sites van derden relevante advertenties te tonen. Cookies van derde partijen maken daarnaast mogelijk dat u informatie kunt delen via social media zoals Twitter en Facebook. Meer informatie hierover vindt u in ons cookie-statement.
De serviceafdeling is te bereiken op telefoonnummer 088-0561561. De servicepagina kunt u hier vinden.
Klik hier om direct de digitale krant te lezen.
Pipeline$
EU to cut gas dependency on Russia with Israel pipeline | Business | DW.COM | 03.04.2017
Tue, 04 Apr 2017 09:55
Israel and several EU nations have pledged to move forward with a Mediterranean gas project, aiming to pump natural gas from Israel to Europe through the longest undersea pipeline ever built.
The planned pipeline - stretching about 2,000 kilometers (1,248 miles) on the bed of the Mediterranean Sea - aims to link gas fields off the coasts of Israel and Cyprus with Greece and possibly Italy, at a cost of up to 6 billion euros ($6.4 billion).
After a meeting in Tel Aviv on Monday between energy ministers from Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy, European Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete told reporters he believed the project would "meet all relevant requirements" to make a financial commitment possible.
Canete also noted that Cyprus and Israel were "very reliable" suppliers, and that their gas reserves could make a valuable contribution to the EU's strategy to "diversify sources, routes and suppliers."
Canete admitted it would help limit reliance on the Nord Stream pipeline via Russia, which he said "adds nothing to the security of supply."
Economic feasibility
Israel has discovered more than 900 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas offshore, with some studies pointing to another 2,200 bcm waiting to be tapped. Along with the European market, it is exploring options to export to Turkey, Egypt and Jordan.
Cyprus's 'Aphrodite' natural gas field holds an additional 128 bcm of proven reserves, and further exploration is expected to find much more gas in Cypriot waters.
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said the pipeline was going to be the "longest and deepest sub-sea gas pipeline in the world." Completion of the project has been provisionally scheduled for 2025, "but we will try to speed up and to shorten the timetable," he said.
Elio Ruggeri, chief executive of IGI Poseidon - the project owners - said a feasibility study has been completed and the next few years would focus on "proper development activities," with a final investment decision expected by 2020. IGI Poseidon is a joint venture between Greece's DEPA and Italian energy group Edison.
"Our estimate today is for the pipeline to cost 5 billion euros to [reach] the Greek system and 6 billion euros to the Italian system," Ruggeri said.
However, in view of falling gas prices in recent years, Ruggeri admitted that the pipeline's financial feasibility was based on expectations they would rise again.
Amit Mor, head of the Israeli consultancy EcoEnergy, said the ministers' commitment wouldn't mean a guarantee for the project to become reality. "At this stage, this is still a pipe dream. A depth of three kilometers would be unprecedented," he added, saying high infrastructure costs would make it "very challenging" to rival Russian gas prices.
The energy ministers said they would next meet in Cyprus in six months' time to further advance the project.
uhe/nz (Reuters, AFP)
NA-Tech News
Project Zero uncovers a nasty Wi-Fi chip exploit | TechCrunch
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 14:40
Google's Project Zero has been on a roll lately, unveiling sophisticated bugs in Cloudflare, LastPass and now Broadcom, a Wi-Fi chip supplier whose product is found in iPhones, Nexuses and Samsung devices.
Apple patched the bug in a security update yesterday (10.3.1 '-- and if you're an Apple customer, you should install this update right away) and Project Zero researcher Gal Beniamini explained the exploit in detail in a blog post today.
''An attacker within range may be able to execute arbitrary code on the Wi-Fi chip,'' Apple said in its security update notes. This is not good! It is quite bad, in fact, and that might explain why Apple pushed out 10.3.1 so quickly (10.3 was released only a week ago). Apple and Google declined to comment.
By chaining together a series of exploits on the Broadcom chip, Beniamini was able to demonstrate a ''full device takeover by Wi-Fi proximity alone, requiring no user interaction.'' This means an attacker on a shared Wi-Fi network could quietly compromise your device without ever tipping you off.
Beniamini demonstrated his research on a Nexus 6P, which might account for the equivocating ''may be able'' in Apple's security update. Broadcom's chips are widely used in the mobile phone industry, so the issue extends beyond Apple into other manufacturers, as well.
''Broadcom has been incredibly responsive and helpful, both in fixing the vulnerabilities and making the fixes available to affected vendors. For a complete timeline, see thebugtrackerentries,'' Beniamini wrote.
Expect more disclosures from Beniamini '-- the researcher promised to divulge more about the vulnerability soon.
Featured Image: Bloomberg/Getty Images
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO - 'I Leaked Nothing To Nobody,' Susan Rice Tells NBC Nightly News | NBC Nightly News - YouTube
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 14:17
VIDEO - Rand Paul says Susan Rice Unmasking Trump Team is a 'Smoking Gun' - YouTube
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:28
VIDEO - Roger Stone Explains Why Steve Bannon Was Removed From National Security Council - YouTube
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:54
VIDEO - Nigel Farage The EU has gone way too far today - YouTube
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:15
VIDEO - ABC's Wild Raddatz Disrespects, Harasses Ambassador Haley About Russia | MRCTV
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 06:11
***To read the full blog, please check out the complete post on NewsBusters***
ABC's This Week went off the rails Sunday morning as fill-in host Martha Raddatz assaulted U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley with ridiculous questions about Russia, and at one point insinuated that she doesn't speak for the U.S. ''And you mentioned this. President Trump has said he respects Putin. But you say you don't trust him. You've said the U.S. needs to take hacking seriously. President Trump has been dismissive of it,'' Raddatz prefaced before chided, ''Which one of you should our allies and adversaries believe?''
Raddatz's dismissal of the Ambassador borderlines on contempt of her position, and was completely uncalled for. ''I think we're both saying the same thing. It's just being reported differently,'' Haley politely responded. She pointed out that Trump agrees with her tough stance on Russia:
President Trump has agreed, this administration agrees Russia's involvement in Ukraine is wrong. And I think if you listened to what he said about the elections, of course, we don't want any country involved in our elections. And so that's going to happen. I think Russia is very aware that they're on notice when it comes to certain issues.
''You really think that you and President Trump are saying the same things,'' Raddatz said in a way that sounded as though she was pitying Haley for her ignorance. After quoting the President's interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, where he argued that the U.S. wasn't ''so innocent,'' Raddatz sneered ''So how does the U.S. maintain its role as the moral conscience of the world, you use your words this week, if the President won't condemn what is happening inside Russia?''
VIDEO - 'He Needs to Be Impeached!' Joy Behar Freaks Out on the View Over Trump | MRCTV
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 06:02
During a segment talking about Russia, North Korea, and Trump's relationship with these countries on The View Monday, host Joy Behar threw a temper tantrum, calling on the president to be impeached. After reading out-of-context quotes from Trump about using nukes, Behar couldn't contain her rage any longer and demanded that Trump be ''taken out of office,'' to roaring applause from the liberal audience.
Read more on Newsbusters.
VIDEO - Networks Finally Report Rice Revelation Only to Defend Obama Admin's Actions | MRCTV
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:52
After ABC and NBC's evening news broadcasts Monday night completely ignored a morning report revealing former Obama security advisor Susan Rice requested classified intelligence of Trump associates, ''dozens of times,'' the networks finally did their job Tuesday morning, giving it the bare minimum of coverage. However, all three networks were quick to take sides and defend the Obama Administration's actions.
Read more on Newsbusters here.
VIDEO - MSNBC Slashes Trump Kids as 'Uday and Qusay,' Decries 'Uzbekistanization' of American Politics | MRCTV
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:41
''We never thought of ourselves as a country where, like, Uday and Qusay get to be ministers of whatever they want,'' MSNBC host Rachel Maddow ranted during her monologue at the start of her show on April 3. The rant was in response to Eric Trump's wife, Laura, being hired by Donald Trump's campaign's digital vendor, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner's trip to Iraq.
See more at Newsbusters.org
VIDEO - Chelsea Handler Lambasts 'Spineless Potato' Sean Spicer | MRCTV
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:29
Ahead of her show's upcoming season 2, liberal comedian Chelsea Handler joined late night host Seth Meyers for a session of her usual crude and mean-spirited commentary. This time, she expounded on her dislike of Press Secretary Sean Spicer, calling him a ''spineless baked potato.''
VIDEO - Lunatic 'Hardball' Panel: Susan Rice 'Unmasking' Controversy Is Racist and Sexist | MRCTV
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:23
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
On Tuesday's edition of Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews and MSNBC political analyst/Mother Jones D.C. bureau chief David Corn were unglued over the Susan Rice ''unmasking'' controversy, suggesting that it was racist and sexist for these accusations to be leveled at the former National Security Adviser because she's never done anything wrong.
Matthews was off his rocker from the show's opening minute, denouncing the Rice story something pushed by the President to ''distract attention from the investigation'' even though he immediately touted colleague Andrea Mitchell's lengthy interview with Rice hours earlier.
VIDEO - CBS Insinuates Trump Is Responsible for Syrian 'Crime Against Humanity' | MRCTV
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:12
***To read the full blog, please check out the complete post on NewsBusters***
The country's emotions ran high as horrific images flooded in from Syria on Tuesday, where dictator Bashar al-Assad killed dozens and wounded hundreds more in a chemical weapon attack on his own people. ''Even by the horrors of the Syrian civil war, what happened today will stand out as a crime against humanity,'' was the first sentence uttered by Anchor Scott Pelley as CBS Evening News came on the air. But he then seemed to insinuate that the blame rested at President Trump's feet.
''The attack came five days after the Trump administration signaled that the Syrian dictator would not be held accountable for the slaughter of his people,'' stated a very serious Pelley, ''The Trump administration said Bashar al-Assad could remain in power, a reversal of Obama-era policy that said Assad had to go.''
''Despite the appeasing change in his policy, Mr. Trump blamed today's attack on President Obama calling it a 'Consequence of the past administration's weakness,''' he continued to chide.
Pelley's claim that the Trump administration was giving a free pass to a murderous monster, had been a common narrative circulating around the liberal media for the past few days. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told reporters that when it came to Assad ''Do we think he's a hindrance? Yes '... Are we going to sit there and focus on getting him out? No.'' But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also stated that the ''longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.''
Yet when it came to the efforts of former President Barack Obama, who never made a serious attempt to take out Assad after he crossed the infamous ''red line,'' CBS defended them from Trump.
...
VIDEO - At UN, Syria Tries to Divert Chemical Weapons Focus onto Israel | MRCTV
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:09
As the world condemns another chemical weapons attack in Syria, the Assad regime's representative at a U.N. Disarmament Commission session in New York tried to make Israel the focus on attention, accusing it of using chemical weapons "many times against the people in the region."
VIDEO - Pepsi's 'Tone-Deaf,' 'Cringeworthy' Protest-Themed Ad Riles Left | MRCTV
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:54
On April 3, Pepsi Global released a protest-themed campaign starring model Kendall Jenner. Shortly thereafter, the internet exploded like a shaken soda can. Called ''Live For Now Moments Anthem,'' the ad featured a crowd of multicultural, millennial protestors marching with signs urging ''peace'' and ''join the conversation.'' Watching the scene from the middle of her photo shoot, Jenner ripped off her wig, wiped the stain from her lips and joined the resistance movement. Something progressives should love, right?
VIDEO - Another 'Blowout' Jobs Report from APD | MRCTV
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:45
Good things come in threes.
This is the third month in a row for a strong jobs report. The question is: Will journalists continue to ignore the good economic news under President Donald Trump?
The stock market surged April 5, after news of what CNBC Senior Economics Reporter Steve Liesman called ''another blowout'' jobs report from the ADP private payroll. According to the report, the private sector gained 263,000 jobs in March, which was 83,000 more than economists expected.
Shortly after the release of the report, CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer praised the report. ''This is the kind of thing that can make the [stock market] rally continue'' Cramer argued during CNBC's Squawk Box. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has surged nearly 12 percent since Trump's election Nov. 8.
The markets responded almost immediately to the ADP report. Right before the announcement, the Dow futures market indicated the index would open up 30 points. Within five minutes, it jumped up to positive 50. By noon, it was up nearly 150 points.
The positive March ADP report echoed results from February when ADP reported 298,000 new private sector jobs created, after economists predicted 188,000. Though it was the highest ADP jobs report in years, it was flat-out ignored by CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and ABC World News with David Muir.
VIDEO - Matthews Stays in Gutter, Re-Ups Ivanka Trump/Jared Kushner Comparison to Saddam's Sons | MRCTV
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:36
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
A ring-leader of the loony bin that is MSNBC just can't let it go. On Wednesday's Hardball, host Chris Matthews pedaled for the second time in nine days (and third time in as many days for the network) the devilish insinuation that Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner are akin to the murderous dictator Saddam Hussein's equally-horrific sons Uday and Qusay.
Additionally, Trump referred to the Trump family as a modern Romanov family with family holding down jobs in the White House, which completely ignored past precedent (see Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, etc.).
VIDEO - Trump: 'It Is Now My Responsibility' to Respond to Syrian Chemical Attack | MRCTV
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:27
The Obama administration may have failed to effectively respond to chemical attacks in Syria in the past by drawing a ''red line'' and not enforcing it, but President Donald Trump said Wednesday that it is now his responsibility to respond to the latest chemical attack on Syrian citizens by the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Read Full Story
VIDEO - Performance Artist Stood Still For 6 Hours to Let People Do What They Wanted to Her Body
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:26
Many of us know Yugoslavian performance artist Marina Abramovic through the video of her painfully silent reunion with and her former lover Frank Uwe ''Ulay'' Laysiepen.
Many people have hailed Abramovic as the ''grandmother of performance art.'' After all, she has been staging thought-provoking interactive installations for more than 40 years.
Indeed, it can't be denied that her performances have a lasting impact. In fact, one of her earliest performances is still being talked about today. Abramovic staged a performance piece called ''Rhythm 0'' at Studio Morra in Naples, Italy.
At first, only photographers were going near her.
The premise of ''Rhythm 0'' was deceptively simple: Abramovic would stand still for six hours straight while the people who came to see her were urged to do whatever they wanted to her using one of 72 objects that she had placed on a table.
After a while, people began picking stuff from the table.
Abramovic stood in the middle of the room with a notice board containing these words:
Instructions.
There are 72 objects on the table that one can use on me as desired.
Performance.
I am the object.
During this period I take full responsibility.
Duration: 6 hours (8 pm '' 2 am)
Some people made her sit down so they could humiliate her.
Among the things on the table were ''objects of pleasure'' and ''objects of destruction.'' Among the harmless objects were feathers and flowers. The dangerous stuff included a knife, razor blades, and a loaded gun.
There were those who changed her position.
What happened in the next six hours was horrifying, to say the least.
There were people who liked to attach things to her.
Art critic Thomas McEvilley who observed the performance related:
''It began tamely. Someone turned her around. Someone thrust her arms into the air. Someone touched her somewhat intimately.''
One man used a razor to make a cut on her neck.
Then, as McEvilley went on to disclose,
''In the third hour, all her clothes were cut from her with razor blades. In the fourth hour, the same blades began to explore her skin. Various minor sexual assaults were carried out on her body. She was so committed to the piece that she would not have resisted rape or murder.''
It just got worse in the last two hours.
Someone made her point a gun at herself.
Abramovic's own account of what the people did to her was even more heartbreaking.
She recalled,
''I felt raped, they cut off the clothes, they stuck me with thorns of rose in the stomach, aimed the gun to my head, another came apart.''
Some men undressed her and groped her.
When the six hours were over, Abramovic started to walk among the people. They couldn't look her in the face.
The violence and sexual harassment escalated.
Abramovic observed that people didn't want any sort of confrontation with her. They didn't want to be held accountable or judged for what they did. It seemed as if they wanted to forget how they relished hurting her.
Listen to Marina Abramovic talk about her frightening experience.Like on Facebook
Abramovic noted:
''This work reveals something terrible about humanity. It shows how fast a person can hurt you under favorable circumstances. It shows how easy it is to dehumanize a person who does not fight, who does not defend himself. It shows that if he provides the stage, the majority of 'normal' people, apparently can become truly violent.''
Related:Ex-Lovers Stood in Silence When They Met Each Other for the First Time After 30 Years.
VIDEO - Farage calls EU Parliament 'the mafia' - YouTube
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:04
VIDEO - VERY SERIOUS SOS: Jared Kushner forcing Bannon out at White House? - YouTube
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 22:47
VIDEO - "Wheat Belly" author: Wheat as addictive as crack - YouTube
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 22:20
VIDEO - Barry Manilow Didn't Come Out for Decades, Feared Disappointing Fans
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 21:14
Pop legend Barry Manilow opens up for the first time about coming out, finding love, and surviving showbiz for 50 years. Subscribe now for his exclusive untold story '-- only in PEOPLE.
For decades Barry Manilow gave the world timeless hits, while keeping his own world a total secret. Now at 73 years old, the music legend is opening up about his life, struggles and, for the first time, his sexuality.
Martin SchoellerFiercely private, the pop icon recently welcomed PEOPLE into his Palm Springs home for an exclusive interview and photo shoot with his manager husband Garry Kief '-- and talked for the first time about their nearly 40-year romance. Says Manilow, ''I'm so private. I always have been.''
Born Barry Alan Pincus in 1943 and raised by his single mother Edna Manilow, in Brooklyn, Manilow knew early on his first love was music. His second love was his high school sweetheart Susan Deixler. ''I was in love with Susan,'' says Manilow of the woman he married after graduating high school, ''I just was not ready for marriage.'' The star maintains he wasn't struggling with his sexuality at the time of their one-year matrimony. ''I was out making music every night, sowing my wild oats '-- I was too young. I wasn't ready to settle down.''
Indeed, Manilow's personal life took a backseat as he pursued a career in music, writing jingles to pay the bills (State Farm, Band-Aid and others still use them today) and in 1971, taking a gig arranging music for and accompanying a young Bette Midler at the gay hotspot the Continental Baths. He produced the diva's first two albums and when her career took off, his followed suit.
After skyrocketing to fame in 1974 with his pop-rock ballad ''Mandy,'' the Brooklyn native's star only got brighter with the release of classics like ''Looks Like We Made It,'' ''Copacabana (At the Copa)'' and ''Can't Smile Without You.'' Then in 1978, he met Kief '-- a TV executive and Houston native '-- and ''I knew that this was it,'' says Manilow. ''I was one of the lucky ones. I was pretty lonely before that.''
Soon after, Kief became Manilow's manager, a role he still holds today, in addition to being President of Barry Manilow Productions.
''He's the smartest person I've ever met in my life '-- and a great guy, too,'' Manilow says.
Adds longtime friendSuzanne Somers: ''There's Barry Manilow the performer, and then there's the Barry 'machine.' It takes enormous savvy and know-how to book and market complicated arena tours, choreograph promotion, direct the entire team and make it look effortless, and that part is Garry's domain. A major career takes two. Between them, there is enormous comfort and trust.''
Kevin Mazur/WireImageNot that it was always easy for the pair. Early on in their relationship, Kief went to a Manilow concert. Afterward, ''I got into the car with him, and [the fans] were rocking the car,'' Manilow recalls. ''He was like, 'I can't handle this. It's not for me.' I'm glad he stayed.''
FROM COINAGE: What Is the Grammy Bounce? (No, It's Not a Dance Move)
And the couple has stayed together for 39 years, all while remaining mum on his sexuality '-- an open secret to some in his long-devoted, mostly female fan base, a shock to others '-- and even stepping out and living with once-rumored love interest Linda Allen during his relationship with Kief.
Manilow,who will release his new album This Is My Town: Songs of New York on April 21, admits he's always been hesitant to discuss the relationship '-- and to come out publicly, even after he finally married Kief in a clandestine ceremony at their 53-acre Palm Springs estate in April 2014.
For more on Barry Manilow's life, love and legacy, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.
In 2015, news of their marriage and Manilow's sexuality made headlines, something the legend calls ''a blessing and a curse.''
Considering his fans, ''I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,'' says Manilow. Turns out, ''When they found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy. The reaction was so beautiful '-- strangers commenting, 'Great for you!' I'm just so grateful for it.''
VIDEO - Body Language: Susan Rice - YouTube
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 21:06
VIDEO - Retired HEAD OF FBI Tells ALL "Illuminati, Satanism, Pedophile Rings" - YouTube
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 16:32
VIDEO - Hillary's America - YouTube
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 05:16
VIDEO - CNN's Don Lemon: We Won't 'Aid and Abet the People' Pushing Susan Rice 'Diversion' | Mediaite
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 05:16
Please enable Javascript to watch.
CNN's Don Lemon tonight slammed President Trump for ''trying to make a lie true'' by looking for justifications for his now-infamous wiretapping tweet.
As Lemon put it, the White House is using the president's Twitter account, the press briefing room, and ''right-wing media'' to keep this going. He then brought up the news today that Susan Rice was allegedly behind the unmasking of Trump team members and said the following:
''Let us be very clear about this. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Trump team'... was spied on illegally. There is no evidence that backs up the president's original claim. And on this program tonight, we will not insult your intelligence by pretending otherwise, nor will we aid and abet the people who are trying to misinform you, the American people, by creating a diversion.''
Watch the segment above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
'-- '--
Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac
Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com
VIDEO - Susan Rice: The world wonders and worries if the White House can be trusted - YouTube
Tue, 04 Apr 2017 10:43
VIDEO - Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel - The Washington Post
Tue, 04 Apr 2017 03:03
The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.
The meeting took place around Jan. 11 '-- nine days before Trump's inauguration '-- in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would be likely to require major concessions to Moscow on U.S. sanctions.
Though Prince had no formal role with the Trump campaign or transition team, he presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump to high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up his meeting with the Putin confidant, according to the officials, who did not identify the Russian.
Prince was an avid supporter of Trump. After the Republican convention, he contributed $250,000 to Trump's campaign, the national party and a pro-Trump super PAC led by GOP mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, records show. He has ties to people in Trump's circle, including Stephen K. Bannon, now serving as the president's chief strategist and senior counselor. Prince's sister Betsy DeVos serves as education secretary in the Trump administration. And Prince was seen in the Trump transition offices in New York in December.
U.S. officials said the FBI has been scrutinizing the Seychelles meeting as part of a broader probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged contacts between associates of Putin and Trump. The FBI declined to comment.
The Seychelles encounter, which one official said spanned two days, adds to an expanding web of connections between Russia and Americans with ties to Trump '-- contacts that the White House has been reluctant to acknowledge or explain until they have been exposed by news organizations.
''We are not aware of any meetings, and Erik Prince had no role in the transition,'' said Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary.
A Prince spokesman said in a statement: ''Erik had no role on the transition team. This is a complete fabrication. The meeting had nothing to do with President Trump. Why is the so-called under-resourced intelligence community messing around with surveillance of American citizens when they should be hunting terrorists?''
Prince is best known as the founder of Blackwater, a security firm that became a symbol of U.S. abuses in Iraq after a series of incidents, including one in 2007 in which the company's guards were accused '-- and later criminally convicted '-- of killing civilians in a crowded Iraqi square. Prince sold the firm, which was subsequently re-branded, but has continued building a private paramilitary empire with contracts across the Middle East and Asia. He now heads a Hong Kong-based company known as the Frontier Services Group.
Prince would probably have been seen as too controversial to serve in any official capacity in the Trump transition or administration. But his ties to Trump advisers, experience with clandestine work and relationship with the royal leaders of the Emirates '-- where he moved in 2010 amid mounting legal problems for his American business '-- would have positioned him as an ideal go-between.
The Seychelles meeting came after separate private discussions in New York involving high-ranking representatives of Trump with both Moscow and the Emirates.
The White House has acknowledged that Michael T. Flynn, Trump's original national security adviser, and Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner met with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in late November or early December in New York.
Team Trump's ties to Russian interests Flynn and Kushner were joined by Bannon for a separate meeting with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who made an undisclosed visit to New York later in December, according to the U.S., European and Arab officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.
In an unusual breach of protocol, the UAE did not notify the Obama administration in advance of the visit, though officials found out because Zayed's name appeared on a flight manifest.
Officials said Zayed and his brother, the UAE's national security adviser, coordinated the Seychelles meeting with Russian government officials with the goal of establishing an unofficial back channel between Trump and Putin.
Officials said Zayed wanted to be helpful to both leaders, who had talked about working more closely together, a policy objective long advocated by the crown prince. The UAE, which sees Iran as one of its main enemies, also shared the Trump team's interest in finding ways to drive a wedge between Moscow and Tehran.
Zayed met twice with Putin in 2016, according to Western officials, and urged the Russian leader to work more closely with the Emirates and Saudi Arabia '-- an effort to isolate Iran.
At the time of the Seychelles meeting and for weeks afterward, the UAE believed that Prince had the blessing of the new administration to act as its unofficial representative. The Russian participant was a person whom Zayed knew was close to Putin from his interactions with both men, the officials said.
Scrutiny over Russia
When the Seychelles meeting took place, official contacts between members of the incoming Trump administration and the Russian government were under intense scrutiny, both from federal investigators and the press.
Less than a week before the Seychelles meeting, U.S. intelligence agencies released a report accusing Russia of intervening clandestinely during the 2016 election to help Trump win the White House.
The FBI was already investigating communications between Flynn and Kislyak. The Washington Post's David Ignatius first disclosed those communications on Jan. 12, around the time of the Seychelles meeting. Flynn was subsequently fired by Trump for misleading Vice President Pence and others about his discussions with Kislyak.
Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE's ambassador in Washington, declined to comment.
Government officials in the Seychelles said they were not aware of any meetings between Trump and Putin associates in the country around Jan. 11. But they said luxury resorts on the island are ideal for clandestine gatherings like the one described by the U.S., European and Arab officials.
''I wouldn't be surprised at all,'' said Barry Faure, the Seychelles secretary of state for foreign affairs. ''The Seychelles is the kind of place where you can have a good time away from the eyes of the media. That's even printed in our tourism marketing. But I guess this time you smelled something.''
Trump has dismissed the investigations of Russia's role in the election as ''fake news'' and a ''witch hunt.''
The level of discretion surrounding the Seychelles meeting seems extraordinary given the frequency with which senior Trump advisers, including Flynn and Kushner, had interacted with Russian officials in the United States, including at the high-profile Trump Tower in New York.
Steven Simon, a National Security Council senior director for the Middle East and North Africa in the Obama White House, said: ''The idea of using business cutouts, or individuals perceived to be close to political leaders, as a tool of diplomacy is as old as the hills. These unofficial channels are desirable precisely because they are deniable; ideas can be tested without the risk of failure.''
Current and former U.S. officials said that while Prince refrained from playing a direct role in the Trump transition, his name surfaced so frequently in internal discussions that he seemed to function as an outside adviser whose opinions were valued on a range of issues, including plans for overhauling the U.S. intelligence community.
He appears to have particularly close ties to Bannon, appearing multiple times as a guest on Bannon's satellite radio program over the past year as well as in articles on the Breitbart Web site that Bannon ran before joining the Trump campaign.
In a July interview with Bannon, Prince said those seeking forceful U.S. leadership should ''wait till January and hope Mr. Trump is elected.'' And he lashed out at President Barack Obama, saying that because of his policies ''the terrorists, the fascists, are winning.''
Days before the November election, Prince appeared on Bannon's program again, saying that he had ''well-placed sources'' in the New York City Police Department telling him they were preparing to make arrests in the investigation of former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) over allegations he exchanged sexually explicit texts with a minor. Flynn tweeted a link to the Breitbart report on the claim. No arrests occurred.
Prince went on to make unfounded assertions that damaging material recovered from Weiner's computers would implicate Hillary Clinton and her close adviser, Huma Abedin, who was married to Weiner. He also called Abedin an ''agent of influence very sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood.''
Prince and his family were major GOP donors in 2016. The Center for Responsive Politics reported that the family gave more than $10 million to GOP candidates and super PACs, including about $2.7 million from his sister, DeVos, and her husband.
Prince's father, Edgar Prince, built his fortune through an auto-parts company. Betsy married Richard DeVos Jr., heir to the Amway fortune.
Erik Prince has had lucrative contracts with the UAE government, which at one point paid his firm a reported $529 million to help bring in foreign fighters to help assemble an internal paramilitary force capable of carrying out secret operations and protecting Emirati installations from terrorist attacks.
Focus on Iran
The Trump administration and the UAE appear to share a similar preoccupation with Iran. Current and former officials said that Trump advisers were focused throughout the transition period on exploring ways to get Moscow to break ranks with Tehran.
''Separating Russia from Iran was a common theme,'' said a former intelligence official in the Obama administration who met with Trump transition officials. ''It didn't seem very well thought out. It seemed a little premature. They clearly had a very specific policy position, which I found odd given that they hadn't even taken the reins and explored with experts in the U.S. government the pros and cons of that approach.''
Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, said he also had discussions with people close to the Trump administration about the prospects of drawing Russia away from Iran. ''When I would hear this, I would think, 'Yeah that's great for you guys, but why would Putin ever do that?''‰'' McFaul said. ''There is no interest in Russia ever doing that. They have a long relationship with Iran. They're allied with Iran in fighting in Syria. They sell weapons to Iran. Iran is an important strategic partner for Russia in the Middle East.''
Following the New York meeting between the Emiratis and Trump aides, Zayed was approached by Prince, who said he was authorized to act as an unofficial surrogate for the president-elect, according to the officials. He wanted Zayed to set up a meeting with a Putin associate. Zayed agreed and proposed the Seychelles as the meeting place because of the privacy it would afford both sides. ''He wanted to be helpful,'' one official said of Zayed.
Wealthy Russians and Emirati royalty have a particularly large footprint on the islands. Signs advertising deep-sea fishing trips are posted in Cyrillic. Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov owns North Island, where Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, went on their honeymoon in 2011. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, president of the UAE, built a hilltop palace for himself with views across the chain of islands.
The Emiratis have given hundreds of millions of dollars to the Seychelles in recent years for causes including public health and affordable housing. But when the Emirati royal family visits, they are rarely seen.
''The jeep comes to their private jet on the tarmac and they disappear,'' said one Seychellois official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to be seen as criticizing the Emiratis.
Zayed, the crown prince, owns a share of the Seychelles' Four Seasons, a collection of private villas scattered on a lush hillside on the main island's southern shore, overlooking the Indian Ocean, according to officials in the Seychelles. The hotel is tucked away on a private beach, far from the nearest public road.
Current and former U.S. officials who have worked closely with Zayed, who is often referred to as MBZ, say it would be out of character for him to arrange the Jan. 11 meeting without getting a green light in advance from top aides to Trump and Putin, if not the leaders themselves. ''MBZ is very cautious,'' said an American businessman who knows Zayed and spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. ''There had to be a nod.''
The Seychelles meeting was deemed productive by the UAE and Russia, but the idea of arranging additional meetings between Prince and Putin's associates was dropped, officials said. Even unofficial contacts between Trump and Putin associates had become too politically risky, officials said.
Sieff reported from the Seychelles. Julie Tate, Devlin Barrett, Matea Gold, Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Cernovich Explains How He Learned About Susan Rice | Zero Hedge
Tue, 04 Apr 2017 02:59
Ever since Mike Cernovich dropped the bombshell report over the weekend outing Obama's National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, as the person behind the unmasking of the identity of various members of Trump's team who were 'incidentally' surveilled during the 2016 campaign (see "Confirmed: Susan Rice "Unmasked" Trump Team"), a report which was subsequently confirmed by Eli Lake of Bloomberg earlier this morning, everyone has been wondering who within the Trump White House or the intelligence community supplied him with such a massive scoop.
But, as it turns out, Cernovich didn't need a 'deep throat' within the NSA or CIA for his blockbuster scoop, all he needed was some well-placed sources inside of a couple of America's corrupt mainstream media outlets. As Cernovich explains below, his sources for the Susan Rice story were actually folks working at Bloomberg and the New York Times who revealed that both Eli Lake (Bloomberg) and Maggie Haberman (NYT) were sitting on the Susan Rice story in order to protect the Obama administration.
"Maggie Haberman had it. She will not run any articles that are critical of the Obama administration."
"Eli Lake had it. He didn't want to run it and Bloomberg didn't want to run it because it vindicates Trump's claim that he had been spied upon. And Eli Lake is a 'never Trumper.' Bloomberg was a 'never Trump' publication."
"I'm showing you the politics of 'real journalism'. 'Real journalism' is that Bloomberg had it and the New York Times had it but they wouldn't run it because they don't want to run any stories that would make Obama look bad or that will vindicate Trump. They only want to run stories that make Trump look bad so that's why they sat on it."
"So where did I get the story? I didn't get it from the intelligence community. Everybody's trying to figure out where I got it from. I got it from somebody who works in one of those media companies. I have spies in every media organization. I got people in news rooms. I got it from a source within the news room who said 'Cernovich, they're sitting on this story, they're not going to run it, so you can run it'."
"If you're at Bloomberg, I have people in there. If you're at the New York Times, I have people in there. LA Times, Washington Post, you name it, I have my people in there. I got IT people in every major news room in this country. The IT people see every email so that's how I knew it."
And while this could certainly be interpreted as a clever ploy to protect his real sources, Cernovich's video comments seem to be validated by both his tweet from yesterday afternoon...
...and the fact that Eli Lake of Bloomberg was able to conveniently confirm Cernovich's story with his own article this morning.
All of which just begs the question of what other stories the mainstream media is sitting on in an effort to protect their chosen candidates.
VIDEO - ISIS BUTTON - YouTube
Tue, 04 Apr 2017 02:54
VIDEO - 'Bill Nye Saves the World' Trailer | Video
Mon, 03 Apr 2017 23:11
By Live Science Staff | April 3, 2017 12:08pm ET
Science deniers, beware! Bill Nye is coming to Netflix with a new show that challenges misconceptions about science and inspires curiosity and wonder in every 30-minute episode. Joined in his "laboratory" by a succession of special guests, Nye gets hands-on with an array of experiments, using his characteristic enthusiasm and know-how to introduce and explain the science topics that have everybody talking.
Watch more '–º Shows
Real-Life Climate Change Stories - Video Show
______est Tech!
Fiber City: The Story Of The First Google Fib...
Eat More, Hurt Less - Thanksgiving Food Safet...
The NSF Innovators
Summer Olympic Science - Video Show
The Higgs Boson & Why It's Crucial
Engineering a Difference: Solutions for Devel...
Dr. Larry - The Pet Vet
Ocean Today
Science Nation
FORA.tv: Experts On Everything
Bytesize Science
Science in Seconds - Know Everything
LIFE: from Planet Earth by the BBC
How Carbon Capture & Sequestration Works
Energy for Earth
The Black Hole That Made You
When Will Time End?
Killer Hurricanes
Robot Humans / Human Robots
Team Tornado: Chasing Twisters for Science
The Next Step with Richard Hart
Flu Pandemic?
Dr. Dave's Super Slo-Mo Lab
Recommended videos for you
'Bill Nye Saves the World' Trailer | Video
The 10 Best Science Visualizations of the Yea...
Badger Buries Entire Cow | Video
Bus-Sized Asteroid Buzzes Earth Closer Than M...
X-37B Space Plane Breaks Orbital Record | Vid...
World's Most Diverse Dinosaur Footprints Pres...
Elephants Rescued After Getting Stuck in Mud...
Lifelike Model of Women's Menstrual Cycle Mad...
Entomologist Couple Donated $10M Bug Collecti...
Spinach Leaf Transformed into Beating Heart T...
Fishhooks Threaten Freshwater Turtles | Video
Can You Be Obese And Healthy? | Video
Putting a Face on a Man Who Died 700 Years Ag...
'Revolutionary' Study Shakes Up Dinosaur Fami...
Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low - Again! | Vid...
Survival of the Great Barrier Reef Depends on...
See Earth's Lithospheric Magnetic Field In Hi...
Byzantine Coin Hoard Unearthed Near Jerusalem...
Chimp Funerary Rites Seen for the First Time...
Mummies from Egypt and Peru Reveal Ancient Tr...
Shows
Real-Life Climate Change Stories - Video Show
______est Tech!
Fiber City: The Story Of The First Google Fib...
Eat More, Hurt Less - Thanksgiving Food Safet...
The NSF Innovators
Summer Olympic Science - Video Show
The Higgs Boson & Why It's Crucial
Engineering a Difference: Solutions for Devel...
Dr. Larry - The Pet Vet
Ocean Today
Science Nation
FORA.tv: Experts On Everything
Bytesize Science
Science in Seconds - Know Everything
LIFE: from Planet Earth by the BBC
How Carbon Capture & Sequestration Works
Energy for Earth
The Black Hole That Made You
When Will Time End?
Killer Hurricanes
VIDEO - New Media's Real Enemies - YouTube
Mon, 03 Apr 2017 03:54
VIDEO - Russian hackers can influence any election in the world! (or maybe not) - YouTube
Mon, 03 Apr 2017 03:51

Art

Image
Load image
Image
Load image

Alternate Universe

ALT UNI-’He Needs To Be Impeached!' Joy Behar Freaks Out On The View Over Trump.mp3
Alt Uni-The Goldwater Rule—Morning Joes Question's Trump's Mental Stability.mp3

Brexit

DPRK

F-Russia

Amb Niki Haley Lets Us Know That Trump Is Not A Putin Lover-Martha Radditz Is Douchey.mp3
Russian hackers!-Billions.m4a

Hate Trumps Love

Egyptian President to Trump- ‘I Have a Deep Appreciation and Admiration for Your Unique Personality’.mp3
Elizabeth Spiers-Ny Observer-CNN-Windows On A Mac.mp3
Let The Fat-Shaming Begin-Chelsea Handler Lambasts ‘Spineless Potato’ Sean Spicer.mp3
Maddow-Trump Kids As ‘Uday And Qusay,’ Decries ‘Uzbekistanization’ Of American Politics.mp3
Matthews Stays in Gutter, Re-Ups Ivanka Trump-Jared Kushner Comparison to Saddam’s Sons.mp3

JCD Clips

assad syria logic Five garrett.mp3
assad syria logic Four garrett.mp3
assad syria logic Holly williams on border.mp3
assad syria logic ONE.mp3
assad syria logic Three garrett.mp3
assad syria logic TWO garrett.mp3
bannon sage CBS version.mp3
bill oreilly ABC.mp3
bill oreilly CBS.mp3
carter page.mp3
Cina news about Russia with War games story Kicker.mp3
DW censoring the web needed.mp3
expertise One.mp3
expertise Threee call in.mp3
expertise Two.mp3
indonesia girl marriage.mp3
internet provacy law ABC.mp3
Iran boeing deal.mp3
irs to use collection agencies.mp3
many many lines ISO.mp3
musk and the impant.mp3
n kOREA REPORT cbs.mp3
pedestrian dangers texting drinkinf CBS.mp3
principal canned thats to kids.mp3
RICE on ABC long.mp3
sleep train.mp3
snippet from syria ABC coverage.mp3
syria at the UN -- DW.mp3

Maxine

Maxine Waters On MSNBC With Hayes-O’reilly Needs To Go To Jail.mp3
NA Jingles - Maxine Waters on Crack Jingle v2-Chris Wilson.mp3

Migrants

STINGRAY

‘I Leaked Nothing To Nobody,’ Susan Rice Tells Nbc Nightly News-Andrea Mitchell.mp3
Bombard’s Body Language-Susan Rice.mp3
CBS This Morning on Rice.mp3
Cnn’s Don Lemon- We Won’t ‘Aid And Abet The People’ Pushing Susan Rice ‘Diversion’.mp3
Image
Load image
GMA on Rice.mp3
HardBall-Mother Jones D.C. Bureau Chief David Corn-Susan Rice ‘Unmasking’ Controversy Is Racist And Sexist.mp3
Susan Rice On MSNBC-It Depends On What The Meaning Of 'Leaking' Is.mp3
Susan Rice Spying on US Officials.mp3
Today Show on Rice.mp3
Van Jones-Susan Rice Deserves The Presidential Medal Of Freedom.mp3

Syria

At Un, Syria Ties Chemical Weapons Focus Onto Israel.mp3
CBS Insinuates Trump Is Responsible for Syrian ‘Crime Against Humanity’.mp3
Samantha Powers on Newshour January 2017.mp3
Trump- ‘It Is Now My Responsibility’ to Respond to Syrian Chemical Attack.mp3

Trump Transition

CNBC-Jim Cramer on Jobs report-Trump Rally.mp3
Roger Stone Explains Why Steve Bannon Was Removed From National Security Council.mp3
Loading troll messages...