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The former mayor of Moscow has confirmed Donald Trump met with officials in Russia in the 1990s to discuss a possible building project after archival footage of the meeting was posted online.
The video, allegedly aired by Russian state television in 1995, shows the US president meeting with members of the former mayor’s administration.
“Trump was in Moscow,” Yury Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow from 1992 through 2010, told the Interfax news agency. “He had contacts…on matters related to the construction of the Okhotny Ryad underground mall on Manezh Square.”
The video adds new insight into Mr Trump’s business dealings in Russia well before the 2016 presidential election. It had previously been reported he visited Moscow in 1996 — a year after his alleged meeting with the former mayor’s administration — when he announced plans to invest upwards of $250m into the city.
The video was unearthed by someone who had “been going through the Russian TV archives”, according to Daniel Sandford, a home affairs correspondent for BBC News, who previously served as a correspondent in Moscow.
Direct link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIdz6BEFC0M
Interesting. I thought Trump claimed he NEVER had contact and all the Trumpites kept repeating "muh Russia" like it's nothing. Guess that's out the window. How will they attempt to damage control this? Let's find out.
February 16, 2019
Jussie Smollett Case: Brothers Questioned By Police Were Paid $3,500 To Stage Attack, Which Was Rehearsed Days Before, SourcesSay
CHICAGO (CBS) — Jussie Smollett paid two brothers to stage an attack against him, directed them to buy items used in the alleged assault and actually rehearsed it with them, sources say.
Sources say at least one of the brothers bought the rope used in the incident at Smollett’s request. The sources also say the “Empire” actor paid for the rope, which was purchased at the Crafty Beaver Hardware Store in the Ravenswood neighborhood the weekend of Jan. 25.
The brothers, who were questioned by police this week before being released, were paid $3,500 before leaving for Nigeria and were promised an additional $500 upon their return.
They left for Nigeria later in the day on Jan. 29, after the attack.
Sources said one of the brothers held the rope and poured bleach while the other wore a plain red hat and yelled slurs at Smollett.
The sources say the red hat was bought at an Uptown beauty supply store and that the attack was supposed to happen before Jan. 29. The brothers told detectives the three men rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening.
Smollett claims two men attacked him in Streeterville early Jan. 29 as he was heading to his apartment. He said they yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, poured a chemical on him and put a rope around his neck.
Nothing on this? Chicago police investigating whether 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett paid brothers to stage attack
Report his rudeness to below accounts.
Reply to Kamiya does not make much sence.
For Japanese, reporting to his company and his company's partner company is effective.
The Trump administration is sending another large shipment of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan border in Colombia, this time using U.S. military aircraft to pressure Nicolas Maduro to give up power, according to a leaked State Department email to Congress.
While some people have received some surprise tax bills when filing their returns, corporations continue to avoid paying tax — thanks to a cocktail of tax credits, loopholes, and exemptions.
According to a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), Amazon (AMZN) will pay nothing in federal income taxes for the second year in a row.
The DNC is preparing for an onslaught of presidential candidates.
Democrats are facing a potential debate caucus with 10 major candidates already announced for president and 20 or so other potential hopefuls waiting in the wings. But the DNC has a plan.
This afternoon, the DNC announced its criteria for how 2020 candidates will qualify for its first debates this summer. In addition to a candidate’s polling, the DNC will prioritize accepting candidates who have shown they can raise money from grassroots donors.
“Because campaigns are won on the strength of their grassroots, we also updated the threshold, giving all types of candidates the opportunity to reach the debate stage and giving small-dollar donors a bigger voice in the primary than ever before,” DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement.
The first and second debates of the 2020 primary will be hosted by NBC and CNN, and will happen this June and July. They’ll be the first of a total of 12 debates, which Perez announced earlier this year.
Amazon on Thursday canceled its plans to build an expansive corporate campus in New York City after facing an unexpectedly fierce backlash from some lawmakers and union leaders, who contended that a tech giant did not deserve nearly $3 billion in government incentives.
The company, as part of its extensive search for a new headquarters, had chosen Long Island City, Queens, as one of two winning sites, saying that it would create more than 25,000 jobs in the city.
But the agreement to lure Amazon stirred an intense debate about the use of public subsidies to entice wealthy companies, the rising cost of living in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods and the city’s very identity.
“A number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward,’’ Amazon said in a statement.
The company’s decision is a major blow for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had set aside their differences to bring the company to New York.
But it was at least a short-term win for insurgent progressive politicians led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose upset victory last year occurred in the area where Amazon had planned its site. Her win galvanized the party’s left flank, which mobilized against the deal, and on Thursday she seemed to revel in the company’s retreat.
Amazon’s leadership agreed to pull out of New York on Wednesday evening, according to two people familiar with the decision. The company did not inform the governor or the mayor until Thursday morning, shortly before posting its announcement.
In the Republic of Haiti, participants in mass protests burned the US flag, chanting "Down with the Americans, long live Putin!", And called on Russia to help resolve the situation in the country, writes Le Journal de Montreal.
As one of the leaders of the protesters said, the Haitians are asking to break off relations with the United States and get rid of the American occupation. "
To disperse the protesters, law enforcement officers used tear gas.
WASHINGTON — Of the few hints to emerge from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, about evidence of possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia, one of the most tantalizing surfaced almost in passing in a Washington courtroom last week.
Comments by one of Mr. Mueller’s lead prosecutors, disclosed in a transcript of a closed-door hearing, suggest that the special counsel continues to pursue at least one theory: that starting while Russia was taking steps to bolster Mr. Trump’s candidacy, people in his orbit were discussing deals to end a dispute over Russia’s incursions into Ukraine and possibly give Moscow relief from economic sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies.
The theory was offered almost as an aside by the prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, during a discussion of contacts between Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and a longtime Russian associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, whom investigators have linked to Russian intelligence.
A closer look at the transcript, released late Thursday, shows that the prosecutors have been keenly focused on discussions the two men had about a plan to end the conflict that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea in 2014. Persuading the United States to ease or end the American-led sanctions imposed to punish Moscow for its aggression has been a primary goal of Russian foreign policy.
According to the transcript, which was heavily redacted, Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kilimnik repeatedly communicated about a so-called peace plan for Ukraine starting in early August 2016, while Mr. Manafort was still running Mr. Trump’s campaign, and continuing into 2018, months after Mr. Manafort had been charged by the special counsel’s office with a litany of crimes related to his work in the country.
The commander for the police rapid response team in Portland, Oregon, seems to have exchanged friendly text messages with a leader of far-right protests that have rocked the city. One city council member said the messages, which were first reported by a newspaper, confirms collusion exists between some police and right-wing extremists.
"I am not shocked, and I am not surprised at today's reporting of Lt. Jeff Niiya's collaboration with Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson over text to provide aid and support for their hate marches," Councilwoman Jo Ann Hardesty said in a statement. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called the messages "disturbing" and said he directed Police Chief Danielle Outlaw "to do a thorough investigation of this matter and report back to me expeditiously."
Willamette Week obtained text messages through a public records request between Niiya and Gibson. The texts purportedly show Niiya had a friendly rapport with Gibson, frequently discussing Gibson's plans to demonstrate.
In one text reported by the newspaper, Niiya tells Gibson that he doesn't see a need to arrest his assistant, Tusitala Toese, who often brawls with antifascist protesters, even if he has a warrant, unless Toese commits a new crime. "Just make sure he doesn't do anything which may draw our attention," Niiya texted Gibson on Dec. 9, 2017, according to Willamette Week. "If he still has the warrant in the system (I don't run you guys so I don't personally know) the officers could arrest him. I don't see a need to arrest on the warrant unless there is a reason."
France 'on brink of CIVIL WAR’ as Yellow Vest leader threatens to ‘BRING DOWN government’
Cristophe Chalencon, one of the leaders of the Yellow Vest revolution, said France is “on the brink of cvil war” before he vowed to fight jew loving commie traitor Emmanuel Macron over Paris austerity. In a gathering in Italy with anti-establishment party 5-Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio and his right-hand man Alessandro Di Battista, the Frenchman raged: “We have people, militiamen, ready to intervene because they also want to bring down the government. Today everything is calm, but we are on the brink of a civil war.
“I know that I risk a lot. I can get shot in the head at any moment. But I don’t care. I defend my convictions. “Because if I got shot in the head, the people - Macron would end up on the guillotine.
“We have reached such a level of confrontation today that Macron would also fall if I fall. The people would break into the Elysée and destroy everything, him, his wife and all the group.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) delivered a rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday with a 30-minute speech that meticulously picked apart what Trump got wrong and the things he felt the president had failed to mention.
“I hate to say this, but not everything Donald Trump said tonight was true or accurate,” Sanders said at the top of his speech after offering his congratulations to Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, who delivered the Democratic rebuttal.
In his response, Sanders noted that Trump did not mention climate change, Medicare, voter suppression or Social Security ― issues that the senator said all Americans, not just Trump’s “billionaire friends,” face.
Sanders criticized the president for boasting about the booming economy, noting that only the wealthy were benefiting from the administration’s economic policies and tax cuts.
“For many of President Trump’s billionaire friends, the truth is, they have never, ever had it so good,” he said. “But for the middle class and the working families of our country, the truth is that the economy is not so great.”
Sanders pointed out that Trump did not mention in detail the challenges facing “ordinary Americans,” including health care costs, low wages and unaffordable rent.
“Trump said tonight, ‘We are born free, and we will stay free.’ Well, I say to President Trump: People are not truly free when they can’t afford to go to the doctor when they are sick. They are not truly free when they cannot afford to buy the prescription drugs they so desperately need. People are not truly free when they are exhausted because they are working longer and longer hours for lower wages.
“People are not truly free when they cannot afford a decent place in which to live. People certainly are not free when they cannot afford to feed their families.”
>WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A conservative U.S. political activist romantically linked to admitted Russian agent Maria Butina has been indicted by a federal grand jury on wire fraud and money laundering charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Dakota said on Wednesday.
>Paul Erickson, 56, was indicted on 11 counts of wire fraud and money laundering on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the charges in an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Moreno, the office said in a statement. Erickson’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
>Erickson is a well-known figure in Republican and conservative circles and was a senior official in Pat Buchanan’s 1992 Republican presidential campaign.
>He was romantically linked to Butina, a 30-year-old native of Siberia, who pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy.
>Butina admitted working with a top Russian official to infiltrate the powerful National Rifle Association gun rights group and to make inroads with American conservatives and the Republican Party as an agent for Moscow.
>Butina, a former graduate student at American University in Washington, had publicly advocated for gun rights. She was the first Russian to be convicted of working to influence U.S. policy during the 2016 presidential race.
>Erickson’s indictment did not specifically refer to Butina by name, but it indicates he made a payment of $8,000 to an “M.B.” in June 2015 and another payment of $1,000 to “M.B.” in March 2017. The indictment also indicates he paid American University $20,472.09 in June 2017.
Imagine going to sleep after a day of heavy snowfall and waking up the next morning to find that all that white snow has turned black overnight. That’s exactly what the people of Kiselevsk and Prokopyevsk, two cities in Russia’s Kuzbass region experienced earlier this week.
Photos and videos recently shared on social media by worried citizens of the two Russian cities show the grim reality of living in a coal mining area – snow covered fields and streets blanketed by a thick layer of coal dust and soot that literally turns the snow from white to pitch black.
We’ve all seen dirty snow in urban areas before, but the black snow in Kiselevsk and Prokopyevsk is a rare and disturbing sight that has locals concerned about the air they breathe every day. Many of them have taken to social media to voice their concerns and pressure authorities into taking action against the nearby coal processing plants, but local officials claim that the problem is complex.
Andrey Panov, Deputy Governor of the Kemerovo Region for Industry, Transport and Ecology, told reporters that because the development of gas networks in the region has never been particularly supported most buildings still rely on coal boilers for heating, so private households and local businesses all contribute to the heavy pollution. Vehicle exhaust fumes are also to blame, Panov adds.
Feb. 6, 2019, 10:54 AM PST
By Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump's suggestion address that lawmakers abandon their investigations of the administration is a "threat" that has no place in Congress.
Pelosi told reporters Wednesday "the president should not bring threats to the floor of the House."
Trump in his State of the Union address Tuesday said "ridiculous partisan investigations" could harm the economy.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer showed no sign of relenting on the congressional investigations of the Trump administration and Russian interference in the elections.
Schumer in Senate floor remarks Wednesday asked what Trump's "afraid of?"
If Trump wasn't afraid of something "that might be there that he did that was wrong" he would "shrug his shoulders," Schumer said, and let the investigations go forward.
>Three people were injured Friday night when panicked audience members "self-evacuated" during a performance of the musical "Hamilton" in San Francisco, police said.
>A woman in the audience had a medical emergency during the scene in which the title character, Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, is shot on stage, said Joseph Tomlinson, public information officer for the San Francisco police.
>Audience members mistakenly thought there was a real-life shooting and rushed the exits, he said.
>CNN affiliate KPIX reported the someone in the audience shouted, "Gun!"
>Police told reporter Shirin Rajaee -- who was in the audience -- that a woman was having a heart attack and someone in the theater thought she had been shot. In the chaos, some people jumped into police patrol cars.
>The woman and three injured people were taken to local hospitals, police tweeted. One of the three people injured had a broken leg. The woman who suffered the medical emergency was taken to a hospital and reported in critical condition.
Imagine being so paranoid about guns that even fake guns in a play about someone's life that involved a duel sets people off. This has been part of US history for how long? And the play troupe has been touring for how long?
For more than two years the mainstream media, various US politicians, and eager anti-Trump bloggers, hyped the conspiracy theory about Russian meddling. They claimed that Russia had somehow colluded with the Trump campaign to get the billionaire elected.
Massive investigations, paid for by the American taxpayer, were launched and every rumor, irrelevant detail and fabrication were scrutinized by Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation.
But after two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee uncovered no evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.
Democrats and other Trump opponents have long maintained the fake narrative that special counsel Mueller and Congressional investigators would somehow unearth some evidence of Trump campaign coordination with Russians.
Now, Justice Department and Congressional sources say they believe that Mueller is close to wrapping up his investigation with nothing to show for it.
With zero evidence to support the conspiracy theory that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, Mueller could only charge minor figures for unrelated tax issues or for lying to his investigators about some irrelevant details. He has found nothing at all to support the dramatic claims of collusion made since the beginning of the affair.
Russiagate nevertheless resulted in a lot of damage, as military contractors tried to push for more NATO aggression against Russia. One victim of the conspiracy was Maria Butina, an innocent Russian citizen, who was held in solitary confinement until she signed a paper which claims that she was involved in a conspiracy.
Livestream ongoing, but:
>Building the wall was a key pledge of Mr Trump's campaign, but Democrats have described the emergency as a "gross abuse of power".
GLOBAL WARMING HITS HAWAII
A winter storm pummeled the Hawaiian islands early Monday, bringing gusty winds, squally rain, high surf and even snow at a state park.
Strong winds knocked down trees and branches on roadways and structures and tore down traffic lights and power lines, causing power outages.
The winds could potentially damage roofs and poorly built structures, forecasters say. The powerful winds and a high surf closed some roads and parks.
Hiro Toiya, director of the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management, urged "extra caution driving."
"Conditions are windy and we do have trees and utility poles and other objects falling onto the street," he said
Hawaii Electric Light said that "due to unsafe weather conditions, crews will resume work when safe to do so. Mahalo for your patience."
In the liberal haven of San Francisco as much as the mention of a gun can cause stampedes and injuries
performance of hit musical “Hamilton” in San Francisco descended into chaos Friday night as theater-goers fled the show in panic after a member of the audience suffered a medical emergency.
The mass hysteria appears to have been caused when a woman in the audience collapsed at the same time as fake gunshots rang out on stage as part of the show, CBS News reported. She is believed to have suffered a heart attack.
CBS reporter Shirin Rajee, who was attending the show, said she heard at least one person yell “gun” as fans fled the Orpheum Theatre in the Civic Center area of the city.
A tweet sent out by the Orpheum Theatre explained that while the medical emergency was going on, an audience member pulled the fire alarm as the panic spread, which encouraged people to exit the theater.
Police said three people were injured in the chaos, including one person who suffered a broken leg, SFGate reported. None of the injuries were life-threatening. NBC Bay Area reported that alongside the heart attack and the leg injury, one boy suffered a seizure and another person sustained a head injury.
The woman who initially collapsed is in hospital in a critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital. “The original patient who required an [automated external defibrillator] had a return of pulses with CPR and paramedic and remains in critical condition,” the San Francisco Fire Department tweeted.
Rajee reported that audience members fleeing the theater were so scared they were jumping into police patrol cars to escape what they thought was an active shooter. A San Francisco Fire Department security officer was on the scene working door security, CBS News explained, and responded when the unplanned evacuation began.
>A group of students, who the Student Association says were at the party where they say the assault happened, released a statement in part saying:
>"Three of our fellow students of color were assaulted by a group of three Caucasian males and one Causcasian female wielding a weapon."
>It goes on to say a racial slur was made and one of the victims was hit in the face, and others were hit in the head with a silver metal pistol.
>"You just don't call somebody a slur and attack them then it's not related, so just for them to automatically rule this out as a hate crime is just unacceptable," said Payton-Jackson.
There seems to be a large discrepancy in what's being reported
Who is the BBC cameraman attacker at trump El Paso rally? They say it is a Trump supporter, just because of the #maga hat. Is it a false flag? The person is at the the El Paso DA, and may not get charged to bury the story?
If you have info please advise.
Reference link: https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-supporter-who-attacked-bbc-cameraman-at-rally-wont-be-charged-el-paso-da
“If President Trump declares a national emergency to fund his border wall, I’m prepared to introduce a resolution to terminate the President’s emergency declaration under 50 U.S.C. 1622,"
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) plan to introduce a bill to stop President Trump's emergency declaration.
A Democratic aide confirmed that Castro reached out to Ocasio-Cortez to get her on board and the pair is reaching out to others to build support.
"We've got people flooding in to support this," the aide said.
The timing of introduction remains up in the air. The House adjourned Friday morning and is out next week for the President's Day recess. But the chamber will be conducting pro-forma sessions next week that would allow for the introduction of bills.
Artist and model Matt Kuwata is mostly known as the son of Japanese legendary baseball player Masumi Kuwata, but in recent years he has attracted a lot of attention for his dramatic physical transformation. Somehow, the 24-year-old went from looking like a Japanese teenage boy, to a Caucasian, doll-like man.
Matt’s appearance has been a hot topic on Japanese social media for the last couple of years, with some people simply admiring his “foreign prince” or “anime character” looks, and others speculating that he had undergone extensive plastic surgery to achieve the shocking transformation. Even though the young man’s face has been constantly changing over the last two years, the photos he started posting on his Instagram at the beginning of last year left a lot of people in shock. He looked nothing like his former self, and frankly he didn’t even look Japanese anymore. Instead, his face resembled that of a Caucasian human doll.
Allegations of plastic surgery have surrounded Matt Kuwata for a very long time, but even after revealing what some have called his “final form”, the young man continued to deny having undergone any kind of facial reshaping. He insists that his dramatic transformation is a result of makeup mastery. Matt’s passion for beauty products and treatments is well-known in Japan, and he often promotes them on Instagram as well, but it’s still hard to believe they are the only tools used to achieve his current look.
Personally, I think the 24-year-old Instagram star also uses a bit of digital editing to enhance his looks, as for plastic surgery… All I can say is that if this man can alter his appearance so dramatically with makeup alone, he may just be the world’s most talented makeup artist.
>Chicago police confirmed Thursday that detectives are talking to two persons of interest in connection with the alleged attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.
>Multiple sources have told ABC7 Eyewitness News that police are investigating whether Smollett and the two men staged the attack allegedly because Smollett was being written off of "Empire."
>A source familiar with the investigation told the ABC7 I-Team that Smollett failed to appear for an interview with detectives earlier Thursday.
>A source briefed on the Smollett investigation confirmed to ABC News that Chicago police are questioning the two persons of interest -- one of whom has appeared on "Empire."
>Investigators believe Jussie Smollett and the non-cooperating witnesses in the alleged attack of Smollett last month “potentially staged the attack,” sources tell CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards.
>Chicago police raided the home of two “persons of interest” Wednesday night, a relative of those men says. Police took bleach, shoes, electronics, receipts and other items from the home.
>The men, who are both of Nigerian descent, have appeared as extras on the show and their attorney, Gloria Schmidt, says they do both know Smollett.
And now he's going to jail for filling a false report.
THE ROBOTS are here. Are the “sexbots” close behind?
From the Drudge Report to The New York Times, sex robots are rapidly becoming a part of the global conversation about the future of sex and relationships.
Behind the headlines, a number of companies are currently developing robots designed to provide humans with companionship and sexual pleasure – with a few already on the market.
Unlike sex toys and dolls, which are typically sold in off-the-radar shops and hidden in closets, sexbots may become mainstream. A 2017 survey suggested almost half of Americans think that having sex with robots will become a common practice within 50 years.
As a scholar of artificial intelligence, neuroscience and the law, I’m interested in the legal and policy questions that sex robots pose.
How do we ensure they are safe? How will intimacy with a sex robot affect the human brain? Would sex with a childlike robot be ethical? And what exactly is a sexbot anyway?
Defining ‘sex robot’
There is no universally accepted definition of “sex robot.” This may not seem important, but it’s actually a serious problem for any proposal to govern – or ban – them.
The primary conundrum is how to distinguish between a sex robot and a “sexy robot.” Just because a robot is attractive to a human and can provide sexual gratification, does it deserve the label “sex robot”?
It’s tempting to define them as legislatures do sex toys, by focusing on their primary use. In Alabama, the only state that still has an outright ban on the sale of sex toys, the government targets devices “primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs.”
The problem with applying this definition to sex robots is that the latter increasingly provide much more than sex. Sex robots are not just dolls with a microchip. They will use self-learning algorithms to engage their partner’s emotions.
>LOS ANGELES – California could still bring the nation's first high-speed rail train to reality, proponents said – even if the size falls short of the original grand plans – and that could encourage other states to follow suit.
>Wednesday, a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he wouldscale back plans for a bullet train connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles, backers focused on a smaller segment being built and said that gave them cause for hope.
>Newsom, who took office last month, said Tuesday that extending the rail line to San Francisco and Los Angeles – which are about 400 miles apart – would, at $77 billion, "cost too much and, respectfully, take too long." Instead, he said, he wanted to complete a shorter segment under construction across the state's Central Valley.
>He followed up with a tweet that indicated he is committed to the completed line over the long term.
>Rail supporters found cause for cheer.
>"It's so important to get one up and running," said Andy Kunz, CEO of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association, an advocacy group. By focusing on a single working leg, Newsom can show people the potential – building enthusiasm that could foster other projects around the country, he said.
>Instead of connecting two of the nation's largest cities, the 119-mile line will run through sparsely populated farmland between the agricultural hubs Bakersfield and Merced.
>Paul Dyson, president of the Rail Passengers Association of California, said a line that won't connect San Francisco and Los Angeles doesn't make sense. "We're in favor of high-speed rail, but it has to be a viable proposition."
The publisher of rock band R.E.M.'s music asked Twitter to remove a satirical video clip containing one of the band's songs that President Donald Trump's account tweeted Friday, CNBC has learned.
The clip, which was first posted by another Twitter user and runs more than two minutes in length, plays audio from R.E.M.'s early-'90s hit single "Everybody Hurts" over excerpts from Trump's Feb. 5 State of the Union address.
R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills took notice, saying that the president had retweeted the video from Twitter account CarpeDonktum, who Mills says created it. "Measures have been taken to stop it," Mills said.
As of the early hours Saturday ET, Twitter users could not play the video posted by Trump, and many saw a message that read, "This video has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder."
A satirical video using music from rock band R.E.M., which was shared by the Twitter account of President Donald Trump, has been removed from the social media site after the publisher of the band's songs complained.
A lawyer for Universal Music Publishing Group had reached out to Twitter on Friday asking that the video, which was first posted by another user, be taken down from the platform, according to a source familiar with the situation, who asked to remain anonymous.
The clip, which runs more than two minutes in length, plays audio from R.E.M.'s early-'90s hit single "Everybody Hurts" over excerpts from Trump's Feb. 5 State of the Union address.
But, as of the early hours Saturday ET, Twitter users could not play the video posted by Trump, and many saw a message that read, "This video has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder."
>Following the conviction of MEXICAN drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in a New York federal court on Tuesday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) revived his call to pay for border wall construction with the assets seized from drug traffickers.
>America’s justice system prevailed today in convicting Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka El Chapo, on all 10 counts. U.S. prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in drug profits & other assets from El Chapo which should go towards funding our wall to #SecureTheBorder. https://twitter.com/AP/status/1095378382714486785
>If passed by Congress, Cruz’s “EL CHAPO” Act could provide the resources requested by President Trump WITHOUT additional taxpayer-funds.
>"Our neighboring country thinks such terror attacks can weaken us, but their plans will not materialize," he said Friday, adding that government forces have been "given total freedom" to deal with the militants.
>"Security forces have been given permission to take decisions about the timing, place and nature of their response," he said.
Trump preparing to surrender America like Benedict Arnold prepared to surrender West Point to the British by weakening its defenses.
>‘It’s very curious why the leadership has not committed resources to prepare for the 2020 election,’ one Homeland Security official tells The Daily Beast.
Two teams of federal officials assembled to fight foreign election interference are being dramatically downsized, according to three current and former Department of Homeland Security officials. And now, those sources say they fear the department won’t prepare adequately for election threats in 2020.
“The clear assessment from the intelligence community is that 2020 is going to be the perfect storm,” said a DHS official familiar with the teams. “We know Russia is going to be engaged. Other state actors have seen the success of Russia and realize the value of disinformation operations. So it’s very curious why the task forces were demoted in the bureaucracy and the leadership has not committed resources to prepare for the 2020 election.”
The task forces, part of the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), were assembled in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. One focuses in part on securing election infrastructure and the other focuses on foreign influence efforts, including social media disinformation campaigns.
One of the task forces is now half the size it was a few months ago, according to two DHS officials familiar with the task forces, and there’s no indication that DHS senior political leadership will staff it up or sustain it. Instead, there are concerns it will completely wither away. The other task force also shrank significantly shortly after the midterms, according to that official, and before its members produced a thorough assessment of what happened during the 2018 elections.
GLOBAL WARMING HITS VANCOUVER
Vancouver got three times its normal monthly snowfall within three days, and it could be just the start
Parts of Metro Vancouver were under nearly 40 centimetres of snow Tuesday afternoon — and there could be more on the way.
A series of storms this week buried the region in three times the usual amount of snow for the entire month of February in just three days.
Not to neglect our neighbours to the south, it was also the snowiest February ever on record for Seattle, with 51 centimetres accumulating as of Monday night.
America has had 31 ongoing emergencies. Didn't seem you minded, but whose is counting for another one?
>Japan's incredibly low crime rate is often attributed to a homogeneous culture, small income gap and full employment, but it's also true to say that many people are just terrified of being arrested.
>"But even if the suspect is not guilty, there is an advantage for them to admit to the crime. This is the most evil effect of Japan's hostage justice system."
>After the first 23 days of detention the ordeal is not necessarily over. Prosecutors are permitted to re-arrest a suspect on a slightly different accusation, with approval from the courts. The clock is then reset and another 20 days of interrogation begin.
>This is what happened to Carlos Ghosn, twice. In all he was held in interrogation for 53 days before being formally indicted.
>Several lawyers have told me the case against him looks weak. In an editorial in the Nikkei newspaper, corporate lawyer Stephen Givens describes the case against him as "thin soup".
"By any objective measure, the misconduct alleged was less serious than the corporate misfeasance that is routinely overlooked in Japan," he writes. "Nothing we know that [Mr] Ghosn allegedly did smells like a serious crime deserving prison."
>Massachusetts high court upholds Michelle Carter's conviction for texts encouraging boyfriend's suicide
>Carter's 15-month sentence for involuntary manslaughter had been on hold pending the ruling.
>The Massachusetts Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the involuntary manslaughter conviction of a woman who encouraged her boyfriend's suicide through text messages.
>Michelle Carter will have to serve 15 months behind bars for the 2017 conviction that held her responsible for the July 2014 suicide of Conrad Roy III, 18.
>"The evidence against the defendant proved that, by her wanton or reckless conduct, she caused the victim's death by suicide," according to the high court opinion.
>"Her conviction of involuntary manslaughter as a youthful offender is not legally or constitutionally infirm. The judgment is therefore affirmed."
I don't really understand why she bothered with an appeal. Her sentence was like only a couple years.
We exploit Daylight Saving Time (DST) as an exogenous shock to daylight, using both the discontinuous nature of the policy and the 2007 extension of DST, to consider how light impacts criminal activity. Regression discontinuity estimates show a 7% decrease in robberies following the shift to DST. As expected, effects are largest during the hours directly affected by the shift in daylight. We discuss our findings within the context of criminal decision-making and labor supply, and estimate that the 2007 DST extension resulted in $59 million in annual social cost savings from avoided robberies.
I don't know where else to post this so I'll post it here. I go to a high school, the name of which I will not disclose, but it's in Alabama.
About a week and a half ago a friend of mine notified our friend group chat that he noticed a date written on the bathroom walls.
Kinda ominous and we made jokes about what it could mean, but as the day rolled closer we actually started getting worried.
Whoever wrote it came back and erased it the week of. Now we were actually scared. We made a pact to bring protective equipment to school that friday (just in case). If nothing happened, then nothing happened. No worries, right?
Ffw to today and it goes by without a hitch
or so I thought.
What the fuck anons, it's a completely different state, how did that person know? Was it related? Am I just paranoid?
>Capt Zoe Kotnik, who became the first female pilot to lead the US F-16 Viper demonstration team just last month, has been relieved of duty.
>The Air Force said she had been removed on Tuesday by Col Derek O'Malley due to a "loss of confidence in her ability to lead and command".
>Capt Zoe "Sis" Kotnik's appointment as commander of the ACC F-16 Viper demo team on 29 January had been announced with fanfare and excitement.
>The USAF hoped to use the buzz around the upcoming superhero film Captain Marvel - where Brie Larson stars as an F-16 pilot - to bolster recruitment.
>Capt Kotnik's appointment to lead the 17-member team was even revealed in a comic-book style post.
Rada’s First Vice Speaker Irina Gerashchenko reiterated Ukraine’s position not to allow observers from Russia to the presidential elections.
She announced this on Facebook.
"There will be no Russian observers at our presidential and parliamentary elections in any international missions in Ukraine. It is our sovereign right to protect Ukraine from representatives of the aggressor country, from those who support the war in the Donbass and the theft of the Crimea, who lie that" we are not there ", - wrote Irina Gerashchenko.
She also stated that each country is guided solely by its national interests, deciding whom to let in and who not.
"The Russians cannot observe the Ukrainian elections until the Russian Federation gives us the Crimea and the Donbass, does not release our hostages and prisoners of war, does not take away their weapons and equipment, and does not leave," the vice speaker said.
At the same time, she expressed concern about the fact that in the OSCE / ODIHR official report on monitoring the presidential and Duma elections in the Russian Federation there is not a word about their falsification in the Crimea when the occupants conduct pseudo-elections on the annexed territory.
“And when the OSCE will be ashamed of these double standards. And today Ukraine helps the UN, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and other international organizations not to be afraid and not to forget about their principles and charters,” said Gerashchenko, adding that Ukraine welcomes all other international observers .
BETO O'ROURKE ON CURRENT BORDER BARRIERS: 'I'D TAKE THE WALL DOWN'
He said the 600 miles of wall and fencing already built along the border haven't made Americans demonstrably safer
"Absolutely, I'd take the wall down," the Democrat from the border town of El Paso told MSNBC's Chris Hayes in an interview Thursday, adding that the 600 miles of wall and fencing already built along the border haven't made Americans demonstrably safer.
O'Rourke's comment comes after he was asked on Twitter by current Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, if O'Rourke would "snap your fingers" and eliminate El Paso's border wall.
On Monday, while President Donald Trump was in El Paso rallying support for his proposed border wall, O'Rourke led a rally nearby challenging his message.
>STRASBOURG (Reuters) - The European Commission added Saudi Arabia, Panama and four U.S. territories to a blacklist of nations it considers a threat because of lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering, the EU executive said on Wednesday.
>The move is part of a crackdown on money laundering after several scandals at EU banks, but it has been criticized by several EU countries, including Britain, that are worried about their economic relations with the listed states, notably Saudi Arabia. The United States has also disapproved.
>The Saudi government said it regretted the decision in a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency, adding: “Saudi Arabia’s commitment to combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism is a strategic priority”.
>Panama said it should be removed from the list because it recently adopted stronger rules against money laundering.
>Despite pressure to exclude Riyadh from the list, the commission decided to list the kingdom, confirming a Reuters report in January.
>Apart from reputational damage, inclusion on the list complicates financial relations with the EU. The bloc’s banks will have to carry out additional checks on payments involving entities from listed jurisdictions.
>The list now includes 23 jurisdictions, up from 16. The commission said it added jurisdictions with “strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing regimes”.
>Other newcomers to the list are Libya, Botswana, Ghana, Samoa, the Bahamas and the four United States territories of American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.
The Russian Spy who wasn't.
>The U.S. government went looking for someone to blame for Russia's interference in the 2016 election—and found Maria Butina, the perfect scapegoat.
>Yet a close examination of Butina’s case suggests that it is not so. Butina is simply an idealistic young Russian, born in the last days of the Soviet Union, raised in the new world of capitalism, and hoping to contribute to a better understanding between two countries while pursuing a career in international relations. Fluent in English and interested in expanding gun rights in Russia, she met with Americans in Moscow and on frequent trips to the United States, forging ties with members of the National Rifle Association, important figures within the conservative movement, and aspiring politicians. “I thought it would be a good opportunity to do what I could, as an unpaid private citizen, not a government employee, to help bring our two countries together,” she told me.
>The government’s case against Butina is extremely flimsy and appears to have been driven largely by a desire for publicity.
>Despite the lack of evidence against Butina, however, prosecutors—abetted by an uncritical media willing to buy into the idea of a Russian agent infiltrating conservative political circles—were intent on getting a win. In the context of the Mueller investigation, and in the environment that arose after Trump’s election, an idealistic young Russian meeting with influential American political figures sounded enough like a spy to move forward.
So when are all the baizuo on this board going to finally accept the fact that left leaning media has been playing you fools like a fiddle? legit 2 years of fake news. Thanks for the ad revenue suckaz!
>Colorado store closing after removing Nike merchandise over Kaepernick ad
A store in Colorado will be closing down after more than 20 years in business after its decision to stop selling Nike merchandise.
The store, Prime Time Sports, first made headlines in September when it announced it would pull Nike merchandise to protest the company's decision to feature former NFL player Colin Kaepernick as the face of its ad campaign.
Stephen Martin, Prime Time's owner, told a local NBC station that he made the decision to close the store permanently on Sunday night, saying he “can’t keep the doors open anymore.”
“Being a sports store without Nike is kind of like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas. How do you do it? They have a monopoly on jerseys,” Martin told the station.
Martin said he realized last year that he could go out of business over the decision to remove Nike merchandise, given that a sizable chunk of his inventory was NFL jerseys that are exclusive to Nike.
Martin, at the time, called the brand was "the mother of all harlots." Martin added that although Kaepernick "sacrificed a salary," nothing "compared to what every soul on our 'Honor the Flag' memorial wall that was built a few years ago has suffered and died for. "
He told KOAA News 5 this week that he canceled an autograph session at his store with former Denver Broncos player Brandon Marshall in 2016 to protest the athlete’s decision to take a knee during the national anthem.
“As much as I hate to admit this, perhaps there are more Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized,” he added.
>The owner of a sporting goods store in Colorado says his shop is going out of business after he stopped selling Nike products over the company's controversial campaign with Colin Kaepernick.
In an excerpt of the full interview, which is set to air on Sunday, McCabe described how he quickly moved to start the Russia probe a day after meeting with Trump in May 2017 in the days after James Comey's firing, over fears that he would soon be fired. After authorizing the investigation into Trump's Russia ties, McCabe sought to ensure that the investigation - which was eventually rolled into the probe eventually taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller - would be on "solid ground" even if he was booted from the FBI.
McCabe, whose wife took a truckload of campaign cash from a top Clinton donor and confidant, colluded with Clinton campaign contractors and the foreign bagman of a sanctioned Russian oligarch to try and take down a duly elected U.S. president.
Put in the context of FBI agents vowing to be the last line of defense vs our own president, the McCabe revelations are troubling evidence the FBI was engaging in a low-energy #Coup.
In other words the head of the @FBI is confessing publicly he assumed Trump was guilty without any evidence and started an investigation for no reason but partisan hackery ...... and saw nothing Hillary did as suspicious
>NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort breached his plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office by lying to prosecutors about matters which are material to its Russia probe, a judge ruled on Wednesday.
>The ruling concludes weeks of wrangling between Manafort’s lawyers and the special counsel over whether he had intentionally lied to prosecutors, impeding their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
>U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing the Manafort case in a Washington court, found there was a “preponderance” of evidence that Manafort lied on three different topics, including his communications with his former business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, whom prosecutors say has ties to Russian intelligence. Kilimnik has denied such ties.
>Jackson cleared Manafort of allegations that he intentionally lied on two other subjects - Kilimnik’s role in an obstruction of justice charge and statements Manafort made about his contacts with members of the Trump administration.
>Nevertheless, the ruling will almost certainly dash Manafort’s hopes of avoiding significant time in prison, as Mueller’s prosecutors are now released from their obligation to support a lighter sentence. Sentencing experts have said Manafort, 69, could face a decade in prison.
>Michael Zeldin, a former federal prosecutor, said one possible reason Manafort chose to lie was because he was hoping for a presidential pardon — echoing speculation raised by one of Mueller’s prosecutors at a court hearing last week.
An Israeli company made up of former Mossad agents that specialized in covertly spreading messages to influence what people believed and how they behaved targeted the boycott Israel movement on American college campuses.
Psy-Group also took credit for turning Bernie Sanders supporters against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton using Facebook during the 2016 election, the New Yorker reported in “Mossad for Hire,” an article by Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow published this week.
>During the 2016 presidential race, the company pitched members of Donald Trump’s campaign team on its ability to influence the results. The pitches attracted the attention of the FBI, according to the report, leading special counsel Robert Mueller to examine the firm’s activities as part of his investigation into Russian election interference and other matters.
Slowly, Americans and others still asleep to the many tentacles of israel, are being fed sugar to help them swallow the red pill to the Jewish Question..
The Associated Press:
Mideast conference in Poland starting Wednesday offers Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an opportunity to flaunt in public what he has long boasted about happening behind the scenes - his country's improved relations with some Gulf Arab nations.
The United States and Poland are sponsoring the conference in Warsaw, which they say is aimed at promoting peace and security in the region but appears to be mainly focused on isolating Iran.
The Palestinians have pre-emptively rejected the plan, accusing the Trump White House of being unfairly biased toward Israel. They've also asked Arab countries to boycott or downgrade their representation at the conference in Poland.
“We view the Warsaw conference as a plot against the Palestinian cause,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said this week.
President Mahmoud Abbas met with Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Tuesday, who expressed his “permanent stand” in favour of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, according to the official Saudi news agency.
“What is important about this meeting – and this meeting is not in secret, because there are many of those – is that this is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran.” Netanyahu tweeted on Wednesday.
backtracked on the comment and replaced it with the words "combating Iran,"
>Reacting to Netanyahu’s comments, Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, a member of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC that the Israeli PM “knew what he meant” in his original tweet.
•Over 40% of insect species are threatened with extinction.
•Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera and dung beetles (Coleoptera) are the taxa most affected.
•Four aquatic taxa are imperiled and have already lost a large proportion of species.
•Habitat loss by conversion to intensive agriculture is the main driver of the declines.
•Agro-chemical pollutants, invasive species and climate change are additional causes.
A new study tells the catastrophic story of the world's massive decline in insect numbers.
Two Australian scientists have looked into the drivers behind the devastating losses with their results published in the April edition of Biological Conservation.
The study warns that more than 40% of insect species could become extinct in the next few decades if behaviors aren’t quickly changed. World insect biomass is disappearing a rate of 2.5% a year.
Mass extinctions loom
If these devastating numbers continue, there is likely to be widespread extinctions with a century. Insects are a key part of the earth's ecosystems, and any insect extinctions can have massive knock-on effects for fragile food chains.
The report is a collaboration between two Australian universities and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. It reviewed dozens of existing reports on insect decline published over the past three decades and looked for patterns in the reasons behind the decrease in insect population numbers.
President Trump will sign a border security bill to avert another government shutdown, but also declare a national emergency to obtain funds for his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall, McConnell said on Thursday.
In an attempt to bypass Congress to get money that lawmakers have denied him for his wall, Trump appeared headed toward triggering a swift court challenge from Democrats on constitutional grounds.
“I’ve just had an opportunity to speak to President Trump and he, I would say to all my colleagues, has indicated he is prepared to sign the bill,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time and I’ve indicated to him that I’m going to support a national emergency declaration."
The bipartisan legislation would provide more than $300 billion to fund the Department of Homeland Security and a range of other federal agencies through Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year. Funding is due to expire for those agencies on Friday.
Congress was expected later on Thursday to approve the legislation, which does not contain the money Trump demanded for the wall but does contain money for other border security measures.
The bill faces votes in the Republican-led Senate and Democratic-controlled House of Representatives before going to Trump, who triggered a 35-day-long shutdown of about a quarter of the federal government with his December demand for $5.7 billion to help build a portion of the wall.
In denying him that money, Congress has blocked Trump from carrying through on one of his key 2016 campaign pledges.
The border bill would provide $1.37 billion in new money to help build 55 miles (88.5 km) of new physical barriers on the border. It is the same level of funding Congress appropriated for border security measures last year, including barriers but not concrete walls.
On Feb. 5, the congressional office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted a new blog entry under “energy issues” detailing her "Green New Deal" proposal and answering “frequently asked questions.”
The page, announcing an 8:30 a.m. launch on Feb. 7, is now gone, and a top adviser suggested Friday it was actually authored and distributed by the GOP.
By the afternoon of Feb. 7, Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., removed the document from her website without explanation but following backlash and even ridicule over the radical plans outlined within it, including a call to "eliminate emissions from cows or air travel" — which would functionally ban the latter — and to provide “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”
The document vanished just hours after Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., formally unveiled a "Green New Deal" resolution that has so far attracted 67 Democratic co-sponsors in the House. It’s a nonbinding measure that is less detailed than the now-deleted FAQ document but calls for a complete and speedy overhaul of the nation’s energy, transportation, and farming sectors in order to eliminate carbon emissions in the coming decades.
The communications staff has so far not responded to an inquiry about the now-missing blog post.
Okay so in Frederick Maryland there is a school called Urbana Middle, and an assult took place after school over a juul.
A 6th grader with high functioning autism told the teacher that a 7th grader was juuling. The teacher then took the 7th graders juul.
After school the 7th grader got some of his friends and waiting till they were out of school so they could confront and assult the 6th grader.
The 7th graders broke the 6th graders arm and one of the kids recorded the assult and put it on his snapchat story.
What do you guys think?
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and future president Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) want to turn the screws on greedy corporations. On Monday morning, the New York Times published an op-ed in which the senators tee off on corporate stock buybacks while teasing new legislation that would ensure companies invest in their employees before padding the pockets of their shareholders.
“At a time of huge income and wealth inequality, Americans should be outraged that these profitable corporations are laying off workers while spending billions of dollars to boost their stock’s value to further enrich the wealthy few,” the senators write. “If corporations continue to purchase their own stock at this rate, income disparities will continue to grow, productivity will suffer, the long-term strength of companies will diminish — and the American worker will fall further behind.”
When a company uses its profits to buy its own stock, it’s not investing in research and development, increasing employee wages and benefits or other measures that strengthen the company as a whole. Instead, buybacks only serve to increase the stock’s value by reducing the number of publicly available shares. The only beneficiaries are corporate executives and wealthy shareholders. In other words, the rich get richer. It’s getting worse, too. As the senators note, 466 of the S&P 500 companies combined to spend $4 trillion on stock buybacks between 2008 and 2018. A quarter of that came in the last year alone, the result of the massive corporate tax cut Trump signed late in 2017. Remember? The one that was supposed to benefit working-class Americans? This hasn’t happened, of course. From December 2017 to December 2018, wages for average Americans have increased by $9.11 a week.
ROME - Ahead of a summit of presidents of bishops’ conferences and other Church officials in Rome Feb. 21-24 on clerical sexual abuse and child protection, voices from around the world are emphasizing that it’s a global problem requiring a global solution.
For instance, Rogelio Cabrera, Archbishop of Monterrey, Mexico, president of the country’s bishops’ conference, said on Sunday that in the past nine years 152 priests have been removed from ministry in his country due to sexual abuse allegations.
Ralph Northam does something racially insensitive in 1982
>HE MUST RESIGN IMMEDIATELY AND HONOR SUICIDE
Ilhan Omar does something just as bad yesterday
>just say you're sorry honey and it'll be OK
Can anyone explain the double standard?
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who has faced accusations of anti-Semitism for perpetuating the stereotype that Jews control politics with money, issued an apology Monday afternoon, a mea culpa amid a firestorm of criticism from both parties.
"Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Omar said on Twitter. “We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”
Earlier Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders said in a statement that Omar’s use of “anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive,” but added that her critiques of Israel’s policies and its treatment of Palestinians are protected by free speech.
The letter is the culmination of growing concerns — from within her own party and across the aisle — over Omar’s comments about the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Omar, who supports the anti-Israel movement called BDS, for “boycott, divestment and sanctions,” has maintained that her condemnation of the Israeli government for its treatment of Palestinians does not equate to condemnation of Jewish people. She has also claimed to be the victim of GOP attacks seeking to misrepresent her position on Israel as anti-Semitic.
>WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than nine years in December as receipts fell across the board, suggesting a sharp slowdown in economic activity at the end of 2018.
>The shockingly weak report from the Commerce Department on Thursday led to growth estimates for the fourth-quarter being cut to below a 2.0 percent annualized rate.
>December’s collapse in retail sales and other data showing an unexpected increase in the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits last week and a second straight monthly decline in producer prices in January support the Federal Reserve’s pledge to be “patient” before raising interest rates further this year.
>“Until this morning, Fed official hesitance to hike further was based on risks emanating from global growth and from financial markets, despite a strong domestic outlook,” said Andrew Hollenhorst, an economist at Citigroup in New York. “The decline in retail sales calls into question the domestic growth assumption.”
>Retail sales tumbled 1.2 percent, the largest decline since September 2009 when the economy was emerging from recession. Sales edged up 0.1 percent in November. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales gaining 0.2 percent in December. Sales in December rose 2.3 percent from a year ago.
>The December retail sales report was delayed by a 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government that ended on Jan. 25. No date has been set for the release of the January retail sales report, which was scheduled for publication on Friday.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) predicted in a new interview that Republican leaders in Congress would not support another partial government shutdown over funding for President Trump's plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Speaker joked while being questioned by Politico that the issue was "too hot" for Republican congressional leaders, and pledged to support any deal that arises from negotiations between House and Senate lawmakers on border security.
“There will not be another shutdown,” she told the news outlet. “No, it’s not going to happen.”
“I have a club that I started, it’s called the ‘Too Hot to Handle Club.’ And this is a too-hot-to-handle issue,” Pelosi reportedly added.
Her comments come as Congress and the White House approach a deadline to fund the federal government and avoid another partial shutdown.
Funding for the federal government is set to expire on Feb. 15 unless Congress passes another appropriations bill. Democrats have vowed to remain firm in their promise not to provide funding for a border wall, while the president has publicly considered declaring a national emergency and allocating funding for the project himself.
Pelosi also took aim at Trump's State of the Union address late Tuesday. The president in that speech called for unity and hours later bashed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
“Don’t waste your time on this. This is theatrics, this is not government. We just take this in stride," Pelosi told Politico.
“When [Trump] makes an assault on Mr. Schiff and congressional responsibility for oversight, he is making an assault on the Constitution of the United States, the separation of powers, co-equal branches of government,” she added. “We honor the institution in which we serve, the Congress of the United States. I hope he would honor it, too.”
President Donald Trump appears to be moving -- unhappily -- closer to signing a bipartisan agreement that provides only a fraction of the money he demanded for a border wall. But in conversations with allies over the past days, he has griped that Republican negotiators were outplayed by their Democratic counterparts, securing a border funding number far smaller than Trump has spent the last two months demanding.
As a months-long government funding standoff appears to reach its conclusion, Trump has found his seat at the negotiating table diminished after his tactics failed to yield progress. For a candidate who campaigned as the consummate deal artist, it's an unpleasant reminder that grand bipartisan compromises have so far evaded him.
The President's own aides have worked behind the scenes to cast the outcome less as a concession and more as an opportunity. Trump himself has been only partly receptive to that characterization.
White House aides were still reviewing the legislative text of the bill -- which stacked up to more than 1,000 pages -- on Thursday, looking for any potential "landmines" that might cause the President to reject it. Trump signaled to advisers and allies this week he was inclined to sign it to avoid another government shutdown, and would use executive action to attempt securing additional border wall dollars.
>President Trump's former lawyer John Dowd says he does not expect the public to hear from Robert Mueller or see his final report after his investigation is completed.
He is on Trump's side, so maybe he's full of hot air, like Whitaker announcing it's coming to a close (wishful thinking). But if it did happen that way I think it was cause pandemonium in Washington. Then we will never hear the end of this until it sees the light of day. And I am so sick of hearing about it. I just want it to be over, whatever the outcome is.
This is why you dont date single moms
WASHINGTON — Representative Ilhan Omar, who has been battling charges of anti-Semitism for weeks, apologized on Monday for insinuating that American support for Israel is fueled by money from a pro-Israel lobbying group — a comment that drew swift and unqualified condemnation from fellow Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The mea culpa by Ms. Omar, a freshman lawmaker from Minnesota and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, came after a day of bipartisan outrage over her tweet Sunday night asserting that support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins baby,” a reference to hundred-dollar bills.
“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Ms. Omar said in a statement released on Twitter, about an hour after Ms. Pelosi and the entire Democratic leadership publicly chastised her for engaging in “deeply offensive” anti-Semitic tropes.
Where were you when Reddit got BTFO?
Many nations snubbing meet
A number of countries are either pulling out or sending low-level delegations to the Warsaw summit aimed at curbing Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East.
Some countries are snubbing a US-sponsored meeting about Iran's role in the Middle East.
But Poland, the host country, says Iran will not be the only item on the agenda.
They say delegates will also discuss the presence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), and the war in Syria.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sixty percent of Americans oppose major new construction of walls along the U.S.-Mexico border -- the goal behind President Donald Trump's budget showdown with Democratic leaders that led to a record 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government.
The shutdown, which ended Jan. 25, and the political battles that preceded it over the past several months have had little apparent effect on public opinion about a wall. Fifty-seven percent opposed major new construction of walls seven months ago, a statistically insignificant three-percentage-point difference from the current number.
Gallup trends offer several signs that immigration has risen in prominence as a national issue in the past year:
Twenty-one percent now name it as the country's most important problem. That is the second-highest total for immigration in the 80-year history of the question, behind last July's 22%.
Seventy-eight percent in November identified immigration as an extremely or very important issue to them in the midterm elections, ranking it among the top three issues in importance to the public.
Perhaps as a result of the heightened political attention given to the issue of immigration, the percentage saying they feel strongly one way or another about expanding the walls has increased since last June's poll -- from 58% to 65%. More of that increase has come in strong opposition (five points) than in strong support (two points).
>Human Rights Watch (HRW) Middle East Director Sarah Leah Whitson is under fire from Jewish organizations after claiming Israel is meddling in UK domestic politics by summoning a “manufactured” anti-Semitism crisis.
A former United States Air Force counterintelligence agent was charged with espionage after she defected to Iran and helped it target her former colleagues, the authorities said.
In an extraordinarily detailed indictment made public on Wednesday, prosecutors disclosed that Monica Elfriede Witt, 39, gave the Iranians the code name and mission of a secret Pentagon program involving American intelligence operations.
According to the indictment, she was working with members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The elite paramilitary group is known to carry out terrorist operations around the globe and has been sanctioned by the American government.
Prosecutors described how Ms. Witt provided a copy of her biography and job history in August 2013 to a person with ties to Iran’s intelligence services. That same month, she moved to Iran and, while living there, officials provided her with housing and computer equipment. Prosecutors said that she searched Facebook accounts for Americans and created “target packages” for Iran against American counterintelligence officials.
Prosecutors said that she worked for the Air Force from 1997 until 2008 and then worked as a contractor. As a counterintelligence officer, she was deployed to locations in the Middle East.
Democratic leaders are showing their power level causing Nazis to flock to the democratic party for openly embracing antsemitism
several democratic elected officials so far this year have tweeted openly antisemitic statements and widely known democratic party affiliated activist groups are taking antisemitic stances
Statements made vary from accusing jews from using money to run US foreign policy to groups citing the protocols of the elders of zion and saying “Jews are shadowy figures with a lot of money, top-level access, ready to betray the nations of our residence (and our neighbors) in service of an unseen authority.”
>The Trump Administration further cemented its strong support of Israel by thwarting a Kuwaiti and Indonesia initiative at the Security Council Wednesday evening that would have criticized Israel.
>The initiative, known as a press statement, expressed regret over Israel’s decision to suspend a mandate of international observers stationed in the Biblical city of Hebron to protect Palestinians there.
>The Temporary International Presence in Hebron, or TIPH, has been in the West Bank city since 1997 and has long faced criticism it is biased against Israel.
>A Security Council diplomat confirmed to Fox News that, “the U.S. did not think a press statement was appropriate.” A Security Council press statement needs the consensus of all 15 members, and while not legally binding it does show council unity on any given subject.
>The draft statement from the two predominantly Muslim nations, “expressed regret about the unilateral decision by the Israeli Government not to renew the mandate,” and recalled a Security Council resolution in 1994 that called for, “measures to be taken to guarantee the safety of and protection of the Palestinians civilians throughout the occupied territory, including…a temporary international presence.”
>As a candidate, Donald J. Trump’s language about the southern border was remarkably simple: He would build a great wall, and Mexico would pay for it. He repeated this promise hundreds of times.
>But his language has shifted since his election as president, particularly since the government shutdown last month.
>After the election, Mr. Trump continued to insist that Mexico would pay for the wall, but began to qualify that it would do so “in the end,” “ultimately,” “indirectly” or through “reimbursement.”
>He later said he brought up the wall so frequently because it was what kept his supporters most engaged. “You know,” he told The Times’s editorial writers, “if it gets a little boring, if I see people starting to sort of, maybe thinking about leaving, I can sort of tell the audience, I just say, ‘We will build the wall!’ and they go nuts.”
"If this regime makes the mistake of threatening us and tries to destroy Tel Aviv or Haifa..
Israel and Iran have not maintained diplomatic relations since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Tensions between the two Middle Eastern powers have been smouldering in recent years over Israeli lobbying to get the US to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and continued Israeli airstrikes in Syria, which Israel claims target Iranian forces and military installations.
A reporter at The Washington Post says that an investigator hired by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos believes that text messages leaked to the National Enquirer between Bezos and his girlfriend may have been sent to the magazine by someone in government.
In an appearance on MSNBC on Thursday, Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia said that Bezos's security consultant, Gavin de Becker, believes that the National Enquirer obtained text messages from Bezos through inappropriate means.
Bezos on Thursday said in a blog post that the Enquirer was attempting to force him to call off his investigation of the tabloid under the threat of further texts being released.
“They have begun to believe, the Bezos camp, that this publication by the National Enquirer might have been politically motivated,” Roig-Franzia said Thursday.
“Gavin de Becker told us that he does not believe that Jeff Bezos’s phone was hacked, he thinks it’s possible that a government entity might have gotten hold of his text messages,” he added.
De Becker's assertion that Bezos's phone was not hacked raises questions as to how staffers at the Enquirer obtained messages that were allegedly sent privately between Bezos and his rumored girlfriend, former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.
The Enquirer is owned by David Pecker, a top ally of President Trump. Pecker has been accused of helping the president kill unfavorable stories about his past affairs during the 2016 presidential race.
Bezos and Trump have feuded publicly over Amazon and its relationship with the federal government, as well as over Bezos's ownership of The Washington Post, which the president says unfairly targets him with negative news coverage.
In a Medium post Thursday night, the Amazon CEO vowed not to fall for "extortion" tactics from Pecker and American Media Inc., which owns the Enquirer.
>NEWSROOM (ADV) – Uganda must cancel a beauty contest that seeks to attract more visitors by showcasing “curvy women” because it objectifies women and promotes sex tourism, campaigners said on Thursday.
>Tourism Minister Godfrey Kiwanda sparked outrage on Wednesday when he unveiled the “Miss Curvy Uganda” contest, saying the east African nation had “naturally endowed” women who should be used as “a strategy” to boost tourism.
>Women’s rights activists, politicians, church leaders and ordinary Ugandans said the contest was “state-sponsored objectification of women” and was treating women as though they were wildlife. Some are calling on Kiwanda to resign.
>More than 1,000 people have signed an online petition calling on the tourism ministry to abandon the pageant and apologise to the public.
>“In Uganda, the ministry of tourism has added ‘curvy women’ on the list of ‘tourism attractions’. I personally feel attacked. This is degrading women,” said Primrose Murungi, an entrepreneur and activist who started the online petition.
>“In a country where women are grabbed by men while walking on the streets and now they have legalised it by making them tourist attractions is not fair. They are objectifying us and reducing women to nothing.”
>Some Ugandans on social media argued the beauty contest would help to challenge the Western stereotype that only slim women are beautiful, saying the pageant celebrated the diversity of all body shapes, including those of African women.
>But many disagreed.
>“It’s important to delink women’s body image and expression, curvy or otherwise, from any tourism talk or venture,” tweeted Ugandan journalist Rosebell Kagumire.
>“Curvy women have been fighting back against the European beauty standards of beauty pageants for so long. The point here is Uganda is not a human zoo!”
Knuckles & Captain Alex at it again with their hijinks!
The U.S. military said Wednesday it plans to buy a limited number of Iron Dome missile defense systems from Israel to fill a short-term need for interim indirect fire protection capability.
“The Iron Dome will be assessed and experimented as a system that is currently available to protect deployed U.S. military service members against a wide variety of indirect fire threats and aerial threats,” the U.S. army said in a statement.
According to a statement from Israel’s Defense Ministry, the American military told Israel it had decided to purchase the systems “for immediate needs of the U.S. army.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as defense minister, called this a “great achievement for Israel” and “further proof of our solid bond with the U.S., as well of Israel’s rising status in the world.”
IT IS ALLOK GUYS!! THIS APP IS USED BY FBI!
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said the company will look into an app that can be used to track and limit the travel freedom of women in Saudi Arabia. “I haven’t heard about it,” the CEO said in an interview with NPR. “But obviously we’ll take a look at it if that’s the case.” In addition to accessing government services such as applying for passports or birth certificates, Insider discovered that the Absher app, also available in the Google Play store, allows male Saudi guardians to list “dependents” by name and passport number and then limit their ability to travel.
Apple and Google have been criticised for hosting the Absher app by human rights groups for facilitating human rights abuses. In comments provided to the Washington Post, Amnesty International said that the app highlights the “disturbing system of discrimination” in the country, while a spokesperson from Human Rights Watch joined their call for Apple and Google to investigate the app.
Congressional negotiators announced an "agreement in principle" Monday night on a broad spending bill they hope will satisfy President Donald Trump's demands for additional border barriers and avert another government shutdown at the end of this week.
The compromise represents a remarkable turnaround for negotiators tasked with staving off another shutdown, just hours after lawmakers on both sides said the talks were on the brink of falling apart.
"We reached an agreement in principle between us on all the homeland security and the other six bills," said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a lead Republican negotiator. “The White House has been consulted all along,” Shelby added, noting that he’s been given “latitude” to negotiate on behalf of the administration.
The tentative deal includes $1.375 billion for physical barriers — a type of fencing that resembles the “steel slats” that Trump has specifically called for, according to a congressional aide briefed on the talks. It includes a total of 55 miles, which is just 9 miles shy of Trump’s last budget request.
In exchange, Democrats agreed to drop their demand to restrict the number of people who can be detained by Immigration and Custom Enforcement at a time. Negotiators agreed to fund a total of 40,520 detention beds for ICE, a roughly 17 percent reduction from current levels, the aide said.
But one Republican source was quick to dispute Democrats' account, saying the $1.375 billion in barrier funding can be used for "new miles of border wall." The same Republican source suggested that the deal had enough flexibility to actually reach the president's requested level of 52,000 beds, far above the negotiated level.
Details of the final deal may not be released until Wednesday, which has both parties aggressively attempting to spin the proposal as a win.
Article continues at: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/11/shutdown-congress-border-security-1163824
Saqib Nisar Former Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan Order - Habib
When He Jiankui announced that he had “edited” two embryos in hopes of ensuring they would become immune to the virus that causes AIDS, he also announced his opposition to using the same gene-editing technologies to enhance children’s IQs.
A different approach aimed at enhancing IQ is far less fantastic. We’re calling it embryo profiling, and it could be done today.
Embryo profiling capitalizes on the ability to add up the minuscule effects associated with thousands of genetic variants to create what’s called a polygenic score. On the basis of this score, researchers can make predictions about an embryo’s likelihood of exhibiting given traits, from developing cardiovascular disease to going far in school. The latter, known as educational attainment and often taken to be a proxy for IQ, is a trait for which researchers claim to have made significant progress.
The practical value of predictions based on polygenic scores in humans is still the subject of intense scientific debate. But the equivalent of calculating polygenic scores of sires and dams (though not embryos) is already being used to breed cows with enhanced milk production.
Not waiting for the scientific debate to be settled about the accuracy of predictions regarding traits as complex as human IQ, a new company, Genomic Prediction, is now offering prospective parents the ability to identify and avoid implanting embryos that are likely to have very low IQs.
However, Stephen Hsu, one of the founders of Genomic Prediction, has described his vision of the day when prospective parents can use genome profiling to select the “smartest” embryo, with a gain of 15 IQ points compared with the also-rans.
By Associated Press
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday hardened their positions about a border wall, casting doubt on the prospects of Capitol Hill negotiations intended to reach a compromise and avoid a second government shutdown.
"There's not going to be any wall money in the legislation," Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters. Her remarks came after Democrats had signaled at least some flexibility in the talks on border security funding that began only Wednesday.
Pelosi's stance came as Trump used Twitter to reiterate his demands on the wall and appeared to sour on the congressional talks aimed at striking a deal with Democrats. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that Pelosi is "just playing games" and repeated his threat to declare a national emergency and transfer billions of dollars in previously allocated funds to build the wall.
By Associated Press
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday hardened their positions about a border wall, casting doubt on the prospects of Capitol Hill negotiations intended to reach a compromise and avoid a second government shutdown.
"There's not going to be any wall money in the legislation," Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters. Her remarks came after Democrats had signaled at least some flexibility in the talks on border security funding that began only Wednesday.
Pelosi's stance came as Trump used Twitter to reiterate his demands on the wall and appeared to sour on the congressional talks aimed at striking a deal with Democrats. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that Pelosi is "just playing games" and repeated his threat to declare a national emergency and transfer billions of dollars in previously allocated funds to build the wall.
Liberal Democrats were absolutely blown the fuck out last night with Trump delivering a powerful speech with huge approval ratings
The media tries to display it differently and with all this Schills on this board right now you can tell they're in damage-control mode
What percentage of viewers approved of trump speech? 76%
So 3/4 of Americans thought it was a good speech
Currently the media and the Twitter Bots are in damage control mode
Democrats just liked it with only 30% approving of the speech
But people who are not mentally handicapped such as Republicans and independents had a 98% and 80% approval of this speech respectively
At several points the crowd got up and started cheering USA
Bernie Sanders can be seen absolutely fuming, with his face bright red when Trump denounced communism causing the crowd to cheer and chant USA
Oh and RBG never showed up. I wonder if she's okay?
>How does it reverse climate change?
>When a forest grows, the trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it to make their wood.
>If you burn that wood, the process doesn’t emit any extra CO2 into the atmosphere - because the trees removed it from the air in the first place. It’s called carbon neutral.
>If you go one step further by capturing the CO2 from wood burning, you’re actually reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere overall.
>In an ideal world you’d go one step further by creating useful products from the waste CO2.
The head of the National Police, Sergei Knyazev, discussed with representatives of the US Anti-Drug Trafficking Administration the possibility of opening an office of the American department in Ukraine. On Wednesday, February 13, the press service of the National Police reports.
"According to Sergey Knyazev, the opening in Kiev of the Office of the Anti-Drug Trafficking Administration of the US Department of Justice will strengthen the close cooperation of the Ukrainian and American law enforcement agencies, and then will allow to get the best result in joint counteraction against drug crime," the report said.
The parties also discussed the practical interaction of the American department with the National Police of Ukraine.
>After seven years of drought, elated cattle farmers in the Australian state of Queensland welcomed the rainstorms heading their way as a blessing.
But now, after one of the most devastating deluges in state history, a billion-dollar industry could be left in tatters.
Authorities estimate that nearly 500,000 cattle -- worth about $213 million (AU$300 million) -- have been killed by flooding in Queensland's north since the rain began falling
The Russians have clearly hacked the Senate Intel committee, as if finds no connection between Drumpf and Putin.
Circle back to claims of orange man racist, while supporting blackface by certain people??
WASHINGTON — After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.
But investigators disagree along party lines when it comes to the implications of a pattern of contacts they have documented between Trump associates and Russians.
"If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don't have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia," said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.
Democratic Senate investigators who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity did not dispute Burr's characterizations, but said they lacked context.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has been conducting the sole bipartisan inquiry, led by Burr and ranking Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia. The committee has sifted through some 300,000 documents, investigators tell NBC News, including classified intelligence shedding light on how the Russians communicated about their covert operation to interfere in the 2016 election.
Predictably, Burr's comments led Trump to tweet that he had been fully vindicated, which is not the case.
Democratic Senate investigators say it may take them six or seven months to write their final report once they are done with witness interviews.
The report, Democrats say, will not be good for Trump.
But they also made clear they haven't found proof of their worst fear: That the president formed a corrupt pact with Russia to offer sanctions relief or other favorable treatment in return for Russian help in the election.
More at: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-has-uncovered-no-direct-evidence-conspiracy-between-trump-campaign-n970536
>This week the Governor of New York blamed budget shortfalls on the state of Florida.
>He said New Yorkers are fleeing to the sunshine state to save big time on taxes.
>It all goes back to the tax reform passed by Congress. The changes increased the incentive to move to the sunshine state dramatically.
>On Sunny Isles Beach, developer Edgardo Defortuna has a lot to smile about. His development Jade Signature, an ultra-luxury beachfront condominium building, is nearly sold out.
Kamala Harris is for Slavery reparations for some people but not all people. Harris stated:
>Well look, I think that we have got to address that again, it’s back to the inequities. There, through–look, America has a history of 200 years of slavery. We had Jim Crow. We had legal segregation in America for a very long time. The Voting Rights Act was only strong for 50 years and then they wiped it out with this United States Supreme Court in the Shelby decision, to the point that 22 states immediately thereafter put in place laws that one court found were crafted with surgical precision to have black people not be able to vote.”
>So we’ve got to recognize, back to that earlier point, people aren’t starting out on the same base, in terms of their ability to succeed and so we have got to recognize that and give people a lift up. And, there are a number of ways to do it. Part of my initiative again around the ‘Lift Act’ is that same point–you lifting people up who are making less than a hundred thousand dollars a year. What I want to do about rent is the same thing. What we need to do around education and understanding disparities, what we need to do around HBCUs. But we have a history of racism in America.
Minneapolis (CNN) Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced her presidential bid at a snowy, freezing outdoor event on Sunday, vaulting the three-term senator from Minnesota into the field of Democrats angling to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.
Klobuchar, with snow piling up around her and blanketing the thousands of people before her, cast herself as the product of working-class roots who can win bipartisan support and help Democrats win back the Midwestern cities and towns that drifted toward President Donald Trump in 2016. Throughout her speech, she pledged to take on issues like money in politics, climate change and election reform, and leaned heavily into her Minnesota roots.
Klobuchar's team believes there is an opening in the Democratic primary for someone who is able to relate to voters in Iowa because of her local ties, but is also able to talk to Democrats eager to beat Trump in 2020 as well as win back Trump voters.
Klobuchar has a liberal voting record but is not considered as liberal as other candidates running for president or considering a 2020 run. Klobuchar does not support abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' Medicare-for-all bill -- instead pushing to lower the age when people are allowed to buy into the government health care program.
Some Democrats question whether her more moderate voting record -- she supported, for example, Trump's nominations of Wilbur Ross, Mike Pompeo and John Kelly and a host of other nominees -- is left enough to succeed in a Democratic primary. According to FiveThirtyEight's congressional vote tracker, Klobuchar voted with Trump's interests 31% of the time since he took office.
Excerpt edited for length. More at: https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/10/politics/klobuchar-announcement-2020-president/index.html
/news/'s State of the Union news thread.
>Trump attacks 'ridiculous partisan investigations' in his State of the Union address
President Donald Trump on Tuesday denounced "ridiculous partisan" investigations during his State of the Union address, adding that there cannot be peace as long as there is "war and investigation."
"An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only things that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations," the president said.
Trump did not specify which investigations he was referring to, but he has often attacked special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Russians and his 2016 campaign as a "witch hunt."
But even as Mueller's investigation shows signs of reaching its conclusion, Trump is facing an explosion of probes from newly empowered House Democrats and federal prosecutors examining other aspects of Trump's business and political activities.
Trump said if Americans are going to "defeat our adversaries abroad," the U.S. "must be united at home."
"If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation," he said. "It just doesn't work that way."
Less than one month until literal rivers of salt will flow
Sen. Chuck Grassley says he expects the Mueller report to be released 'within a month'
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday that he expects special counsel Robert Mueller's final report to be released "within a month."
Mueller and his team of prosecutors have been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign collaborated with Moscow to tilt the race in Trump's favor since May of 2017.
In a January 28 press conference, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker became the first senior Justice Department official to offer a clue as to when the investigation would conclude.
"Right now the investigation is, I think, close to being completed," Whitaker told reporters. "And, I hope that we can get the report from director Mueller as soon as possible."
Donald Trump’s favourite TV show, Fox & Friends, has a reputation for giving airtime to conspiracy theories that benefit the White House agenda. But host Pete Hegseth may now have managed to upset the famously germaphobic president – by revealing that he has not washed his hands in a decade.
The admission came as Hegseth discussed eating day-old pizza that had not been refrigerated. He did not see any issue with eating the pizza, he said, then added that he didn’t think he had washed his hands in 10 years.
“Really,” he said. “I don’t really wash my hands ever.”
Met with laughter, he explained: “I inoculate myself. Germs are not a real thing. I can’t see them, therefore they’re not real.”
On Twitter on Monday, Hegseth gave mixed messages. He claimed he had been joking and paraphrased the president in blaming the media for being so “self-righteous and angry”. He also said he supported drinking from hosepipes and riding bikes without a helmet.
U.S. states increasingly require identification to vote – an ostensive attempt to deter fraud that prompts complaints of selective disenfranchisement. Using a difference-in-differences design on a 1.3-billion-observations panel, we find the laws have no negative effect on registration or turnout, overall or for any group defined by race, gender, age, or party affiliation. These results hold through a large number of specifications and cannot be attributed to mobilization against the laws, measured by campaign contributions and self-reported political engagement. ID requirements have no effect on fraud either – actual or perceived. Overall, our results suggest that efforts to reform voter ID laws may not have much impact on elections.
Shell last year rejected changes to its business demanded by Friends of the Earth. On Tuesday, it said that legal action would not produce the change wanted by activists.
"Tying up individual companies in a lengthy court process cannot replace policies that will encourage lower-carbon choices by all business and consumers," the company said in a statement.
Major oil producers including Shell have come under increasing pressure from consumers and shareholders over their role in climate change.
Shell agreed in December to establish short-term carbon emissions targets starting in 2020 following pressure from investors. It will also link executive pay to hitting the targets.
Rival energy producer BP (BP) pledged in February to align its business more closely with global climate goals and link the bonuses of 36,000 employees to greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Saudi Arabia and its coalition partner in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) transferred US-made weapons to al-Qaeda-linked groups and a Salafi militia whose commander who once "served with" the Yemeni branch of ISIL, a CNN investigation has found.
Corroborating an earlier report by Al Jazeera, the CNN investigation said that the weapons had also made their way into the hands of Houthi rebels who are battling against the coalition for control of the country.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE entered Yemen's war in 2015 leading a military coalition to try and restore the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
The two Gulf countries wanted to restore the Hadi government after a civil war broke out between Hadi's supporters and those loyal to the Houthis.
But according to CNN, the coalition was using US-manufactured weapons "as a form of currency to buy the loyalties of militias or tribes, bolster chosen armed actors, and influence the complex political landscape," local commanders and analysts said.
According to the Pentagon, the Gulf monarchies were breaking the terms of their arms deal with Washington.
A US defence official told CNN that there was an ongoing investigation into the issue.
'The coalition is still supporting me'
Citing the situation in the flashpoint city of Taiz, CNN said that al-Qaeda had forged "advantageous alliances with the pro-Saudi militias they fought alongside".
It said the Abu al-Abbas Brigade possessed US-made Oshkosh armoured vehicles that were paraded through the city in a 2015 show of force.
Abu al-Abbas, the militia's founder, was sanctioned by the US in 2017 for allegedly financing al-Qaeda and the Yemeni chapter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.
Neuroengineers from Columbia University reportedly developed a way to use artificial intelligence and speech synthesizers to translate one’s thoughts into words.
The team’s paper, published Tuesday in Scientific Reports, outlines how they created a system that can read the brain activity of a listening patient, then reiterate what that patient heard with a clarity never before seen from such technology.
The breakthrough opens the path for speech neuroprosthetics, or implants, to have direct communications with the brain. Ideally, the technology will someday allow those who have lost their ability to speak to regain a voice. This can help patients who have suffered a stroke or are living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) communicate more easily with loved ones.
“If the wearer thinks ‘I need a glass of water,’ our system could take the brain signals generated by that thought, and turn them into synthesized, verbal speech,” Dr. Nima Mesgarani, the paper’s senior author and a principal investigator at Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, explained in a statement.
“This would be a game changer,” he continued. “It would give anyone who has lost their ability to speak, whether through injury or disease, the renewed chance to connect to the world around them.”
Right now, the technology can only voice what one’s listened to, not what they wish to say. But further development can improve the system for this purpose.
(haha.. klick on it and get into comminist list of FBI!)
January 31, 2019
Central Banks Are on the Biggest Gold-Buying Spree in a Half Century
Central banks bought more bullion last year than anytime since 1971, when the U.S. ended the gold standard.
Governments added 651.5 tons of gold to their coffers in 2018, a 74 percent increase from the previous year, according to a report from the World Gold Council.
Russia, which is "de-dollarizing" its reserves, was the biggest buyer, followed by Turkey and Kazakhstan. Hungary also made a large purchase, citing gold’s lack of counterparty risk and role as a hedge against changes in the international finance system, the WGC said.
“Central banks chose to significantly increase their gold reserves, reinforcing the importance of gold as a reserve asset,” the WGC said.
Central banks are expected to acquire an additional 600 tons this year, according to the consulting firm Metals Focus Ltd. The buys, which will help the banks diversify their foreign-exchange assets in a time of extraordinary political volatility, signal a growing confidence in the metal’s value moving forward.
The banks "were not net buyers even a decade ago," said Juan Carlos Artigas, director of investment research at the WGC, in a telephone interview. "As their foreign reserves expand, they are increasingly diversifying away from pure dollar exposure."
Slowing global growth, a weaker U.S. dollar and a drive by central banks to expand the amount of gold they hold could be a winning trifecta for investors seeking a recovery in the metal’s price after its first annual loss in three years.
Gold prices ended 2018 little changed, but rallied toward the end of the year amid concerns about Brexit, a falling stock market and expectations for a less aggressive U.S. monetary policy. The trend has continued this month, with bullion climbing to the highest since May.
>The right-wing Alternative for Germany party has fallen under the spell of a hardcore “racial-nationalist” faction that believes in the innate superiority of the German people, according to a leaked intelligence report.
>The AfD’s leadership has been influenced by the “aggressive” ideology of a far-right cadre known as the Wing, which aims to drive Muslims out of Germany “on a scale of millions”, it claimed. The spy agency also accuses the party’s national figureheads of flirting with white supremacist movements and lionising the “biological” purity of the Germanic race.
Chilling stuff to read.
Takes 3 months to find a drug lord guilty.....
Russia and China are challenging the US in space. This is stated in the report of the Pentagon’s Intelligence Directorate.
The ministry said that a number of foreign governments "are developing the potential that threatens the ability of other countries to use space."
"China and Russia in particular are taking steps to challenge the United States," the report says.
The document also states that these two countries have developed space-capable space units, including space reconnaissance.
In addition, the Pentagon said the Russian Federation and China "are developing opportunities for jamming and cyberspace operations, directed energy weapons, defense capabilities in orbit and ground-based anti-satellite missiles."
Also among the countries that are challenging in space are Iran and North Korea.
>Big Narstie says he could have ended up in prison if he hadn't found God
>Rapper Big Narstie has said he could have ended up in jail if he hadn't found God.
>The 33-year-old, from Brixton, South London, said he did not think he would become a famous rapper and could have been "another statistic".
>Discussing how he found his faith, he told Radio Times magazine: "I would say it was God blessing my life, and giving me the opportunity to do everything I'm doing.
>"At 18, I could have not been here.
>"I could have been another statistic.
>"All the odds were in favour of my just going to prison at that age.
>"I had no visions of being a superstar."
>Narstie, who is now an established grime star, said there was a time when he struggled to afford bread and thought about giving up music many occasions.
>He said: "When it just wasn't working, my mum pushed me and drove me,.
>"There were times when I couldn't even buy a loaf of bread."
>The star is also known for The Big Narstie Show, which he said was a little different to what he was used to when he got started.
>He added: "My first problem about doing The Big Narstie Show was just adjusting to TV rules.
>"At first, it started to piss me off, but after I got the adjustments and the rules, I started to enjoy it.
>"I'm fortunate, though. Channel 4 know I'm messed up. But they've got a soft spot for me."
>This week's Radio Times is out on Tuesday.
But if you've sent much time on /pol/ I think you already know this.
Your first amendment rights are being taken away because of bribery by a foreign power.
>LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles officials agreed Thursday to drop all criminal charges against one of the city’s most visible Black Lives Matter organizers as part of a negotiated arrangement, after hundreds of activists filed petitions, filled courtrooms and led rallies in recent weeks accusing prosecutors and police of using the charges to silence a critical voice.
>Melina Abdullah, a California State University, Los Angeles professor who often speaks out against Los Angeles Police Department policies, was facing charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, as well as multiple counts of disturbing a public meeting and unlawful assembly in connection with incidents that took place during the often-contentious gatherings of the city’s civilian Police Commission in 2017 and 2018.
Watch the video it is something else
Celeste Barber fought back when Santa Barbara Community College (SBCC) banned the Pledge of Allegiance from its public meetings by reciting it at a meeting last week where she was mocked to the point of tears.
SBCC Board of Trustees President Robert Miller recently removed the pledge from public meeting agendas and when Barber wrote an email objecting, Miller responded with a scathing rebuke of the American tradition of honoring flag and country because it “has a history steeped in expressions of nativism and white nationalism” and referred to another who described it as expressing “bigotry.”
FamilyTreeDNA, an early pioneer of the rapidly growing market for consumer genetic testing, confirmed late Thursday that it has granted the Federal Bureau of Investigation access to its vast trove of nearly 2 million genetic profiles.
“The deal between FamilyTreeDNA and the FBI is deeply flawed,” said John Verdi, vice president of policy at the Future of Privacy Forum, which maintains the list. “It’s out of line with industry best practices, it’s out of line with what leaders in the space do and it’s out of line with consumer expectations.”
Some idiots in the field have even begun arguing that a universal, government-controlled database may be better for privacy than allowing law enforcement to gain access to consumer information.
The average tax refund from the IRS dropped 8.4 percent in the first week of the 2019 filing season compared to the same period last year, according to agency statistics.
The dip, to $1,865 from $2,035, is an early barometer of the season, which is being watched more closely than usual because it reflects the first full year under the 2017 tax overhaul and comes on the heels of a protracted government shutdown that hit the IRS just as it was gearing up for the annual exercise.
The number of individual tax returns received and processed by the IRS also fell sharply year over year, by 12.4 percent and 25.8 percent, respectively. The data for this year cover Jan. 28 to Feb. 1, matched against Jan. 29 to Feb. 2, 2018.
The data reflect only one week of filing in a process that will last until April 15 for most taxpayers, and refund predictions by tax experts have been all over the map. Morgan Stanley has estimated they will rise by 26 percent, but others are less optimistic.
“There are going to be a lot of unhappy people over the next month,” said Edward Karl, vice president of taxation for the American Institute of CPAs. “Taxpayers want a large refund."
Every afternoon at 3, Marie Covello waits for the van that brings her severely retarded 31-year-old son home from his day program. She takes John's hand to help him up the stairs of their Verona, N.J., house, pats his red hair into place, gives him a glass of water, reminds him to go to the bathroom and settles him in front of the television.
And in the back of her mind, as in those of thousands of other aging parents of retarded children, Mrs. Covello, who is 73, wonders how long she and her 75-year-old husband, Vince, will be able to take care of Johnny -- and what will happen to him when they cannot.
"Sometimes when I'm bathing Johnny and he gets ornery I think, 'God, give me the strength,' because it's hard now that I'm older, and my patience sometimes runs out," said Mrs. Covello. "I don't want to leave the problem for my other children, so we began trying to find a group home for Johnny about six years ago, but we're still on the waiting list. I worry about getting Johnny settled somewhere before something happens to me." Their Own Old Age
Many parents of retarded children never expected to face that worry. But unlike most retarded people born only a generation earlier, Johnny Covello and others of his age will probably outlive their parents. In many cases, because of improved living conditions and medical advance, they will reach their own old age.
As a result, their parents are now facing wrenching decisions about whether to place their offspring in group homes, ask other sons or daughters to take responsibility for the retarded siblings -- or simply hold on and hope that when an emergency arises, the retarded offspring will not be shunted into a large state institution for want of a better opening.
Continue reading the main story
Experts in the field say there are now at least 200,000 retarded people over 60 in the United States.
Media outlets bent over backwards Tuesday night to fact check President Trump's State of the Union address -- but were accused of reaching with a string of rapid-response tweets and other analysis that came off as nitpicking.
Politico, for instance, was slammed on social media for declaring that Trump’s claim that “one in three women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north” to America was only partly true -- because it's actually 31 percent.
Meanwhile, NPR touted a fact check that critiqued Trump for praising the record number of women in Congress simply because he didn’t mention that most of them are Democrats.
Free Beacon managing editor David Rutz slammed “super-petty” NPR fact check, while social media strategist Caleb Hull pointed out that Trump “never claimed his party was responsible” for the increase in women in Congress.
New laws and rhetoric that defines parameters for acceptable forms of Islam in Russia run the risk of turning into draconian laws that can potentially be used to persecute Russian Muslims.
“We, the below-named, promise and vow before almighty God and the great Prophet Muhammad on four of his most just books, the Gospels, the Torah, Psalms of David, and the Qur’an, that we . . . must serve as loyal subjects of his imperial majesty . . . In concluding this our oath, we kiss the Qur’an of our Prophet Muhammad. Amen.”
An oath sworn by Muslims of the Russian empire, 1809
Russia has ruled Muslim populations for over five hundred years, and since the early nineteenth century, Muslims presented a unique challenge for Imperial Russia.
Catherine the Great adopted a policy of co-opting Muslim clergy and utilising them to be able to control and assimilate the Muslim population by inaugurating a policy of religious tolerance that made Islam an essential pillar of Orthodox Russia. For generations, the Tsars supported a particular type of Muslim figure in exchange for ensuring that forms of Islam seen by the state as potentially destabilising would be controlled.
This model informed policies within modern Russia through the institutionalising of Islam as a solid pillar of governance to mobilise religion for its benefit. Russia occupies a unique position in the Muslim world and has a very complex relationship with Islam due to the nine Muslim republics within it - with a total population of 25 million Muslims.
The Kremlin is aware of the historical allegiances of the Russian Muslim Tatars, and the Crimean Khanate's connections with the Ottoman and Safavid empires. Russia has had 200 years of sporadic warfare with the Muslims of the North Caucasus and the suppression of the Chechen quest for independence between 1994 and 2000.
The 67-year-old has been given eight concurrent life sentences, and will not be eligible for parole for 25 years.
McArthur stood impassively in a red plaid shirt and grey jumper while the sentence was handed down on Friday.
He had pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder for the brutal killings of eight men - some of them close friends.
As each count carried a mandatory life sentence without parole for 25 years, the only decision before Justice John McMahon has been whether to sentence him concurrently or consecutively.
McArthur will not be eligible for parole before he is 91.
Most of his victims had ties to Toronto's Gay Village neighbourhood, as did McArthur himself.
They were Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, Skandaraj Navaratnam and Soroush Mahmudi.
Justice McMahon called the crimes "pure evil".
He especially condemned McArthur's exploitation of his victims' vulnerabilities.
Two of the men were periodically homeless and struggled with addiction; one was a refugee who was about to be deported; several were married men, who had not revealed their sexuality to their families.
But if McArthur believed they would go unmissed, he miscalculated.
"Dean was a loving and caring man," his uncle wrote the court. "He was not alone in this world."
A photo from Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook shows two men, one in blackface and one in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood, on the same page as the governor.
The photo, which The Virginian-Pilot obtained a copy of Friday from the Eastern Virginia Medical School library, comes from the 1984 yearbook, the year Northam graduated.
On the half-page set aside for Northam, there is a headshot of him in a jacket and tie, a photo of him in a cowboy hat and boots and a third of him sitting casually on the ground, leaning against a convertible.
The fourth photo on the half-page has two people, one wearing white Ku Klux Klan robes and a hood, the other with his face painted black. The person with the black face is also wearing a white hat, black jacket, white shirt with a bow tie and plaid pants. Both are holding canned drinks.
It’s unclear who the people in costume are.
The governor’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday afternoon.
Under the photo of the men in blackface and the Klan hood are listed Northam’s alma mater, Virginia Military Institute, and his interest: “Pediatrics.” His quote is listed as “There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I think I’ll have another beer.”
The photo came to light after a week in which the Democratic governor came under fire for his comments about a bill introduced by a first-term Democratic lawmaker that would have loosened restriction abortions in Virginia.
Conservative news outlet Big League Politics first posted the photo at around 2:15 p.m. Friday with the headline “YEARBOOK: Ralph Northam In Blackface & KKK Photo”.
About an hour later, the Virginia GOP caucus Twitter page tweeted, “@governorva needs to explain this immediately.”
WHO THE FUCK DO I CONTACT ABOUT JOINING SPACE FORCE?!
Since the introduction of Western sanctions, Venezuela has lost up to 350 billion dollars. This is stated in the report of the Strategic Latin American Center for Geopolitics (CELAG), published on the organization's website. According to experts, it was Western economic restrictions that were the main cause of the economic crisis in the country. Analysts followed the period from 2013 (the year when
President Nicolas Maduro came to power) until 2017. In this case, the first sanctions against Venezuela, the United States introduced in 2014. EU sanctions against Caracas began to operate in 2017.
At the same time, the report does not specify why the experts took such a time period as a basis.
The report's authors suggested that the alleged humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and the migration of hundreds of thousands of citizens of the country resulted from the "economic boycott of the United States and its allies," which excluded the country from international financial markets.
Analysts believe that due to the financial isolation of Venezuela, the economy and society of the republic receive less than $ 22.5 billion annually.
According to them, since Maduro came to power in 2013 to 2017 due to sanctions, the total losses of the country ranged from 260 to 350 billion dollars.
The head of the Bureau for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Inhibierg Solrun Gisladottir said that the organization was disappointed with Ukraine’s decision to ban Russian representatives from accrediting as observers at presidential elections. On Thursday, February 7, she wrote about this in a message to the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Pavel Klimkin.
"The decision to deny the possibility of accrediting to citizens of one state has no precedent and is contrary to the commitments made by the OSCE participating States," wrote the Herdadtir.
She stressed that the OSCE observers sent to observe the elections, are not specific states, but the entire OSCE, and follow the election observation rules agreed by the organization.
Earlier today, the Verkhovna Rada voted not to allow Russians to observe the elections in Ukraine. Russia stated that it would insist on observing its rights to exercise election observation.
as being told. Over 70% of Ukraines Population are russian origin and ethnically Russians.
A huge tax break was supposed to create a manufacturing paradise, but interviews with 49 people familiar with the project depict a chaotic operation unlikely to ever employ 13,000 workers.
“This is the Eighth Wonder of the World.”
So declared President Donald Trump onstage last June at a press event at Foxconn’s new factory in Mount Pleasant, Wis. He was there to herald the potential of the Taiwanese manufacturing giant’s expansion into cheesehead country. He’d joined Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou and then-Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to celebrate a partnership he’d helped broker—“one of the great deals ever,” Trump said. In exchange for more than $4.5 billion in government incentives, Foxconn had agreed to build a high-tech manufacturing hub on 3,000 acres of farmland south of Milwaukee and create as many as 13,000 good-paying jobs for “amazing Wisconsin workers” as early as 2022.
Tencent invested $150 million or 5% into Reddit. Censorship might come.
Prosecutors possess an enormous trove of data and documents obtained during the criminal investigation of Roger Stone, according to a court document filed in the case Thursday.
The government has “multiple hard drives containing several terabytes of information” relevant to the case, which includes “bank and financial records and the contents of numerous physical devices.”
The FBI conducted simultaneous predawn raids of Stone’s Florida home, office, and Manhattan apartment on Jan. 25, arresting the longtime GOP operative and seizing “physical devices.”
The filing – made by prosecutors to designate the case “complex” to delay the trial date and provide more time for the discovery process – also states that the discovery materials include “search warrant applications and results” like “Apple iCloud accounts and email accounts.”
“The communications contained in the iCloud accounts, email accounts, and physical devices span several years,” prosecutors working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller write.
The FBI is currently reviewing the contents of the recently seized devices for “potentially privileged communications.”
The predawn raid and arrest of the GOP operative came after prosecutors argued that the move was necessary because Stone posed a high risk of destroying evidence.
Stone faces charges of obstruction, lying to Congress, and witness tampering in the probe. He entered a plea of not guilty in a Tuesday arraignment in Washington, D.C.
Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort faced a FBI raid on his northern Virginia condo in July 2017 in which they seized reams of evidence, but was allowed to come to his arraignment on his own volition.
Evidence seized in that raid led to additional charges against Manafort, for which he was tried and convicted in August 2018.
President Trump on Sunday blasted a pair of Fox News reporters over their coverage of the border wall negotiations, claiming that they have "less understanding" than journalists at "fake news CNN & NBC."
"Never thought I’d say this but I think [John Roberts] and [Gillian Turner] have even less understanding of the Wall negotiations than the folks at FAKE NEWS CNN & NBC!" Trump tweeted, referring to two of the news network's top correspondents.
"Look to final results! Don’t know how my poll numbers are so good, especially up 19% with Hispanics?" Trump continued, referring to a fake, debunked poll published earlier this month that found a growing number of Latino adults approved of Trump's job performance.
It is unclear what specific coverage Trump was referring to. Roberts filled in for Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, one of the few Fox News employees with a brain, on "Fox News Sunday." Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
The comments from Trump come only days after he signed a continuing resolution to temporarily reopen the government following a 35-day shutdown. The funding lapse was triggered after Congress failed to reach an agreement on a new spending bill.
Trump has repeatedly demanded that a long-term bill include funds for a border wall, which Democrats oppose. The president expressed doubts to The Wall Street Journal on Sunday that lawmakers could reach an agreement on the issue.
“I personally think it’s less than 50-50, but you have a lot of very good people on that board," Trump told The Journal, stupidly adding that another shutdown is "certainly an option" because he's a fucking moron.
>Top Democrats representing states across the country called on Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) to resign after a secondwoman accused the elected official of sexual assault.
>Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who recently announced her presidential candidacy for the 2020 election, called the accusations made by California professor Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson of Maryland “corroborated, painful stories of sexual assault and rape.”
>“Fairfax should resign his office,” Harris tweeted Friday night.
Ukraine and Poland agreed to strengthen cooperation in the matter of countering the Nord Stream II project. The relevant agreement was reached during a meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Presidents of the two countries in Warsaw on Friday, February 8, the press service of the head of state reports.
During the meeting, it was decided to strengthen cooperation on security issues, including energy security, as well as countering the Nord Stream II project.
"In the context of non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council, further efforts were discussed with a view to consolidating the international community to provide practical support in countering Russian aggression and releasing Ukrainian prisoners illegally held by Russia, including sailors captured near the Kerch Strait in November 2018 "- said in a statement
The parties stressed the importance of enhancing cross-border, economic and investment cooperation between Ukraine and Poland.
The announcement of the proposed release of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, the mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings and a number of other terrorist attacks, on humanitarian grounds sparked severe criticism in Indonesia and abroad.
The unconditional pardon announced by the Indonesian President Joko Widodo was made conditional after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morison declared that Indonesia must “show respect” for Australian feelings and sentiments.
More than 200 people were killed in the Bali bombing, including 88 Australian citizens. Since then Australia has been keeping watch on the developments in trials of the people involved.
The conditions imposed on Ba’asyir include abiding by Pancasila (the five principles), which is Indonesia’s ideological foundation, and includes the promotion of religious and political pluralism. Ba’asyir is required to swear loyalty to Indonesia’s secular values and abjure terrorism to qualify for parole.
The spiritual leader of the Islamist group Jemaah Islamiyah, Ba’asyir was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for his involvement in terror attacks and his association with militant training camps in Aceh province.
The Aceh camp was raided in February 2010, resulting in more than 120 arrests. He still commands great respect and influence among followers.
The announcement of Ba’asyir’s release appears to reflect a lack of coordination within President Widodo’s office, and a failure to reconcile domestic and international perspectives. Domestically, the move is perceived as being politically motivated.
As the moderate President Widodo prepares to make a bid for another term in the Presidential election of April 2019, his opposition has accused him of being un-Islamic and criticised him for his indecisiveness.
The USA has deployed 13 UH-60 and HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in Latvia as part of the Atlantic Resolve operation (Atlantic Resolve - Ed.) And with a view to strengthening the region’s security. About it informs the Ministry of Defense of Latvia on Friday, February 8.
It is noted that the helicopters are located at the airbase of the national armed forces of Latvia in Lielvarde. Also, as part of the rotation, about 150 US servicemen arrived in the country for nine months, serving in the 3rd battalion of the 1st combat aviation brigade.
Americans will operate helicopters, conduct joint training with the Latvian military and NATO deployed troops.
New science suggests that it was the native American genocide by the Europeans that caused the little ice age
The “Little Ice Age” of the 16th and 17th centuries was triggered by the genocide of indigenous people in the Americas by European settlers, new research suggests.
Scientists have long wondered what caused the drop in temperatures so severe that it caused the River Thames to freeze over.
New analysis by University College London (UCL) argues that so many people were slaughtered or died of disease that the amount of agricultural land dramatically reduced, which in turn sucked carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.
Known as the “Great Dying,” the upheavals following the first contact with Europeans in 1492 is thought to have cut the population of 60 million living across the Americas down to five or six million within just 100 years. Published in Quaternary Science Reviews, the study found that much of the land previously cultivated by indigenous civilizations would have fallen into disuse, becoming swallowed up by forest and grassland.
It estimates that an area of 56 million hectares, roughly the size of modern-day France, would have been “rewilded” in this way.
The scale of the change is believed to have drawn an amount of CO2 from the atmosphere equivalent to two years of fossil fuel emissions at the present rate.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order next week that would ban Chinese telecommunication equipment from U.S. wireless networks, Politico reported late Thursday, citing three sources.
Those sources said the Trump administration plans to release the directive before a major industry conference, MWC Barcelona, which starts on Feb. 25, to signal the importance of cybersecurity in future high-end technology contracts.
As infrastructure for the next generation of ultra-high speed internet, known as 5G, is being developed, U.S. officials want "to move the needle" on security, a source close to the administration told Politico.
Senate liberals are proposing legislation that would prevent companies from buying back their own shares unless they first pay workers at least $15 an hour and offer paid time off and health benefits.
Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of New York and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont outlined their plan in a New York Times op-ed published Sunday. The proposal would slap "preconditions" on a company's ability to buy its own shares.
"Our legislation would set minimum requirements for corporate investment in workers and the long-term strength of the company as a precondition for a corporation entering into a share buyback plan. The goal is to curtail the overreliance on buybacks while also incentivizing the productive investment of corporate capital," they wrote.
Last year, more than $1 trillion in buybacks were announced by large companies after a corporate tax cut pushed through Washington in late 2017 left companies with a lot of extra cash to spend. But instead of significantly raising worker pay or investing in equipment, companies mostly used the cash to buy their stock. And some large companies are buying back billions of dollars of shares while announcing layoffs and factory and store closings, the senators wrote.
For example, Walmart announced a $20 billion share buyback while it was laying off hundreds and closing Sams Club stores. The column cites a Roosevelt Institute analysis that the retailer could have used the money instead to raise hourly wages to $15.
Harley-Davidson is buying back 15 million shares while closing a plant in Kansas City, Mo., Wells Fargo spent billions of dollars on buybacks while "openly plotting" to cut 10 percent of its workforce, the senators said.
> The information appears to have come from the materials shared with attorneys for Concord Management, one of several Russian entities accused of election meddling.
> Russians are using materials obtained from special counsel Robert Mueller's office in a disinformation campaign apparently aimed at discrediting the investigation into Moscow's election interference, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.
> One or more people associated with the special counsel's case against Russian hackers made statements last October claiming to have stolen discovery materials that were originally provided by Mueller to Concord Management, Mueller's team said in court documents filed on Wednesday in the Russian troll farm case.
Now we know why there are so many Russian shills working overtime!
>With little public fanfare, U.S. Cyber Command, the military’s new center for combating electronic attacks against the United States, has launched operations to deter and disrupt Russians who have been interfering with the U.S. political system.
>Like other U.S. cyberwar activities, the disruption effort against Russia is cloaked in secrecy. But it appears to involve, in part, a warning to suspected Russian hackers that echoes a menacing phrase that’s a staple of many fictional crime and spy thrillers: “We know where you live.”
>Beginning last fall, before the midterm elections, Cyber Command began directly contacting Russians who were linked to operations, such the Internet Research Agency, that allegedly helped coordinate Moscow’s campaign to subvert the 2016 presidential election. The apparent aim was to put people on notice that their covers had been blown, and that their ability to work and travel freely might be affected.
>U.S. officials believe the disruption effort has frazzled some of the Russian targets and may have deterred some interference during the midterms. The operation was first reported by the New York Times on Oct. 23, and additional details have emerged from public and private sources.
>One unlikely public confirmation of the warning campaign came from Yevgeny Zubarev, the director of the St. Petersburg-based Federal News Agency . Justice Department prosecutors have alleged that Zubarev’s information website, known by the acronym FAN, was part of the same covert-action network as the Internet Research Agency.
Instead of letting jag offs run the place lets make sure they're smart enough first.
Nasa scientists have landed for the first time on one of the world’s newest islands, and discovered the three-year-old land mass is now covered in a sticky, mysterious mud, as well as vegetation and bird life.
The volcanic island sprang up in the ocean surrounding Tonga three years ago, one of only three new islands to emerge in the last 150 years that have survived more than a few months.
Dan Slayback of Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center was desperate to visit the remote location, because scientists still have scant knowledge about how and why new islands form. A team from Nasa visited in October – after previously studying the island using only satellite imagery – and Slayback detailed their findings in a Nasa blog post.
A light-coloured, sticky, clay-like mud continues to “baffle” Slayback and his team, as to exactly what it is, what it is made of and where it is coming from.
“In the satellite images, you see this light-coloured material,” he said. “It’s mud, this light-coloured clay mud. It’s very sticky. So even though we’d seen it we didn’t really know what it was, and I’m still a little baffled of where it’s coming from. Because it’s not ash.”
Rock samples were collected for mineral analysis, and a high-precision GPS unit and aerial drone was deployed to estimate the island’s elevation and more closely survey the uninhabited new land.
“It really surprised me how valuable it was to be there in person for some of this,” Slayback said.
“It just really makes it obvious to you what is going on with the landscape,”
A high-resolution 3D map will now be made of the island, and Slayback and his team aim to return next year for further study.
Initial estimates suggest the island may survive up to 30 years, before succumbing to the pressures of the ocean.
AAG Whitaker has been called to Congress to answer questions. Hearing started at 9:30 Eastern time.
The coffin passed the Japanese embassy in Seoul, accompanied on its final journey by mourners waving banners and holding yellow butterflies.
Cries of "Japan must apologise" rang out above the crowd, while others quietly sobbed.
It was not your usual funeral procession. But then, Kim Bok-dong was not your usual woman, and this was her final act of resistance against a country which had stolen so much from her.
Kim was one of thousands of so-called "comfort women" rounded up by the Japanese army and forced to work as sex slaves for years on end.
She died on Monday, at the age of 92, without ever receiving the apology she wanted; still railing against the injustice; still angry with Japan for taking the life she could and should have had.
"I was born a woman," she said, "but I never lived as a woman."
'I had to comply'
It took Kim Bok-dong almost 40 years to find the strength to tell her story.
She was just 14 when the Japanese soldiers arrived at her family's home in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang. They said she was needed to work in a factory. If she did not come, they warned her mother, the family would suffer.
But Kim was not taken to work in a factory. Instead, the teenager found herself transported to one of hundreds of "comfort stations" set up by the Japanese Imperial Army across the territory it had seized.
These "stations" were, in reality, brothels where some estimate as many as 200,000 women were forced to work as sex slaves.
Kim, who should still have been in school, was among them.
Her young age did not go unnoticed after she arrived in China.
"When they found out I was only 14, they talked among themselves saying 'Isn't she too young?'," she told YouTube channel Asian Boss during an interview in October 2018.
Apparently, it was not a problem. She was sent to start work.
"The first time, I got dragged into one of the rooms and beaten up a bit," she recalled. "So I had to comply."
Meanwhile, while America is trying to build some kind of wall we have it all figured out up in this piece.
Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andriy Paruby signed at a plenary meeting on Thursday the law adopted on the same day stating the country's course for membership in the European Union and NATO in the Constitution of Ukraine.
After that, the law will be sent for signature to the President of Ukraine.
The speaker said that attempts are being made to register the draft decree on repealing the decision of the Rada, by which the people's deputies finally approved the constitutional changes regarding the course of membership in the EU and NATO.
"We received an explanation from the lawyers of the apparatus and the regulation committee, which gave a clear position on this issue: changes to the Constitution are considered by a separate procedure, unlike other legislative acts, and they are not subject to the rule on rulings that can cancel their actions", - declared A. Paruby.
“In accordance with Part 11 of Article 49 of the regulations of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, I now have the right to urgently sign the amendments to the Constitution that we have adopted today,” the chairman of parliament added.
As reported, the Verkhovna Rada, with a vote of 334 votes on Thursday, approved in general the President’s Bill No. 9037, amending the Constitution of Ukraine on the state’s strategic course to acquire Ukraine’s full membership in the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
An Indiana school superintendent has been charged with fraud for using her insurance to obtain medical treatment for a student.
Casey Smitherman, who heads Elmwood Community Schools outside Indianapolis, has been charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor in an insurance fraud case stemming from an incident in which she took a sick student to an urgent care facility and used her son's name to obtain treatment.
"I am committed to this community and our students and I regret if this action has undermined your trust in me," Smitherman said in a statement released by her attorney.
Smitherman said she became worried about the 15-year-old student when he missed school on Jan. 9, according to court documents, the Indianapolis Star reported Thursday.
"After making sure he had eaten, I could tell he had some of the symptoms of strep throat," Smitherman said in the statement. "As a parent, I know how serious this illness can be if left untreated, and I took him to an emergency clinic."
She acknowledged taking the teen to St. Vincent Immediate Care and getting a prescription for an antibiotic in her son's name.
"I know this action was wrong," Smitherman said. "In the moment, my only concern was for this child’s health."
The bill was $233, according to court documents.
Smitherman told police she and her husband had previously helped the boy by buying him clothes, Christmas gifts and food, the court papers said. The student lives with an elderly family who doesn't have a car and has limited resources.
The superintendent said she didn't notify children's services authorities because she feared the boy would be placed in foster care, according to the documents.
>At least 60 people have been killed in an attack carried out by militant group Boko Haram this week, Amnesty International confirmed Friday.
>The attack on the northwest Nigerian town of Rann took place Monday and marked one of the most lethal in the group’s at least 10-year history, targeting those who had already been displaced by the ongoing conflict in what Amnesty indicated “may amount to possible war crimes.”
>“Those responsible must be brought to justice,” Osai Ojigho, the Nigeria director for the human rights body state.
>The attack came two weeks after Boko Haram, a jihadist group that at one point aligned with ISIS, seized control of Rann and ran out Nigerian soldiers stationed there.
>Ojigho said that witnesses told Amnesty investigators that soldiers abandoned their posts the day before the deadly attack, “demonstrating the authorities’ utter failure to protect civilians.”
>A security source told Reuters that Nigerian troops returned to Rann in mid-January, accompanied by Cameroonian troops from a Multi-National Joint Task Force, but the soldiers then left – citing a lack of troops, weapons, and equipment.
>Escalating violence perpetrated by Boko Haram in recent weeks forced 30,000 people out of Nigeria’s northeast and into Cameroonian last weekend alone, the UN Refugee agency stated this week.
This EMS worker’s job is at risk because of your stupid fucking antics. Anything you have to say for yourselves?
>Jill Abramson, former New York Times executive editor, finds herself embroiled in controversy over charges of inaccuracies and plagiarism in her new book Merchants of Truth, out this week.
>The book was skewered by Vice correspondent Michael Moynihan in a series of tweets Wednesday that showed passages where Abramson's language strongly echoed that of articles penned by others.
>In an interview Thursday with NPR's Michel Martin, Abramson admits she "fell short" in attributing her sources for some passages of the book. She also argues that much of the criticism now surrounding her has come from Vice, whose reporters have not taken kindly to her portrayal of the media organization in the book. Abramson also says had ample time to review the sections of the book about it before publication.
>In her book, Abramson tracks the rise of BuzzFeed and Vice, alongside the struggles of The New York Times and The Washington Post to stay afloat in the digital age. The subtitle of Abramson's book is "The Business of News and The Fight for Facts."
>write a book on Ethical Journalism™
>heavily plagiarize the entire thing
LOL MAINSTREAM MEDIA
Guys I am super nervous I have been trying to call David but it keeps going to voice mail. I need a coherent narative on why this is a nothing burger. And why it's drumpf's fault.
I mean just look at this Republican smear piece.
Suggesting a black man would rape a girl, and suggesting another black man would cover it up.
Utterly racist and ridiculous!
It is 2019 ffs
Bit of satire to lighten the apocalyptic political landscape
>Even as concerns about global warming grow, energy firms are planning to increase fossil-fuel production. None more than ExxonMobil
Today the Illinois Supreme Court ruled unanimously that when companies collect biometric data like fingerprints or face prints without informed opt-in consent, they can be sued. Users don't need to prove an injury like identity fraud or physical harm—just losing control of one’s biometric privacy is injury enough.
In Rosenbach v. Six Flags, a 14 year old brought a challenge against an amusement park for collecting his thumbprint without his informed consent, in violation of Illinois law. The law in question, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), prohibits companies from gathering, using, or sharing biometric information without informed opt-in consent. EFF, along with ACLU, CDT, the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, PIRG, and Lucy Parsons Labs, filed an amicus curiae brief urging the Illinois Supreme Court to adopt a robust interpretation of BIPA.
26 Jan 2019
Man interrogated by police for liking a ‘transphobic’ tweet
A man said he was questioned by police for over 30 minutes after he liked a tweet that appears to mock the transgender community.
Harry Miller, who believes ‘trans women are not women’, says the formal probe by Humberside Police was into his ‘thinking’ and his reasons for liking the limerick on Twitter.
The limerick referred to trans women as ‘stupid’ and made comments about vaginas and ‘synthetic’ hormones.
Mr Miller, who used to be a policeman, says an officer told him he was investigating reports of a hate crime.
‘Cop said he was in possession of 30 tweets by me,’ he recalled on Twitter.
‘I asked if any contained criminal material. He said “No.”
‘I asked if any came close to being criminal and he read me a limerick. Honestly. A limerick. A cop read me a limerick over the phone.’
After telling the PC he did not write the limerick, he reportedly said: ‘Ah. But you liked it and promoted it.’
He concluded: ‘It’s not a crime, but it will be recorded as a hate incident.’