“Mueller Report” – Google News: Stars come out to perform in play based on Mueller report – KXLY Spokane

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Stars come out to perform in play based on Mueller report  KXLY Spokane

A collection of stars will participate in the telling of a political drama filled with intrigue, foreign adversaries and dreams of power.

“Mueller Report” – Google News


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“2016 Presidential Election Investigation” – Google News: ‘No evidence’ of Russian interference in Brexit, Facebook exec says – Fox News

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‘No evidence’ of Russian interference in Brexit, Facebook exec says  Fox News

A top Facebook executive has said there’s no evidence that Russia influenced the Brexit referendum result, prompting a backlash from some British lawmakers …

“2016 Presidential Election Investigation” – Google News


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mikenov on Twitter: RUSSIA IS DROWNING IN CORRUPTION. TRUMP SHOULD OFFER TO HELP | OPINION – Google Search google.com/search?q=RUSSI…

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RUSSIA IS DROWNING IN CORRUPTION. TRUMP SHOULD OFFER TO HELP | OPINION – Google Search google.com/search?q=RUSSI…


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Russia is Drowning in Corruption. Trump Should Offer to Help

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When President Trump meets Vladimir Putin in Osaka next week for the G-20, he should remember that for all its international bluster, Russia is sliding into a black hole of crime, corruption, and illegality—and that more and more Russians are taking note. This was nowhere more evident than in the protests that erupted in Moscow earlier this month after local police planted cocaine and other drugs in the apartment of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov, who exposed high level corruption in the Moscow burial business and among the relatives of a Moscow deputy mayor.

Due to the protests, Golunov was acquitted and case closed, but the story does not end there. Corruption in law enforcement and in courts is choking Russia’s economic growth.

This is no exaggeration: Russia’s GDP growth is anemic. Its economy is saddled with Western sanctions. And Russia allocates less and less funding towards critical high-tech areas like space and artificial intelligence (AI)—the opposite of competitors like China and the United States. However, unlike a real black hole that swallows all matter, this one allows capital to escape—Russia’s freezing business climate is simply too harsh for investors.

In 2018, $68 billion fled Russia—twice as much as the year before. Since 1994, over $750 billion left Russia, Bloomberg estimates. Millions of educated young people emigrated to the UK, Silicon Valley, and Israel.

Furthermore, Russia’s higher-ups are implicated in the largest money laundering scheme in history, which was disclosed at the end of 2018. Run via Danske Bank out of Tallinn, Estonia, the operation is alleged to have laundered over $200 billion, much of it originating from within the Russian Federation. Latvian and Moldovan banks are alleged to have participated as well. Putin’s cousin Igor is allegedly connected to the scheme, at least according to OCCRP, a Washington, D.C.-based anti-corruption watchdog.

If the United States and Russia are to repair the frayed relationship, Trump can and should offer Putin technical assistance in restoring the rule of law, the absence of which invites corrupt state officials and oligarchs to destroy shareholders’ value, cause massive industrial companies to accrue crippling debt, abuse state-subsidized credit, and engage in corporate raiding, Russian style— known colloquially as reiderstvo.

Russian corporate raiding is a well-known phenomenon. Emerging in the 1990s, it mutated into a genuine dark art form in 2003-2005, when Igor Sechin, the current CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of the state-owned oil behemoth Rosneft, raided Russia’s independent Yukos oil company. Former Yukos shareholders were eventually awarded over $50 billion to compensate for their loss in the Yukos affair. They continue to seek justice as their case reaches a critical stage in The Hague, with a trial in September.

In 2014 Rosneft raided Bashneft, a successful oil company owned by AFK Sistema, the apolitical businessman Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s holding company, by involving Russian authorities. As a result, he lost Bashneft, paid $2.3 billion in compensation to Rosneft, and Sistema’s stock declined from $23 in 2014 to $2.80 last week.

Anders Åslund, a senior fellow and my colleague at the Atlantic Council, writes in his excellent new book “Russia’s Crony Capitalism“, that Gazprom, another national champion, is the top value destroyer of Putin’s realm. Gazprom sold natural gas below market price to the U.S.-indicted, allegedly kickbacks-paying Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash, for resale at a discount to Ukrainian oligarchs. It paid tens of billions of dollars in inflated prices to Kremlin cronies in massive pipeline construction projects. Gazprom’s value fell by staggering $419 billion from 2009 to 2016.

They might just as well have made these pipelines out of gold.

Back in the 1990s, the United States and the West offered Russia legal, regulatory, and corporate governance technical assistance—an effort that I was proud to be a part of. But, to paraphrase the Harvard historian Edward Keenan, Russia swallowed these reforms up and spat them out—just as it did with capitalism, social democracy, parliamentary government, and individual rights.

Today, reiderstvo is alive and well: A number of oligarchs made their names in reiderstvo wars. One of them the majority owner of worldwide fertilizer heavyweight Uralkali and sister company Uralchem is Dmitry Mazepin. A native of Minsk, Belarus, with alleged connections to its authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenkо, Mazepin served in Afghanistan as a military translator—often an intelligence affiliation give-away—and is now expanding his business in Africa.

A classic example of Russian corporate raiding practices is Mazepin’s currently ongoing siege on Tolgliatti Azot, a massive producer of nitrous fertilizer. In Kafkaesque court proceedings ongoing in Samara, a judge named Andrey Kirillov allowed anonymous witnesses, permitted the use of faked evidence, barred the defense from calling witnesses, and threw out the earlier-agreed court schedule, allegedly to suppress defense evidence and testimony. He also denied interpreters for non-Russian speaking witnesses.

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Moreover, it is now coming to light how deep new economic corruption runs in Russia. In violation of the double jeopardy principle, entrepreneurs across the country are being pressured with charges of criminal conspiracy under Article 210 of the criminal code. An article designed to combat organized criminal gangs, 210 is now applied to any perceived economic crime against companies and their leadership who have become targets of investigators, says Tatyana Mineeva, the Moscow City business ombudsman. And now this same tactic is being employed in the TogliattiAzot saga.

As a lawyer, I am always shocked and depressed when I observe Russian court room proceedings, something I have done on numerous occasions. If Mr. Trump had a sensibility about the rule of law, he would recognize it as Mr. Putin’s ultimate vulnerability. As long as corporate raiders continue to run unchecked, receiving credit and government support on the highest level, Russia will be a land from which money flees and companies die; a place where, as the ancient maps used to say, “there be dragons” – in the business sense.

Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and Director, Energy, Growth and Security Program at the International Tax and Investment Center.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.​​​​​


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A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 126th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

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President Donald J. Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday, June 20, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Source: White House)

President Donald J. Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday, June 20, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Source: White House)

Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is emblematic of his administration: An impulsive, frantically thrown together group of characters with virtually no oversight. After Trump was sworn in, I started writing the weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing his every move. This is week 126.

Volatility, indecisive foreign policy moves, immigrant fear mongering, false treason charges, suspicious transactions under investigation, and a sexual assault allegation – another week in Donald Trump’s America.

This week, President Trump officially launched his 2020 campaign, after having already filed for re-election on the day of his inauguration. In his Orlando rally, Trump decided to use the same old tired messaging he used in 2016. Attacks on Hillary Clinton, cries of persecution, and fear mongering about immigration. While this false rhetoric about the dangers of migrants were spewed at Trump’s rally, news of the poor conditions child migrants are enduring spread.

When it comes to Iran, the Trump Administration has propelled us to this point through their reckless actions. Iran was complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) when President Trump withdrew from the deal. Now, the region is on the brink of conflict. Luckily, President Trump couldn’t bring himself to retaliate to Iran’s downing of a US drone with force, backing down from a strike at the last minute. Instead, the Trump Administration opted for a cyber attack and additional sanctions. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail and National Security Adviser, and Iran hawk, John Bolton is left curling his mustache in anger that he didn’t get his way.

It wouldn’t be a week in the United States without a new potential corruption scandal involving a Trump family member. Jared Kushner’s Deutsche Bank transactions were reportedly flagged by an anti-money laundering expert in 2016. The transactions included money sent to Russians in 2016. We learned that those transactions are now under scrutiny as part of a broader money laundering investigation by the FBI.

The end of the week brought with it a bombshell. Advice columnist and writer E. Jean Carrol accused the President of the United States of rape.

Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week.

This comprehensive column sources great reporting from top news organizations, but it’s also built on brilliant analysis from my team at Rantt Media. We are independently-owned, completely ad-free, and take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for a monthly subscription. Below, you’ll see daily breakdowns that are derived from our exclusive Rantt Rundown newsletter. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for our newsletter or joining our community chatroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals:

Another False Treason Charge

Day 879: Monday, June 17

President Donald Trump (AP/ Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump (AP/ Evan Vucci)

The New York Times published an article revealing new US cyber operations against Russian power grids. It also revealed that national security officials reportedly had fears about telling Trump about the operations out of concern for how he would react.

Looks like their concerns were justified. President Trump accused one of the largest newspapers in the world of treason.

In other news…

Trump 2020 = Trump 2016

Day 880: Tuesday, June 18

President Donald Trump speaks at the North Side Gymnasium in Elkhart, Ind., Thursday, May 10, 2018, during a campaign rally. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Donald Trump speaks at the North Side Gymnasium in Elkhart, Ind., Thursday, May 10, 2018, during a campaign rally. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Four years ago this week, President Trump descended down the golden escalators in Trump Tower and announced his candidacy for president. And he never really stopped campaigning, even after being inaugurated. Rather than suggest productive solutions to real problems like income inequality, climate change, and student loan debt, Trump has opted to sow anger.

Since he announced in 2015, Trump has been constantly spreading disinformation, fear mongering, manufacturing crises to rally his base, scapegoating immigrants, and villainizing his critics. Rather than the aspirational politics of many of his predecessors, Trump’s core political message is grievance and fear. Today’s kickoff rally for his 2020 campaign was no different.

Vice President Mike Pence began the rally in Orlando, Florida by naming alleged promises President Trump has kept and then lied about Democrats advocating for infanticide. Pence then launched into a misleading tirade about how Democrats are trying to replace America’s way of life with socialism and are targeting “freedom.” How is trying to provide healthcare and education to Americans targeting freedom?

After spending the past few days tweeting about the incoming deportation of “millions” of immigrants (disputed by his administration), Trump’s rally struck a familiar tone. President Trump’s core message is that immigrants are flooding over the border and that Democrats are seeking to rob his supporters of their livelihood. Trump is also relitigating the past, falsely claiming he is a victim of an illegal witch hunt, and complaining more about Hillary Clinton than he is about the 2020 Democratic candidates.

During his rally, President Trump continued his authoritarian tendencies by attacking the media. Of the Democrats, Trump said: “Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice, and rage. They want to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it.” It appears Trump forgot one of his supporters mailed pipe bombs to CNN and his Democratic critics or he just doesn’t care.

Trump falsely claimed that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report found no collusion or obstruction when it actually outlined over 100 pages of collusion evidence and 10 key areas of obstruction. Trump repeated the false claims that his campaign was spied on. Trump accused Democrats of wanting to use the law to target their opponents while he has Attorney General William Barr investigating people he falsely accused of treason. Trump also tried to claim he has drained the swamp in spite of the countless corruption scandals plaguing his administration.

Perhaps the biggest representation of the con that is this presidency, President Trump called “Make America Great Again” the greatest slogan of all time and claimed it is his. It was originally Ronald Reagan’s…

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Kushner Transactions Under Investigation

Day 881: Wednesday, June 19

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listens at left as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listens at left as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Whenever Deutsche Bank is in the news, it usually spells trouble for either Jared Kushner or Donald Trump. Today continued that trend. The New York Times reported:

Federal authorities are investigating whether Deutsche Bank complied with laws meant to stop money laundering and other crimes, the latest government examination of potential misconduct at one of the world’s largest and most troubled banks, according to seven people familiar with the inquiry.

The investigation includes a review of Deutsche Bank’s handling of so-called suspicious activity reports that its employees prepared about possibly problematic transactions, including some linked to President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, according to people close to the bank and others familiar with the matter.

This reporting comes after earlier reporting from The Times which told the story of how whistleblower Tammy McFadden flagged suspicious transactions involving Kushner’s company in 2016. McFadden is an anti-money laundering expert, and at the time told Deutsche Bank about the transactions and that she found “money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals.” In 2017, her colleagues flagged suspicious transactions involving President Trump’s companies, but it’s unclear if Trump’s transactions are part of this new probe. The F.B.I. has contacted McFadden as part of their investigation.

As we know, Deutsche Bank is the German bank that was the only major financial institution willing to do business with businessman Donald Trump when he was deemed too risky an investment for US banks. According to reports, the Trump Organization currently owes Deutsche Bank $364 million (his companies have received over $2.5 billion in loans over two decades) and his son-in-law, and White House Adviser, Jared Kushner’s company owes the bank $285 million. In November 2018, Deutsche Bank was raided in a money laundering investigation and has a documented history of money laundering for Russians.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank related to loans President Trump’s company has received from the bank, according to multiple reports. This came after Michael Cohen claimed Trump inflated his assets in an effort to try and obtain a loan from Deutsche Bank for the purchase of the Buffalo Bills – a loan he didn’t receive. The New York Times reported in March that President Trump inflated his wealth to Deutsche Bank, citing bank officials.

When House Democrats subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank pertaining to Trump’s family, President Trump responded by suing Deutsche Bank to prevent them from complying with the subpoena. President Trump’s lawsuit failed in court. A federal judge in New York ruled that Deutsche Bank and Capital One can hand over Trump’s financial records to Congress.

Several questions come to mind. Why were Kushner’s companies paying Russians during the height of Russia’s attack on US democracy that the Trump Campaign benefitted from? Were these transactions money laundering related? Why did Deutsche Bank executives refuse to report these transactions to the government? Will President Trump lash out at FBI Director Christopher Wray or try and obstruct this investigation? It’s not clear exactly what these transactions were, but given Deutsche Bank’s history and Donald Trump’s alleged history of money laundering for Russian oligarchs, this is an important story to watch.

In other news…

Iran On The Brink: How We Got Here

Day 882: Thursday, June 20

President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser John Bolton (AP, Gage Skidmore)

President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser John Bolton (AP, Gage Skidmore)

We are living with the inevitable results of President Trump’s unjustified withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal. A US drone has been shot down by Iran. While officials claim it was shot down in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, Iran claims that it was in Iranian airspace. The Trump Administration has yet to announce its retaliatory measures, but President Trump has said it could’ve been unintentional, seemingly signaling he’s not too keen on conflict.

There are reports that President Trump disagrees with National Security Adviser John Bolton on exactly how the US should retaliate.

Top members of Congress huddled with President Trump today to talk next steps. Given the new hardline leadership in Iran, this is an important story to watch. As we wait to see whether the US will perform a limited strike or something significantly more measured, some context about Bolton’s hawkish worldview, and how it’s helped us get to this point, is important. As we’ve covered before here at Rantt, Bolton’s hawkish stance on Iran has been well documented. Bolton’s calls for regime change in Iran long predate his tenure in the White House. When he was appointed by President Trump in April 2018, pundits and Democratic lawmakers raised concerns about what could come.

In a nutshell, Bolton has helped to propel President Trump’s foreign policy towards a conflict with Iran. If the Trump administration wanted to reduce Iran’s nuclear capacity, they would’ve stayed in the Iran Nuclear deal, more officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Bolton wanted an excuse to levy more sanctions on Iran, apply economic pressure on the country, and cause regime change by sparking an uprising among the Iranian people. With that in mind, let’s break down all the developments that led us here.

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised he would tear up the JCPOA. Under the terms of the deal, Iran received relief from economic sanctions in exchange for reducing their nuclear material and uranium enrichment. This was President Obama’s signature diplomatic achievement and took cooperation with the UN Security Council to pull it off. It was signed in 2015. Trump’s criticized the deal and alleged violations on the part of Iran, even as his own administration’s officials, like then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis, said none existed.

President Trump withdrew from the deal in May of 2018 – one month after John Bolton took H.R. McMaster’s position as National Security Adviser. It’s more accurate to say the Trump administration violated the JCPOA, because Iran was complying with the deal and was overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – who validated Iran’s compliance 9 separate times. In the immediate aftermath, Iran did not choose to violate the terms of the JCPOA and worked with the European signatories (UK, France, and Germany) to continue to receive the deal’s benefits even without America’s participation.

In response, President Trump threatened to sanction America’s own allies if they did business with Iran – mainly by purchasing Iranian oil which is the bedrock of their economy. Those moves crippled Iran’s economy thoroughly, causing them to get frustrated, triggering what we’ve seen since.

In April of this year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US would designate the Iran Revolutionary Guard, an Iranian military branch, as a terrorist organization. In early May, Iran said that it would begin to withdraw from some components of the JCPOA, by enriching small amounts of uranium. On May 5th, the US sent an aircraft carrier to the region, warning of potential attacks from Iran. On May 9th, The New York Timereported that upon Bolton’s request, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan presented plans for the potential deployment of 120,000 to the Middle East if Iran executed an attack – a plan that wasn’t acted upon.

On May 15th, the US cited intelligence indicating that there was an impending threat from Iran and ordered an evacuation of the US embassy in Iraq. It’s important to note that US allies at the time said they saw no impending threat. Even Republican members of Congress like Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had expressed anger at how they were being left in the dark on the intelligence. On June 13, we had an attack on two oil tankers that Iran was allegedly behind. While many were understandably skeptical to trust the Trump administration’s intelligence on the attack, US allies have validated the intelligence. There was then the US’ subsequent announcement of 1,000 additional troops to the region. Now, we have this drone being shot down.

Here is a good thread on the drone.

The American people do not want a war with Iran. The prospect of a lengthy, deadly, and frivolous war might make conservative hawks like Bolton curl their mustaches but there is no other constituency for this. Given the fact he campaigned on avoiding frivolous wars, President Trump himself has reportedly grown frustrated with some of his more hawkish advisers and told Shanahan he does not want a war with Iran back in May. Trump is well aware that war with Iran would tank his support, and even chip away at his seemingly ironclad base. But if Trump was serious about avoiding conflict, he wouldn’t have hired National Security Adviser John Bolton in the first place.

In other news…

New Rape Allegation

Day 883: Friday, June 21

President Donald Trump during a joint conference in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Donald Trump during a joint conference in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Well-regarded advice columnist and writer E. Jean Carroll just published a profound article. In her piece that is presented on the cover of New York Magazine, Carroll chronicles the stories of several “hideous men” who have allegedly sexually assaulted her – including Donald Trump.

The New York Magazine’s Intelligencer succinctly summarizes the alleged assault on the then-23-year-old Carroll:

When Carroll meets Donald Trump in Bergdorf Goodman, the encounter starts as a friendly one. Trump recognizes her as “that advice lady”; Carroll recognizes him as “that real-estate tycoon.” Trump tells Carroll that he’s there to buy a gift for “a girl,” and though we don’t learn the identity of this mystery woman, Carroll places the ensuing incident in late 1995 or early 1996, during which time Trump was married to Marla Maples.

When Trump asks Carroll to advise him on what to buy, she agrees, and the two eventually make their way to the lingerie section. Trump suggests a lace bodysuit and encourages Carroll to try it on; she, deflecting, jokingly suggests that he try it on instead. After they reach the dressing rooms, events turn violent. In Carroll’s account, Trump shoves her against a wall inside a dressing room, pulls down her tights, and, “forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me.”

New York Magazine corroborated Carroll’s claim that she disclosed the alleged assault to two of her friends. This brings President Trump’s sexual misconduct allegations to a total of 24, according to Business Insider. The allegations range from sexual harassment to groping. 16 of the 24 are sexual assault allegations.

President Trump infamously bragged about sexual assault in the Access Holywood tape that was released just before the 2016 election.

Whether this new allegation will factor into the voting decisions of his supporters is unclear, but given the fact they elected him in spite of his other allegations, and the GOP’s reaction to Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s allegations, may tell you all you need to know.

In other news…

Rantt Media’s comprehensive articles source reporting from top news organizations, but they’re also built on brilliant analysis from our team. We are independently-owned and completely ad-free. We strive for quality, not clicks. We take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for our newsletter or joining our community chatroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals:


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Merkel’s party debates the unthinkable — power sharing with the far-right

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BERLIN (AFP)  — Until now, a possible tie-up between any of Germany’s mainstream parties and the rising far-right AfD movement has always been strictly seen as a political taboo.

But what was previously unthinkable could become a reality as Angela Merkel’s embattled center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party feels compelled to consider other power-sharing options.

One possibility is an alliance with the fiercely anti-migrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), at least at a regional level.


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Local elections in three states in the east of the country where polls suggest that the AfD could become the strongest political force — Saxony, Brandenburg and Thuringia — are forcing the CDU to rethink its stance.

“We should not rule out a coalition” with the AfD, Ulrich Thomas, one of the regional leaders of the CDU in the central state of Saxony-Anhalt, told local daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.

“It is not possible now, but we don’t know what the situation will be like in two or five years’ time.”

For the time being, the CDU’s central leadership rules out any suggestions the party could join forces with the AfD, especially in the wake of the murder of local politician Walter Luebcke earlier this month, allegedly by a right-wing extremist.

In a sign of the prevailing nervousness, Merkel’s favoured successor, CDU chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, said Sunday night she would like to ban any attempt to cooperate with the AfD.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Christian Democratic Union, CDU, chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer attend a parties board meeting at the headquarters in Berlin, Monday, May 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

“I’m going to ask the party leadership for permission … to look at all the means to really prevent any rapprochement or cooperation with the AfD,” Kramp-Karrenbauer, or “AKK” as she is dubbed in Germany, said on the ARD television channel.

Signs of weakening

Saxony-Anhalt will elect a new regional parliament in 2021 and another local CDU leader, Lars-Joern Zimmer, pointed out that voters of his party and the AfD often held similar views and felt themselves to be part of Germany’s “conservative majority”.

Recently, Germany’s former domestic spy chief and a member of the CDU’s right-wing, Hans-Georg Maassen, also refused to rule out an alliance at national level, saying “you never know.”

Thuringia’s AfD faction leader Bjoern Hoecke attend a rally in Erfurt, Germany, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

On Sunday, the deputy chief of the AfD, Georg Pazderski, suggested that “the united front (against his party) is beginning to crumble”.

“In particular, the CDU base — which has been massively disappointed by its own leaders — cannot be told that the party should be closer to the left than to AfD,” he told the Sunday edition of Welt newspaper.

There is media speculation that the CDU might team up with the environmentalist Greens party, which made significant gains in the recent European elections, in a power-sharing coalition.

But at the head of the CDU, general secretary Paul Ziemiak, 33, has tried to shut down any debate about an alliance with the far-right.

“Just to make it clear to everyone: the CDU strictly rejects any coalition or cooperation with AfD,” tweeted Ziemiak on Thursday.

Under pressure

Nevertheless, Merkel’s party is under pressure and, after a disappointing victory in the 2017 elections, is continuing to struggle at the polls.

A survey by broadcaster RTL published Saturday puts the CDU only second with the Greens top and AfD third.

September could prove to be a turbulent month for Merkel’s CDU in the regional elections in Saxony and Brandenburg, the AfD’s heartland.

The Greens insist any local alliances between the CDU and the far-right would be an obstacle to a possible CDU-Green coalition at national level.

“It would suddenly increase the distance between us,” admitted Greens leader Michael Kellner on Friday.

More worrying for both the CDU and Merkel is the pressure being piled on Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is facing increasing challenges within the party.

Kramp-Karrenbauer came under heavy fire particularly among younger voters last month when she called for limits to free speech around elections.

Earlier this month, Merkel, 64, criticised her own party, saying it was too “defensive” and not “open enough.”


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8:54 AM 6/24/2019 – ‘Get Israel off our backs’: Palestinians react to Kushner plan – Al Jazeera English |  US secretary of state seeks global coalition in the Middle East against Iran amid rising tensions – CNBC |  A 10th American has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic – CNN |  Leaked Trump vetting documents showed a number of major ‘red flags’ were raised about top officials during transition – Business Insider |  Sanders to propose canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle – The Washington Post  | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions

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8:54 AM 6/24/2019

‘Get Israel off our backs’: Palestinians react to Kushner plan – Al Jazeera EnglishUS secretary of state seeks global coalition in the Middle East against Iran amid rising tensions – CNBCA 10th American has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic – CNNLeaked Trump vetting documents showed a number of major ‘red flags’ were raised about top officials during transition – Business InsiderSanders to propose canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle – The Washington Post 

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All News Review In 25 Saved Stories

Saved Stories – 250 |  Saved Stories – 25 – Page

Saved Stories – None
‘Get Israel off our backs’: Palestinians react to Kushner plan – Al Jazeera English
US secretary of state seeks global coalition in the Middle East against Iran amid rising tensions – CNBC
A 10th American has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic – CNN
Leaked Trump vetting documents showed a number of major ‘red flags’ were raised about top officials during transition – Business Insider
Sanders to propose canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle – The Washington Post 
Sanders to propose eliminating all $1.6T of student debt in US: report – Fox News
‘We’ve had enough’: Huge crowds in Prague demand PM Babis quits – Al Jazeera English
Bitcoin: Could 100K Be New 10K? – Forbes
A 10th American has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic – CNN
Check your settings if you don’t want Google tracking every move – USA TODAY
Trump Shrugs Off Killing of Khashoggi by Saudi Agents, Saying Saudi Arabia Is an Important Trading Partner – The New York Times
Psychoanalysis of intelligence operations – Google Search
Psychoanalysis of intelligence operations – Google Search
Trump’s Pathology Is Also His Brand
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Controversial Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash accused in bribe plot may be headed to Chicago …
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‘Get Israel off our backs’: Palestinians react to Kushner plan – Al Jazeera English

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  5. Take the Palestinians’ ‘No’ for an AnswerThe Wall Street Journal
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US secretary of state seeks global coalition in the Middle East against Iran amid rising tensions – CNBC

  1. US secretary of state seeks global coalition in the Middle East against Iran amid rising tensions  CNBC
  2. Saudi Airport Struck by Deadly Attack  The New York Times
  3. Pompeo reveals new details on US tensions with Iran  Fox News
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A 10th American has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic – CNN

  1. A 10th American has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic  CNN
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Leaked Trump vetting documents showed a number of major ‘red flags’ were raised about top officials during transition – Business Insider

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Sanders to propose canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle – The Washington Post

Sanders to propose canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle  The Washington PostSen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will propose on Monday eliminating all $1.6 trillion of student debt held in the United States, a significant escalation of the policy fight …

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Sanders to propose eliminating all $1.6T of student debt in US: report – Fox News

Sanders to propose eliminating all $1.6T of student debt in US: report  Fox NewsBernie Sanders, the 2020 hopeful, is set to announce on Monday a policy proposal that would eliminate all $1.6 trillion of American student debt, according to a …

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‘We’ve had enough’: Huge crowds in Prague demand PM Babis quits – Al Jazeera English

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realDonaldTrump on Twitter: ….Think of what it could have been if the Fed had gotten it right. Thousands of points higher on the Dow, and GDP in the 4’s or even 5’s. Now they stick, like a stubborn child, when we need rates cuts, & easing, to make u

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….Think of what it could have been if the Fed had gotten it right. Thousands of points higher on the Dow, and GDP in the 4’s or even 5’s. Now they stick, like a stubborn child, when we need rates cuts, & easing, to make up for what other countries are doing against us. Blew it!


Posted by

realDonaldTrump
on Monday, June 24th, 2019 12:53pm

2992 likes, 857 retweets

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realDonaldTrump on Twitter: Despite a Federal Reserve that doesn’t know what it is doing – raised rates far too fast (very low inflation, other parts of world slowing, lowering & easing) & did large scale tightening, $50 Billion/month, we are on c

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Despite a Federal Reserve that doesn’t know what it is doing – raised rates far too fast (very low inflation, other parts of world slowing, lowering & easing) & did large scale tightening, $50 Billion/month, we are on course to have one of the best Months of June in US history…


Posted by

realDonaldTrump
on Monday, June 24th, 2019 12:53pm

4189 likes, 1088 retweets

realDonaldTrump on Twitter


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mikenov on Twitter: RT @Reuters: Czechs demand Prime Minister Andrej Babis quit in mass protest reut.rs/2IEs3Cz pic.twitter.com/6rnTnRmKpj

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Czechs demand Prime Minister Andrej Babis quit in mass protest reut.rs/2IEs3Cz pic.twitter.com/6rnTnRmKpj


Posted by

Reuters
on Monday, June 24th, 2019 11:05am
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on Monday, June 24th, 2019 12:47pm

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mikenov on Twitter: RT @business: Czechs took to the streets on Sunday in the biggest protests since the fall of communism, demanding the resignation of billio…

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Czechs took to the streets on Sunday in the biggest protests since the fall of communism, demanding the resignation of billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis bloom.bg/2ICuV2W


Posted by

business
on Sunday, June 23rd, 2019 3:33pm
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on Monday, June 24th, 2019 12:46pm

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mikenov on Twitter: RT @TIME: Massive protest in Prague calls for Prime Minister Andrej Babis to resign mag.time.com/Kdrt6Uu pic.twitter.com/rM5xSOLbBX

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Massive protest in Prague calls for Prime Minister Andrej Babis to resign
mag.time.com/Kdrt6Uu pic.twitter.com/rM5xSOLbBX


Posted by

TIME
on Sunday, June 23rd, 2019 9:05pm
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on Monday, June 24th, 2019 12:46pm

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mikenov on Twitter: RT @nytimesworld: In the Czech Republic, a sea of people took to the streets demanding that Prime Minister Andrej Babis resign. It was the…

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In the Czech Republic, a sea of people took to the streets demanding that Prime Minister Andrej Babis resign. It was the largest protest in the country since the Velvet Revolution in 1989. nyti.ms/2N8IX0v


Posted by

nytimesworld
on Sunday, June 23rd, 2019 6:20pm
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mikenov on Twitter: RT @BBCNews: Czech Republic protests: Andrej Babis urged to quit as PM bbc.in/2IBAbDR

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Czech Republic protests: Andrej Babis urged to quit as PM bbc.in/2IBAbDR


Posted by

BBCNews
on Sunday, June 23rd, 2019 3:09pm
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mikenov on Twitter: RT @nytimes: Prime Minister Andrej Babis has called the accusations against him lies and has said he would not be ousted by protests, no ma…

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Prime Minister Andrej Babis has called the accusations against him lies and has said he would not be ousted by protests, no matter the size nyti.ms/2N7sABu


Posted by

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on Sunday, June 23rd, 2019 8:30pm
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Deepfakes aren’t a tech problem. They’re a power problem | Oscar Schwartz | Opinion

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Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from The Guardian.

In the lead-up to the 2016 election, very few predicted the degree to which online misinformation would disrupt the democratic process. Now, as we edge closer to 2020, there is a heightened sense of vigilance around new threats to truth in our already fragile information ecosystem.

At the top of the list of concerns is no longer Russian bots, but deepfakes, the artifical intelligence-manipulated media that can make people appear to do or say things that they never did or said.

The threat is being taken so seriously that last Thursday, the House intelligence committee held Congress’s first hearing on the subject. In his opening remarks, Representative Adam Schiff, the committee chairman, talked of society being “on the cusp of a technological revolution” that will qualitatively transform how fake news is made. He spoke of “advances in AI” that will make it possible to compromise election campaigns. He made repeated mention of how better algorithms and data will make it extremely difficult to verify the veracity of images, videos, audio or text.

In essence, he framed the problem of doctored media as a new threat caused by sophisticated emerging technologies.

Not that Schiff’s alone. The broader discourse around fake content has become increasingly focused on AI-generated content, where cutting-edge machine learning techniques are used to create uncanny copies of people’s faces, voices and writing styles. But as technologically impressive as these new techniques are, I worry that focusing on the “state of the art” is a distraction from a deeper problem.

To understand why, consider the most high-profile example of manipulated media to spread online to date: the doctored video of the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, made to seem as if she was drunkenly slurring her speech. Far from being created by a technically savvy operator misappropriating the fruits of a “technological revolution”, it was made using rudimentary editing techniques by a sports blogger and avid pro-Trumper from the Bronx named Shawn Brooks.

The reason this fake video spread so far and wide was not because it was technologically advanced, or even particularly visually compelling, but because of the cynical nature of social media. When a platform’s business model is to maximize engagement time in order to sell ad revenue, divisive, shocking and conspiratorial content gets pushed to the top of the feed. Like other trolls, Brooks’s most salient skill was understanding and exploiting these dynamics.

Indeed, the Pelosi video demonstrated just how symbiotic and mutually beneficial the fake news-platform relationship has become. Facebook refused to take down the altered video, noting that its content policy does not require a post to be true. (Facebook did “reduce” the video’s distribution in the news feed, in an attempt at harm minimization.) The reality is that divisive content is, from a financial perspective, a win for social media platforms. As long as that logic underpins our online lives, cynical media manipulators will continue to exploit it to spread social discord, with or without machine learning.

And herein lies the problem: by formulating deepfakes as a technological problem, we allow social media platforms to promote technological solutions to those problems – cleverly distracting the public from the idea that there may be more fundamental problems with powerful Silicon Valley tech platforms.

We have seen this before. When Congress interrogated Mark Zuckerberg last year about Facebook’s privacy problems and involvement in spreading fake news, instead of reflecting on structural issues at the company, Zuckerberg repeatedly assured Congress that technological solutions that would fix everything were just over the horizon. Zuckerberg mentioned AI more than 30 times.

Underpinning all of this is what Evgeny Morozov has called “technological solutionism”: an ideology endemic to Silicon Valley that reframes complex social issues as “neatly defined problems with definite, computable solutions … if only the right algorithms are in place!” This highly formal, systematic, yet socially myopic mindset is so pervasive within the tech industry that it has become a sort of meme. How do we solve wealth inequality? Blockchain. How do we solve political polarization? AI. How do we solve climate change? A blockchain powered by AI.

This constant appeal to a near-future of perfectly streamlined technological solutions distracts and deflects from the grim realities we presently face. While Zuckerberg promised better AI for content moderation in front of Congress last year, reports have since emerged that much content moderation still relies on humans, who are subjected to highly traumatic content and terrible working conditions. By talking incessantly about AI-powered content moderation, the company diverts attention away from this real human suffering.

The “solutionist” ideology has also influenced the discourse around how to deal with doctored media. The solutions being proposed are often technological in nature, from “digital watermarks” to new machine learning forensic techniques. To be sure, there are many experts who are doing important security research to make the detection of fake media easier in the future. This is important and worthwhile. But on its own, it is unclear that this would help fix the deep-seated social problem of truth decay and polarization that social media platforms have played a major role in fostering.

The biggest problem with technological solutionism is that it can be used as a smokescreen for deep structural problems in the technology industry, as well as a strategy for stymieing precisely the type of political interventions that need to happen to curtail the singular power that these companies have in controlling how we access information.

If we continue to frame deepfakes as a technological problem instead of something rotten at the core of the attention economy, we leave ourselves just as vulnerable in 2020 to misinformation as we were in 2016.

  • Oscar Schwartz is a freelance writer and researcher based in New York


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Michael Flynn Latest: Will He Get a Pardon From President Trump?

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Michael_Novakhov
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.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn may have a singular goal in replacing his longtime criminal defense attorneys this month with the politically provocative Sidney Powell — to win a pardon from his old boss, President Donald Trump.

“This is for an audience of one,” former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer said of Powell’s hiring.

Flynn, a retired U.S. Army general who admitted he lied to government investigators and awaits sentencing, shed the legal team that represented him since the case began in 2017. Powell is scheduled to make her first appearance for Flynn at a status conference Monday in Washington before U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan.

Powell, an ex-federal prosecutor, has been a caustic critic of the U.S. Justice Department and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Perhaps more pointedly, two weeks before she was hired, Powell referred to the case against Flynn as “the targeted takeout of a very good man.” She also shares her views on two the president’s favorite platforms, Fox News and Twitter.

In a June 13 tweet, Trump cheered Powell’s hiring, saying Flynn was getting a “GREAT” lawyer.

“How can you dispute his decision when you get that reaction and that comment?” said Ryan Fayhee, a former Justice Department attorney. “Clearly this is at least in part designed to position Flynn for a pardon.”

Courting the president may make sense as a legal strategy because Trump has pardoned eight people since March 2018, including anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio, political commentator Dinesh D’Souza and one-time media mogul Conrad Black, who Cramer helped to convict. Trump hasn’t pardoned his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, despite repeated public statements by Manafort’s lawyer that the charges had nothing to do with Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The reasons for Flynn’s split with defense attorney Robert Kelner at Covington & Burling LLP haven’t been disclosed in court documents. Kelner told Sullivan only that he was withdrawing because his client had hired new counsel.

There was some discussion of a potential conflict of interest for Covington during a June 13 federal court hearing in a related illegal lobbying case involving Flynn’s former business partner, who the general may testify against. According to transcripts of the hearing in Alexandria, Virginia, the discussion involved the law firm’s role in preparing government documents for the lobbying firm Flynn and his partner owned.

Legal Strategy

Powell, in an email, said she is “honored to be representing General Flynn.” She declined to comment on her legal strategy or why she was hired.

The switch in attorneys is unlikely to result in Flynn withdrawing his guilty plea, because he’s already admitted his wrongdoing in court on multiple occasions, Fayhee and Cramer said. Powell had previously said that Flynn would continue to cooperate with the government.

Flynn has all but discharged his obligation under the plea agreement to cooperate with the government. He remains a potential witness in the trial slated for next month against his former business partner on charges of illegal lobbying for Turkey, conduct for which Flynn has already admitted guilt, even though he wasn’t charged with that offense.

“As long as that doesn’t touch the White House and doesn’t touch Trump, a pardon is still in the works,” Cramer said. “That’s the only reason to change horses in mid-stream, is if you’re hiring this lawyer with a clear political bent, sending a message to the White House that you don’t intend on saying anything negative or inculpatory against the president or anyone close to the president.”

Pardon Risks

If a pardon is Powell’s goal, it isn’t without risks. Among them is that a pardon may not come before the 2020 election, and Flynn may have already served his sentence by then.

In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to misleading investigators who’d questioned him at the White House nearly a year earlier about his contacts with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. His conviction was the first obtained under the auspices of the Russia probe even though Mueller had not yet been named special counsel at the time of the FBI interview.

Flynn agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team. In exchange, the special counsel’s lawyers asked Sullivan to spare the general from incarceration, even as the crime carried a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Still, in a sentencing memo filed with the court, Flynn’s now-former counsel, Kelner, implied that the agents who questioned his client — one of whom was then-Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok — had lulled him into believing he was in no legal jeopardy. The judge found that assertion potentially troubling.

At a Dec. 18 sentencing hearing, Sullivan asked Flynn to reaffirm his plea, including that he believed he was, in fact, guilty and that he was satisfied with the work done by his attorneys. After Kelner assured the judge that he wasn’t asserting an entrapment defense for his client, Sullivan warned Flynn that he may not get the deal he bargained for.

‘Very Serious’

“I’m going to be frank with you,” Sullivan said. “This crime is very serious. As I stated, it involves false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on the premises of the White House, in the White House in the West Wing by a high-ranking security officer with, up to that point, an unblemished career of service to his country. That’s a very serious offense.”

Upon learning that the general was still helping prosecutors assemble their case against his former business partner, Sullivan warned Flynn he wouldn’t get full credit for his cooperation until that task was completed. The sentencing was postponed and has not been rescheduled.

“I think that shook Flynn a little bit,” Cramer said.

Kelner may have misread how his criticism of the investigators’ tactics would play with Sullivan, Fayhee said. Hiring Powell allows for a reset. Still, an overtly political approach could backfire too, resulting in Sullivan’s imposition of a stiffer sentence than sought by prosecutors. Paradoxically, that may not matter to Trump, who wields that ultimate power.

“It’s quite a gamble,” Fayhee said.

The case is U.S. v. Flynn, 17-cr-232, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).


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Maksym Eristavi: Europe is about to rollback key sanctions against Russia | KyivPost

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Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from KyivPost.


A man holds a placard depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel smiling, and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipe-line, during a rally in front of the German embassy in Kiev, on April 11, 2019. – Demonstrators held an action demanding to stop Germany’s attempts to lift sanctions against Russia and to increase pressure to release detained Ukrainian. Russia has detained or condemned at least 97 Ukrainian political prisoners on the territory of the Russian Federation and the occupied Crimea, as well as more than 120 prisoners of war and civilian hostages in the occupied Donbas. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)

Photo by AFP

Here’s how Russia’s return to a key European international body is a nightmare for every fighter with autocracy across the continent.

Last week was emotionally challenging if you follow Russia. Watching my friends and colleagues in Moscow, alongside hundreds of protesters in support of Russian political prisoners, being clobbered, hunted down and thrown into police vans was hard to process. Sorting through new messages of disappearing queer people in state-sanctioned violence in Southern Russia was hard to process. Tracking down the victims of new wave of terror against Muslim minority of Crimean Tatars in the Russian-occupied Crimea was difficult to fathom. But what was even harder to understand is why would we want to reward the Russian authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin for such behavior? Because the upcoming vote at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to invite Russia back is exactly that — a big pass for Putin on human rights crimes.

Russia was sanctioned and suspended from PACE in 2014 for invading and annexing parts of Ukraine. The Kremlin has made zero efforts to undo the sanctions since then: aggression and occupation of neighboring Ukraine and Georgia continues, the Russian elections are being rigged (now complemented by Russian meddling with democratic elections around the world) and human rights violations are systemic and brutal. Yet, a new pending vote at the PACE session on June 24-28th will allow Russians to come back. The idea of ‘forgiving’ Russia is championed by the Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland and is backed by France and Germany.


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Clapper Hears Barr’s ‘Chilling’ Footsteps

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Michael_Novakhov
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from American Thinker Blog.

Clapper Hears Barr’s ‘Chilling’ Footsteps

They really counted on Hillary wining, didn’t they?  Former director of National Intelligence James Clapper is in panic mode, realizing that the so-called “intelligence community” he supervised under President Obama is about to be revealed by Atty. Gen. William Barr and U.S. atty. John Durham as a weaponized arm of the Clinton campaign, with indictments to follow.

The man who lied to Congress about spying on the American people was shocked back in April to hear Barr testify before  Congress that yes, he thought the Trump campaign had been spied upon by his political opponents.  As Breitbart reported:

Well, I thought it was most stunning and scary. I was amazed at that and rather disappointed that the attorney general would say such a thing. The term “spying” has all kinds of negative connotations, and I have to believe he chose that term deliberately. And I think it’s incredible that if he has concerns, he would have easily on his first day on the job, after his confirmation, asked his own IG, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, for a briefing on his preliminary, in the course of his investigation, that is, the IG’s investigation, whether there was any wrongdoing by the FBI. I think it would have been far more appropriate for him to just defer to that investigation rather than postulating, apparently with no evidence. He just has a feeling that there was spying against the campaign.

Barr has more than that, it would seem, and has sent chills up Clapper’s spine that he and Durham are dead serious about checking out the real reasons for the Intelligence Community’s “assessment” that Russia wanted Trump to win and was meddling in the election to achieve that result.  According to a Wall Street Journal report:

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says The Wall Street Journal report that Attorney General William Barr appears to be investigating a high-confidence finding of the US intelligence community assessment of the 2016 election sends a “chilling message to the intelligence community.”

Close scrutiny of the Intelligence Community’s actions should send chills up Clapper’s spine.  In the search for the answer as to how the whole Mueller collusion probe and spying on Team Trump originated, one does not have to look far.  One needs only to revisit the interview Deep State conspirator and perjurer James Clapper gave with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.  He points his finger directly at Barack Hussein Obama as leader of the coup against Donald Trump:

Former Obama administration director of national intelligence James Clapper admitted that former president Barack Obama gave the order to Peter Strzok to kick off his Operation Crossfire Hurricane targeting of President Donald Trump.

Obama — who also gave a stand-down order on stopping alleged Russian hacking — was personally implicated in the plot according to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s texts. Clapper confirms the obvious.

This is James Clapper’s interview with Anderson Cooper, which confirms that Obama ordered Strzok to carry out an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), which became the basis for the entire Mueller probe.

“If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place,” Clapper said in his Anderson Cooper interview.

That Intelligence Community assessment would have included in it the “unverified and salacious,” as former FBI director James Comey described it, dossier paid for by Hillary and the DNC and compiled from Russian disinformation source by British agent Christopher Steele in the only real collusion with Russia in this whole affair.

The announcement by Attorney General William Barr that yes, he believes that Team Trump was spied upon by Hillary and the Democrats, and yes, he’s going to look into it, is a rarity these days — a genuine bombshell.  And he’s going to examine the application process used by the FBI to convince a FISA judge to grant a surveillance warrant against Trump campaign gadfly Carter Page.  Make some popcorn and sit back.  A.G. Barr will find all the bread crumbs in this genuine conspiracy leading back to Clapper, Brennan, and Obama.

As Barr and Durham get closer, the attacks on him will grow.  As Jed Babbin writes in the American Spectator:

Last Wednesday the intelligence community launched its first attack on Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into its illegal acts and abuses of power during the 2016 election. In a New York Times article entitled “Justice Department Seeks to Question CIA in its Own Russia Investigation,” the IC makes clear its fear of the results of Barr’s investigation of their spy operation on candidate Trump in 2016 that continued through his early presidency[.] …

John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, is running the investigation under Barr’s direction. From the Times report, we can easily deduce the fact that those who ran the spy op — including CIA Director Gina Haspel — are running scared from the Durham investigation[.] …

The reason the CIA’s “analytical work” is being subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny is that there is a lot of evidence of criminal conduct by the CIA and FBI. That’s one of the fundamental differences between the Barr/Durham investigation and the Mueller investigation into the imaginary conspiracy between candidate Trump and his campaign and the Russians[.] …

Durham’s investigators will begin with people such as those but first they’ll want to get the relevant documents from the CIA. Those documents will include an enormous volume of classified emails, text messages, and other communications among the top CIA officials and between them and the FBI’s senior officials — James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, James Baker and Bruce Ohr — who ran the FBI’s part of the spy op on Trump from the Justice Department.

It is worth noting that John Durham has crossed paths with former “collusion delusion” czar and special counsel Robert Mueller III before.  Durham is familiar with the often illegal lengths that Mueller, Clapper, Brennan, Comey, et al. will go to to nail their prey.  As Rush Limbaugh noted, citing a New York Times article:

“Mr. Durham has a long history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among law enforcement and national security officials. He was appointed to the federal bench in 2017 by President Trump. Mr. Durham has even investigated the use or misuse of FBI informants.” In fact, one of his best-known investigations was an investigation of the FBI’s handling of the mass murderer and Boston mobster Whitey Bulger. This is very significant.

It was Robert Mueller III[.] … Keep in mind (we’ve talked about this a few times, but it’s been a while, and I don’t know how many of you are gonna remember this) it was Robert Mueller III, Mr. Integrity, Mr. Honorable, who kept four innocent people in prison for decades in order to keep Whitey Bulger from being exposed as an FBI informant. Four people. Four people who were innocent were kept in jail for years in order to protect the status of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant.

Durham and Barr are getting closer to putting the leaders of the Deep State coup in jail for years for their crimes against their country.  And James Clapper is beginning to feel the chill.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications. 

They really counted on Hillary wining, didn’t they?  Former director of National Intelligence James Clapper is in panic mode, realizing that the so-called “intelligence community” he supervised under President Obama is about to be revealed by Atty. Gen. William Barr and U.S. atty. John Durham as a weaponized arm of the Clinton campaign, with indictments to follow.

The man who lied to Congress about spying on the American people was shocked back in April to hear Barr testify before  Congress that yes, he thought the Trump campaign had been spied upon by his political opponents.  As Breitbart reported:

Well, I thought it was most stunning and scary. I was amazed at that and rather disappointed that the attorney general would say such a thing. The term “spying” has all kinds of negative connotations, and I have to believe he chose that term deliberately. And I think it’s incredible that if he has concerns, he would have easily on his first day on the job, after his confirmation, asked his own IG, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, for a briefing on his preliminary, in the course of his investigation, that is, the IG’s investigation, whether there was any wrongdoing by the FBI. I think it would have been far more appropriate for him to just defer to that investigation rather than postulating, apparently with no evidence. He just has a feeling that there was spying against the campaign.

Barr has more than that, it would seem, and has sent chills up Clapper’s spine that he and Durham are dead serious about checking out the real reasons for the Intelligence Community’s “assessment” that Russia wanted Trump to win and was meddling in the election to achieve that result.  According to a Wall Street Journal report:

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says The Wall Street Journal report that Attorney General William Barr appears to be investigating a high-confidence finding of the US intelligence community assessment of the 2016 election sends a “chilling message to the intelligence community.”

Close scrutiny of the Intelligence Community’s actions should send chills up Clapper’s spine.  In the search for the answer as to how the whole Mueller collusion probe and spying on Team Trump originated, one does not have to look far.  One needs only to revisit the interview Deep State conspirator and perjurer James Clapper gave with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.  He points his finger directly at Barack Hussein Obama as leader of the coup against Donald Trump:

Former Obama administration director of national intelligence James Clapper admitted that former president Barack Obama gave the order to Peter Strzok to kick off his Operation Crossfire Hurricane targeting of President Donald Trump.

Obama — who also gave a stand-down order on stopping alleged Russian hacking — was personally implicated in the plot according to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s texts. Clapper confirms the obvious.

This is James Clapper’s interview with Anderson Cooper, which confirms that Obama ordered Strzok to carry out an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), which became the basis for the entire Mueller probe.

“If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place,” Clapper said in his Anderson Cooper interview.

That Intelligence Community assessment would have included in it the “unverified and salacious,” as former FBI director James Comey described it, dossier paid for by Hillary and the DNC and compiled from Russian disinformation source by British agent Christopher Steele in the only real collusion with Russia in this whole affair.

The announcement by Attorney General William Barr that yes, he believes that Team Trump was spied upon by Hillary and the Democrats, and yes, he’s going to look into it, is a rarity these days — a genuine bombshell.  And he’s going to examine the application process used by the FBI to convince a FISA judge to grant a surveillance warrant against Trump campaign gadfly Carter Page.  Make some popcorn and sit back.  A.G. Barr will find all the bread crumbs in this genuine conspiracy leading back to Clapper, Brennan, and Obama.

As Barr and Durham get closer, the attacks on him will grow.  As Jed Babbin writes in the American Spectator:

Last Wednesday the intelligence community launched its first attack on Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into its illegal acts and abuses of power during the 2016 election. In a New York Times article entitled “Justice Department Seeks to Question CIA in its Own Russia Investigation,” the IC makes clear its fear of the results of Barr’s investigation of their spy operation on candidate Trump in 2016 that continued through his early presidency[.] …

John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, is running the investigation under Barr’s direction. From the Times report, we can easily deduce the fact that those who ran the spy op — including CIA Director Gina Haspel — are running scared from the Durham investigation[.] …

The reason the CIA’s “analytical work” is being subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny is that there is a lot of evidence of criminal conduct by the CIA and FBI. That’s one of the fundamental differences between the Barr/Durham investigation and the Mueller investigation into the imaginary conspiracy between candidate Trump and his campaign and the Russians[.] …

Durham’s investigators will begin with people such as those but first they’ll want to get the relevant documents from the CIA. Those documents will include an enormous volume of classified emails, text messages, and other communications among the top CIA officials and between them and the FBI’s senior officials — James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, James Baker and Bruce Ohr — who ran the FBI’s part of the spy op on Trump from the Justice Department.

It is worth noting that John Durham has crossed paths with former “collusion delusion” czar and special counsel Robert Mueller III before.  Durham is familiar with the often illegal lengths that Mueller, Clapper, Brennan, Comey, et al. will go to to nail their prey.  As Rush Limbaugh noted, citing a New York Times article:

“Mr. Durham has a long history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among law enforcement and national security officials. He was appointed to the federal bench in 2017 by President Trump. Mr. Durham has even investigated the use or misuse of FBI informants.” In fact, one of his best-known investigations was an investigation of the FBI’s handling of the mass murderer and Boston mobster Whitey Bulger. This is very significant.

It was Robert Mueller III[.] … Keep in mind (we’ve talked about this a few times, but it’s been a while, and I don’t know how many of you are gonna remember this) it was Robert Mueller III, Mr. Integrity, Mr. Honorable, who kept four innocent people in prison for decades in order to keep Whitey Bulger from being exposed as an FBI informant. Four people. Four people who were innocent were kept in jail for years in order to protect the status of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant.

Durham and Barr are getting closer to putting the leaders of the Deep State coup in jail for years for their crimes against their country.  And James Clapper is beginning to feel the chill.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications. 


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No evidence Russia influenced Brexit via Facebook, says Clegg

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FILE PHOTO: Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States, April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

LONDON (Reuters) – There is “absolutely no evidence” that outside forces such as Russia used Facebook to target users and influence Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the world’s biggest social network said on Monday.

Nick Clegg, head of global affairs at Facebook and Britain’s former deputy prime minister, said the network had run two full analyses of its data held in the run up to the 2016 referendum and found no evidence of a significant attempt by outside forces to influence the outcome.

Opponents of Brexit have repeatedly questioned whether the Kremlin played a role in the vote by promoting stories online on issues such as immigration in a bid to sway opinion. Britain has said it found no evidence that Russia interfered in the vote and Moscow has repeatedly denied even trying.

Clegg, deputy prime minister from 2010 to 2015 and a strong campaigner to remain in the European Union, said the roots of British Euroscepticism existed long before Facebook launched, and had for many years been driven by traditional media.

“Much though I understand why people want to sort of reduce that eruption in British politics to some kind of plot or conspiracy – or some use of new social media through opaque means – I’m afraid the roots to British Euroscepticism go very, very deep,” he told BBC Radio.

A consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica has also come under scrutiny over its role in the 2016 referendum after it obtained data from millions of Facebook users without their permission. It was hired by Donald Trump for his 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign.

Clegg said any claim that that data was used in the Brexit referendum was also false.

He is due to give a speech later on Monday about possible regulation of social media and the internet.

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge


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‘Opportunity of the Century’: Kushner Urges Palestinians to Accept $50B Economic Peace Plan Ahead of Bahrain Summit

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JERUSALEM, Israel – The White House on Saturday released a $50 billion dollar economic proposal aimed at empowering the Palestinian people “to build a prosperous and vibrant Palestinian society.”

The “Prosperity to Peace” proposal is a 10-year plan that focuses on three pillars: improving the Palestinian economy, the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian government.

The ambitious proposal will be presented by White House senior advisor Jared Kushner at an economic forum with world leaders in Manama, Bahrain on Tuesday and Wednesday. The “Prosperity to Peace” proposal follows two years of deliberations and is the first part of the Trump Administration’s long-awaited “Deal of the Century” peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The whole notion here is that we want people to agree on the plan and then we’ll have a discussion with people to see who is interested in potentially doing what,” Kushner told Reuters Television.

Palestinian leaders dismissed the economic plan, saying they want a political solution to the conflict.

“Before anything, there must be a political solution,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said during a press briefing Saturday.

Earlier this year, Palestinian leaders said they would not attend the conference or normalize relations with Israel and the United States.

“We will not accept this, and we will not attend Manama – and we do not encourage anyone to go. We are confident that the conference will not be successful,” Abbas said, adding that he does not trust the US to be a mediator of peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Palestinian factions are protesting the Bahrain conference by calling for three days of protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Kushner acknowledged that “you can’t push the economic plan forward without resolving the political issues as well.”

But he said the Trump administration will “address that at a later time” when his team unveils the second stage of the peace plan no earlier than November.

Kushner also urged the Palestinian leaders to consider the economic prosperity the proposal could bring.

“I laugh when they attack this as the ‘Deal of the Century’,” Kushner said. “This is going to be the ‘Opportunity of the Century’ if they have the courage to pursue it.”

The deal includes opening up the West Bank and Gaza to regional and global markets through investments, improving transportation, and building essential infrastructure. The plan hopes to connect markets in the West Bank and Gaza with trading partners like Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon.

The proposal also focuses on expanding the cultural, educational, and health care opportunities of the Palestinian people.

Lastly, the deal provides a pathway for reforms within the Palestinian government that increase accountability.

All of these projects are laid out in a detailed 96-page document and 46-page pamphlet.

Kushner says the economic proposal is similar to the Marshall Plan, which was introduced to rebuild Western Europe after World War II.

He hopes that the Saudis and Gulf states will like the plan and convince the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he would consider Trump’s peace plan “fairly” and with “openness.”


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