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The Investigation of Donald Trump and Trumpism

June 26, 2022 11:25 pm

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Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠

U.S. sanctions several Russians in 1st official response to Navalny case



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U.S. sanctions several Russians in 1st official response to Navalny case

posted at 17:07:17 UTC

Chinese vaccines sweep world, despite concerns

In what some are calling “vaccine diplomacy,” China is offering its vaccines to dozens of poorer nations around the world. But concerns over safety and efficacy, as well as a dearth of publicly available data also means many are suspicious. (March 2)

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SpaceX once left its rocket engineers on an island without food, leading them to mutiny, according to a new book

Elon Musk Elon Musk.

Susan Walsh/AP

  • SpaceX’s first engineers lived on a remote Pacific island to prepare the company’s earliest rocket for launch.
  • In the first year that SpaceX was on the island, food shipments sometimes failed.
  • So one day, hungry engineers refused to work until a helicopter brought chicken and cigarettes.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

In SpaceX’s earliest days, its rocket engineers lived on a remote Pacific island, where they occasionally ran out of food.

On that island, called Omelek, the team was racing to build a launchpad and set up the company’s Falcon 1 rocket.

Journalist Eric Berger, who works as the space editor at Ars Technica, describes those early days of Elon Musk’s rocket company in his new book, Liftoff, which will be published Tuesday. Berger’s telling of SpaceX’s beginnings is packed with anecdotes that have never been previously reported – such as Elon Musk’s first encounter with a Pop-Tart, a rocket launch attempt thwarted by salty ocean spray, and an island mutiny staged by hungry workers in 2005.

LIFTOFF cover eric berger book

HarperCollins Publishers

SpaceX engineers were living and working on Omelek, part of the Marshall Islands’ Kwajalein Atoll, because that’s the spot the company chose to escape the US Air Force. The Air Force had indefinitely delayed the company’s efforts to launch from California. But the US Army, which oversaw the atoll, was friendlier to SpaceX’s plans. Being close to the equator also made it easier to reach orbit.

However, during that first year on the island, Berger writes, “logistics were poor.” Supply deliveries were often delayed, and the workers sometimes went without food.

So one day in the fall of 2005, tensions boiled over into mutiny. The employees went on strike to force an emergency supply drop, and were eventually quelled with chicken wings and cigarettes.

‘We were just wild animals on the island, waiting for food’


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FBI Director Christopher Wray Testifies on January 6th U.S. Capitol Attack



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Can Merrick Garland ensure a fair, independent probe into Cuomo scandals? – Video News Review – 8:17 AM 3/2/2021



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Can Merrick Garland ensure a fair, independent probe into Cuomo scandals? – Video News Review – 8:17 AM 3/2/2021

White translator of Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem quits amid race row
Dutch poet Marieke Lucas Rijneveld has pulled out of translating a poem by African-American author Amanda Gorman, following criticism that a black translator wasn’t picked for the job. Follow us on Telegram <a href=”https://t.me/rtintl” rel=”nofollow”>https://t.me/rtintl</a> / <a href=”https://t.me/rtvisual” rel=”nofollow”>https://t.me/rtvisual</a>
 

Women discover they’re biological siblings while working in restaurant
Two biological sisters separated by adoption discovered they were siblings while working in the same restaurant. Cassandra Madison and Julia Tinetti began working together at The Russian Lady in New Haven in 2013 reports. They bonded instantly. They both had Dominican Republic tattoos, were adopted and were raised by single mothers. They even…
 

Delivery person assaulted, robbed on camera in Midtown Manhattan
New video shows two suspects wanted for violently robbing a delivery person in Midtown Manhattan. Police say the suspects approached the 43-year-old victim while he was making a delivery. One man punched the delivery person while the other tried to take his belongings. It happened on 7th Avenue at West 54th Street. Read more: <a href=”https://7ny.tv/3r4ZMZM” rel=”nofollow”>https://7ny.tv/3r4ZMZM</a>…
 

Dolce & Gabbana presents its collection at Milan Fashion Week
Dolce & Gabbana mixed models with robots in a disco-like atmosphere as the curtain came down on Milan Fashion Week. #News #Milan #fashion #Dolce & Gabbana Subscribe: <a href=”http://smarturl.it/reuterssubscribe” rel=”nofollow”>http://smarturl.it/reuterssubscribe</a> Reuters brings you the latest business, finance and breaking news video from around the globe. Our reputation for accuracy and impartiality…
 

Bartomeu comparece en la Ciutat de la Justicia de Barcelona
El expresidente del FC Barcelona Josep Maria Bartomeu y su exjefe de gabinete de la presidencia, Jaume Masferrer, han acudido esta mañana a la Ciutat de la Justicia de Barcelona, donde la titular del Juzgado de Instrucción 13 les ha tomado toma declaración por el caso ‘Barça gate’. Puedes leer la noticia en: <a href=”https://www.europapress.es/catalunya/noticia-libertad-provisional-bartomeu-masferrer-comparecencia-barca-gate-20210302121325.html” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.europapress.es/catalunya/noticia-libertad-provisional-bartomeu-masferrer-comparecencia-barca-gate-20210302121325.html</a>…
 

C-LM mantiene cierre perimetral y aumenta a las 00.00 horas el toque de queda
Castilla-La Mancha, con el 99 por ciento de la región en nivel 2, mantendrá el cierre perimetral 10 días más, aumenta a las 00.00 horas el toque de queda y abre los centros de día tras mejorar sus indicadores del coronavirus en los últimos días. Así lo ha puesto de manifiesto en rueda de prensa el consejero de Sanidad, Jesús Fernández Sanz. (Fuente:…
 

PSOE insta al PP a pactar renovación del CGPJ como con RTVE
El PSOE está decidido a mantener congelada, al menos de momento, la tramitación de su iniciativa para rebajar las mayorías necesarias para elegir a los miembros del Consejo General del Poder Judicial (CGPJ), pero insiste en llamar al PP a retomar la negociación para la renovación del órgano de gobierno de los jueces “sin vetos ni sectarimos”, avisando…
 

Bajan las agresiones a sanitarios en 2020 con mayor exposición de los enfermeros
La Policía Nacional ha registrado 197 agresiones a personal sanitario en 2020, lo que supone una reducción de un 33% en un año marcado por la Covid-19 y el cambio de hábitos por los meses de confinamiento y el incremento de las consultas telefónicas o domiciliarias. Esto ha llevado a que los médicos, aunque siguen concentrando el 59% de las agresiones,…
 

Can Merrick Garland ensure a fair, independent probe into Cuomo scandals?
Merrick Garland will likely to be confirmed as attorney general amid mounting calls to investigate New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over sexual harrassment claims and the nursing home cover-up. Jamil Jaffer, director of the National Security Law & Policy Program at George Mason University, with more. #FoxFriendsFirst #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News!…
 

Ульяновск примет один из крупнейших фестивалей архитекторов “Эко-берег” – Россия 24
БЕСПЛАТНО СМОТРИМ ВСЁ ТУТ ? – <a href=”https://smotrim.ru/vesti/?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=all&utm_campaign=all_0″ rel=”nofollow”>https://smotrim.ru/vesti/?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=all&utm_campaign=all_0</a> Подпишитесь на канал Россия24: <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/c/russia24tv?sub_confirmation=1″ rel=”nofollow”>https://www.youtube.com/c/russia24tv?sub_confirmation=1</a> Крупнейший фестиваль архитекторов “Эко-берег” состоится летом в Ульяновске. Его главная задача – привлечь внимание широкой общественности к перспективам…
 

Сейшелы на пути к коллективному иммунитету
На Сейшельских Островах успешно проводится массовая вакцинация. После формирования коллектиного иммунитета страна откроется для туризма. ЧИТАТЬ ДАЛЕЕ : <a href=”https://ru.euronews.com/2021/03/02/covid-seychelles-herd-immunity-soon” rel=”nofollow”>https://ru.euronews.com/2021/03/02/covid-seychelles-herd-immunity-soon</a> Подписывайтесь: <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/c/%D0%B5%D0%B2%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%BD%D1%8C%D1%8E%D1%81?sub_confirmation=1″ rel=”nofollow”>https://www.youtube.com/c/евроньюс?sub_confirmation=1</a> Прямой эфир euronews: <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/c/%D0%B5%D0%B2%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%BD%D1%8C%D1%8E%D1%81/live” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.youtube.com/c/евроньюс/live</a>…
 

Large Commercial Blaze Erupts In South LA
Firefighters are battling a massive fire which has engulfed a commercial building in South Los Angeles.
 

Hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls freed – BBC News
A group of nearly 300 girls who were kidnapped from a school in north-western Nigeria last week have been released, a local official says. The girls were abducted by gunmen from their boarding school in Jangebe, Zamfara state, on Friday and taken to a forest, police said. The state’s governor said on Tuesday that the group had been freed and the…
 

La pandemia echa a perder más de un tercio del curso escolar en todo el mundo
Londres (Reino Unido), 2 mar (EFE).- Los niños de todo el mundo han perdido desde el inicio de la pandemia una media de 74 días de educación cada uno, más de un tercio del curso escolar, debido al cierre de centros y a la falta de acceso al aprendizaje a distancia, según un estudio publicado este martes por la ONG Save the Children. CONTIENE IMÁGENES…
 

GEMCAT busca crear un protocolo de conciliación e igualdad para fomentar el empleo en La Raya
Lisboa (Portugal), 2 mar (EFE).- (Imagen: Andrea Caballero de Mingo) La igualdad de género y la conciliación laboral serán claves para mantener las constantes vitales en las poblaciones de La Raya, la frontera entre España y Portugal, que sufrieron una pérdida de habitantes generalizada entre 2000 y 2017, según estimaciones oficiales. Iniciativas que…
 

La juez deja en libertad a Bartomeu
Barcelona, 2 mar (EFE).- La juez de Barcelona que investiga el caso “BarçaGate” ha dejado este martes en libertad provisional al expresidente del FC Barcelona Josep Maria Bartomeu y a su mano derecha, Jaume Masferrer, que se han acogido a su derecho a no declarar, tal como hicieron ayer en dependencias policiales. De acuerdo con el Tribunal Superior…
 

España recibe en enero 432.362 turistas extranjeros, un 89,5 % menos
Madrid, 2 mar (EFE).- España recibió en enero pasado 432.362 turistas, un 89,5 % menos que en ese mes de 2020 -cuando aún no se había declarado la pandemia- y el gasto que hicieron bajó un 90,5 %, hasta 451,8 millones de euros. Según los datos de las encuestas de entradas (Frontur) y de gasto (Egatur) que este martes ha publicado el Instituto Nacional…
 

Recicladores en Colombia conmemoran su día y sus reivindicaciones laborales
En Colombia centenares de recicladores salieron a las calles a protestar para conmemorar un día más de su lucha incansable en el sostenimiento del medio ambiente. Desde Bogotá el corresponsal Hernán Tobar informa. teleSUR. Visite nuestro sitio web: <a href=”https://www.telesurtv.net/index.html” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.telesurtv.net/index.html</a> Vea más en nuestro sitio multimedia: <a href=”https://videos.telesurtv.net/es” rel=”nofollow”>https://videos.telesurtv.net/es</a>
 

Medianos y pequeños textileros peruanos pueden desaparecer ante crisis económica del país
En Perú la asociación de medianos y pequeños productores manufactureros exigen al gobierno decretar una salvaguarda de emergencia frente al peligro de quiebra masiva. Desde Lima la corresponsal Verónica Insausti informa. teleSUR. Visite nuestro sitio web: <a href=”https://www.telesurtv.net/index.html” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.telesurtv.net/index.html</a> Vea más en nuestro sitio multimedia: <a href=”https://videos.telesurtv.net/es” rel=”nofollow”>https://videos.telesurtv.net/es</a>
 

Владислав Дикиджи. Произвольная программа. Юноши. Финал Кубка России по фигурному катанию 2020/21
Владислав Дикиджи стал победителем финала Кубка России по фигурному катанию 2020/21 среди юниоров. Фигурист чисто исполнил произвольный прокат с самым сложным контентом и получил от судей суммарную оценку за два дня соревнований в 244,97 балла. Серебряным призером стал Андрей Кутовой (231,74), на третьем месте Николай Угожаев (222,18).
 

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‘These variants are a very real threat’: CDC warns states against fully lifting restrictions – 8:02 AM 3/2/2021



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8:02 AM 3/2/2021

‘These variants are a very real threat’: CDC warns states against fully lifting restrictions

2021 World Kickboxing Championship in Moscow cancelled due to CAS verdict – TASS
2021 World Kickboxing Championship in Moscow cancelled due to CAS verdict  TASS

Зеленский публично сделал прививку от коронавируса
Президент Украины привился вакциной Covishield, разработанной компанией AstraZeneca.

Вучич предложил провести саммит примирения между Сербией и БиГ
Саммит должен состояться через три месяца в Белграде.

ВЦИОМ спросил россиян об отношении к деятельности Горбачёва
По мнению 51% респондентов, политик думал о благе страны, но совершил ряд серьёзных просчётов.

Лавров: паспорта вакцинации в ЕС не должны повлиять на российских граждан
По мнению главы МИД, использование такого документа подразумевает насильную вакцинацию.

Турция заявила об отсутствии альтернативных вариантов размещения С-400
Турецкие власти надеются урегулировать этот вопрос с Соединенными Штатами.
Nets need OT to snap 18-year drought with win in San Antonio – New York Daily News
Nets need OT to snap 18-year drought with win in San Antonio  New York Daily News
Russian Trends: Veneer-Faced Panels for Furniture Market 2021 | Eggers, Forest Plywood, Decospan, States Industries, Timbmet, Hanson Plywood, and More – KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper – KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper
Russian Trends: Veneer-Faced Panels for Furniture Market 2021 | Eggers, Forest Plywood, Decospan, States Industries, Timbmet, Hanson Plywood, and More – KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper  KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper
The Network: The American and Russian Moralists Behind the January Insurrection – Byline Times – Byline Times
The Network: The American and Russian Moralists Behind the January Insurrection – Byline Times  Byline Times
‘2034,’ Part VI: Crossing the Red Line – WIRED
‘2034,’ Part VI: Crossing the Red Line  WIRED
The Latest: Austria, Denmark to work with Israel on vaccines – Martinsville Bulletin
The Latest: Austria, Denmark to work with Israel on vaccines  Martinsville Bulletin
Russia reports 10,565 new COVID-19 cases, 441 deaths – Reuters
Russia reports 10,565 new COVID-19 cases, 441 deaths  Reuters

‘These variants are a very real threat’: CDC warns states against fully lifting restrictions – News 12 New Jersey
‘These variants are a very real threat’: CDC warns states against fully lifting restrictions  News 12 New Jersey

Brooklyn 124, San Antonio 113 – Midland Daily News
Brooklyn 124, San Antonio 113  Midland Daily News
NPR News: 03-02-2021 7AM ET
NPR News: 03-02-2021 7AM ET
“Brooklyn NY” – Google News: Best-selling author explores how best to navigate ‘lifequakes’ – Palm Beach Post
Best-selling author explores how best to navigate ‘lifequakes’  Palm Beach Post “Brooklyn NY” – Google News
“Brooklyn Music” – Google News: George Floyd’s brother joins protest anthem album project – WTHR
George Floyd’s brother joins protest anthem album project  WTHR “Brooklyn Music” – Google News
“Brooklyn NY” – Google News: Global Absorbable Surgical Sutures Market Report Future Prospects, Growth, Outlook and Forecast 2020-2027 – KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper – KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper
Global Absorbable Surgical Sutures Market Report Future Prospects, Growth, Outlook and Forecast 2020-2027 – KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper  KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper “Brooklyn NY” – Google News

Полиция применила светошумовые гранаты против протестующих в Мьянме
В минувшие выходные силовики жестко подавляли акции протеста во многих городах страны.

Россияне смогут получать данные о вакцинации от коронавируса онлайн
Организации, проводящие ПЦР-тесты и тесты на антитела, должны будут с согласия физлица передавать их результаты в специальный Референс-центр, а он – в Роспотребнадзор, который должен обеспечить обмен сведениями с порталом госуслуг.

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Tweets Review: Senators to grill FBI Director Christopher Wray over security failures during the January 6 insurrection



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 Tweets 

  1.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    On this day in 1965, America’s military kicks off a three-year air campaign against North Vietnam: Operation Rolling Thunder. By the time it ends in 1968, nearly a million tons of bombs will have been dropped. That’s more than the total U.S. tonnage to fall on Nazi Germany.

  2.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Out on 16th but I got my author’s copy today: my new @OspreyBooks book, on Storm-333, the ruthlessly successful operation that kicked off the misconceived and bloody Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Available for pre-order!

  3.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Senators to grill FBI Director Christopher Wray over security failures during the January 6 insurrection https://cnn.it/3sTJ2FB 

  4.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    France WILL give AstraZeneca jab to over-65s in humiliating U-turn for Emmanuel Macron https://trib.al/GeCfR2f 

  5.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the U.S.S.R., celebrates his 90th birthday today.

    He marked his 90th birthday in quarantine and like everyone else is “tired” of coronavirus restrictions, his spokesman said https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/03/02/on-this-day-in-1931-mikhail-gorbachev-was-born-a69483 

  6.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    The Trump families escape from criminal prosecution for 40 years shows how unjust the US judicial system is. The Trumps were too rich so they could afford too good lawyers, so the public prosecutors did not find it beneficial for their careers to go after them. https://twitter.com/OlgaNYC1211/status/1366542798049185794

  7.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Can anybody explain to me why it is standard practice to lie about everything (like Trump), while the US sentence a couple of thousand of people to prison for perjury each year? Isn’t that hypocrisy?
    Why is truth not considered a value in the US?

  8.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Two UN human rights experts called Monday for an international investigation into the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, and demanded his “immediate release” from a penal colonyhttps://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/03/01/un-experts-urge-global-probe-of-navalny-poisoning-a73114 

  9.  Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    The big question for US law enforcement & the US judicial system is whether it will be able to prosecute Trump for his many & blatant crimes. Is the US a country of the rule of law or a state captured by a corrupt elite? I am waiting for the answer.

  10. The Brooklyn Bridge – http://bklyn-bridge.com  – The News And Times Information Network | World News In English, Russian, and Spanish | Audio and Video News Reviews https://bklyn-bridge.com 


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12:49 PM 3/1/2021 – Alexei Navalny Sent To Notorious Russian Prison Camp



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 12:49 PM 3/1/2021 – Alexei Navalny Sent To Notorious Russian Prison Camp

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has begun serving his two-and-a-half-year sentence at a notorious penal camp. Bill Neely reports. Aired on 03/1/2021.
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Alexei Navalny Sent To Notorious Russian Prison Camp | Morning Joe | MSNBC

El presidente de Argentina, Alberto Fernández, ha anunciado este lunes que ha pedido la apertura de una “querella” contra el Gobierno anterior, encabezado por el conservador Mauricio Macri (2015-2019), por la deuda con el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI).

(Fuente: Casa Rosada Argentina)

Puedes leer la noticia en: https://www.europapress.es/internacional/noticia-presidente-argentina-querellara-contra-gobierno-anterior-prestamo-fmi-20210301173118.html

Visto en: https://www.youtube.com/europapress

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio did not mince words when talking about the sexual harassment allegations surrounding embattled…

It extends an extraordinary losing streak for lawsuits from Donald Trump and his allies seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential…

Latest on Prince Philip’s condition

Prince Philip is being moved to a different hospital and will continue to be monitored by doctors.

GettyImages-1231334677-760x380.jpg

B.1.1.7 variant now 10% of US cases—and cases are once again ticking up  Ars Technica

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  1. The Supreme Court finally rejected Sidney Powell’s election conspiracy theory lawsuits  Business Insider
  2. Supreme Court to hear major test of voting rights law  NBC News
  3. A Supreme Court Test for What’s Left of the Voting Rights Act  The New York Times
  4. US supreme court could deal blow to provision protecting minority voters  The Guardian
  5. Supreme Court to debate voting rights case that advocates worry will limit access to polls  USA TODAY
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News
Heavy rains lead to rescues, road closures in Appalachia

AG sues Texas utility over customers’ sky-high energy bills

Prince Harry: Split from royal life ‘unbelievably tough’

CDC chief warns against letting guard down as virus cases rise


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Trump Says Prison Time for Ex-President of France Sets Horrible Precedent



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Trump Says Prison Time for Ex-President of France Sets Horrible Precedent

Boro-Sarkozy.jpg

Trump called the corruption case against Nicolas Sarkozy a “rigged hoax” and claimed that the former French leader was being treated “very unfairly.”

First Read is your briefing from “Meet the Press” and the NBC Political Unit on the day’s most important political stories and why they matter.

Fresh charges against deposed Burmese leader

p085qrzc.jpg

Aung San Suu Kyi is charged with two more offences, as the security forces again use tear gas and stun grenades against peaceful protesters. Also: the former president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, is found guilty of corruption and influence peddling; and Donald Trump hints at a new bid for the White House.

 audio/mpeg p098czdp.mp3
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shoots back at Ted Cruz, saying he treated storm-hit Texas as a ‘layover’ between trips to Cancun and CPAC

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez visits homes that were damaged by the winter storm in Houston. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez visits homes that were damaged by the winter storm in Houston.

Elizabeth Conley/Reuters

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hit back at Sen. Ted Cruz after the Texas Republican mocked her during his CPAC speech. 
  • Ocasio-Cortez again criticized Cruz for fleeing his home state during the recent electrical grid collapse. 
  • The two lawmakers have feuded since the New York Democrat accused Cruz of helping incite the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot. 
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hit back at Sen. Ted Cruz after the Texas Republican mocked her during a recent speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. 

The two lawmakers have publicly feuded since the New York Democrat accused Cruz of helping incite the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot by voting against the certification of the 2020 election and feeding the right’s lies about the election results.

Ocasio-Cortez added to the widespread criticism Cruz faced after he fled his home state and flew to Cancun, Mexico with his family during his state’s severe winter storms and electrical grid collapse last month. The congresswoman led fundraising efforts for Texas storm victims, raising $5 million for non-profit organizations, and flew to the state to meet with those affected by the crisis. At least 58 Texans were killed by hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other accidents during what may be the most costly disaster in the state’s history. 

Cruz flew back to Texas after his trip provoked widespread backlash and his aides published photos of him handing out bottled water to needy constituents. 

“I don’t care what Cruz said at CPAC,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Sunday night, “but I do care that it appears Texas was just a layover stop for him between Cancun and Orlando to drop a pack of water into someone’s trunk and abandon his constituents again as they get slammed with $16,000 electrical bills.”

During his CPAC speech last Friday, the senator made light of his Mexican scandal and mocked Ocasio-Cortez’s concerns about her personal safety during the Capitol siege. The 31-year-old second-term congresswoman has received an unusual number of death threats and accused Cruz of “trying to get me killed.” 

“We’re gathered at a time where the hard left, where the socialists control the levers of government, where they control the White House, where they control every executive branch, where they control both houses of Congress. Bernie is wearing mittens, and AOC is telling us she was murdered,” Cruz said at CPAC. 

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Peter Suciu

Technology, Americas

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It seems like everyone keeps getting more and more scam calls about car insurance, student loan debt, or tax issues.

In November, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) announced that the owner and operator of an India-based call center was sentenced to prison for scamming U.S. victims out of millions of dollars. The forty-four-year-old based operator will spend upwards of twenty years in prison and was ordered to pay restitution of nearly $8.8 million to victims of his crimes.

“The long arm of federal law enforcement was key to bringing this con artist to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the Southern District of Texas in a statement.

“Across the globe, U.S. law enforcement is chasing and dismantling these schemes,” Patrick added.

However, the question is whether the U.S. efforts to chase and dismantle are actually doing enough? Judged by the volume of calls most Americans continue to get, it would seem the DoJ is facing a proverbial Hydra—where if you cut off on head, two more grow back in its place. 

Just a month after the DoJ’s announcement, The New York Times reported that police in New Delhi arrested more than fifty individuals who were involved in a call-center scheme. In this particularly insidious operation, the scammers preyed on American victims and said that their assets were being seized by U.S. law enforcement agencies and they faced arrest or could choose an “alternative dispute resolution” that included the transfer of the money through their bank accounts, Bitcoins or Google gift cards.

While efforts have been made to inform and educate the American public, some 4,500 Americans still fell for the scam and officials estimate the crime ring made more than $14 million in a two-year period.

The rise in some nefarious operations has grown because India has become one of the primary locations of international call centers. More than 1.2 million people are employed in the industry, and while much of it is legitimate, criminals have adapted it towards a number of criminal efforts. Some involve emailing would-be victims with links to websites that install malware—but it is the so-called “robo-calls” that seem to be most ubiquitous and potentially dangerous as these target those who don’t typically use computers such as the elderly and those in the lower income brackets.

Will Biden Act?

President Joe Biden named Rohit Chopra to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, after previously serving as a deputy at the consumer agency. He has worked on student loan issues and helped secure funding for individuals who were unlawfully targeted by debt collectors. However, it remains unclear if the CFPB would work closely with the DoJ and Federal Communications Commission to crack down on robo-calls and other telemarketing scams. For now, it seems that the Biden administration will do little if anything to combat these calls.

Perhaps phone scams might seem like a problem that doesn’t fall into the purview of the White House—but it should and actually it does, at least in a roundabout fashion. For one, the Biden Administration could put pressure on India to do more. After all, while New Delhi has stepped up efforts it certainly isn’t enough. A threat to withhold financial aid to India could be a good start.

The administration has made efforts to address income inequality in this country, to combat systemic racism and to solve the college debt problem. Those are all noble issues to resolve, but these phone scams deserve attention as well—for one they are impacting the very Americans that can afford it the least.

Technology to the Rescue

If the administration doesn’t act, a question should be asked as to how the calls can be stopped by the phone companies?

“Technology can be employed to stop these calls and limit the ability to spoof numbers,” said technology industry analyst Rob Enderle, principal at the Enderle Group.

“There just hasn’t been much of an incentive to fix the problem,” Enderle told The National Interest. “You could crowdsource reporting, you could use the same kind of Deep Learning AI that Deep Instinct uses to look for this behavior and block it almost immediately, but without the incentives to make this happen, it isn’t getting done.”

However, the problem may not be the low effort required and the potential return on investment (ROI).

“This is simple market economics,” added Jim Purtilo, associate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland. “The calls continue since their value to phone scammers still outweighs their cost. It takes millions of calls to find a single victim, but for the most part those calls are free, so even a small scam brings pure profit. The dialing and screening is entirely automated, as is the hand off to some sweatshop worker with the menial task of completing a con.”

However, technology could still play a role in lowering the volume of the calls.

“Software to manage this work flow is pretty easy to create, and unsurprisingly this is all done over the Internet,” Purtilo told The National Interest. “We’re all happy when internet-based phone services make our lives simpler; for example, we can get voice mail routed to an email address, even with speech-to-text so we can read the note, not just hear recorded audio.”

That API (application programming interface) lets innovative entrepreneurs offer these services is the same one that lets someone automate sketchy activities, complete with forged Caller ID to make it look like Aunt Barbara is calling, added Purtilo.

The issue is still that almost none of these calls originate domestically.

“Those would be far easier to localize to a source and close,” said Purtilo. “Instead, the majority originate internationally in order to dodge domestic regulations and reduce the cost of labor. Once a call crosses that border there is little ability to reach back and discover actionable information.”

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on <a href=”http://Amazon.com” rel=”nofollow”>Amazon.com</a>.

Image: Reuters.

278402 The National Interest

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Watch live: Top U.S. Capitol security officials testify at House hearing on January 6 attack posted at 14:59:45 UTC | The Truth Should Be The Goal Of 9/11-Style Commission



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Watch live: Top U.S. Capitol security officials testify at House hearing on January 6 attack

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