This article is about the German-American businessman. For his son, see Fred Trump.Frederick Trump (born Friedrich Trump, March 14, 1869 '' March 30, 1918) was a German-born American businessman. He was the father of Elizabeth, Fred, and John G. Trump and grandfather of businessman Donald Trump. Trump made his first fortune operating boom-town hotels, restaurants and brothels in the northwestern United States and western Canada. He later returned to Germany and married, before returning to the United States.
Friedrich Trump was born in the town of Kallstadt in the Palatinate, to Christian Johannes Trump and Katherina Kober.:480 Kallstadt, a relatively impoverished region, was known for its viniculture since the Roman Empire. Trump's ancestor, Hans Drumpf, first settled in Kallstadt in 1608, and his family owned a vineyard.:25''26 In 1871, the Palatinate became part of the new German Empire. Trump's son Fred later denied his German heritage, instead claiming his father had been a Swede from Karlstad.
After being sick with emphysema for ten years, Trump's father died on July 6, 1877, at the age of 48, leaving the family in debt from medical expenses,:28 although biographer Gwenda Blair described Trump's family as "relatively prosperous" prior to the illness. While all five of his siblings worked in the family grape fields, Trump was considered too sickly to endure hard labor.:29 In 1883, Trump, then aged 14, was sent to nearby Frankenthal by his mother to work as a barber's apprentice and learn the trade. Trump worked seven days a week for two and a half years under barber Friedrich Lang. After completing his apprenticeship, he returned to Kallstadt, but quickly discovered that there was not enough business to earn a living. He was also approaching the age when he would have to serve a mandatory three-year military service. He quickly decided to immigrate to the United States, later saying, "I agreed with my mother that I should go to America";:30 years later, his family members said that he left secretly in the night and left his mother a note without consulting her.:30''31
Move to the United States
In 1885, at age 16, Trump emigrated from Bremen, Germany, to the United States aboard the steamship Eider, departing on October 7:32 and arriving at the Castle Garden Emigrant Landing Depot in New York City on October 19. U.S. immigration records list his name as "Friedrich Trumpf", last place of residence as "Kallstadt", country of birth as "Germany", and his occupation as "farmer". He moved in with his older sister Katherine '' who had emigrated in 1883:31 '' and her husband Fred Schuster. Only a few hours after arriving, he met a German-speaking barber who was looking for an employee:25 and began working the following day.:34 He worked as a barber for six years. Trump lived with his relatives in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a neighborhood with many Kallstadt immigrants, at 76 Forsyth Street.:33 Because the cost of operating at 76 Forsyth Street was getting expensive, they later moved to 606 East 17th Street:37 and to 2012 2nd Avenue.:39
In 1891, Trump moved to Seattle, Washington. With his life savings of several hundred dollars, he bought supplies, such as tables, chairs, and a range, and purchased the Poodle Dog, which he renamed the Dairy Restaurant. Located at 208 Washington Street, the Dairy Restaurant was in the middle of Seattle's Red Light District; Washington Street was nicknamed "the Line" and included an assortment of saloons, casinos, and brothels. Blair, the biographer, called it "a hotbed of sex, booze, and money, was the indisputable center of the action in Seattle.":41 The restaurant served food and liquor and was advertised to include "Rooms for Ladies", a common euphemism for prostitution.:50 Trump lived in Seattle until early 1893:59 and voted in Washington's first presidential election in 1892.:50 That same year he became a U.S. citizen.:94
On 14 February 1894, Trump sold the Dairy Restaurant, and in March, he moved to the mining town of Monte Cristo, Washington in Snohomish County. Monte Cristo was expected to produce a fortune of gold and silver because evidence of mineral deposits were discovered in 1889. This led to many prospectors moving to the area in hopes of becoming rich, with the financial investment of billionaire John D. Rockefeller in the entire Everett area creating an exaggerated expectation of the area's potential.:53''58 Before leaving Seattle, he bought 40 acres (16 ha) in the Pine Lake Plateau, twelve miles east of the city, for $200, representing the first real estate purchase of the Trump family.:59 In Monte Cristo, Trump found a plot of land near the train station that he wanted to build a new hotel on, but could not afford the $1,000-per-acre fee to purchase it. Instead, he filed a Gold placer claim on the land, which allowed him to claim exclusive mineral rights to the land without having to pay for it:60 even though the land had already been claimed by Everett resident Nicholas Rudebeck. At that time, the US Land Office was known to be corrupt and allowed such activity frequently. Despite the placer's claim having given Trump no right to build any structure on the land, Trump quickly bought lumber to build a new hotel and operate it similarly to the Dairy Restaurant. He never attempted to mine gold on the land. Blair described Trump as ''mining the miners'', since even if they never found any gold, they still needed a place to sleep at night when they were mining.:61 While running the profitable hotel, Rudebeck filed to incorporate the land and then sent agents to collect rent in July 1894.:65''66 Trump finally bought the land in December 1894.:69 While in Monte Cristo, Trump was elected to office, winning the 1896 election for justice of the peace by a 32-to-5 margin.:71
Years of mining had revealed that there was not nearly as much gold and silver in Monte Cristo than had once been believed,:68 and in August 1894, Rockefeller pulled out of most of his investment in the area, creating the "Everett bubble burst".:67 By the spring of 1896, most of the miners had left Monte Cristo, causing a labor shortage and less business for Trump, despite his being one of the few people to make money in Monte Cristo. Trump prepared for the bubble burst by funding two miners in the Yukon in exchange for them staking a claim for him.:72 In July 1897, the Klondike Gold Rush began with the arrival of boats with gold in San Francisco and Seattle, resulting in thousands of people rushing to the area to make their fortune.:73 Trump sold off most of his property in Monte Cristo a few weeks later and moved back to Seattle.:74
In Seattle, Trump opened a new restaurant at 207 Cherry Street. Business was so good that he paid off the mortgage in four weeks. Meanwhile, on July 7, the two miners that Trump had funded staked his claim at Hunker Creek, a tributary of the Klondike. After spending $15 to register the claim, they sold half of it for $400 the next day. A week later, another miner sold it for $1,000.:77 On September 20, they staked a second claim, at Deadwood Cree. Half of it was sold in October for $150, while the other half was sold in December for $2,000. By early 1898, Trump had made enough money to go to the Yukon for himself.:79 He bought all the necessary supplies, sold off his remaining property in Monte Cristo and Seattle, and transferred his 40 acres in the Pine Lake Plateau to his sister Louise.:78 In 1900, Louise sold the property for $250.:80 In the years following Trump's departure from Monte Cristo, Rockefeller canceled plans for a railway through the town, and it subsequently experienced some of the worst avalanches and floods in its history.:79
Role in Yukon gold rush
Blair, the biographer, stated that after Trump left for the Yukon, he "had no plans to mine himself.":81 He likely travelled the White Pass route,:83 which included the notorious ''Dead Horse trail'', so named because drivers whipped animals of transport until they literally dropped dead on the trail and were left to decompose. In the spring of 1898, Trump and another miner named Ernest Levin opened a tent restaurant along the trail. Blair wrote that "a frequent dish was fresh-slaughtered, quick-frozen horse.":84
In May 1898, Trump and Levin moved to Bennett, British Columbia, a town known for prospectors building boats in order to travel to Dawson. In Bennett, Trump and Levin opened the Arctic Restaurant and Hotel, which offered fine dining and lodging in a sea of tents.:85 The Arctic was originally housed in a tent itself, but demand for the hotel and restaurant grew until it occupied a two-story building. When describing the Arctic in a letter to the Yukon Sun newspaper, [a journalist?] wrote: "For single men the Arctic has excellent accommodations as well as the best restaurant in Bennett, but I would not advise respectable women to go there to sleep as they are liable to hear that which would be repugnant to their feelings '' and uttered, too, by the depraved of their own sex." The Arctic House was one of the largest and most decadent restaurants in that region of the Klondike, offering fresh fruit and ptarmigan in addition to the staple of horsemeat. The Arctic was open 24 hours a day and advertised "Rooms for ladies," which included beds and scales for measuring gold dust. The local Mounties were known to tolerate vice so long as it was conducted discreetly.:86
In 1900, the 150-mile-long White Pass and Yukon Route, a railroad between Bennett and Whitehorse, Yukon, was completed, allowing Trump to establish the White Horse Restaurant and Inn in Whitehorse.:87''88 They moved the building by barge, relocated on Front Street, and were operational by June.:88''89 The new restaurant, which included one of the largest steel ranges in the area, prepared 3,000 meals per day and now included gambling. Despite the enormous financial success, Trump and Levin began fighting due to Levin's drinking. They broke their business relationship in February 1901, but reconciled in April. Around that time, the local government announced suppression on prostitution, gambling and liquor, though the crackdown was delayed by businesspeople until later that year. In light of this impending threat to his business operation, Trump sold his share of the restaurant to Levin and left the Yukon.:90''91 In the months that followed, Levin was arrested for public drunkenness and sent to jail, and the Arctic was taken over by the Mounties.:92 Blair wrote that "once again, in a situation that created many losers, [Trump] managed to emerge a winner.":93
Marriage and family
Trump returned to Kallstadt in 1901 a wealthy man. Blair, the biographer said that "the business of seeing his customers' need for food, drink and female companionship had been good to him.":94 He quickly met and proposed to his old neighbor, Elizabeth Christ (October 10, 1880 '' June 6, 1966). Trump's mother disapproved of Christ because she saw Christ's family as being from a lower social standing. Despite this, they married on August 26, 1902, and moved to New York City.:95 In New York, Trump found work as a barber and a restaurant and hotel manager. They lived at 1006 Westchester Avenue in the German-speaking Morrisania neighborhood of the Bronx. Their daughter Elizabeth was born on April 20, 1904. Due to Elizabeth Sr.'s extreme homesickness, they returned to Germany later that year.:96 In May 1904, when he applied in New York for a U.S. passport to travel with his wife and his daughter, he listed his profession as "hotelkeeper". In Germany, Trump deposited into a bank his life's savings of 80,000 marks, equivalent to $505,248 in 2016.:96
Soon after returning German authorities determined that Trump had emigrated from Germany to avoid his tax and military-service obligations, and he was labeled a draft dodger.:98 On December 24, 1904 the Department of Interior announced an investigation to expel Trump from the country. Officially, they found that he had violated the Resolution of the Royal Ministry of the Interior number 9916, a 1886 law that punished emigration to North America to avoid military service with the loss of German citizenship.:99 For several months, he unsuccessfully petitioned the government to allow him to stay.:100 He and his family finally returned to New York on June 30, 1905.:102
Trump's son Fred was born on October 11, 1905, in Queens, New York. The family lived at 539 East 177th Street. In 1907, his second son John was born. Later that year they moved to Woodhaven, Queens. While living in Queens, he opened a very successful barber shop at 60 Wall Street in Manhattan.:110
Later life and death
In 1908, Trump bought real estate on Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven. Two years later, he moved his family into the building on the land and rented out several other rooms. He also worked as a hotel manager at the Medallion Hotel on 6th Avenue and 23rd Street.:112 He had plans to continue buying more land, but during World War I, he was compelled to keep a low profile because Americans were suspicious of German-born citizens.:113''115
On March 30, 1918, while walking with Fred, he suddenly felt extremely sick and was rushed to bed. He died a few hours later of pneumonia during the 1918 flu pandemic.:116 He was 49 years old.
At his death his net holdings included a 2-storey, 7-room home in Queens; 5 vacant lots; $4,000 in savings; $3600 in stocks; and 14 mortgages. Altogether his net value was $31,359 ($493,900 today).:118 Elizabeth Sr. and Fred continued his real estate projects under the Elizabeth Trump & Son moniker.
The immigration records list his name as Friedr. Trumpf, but sources including the genealogy organization FamilySearch, a genealogist at About.com, and the 2013 book America's Obsessives concluded that both his father and his aunt's surname were Trump; while the 2001 book The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Candidate wrote that the family name was changed from Drumpf to Trump during the Thirty Years' War of the 1600s.
^Panetta, Alexander (September 19, 2015). "Donald Trump's grandfather ran Canadian brothel during gold rush". CBC News. Retrieved December 10, 2015. ^ abcdBlair, Gwenda (August 24, 2015). "The Man Who Made Trump Who He Is". Politico. Retrieved March 11, 2016. ^Johann Trump, Katharina Kober, Friedrich Trump, Kallstadt Kingdom Bavaria, March 29, 1869, FHL microfilm 193950 '' familysearch.org^ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzaaabacadaeafagahaiajakalamanaoapaqarasatauavawaxayazbabbbcbdbebfbgbhGwenda Blair (2000). The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-1079-9. ^Crolly, Hannelore (August 24, 2015). "Donald Trump, King of Kallstadt". Die Welt online (in German). Retrieved November 21, 2015. ^"U.S. Immigration records. Line 133 mentions "Friedr. Trumpf", age 16, born in "Kallstadt", Germany.". ^Evan Bush (August 25, 2015). "Donald Trump's grandfather got business start in Seattle". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 21, 2015. ^ abc"How the Trumps struck Klondike gold". Daily Mail. September 8, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2015. ^Rozhon, Tracie (June 26, 1999). "Fred C. Trump, Postwar Master Builder of Housing for Middle Class, Dies at 93". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010. ^"Elisabeth Trump". geni_family_tree. ^"Donald Trump genealogy". Wargs.com. Retrieved October 24, 2012. ^US Passport Applications: Fred Trump U.S. Passport Applications 1904-1905, Fred Trump, Roll 653, 25 May 1904-31 May 1904^Grier, Peter (August 24, 2015). "Donald Trump: the son of an immigrant". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved August 30, 2015. ^Sean Keeley (July 28, 2015). "Don't Like Donald Trump? You Can Blame Seattle". Curbed.com. Retrieved September 21, 2015. ^"Friedrich Trump". FamilySearch. Retrieved 6 March 2016. ^Powell, Kimberly. "Ancestry of Donald Trump - Great Grandparents". About.com. Retrieved 6 March 2016. ^Kendall, Joshua (2013). "America's Obsessives: The Compulsive Energy That Built a Nation". Grand Central Publishing. Retrieved 7 March 2016. John Henry Heinz's mother was Charlotte Luise Trump, a sister of the Donald's great-grandfather, John Trump ^Blair, Gwenda (2001). The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Candidate. Simon and Schuster. pp. 26''27. Retrieved March 4, 2016. ^Victor, Daniel (March 2, 2016). "Donald Drumpf: A Funny Label, but Is It Fair". The New York Times. ^"Why Donald Trump trumps Donald Drumpf". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
Authorities say it is likely there are no survivors after a hot air balloon carrying at least 16 people caught on fire and crashed in Central Texas.
The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Saturday that investigators are determining the number of victims and their identities.
Lynn Lunsford with the Federal Aviation Administration said in an earlier statement that the accident happened shortly after 7:40 a.m. Saturday near Lockhart, Texas, when the hot air balloon crashed into a pasture. Lunsford said there were at least 16 people on board.
Lunsford said that the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are going to the scene to investigate.
Lockhart is about 30 miles south of Austin.
This story has been corrected to show that the accident happened about 7:40 a.m., not 8:40 a.m.
Officials: No apparent survivors in Texas balloon crash
LOCKHART, Texas (AP) '-- A hot air balloon carrying at least 16 people caught on fire and crashed in Central Texas on Saturday, and there did not appear to be any survivors, authorities said.
Authorities would not confirm the exact number of deaths, but Lynn Lunsford with the Federal Aviation Administration said the balloon was carrying at least 16 people and the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that it didn't look like anyone survived.
If 16 people were killed, it would be the one of the worst such disasters, possibly the worst in U.S. history. The deadliest such disaster happened in February 2013, when a balloon flying over Luxor, Egypt, caught fire and plunged 1,000 feet to the ground, crashing into a sugar cane field and killing at least 19 foreign tourists
Saturday's crash happened at about 7:40 a.m. in a pasture near Lockhart, which is about 30 miles south of Austin. The land near the crash site is mostly farmland, with corn crops and grazing cattle. Cutting through that farmland is a row of massive high-capacity electrical transmission lines about 4 to 5 stories tall. The site of the crash appears to be right below the overhead lines, though authorities haven't provided further details about what happened. Aerial photos showed an area of charred pasture underneath power lines.
Margaret Wylie lives about a quarter-mile from the crash site and told The Associated Press that she was letting her dog out Saturday morning when she heard a "pop, pop, pop."
"I looked around and it was like a fireball going up," she said, noting that the fireball was under large power lines and almost high enough to reach the bottom of them.
Wylie, who called 911, said the weather seemed clear and that she frequently sees hot air balloons in the area.
Erik Grosof with the National Transportation Safety Board said at a news conference that the agency has deemed it a major accident and a full-bore investigation will begin Sunday when more federal officials arrive. "This will be a difficult site for us to work through," Grosof said.
The balloon was operated by Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides, according to two officials familiar with the investigation. The officials spoke on condition that they not be named because they weren't authorized to speak publicly.
Heart of Texas' website said it offers rides in the San Antonio, Houston and Austin areas. The company's Facebook page features photos of a hot air balloon with a smiley face with sunglasses on it up in the air, people waving from a large basket on the ground and group selfies taken while up in the air.
The operation does not appear to be registered with the state of Texas.
Authorities have not released the names of those who were on board and have not said who was flying the balloon.
Skip Nichols identifies himself on his Facebook page as the chief pilot of Heart of Texas and pictures posted by him are on the business' Facebook page. Nichols, 49, is also the registered owner of Missouri-based Air Balloon Sports LLC. No one answered the door at a home in Kyle, Texas, believed to be his. Calls to Heart of Texas operations manager Sarah Nichols, 72, rang unanswered, and a woman in Missouri believed to be his sister did not return calls seeking comment.
Warning about potential high-fatality accidents, safety investigators recommended two years ago that the Federal Aviation Administration impose greater oversight on commercial hot air balloon operators, government documents show. The FAA rejected those recommendations.
In a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in April 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board urged the FAA to require tour companies to get agency permission to operate, and to make balloon operators subject to FAA safety inspections. The FAA's Huerta responded that regulations were unnecessary because the risks were too low.
After Huerta's reply, the NTSB classified the FAA's response to the two balloon safety recommendations as "open-unacceptable," which means the safety board was not satisfied with the FAA's response.
Speaking to the AP just before leaving for Texas to lead the crash investigation, NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said he was studying the board's recommendations from previous hot air balloon accidents. "I think the fact that it is open-unacceptable pretty much speaks for itself," he said.
He also noted that the team was still trying to gather basic information about the accident.
FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said it's difficult to say whether the Texas crash will cause the agency to reconsider NTSB's recommendations "until we've had a chance to gather and examine the evidence in this particular case."
Associated Press writers Jamie Stengle in Dallas, Emily Schmall in Fort Worth and Joan Lowy in Washington contributed to this report.
This story has been corrected to show that the accident happened about 7:40 a.m., not 8:40 a.m., and that the witness' last name is Wylie, not Wiley.
Follow Joan Lowy at twitter.com/AP_Joan_Lowy. Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joan-lowy
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On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned West for refusing to show solidarity with Ankara in the wake of a failed attempt to overthrow the government saying that NATO 'allies' that are more concerned about the fate of coup supporters than the survival of Turkey are not friends of Ankara.
(C) REUTERS/ Kevin Lamarque
Erdogan blasted the West for criticizing the massive purge of Turkey's military and other state institutions which has seen 60,000 people detained, removed or suspended over suspected links with the coup and for cancelling 50,000 civilian passports which many worry is but a prelude to an expansion of the reign of terror inside the country.
"The attitude of many countries and their officials over the coup attempt in Turkey is shameful in the name of democracy," Erdogan told hundreds of supporters at the presidential palace in Ankara.
"Any country and any leader who does not worry about the life of Turkish people and our democracy as much as they worry about the fate of coupists are not our friends," said Erdogan, who narrowly escaped capture and perhaps death on the night of the coup.
The statements come in response to US National Intelligence Director James Clapper's statement on Thursday that the purges were harming the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq by stripping away key Turkish officers who had worked closely with the United States.
Comments made at Erdogan's rally on Friday follow remarks made earlier in the day blasting four-star US General and CENTCOM commander Joseph Votel for criticizing Turkey's post-coup attempt purge saying "Who are you? Know your place." Erdogan went on to hint once more that the United States planned the failed government overthrow bid.
"My people know who is behind this scheme'... they know who the superior intelligence behind it is, and with these statements you are revealing yourselves, you are giving yourselves away."
The remarks come at a troubling time only one day after over 5,000 protesters yelling "death to the US" marched towards NATO's critical Incirlik Air Base which houses between 50 and 90 US tactical nuclear weapons before security officials successfully dispersed the raging demonstrators.
Last Sunday, a massive fire broke out near another key NATO base in Izmir with T24 News reporting that officials suspected ''anti-American sabotage'' as the cause of the blaze. The incident occurred only hours after leading pro-Erdogan Islamist newspaper Yani Safek posted the picture of another top US General, Commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) John F. Campbell, under the headline ''The Man Behind the Failed Coup in Turkey.''
In the wake of the failed coup bid, Turkey's Labor Minister Suleyman Soylu rushed for a live interview with HaberTurk to say that ''the US is behind the coup'' and only hours after the State Department condemned this statement as "harmful to bilateral relations" the country's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim accused the United States of harboring alleged coup mastermind Fethullah Gulen and said Turkey would go to war with "any" country that sides with the Pennsylvania-based cleric.
As the United States relationship with Ankara in tatters forcing Washington to imagine the implications of Turkey potentially abandoning NATO, if the US isn't forced to demand their eviction before that, US General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, rushed to Ankara on Friday to attempt to quell tensions.
However, with polls before the failed coup showing that only 17% of Turks welcome the United States in the country and with the Erdogan regime's flippant willingness to accuse Washington of plotting a coup against, festering anti-Western sentiments threaten to explode in Turkey at any time and analysts wonder if the Turkish President will, or even can, put the genie back in the bottle.
EUCOM General Removed over Extramarital Affair, Misuse of Resources | Military.com
Army Maj. Gen. David Haight was removed from his position as head of operations at U.S. European Command in connection with allegations that he had misused government resources while having an extramarital affair, the U.S. Army said Wednesday.
Haight was moved from his post earlier this summer and reassigned to Army headquarters in the Pentagon, a typical stopping point for senior officers under investigation.
"Maj. Gen. Haight was reprimanded for failing to exhibit exemplary conduct by engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a woman who was not his wife and for misusing government resources," said Col. Pat Seiber, an Army spokesman, in a statement.
Haight, who is now awaiting further assignment instructions, received an official Army reprimand, said Seiber.
"Upon retirement, the Army may convene a Grade Determination Review Board for a recommendation as to whether he served satisfactorily in the last grade held," Seiber said.
Haight, in a statement to USA Today which first reported the allegation of misconduct, apologized for his actions.
"I'm very sorry -- and take full responsibility -- for my actions," Haight told USA Today. "I will cooperate fully with Army leadership as the process moves forward."
Haight arrived at EUCOM in June 2015. In his position, Haight helped oversee day-to-day operations of U.S. personnel across Europe, an effort that has taken on added significance as the U.S. adjusts its force posture in response to concerns about a more assertive Russia. He previously commanded troops in Afghanistan as a brigade commander and later as a top deputy for NATO's training mission in the country.
He also served as executive officer to former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen.
The Pentagon has tapped Army Maj. Gen. Gordon "Skip" Davis to replace Haight at EUCOM headquarters in Stuttgart.
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US General Rejects Charges That He Backed Failed Coup in Turkey | Military.com
U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel speaks with Staff Sgt. Dustin Gorski, a pararescueman, during a visit to the Human Performance Center at Kadena Air Base, Japan Dec. 15, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zade Vadnais)
Army Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, was put in the position Friday of denying that he backed the attempted coup in Turkey following a tirade aimed at him by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"Any reporting that I had anything to do with the recent unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey is unfortunate and completely inaccurate," Votel said in a statement.
"Turkey has been an extraordinary and vital partner in the region for many years. We appreciate Turkey's continuing cooperation and look forward to our future partnership in the counter-ISIL fight," he said in response to Erdogan's inflammatory remarks accusing him of "taking the side" of the coup plotters.
Erdogan, speaking at a police headquarters that was bombed by the coup leaders, took issue with an interview Votel gave Thursday at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado in which he said that there was "friction" in U.S.-Turkey military relations since the attempt to bring down the government.
"We have certainly had relationships with a lot of Turkish leaders -- military leaders in particular," said Votel, the former head of U.S. Special Operations Command and one of the most respected officers in uniform. "I am concerned about what the impact is on those relationships as we continue."
Referring to Votel, Erdogan said, "It's not up to you to make that decision. Who are you? Know your place! You are taking the side of coup plotters instead of thanking this state for defeating the coup attempt" on July 15 that left more than 300 dead on the streets of Istanbul and Ankara.
The immediate concern raised by Erdogan's outburst was for continued flight operations out of the U.S. airbase at Incirlik in southeastern Turkey against ISIS in Syria. Turkey briefly halted flights out of Incirlik following the coup and also cut off commercial power to the base. The power was restored five days later.
"The coalition would prefer to fly out of Incirlik" against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, but could compensate from other bases in the region and naval aircraft, said Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook. "We're able to mitigate and deal with instances where we're unable to fly from certain locations," he said.
On Thursday, at least 500 demonstrators '' Turkish media gave varying estimates on their numbers -- were at the gates of Incirlik burning U.S. flags and demanding an end to the U.S. presence. Pentagon officials said flight operations continued during the demonstrations.
In March, about 600 of the 700 U.S. military families in Turkey were evacuated. Last week, Pentagon officials said about 100 dependents remained in Turkey. Cook said he was not aware of any changes in the status of the dependents still in Turkey.
At a Pentagon briefing defending Gen. Votel, Cook said the "U.S. has repeatedly condemned the failed coup in Turkey" and added that "we continue to have excellent military relations with Turkey." Any suggestion that Votel was involved in a coup against Turkey, a close NATO ally, "would be absurd," he said.
Cook said U.S. military officials were in constant contact with their Turkish counterparts but could not cite any contacts since Erdogan made the charges against Votel. He said that the last time Defense Secretary Ashton Carter spoke with Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik was on July 19.
Turkish suspicions about the U.S. have been heightened by the presence in Pennsylvania of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric and former ally of Erdogan who turned against him and went into exile. Turkey has demanded the extradition of Gulen, who has denied any involvement in the coup.
Erdogan lashed out at Gulen again on Friday, and accused the U.S. of being ungrateful to him for putting down the coup by a faction of army leaders. "Instead of thanking this government for thwarting this coup attempt, and for democracy, you are standing by the putschists," Erdogan said of the U.S.
He made clear that the main "putschist" to him was Gulen. "The putschist is already in your country, you are looking after him. This is a known fact," said Erdogan, who has ordered a crackdown since the coup attempt that has led to thousands of arrests, including those more than 150 generals and admirals.
At the Aspen forum on Thursday, Votel made reference to the loss of contacts with many high-ranking Turkish officers since some were now behind bars. "Yes, I think some of them are in jail," Votel said.
The general said he was concerned that the coup's aftermath "will have an impact on the operations that we do. I am concerned that it will impact the level of cooperation and collaboration that we have with Turkey."
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, offered similar views in his own remarks at the Aspen forum. "Many of our interlocutors have been purged or arrested," he said.
"There's no question this is going to set back and make more difficult cooperation with the Turks" when it comes to intelligence, especially in counterterrorism, Clapper said.
-- Richard Sisk can be reached atRichard.Sisk@Military.com.
(C) Copyright 2016 Military.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
ZURICH (Reuters) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is concerned that a deal struck with Turkey in March on handling a wave of migrants bound for Europe could collapse, he told an Austrian newspaper.
"The risk is great. The success of the pact so far is fragile. (Turkish) President (Tayyip) Erdogan has several times hinted he wants to terminate the agreement," Juncker told Kurier when asked if the pact could fall apart.
If that happened, "then you can expect that again refugees are standing at the gates of Europe," he added in an interview published on Saturday.
Turkey has so far lived up to its side of the landmark deal with Brussels to stop illegal migration to Europe via its shores, in return for financial aid, the promise of visa-free travel to much of the bloc and accelerated talks on membership.
But Ankara has complained Europe is not living up to its side of the accord and has alarmed EU leaders by cracking down on Erdogan's opponents, especially in the wake of a failed coup on July 15-16.
Juncker reiterated his concern about political developments in Turkey and repeated that any move by Ankara to introduce the death penalty would lead to the immediate breakdown of negotiations on joining the EU.
On other subjects, Juncker said he was concerned about the state of play in EU members as well.
"In Poland, the rule of law is being battered by the Polish government's approach. Elsewhere there are incidents which go to the heart of democracy. I've been watching with concern preparations for the Hungarian refugee referendum," he said, referring to a vote on whether to take in migrants.
"If referendums are now organized over every decision by the Council of Ministers and the EU Parliament, then the rule of law is in danger. The Commission would then actually - we are not there yet - open an infringement procedure against Hungary."
Juncker said he was not looking forward to the possibility of dealing with French right-wing politician Marine Le Pen or U.S. Republican party nominee Donald Trump as presidents of their countries.
"I would not find that pleasant," he said when asked how he would feel if Le Pen won the French presidential election next year and joined the ranks of European leaders. He added: "I trust in French common sense."
And on Trump, whose America First campaign has stoked worries among European allies, he said: "I have never met him, and also put no increased value on meeting him permanently from January."
He called Democratic president rival Hillary Clinton "a very serious and thoughtful woman".
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Richard Balmforth)
As news of the attempted military coup in Turkey unfolded, I was in Pennsylvania. Travelling in the US, I had coincidentally found myself in the home state of Islamic preacher Fethullah G¼len, who Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan has singled out as the mastermind of the uprising. G¼len, once a close ErdoÄan associate until he fell out with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has lived in exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.
In what ErdoÄan calls a ''parallel state'', the G¼len movement is said to have ''infiltrated'' state institutions, most notoriously the judiciary and the police. The Turkish government reacted to the coup attempt by arresting tens of thousands of state officials including judges, civil servants, soldiers, and teachers.
In rhetoric reminiscent of the Stalinist purges, ErdoÄan promised to ''cleanse all state institutions'', rid Turkey's judiciary of ''cancer cells'' and purge state bodies of the ''virus'' that has spread throughout Turkish state structures.
The numbers of those arrested is on a truly shocking scale. More than 7,000 soldiers have been detained, 8,000 police have been removed from their posts, 3,000 members of the judiciary suspended, and thousands of civil servants in diverse ministries dismissed, including over 15,000 in the education ministry alone. All levels of education have been affected: 21,000 teachers have their licences withdrawn and more than 1,500 university deans have been told to quit their jobs.
These numbers make it hard to believe that the crackdown is not operating according to lists that had been ready already before the attempted coup.
On July 20, a three-month state of emergency was declared. Academics currently on study missions abroad have been told to return home while those in Turkey are banned from travelling abroad until further notice.
Sustained attacks on academic freedomTurkish academics have been targeted before, most recently after a petition of the Academicians for Peace Initiative was circulated that spoke out against the government's attacks in Kurdish provinces. The official state reaction was to sack and persecute academics for ''spreading terrorist propaganda''.
The Turkish Higher Education Board (YK) and public prosecutors in several Turkish university cities subsequently launched investigations against academics who signed the petition. Signatories of peace petitions were accused by the government of undermining national security and of ''supporting Kurdish propaganda''.
The preemptive obedience on the part of university managements was a grim indicator of the state of freedom of speech in Turkey and the erosion of the independence of the higher education sector. Universities started to self-censor, reacting with disciplinary measures including forced resignations, suspensions, and the launch of formal investigations.
Crackdown on schools and studentsThe arrest wave following the July 15 coup will only aggravate this clampdown on higher education. G¼len's movement, also called Hizmet, operates a network of private schools and universities, both in Turkey and abroad. What worries ErdoÄan is Hizmet's objective of educating its followers ''for the common good'' and to ''build schools instead of mosques''. Hizmet marries its emphasis on education with a moderate and pragmatic approach to Islam. It is accused of working to ''infiltrate'' Turkish state institutions and the AKP itself by taking up influential positions and undermining, in an almost Trotskyist analogy, state structures from within.
It is this paranoia that explains the Turkish government's obsession with cracking down on student protests and anti-government rallies at universities. Repression followed the 2013 Gezi Park protests and subsequent demonstrations at the Middle East Technical University in 2014.
ErdoÄan's message is unequivocal, lumping student protesters together as ''atheists, leftists, terrorists''. Passing bills to shut down private prep-schools, many of which are run by the Hizmet movement, serves the same purpose of ''cleansing'' Turkish schools of ''unhealthy'' elements.
The world must speak upState pressure on students to remain depoliticised is matched by the Higher Education Board's work to rein in the activities of academics and teachers. Following the coup attempt, the board asked university rectors to ''urgently examine the situation of all academic and administrative personnel'' with links to what it calls the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation.
The recent clampdown on teachers and education ministry officials in the wake of the coup attempt adds to a depressing list of continued attempts to staunch dissent in Turkish society. Turkey must respect the freedom of speech to which it officially subscribed as a member of the Council of Europe and as signatory of UN conventions that enshrine such fundamental democratic rights as the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
Academic freedom of thought is at the heart of a healthy civil society. Restricting the free movement of academics and curtailing the independence of universities defeats the purpose of scholarship. The exceptional proportions of the recent arrests should be met with a resolute response worldwide.
Originally Published on The Conversation
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Merkel's premiership is hanging by a thread today as thousands gathered to call for her resignation while a key political ally dramatically withdrew his support over immigration policy.
More than 5,000 protested in Berlin and thousands more throughout Germany over the 'open-door' policy that many have blamed for four brutal terrorist attacks that left 13 dead over the last month.
The Chancellor faced a fresh wave of fury after it emerged that two recent terror attacks and a third killing were carried out by men who entered the country as refugees.
More than 5,000 protested in Berlin and thousands more throughout Germany over the 'open door' policy that many have blamed for four brutal terrorist attacks that left 13 dead over the last month
The Chancellor faced a fresh wave of fury after it emerged that two recent terror attacks and a third killing were carried out by men who entered the country as refugees, which further fuelled the right-wing movement
Despite the massive waves of criticism from right-wingers (pictured, Berlin, today, wearing a shirt that says The German Reich lives within us), Merkel defended her policy this week
Police manned the streets of Germany, which is still on high alert following the attacks, as right-wing protesters met thousands of counter-demonstrators (pictured, Berlin)
The Chancellor (pictured after the Munich shootings) faced a fresh wave of fury after it emerged that two recent terror attacks and a third killing were carried out by men who entered the country as refugees
Despite the massive waves of criticism, Merkel defended her policy this week, dramatically proclaiming 'we can do it' as she pledged not to let the violent acts guide political decisions.
But now her key ally in Bavaria - which bore the brunt of the attacks - has launched a fresh attack on her leadership, distancing his party from Merkel and straining the coalition that keeps her in power.
Horst Seehofer, the conservative premier of Bavaria, said he did not share Merkel's 'we can do it' credo on accommodating the almost 1.1 million migrants and refugees who arrived in 2015.
Seehofer, who leads the Christian Social Union, the sister party to Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, said today '"We can do this" - I cannot, with the best will, adopt this phrase as my own.'
Horst Seehofer, the conservative premier of Bavaria, said he did not share Merkel's 'We can do it' credo on accommodating 1.1million migrants in 2015
Speaking after a meeting with the Bavarian government in Tegernsee, he added that the solutions to date were 'too inadequate.'
Stressing he had no wish to start a quarrel with Merkel's party, Seehofer said it was important to look 'reality' in the face.
An axe rampage, a shooting spree, a knife attack and a suicide bombing in the span of a week stunned Germany, leaving 13 people dead, including three assailants, and dozens wounded.
Three of the four attackers were asylum seekers, and two of the assaults were claimed by the Islamic State group.
'Merkel must go' has been trending on social media, with people posting powerful pictures including one claiming that she has blood on her hands after recent attacks.
The picture shows her splattered with blood, while another depicts her wearing a Burka.
A new survey found that 83 per cent of Germans see immigration as their nation's biggest challenge - twice as many as a year ago.
Recent attacks have fuelled the right-wing movement, which has long called for stricter immigration controls, particularly in Bavaria, where she faces heavy criticism from high-profile politicians.
Today, thousands of protesters calling for her to step down also met counter-protests from the anti-right-wing movement, in Germany - which is still in a state of high alert.
Thousands gathered in the capital for the march today, which was called Wir fuer Berlin und Wir fuer Deutschland (We for Berlin and We for Germany)
'Merkel must go' (pictured on the placard today) has been trending on social media, with people posting powerful pictures including one claiming that she has blood on her hands after recent attacks
Several hundred people demonstrate with banner that reads 'Berlin! Better without Nazis' against a right-wing populist march in Berlin
One picture shows her splattered with blood (pictured), while another depicts her wearing a Burka
Some believe that the open door policy that has brought more than one million Syrians to Germany is destroying the country. Pictured is an image circulating on Twitter
There was a heavy police presence (pictured) in Washington Square in Berlin as activists protested today
But in a powerful speech on Thursday, Merkel said that she would not allow jihadists to keep her government from being guided by reason and compassion.
'Despite the great unease these events inspire, fear can't be the guide for political decisions,' she said.
'It is my deep conviction that we cannot let our way of life be destroyed,' she added.
After the Bavaria attacks, Seehofer initially called into question the principle that asylum seekers should never be sent back to war zones. He later backtracked, citing international law.
However, he insisted previously: 'We must seriously consider how such people should be treated if they violate the law or can be considered a danger.'
Ali David Sonboly reportedly saw it as an 'especially positive fate' that his birthday was on the same day as Adolf Hitler's, April 20
Flowers and tributes are left at the Olympia Shopping Centre in Munich where Ali David Sonboly killed nine people in a shooting rampage on Friday
Axe attack: The bloody week of violence in Germany began with Pakistani teenager Riaz Khan Ahmadzai, 17, posing as an Afghan refugee slashing passengers on a train in Wurzburg, wounding five
Carnage: Gruesome pictures taken in the hours after the attack showed the blood-soaked interior of the train. Ahmadzai, who appeared in a chilling ISIS video, was shot dead by police
On Saturday he cited the security situation in France, Germany and specifically Bavaria, saying there was an urgent need 'to take action.'
'That's why, here in Germany, we still have some way to go to improve in all areas,' he said.
Jens Spahn, deputy finance minister and a senior member of Merkel's conservatives, said that integrating the refugees was a Herculean task but the government needed to put more pressure on those new arrivals unwilling to make an effort to fit in.
'A ban on the full body veil - that is the niqab and the burka - is overdue,' he told daily Die Welt. 'My impression is that we all underestimated a year ago what would come upon us with this big refugee and migration movement.'
Evil: ISIS jihadi Mohammad Daleel, a failed Syrian asylum seeker, blew himself up outside a wine bar in Ansbach after he was turned away from a music festival for not having a ticket
Video: Daleel, who injured 12 people in the attack, appeared in a chilling video pledging his allegiance to ISIS. His claim for asylum was rejected and he was one of 200,000 in the country awaiting deportation
A spate of sexual assaults on women in Cologne at New Year was blamed on the migrant influx and the country has been left reeling after four brutal attacks in the space of a week.
The deadliest was carried out by a German-born teenager who opened fire at a shopping mall in Munich, killing nine people before turning the gun on himself.
FOUR DEADLY ATTACKS IN A WEEKThe deadliest attack came last Friday when a German-Iranian teenager who was born and raised in Munich opened fire at a downtown shopping mall, killing nine people before turning the gun on himself.
He had been under psychiatric treatment and investigators say he was obsessed with mass shootings, including Norwegian rightwing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik's 2011 massacre.
They have ruled out an Islamist motive, saying the assailant had far-right 'sympathies'.
On July 18, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan or Pakistan slashed train passengers and a passer-by with an axe and a knife in Wuerzburg before being shot by police.
And on Sunday, a failed Syrian asylum seeker blew himself up outside a music festival in Ansbach, wounding 15 people at a nearby cafe after being turned away from the packed open-air venue. IS claimed both attacks.
Already steeped in grief and shock, Germans were further rattled by news that a Syrian refugee had killed a 45-year-old Polish woman with a large kebab knife at a snack bar in the southwestern city of Reutlingen Sunday in what authorities called a personal dispute.
Investigators said he had psychiatric problems and far-right 'sympathies' and have ruled out any Islamist motive.
But IS has claimed responsibility for two attacks in Bavaria - a failed Syrian asylum seeker who blew himself up outside a music festival in Ansbach, wounding 15, and an Afghan asylum seeker who slashed five train passengers with an axe and a knife before being shot by police.
A Syrian refugee killed a Polish woman with a knife in Reutlingen, although authorities blamed the attack on a personal dispute.
She announced new security measures including an 'early warning system' to detect radicalisation among refugees, better training for the military to respond to attacks and quicker deportation of failed asylum seekers.
Mohammed Daleel, the Ansbach suicide bomber, was able to stay in Germany despite his asylum application being rejected and twice being ordered to be deported.
Mrs Merkel said the EU's deal with Turkey would mean the number of migrants arriving in Germany would be greatly reduced.
But she repeated her conviction that the country had a duty to help people fleeing war and persecution, adding: 'I am still convinced that we can do it '' it is our historic duty and this is a historic challenge.'
The state government in Bavaria has called for an upper limit on numbers of new asylum seekers, and tougher controls on those already in Germany.
Its interior minister Joachim Herrman said: 'Islamist terrorism has unfortunately arrived in Bavaria. We are awaiting urgent action from the federal government and Europe '' now is the time to act.'
Thousands turn up to protest against Merkel's open-door refugee policy in Berlin | World | News | Daily Express
Police are patrolling the protest as crowds gather in Washington Square for an anti-immigration rally following a spate of terror attacks in the country.
Holding banners saying 'Merkel must go' and 'The queen of smugglers. Merkel must leave', crowds waving flags have flocked to the public square and the hashtag #Merkelmussweg is being used by protesters online.
Counter-demonstrations are also being held by anti-fascist groups with police expecting up to 5,000 people to gather in the German capital.
Related articlesThousands of protesters are waving banners saying 'Merkel must go'
Posters reading 'Berlin! Better without Nazis' have been seen as others walk around with t-shirts saying 'The German Reich lives in us'.
Right-wing speakers will address the crowds demanding Merkel introduce a cap on the number of migrants and tough new security checks.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has increasingly come under fire for her refugee policy which has seen more than a million migrants enter Germany in the past year, many fleeing war in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.
Thousands have turned out to protest Angela Merkel's refugee policyFive attacks in Germany since July 18 have left 15 people dead, including four attackers, and dozens injured.
Officials say two of the attackers had links to Islamist militancy.
Merkel has been forced to defend her immigration policy, which many have linked to the attacks, and has refused to change it.
#Merkelmussweg meaning 'Merkel must go' has been used on social mediaEPA
Police are expecting 5,000 people to gather in Washington Square, BerlinEPA
Several hundred people demonstrate with banner that reads 'Berlin! Better without Nazis'TWITTER
The protest comes after a spate of terror attacks in GermanyEarlier this week she set out a nine-point plan, including measures to recruit more staff for security agencies, and an early warning system for the radicalisation of refugees.
Bavaria's state premier took aim at Merkel this afternoon.
Horst Seehofer, whose Christian Social Union is the Bavarian sister party of Merkel's conservatives, said: "The problem is too big for that and the attempts at a solution thus far too unsatisfactory.
Police patrol the crowd during the anti-immigration rallyEPA
One protester wears a t-shirt written with 'The German Reich lives in us'TWITTER
The rally and counter-demonstrations are being heldTWITTER
Crowds gather to listen to right-wing speakersEPA
Police are patrolling the rally and counter-demonstrations in Berlin''Restrictions on immigration are a condition for security in this country."
Jens Spahn, deputy finance minister and a senior member of Merkel's conservatives, suggested a ban on the burka in Germany was ''overdue'' as he admitted Germany underestimated the migrant crisis.
He said: "A ban on the full body veil - that is the niqab and the burka - is overdue.
''My impression is that we all underestimated a year ago what would come upon us with this big refugee and migration movement."
Germany is on high alert following a series of attacks and police arrested a 15-year-old boy in Stuttgart on suspicion of planning a terror attack on Wednesday.
Merkel faced more criticism on social media after failing to react until the next day - and 17 hours after US President Barack Obama - to the Munich shooting where an 18-year-old German-Iranian gunman killed nine people in a shooting on July 22.
Four passengers were injured on a train in an axe attack near Wurzburg on July 18.
Related videosThe 17-year-old axeman was shot dead dead by police.
Authorities have said the refugee, who may have come from Afghanistan or Pakistan, had clear longer-term ties to Islamist extremist groups.
A Syrian asylum seeker blew himself up in Ansbach on July 25 outside a music festival killing himself and inuring 15 people.
Many witnesses at Bill Clinton's appearance at the 2016 Democratic National Convention this week commented that he looked like he was seriously ill.
During Clinton's prime time DNC speech on Tuesday night his hands visibly shook as he struggled through his performance.
''Anyone else notice the shaking hands on Bill Clinton?'' OneTwitter user posted. ''Think he's sick?''
Yes, others noticed, too:
t's been an ongoing problem for the former president.
During an appearance in Fairfield, Iowa in January, Clinton's hand was visibly shaking as he launched attacks against Bernie Sanders.
''Who will do the most to make you a part of the future that the president painted in the State of the Union,'' Clinton said, his voice quivering, too. ''How are we going to do it and who's the best change maker to do it?
''It's not close. Hillary is the best change maker to do it,'' Clinton said, his hand shaking as he pointed at the audience.
The once energetic Clinton is showing his age. It's not 1992 anymore.
In 2013, Clinton denied having Parkinson's.
''I have a condition that sometimes you get with aging,'' Clinton said at the time, the Huffington Post reported. ''You may have noticed it; my hand has a little tremor when I'm tired and a lot of people do when they're older.''
''The first time it happened, I had to go get myself checked to make sure I didn't have Parkinson's [disease],'' he said.
He said his doctor claimed he didn't, though Clinton didn't say what condition he has.
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
Do you remember the Cruz bad omen before he committed suicide in Cleveland? How his gathering had the Trump Boeing fly over and no one cared about Ted Cruz any more?
Well it has happened in Philadelphia with a fire and brimstone storm causing the DNC to run for their lives.
This though is not the real problem which Hillary Clinton faces at this moment, as her real problem is medical.
No it is not the reality that Huma Abedin has declared that Hillary Rodham Clinton is brain damaged as she is dazed and confused, requiring around 14 hours per day in sleep, and takes naps so she can rest up enough to not succumb to sleeping, to end up with a toe tag in the morgue.
No, the real Hillary Clinton medical emergency is not her hacking cough, which now hints at cancer, but the huge crater on her tongue which appeared as image Obama attempted to pass the baton to Mrs. Clinton on Wednesday night at the DNC convention.
This is a most serious reality, as this is a concave marking on her tongue, and the only way one has one of these is that a physician has cut out a huge growth on the tongue, and the only reason one cuts out this huge of a growth on a tongue, is it is cancer.
Considering the depraved sexual world which Mrs. Clinton has been involved with in her entire life, it is not surprising that either in her lesbian encounters or her oral fellatio encounters with her husband, Bill Clinton, that someone gave Mrs. Clinton oral cancer in the HPV class of sexual cancers.
This virus appears on the tongue, the throat, the cheek, and in genitals, and it appears apparently in Mrs. Clinton's mouth. To note an example, actress Colleen Zenk of the soap opera As the World Turns has had oral cancer and been treated numerous times for this disease, to the extent that part of her tongue had to be removed to save her life, and she now speaks with a lisp.
Hillary Clinton has apparently reached a second stage cancer which required radical surgery and has hidden it from the public. It appears this operation has been in the past several months and like Emailgate, it is just another one of those things that Hillary Clinton has kept hidden from the public, as in stealing the election from Bernie Sanders voters.
This is an issue which must be addressed in Hillary Clinton can use surrogates to attack Donald Trump to release his taxes, which he will in the mountains of those papers once the audits are complete, but the fact is, it is time for the complete medical history of Hillary Hamrod Clinton to be given to the American public, who she is telling in Tim Kaine's attacks on Mr. Trump to "believe her".
I do not believe Hillary Clinton, and it is a point now in wondering not when Hillary Clinton's head is going to fall off, but when. Will it be Hillary coughing her head off? Will it be Hillary losing her head with a rotting brain, or will it be Hillary Clinton's head rotting off with cancer?
There are many bad omens around Hillary Clinton, in Biblical storms in Democrats fleeing for their lives and now the discovery of Hillary Clinton's cancer.
Anthony Wiener better have his balls checked, considering where his wife Huma has been.
Is Hillary Clinton wearing a wig? Matt Drudge alleges she has fake hair on Twitter | Daily Mail Online
Matt Drudge has claimed the Democratic presidential candidate's hair is fake because she never appears to show her scalp - but one of the two stylists known to do Mrs Clinton's hair told Daily Mail Online that the allegation is 'ridiculous'.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday morning, Drudge, who runs The Drudge Report, one of the leading news aggregation websites in the world, posted pictures of Clinton to more than 320,000 followers, with captions including: 'Can we talk about Hillary's wig?'
Scroll down for video
Matt Drudge has hit out at the Democratic presidential candidate's hair and claimed it is fake because she never appears to show her scalp
The Drudge Report was leading its coverage today with the claims, underneath a headline: 'WIGGED OUT: HILLARY GIVES UP HAIR BATTLE' which linked directly to Drudge's Twitter account
And notably, Drudge also deleted every single tweet on his account leaving only five - all about Hillary and her hair.
'Never let them see your scalp,' he wrote, alongside an image of Clinton in a dark green suit, taken yesterday as she attended a veterans roundtable discussion with the Truman National Security Project at the VFW Hall in Derry, New Hampshire.
Along with another close-up of Clinton's hair, he posed the question: 'Human Or Synthetic?'
The Drudge Report led its coverage with the claims from Wednesday morning, underneath a headline: 'WIGGED OUT: HILLARY GIVES UP HAIR BATTLE'.
Clicking on the headline initially led to Drudge's Twitter feed.
The former McDonald's manager turned editor and political commentator launched the website in 1996 just as the Internet was becoming widely available.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Matt Drudge (pictured) posted pictures of Clinton to more than 320,000 followers, claiming she wears a wig
'Never let them see your scalp,' Drudge wrote, alongside an image of Clinton taken yesterday
Along close-up pictures of Clinton's hair, he posted captions questioning the authenticity of Hillary's hair
Clinton, pictured at a veterans roundtable discussion with the Truman National Security Project at the VFW Hall in Derry, New Hampshire, on Tuesday
Despite the website's bare bones look, it can make a story with a link - and claims to get around a billion visits every month.
The roots of his site's success in fact lie in covering the Clintons.
He effectively broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal when he published a piece in January 1998 that Newsweek had turned down, and followed that up with a series of scoops about the investigation into Bill Clinton which Lewinsky was part of.
Drudge also broke the news that Prince Harry had been deployed in Afghanistan in 2008, causing the Royal to be suddenly pulled out.
Drudge also deleted every single tweet on his account leaving only five - all about Hillary and her hair
However, one of Clinton's trusted personal stylists has branded the allegations that she wears a wig 'ridiculous'.
Santa Nikkels, who runs a top salon in Chappaqua, New York, told Daily Mail Online on Wednesday: 'The thing is people say things and you can't believe it.
'That's absolutely not true. It's really ridiculous.'
Nikkels was revealed to be one of Clinton's hair saviors after mysterious references to a 'Santa' kept popping up in the former New York senator's emails.
Earlier this year, 'Santa' was identified as Nikkels, who tends to Clinton's hair needs when she is in Chappaqua, where she and husband Bill have a home.
And while Donald Trump is the presidential candidate who has been the butt of most hair-related jokes, the former secretary of state hasn't escaped unscathed.
Santa Nikkels (right), who runs a top salon (left) in Chappaqua, New York, where the Clintons have a home, told Daily Mail Online the allegations that Clinton wears a wig are 'ridiculous'
Mrs Clinton - and her scalp and trusty assistant Huma - was photographed in July exiting Bergdorf Goodman from a side entrance. She is known to get her hair done at the 9th floor's John Barrett salon by the salon's founder - where a style job costs up to $600 a pop
In the past, she has regularly made quips about her hair, given that it has been a frequent topic of discussion in the press.
Earlier this year, she said there was no way she would let her hair turn white in the White House - and added that she has been 'coloring it for years'.
She was responding to concerns that, at 69, she would be the second oldest president in American history to assume office after Ronald Reagan if she were to win the presidential election next year.
In July, she was photographed going into New York's fanciest department stores so she could have a haircut.
She was seen entering Bergdorf Goodman through a side entrance before heading for the exclusive John Barrett salon on the ninth floor.
Clinton is known to have her hair regularly done by Barrett himself, who charges customers $600 for a haircut and the same amount again for color.
Hillary Clinton and her stooges in the press are going crazy over leak of some 20,000 DNC emails allegedly obtained from the DNC's email server by Russian hackers. This, according to the narrative, is an unprecedented case of a foreign country intervening in a US election, in this case to aid Donald Trump and harm Hillary Clinton.
Unprecedented? Hardly. During the Cold War, the Democrats routinely asked communists dictators around the world to take specific actions in order to help the Democrats win elections at home. For instance, Democrat Speaker of the House Jim Wright sent a letter signed by nine other Democrats to Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega assuring him that the House Democrats had his back against the policies of the Reagan administration.
But that wasn't the worst case. Let's look at the antics of Fat Teddy Kennedy (D-Chivas), courtesy of Sean Davis of The Federalist:
Picking his way through the Soviet archives that Boris Yeltsin had just thrown open, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across an arresting memorandum. Composed in 1983 by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, the memorandum was addressed to Yuri Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy.
''On 9-10 May of this year,'' the May 14 memorandum explained, ''Sen. Edward Kennedy's close friend and trusted confidant [John] Tunney was in Moscow.'' (Tunney was Kennedy's law school roommate and a former Democratic senator from California.) ''The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov.''
Kennedy's message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. ''The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,'' the memorandum stated. ''These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.''
Kennedy made Andropov a couple of specific offers.
First he offered to visit Moscow. ''The main purpose of the meeting, according to the senator, would be to arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA.'' Kennedy would help the Soviets deal with Reagan by telling them how to brush up their propaganda.
Then he offered to make it possible for Andropov to sit down for a few interviews on American television. ''A direct appeal '... to the American people will, without a doubt, attract a great deal of attention and interest in the country. '... If the proposal is recognized as worthy, then Kennedy and his friends will bring about suitable steps to have representatives of the largest television companies in the USA contact Y.V. Andropov for an invitation to Moscow for the interviews. '... The senator underlined the importance that this initiative should be seen as coming from the American side.''
Kennedy would make certain the networks gave Andropov air time''and that they rigged the arrangement to look like honest journalism.
This is what actual collusion with a foreign power looks like. It looks like engaging in a quid pro quo negotiation for actual actions to influence an election. And releasing unflattering emails about Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her merry band of bigots doesn't rise to that level.
A Chinese billionaire at the center of a 20-year-old Clinton foreign donor scandal is being called in to answer questions from Congress about his role in the influence-buying scheme, in a move that could revive yet another Clinton controversy from the 1990s.
The House Oversight Committee told Daily Mail Online that it will seek an interview with Ng Lap Seng, 68, who evaded congressional investigators for years.
He has now re-appeared in the United States and is being held in New York on unrelated bribery charges.
One campaign group is even suggesting that Congress grant him immunity from the charges in return for testifying.
Ng, a Macau businessman with ties to the Chinese government, was accused of funneling over $1 million in illegal foreign donations to support Bill Clinton's reelection campaign in 1996.
Finally facing questions: Billionaire Ng Lap Seng, who was in Federal Court in Manhattan in June, fled the country to avoid giving Congressional testimony but is now facing demands to give evidence
Key campaign: Bill and Hillary Clinton campaigned as a couple in 1996. But the campaign faced investigation over whether Chinese Communists attempted to influence the outcome of the election
At the time, Ng declined to come to the U.S. to cooperate with congressional investigators in the case, which became a sweeping national scandal and raised suspicions about Chinese government efforts to influence the U.S. election.
According to congressional investigators, Ng laundered the illegal campaign donations through a close Clinton associate in Arkansas named Charlie Trie during the 1996 election.
Trie, who sent the donations to the Democratic National Committee and Clinton's legal defense fund, pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws in 1999.
The House Oversight Committee said it will take the opportunity to finally question Ng about the foreign donation scheme now that he is under house detention at a $3 million Manhattan apartment, awaiting trial on separate charges that he tried to bribe a top UN official.
'We plan to request an interview,' said a spokesperson for the committee.
Then Republican senator Fred Thompson chaired the committee and said that it found that China's Communist government was involved in a plan 'to pour illegal money into American political campaigns' in an effort to 'subvert our election process', the Washington Post reported.
However, other lawmakers, including Sen. Joe Lieberman, then a Democrat, said there was not convincing evidence that China was directly involved in the funding.
Ng's attorney, Hugh Hu Mo, who has also represented Chinese government entities, said he would oppose any efforts by Congress to question his client.
The House Oversight Committee could potentially override this by issuing a subpoena for Ng's testimony.
The timing could be a blow to the Clinton campaign, reigniting a decades old foreign corruption scandal just as Hillary Clinton has secured the Democratic presidential nomination.
The Clinton Foundation has previously faced scrutiny for accepting millions from foreign governments while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
The House Oversight Committee's move comes on the heels of a letter from the watchdog group Citizens United, which asked Ng's attorney to make him available for interviews with congress.
Testimony: In an investigation led by then Senator Fred Thompson, the Chinese government was accused of trying to affect the 1996 election outcome. Charlie Trie, who was jailed, later gave evidence.
Foreign meddling: Democrats have this week raised the possibility that Vladimir Putin (right) is trying to influence the outcome of this election in favor of Donald Trump (left), who denies such a claim.
Finding: Then Republican senator Fred Thompson chaired the government oversight committee and said that it found that China's Communist government was involved in a plan 'to pour illegal money into American political campaigns' in an effort to 'subvert our election process''
David Bossie, president of Citizens United, was the former chief investigator for the House Oversight Committee during the foreign donor probe in the late 1990s.
He said in a letter to Ng's attorney on Wednesday that the committee had obtained substantial evidence of Ng's involvement in the donation scheme.
'Although Mr. Ng did not cooperate, the Committee's investigation uncovered substantial information about financial transactions involving your client that appear to have been aimed at influencing the outcome of the 1996 presidential election in favor of Bill Clinton,' wrote Bossie.
Bossie said that now that Ng is under house arrest in New York, 'I ask that you consider making him available for an interview with Congress to answer questions about his alleged role in influencing the 1996 presidential election.'
The letter, which was copied to House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley, also suggested that Congress could grant immunity on the pending bribery charges to Ng 'in exchange for his critical testimony concerning the alleged foreign influence of our nation's sacred presidential election process'.
A spokesperson for the committee did not say whether it would consider this option.
Citizens United say that such a deal is legally possible.
Ng was arrested in New York last year and charged with bringing suitcases of cash into the U.S. to bribe officials, including the former president of the UN general assembly. Prosecutors say the scheme also involved Chinese government officials.
John Ashe, 61, the former president of the UN general assembly accused of accepting the bribes from Ng, was killed by a barbell weight while working out last month. He was also under investigation at the time.
In 1997, investigators on the Senate Government Affairs committee said they found evidence linking the Communist Chinese government to the foreign donation scheme.
The issue of foreign meddling in US elections has been in the spotlight in recent days, with the Clinton campaign trying to link Donald Trump to the Russian government's suspected role in the recent hack of internal DNC emails.
But the Ng case shows that allegations of foreign influence in presidential campaigns is not new, and that outside governments have long been suspected of working to sway outcomes and purchase political influence.
Daily Mail Online has reached out to the Clinton campaign for comment.
Hedge-Fund Money: $48.5 Million for Hillary Clinton, $19,000 for Donald Trump - WSJ
Hedge funds are playing a far bigger role in 2016 than in past elections'--and Hillary Clinton has been the single biggest beneficiary.
Owners and employees of hedge funds have made $122.7 million in campaign contributions this election cycle, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics'--more than twice what they gave in the entire 2012 cycle and nearly 14% of total money donated from all sources so far.
To gauge the opportunism and hypocrisy that define Donald Trump's Republican Party, consider this: Imagine the scalding rhetoric that would have boiled from the likes of Newt Gingrich, that Metternich of many green rooms, if Hillary Clinton had offhandedly undermined the collective security architecture of U.S. foreign policy since NATO was created in 1949.
Vladimir Putin's regime is saturating Europe with anti-Americanism, buying print and broadcast media, pliable journalists and other opinion leaders, and funding fringe political parties, think tanks and cultural institutions. (Putin is again following Hitler's playbook; read Alan Furst's historical novel ''Mission to Paris,'' set in prewar France.) Putin is etching with acid a picture of America as ignorant, narcissistic and, especially, unreliable. Trump validates every component of this indictment, even saying that the U.S. commitment to NATO's foundational principle '-- an attack on one member is an attack on all '-- is not categorical.
Gingrich, who is among the supposed savants who will steer Trump toward adulthood, flippantly dismisses Estonia, a NATO member contiguous to Putin's Russia and enduring its pressure, as ''some place which is in the suburbs of St. Petersburg.'' Gingrich thereby echoes Neville Chamberlain's description, three days before Munich, of Hitler's pressure on Czechoslovakia as ''a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing.''
It would be fanciful to suggest that Trump read a book, but others should read Svetlana Alexievich's ''Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets,'' an oral history of post-Soviet Russia, 1991 to 2012. A recurring theme is Russian nostalgia for the Soviet era: ''We had a great empire '-- stretching from sea to sea, from beyond the Arctic to the subtropics. Where is it now? It was defeated without a bomb.''
Nostalgia coexists with Soviet-era memories like this: Twenty-seven people share an apartment with one kitchen and one bathroom, including a mother of a 5-year-old daughter and a childless woman. The mother is secretly informed against. Before being sent into the gulag for 17 years, she begged the childless woman to take care of her daughter, who comes to call the woman ''Mama.'' After the real mother serves her sentence, under perestroika she sees her police file and recognizes her informant's signature '-- her childless friend. The mother went home and hanged herself.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said the United States gets "no respect" from Russian President Vladimir Putin during a town hall event in Scranton, Pa., July 27. (The Washington Post)
Putin's constituency of nostalgia, writes Alexievich, is in the grip of ''the narcosis of old ideas'' acquired when ''the state had become their entire cosmos, blocking out everything else, even their own lives.'' She repeatedly records longings for the days before the eruption of ethnic hatreds to fill the void left by the melancholy, long withdrawing roar of socialist faith.
During one ethnic pogrom, ''the youngest girl climbed a tree to escape .'.'. so they shot at her like she was a little bird. It's hard to see at night, they couldn't get her for a long time.'.'.'. Finally, she fell at their feet.''
Putin's supporters include those who, in the words of one of Alexievich's interlocutors, ''feel like they were defeated twice over: The communist Idea was crushed,'' then Russia was looted by a feral crony capitalism. Putinism is bitter nostalgia on the march, and Putin is as interested in the U.S. presidential election as Trump and some of his aides are in Russian wealth. Read Franklin Foer's Slate essay ''Putin's Puppet'':
''We shouldn't overstate Putin's efforts, which will hardly determine the outcome of the election. Still, we should think of the Trump campaign as the moral equivalent of Henry Wallace's communist-infiltrated campaign for president in 1948.'.'.'.'A foreign power that wishes ill upon the United States has attached itself to a major presidential campaign.''
It is unclear whether any political idea leavens the avarice of Trump and some of his accomplices regarding today's tormented and dangerous Russia. Speculation about the nature and scale of Trump's financial entanglements with Putin and his associates is justified by Trump's refusal to release his personal and business tax information. Obviously he is hiding something, and probably more than merely embarrassing evidence that he has vastly exaggerated his net worth and charitableness.
In Wednesday's news conference, Trump said, ''I have nothing to do with Russia.'' Donald Trump Jr. says, ''Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.''
Trump Sr. can end the speculation by providing information. If, however, he continues his tax information stonewall, it will be clear that he finds the speculation less damaging than the truth would be, which itself is important information.
Read more from George F. Will's archive or follow him on Facebook.
By November, Russian Hackers Could Target Voting Machines - Harvard - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Author:Bruce Schneier, Research Fellow, Cyber Security Project
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Cyber Security Project; Science, Technology, and Public Policy
Russia was behind the hacks into the Democratic National Committee's computer network that led to the release of thousands of internal emails just before the party's convention began, U.S. intelligence agencies have reportedly concluded.
The FBI is investigating. WikiLeaks promises there is more data to come. The political nature of this cyberattack means that Democrats and Republicans are trying to spin this as much as possible. Even so, we have to accept that someone is attacking our nation's computer systems in an apparent attempt to influence a presidential election. This kind of cyberattack targets the very core of our democratic process. And it points to the possibility of an even worse problem in November '-- that our election systems and our voting machines could be vulnerable to a similar attack.
If the intelligence community has indeed ascertained that Russia is to blame, our government needs to decide what to do in response. This is difficult because the attacks are politically partisan, but it isessential. If foreign governments learn that they can influence our elections with impunity, this opens the door for future manipulations, both document thefts and dumps like this one that we see and more subtle manipulations that we don't see...
Posted July 29th, 2016 @ 10:42am in #Trump#Clinton
Yesterday I tweeted this provocative claim:
This caused a predictable crap-tornado on Twitter. One of the most popular retorts came from Bill Kristol who replied ''Tweeting.''
As luck would have it, I'm an expert at writing humor under the constraint of brevity. So I responded thusly.
That was fun.
But the bigger question is whether an inexperienced politician '' who is well-educated, and experienced in business '' could make good decisions based on the advice of experts. Let's dig into that.
I heard three objections to my claims that as President of the United States I could master any political topic in an hour under the tutelage of the right advisors.
1. You can't master constitutional law, international trade, or any other complicated field in an hour. No one can.
2. The real trick is finding the right advisors.
3. Trump wouldn't listen to advice.
Taking these objections in order, I agree that no one can master an entire technical field in an hour. My point is about individual political decisions. (I should have been more clear on that.) Political decisions are relatively simple, and take this form:
Should we try to kill Bin Laden if we are only 60% sure we can do it, and Pakistan will be pissed-off either way?
Now assume you have advice from your Joint Chiefs of Staff, the head of the CIA, and your Secretary of State. That decision wasn't rocket science. It was closer to guessing. President Obama guessed right. Ex-President Carter guessed wrong when he tried to rescue Iranian captives. They both had world-class advice.
Most educated people could make informed decisions about most political questions if they had the benefit of world-class advisors. That's my claim.
But how about international trade agreements, tax policy, and healthcare? Those are complicated, right? Yes. Indeed, no president understands those topics in sufficient detail to be trusted with a solo decision. So in those cases, you need advisors. That brings us to the question of how you can find the right advisors.
If it's a military question, you ask the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to get you the right advisors for the topic.
If you have a law-and-order question, ask someone like Rudy Giuliani to come up with some suggested advisors. Giuliani could give you ten names from both parties.
If you need experts in economics, ask your Chief of Staff to round up a few top economists (Nobel winners, for example) from both parties and see if they all say the same thing. They won't. So in that field, there is no such thing as useful expert advice.
And so on. The point is that it is easy for a President of the United States to assign people to find the best advisors. The President isn't making phone calls and interviewing experts all day. The President sees the experts who have already been vetted by several other experts.
Some of my critics on Twitter correctly observe that the hard part is knowing which advisors are correct. That's something every CEO deals with every day. Experienced business people know how to solicit competing opinions and size up experts in minutes. It isn't a rare skill, but obviously some people do it better than others.
Keep in mind that the value of an advisor is subjective. If I told you President Obama took advice from Secretary of State Clinton, half of you would say that was smart, and half would say it was the dumbest thing he ever did. There is no such thing as ''good advice'' in most complicated situations. There is only advice that turns out well, often by chance. If Bin Laden had not been in that compound in Pakistan, the advice to go after him would look bad in retrospect.
Lastly, would Donald Trump be willing and able to take advice from experts, or would he ignore them and make his own crazy-Hitler decisions? I think we already have the answer to that in Paul Manafort. We can see with our own eyes that Trump has been following Manafort's advice. Trump has been using the teleprompter more, and also moderating his extreme policy ideas to the middle. We don't have to wonder if Trump takes expert advice. He's doing it right in front of us, and in the most conspicuous way.
Do you remember the time Trump said something under-informed about legal penalties for abortion? Advisors (including his family) probably advised him to change his position on that immediately, and he did. We see Trump taking advice every day. I don't know how you could miss it.
So while I agree with the critics that I can't master a technical field in less than an hour, I do think any smart, educated, and experienced business person can understand a political issue in under an hour with the right advisors.
Keep in mind that Nixon was highly experienced. That didn't help him. Obama was relatively inexperienced. Kennedy was relatively inexperienced. And Reagan wasn't experienced with Washington DC politics and international affairs before office.
Experience is overrated. I say that in part because I live near Silicon Valley and watch inexperienced people changing the world every day. Smart matters. It matters a lot. Experience is often helpful, but it is also deeply overrated.
If you disagree with anything I said in this post, you should read my book.
Frauke Petry has said a deadline must be implemented for the EU projectMs Petry said Britain's historic decision to leave the EU last month should be an inspiration for other countries across the continent - with an increasing number of people in Germany now favouring their own exit.
She said: ''I think we must finally set a deadline for the EU or all EU governments: if we don't achieve any radical reforms in five years, then the question will also be raised in Germany.''
Ms Petry's party has reached a polling high of 15 per cent in recent months, showing a growing demand for Eurosceptic and anti-immigration politics in the country.
Related articlesThe 41-year-old said Germany was ''waking up'' - and also predicted in-out referendums being held in the near future in the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria. She said many now want a ''return to the status of a common market, a Europe of sovereign states.''
Frauke Petry is pushing for an EU referendum for Germany and a block on refugeesMs Petry said the slaughter of a 85-year-old priest in Normandy this week, as well as four attacks in Germany over the past ten days, clearly showed the need for greater immigration controls.
She told the Financial Times: ''The victims don't care whether the perpetrator is a jihadi or a frustrated rampager. What more has to happen before we begin to check who comes into our country?''
She said a complete ban of refugees was necessary to secure the safety of the country's - and even advocated the use of armed force by border guards.
Angela Merkel's open-door immigration policy has come under heavy criticismMs Petry said: ''We simply demand the application of the valid law at the border. Whoever damages the borders with violence must be shown the consequences by the border guards.''
She added guards should be permitted to ''use firearms if necessary.''
Germany has been targeted in a number of terror attacks over the last weekHowever, the politician's political sympathies and no-nonsense approach has lead to critics calling for the party to be treated as a far-right or even Neo-Nazi organisation. Some have even called for the party to be monitored by Germany's intelligence organisation.
She said: ''What can you say about such a grotesque demand? These people are clearly worried that the AfD will take their jobs away and now use all means to denigrate our party.''
The IMF and the Crises in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal
Het hoofdkantoor van Monte dei Paschi, een van de Italiaanse banken in de problemen Reuters
Er komt een reddingsplan voor de Italiaanse probleembank Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Een groep banken gaat de bank ondersteunen met 5 miljard euro.
Daarnaast wordt een pakket leningen waarop niet of amper wordt afgelost overgenomen van de bank. Daarvoor krijgt de bank ruim 9 miljard euro, maar eigenlijk is dat pakket leningen bijna 28 miljard euro waard.
Daarmee is de bank nog niet verlost van al haar probleemleningen. Nog steeds staat er na deze operatie voor zo'n 18 miljard euro aan oninbare leningen in de boeken.
Italiaanse banken zitten in grote moeilijkheden met hun uitstaande leningen. In totaal gaat het om 360 miljard uitstaande leningen die niet volledig zullen worden terugbetaald. Dat is 20 procent van alle leningen die in Itali door banken zijn verstrekt.
De Monte dei Paschi di Siena kwam vanavond overigens ook met betere halfjaarcijfers dan verwacht. De oudste bank ter wereld, die al bestaat sinds de 15e eeuw, boekte over de eerste zes maanden van dit jaar een winst van 208 miljoen euro. Volgens persbureau Bloomberg rekenden analisten op een verlies van 54 miljoen euro.
The seismic vote for the UK to leave the EU has propelled a hitherto obscure individual to the center of national politics. Until a few weeks ago Arron (sometimes Aaron) Banks was a little-known insurance entrepreneur and UK Independence Party (UKIP) donor. Since the resignation of UKIP's leader Nigel Farage he is being tipped as a possible new party leader. Far from rendering the party obsolete, the leave vote makes UKIP all the more influential, as it will now harass the government of Prime Minister Theresa May until it triggers Article 50 and commences the formal exit process; despite having just one MP, UKIP now commands a far greater role on the national stage.
Who, then, is Arron Banks? In some ways he is a novel figure in British politics, having bought his way onto the national stage. Although there is some uncertainty over exactly what Banks lent and donated to the Out campaigns, there is no doubt that it was a huge sum by UK standards. In an interview with the Sunday Times on 10th July he volunteered the figure of £6.5m ($8.7m)'--a sum which we will return to later.But Banks himself is mysterious. He has been a director of over 35 UK companies, and is currently running 13. His fortune mainly appears to derive from three insurance companies that he founded, and then sold, in 2005: Brightside, GoSkippy and Southern Rock. He has made extensive use of offshore companies in the Isle of Man and Gibraltar. Andrew Wigmore, his right-hand man in business and politics, has interests in the Caribbean offshore center of Belize, and indeed serves as the Belize 'Trade, Commercial & Press Attach(C)' in London (despite not being Belizean). He also serves as the communications director of Leave.EU. Sebastian Payne, writing in the Spectator Blog in October 2015, quoted a senior Conservative close to the Leave campaign:[Conservative donors] regard him [Banks] as a total liability and nobody serious wants to have anything to do with him. His campaign is owned in an offshore company1. His director of communications is also the Belize trade representative in London. They antagonise everybody they deal with. Serious people won't touch him with a bargepole.
As Payne's rather uncharitable report suggests, Banks defines himself as an outsider, and reportedly defected from the Conservative party to UKIP after a social slight by the foreign secretary at the time, William Hague. He lives in Bristol with his Russian wife Katya, formerly named Ekaterina Paderina. In 2001 she married Eric Butler, a British seaman twice her own age, but the union ran aground after three months. The Home Office questioned the authenticity of the marriage, and might have deported her were it not for the intervention of her local MP, the Liberal Democrat Mike Hancock. In a curious footnote, MI5 (the Security Service, responsible for counter-espionage) later accused Hancock's assistant and girlfriend Katya Zatuliveter of being a Russian agent, although she was cleared in a national security court in 2011.
When Banks piled over £6 million into the Leave campaign, he chose to do so in a baffling way. He is principally associated with Leave.EU, the leading 'unofficial' campaign (the 'official' campaign, Vote Leave, benefitted from a higher spending limit and some state subsidy and was backed by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove). In the pre-poll period, Banks loaned Leave.EU £6m, according to the Electoral Commission. However, the only cash recorded as donated (rather than loaned) to Leave.EU was £3.2m donated by the stockbroker Peter Hargreaves.At the same time, another campaign, Grassroots Out, received £1.95m from Banks' wholly-owned company Better for the Country Limited (which itself owns Leave.EU). Intriguingly, this donation was recorded as 'non-cash'. I asked Grassroots Out by email to explain the nature of the non-cash donation, and its spokesman Rupert Matthews asked for more time to respond. Two weeks later, at the time of writing, Matthews still had not responded.One explanation may be found in the above-mentioned Sunday Times profile: Banks explains that he paid for the services of the U.S. political campaign consultancy Goddard Gunster. He said, ''The American advisers said that you can only go so far on facts; people have got an intolerance towards facts. You have to connect with people emotionally and that's what both official campaigns failed to do.''Banks certainly seems to have heeded this advice. During the referendum campaign Leave.EU put out a video of Donald Trump reading the lyrics of the song ''Vicious Snake'', accompanied by footage of migrants attempting to cross European borders. The voiceover advises voters, ''Donald Trump's take on immigration'...Vote to Leave the Vicious Snake that is the EU on June 23.''Leave.EU also employed the consultancy services of Paul McKenna, a popular hypnotist who appears on the television persuading people to do unseemly and unlikely things. It was in one of McKenna' online videos for Leave.EU that he intoned ''Isn't it time to take back control?'' (a counter-intuitive message from any hypnotist). Farage himself would repeat this phrase time after time in his campaign speeches. When the Leave vote started to surge in the polls in late May, Prime Minister David Cameron's election guru Lynton Crosby said: ''the Leave campaign increasing focus on lack of control over immigration and associated message discipline has helped their case.'' (It must be admitted that the Remain campaign's tin-eared insistence that Brexit would devastate the UK made it a sitting duck.) Goddard Gunster's role, beyond the imposition of ''message discipline'', is unclear.Despite some of his colorful links to Russia, Banks' ascent represents an import of some of the less desirable elements of U.S. campaigning into the British political process. A new precedent has been set: money can generate a political career and ''facts'' are seen as an electoral liability. In a closely fought referendum with vast implications for the UK and the Western world, he has undoubtedly made a serious impact.In the brave new world of Americanized politics, the UK ought to look into strengthening and reforming its transparency laws. A question to the Electoral Commission, on how far it looks behind donating companies and individuals to determine the origin of their funds, elicited this response: ''Where a company makes a donation, it needs to declare the source of the donation if it was not the company'--i.e. it needs to declare if it is acting as an agent for the true donor'... A UK incorporated company is not prohibited from donating simply because it might be owned by a non-UK or other impermissible donor, and transactions between parent and subsidiary companies are an expected part of normal business'... A person commits an offense if he is knowingly involved in an arrangement which facilitates or is likely to facilitate the making of donations by an impermissible donor.'' In other words, there is little or no due diligence or oversight of donations. Though there is absolutely no suggestion that foreign funds featured in Banks' donations and loans to the Out campaigns, a more intensely money-fueled politics requires more stringent supervision by the government.Banks is now promising that UKIP will work against the May government: ''We would get enough people to get £10m into the party, rebrand it and reform it, and come back hard at the Tories.'' But in terms of becoming a real parliamentary power, it is traditional Labour seats in working class areas of the North and the Midlands that would be vulnerable to a reformed UKIP, voting as they did to leave. Leave.EU, meanwhile, with a £6m loan from Banks, is continuing its operations post-referendum.New forces are at work in British politics, and Brexit marks the beginning, not the end, of these forces' influence over Westminster.1. Until late 2015 Better for the Country Limited was owned by a Gibraltar firm, STM Fidecs Limited; Gibraltar companies are allowed under Electoral Commission rules to contribute to UK election and referendum campaigns. Better for the Country Limited is now entirely owned by Mr Banks himself.
Neil Barnett is a former foreign correspondent and is now CEO of Istok Associates Limited.
Disbarment Charges are Filed Against Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby '' Law Officer
A George Washington University law professor has filed disbarment charges against Marilyn Mosby for her corrupt prosecution of six Baltimore cops in the death of career criminal, Freddie Gray. There have now been 3 trials and Mosby hasn't come close to winning one yet and has even been excoriated for withholding exculpatory evidence. The list of charges against Mosby are as follows:
that she did not have probable cause to believe that there was sufficient admissible evidence to support a conviction of the officers;that she made public statements regarding the case which were false;that she improperly withheld evidence from the defense that was exculpatory;that she continued to prosecute cases after the judge assigned to hear the cases found insufficient evidence to support a conviction;that she engaged in conduct that was dishonest, fraudulent, deceitful and which misrepresented the facts in the case.The complaint filed with the Maryland Bar Counsel calls Mosby ''a runaway prosecutor'' and alleges she violated ethics rules, claiming she never had probable cause to charge six officers in the death of Freddie Gray.
''I think Marilyn Mosby has harmed the city of Baltimore. And if she continues, that harm will get worse,'' said law professor John Banzhaf, George Washington University.
Banzhaf, who filed the complaint, accuses Mosby of only filing charges to stop the unrest in Baltimore.
''I heard your call for 'No justice, no peace.' Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man,'' Mosby said in May of 2015.
Banzhaf's complaint calls Mosby's words a ''misuse of her role'' and a ''perversion of her office.''
Baltimore Rioters Now Want Back The Police They Hated... >> Louder With Crowder
How does the adage go? Be careful what you wished for, for wishes may come true? Well'... meet Baltimore. When the Baltimore mayor said she wanted to ''give those who wished to destroy space to do that'' she clearly meant it. Because the city of Baltimore has done just that. Baltimore has suffered from its most violent on record in a long, long time.
The mayor got what she wanted, and so did the Baltimore residents. Arrests in Baltimore have been plunging and violence has been soaring. But believe it or not, the residents aren't happy with the change. The very change for which they asked.
Now, they're complaining. See, they want the police to come back. No, really, they do. One Baltimore resident, Donnail 'Dreads' Lee, said:
Before it was over-policing. Now there's no police. People feel as though they can do things and get away with it. I see people walking with guns almost every single day, because they know the police aren't pulling them up like they used to.
Surpriiiiise! You hated the police, you violently attacked and protested the police, you vilified the police, then you complain when they leave. Did I miss something?
These residents should be thrilled to find that the fuzz is no longer amongst them. They're free from the shackles of the five-0, and enjoy all of the violence that comes with it.
Another resident, Antionette Perrine said:
It's so bad, people are afraid to let their kids outside. People wake up with shots through their windows. Police used to sit on every corner, on the top of the block. These days? They're nowhere.
Something, needs done, obviously. I have an idea: have you considered calling Al Sharpton?
Noodles & Company employees fired for refusing service to uniformed Virginia officer - Story | KDFW
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Two employees have been fired after a uniformed Virginia police officer was denied service at a Noodles & Company restaurant Monday evening. The Alexandria Police Department said one of the cooks refused to serve her while she was wearing a uniform.
According to Alexandria Police, the incident took place on Monday evening at the Noodles & Company located on Duke Street in Alexandria. The officer was standing in line when the department says a female cook came out from the back and told the cashier, 'You better pull me off the line, because I'm not serving that,' gesturing at the officer. The department says the cashier and the cook started laughing, and the officer left.
The Director of Communications for the restaurant confirmed the termination Thursday, and said they completed a thorough investigation of the claims. After hearing from everyone involved, they immediately terminated the two employees.
Noodles and company released the following statement on Thursday:
''Discrimination of any kind is never tolerated at Noodles & Company. After completing a thorough investigation into the allegations brought to us by a police officer who visited our Alexandria, VA location, we have concluded the two team members in question acted inappropriately and we immediately terminated their employment. The views and actions of these individuals are in no way reflective of the Company or team at our Alexandria location.
We want to thank the entire Alexandria Police Department for their assistance in this investigation. We have spoken with the officer involved and apologized for the inexcusable actions of these individuals.
Further, we want to extend our apologies to the entire Alexandria Police Department for the comments made by our team member. We have the utmost respect for law enforcement officials and value the relationship we have built with the local Alexandria Police Department over the years.'' '' Noodles & Company
MIAMI (AP) -- As word spread that Miami's hippest neighborhood was now considered ground zero for the first mosquito-transmitted infections of the Zika virus in the U.S. mainland, many residents vowed to take precautions, local officials urged tourists not to change travel plans and mosquito-control workers geared up for war against the pests."Zika is now here," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday.Some Miami residents said Friday that they were stocking up on mosquito repellent and planning to bring lunches to work instead of sitting at outdoor cafe tables under the Wynwood neighborhood's bright murals. The gentrifying neighborhood is known for bold graffiti-style murals spray-painted across warehouses, art galleries, restaurants and boutiques."I'm freaking out ... but at the same time I don't want to freak out," said Wynwood resident Zoe Schultze as she cradled her 6-month-old son in her arms while she stopped for coffee with her husband.U.S. health officials said they do not expect widespread outbreaks in this country of the sort seen in Brazil, and other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, in part because of better sanitation, better mosquito control and wider use of window screens and air conditioners.The virus has triggered alarm across the warmer latitudes of the Western Hemisphere. Although most people who get Zika don't even know they are sick, infection during pregnancy can cause babies to be born with disastrously small heads and other severe brain-related defects.Some medical experts said pregnant women should not travel to the Miami area, especially if it involves spending time outdoors. However, the CDC is not issuing such advice."If I were a pregnant woman right now, I would go on the assumption that there's mosquito transmission all over the Miami area," warned Dr. Peter Hotez, a tropical medicine expert at the Baylor College of Medicine.He said that there are probably more cases that have not been diagnosed and that people should not be surprised if mosquitoes are soon found to be spreading Zika in Louisiana and Texas as well.More than 1,650 people in the mainland U.S. have been infected with Zika in recent months, nearly all while traveling abroad. The four people in Florida are believed to be first ones to contract the virus from mosquitoes within the 50 states."This is not just a Florida issue; it's a national issue. We just happen to be at the forefront," Florida Gov. Rick Scott said.People in Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties are being tested to learn whether there are more cases, the governor said.Even though the mosquito-transmitted cases were limited to South Florida, leaders across Florida were nervous about the potential fallout to tourism, the state's No. 1 industry.Florida had more than 106 million visitors last year, and tourism-related employment accounts for around 1.2 million jobs.No mosquitoes in Florida have actually been found to be carrying Zika, despite the testing of 19,000 by the state lab. But other methods of Zika transmission, such as travel to a stricken country or sex with an infected person, have been ruled out in the four South Florida cases.It's not surprising that no mosquitoes have tested positive because it can take a couple of weeks before an infected person shows symptoms, and by then the mosquitoes that transmitted the virus are dead, said C. Roxanne Connelly, a medical entomology specialist at the University of Florida and a past president of the American Mosquito Control Association."Believe it or not, it's difficult to find positive mosquitoes even when you're in the middle of an epidemic," Connelly said. "Sometimes you don't know where these people were infected. At home? At work? Where they were playing baseball?"Zika-fighting efforts include pesticide spraying, setting of traps and eliminating standing water around homes.Jenny Gray, who is 27 and works in Wynwood for an art designer, said she will follow experts' advice to wear insect repellent."I don't plan on having kids now, but I do sometime in the future. Better to stay protected," she said. "That really does concern me."But Phillip Lopez, a 34-year-old Wynwood resident who works at an outdoor bar and exercises outside, said: "It's a concern, but you got to do what you got to do. You can't not go outside."---Associated Press writers Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida; Mike Stobbe in New York; and Josh Lederman in Washington contributed to this report.
The favorable exchange rate has kept prices low in Russia.
According to Avtostat, in the first half of 2016 the re-export of Land Rovers has reached 1,500 units, 424 Audi cars, 356 Mercedes-Benz models and 341 Lexus vehicles. Source: Getty Images
The low exchange rate of the ruble has given Russian entrepreneurs the idea to resell new luxury foreign models abroad, Bloomberg news agency reported on July 26. The number of re-exported automobiles from Russia to Germany, the U.S. and China has increased dramatically, the agency says.
According to Russian analytical agency Avtostat, in the first half of 2016 the re-export of Land Rovers has reached 1,500 units, 424 Audi cars, 356 Mercedes-Benz models and 341 Lexus vehicles.
Retail prices for these auto brands at Russian dealerships on average are much lower than at dealerships abroad, says Yevgeny Yeskov, the editor in chief of AvtoBusinessReview magazine.
"The ruble fell against the dollar and the euro by almost half,'' says Yeskov. ''Therefore, prices for new imported cars should have gone up in the same way, but they have risen by only 30-40 percent on average."
Manufacturers and dealers have deliberately decided to keep prices in Russia low, in order to keep demand high, he adds.
Azat Timerkhanov, the head of Avtostat, thinks that the main reason for this new trend has been the sharp drop in the ruble exchange rate resulting from the economic crisis Russia has been experiencing in recent years.
"As a result, prices in dollars for the cars sold in Russia began to look much more attractive than abroad,'' says Timerkhanov. ''Therefore, this re-export-re-import situation exists.''
Russia and Turkey discuss construction of 2 lines of Turkish Stream
The Turkish Stream will be a gas pipeline through the Black Sea to the European part of Turkey, and then to the border with Greece. Source: Alexei Kudenko / RIA Novosti
Russia and Turkey are discussing construction of two lines of the pipeline Turkish Stream, one of which is to supply gas to Europe, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel on July 29.
"Overall, we are currently talking about construction of two lines. The second line is for European customers, consumers from southwestern European countries; the line can also be laid under the Black Sea and routed through Turkey," he said.
The Minister agreed that, given the possible increase in the cost of transit through Ukraine appeal of Turkish Stream is increasing to both Turkey and Russia. "Of course, if the cost of transit exceeds statements of our Ukrainian colleagues, it will affect cost of transporting and the end price for Turkish customers. Therefore, Turkey is interested in direct gas transit, bypassing other transit countries. Thus, the Turkish Stream provides one thread of 15.75 bln cubic meters of gas Turkish consumers," Novak said.
Thus, according to Novak, the role of Turkey as a transit country increases. "You can call that this a gas hub. In general, you know that Turkey has a large number of projects. In this sense that Turkey will really play a big role as a transit country to ensure gas supplies to European consumers," he said.
Speaking about the results of the talks with the Minister of Economy of Turkey Nihat Zeybekci, Novak said that the main purpose of the meeting was to restore economic relations. "We touched upon all issues relating to the development of our trade and economic cooperation, key issues of social cooperation related to the energy field. Recently we have been reviewing two major projects. First of all - the Turkish Stream - gas pipeline under the Black Sea. Now we talked about resuming the work on this project. The Turkish side expressed its interest in this project," he said.
The Turkish Stream pipeline was announced by the Russian authorities in December 2014 as a replacement for the South Stream pipeline. It was planned that the marine section of Turkish Stream would comprise four lines with the capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters each. The pipeline is to run 660 km (500 miles) in the old South Stream corridor and 250 km in the new corridor in the direction of the European part of Turkey.
In November 2015, the Turkish air forces shot down Russia's Su-24 bomber over the territory of Syria. The incident led to serious tensions in relations between the two states.
In late June, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he apologized for the downed plane and expressed interests in settlement of the situation. After a phone conversation of the two presidents Putin ordered the Russian government to start talks with Turkey on restoration of cooperation in trade and other sectors.
U.S. Government Finally Pays Family of Italian Aid Worker Killed In Drone Strike
The U.S. government has reached an agreement with the family of an Italian aid worker killed in a CIA drone strike in Pakistan, over a year after President Barack Obama acknowledged the operation and promised an investigation and compensation. The news comes as other victims of U.S. counterterrorism strikes are pushing for the administration to also acknowledge their cases under a new executive order signed by Obama this month.
Lawyers for the family of the slain aid worker, 37-year-old Giovanni Lo Porto, confirmed to The Intercept that the U.S. government had provided a payment, but would not disclose the dollar amount, in keeping with the family's wishes.
In January 2015, a missile fired by a CIA drone struck an al Qaeda compound in Pakistan where Lo Porto and an American humanitarian worker, Warren Weinstein, were being held hostage. A few months later, Obama, in an unprecedented admission, took ''full responsibility'' for Lo Porto's and Weinstein's deaths. Despite hundreds of hours of surveillance, he said, the United States had not known that the hostages were present.
Despite the president's personal pledge, resolution for the families has been slow in coming.
As The Interceptreported earlier this year, Lo Porto's family heard nothing from the U.S. government, either directly or through the Italian authorities, for more than a year after the strike took place. Negotiations began after the family went public in March with their frustrations.
The final settlement, reached this week, comes in the form of an ''ex gratia'' payment '-- essentially a gesture of condolence '-- from the U.S. government to Lo Porto's parents and brothers, who live in Italy. There is no admission of wrongdoing, and it leaves the family free to pursue other legal action in the future. The government also did not disclose any further details about the strike.
Daniele, right, and Giuseppe Lo Porto, brothers of Giovanni Lo Porto, during a press conference in Rome in March 2016.
Photo: Gregorio Borgia/AP Images
An Italian state prosecutor could still, in theory, bring charges related to the strike, although so far there has been little progress on that front, according to Giulia Borgna, an attorney with the Italian firm representing the Lo Porto family. If the prosecutor dismisses the case, she said, it would be up to the family to decide if they would pursue other legal avenues.It is not clear whether the Weinstein family has also reached an arrangement with the government. A lawyer who has represented the Weinsteins did not respond to requests for comment; in February, he accused the administration of stonewalling negotiations.
The White House did not respond to questions about the settlements, or about the status of a review of the incident by the CIA's Inspector General. A spokesperson for the National Security Council, Ned Price, said that the offer of a condolence payment was made ''knowing that no dollar figure could ever bring back their loved one.''
Originally from Palermo, Sicily, Lo Porto had worked in disaster zones around the world, from Haiti to Myanmar. In early 2012, he had just arrived in Pakistan for a job rebuilding flood-damaged areas when an unknown group kidnapped him along with a German colleague. While the colleague was eventually released, Lo Porto ended up held by al Qaeda militants along with Weinstein, who had been snatched in 2011. Lo Porto's brother Daniele told The Intercept that Italian authorities informed the family that they were in negotiations with intermediaries to free Giovanni just weeks before he was killed. The family learned of his death on the same day last April that Obama went public with the news.
A Precedent for DisclosureLo Porto's and Weinstein's deaths were unusual for the frank admission from the White House, in contrast to its silence on other strikes that killed innocent people '-- most of them non-Westerners. The United States has reportedly made payments for some other drone strike casualties but has not publicly acknowledged them.
Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty International's Security with Human Rights program, said she welcomed the recognition for Lo Porto, but wished that the response would be extended to others as well. ''It's that particular invisibility of people who live in the communities where these drone strikes occur,'' she said. ''Their death is considered unsurprising and inconsequential. That goes against everything that we believe in the universality of human rights.''
Earlier this month, the White House released its own drone casualty figures, asserting that U.S. strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Libya had killed between 64 and 116 civilians, and 2,372 and 2,581 combatants, in 473 strikes over the first seven years of the Obama administration.
Those numbers were roundly disputed by outside observers. Over the years, several groups have maintained tallies of deaths by drone strike compiled from media reports and on-the-ground investigations by human rights groups, and they have estimated between 200 and 1,000 civilian deaths.
The government's report did not enumerate the strikes, give their locations, name the victims, or even break out the numbers year by year. The report acknowledged the discrepancies between its numbers and other counts, but argued that the government has access to sensitive intelligence that researchers and the media do not.
The strike that killed Lo Porto provides a clear instance where such intelligence was fallible, however. That attack was what's known as a ''signature strike,'' where the agency fires on people exhibiting suspect behavior without necessarily knowing their identity.
It has also not always been clear how the government categorizes casualties; statements by officials and documents published by The Intercept suggested that there was a presumption that all military-aged men killed in a strike were combatants (the White House denies that this is the case).
Along with the casualty count, Obama issued an executive order requiring agencies engaged in armed conflict or ''in the exercise of the Nation's inherent right of self-defense'' to take measures to avoid civilian casualties; to investigate instances of civilian harm, taking into consideration outside reporting; and in cases where the United States was responsible, to acknowledge and provide compensation for civilian victims.
This week, Amnesty International sent a letter to the CIA's general counsel invoking the executive order to ask the agency to respond to a 2012 strike that killed Mamana Bibi, an elderly Pakistani woman. In an op-ed published in Time this week, her son described his children witnessing the bombing and wrote that ''No U.S. official has ever acknowledged what happened to my mother, or apologized to us. We are still waiting for justice.''
Amnesty's Naureen Shah told The Intercept that she believes the executive order should apply to past incidents as well, and could be a powerful accountability tool '-- if the agency complies with it.
The CIA's drone strikes, while widely acknowledged, are still covert and operate under greater secrecy than those run by the military: The Pentagon has recently begun announcing its strikes in Yemen in press releases.
''The trick for us is ensuring this isn't aspirational, but that it actually requires agencies to take action,'' Shah said. ''It has to become a meaningful piece of paper.''
The CIA referred a request for comment on Amnesty's letter to the National Security Council. The council spokesperson, Ned Price, said that the White House ''will not address specific operations,'' but that the executive order ''emphasizes the U.S. government's consideration of credible information from nongovernmental organizations in post-strike reviews.''
''Our focus is on the unprecedented provision of aggregate data regarding these sensitive operations, as well as the unprecedented commitment to continue providing such information going forward, rather than on any particular strikes,'' Price said in emailed statement.
Russian regulator suspects Apple of role in fixing iPhone prices in Russia
Das Mobiltelefon von Apple hat seine D¼nnheit und Kompaktheit auch den chemischen und metallverarbeitenden Industrien in Russland zu verdanken. Foto: Source: Getty Images/Fotobank
The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) suspects Apple of involvement in price-fixing in Russia for its products, Deputy Head of FAS Russia Andrei Tsarikovsky told journalists on July 29.
"A lawsuit is in progress. We are not pleased with the situation; several years ago we had a similar case. However, this time we unfortunately see Apple's coordinating role. Wherever you go if you want to buy an iPhone, prices are the same everywhere. We consider this wrong," said Tsarikovsky.
Tsarikovsky said earlier that FAS might open a case against Apple if proceedings are initiated on price-fixing arrangements for the iPhone in Russia.
It was reported earlier that FAS began inspections of several Russian electronics retailers due to suspicions of price-fixing agreements for the latest iPhone models. According to FAS, there were reasons to believe that retailers did not determine their iPhone prices independently.
Requests in regard to the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus pricing policy were sent to the retailers Evroset, Eldorado, Svyaznoy, re:Store, Technosila, Ozon.ru, Citilink, Mobiland, Megafon and Vimpelcom, as well as to the official internet Apple store. The investigation was initiated following a complaint by an individual.
Read more: The cheapest iPhones in the world on sale in Russia>>>
Russian ministry issues safety requirements for Pok(C)mon Go addicts
Pok(C)mon Go, the mobile game from Nintendo, on their mobile phones in the park across the street from the Novosibirsk's Opera and Ballet Theater. Source: Alexandr Kryazhev / RIA Novosti
The Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations has issued recommendations for players plunging into virtual environment in an effort to catch Pok(C)mon characters, Minister Vladimir Puchkov said on July 28.
"Our specialists from the Academy of State Fire Department have already prepared and circulated recommendations" and hold masterclasses in safe hunting for Pok(C)mons, Puchkov said.
"On the one hand, it is an interesting new game, but on the other dozens and hundreds of thousands of people, who lose touch with reality paying no attention to street lights and crosswalk signals, find themselves in a risk zone," he said.
"Secondly, when somebody releases information and thousands get together in the same place trying to get one and the same Pokemon, it can only lead to a trouble. In order to avoid problems, we are taking a set of measures," he said.
In conditions of dynamically developing technologies and IT development a prompt reaction to emerging new threats is needed, the minister said.
Pok(C)mon Go is an extensive multiplayer free online game with elements of augmented reality, developed by Niantic for IOS and Android devices. Released in July 2016, the game allows players to capture, train and fight with virtual Pokemon, which can be found in real world locations.
Within a week after its release, Pok(C)mon Go became a hit and boosted capitalization of Japan's Nintendo, which owns a series of games under the Pokemon brand since 1996, more than 1.5-fold. Though the game has not been officially released in Russia, some users have found a way to gain access to the popular game, for instance, by changing their region to the US on their smartphone settings.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he's "taking the gloves off" in the presidential race, saying, "no more Mr. Nice Guy."
US Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump talks tough about Hillary Clinton. Picture: AFP/ Jason Connolly
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he's taking the gloves off in his battle against Democrat Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House, after taking a scorching from speakers at the Democratic National Convention.
Trump wrapped up a five-day, seven-state campaign swing in Colorado, where for a fifth straight day his supporters chanted ''lock her up'' whenever he brought up Clinton's name.
Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump says Hillary Clinton deserves to be prosecuted for her handling of US foreign policy. Picture: Stacie Scott/The Gazette via APSource:AP
Trump supporters say Clinton deserves to be prosecuted for her handling of US foreign policy as President Barack Obama's first-term secretary of state and for her use of a private email server while in that office.
All week Trump has sought to tamp down the chants by stressing that his main goal is to simply beat Clinton in the November eight presidential election.
But as the crowd chanted the slogan in Colorado Springs, Trump finally relented.
''I'm starting to agree with you, frankly,'' he said. ''No more Mr Nice Guy.''
Trump was a punching bag at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, which wrapped up on Thursday night, as speaker after speaker '-- including some Republicans '-- said he lacked the temperament to be president. Clinton herself said in her acceptance speech that the election represented a ''moment of reckoning'' for the country.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton "should have congratulated me," for having "done something that nobody has ever done in history." Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Trump condemned the optimistic picture of the nation that Clinton painted.
He said Clinton was ''talking last night about how wonderful things are.''
''She made it sound like everything is rosy-dory,'' Trump said.
''Things are not rosy-dory, folks.''
He claims Clinton ignored recent terror attacks and disturbing trends in long-term unemployment and housing purchases.
Later in his stump speech, Trump got sidetracked by a couple of disputes from last year as he tried to rebut a Clinton campaign ad.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump kisses three-month-old Kellen Campbell, right, and holds six-month-old Evelyn Keane, after making a speech. Picture: Joe Mahoney/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP
That ad uses video clip from Trump's attack on Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly in protest of her questioning of him at a debate of Republican presidential contenders last August when he said afterwards that blood was ''coming out of her eyes, coming out of her wherever.''
''I was talking about her nose,'' Trump said in Colorado Springs. ''I wanted to get back on the issue of taxes'' at the debate.
Trump also brought up the case of disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, whom Trump seemed to mock publicly in video used by the Clinton ad.
Trump said he was depicting the reporter grovelling to him.
''I didn't know he was disabled. I didn't know it at all. I had no idea,'' he said.
VIDEO-FIERY Debate Between Chair Of Dems4Trump And Former Sanders Supporter vs Hillary Clinton Supporter! - YouTube
Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at NYU and Princeton, spoke with CNN's 'Smerconish' Saturday morning about Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and the 'New Cold War.'
Cohen says the media at large is doing a huge disservice to the American people by ignoring the substance of Trump's arguments about NATO and Russia, and buying the Clinton campaign's simplistic smear that Trump is a Russian "Manchurian candidate."
"That reckless branding of Trump as a Russian agent, most of it is coming from the Clinton campaign," Cohen said. "And they really need to stop."
"We're approaching a Cuban Missile Crisis level nuclear confrontation with Russia," he explained. "And there is absolutely no discussion, no debate, about this in the American media."
"Then along comes, unexpectedly, Donald Trump," he continued, "Who says he wants to end the New Cold War, and cooperate with Russia in various places... and --astonishingly-- the media is full of what only can be called neo-McCarthyite charges that he is a Russian agent, that he is a Manchurian candidate, and that he is Putin's client."
"This is a moment when there should be, in a presidential year, a debate," he said. "And that is not what we are given in the media today."
"Let's go back to what you said Trump said about NATO," Cohen also said. "Trump said early on, he wanted to know, 60 years after its foundation, what was NATO's mission today. 100 policy wonks in Washington since the end of the Soviet Union, 25 years ago, have asked the same question. Is NATO an organization in search of a mission?"
"That's a legitimate question --but we don't debate it. We don't ask it. We just say, oh, Trump wants to abandon NATO."
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN: When looking to blame someone for the cyberattack [against Hillary Clinton an the DNC], Russia was more than convenient. Is this a new cold war or political pot-stirring? Does this accusation have any basis in fact, and if not, could it cause real harm? Here to discuss is Stephen F. Cohen, American scholar of Russian studies at both Princeton and New York Universities. Professor Cohen, does Vladimir Putin indeed have a dog in our U.S. [election]?
STEPHEN F. COHEN: Vladimir Putin wants to end the 'New Cold War -- and so do I.
Let me say, I have no ties to the Trump campaign or the Clinton campaign. But if I were to write your headline for you today, I tried on the way down here, I couldn't fit it on the front page, but it would go like this:
"We're in a new and more dangerous Cold War with Russia."
We're approaching a Cuban Missile Crisis nuclear confrontation with Russia, both along Russia's borders and possibly over Syria. There is absolutely no discussion, no debate, about this in the American media -- including, forgive me, on CNN.
Then along comes (unexpectedly) Donald Trump, who says something that suggests he wants to end the new Cold War, cooperate with Russia in various places. What we used to call detente, and now --astonishingly-- the media is full of what only can be called neo-McCarthyite charges that he is a Russian agent, that he is a Manchurian candidate, and that he is Putin's client.
So the real danger is what's being done to our own poltical process.
This is a moment when there should be, in a presidential year, a debate.
Because Mrs. Clinton's position on Russia seems to be very different [than Mr. Trump's], has been a long time.
Trump speaks eliptically. You've got to piece together what he says. But he seems to want a new American policy toward Russia. And considering the danger, I think we as American citizens, deserve that debate, and not what we are given in the media today, including on the front page of the "New York Times."
I end by saying, that this reckless branding of Trump as a Russian agent, most of it is coming from the Clinton campaign and they really need to stop.
SMERICONISH: Okay. I don't know where to begin in unpacking all that you just offered to us. But I guess I'll start as follows. As one who can't match your credentials, here's what I see from the outside looking in. I see Donald Trump having said to the "New York Times," just within the last ten days, that he's not so sure he would stand with NATO allies, and I'm paraphrasing, he would want to know whether they would be pulling their own weight. The inpart of his comments seems to suggest he could provide Putin with unfettered, undeterred access to the Baltic states --whose independence he resents. So it all seems to fit, therefore, that Putin would have a dog in this fight, would want to see Donald Trump win this election so that he, Putin, could do as he pleases, in that part of the world. CNN is covering that. I have to defend the network in that regard. But why does that not all fit, and why does it not all fit in the headline in today's "New York Times," which says Russian spies said to have hacked Clinton's bid.
COHEN: "Said to have." Said to have. That's not news, that's an allegation. James Clapper. I don't know who hacked. Everybody hacks everybody. I mean, we hacked into Chancellor Merkel's cell phone. We learned that from Snowden. The Israelis hack, the America. Everybody hacks. The point is, and I know you said it, not to defend it, but as a provocation, that let's take the position you just set out. That Putin wants to end the independence in Baltic states. There is no evidence for that. None whatsoever.
The point is, is that on the networks -- and I'm not blaming CNN, and there's none on any network. There is none in the "New York Times."
I am old enough to remember that during the last Cold War, all these issues were debated in that you had a proponent to each point of view. But you have now got accusations, both against Putin, both against Trump, which needed to be debated.
The most -- let's go back to what you said -- Trump said about NATO. Trump said early on, he wanted to know, 60 years after its foundation, what was NATO's mission today.
100 policy wonks in Washington since the end of the Soviet Union, 25 years ago, have asked the same question. Is NATO an organization in search of a mission? For example, it's a mission for the last 20 years was to expand ever closer to Russia. So people have now asked why isn't it fighting international terrorism? That's a legitimate question --but we don't debate it. We don't ask it.
We just say, oh, Trump wants to abandon NATO.
I don't defend Trump. Trump raises questions. And instead of giving answer to the substance of the question, we denounce him as some kind of Kremlin agent. That's bad for our politics, but still worse, given the danger we're not addressing it.
VIDEO-Europe on the edge: The new normal - CNN.com
Questions we didn't ask last summer: What next? Where will I be? Who will l know? Is my life less safe?
The attacks in Belgium, France and Germany amplify anxieties over Brexit, Frexit, an unraveling of an order dictated by the European Union.The fabric of cohesion offering peace, prosperity and security patiently woven over decades suddenly feels like a paper bag in a summer storm. Ready to rip.
As once D-Day landing ships disgorged allied liberators on Normandy's beaches rescuing Europe from Nazism's grim grasp, so today new nooses tighten -- radical Islam and rampant nationalism.
The ghastly execution of a priest in a Normandy church cinched the rope uncomfortably tighter.The cord has been cutting deeper for a while now.
The day before the murder of a French priest near Rouen, a rock concert in Germany was the target of a suicide bomber with allegiances to ISIS. Only the bomber dead, no disrespect for the injured but a moment where we might have breathed a little easier. It could have been so much worse.The reality is: We were lucky, that was all.
The reality of Europe's security struggles
After the IRA narrowly missed killing British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher by blowing up the hotel where she was sleeping in Brighton 1986 they are reported as having said, "we only have to be lucky once, you have to be lucky every time."
Today, Europe's security services, particularly in the North, are struggling with precisely that same threat.
No matter how many attacks they thwart, others are coming. They are stretched. Man power is below what is required. To put one person under 24-hour surveillance consumes resources -- 20 trained professionals to monitor that one suspect.
Across Europe several thousand young men and women have made their way to join ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The lessons learned there from the past two decades of terror camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan form the basis of an ISIS fighter's training. The alliances forged between jihadists become trusted international networks when they return home.
Be it Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, to name but a few, all are barely gripping the new jihadi threat.
A task made much harder by those Islamist extremists who never move and silently aspire to the terror group's nihilistic ideology. These lone wolves are often far more difficult to find and control.
Nowhere in Europe, perhaps with the exception of Britain and the IRA and possibly Spain and ETA (a Basque separatist group), has a threat of this scale manifested since the Normandy landings.
The problem reaches far beyond security. It has permeated our politics -- and that complicates the response.
Immigration in EU under fire
Who remembers what came first: the bomb or the migrant? It barely matters, fears of both and the promise of more cloud even the clearest of minds.
In offering homes to Syrian refugees, Angela Merkel was lauded for her moral certainty then lambasted for opening Germany's doors to trouble. In the past week that fear materialized in the shape of random attacks has arrived in spades. Not as deadly as in France but just as politically corrosive.Nationalists from Scandinavia to Sicily see each tragic event as a step on their own rise to respectability. Validation their scare mongering was right -- that migrants and outsiders are bad -- the reason they believe their own divisive views should be heard and supported.
These far-right politicians urge repression, regression disguised as a vision that strikes back. A feel-good factor to take away today's hurt at the expense of piling on pain later. We don't have to go back much before Normandy to know what that looks like.
The struggle to tackle the threat is slower than might be imagined.
Merkel and her French counterpart President Francois Hollande -- never mind Britain and Belgium -- have different views on Europe.
The pair don't see eye to eye on migrants and refugees, and yet must, to tackle the growing ISIS menace find common ground beyond security. Counter Terrorism cooperation can be a beginning, but is not an end in itself.
A coordinated approach must take shape or risk dividing Europe.
The solution lies beyond borders
And therein lies the rub. Finding a way for these EU nations to comprehensively tackle a mutual threat. A threat that sees no international borders, no difference between Paris and Brussels, Copenhagen and Berlin.
Nationalism and isolationism won't be the answer. That road leads to division and cycles of destruction. We've traveled that route before.
As ISIS loses ground at home, they are upping their rhetoric to reach "soldiers" with the same misguided ideals overseas. The slaughtering of Christian clergy in their place of worship is evidence of this -- a hope of kindling a Christian backlash, and so trigger a war of religions on Europe's soil.
And so we must hold our hate. In the words of Michelle Obama, when talking about U.S. politics, "as they lower their game so we must raise ours." This will take collaborative thinking, not just mutually supportive rhetoric. These past weeks it feels no national leader has spoken without pausing first to offer moral support to an EU neighbor grieving a loss to terror.As we tackle the symptoms we must grasp the cause. The problem transcends our borders and so must the solution.
At a time of weakness, Europe faces its greatest threats in a generation. Only in unity shall we rise to the challenge. Uncouple our economies if we must but don't let this terror divide us.
VIDEO-CDC Officials: ''Zika is now here'' '' Mosquitoes Spreading Virus in U.S'.... | The Last Refuge
MIAMI (AP) '-- Mosquitoes have apparently begun spreading the Zika virus on the U.S. mainland for the first time, health officials said Friday in a long-feared turn in the epidemic that is sweeping Latin America and the Caribbean.
Four recently infected people in the Miami area '' one woman and three men '' are believed to have contracted the virus locally through mosquito bites, Gov. Rick Scott said.
No mosquitoes in Florida have actually been found to be carrying Zika, despite the testing of 19,000 by the state. But other methods of Zika transmission, such as travel to a stricken country or sex with an infected person, have been ruled out.
''Zika is now here,'' said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Still, U.S. health officials said they do not expect widespread outbreaks in this country of the sort seen in Brazil, in part because of better sanitation, better mosquito control and wider use of window screens and air conditioners.
The virus has triggered alarm across the Western Hemisphere's warmer latitudes. While most people who get Zika don't even know they are sick, infection during pregnancy can cause severe brain-related birth defects, including disastrously small heads.
More than 1,650 people in the mainland U.S. have been infected with Zika in recent months, nearly all while traveling abroad. The four people in Florida are believed to be first to contract the virus from mosquitoes within the 50 states.
''This is not just a Florida issue. It's a national issue '' we just happen to be at the forefront,'' Scott said.
Florida agricultural officials immediately announced more aggressive mosquito-control efforts, and Florida politicians rushed to assure tourists it's still safe to visit the state. (read more)
In 2006, I ran into my old friend John Dvorak in the Apple Store in San Francisco. I asked him to explain secret of his trolling technique. He's built his whole career on trolling.
To my surprise, he laid it out to me, exactly how it works. It's surprisingly simple. And it's exactly what the Republican nominee for President is doing to monopolize the news channel, and cut off the air supply for other candidates and ideas.
If you want to understand the election of 2016, you must watch this video.
PS: See also, Don't feed the Trump.
VIDEO-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Tells The Best Joke Of The 2016 Democratic National Convention - YouTube
Neither the White House nor State Department on Thursday would repeat Vice-President Joe Biden's description of President Vladimir Putin as a ''dictator,'' but White House press secretary Josh Earnest pointed to a State Department assessment that Russia ''has a highly centralized authoritarian political system dominated by President Vladimir Putin.''
VIDEO-DNI Clapper: Russia Tries to Influence Politics in Neighboring Countries, Why Not the US? | MRCTV
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Thursday the intelligence community was not ready to blame Moscow for the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails, although he noted Russia's interference in the politics of countries in its neighborhood, and said it was not unlikely it would try to do the same in the United States.
VIDEO-Joy Reid Had 'Emotional Connection' to Hillary's DNC Speech; 'Almost Like an Oscars Telecast' | MRCTV
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
AM Joy host Joy Reid was explaining her thoughts on Hillary Clinton's DNC acceptance speech when she exclaimed how ''Hillary Clinton was able to connect people like me, who maybe were sort of studying and watching this, but not really emotionally connected to what she was doing, to create an emotional connection with her.''
Commenting on the DNC itself, she ruled that: ''It was a brilliant piece of television, first of all. Let's just acknowledge it was well done. It was almost like an Oscars telecast. It was well done and it built to an emotional crescendo, where at the end, you bought Hillary Clinton as a president.''
VIDEO-Chaos Ensues on CNN Set When Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Appears, Mocks CNN's Cooper, Lemon | MRCTV
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
Roughly two hours later after the Sweet Caroline karoke, Triumph the Comic Insult Dog crashed the set and again derailed Lemon and his ''Political Dream Team'' by exclaiming that he ''might as well be on the TV show no one's watching.''
After Lemon appeared to have decided that he would allow Triumph to stick around, Triumph informed the audience that he had watched Clinton's speech but ''speaking of dreaming, I fell asleep only a couple of times.''
VIDEO-Don Lemon Scolds Sanders Supporters for Being 'Rude' in Hillary's 'House' | MRCTV
The Democratic National Convention wrapped up Thursday evening following Hillary Clinton accepting the party's nomination. Many were glad that evening such as the CNN panel that praised her as a ''political genius.'' CNN Tonight host Don Lemon was glad for as well, but he had a bone to pick with Bernie Sanders' supporters who protested on the convention floor. ''But the same thing conservatives said about Ted Cruz last week'-- have some dignity,'' Lemon snipped at the protesters, ''If you come to someone else's house have some respect.''
Members of the radical wing of the Democratic Party were out in force throughout the week showing their displeasure for Clinton. Early on in the week they even echoed the ''locker her up'' chat from previous week's Republican National Convention.
Lemon went off on Hillary's dissenters, ''If you didn't feel like this was your party, why come to the party?'' ''If you come to the party'-- If you come into my house don't be rude,'' he continued to criticize. ''But 43 Percent of the house is theirs,'' replied commentator David Chalian, but Lemon didn't accept that excuse saying it ''didn't matter'' and kept slamming them:
The nominee is Hillary Clinton. And you're going to Hillary Clinton's party tonight so get on board with Hillary Clinton or be quiet. If I invite you to my house'-- If I invite you to my house sit on the couch, have some drinks, but don't come in my house telling me that the drapery is ugly.
Writer for The Atlantic Peter Beinart, who has said some rather ridiculous things during the conventions, predicted that it will only get worse for the party. ''There is a liberal wing and there's radical wing in a way we have not seen in the party, really in some ways, since you can say the early 1970s,'' he argued, ''And that was the voice you were hearing from the floor. That's going to play itself out in the years to come.''
VIDEO-Charlie Rose Asks Eric Holder About 'Danger' of 'Not Smart' Trump | MRCTV
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
Acting more like a doorman than a journalist during PBS coverage of the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose invited former Attorney General Eric Holder to blast Donald Trump: ''You also said that Donald Trump, you questioned his gray matter. You mean he's not smart enough to be president?''
Holder replied: ''Yeah, I wonder. You know, I sometimes think that he hides behind a certain bravado to hide a lack of substance that he has....he seems to me to be a very shallow man.'' Rather challenge the nasty personal attack or lecture Holder to tone down the rhetoric, Rose urged him to continue: ''And because you don't see any intellectual interest, you don't see anything other than a businessman?''
VCIDEO-Paranoid NBC Fears: 'Could Russia Hack Our Election?' | MRCTV
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
On Friday's NBC Today, correspondent Stephanie Gosk devoted a full report to hyping concerns that Russia could somehow rig the U.S. presidential election in November. In the wake of the hacking of Democratic National Committee e-mails, Gosk warned viewers: ''The incident is raising new questions about the security of our country's overall electoral system. Could voting booths or voting tallies themselves be vulnerable?''
With the sensational headline ''Could Russia Hack Our Election?'' blaring across the screen, the reporter declared: ''The e-mail scandal upended the Democratic Party....But beyond the political damage...there is another concern. Is the U.S. doing enough to protect the country's electoral system in general? If Russian intelligence is trying to tip the scales of this election, where else might they look?''
VIDEO_Chris Matthews: President Obama Has a Smile Like Julia Roberts | MRCTV
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
There have countless instances over the years in which Matthews has professed his undying love for President Obama and early Thursday morning was no different as he fawned over his acting skills and told Reiner that ''he has that Julia Roberts smile of his that he saves and when he does it, you can't resist the guy.''
Law enforcement at the scene of a hot air balloon crash in Lockhart, Texas Saturday
Law enforcement at the scene of a hot air balloon crash in Lockhart, Texas Saturday less
LOCKHART, TEXAS - The Texas Department of Public Safety has confirmed 16 people are dead after a hot air balloon crash in Lockhart early Saturday morning, the deadliest balloon accident since the National Transportation Safety Board began keeping records.
Officials said the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office responded to a call regarding a possible vehicle accident in the 700 block of Jolly Road around 7:45 a.m. When first responders arrived at the scene, they found the basket portion of a hot air balloon on fire.
Images captured at the scene show the site of the crash directly underneath large power lines. Initial indications were that the balloon caught fire in mid-air, hit high-voltage power lines and fell to the ground. Witnesses told News 8 they heard explosions as the balloon approached.
The pilot who was flying the balloon was Skip Nichols, News 8 confirmed. Nichols, who lists a title of ''Chief Pilot'' on his Facebook page, is also the owner of Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides.
The company is not accredited by the BBB and has a D+ rating
The NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration have been notified and the NTSB will be in charge of the investigation. No names of any fatalities will be released until next of kin has been notified.
CaptionNTSB officials provide an update on the hot air balloon accident in Central Texas that killed 16 people.
Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement on the crash that read:
"Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences for all those who have been affected by today's heartbreaking tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, as well as the Lockhart community. The investigation into the cause of this tragic accident will continue, and I ask all of Texas to join us in praying for those lost."
Texas Senator Ted Cruz released the following statement on the crash:
''Heidi and I lift up in prayer all who have been impacted by today's tragic accident in Lockhart and send our condolences to all who have lost their loved ones. As always, Texans are strong in the face of adversity, and we all stand together in support of the families and entire Lockhart community as they respond to and begin to heal from this terrible incident.''
Deadly hot air balloon crashes are rare over the last few decades. There have been four hot air balloon crashes this year with just one being a fatal crash. According to the NTSB, there have been 124 balloon fatalities since 1964.
CaptionThe deadliest hot air balloon accidents in the U.S. in the last 45 years.
One of the deadliest hot air balloon crashes was in February 2013 when a hot air balloon flying over Luxor, Egypt caught fire and plunged 1,000 feet to the ground killing at least 19 foreign tourists, according to USA Today.
Priya Sridhar, a reporter for WFAA's sister station in San Antonio, KENS 5, reported that balloon pilots must have a license and go through a flight review every two years, per the FAA. Sridhar also reported that hot air balloons used for commercial ventures are inspected by the FAA at least once a year.
According to the Associated Press, the FAA was warned by accident investigators two years ago of the potential for large numbers of hot air balloon deaths. Investigators recommended greater safety oversight of commercial operators, but the FAA rejected those recommendations. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said that the regulations were unnecessary because the risks were too low, according to the AP.
A look at the deadliest hot air balloon accidents
VIDEO-Roger Stone on The Milo Show: 'I think Hillary Clinton Has Bipolar' - Breitbart
The latest guest on The Milo Yiannopoulos Show is Donald Trump's confidante and Republican strategist and lobbyist Roger Stone to discuss the party conventions, Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign.On the subject of Trump, Stone said that ''the Trump you see on TV is the only Trump there is, he doesn't have two personalities, he has one personality.''
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He contrasted this with Hillary Clinton, who he described as having ''two personalities.''
''Publicly, she pretends to be the warm, likeable grandmother. But privately she is a foul mouthed, short-tempered, nasty, vicious, extraordinarily abusive, maniac. I think she has bipolar, at least.''
''I have a new book out called the 'Quotable Clintons,' which I'll bring be bringing to the public shortly.''
''It's just a little booklet but it is her various quotes over the years, but you see her abusing police officers, abusing her security detail, just abusing people endlessly,'' he continued.
Milo responded by saying that ''this stuff is going to come as a surprise to lots of people because very often we don't get a glimpse behind the scenes of what politicians are really like.''
''We have some kind of ready access into Donald Trump's brain because of his Twitter account, but with Hillary Clinton it is very difficult to put your finger on a real human being,'' he added.
You can follow Ben Kew on Facebook, on Twitter at@ben_kew, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
VIDEO-Did Bill Clinton Fall Asleep During Hillary's Speech? - YouTube