Twitter users have started the hashtag #WheresEric in reference to Eric Braverman, the former CEO of the Clinton Foundation, because some think he has been a possible missing person since before the November 2016 U.S. election. Braverman's last public activity, accessible via the internet, was an October 12 retweet.
A common understanding of the events surrounding Braverman's possible disappearance centers around his abrupt resignation from the Clinton Foundation in January 2015, which many thought was caused by his discovery of internal corruption at the non-profit organization. Braverman named was CEO in July 2013 during the immediate aftermath of Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State which ended February 2013.
A popular Youtube channel run by a man named George Webb has been tracking Braverman's story and features daily video updates. Webb thinks Braverman has been missing since October 24, which was two days after it became public knowledge that he was suspected of being a traitor to the Clinton Foundation.
Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta thought Eric Braverman was the source of information leaks to the media, according to a leaked email sent March 8, 2015, which was published on October 22 of this year by WikiLeaks. This email was one week after a March 1 POLITICO article which detailed his struggle against the tenured Clinton staff, titled ''Eric Braverman Tried to Change the Clinton Foundation. Then He Quit.'' The article was described as ''Not a pretty read'' and forwarded to Podesta less than 24 hours after it was published.
While these events occurred in 2015, many believe that the ongoing FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation may be a factor in Eric Braverman's lack of public activity. The Podesta email releases by WikiLeaks came at the height of campaign season in October, and featured proof of many theories related to Hillary Clinton's corruption that occurred during the tenure of Braverman at the Clinton Foundation.
The Benghazi scandal unraveled during that time, leading up to Clinton's testimony before Congress and the subsequent investigations. Near the end of 2014, the discovery of Clinton's private email server began to cause problems and eventually broke into public view in March 2015, right after Braverman's resignation.
One of the most damaging emails revealed what has been called a ''pay to play'' mechanism, where the Clintons sold influence with the U.S. government to wealthy foreign interests. In January 2015, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin and John Podesta discussed a problem related to the deal Hillary Clinton made with the King of Morocco for $12 million.
August 2014 emails revealed Clinton sent Podesta a memo that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding ISIS. While it is clear that Clinton would have known about the Saudi and Qatari links to Islamic State, it is not confirmed if Clinton wrote the memo herself.
The New York Times admitted in April 2015 that untold millions flowed to the Clinton Foundation after a series of deals allowed uranium mining rights to be transferred to Russian state-owned interests. The Russian takeover of the conglomerate Uranium One was approved during Clinton's tenure at the State Department despite national security concerns which should have prompted more scrutiny. The full scope of the scandal was being discovered late in Eric Braverman's tenure at the Clinton Foundation.
One independent media outlet claimed to have made attempts to contact Braverman by phone and email, both of which were unsuccessful. The same organization claimed to receive no response after contacting Yale University officials about Braverman, who has taught courses on government and policy in the law school and other departments.
Braverman is still listed on Yale's website for Spring 2017 classes in the School of Management and the law school. The Free Thought Project was not able to reach Yale University for comment before publishing this report due to the holiday season.
WikiLeaks - The Podesta EmailsThis key's fingerprint is A04C 5E09 ED02 B328 03EB 6116 93ED 732E 9231 8DBA
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firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 2015-03-08 19:48 Subject: Re: Tweet from @JoeNBC
Holy Moses. Sent from my iPhone > On Mar 8, 2015, at 5:23 PM, John Podesta wrote: > > Eric Braverman > > JP > --Sent from my iPad-- > email@example.com > For scheduling: firstname.lastname@example.org > >> On Mar 8, 2015, at 4:49 PM, Neera Tanden wrote: >> >> @JoeNBC: A source close to the Clintons tell @ron_fournier to "follow the money" and find the real HRC scandal. http://t.co/lPTQY0L0o4 >> >> I'm hoping someone is keeping tabs on Doug Band. Quote in here is from someone who worked in Clinton Foundation.
Download raw source
Delivered-To: email@example.comReceived: by 10.25.24.71 with SMTP id o68csp1016347lfi; Sun, 8 Mar 2015 14:48:45 -0700 (PDT)X-Received: by 10.70.135.106 with SMTP id pr10mr45574513pdb.144.1425851322927; Sun, 08 Mar 2015 14:48:42 -0700 (PDT)Return-Path: Received: from na01-bn1-obe.outbound.protection.outlook.com (mail-bn1on0068.outbound.protection.outlook.com. [220.127.116.11]) by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id t5si13125367pda.72.2015.03.08.14.48.41 for (version=TLSv1.2 cipher=ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA bits=128/128); Sun, 08 Mar 2015 14:48:42 -0700 (PDT)Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of firstname.lastname@example.org designates 18.104.22.168 as permitted sender) client-ip=22.214.171.124;Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; spf=pass (google.com: domain of email@example.com designates 126.96.36.199 as permitted sender) firstname.lastname@example.orgReceived: from BN1PR05MB422.namprd05.prod.outlook.com (10.141.58.142) by BN1PR05MB423.namprd05.prod.outlook.com (10.141.58.146) with Microsoft SMTP Server (TLS) id 188.8.131.52; Sun, 8 Mar 2015 21:48:39 +0000Received: from BN1PR05MB422.namprd05.prod.outlook.com ([169.254.5.44]) by BN1PR05MB422.namprd05.prod.outlook.com ([169.254.5.44]) with mapi id 15.01.0099.004; Sun, 8 Mar 2015 21:48:39 +0000From: Neera Tanden To: John Podesta Subject: Re: Tweet from @JoeNBCThread-Topic: Tweet from @JoeNBCThread-Index: AQHQWeFW1d4aFrq/0Uizka61qBCj8p0TGHaAgAAHDZg=Date: Sun, 8 Mar 2015 21:48:39 +0000Message-ID: References: ,In-Reply-To: Accept-Language: en-USContent-Language: en-USX-MS-Has-Attach:X-MS-TNEF-Correlator:x-originating-ip: [184.108.40.206]authentication-results: gmail.com; dkim=none (message not signed) header.d=none;x-microsoft-antispam: UriScan:;BCL:0;PCL:0;RULEID:;SRVR:BN1PR05MB423;x-microsoft-antispam-prvs: x-forefront-antispam-report: BMV:0;SFV:NSPM;SFS:(10009020)(6009001)(377454003)(24454002)(40100003)(19580405001)(76176999)(99286002)(46102003)(110136001)(50986999)(19580395003)(122556002)(54356999)(82746002)(107886001)(66066001)(33656002)(83716003)(86362001)(575784001)(15395725005)(106116001)(2656002)(2900100001)(2950100001)(15198665003)(1720100001)(92566002)(77156002)(450100001)(102836002)(87936001)(62966003)(36756003)(15975445007)(104396002)(19631395001);DIR:OUT;SFP:1101;SCL:1;SRVR:BN1PR05MB423;H:BN1PR05MB422.namprd05.prod.outlook.com;FPR:;SPF:None;MLV:sfv;LANG:en;x-exchange-antispam-report-test: UriScan:;x-exchange-antispam-report-cfa-test: BCL:0;PCL:0;RULEID:(601004)(5005006)(5001009);SRVR:BN1PR05MB423;BCL:0;PCL:0;RULEID:;SRVR:BN1PR05MB423;x-forefront-prvs: 0509245D29Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printableMIME-Version: 1.0X-OriginatorOrg: americanprogress.orgX-MS-Exchange-CrossTenant-originalarrivaltime: 08 Mar 2015 21:48:39.2011 (UTC)X-MS-Exchange-CrossTenant-fromentityheader: HostedX-MS-Exchange-CrossTenant-id: 08d3764b-1fe7-4bfc-a551-4415fd4cfab2X-MS-Exchange-Transport-CrossTenantHeadersStamped: BN1PR05MB423Holy Moses.=20Sent from my iPhone> On Mar 8, 2015, at 5:23 PM, John Podesta wrote:>=20> Eric Braverman>=20> JP> --Sent from my iPad--> email@example.com> For scheduling: firstname.lastname@example.org>=20>> On Mar 8, 2015, at 4:49 PM, Neera Tanden =wrote:>>=20>> @JoeNBC: A source close to the Clintons tell @ron_fournier to "follow th=e money" and find the real HRC scandal. http://t.co/lPTQY0L0o4>>=20>> I'm hoping someone is keeping tabs on Doug Band. Quote in here is from =someone who worked in Clinton Foundation.=20
Did Eric Braverman Seek Asylum with Russia? | Heavy.com
Assistant Managing Editor of Fortune Leigh Gallagher, Carolyn Everson and Eric Braverman attend the Fortune 40 under 40 event in 2010. Now Braverman is the source of rumors about the Clinton Foundation and Russian asylum. (Getty)
Social media has been on fire with rumors that Eric Braverman, former Clinton Foundation CEO, sought asylum with Russia. However, the current rumors all stem from one source that doesn't have a reliable background. Neither Braverman nor his family have yet made a statement about the rumors.
Here's what we know so far.
A rumor recently started that Eric Braverman was seeking asylum with Russia. The source of the rumor, which has been copied and pasted by numerous sources, is a site called WhatDoesItMean.com, written by ''Sorcha Faal and as reported to her Western Subscribers.'' And the rumor has caught like wildfire on social media. According to this report, the Kremlin was presented with an urgent political asylum request from Braverman, who could ''expose the real Hillary Clinton scandal.'' However, ''Sorcha Faal'' has a history of posting articles that make outrageous or sensationalistic claims with little to back them up. Even back in 2007, the conspiracy-focused forum Above Top Secret approached Sorcha Faal stories with skepticism. One poster listed articles written by Faal, which included stories about the U.S. president ordering all civilian protesters to be thrown in jail, Putin ordering attacks on U.S. forces in Iran, and a U.S. ''shoot on site'' order for escaping Americans. Sorcha Faal is a pseudonym and some have suggested her real identity is David Booth. In 2004, WhatDoesItMean.com stated that it was owned by Booth, an ''internationally known psychic.''
In addition, many posts are saying that Braverman's ''asylum'' is related to Gavin MacFadyen's death or murder. However, MacFadyen was not murdered. He died of lung cancer.
Braverman hasn't surfaced on social media since the rumors began and neither he nor his family have made a public statement yet about the rumors. We will update this story as soon as a statement is made.
However, Braverman does have an interesting history of his own. He was once considered the possible source of an anonymous statement made to Ron Fournier ''to follow the money'' and find the real Hillary Clinton scandal, according to an email exchange leaked by WikiLeaks.
In the email exchange (pictured above), John Podesta suggested that Braverman might be that anonymous source. However, Neera Tanden questioned if that was really the case since the source was described as a ''long serving aide'' and Braverman was only with the Clinton Foundation for about 18 months. Podesta then suggested ''Doug or Ira'' as the source of the leaks.
Braverman was brought on as CEO of the Clinton Foundation, but he only lasted about 18 months. Politico wrote an in-depth story about his tenure with a story headlined: ''Eric Braverman Tried to Change the Clinton Foundation. Then He Quit.'' Politico reported that his exit was partially due to a power struggle inside the foundation. At the time that he joined, there were many concerns about the Foundation's fundraising efforts and the acceptance of contributions from foreign governments while Clinton was Secretary of State, Politico reported.
Some have suggested Braverman was the source of the Podesta leaks. However, Braverman resigned from the Foundation in January 2015. Many of the leaked emails are from long after that date.
We'll update this story as we have more information.
Kremlin In Turmoil After Clinton Foundation CEO Requests ''Urgent And Immediate'' Asylum
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October 24, 2016
Kremlin In Turmoil After Clinton Foundation CEO Requests ''Urgent And Immediate'' Asylum
By:Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers
An extraordinary Security Council (SC) report circulating in the Kremlin today says this morning President Putin was ''officially presented'' with a Main Directorate for Migration Affairs (GUVM) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) ''file for review'' relating to a request for ''urgent and immediate'' political asylum requested by an American citizen named Eric Braverman'--who was the former CEO of the Clinton Foundation, and is known as the man who can expose ''The Real Hillary Clinton Scandal''.[Note: Some words and/or phrases appearing in quotes in this report are English language approximations of Russian words/phrases having no exact counterpart.]
Requests for the granting of political asylum in the Federation, this report explains, is regulated by a separate government resolution rather than the Law on Refugees and is issued to those seeking ''asylum or protection from persecution or a real threat of becoming a victim of persecution'' in their home country for ''social-political activities or convictions that do not contradict the democratic principles recognized by the international community and norms of international law'''--and though Russia has the world's highest number of asylum applications, political asylum requests are very rarely granted.
In his apparent knowing of these facts, however, this report continues, Eric Braverman, yesterday (23 October), arrived at the Consulate of Russia in New York City and presented his ''urgent and immediate'' request for asylum on a visa application'--as is ''protocol/custom'' because the Federation does not accept mail or electronic visa applications from residents of the continental United States.
Former Clinton Foundation CEO, and ''Person Under Threat'', Eric Braverman
The Foreign Intelligence Service (FSI) ''highly classified'' Braverman's visa application requesting political asylum, this SC report says, but stunningly admits that his wanting the protection of the Federation was ''directly related'' to the sudden death of Wikileaks founder Gavin MacFadyen that occurred the previous day, 22 October.
Eric Braverman, this report notes, is a current lecturer in the practice of government at Yale University who previously served as a partner at the US-based global consulting firm McKinsey & Company'--and who, in 2013, became the CEO of the Clinton Foundation until his abrupt, and unexplained, leaving this known money laundering criminal organization this past December (2015) just prior to Hillary Clinton announcing her candidacy for president.
Eric Braverman was made the CEO of the Clinton Foundation in 2013, this report explains, after Hillary Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, ''declared war'' on this criminal enterprise after stunning details emerged showing her father, former President Bill Clinton, had raised over $1 billion though the foundation to rebuild 100 villages in India, but only spent $53 million with him and his wife, Hillary Clinton, pocketing the rest.
Fearing this massive scandal would derail her mother's chances of winning the US presidency, this report continues, Chelsea Clinton battled to clean up the Clinton Foundation'--and forced upon it the new CEO Eric Braverman.
By December, 2015, this report notes, Clinton Foundation CEO Braverman's efforts to ''establish normalcy'' within this criminal enterprise completely failed leading to what many believe was his ouster as his contract ran to 2017'--and a shocking campaign of hatred against Chelsea Clinton too as evidenced by a Wikileaks released secret email showing top Hillary and Bill Clinton operatives saying about her ''she is acting like a spoiled brat kid who has nothing else to do but create issues to justify what she's doing because she, as she has said, hasn't found her way and has a lack of focus in her life''.
Though Chelsea Clinton may have, indeed, ''not found her way'' in cleaning up the corrupt Clinton Foundation, this report continues, CEO Braverman was being confronted by an avalanche of it he was unable to stop, or even control'--and as Wikileaks released secret emails prove with the stunning revelation that Hillary Clinton accepted a $12 million ''bribe for favors'' from the King of Morocco, after which CEO Braverman left.
Most shocking of all in this SC report is its detailing through the Wikileaks release of secret Clinton emails that the mainstream US television news giant NBC had previously been warned to "follow the money and find the real HRC scandal'''--but with them being one of Hillary Clinton's ''media propaganda arms'', they have not told the American people about.
This report concludes with an interesting addendum attached by the FSI speculating that Braverman may not actually want asylum as his actions seem more ''reliable/credible'' of a person seeking to ''protect themselves by publicity'' as he did not request (as is common) anonymity from Russian consulate officials'--and has led to turmoil in the Kremlin as to what to do'--with some officials saying it's enough to just release this information without granting asylum, and that should it be granted, would create just another American accusation that Russia is trying to control the outcome of the US election while at the same time Hillary Clinton is using anti-Russia red-baiting at a level not seen since days of McCarthyism.
And though not mentioned in this report, it is, also, interesting to note that in the United States where one of Hillary Clinton's top aides secretly, and stunningly, admitted that the US economy is so bad that ''people are in despair about things are'', and yet another Bill Clinton mistress (nicknamed by the Secret Service as the ''Energizer Bunny'') has been revealed, and the shocking revelation that the Clinton's gave $675,000 to the wife of the FBI official investigating her, and Hillary Clinton being caught saying ''If that f - - - ing bastard wins, we all hang from nooses!'''--the corrupt propagandist American mainstream media continues to outrageously manipulate the polls to show she is winning'--and that we've proved were lies as Donald Trump is poised to win by a landslide, and, likewise, exposed for all to see how manipulating these media monsters really are.
Other reports in this series include:
Putin Issues US Election Theft Warning, Orders Military To Protect Trump ''At All Costs''
Hillary Clinton Destroys America's Free Energy Hopes'--Forever
Russia Names Hillary Clinton As ''Murder Suspect'' In Death Of Top UFO Researchers
Hillary Clinton's ''Sudden Move'' Of $1.8 Billion To Qatar Central Bank Stuns Financial World
LA Detective Suicided To Protect Top Hillary Clinton Donor NBA Superstar Derrick Rose
Video Showing Bill Clinton Rape Of 13-Year-Old Girl Plunges Presidential Race Into Chaos
Maryland Doctor Who Treated Hillary Clinton For Blood Clot On Brain Mysteriously Dies
Red Notice Terror Warning Issued After Hillary Clinton ISIS Spy Captured In Britain
Wikileaks Under ''Dire Threat'' Over Proof Hillary Clinton Destroyed Eye Doctor To Hide Brain Trauma
Russian ''Red Alert'' Issued After Hillary Clinton Labels All American Parents Sex Criminals
Hillary Clinton ''Disappearance'' Leaves Russian Intelligence Experts Puzzled
US Again Ignores Russian Warning As Islamic Terror Hits New York City, New Jersey And Minnesota
Hillary Clinton Makes Millions To Destroy Samsung So Apple Can Sell More iPhones
Putin Issues Global Alert: ''The American Establishment Is Merciless, Donald Trump Could Soon Die''
Hillary Clinton To Make Millions After Obama Orders All Wild Horses In American Killed
Hillary Clinton Placed In Hospital As ''Blackout Of Truth'' Descends Upon America
Concentration Camp Model Created By Hillary Clinton In Africa Warned Is Coming To America
Florida Earthquake Reported Caused By Obama-Clinton Attempt To Destroy Israeli Sub
Hillary Clinton ''Heart Failure Event'' Warned Just Months Away
Putin Asks Obama Why US Media Shutdown Donald Trump Speech At Black Church, Gets No Reply
US Congress To Begin Immediate Impeachment Of Hillary Clinton If She Wins Presidency
Hillary Clinton ''Secret Sexmail'' Destroys Top US Army Commander
Hillary Clinton Colostomy Bag Cover-up Consumes US Media Giants, Puts Debates In Doubt
White House Emails Reveal Largest Plot Ever Discovered To Destroy America
New York Times Hosts ''Top Secret'' Meet To Cover-up Hillary Clinton Health, Destroy Fox News
Putin ''Erupts'' Over Million Dollar ''Spy Payments'' To Hillary Clinton
US Secret Service ''Swarms'' Top Hospitals As Hillary Clinton Brain Surgery Fears Rise
Panic Grips America, Shuts Down NSA, After Russia ''Reveals'' It Has All Hillary Clinton Phone Calls
Hillary Clinton ''Total Terror'' Descends Upon Disabled Mother Who Discovered Her Link To ISIS
Russia Debates Response To Shocking Hillary Clinton Link To Crimea Terror Attack
Father Of Doctor Treating Hillary Clinton For Dementia Mysteriously Dies
Hillary Clinton ''Night Of The Long Knives'' Killing Spree Claims Life Of Attorney Shawn Lucas
Hillary Clinton Gains Millions From Plot Linked To Top US General Fueling War With Russia
Moscow Raid Proves Hillary Clinton Plot To Destroy Boeing, Ship 80,000 US Jobs Overseas
Hillary Clinton Orders ISIS Attack Cover-Up In Germany, American Press Stunningly Obeys
Clinton Threat To ''Destroy Everyone'' Throws Washington Into Chaos
Bush Family Rushes To Hillary Clinton Side After Top UN Official Set To Testify Against Her Found Dead
Husband Of Prosecutor Investigating Bill Clinton For Child Sex Charges Gunned Down
October 24, 2016 (C) EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.
[Note: Many governments and their intelligence services actively campaign against the information found in these reports so as not to alarm their citizens about the many catastrophic Earth changes and events to come, a stance that the Sisters of Sorcha Faal strongly disagree with in believing that it is every human beings right to know the truth. Due to our missions conflicts with that of those governments, the responses of their 'agents' has been a longstanding misinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discredit us, and others like us, that is exampled in numerous places, includingHERE.]
[Note:The WhatDoesItMean.com website was created for and donated to the Sisters of Sorcha Faal in 2003 by a small group of American computer experts led by the late global technology guru Wayne Green (1922-2013) to counter the propaganda being used by the West to promote their illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq.]
[Note:The word Kremlin (fortress inside a city) as used in this report refers to Russian citadels, including in Moscow, having cathedrals wherein female Schema monks (Orthodox nuns) reside, many of whom are devoted to the mission of the Sisters of Sorcha Faal.]
Donald Trump Landslide Victory Races World War III To Finish Line
They Are Going To Come For You'...Why Are You Helping Them?
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Former Clinton Foundation CEO Missing? : snopes.com
Origin:Since at least October 2016, some social media users have been echoing the belief that former Clinton Foundation CEO Eric Braverman is missing or in peril. Braverman, an attorney, headed the foundation from 2013 until he resigned that position in 2015.
Rumors regarding his whereabouts began swirling after a leaked document published via WikiLeaks showed his name mentioned in e-mails between Clinton staffers who believed he was furtively releasing information about the foundation's financial doings:
Eric Braverman, the Clinton Foundation CEO from 2013 until 2015, has apparently been missing since October. His absence has fueled speculations in the blogosphere but so far has been ignored by the media.
Some speculate, with good reason, that Braverman may have gone into hiding after an email mentioning his name was released by Wikileaks on October 22 of this year. In the March 2015 email exchange, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden told Clinton campaign manager and confidant John Podesta there was a mole within the Clinton Foundation. Podesta in his reply told Tanden the mole was Braverman.
We found no evidence that Braverman is currently a missing person, nor that he has gone into hiding. The only evidence being proffered in support of this claim is the fact that Braverman has not used his Twitter account since October, but that's hardly compelling since Braver is an infrequent user of that social media platform:
The last evidence of Braverman's public activity was October 12, when he posted his last tweet on Twitter. (Usually he tweets about once a month. His ''husband,'' Neil Brown, hasn't tweeted since August, although he rarely tweets.) I left a voicemail on Braverman's personal phone and sent him an email, but received no response. He is still listed as a lecturer at Yale University and, contrary to some reports, there is a record of his lectures going back several years. I contacted the press office and Braverman's department at Yale and received no response.
The Yale campus has been closed for the holidays, which is likely why no response was received by the writer quoted above. However, Braverman is listed by the university as teaching his "Innovation in Government and Society" class in both the Fall 2016 semester and the upcoming Spring 2017 semester. He also has an active voicemail and e-mail address at the university (but didn't respond to our messages).
We were unable to reach a New Haven, Connecticut, police spokesman, but New York City and Washington D.C. police have no record of a missing person with his name, nor is Braverman listed on NamUs, a national database of missing persons maintained by the Justice Department.
The conspiracy theory that the Clintons have killed or disappeared numerous people they find politically inconvenient has been swirling for decades, but it reached a new fever pitch during the 2016 presidential election. On 24 October 2016, the conspiracy-mongering web site WhatDoesItMean.com started a false rumor claiming Braverman, an attorney and businessman, had applied for asylum in Russia after his name was revealed in a WikiLeaks dump.
sources:Alexander, Rachel. "The Mysterious Disappearance of Former Clinton Foundation CEO Eric Braverman." The Stream. 29 December 2016.
Vogel, Kenneth. "Eric Braverman Tried to Change the Clinton Foundation. Then He Quit." Politico. 1 March 2015.
KKR Rolls Out Petraeus in $4 Trillion Hunt for Family Wealth - Bloomberg
Matthew McCarthy was asked by KKR & Co. to fly to New York from Ohio, where he manages money for the founders of a consumer-products company. First he had dinner with KKR's billionaire co-founder Henry Kravis. The next morning, he met David Petraeus, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and current chairman of the KKR Global Institute at the company's headquarters.
''They didn't really pitch products,'' said McCarthy, 43, whose firm Rockside Capital Partners intentionally stays under the radar. ''They brought out General Petraeus.''
McCarthy is the type of investor that KKR and its private equity competitors including Blackstone Group LP and Carlyle Group LP are increasingly courting. Family offices and their advisers manage an estimated $4 trillion, including for the newly rich in Silicon Valley and China, Midwestern entrepreneurs and old money in Europe.
The money managers are responding by adding staff, holding conferences and offering sweeteners, including reduced fees on investments.
Efforts are paying off. Blackstone, which last year started reaching out directly to family offices and hosting forums for them, has $43 billion of its $310 billion under management from private wealth, more than triple the amount five years ago. Across private equity, family offices account for about 6 percent of capital, up from 4 percent in 2010, according to research firm Preqin.
Industry executives say the percentage should be higher.
''The private wealth side is such an under-tapped segment, and way under-invested in alternatives,'' said Brendan Boyle, Blackstone's senior managing director of private wealth management.
Record ProfitsThe firms are seeking new pools of wealth to lessen their reliance on state and corporate pension plans. They're also reaching out at an opportune time. Globally private equity firms reaped a record $428 billion by selling holdings last year, a 30 percent increase from 2013, according to Preqin.
Cracking the network of rich families isn't easy because it requires uncovering people who don't necessarily want to be sold to, said Lawrence Calcano, a managing partner at iCapital Network, an online marketplace for private equity funds.
''They don't have to buy things, unlike pensions that may need to hit a specific return target each year to fund payouts to retirees,'' Calcano said.
Vetting DealsPrivate equity firms want wealthy families for more than just their money.
Family offices bring expertise in buying companies, usually have fewer regulatory restrictions and can take bigger risks than pensions or endowments, Michael Arpey, a managing director at Carlyle who oversees fundraising, said in an interview.
William Heitin, who works for families including the founders of fitness company Reebok International Ltd. and Stacy's Pita Chip Co., was invited by Blackstone last year to an event at the Waldorf Astoria hotel followed by time in the company's New York headquarters with senior executives.
Many of his clients are entrepreneurs who have built and sold their own businesses so they can help private equity managers vet deals, said Heitin, whose Waltham, Massachusetts-based Windrose Advisors manages more than $2 billion.
Investment Opportunity''We have a client that started and sold a major food company,'' said Heitin, Windrose's chief investment officer. ''If the private equity firm is looking at a deal with a food company, we put them in touch and then there may be a co-investment opportunity for the family.''
Private equity firms -- once they track down family offices -- face intense competition to woo them from both larger and smaller rivals.
BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset manager, has amplified efforts to serve the group by hosting summits with speakers including its chief executive officer, Larry Fink. The company has more than 20 people dedicated to working with them in the U.S. and has added staff in London, Hong Kong and Australia, said Brian Feurtado, who leads the group for the New York-based firm in the U.S.
''There's been an explosion of family offices,'' Feurtado said. ''It's a very, very vibrant and growing industry.''
Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors this month said it raised more than $1 billion for its latest real estate fund, with half the money from family offices and high-net worth investors.
Many OpportunitiesThere are an estimated 4,000 family offices globally, according to London-based researcher Campden Wealth -- with the latest addition a familiar face. Doug Ostrover, co-founder of Blackstone's GSO Capital Partners unit, announced last week he's leaving to start one of his own.
Heitin's Windrose met with more than 400 investment managers last year and ultimately made just five investments, he said. McCarthy of Rockside passed on investing with KKR in part because the family he represents -- whom he declined to name -- can team with other wealthy investors to buy companies themselves.
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You will now receive the Game Plan newsletterSome private equity firms are enticing family offices to invest with the promise of co-investment opportunities. That's when families invest alongside the firms rather than through a pooled vehicle, and are charged reduced or no fees. While it sounds good to investors who are more sensitive to costs, the offerings may not result in better returns, according to a 2015 study by professors Josh Lerner and Victoria Ivashina of Harvard Business School and Lily Fang of INSEAD.Ramping UpFor Jim Burns, who leads KKR's individual investor business, outreach is just ramping up. KKR hired Burns four years ago from Morgan Stanley's private wealth management unit to build a team focused on sales to the wealthy. Burns hired two people in the past six months to reach more family offices in Europe and Latin America, he said.
''You really have to go door to door,'' he said. ''Most family offices don't necessarily want to be found.''
Timber Sycamore is a classified weapons supply and training program run by the United StatesCentral Intelligence Agency and supported by various Arab intelligence services, most notably Saudi Arabia's. Launched in 2012 or 2013, it supplies money, weaponry and training to rebel forces fighting in the Syrian civil war. According to US officials, the program has trained thousands of rebels. President Barack Obama secretly authorized the CIA to begin arming Syria's embattled rebels in 2013.
The program's existence was suspected after the US Federal Business Opportunities website publicly solicited contract bids to ship tons of weaponry from Eastern Europe to TaÅucu, Turkey and Aqaba, Jordan. One unintended consequence of the program has been to flood the Middle East's black market with weapons including assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.
US Marines and Jordanian Armed Forces collaborate in Amman, Jordan.Timber Sycamore began in late 2012 or early 2013, and is similar to other Pentagon or CIA-run weapons routing and training programs that were established in previous decades to support foreign rebel forces. The program's principal backers are the United States and Saudi Arabia, but it is also supported by other regional Arab governments, and by the United Kingdom. While Saudi Arabia provides more money and weaponry, the United States leads training in military equipment. The program is based in Jordan, due to that country's proximity to the battlefields in Syria.
According to The New York Times, the program initially allowed US forces to train Syrian rebels in use of military equipment, but not to directly provide the equipment itself. A few months after its creation, it was amended to allow the CIA to both train and equip rebel forces.Salon.com reports that Saudi Arabia has provided billions of dollars in military equipment, and covert financing of rebel forces has also been provided by Qatar, Turkey and Jordan.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the CIA smuggled thousands of weapons and millions of ammunition rounds to Syrian rebels in 2012 before the program's launch. A classified US State Department cable signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reported that Saudi donors were a major support for Sunni militant forces globally, and some American officials worried that rebels being supported had ties to Al Qaeda.
The existence of Timber Sycamore was revealed by The New York Times and Al Jazeera shortly after Jane's Defence Weekly reported, in late 2015, that the US Federal Business Opportunities website was soliciting contracts to ship thousands of tons of weapons from Eastern Europe to TaÅucu, Turkey and Aqaba, Jordan.
Syrian rebel forces in Aleppo (November 2012)Timber Sycamore is run by the Military Operations Command (MOC) in Amman and provides Kalashnikov assault rifles, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank guided missiles, night vision goggles, pickup trucks, and other weapons to prospective Syrian rebel forces. Many of the weapons are purchased in the Balkans or other locations in Eastern Europe, and then routed to Syrian rebel forces and training camps by Jordanian security services. CIA paramilitary operatives then train Syrian rebels in use of the weaponry. According to The Daily Beast there are approximately 50 vetted rebel groups fighting in Syria that have received weapons or training through the program since late 2012, though the exact number is not known.
According to American officials, the program has been highly effective, training and equipping thousands US-backed fighters to make substantial battlefield gains. American officials state that the program began to lose effectiveness after Russia intervened militarily in the civil war.
Timber Sycamore is distinct from another, discontinued Pentagon program established to train Syrian rebel forces to fight against ISIS.
The program remains classified, and many details about the program remain unknown, including the total amount of support, the range of weapons transferred, the depth of training provided, the types of US trainers involved, and the exact rebel groups being supported. However, The Canberra Times reported that two thousand tons of Soviet era weapons were delivered to rebels as recently as April 2016.
The port in Aqaba, Jordan is an important route for Timber Sycamore weaponry entering Syria.Jordanian intelligence arms salesEditAccording to American and Jordanian officials, weapons shipped into Jordan by the CIA and Saudi Arabia were routinely stolen by Jordanian intelligence officials in the General Intelligence Directorate (Jordan) and sold on the black market. The magnitude of the theft amounted to millions of dollars, and FBI officials state that some of the stolen weapons were later used to kill two American contractors, two Jordanians and one South African at a police training station in Jordan. Arms received via Timber Sycamore have flooded Middle Eastern black markets with heavy weaponry.
Jordanian officials state that Jordanian intelligence officers who stole the program's weapons used the profits to purchase luxury items, with knowledge of superior officers. The thefts were halted after months of complaints by the American and Saudi governments, the program's main backers. According to Jordanian officials, several intelligence officers were fired, but their profits were not confiscated. (In Jordan, the General Intelligence Directorate is second only to the monarchy in power and prestige.) Jordan's minister for state and media affairs Mohammad Al-Momani stated that the allegations were incorrect.
Regional trafficking and ISISEditPrior to the Syrian Civil War, southern Syria and northern Jordan were a conduit for other smuggling operations. The advent of the war transformed the region into a center for smuggling weapons, and the more formal support provided by Timber Sycamore only intensified the scale of smuggling operations on the border. Major smuggling centers include bazaars established at Ma'an in southern Jordan, Sabah near Amman, and in the Jordan River Valley.
An investigation by journalists Phil Sands and Suha Maayeh revealed that rebels supplied with weapons from the Amman MOC sold a portion of them to local arms dealers, often to raise cash to pay additional fighters. Some MOC-supplied weapons were sold to Bedouin traders referred to locally as "The Birds" in Lejat, a volcanic plain northeast of Daraa, Syria. According to rebel forces, the Bedouins would then trade the weapons to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, who would place orders using the encrypted WhatsApp messaging service. Two rebel commanders, and a UK weapons monitoring organization, maintain that MOC-supplied weapons have made their way to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant forces.
PressEditAccording to Rachel Marsden writing for The Baltimore Sun, the CIA and Saudi intended for Timber Sycamore to allow independent military forces to drive out Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, install a Syrian leader friendly to US, Saudi and Qatari interests, and weaken Russia's influence in the Middle East.
Reporter Paul Malone wrote that weapons delivered by Timber Sycamore might be acquired by al-Qaeda in Syria, comparing the program to CIA support for the Afghan mujahideen, or American weaponry being seized by ISIS in 2014 in Mosul, Iraq.
The International Business Times of Italy has written that corrupt Jordanian intelligence officials facilitated weapons trafficking that supported the Iraqi insurgency after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. For this reason, according to the paper, the Obama administration was reluctant to approve Timber Sycamore and debated a year before doing so.
Il Giornale has reported that despite the program's secrecy, US Vice President Joe Biden was photographed at the center of Zarqa in March 2015.
PoliticiansEditUS Senator Ron Wyden's office has questioned the program, releasing a statement that "the US is trying to build up the battlefield capabilities of the anti-Assad opposition, but they haven't provided the public with details about how this is being done, which US agencies are involved, or which foreign partners those agencies are working with."
AnalystsEditFormer CIA analyst and Brookings Institute fellow Bruce Riedel has stated that Saudi support for the program has given Saudi Arabia greater say over American policy in the Syrian Civil War.Zero Hedge has compared the smuggling scheme to the ATF gunwalking scandal, because stolen American weapons were later used to kill American contractors.
^ abcdefghiMazzetti, Mark; Younes, Ali (26 June 2016). "C.I.A. Arms for Syrian Rebels Supplied Black Market, Officials Say". New York Times. Retrieved 20 September 2016. ^ abcdBarrile, Andrea (28 June 2016). "Che fine fanno le armi USA ai ribelli siriani?". International Business Times Italy. ^ abcdeMazzetti, Mark; Apuzzo, Matt (23 January 2016). "U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 September 2016. ^ abJeremy Binnie, Neil Gibson (8 April 2016). "US arms shipment to Syrian rebels detailed". Jane's Defence Weekly. IHS. Retrieved 3 December 2016. ^ abLister, Charles (7 June 2016). "Al Qaeda Reaps Rewards of U.S. Policy Failures on Syria". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 20 September 2016. ^ abcdefghSands, Phil; Maayeh, Suha (7 August 2016). "Death of a Syrian arms salesman". The National. Retrieved 21 September 2016. ^ abcNorton, Ben (28 June 2016). "CIA and Saudi weapons for Syrian rebels fueled black market arms trafficking, report says". Salon.com. Retrieved 20 September 2016. ^Chivers, C. J.; Schmitt, Eric (25 February 2013). "Saudis Step Up Help for Rebels in Syria With Croatian Arms". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 December 2016. ^ abcMalone, Paul (10 July 2016). "Save us from the Dr Strangeloves". Canberra Times. Retrieved 21 September 2016. ^ abMackler, Jeff (8 June 2016). "US Threatens Syrian War Escalation". Counterpunch.org. Retrieved 20 September 2016. ^ abCordesman, Anthony (1 February 2016). "Creeping Incrementalism: U.S. Forces and Strategy in Iraq and Syria from 2011 to 2016: An Update". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 20 September 2016. ^ ab"Jordanian officials sold CIA-supplied weapons to arms dealers: report". Pakistan Today. 27 June 2016. ^Shear, Michael; Cooper, Helene; Schmitt, Eric (9 October 2015). "Obama Administration Ends Effort to Train Syrians to Combat ISIS". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 September 2016. ^ abcArutz Sheva Staff (28 June 2016). "Report: CIA weapons for Syrian rebels sold to arms dealers". Arutz Sheva. ^ abcdeZero Hedge (28 June 2016). "Jordanian Intelligence Has Been Stealing US Arms Intended For Syrian Rebels". Phil's Stock World. Retrieved 22 September 2016. ^ abcdBiloslavo, Fausto (28 March 2016). "Finite sul mercato nero le armi che la Cia ha dato ai ribelli siriani". Il Giornale. Retrieved 22 September 2016. ^Marsden, Rachel (18 April 2016). "Russia and America should unite against Saudi-China alliance". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 20 September 2016. ^Haas 1991, pp. 17, 28''29.
(Update Part III): ''Operation Zero Footprint'' '' What We Know About The Benghazi Mission and Subsequent Attack'... | The Last Refuge
As with all complex stories the valuable discoveries come with time.We now have a pretty good understanding of who, what, where, and why surrounding the 9/11/12 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi Libya. We are also better positioned to understand why, or perhaps more importantly why not, certain actions were taken before, during, and in the immediate aftermath of the attack itself.
We know from the Bret Baier interview with Hillary Clinton that she was physically located at her 7th floor office in Washington DC on the night of the attack. Unfortunately we also know during the November 2012 Thanksgiving holiday a mysterious fire took place in that building. Well, actually directly above her exact office '' cause undetermined.
A ''fire'' which preceded an unfortunate slip and fall for the Secretary, resulting in a concussion, which led to the discovery of a blood clot, that ultimately delayed her congressional testimony before a Senate Hearing into the events of the night in question.
We know the Libyan uprising began on February 10th of 2011, and we also know that sometime around the end of February 2011 President Obama signed a presidential directive authorizing the State Dept and CIA to begin a covert operation to arm the Libyan ''rebels''.
We know the ''rebels'' were positioned in two strategic places. Benghazi, and the port city of Darnah, both located in Eastern Libya.
We know this covert operation came to be known as ''Operation Zero Footprint'', and fell under the military command authority of NATO not (important to repeat), NOT, the U.S. Military.
We know by the time operation ''Zero Footprint'' began, AFRICOM commander General Carter Ham was removed from OPSEC oversight in the Libyan campaign and NATO commander AdmiralJames G. Stavridis was in charge.
Stavridis was the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) at the time of the Libyan uprising. He retired as SACEUR in 2013
In 2011, 57-year-old Stavridis was the perfect pick for NATO Libyan intervention considering he is the son of Turkish immigrants. Turkey played a key role in what might be the most politically dangerous aspect of the events to the White House once the goals changed to redirection of the weapons from Operation Zero Footprint.
We know Operation Zero Footprint was the covert transfer of weapons from the U.S to the Libyan ''rebels''. We also know the operation avoided the concerns with congressional funding, and potential for public scrutiny, through financing by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
We also know that officials within the government of Qatar served as the intermediaries for the actual transfer of the weapons, thereby removing the footprint of the U.S. intervention.
We know the entire operation was coordinated and controlled by the State Department and CIA. We also know (from the Senate Foreign Relations Benghazi hearings) that ''Zero Footprint'' was unknown to the 2011 Pentagon and/or DoD commanders who would have been tasked with any military response to the 9/11/12 attack '' namely AFRICOM General Carter Ham.
However, it would be implausible to think that then Defense Secretary Bob Gates or Joint Chiefs Chair Admiral McMullen were completely unaware of the operation, this aspect remains murky.
Both Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chair McMullen were in place when Operation Zero Footprint began but retired from their jobs in Sept of 2011, and were replaced by Bob Gates and Martin Dempsey respectively.
Leon Panetta was CIA Director at the beginning of Operation Zero Footprint (March 2011) and was replaced by CIA Director David Petraeus in the fall of 2011 as Panetta replaced Bob Gates and became Secretary of Defense.
However, Panetta (now as Def Sec) and JC Martin Dempsey were the two who initially briefed President Obama on the night of Sept 11th 2012. Leon Panetta definitely had knowledge of the intents of the joint State Dept/Cia mission in Benghazi, Dempsey may not have.
We know the White House appears to have followed ''The Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980'' in informing the congressional ''Gang of Eight'' of Zero Footprint.
The Gang of Eight in 2011 would have included: Speaker '' John Boehner, Minority Leader '' Nancy Pelosi; House Permanent Select Committee on Intel Chairman '' Mike Rogers, and his Democrat counterpart Charles Ruppersberger; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; along with Senate Intel Chair Diane Feinstein and her Republican counterpart, Saxby Chambliss.
From Hillary interviews we also know the White House liaison for Secretary Clinton and CIA Director Leon Panetta during Operation Zero Footprint was National Security Advisor To the President, Tom Donilon.
With this information we can assemble a cast of people ''IN THE KNOW'' of Operation Zero Footprint on two specific date blocks. March 2011 through Pre 9/11/12 attack '' and '' Post 9/11/12 attack forward.
March 2011 through Pre 9/11/12 attack: Who knew of Operation ''Zero Footprint''?:President Obama and Vice President Biden (both Dems)Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Dem)CIA Director Leon Panetta (March 2011 '' June 2011)*CIA Director General David Petraeus (?) (Sept 2011 '' Nov 2012)NATO Commander, James G StavridisWhite House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon (Dem)Speaker of the House John Boehner (Rep)Minority Leader '' Nancy Pelosi (Dem)House Permanent Select Committee on Intel Chairman '' Mike Rogers (Rep)Minority House Intel Committee '' Charles Ruppersberger (Dem)Senate Minority Leader '' Mitch McConnell (Rep)Senate Majority Leader '' Harry Reid (Dem)Senate Intel Chair '' Diane Feinstein (Dem)Minority Senate Intel Committee '' Saxby Chambliss (Rep)[State Dept] U.S. Libyan Ambassador '' Chris Stevens[State Dept] U.S. Asst Secretary of State '' Andrew Shapiro[State Dept] Senior Head of U.S. Weapons Office '' Mark AdamsAlong with whomever inside each nation's state government that was involved in either the finance (UAE), or the logistics (Qatar).
Obviously the ''know'' crowd would include the ultimate end destination users, ''The Libyan Rebel Commanders'':
Rebel Leader (Islamic Fighting Group) Abu Sufian Ibriham Ahmed Hamuda Bin Qumu '' Darnah Brigade '' Ansar Al ShariaRebel Leader (Islamic Fighting Group) Abu Khattala '' Commander of an Islamist militia group called the Abu Obaida bin Jarrah Brigade (17th Feb Brigade) Benghazi '' Ansar Al Sharia*NOTE* Both of these individuals were labeled as officially recognized State Dept. terrorists in December of 2013. Khattala recently having been arrested.
In addition, the ''political face'' of the Libyan Transitional Government Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, should also be included in this list of people who knew of operation Zero Footprint while it was underway.
Justice Abdel Jalil served as the international face of, and spokesperson for, ''the rebels'' in 2011/12. He worked closely with Chris Stevens and highly visibly with Secretary Hillary Clinton '' However, in my opinion '' after extensive research- Jalil was a total patsy. He was paid well to present a comfortable face of the movement, but once Gaddaffi was killed Jalil was quickly dispatched.
This Brings us to who knew about ''Operation Zero Footprint'' post Benghazi 9/11/12 attack:To wit you can easily add:
CIA Director General David PetraeusAdjunct, and Interim, CIA Director '' Mike MorrelU.S. Attorney General '' Eric HolderPresident Obama Advisor and now Chief of Staff '' Denis McDonoughPresident Obama Advisor and now Treasury Sec '' Jack LewPresident Obama Advisor and now National Security Advisor '' Tony BlinkinFormer UN Ambassador and now Senior Nat Sec Advisor '' Susan RiceChief White House Communications Director '' Ben RhodesFocusing on the post 9/11/12 team for a moment:
This photo was taken on 9/11/12 at 1:28am Benghazi time. [7:28pm DC] Following a one hour phone call between POTUS, V-Potus, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Jack Lew (far right) was Obama's Chief of Staff. Donilon and McDonough had just left Tommy Vietor in the situation room to update POTUS in the Oval Office. POTUS and VPOTUS had just hung up the phone.
PART II '' We know McDonough and Donilon were in the immediate loop on the night of 9/11/12 because they were photographed updating President Obama at 7:30pm in the Oval Office along with a curious Jack Lew who was Chief of Staff at the time.In addition we know from former White House National Security spokesperson Tommy ''dude'' Vietor, that President Obama was not in the situation room where Vietor and his boss Tom Donilon were keeping up on events.
Here's where it gets interesting:
Leon Panetta was the CIA Director when Operation Zero Footprint was authorized and began, but he left the CIA about 4 months later (June 30th, 2011) and was replaced by General David Petraeus (August/Sept 2011).
Under this principle you can see that General Petraeus had ZERO liability for the origin of the Benghazi weapons deals '' it was a joint State Dept/CIA program already being conducted when Petraeus arrived. If it blew up, it was not his political problem.
We know that during the summer of 2012 ''a whistleblower'' popped up and gave House Republican Leader Eric Cantor a tip about CIA Director General Petraeus being in an extramarital affair with a reporter named Paula Broadwell; along with rumors Petraeus may have shared classified information with Broadwell during pillow talk etc.
We also know that Eric Cantor told AG Eric Holder and FBI director Robert Mueller about the claim and Mueller began an investigation of Petraeus in the Summer of 2012 before the Benghazi attack in September.
However, we also know that neither Holder nor Mueller (nor Cantor) informed anyone in congress this investigation of Petraeus was taking place. That investigation included Broadwell turning over her computer to the FBI in the same summer, and later a search of her home which did reveal confidential information supposedly leaked from Petraeus.
Sometime in October of 2012 Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had a conversation with Petraeus urging him to leave.
Immediately after the election of 2012 CIA Director David Petraeus resigned (Nov 9th) and interim CIA Director Mike Morrel took over. This is why Petraeus never testified to the Senate, and Morrel took his place.
We also know this timely switch was beneficial to both the Clinton and Obama camps because Morrel was more politically connected to them than Petraeus.
Given the risks of exposure to both ''Operation Zero Footprint'', and worse, the buy-back/redirection to Syria, it's understandable the risk to Clinton that Petraeus carried. However, Petraeus was not of any risk himself; maybe Leon Panetta would be, but not Petraeus '' who, it's important to add, came from the Defense Department to the office of CIA.
Petraeus's replacement, interim CIA Director Mike Morrel, and White House Communications Director Ben Rhodes, were the two men who constructed the infamous ''Susan Rice'' talking points.
After Morrel testified to congress about the CIA involvement around Benghazi, and the issues of terrorism vs. Islamic movie (happy squirrel chase) etc. Morrel was replaced at the CIA by John Brennan.
We know that both Hillary Clinton and CBS immediately hired Mike Morrel. CBS News President David Rhodes -who hired Morrel- is the brother of the White House's Ben Rhodes; who Morrel coordinated the Clinton friendly, albeit controversial, talking points with.
While it may seem suspect to jump to conclusions, the fact that Eric Holder did not inform either Intelligence Committee of the FBI Petraeus investigation -which is generally standard procedure- lends plausible suspicion to an outline that the events were used as leverage to remove Petraeus; and all of the subsequent risk he represented.
If you accept that Petraeus's knowledge of, but non-involvement in, ''Operation Zero Footprint'' represented a potential risk to Hillary and Obama; you'd have to admit that Mike Morrel was by far the more White House friendly person talking about the CIA involvement around the joint State Dept/CIA Benghazi objectives.
Also, it would be disingenuous to ignore the fact Morrel's loyalty therein was rewarded financially.
Lastly, one of the more slippery people to pin down on the Benghazi attack, and subsequent issues, has been Leon Panetta. If you think about Panetta's role in the origin of Operation Zero Footprint his comment avoidance makes perfect sense.
Trey Gowdy needs to subpoena Panetta for the Special Committee.
OK, sorry that was more than a moment '' but was needed.Now back to Libya 2011/2012 and the Rift Between State/CIA and DoD/Pentagon over the arming of the ''Rebels''. THIS IS REALLY QUITE IMPORTANT because it explains how far out Hillary Clinton had put herself in this covert op ''Zero Footprint''.
A few reminder articles will outline and refresh why the White House kept DoD and The Pentagon at arms length throughout their covert operation:
['...] defense leaders in Washington [March 2011] slammed the brakes on the extent of US help to the rebels. Top officials said that some country other than the US should perform any future training and equipping of the Libyan opposition groups. Under withering congressional probing and criticism of what was described as an ill-defined mission to aid a rebel force that officials know little about, Robert Gates, the US defense secretary, sketched out a largely limited role for the US military going forward.
Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told members of the House Armed Services panel that many other countries have the ability to train and support the rebels. ''My view would be, if there is going to be that kind of assistance to the opposition, there are plenty of sources for it other than the United States,'' said Gates. ''Somebody else should do that.'' Gates and Mullen told Congress that future US participation will be limited and will not involve an active role in airstrikes as time goes on. (link)
From a New York Times article about the same hearing -AND- the discussion of the CIA involvement. Again, remember this is 2011 '' you have Secretary Gates, Joint Chiefs Mullen, and CIA Director Panetta:
2011 ['...] Gates and Mullen were testifying before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in the wake of revelations that small teams of CIA operatives are working in Libya. Gates declined to comment on the CIA activities in Libya. US officials have acknowledged that the CIA has sent small teams of operatives into Libya and helped rescue a crew member of a US fighter jet that crashed.
The CIA's precise role in Libya is not clear. Intelligence experts said the CIA would have sent officials to make contact with the opposition and assess the strength and needs of the rebel forces in the event Barack Obama, the US president, decided to arm them. (link)
In hindsight we are now fully aware that unknown to both Mullen and Gates -at the time they were speaking- was President Obama having authorized Operation Zero Footprint several weeks earlier, and Panetta carrying it out.
The State Dept (Hillary) and CIA (Panetta) were now in the execution mode of the covert op.
We now know against the March/April 2011 backdrop of growing information about al-Qaeda's presence within the rebel units '' there was a genuine difference of opinion on whether even getting involved was a good idea.
The Defense Department (Gates, Mullen) was saying no, the State Department (Clinton, Rice), was saying yes.
Remember too, this covert operation was going to require NATO Admiral James Stavridis to allow the weapons into Libya. So lets look at what he was quoted saying around the same timeframe as Mullen and Gates, *knowing Stavridis was one of the actual key figures to make the weapons delivery possible*:
2011 '' ['...] Now, as the White House and NATO continue to debate the possible ramifications of arming the Libyan opposition, the Haqqani network-linked Afghan commander says Libyan al Qaeda affiliates seem to be more ''enthusiastic'' about the war against Gaddafi every day.
And from what the Afghan Taliban commander has seen, there appears to be more than ''flickers'' of al Qaeda's presence in Libya, the description given by NATO commander Admiral James Stavridis. (link)
There is Stavridis playing down the possibility of al-Qaeda ideology within the make-up of the Islamic Fighting Group '' which is important because by the time this quote was attributed Stavridis was already part of the team coordinating the shipments.
Also, remember R2P? This March/April 2011 timeframe is when ''Responsibility To Protect'' came up as a justification for our engagement. Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton all wanting to fully support ''the rebels''.
Ultimately Obama/Jarrett (The White House) agreed with Hillary Inc (State Dept); hence ''Zero Footprint'' got the nod '' well, let's be really accurate: it ''sort of'' got the nod.
Think about it. President Obama authorized arming the Libyan rebels, but the covert nature of Zero Footprint actually reflects the political filter through which all Obama White House decisions are made. A White House team that always looks for an escape hatch in case any decision is ever publically wrong.
If the rebels were al-Qaeda, the covert op lends plausible deniability.
Isn't it strange how in 2014 hindsight you can clearly see exactly what we now know as the ''Benghazi narrative''; the use of their exact escape hatch because they were al-Qaeda, and it did go horribly and publically wrong.
PART III '' Operation Zero Footprint Becomes Political and Legal Risk
It should be noted, and actually emphasized, that Operation Zero Footprint, at least in 2011, was not illegal. Indeed, all indicators are that President Obama followed his constitutional responsibility as he carried out his executive authority.
We know in late February 2011 President Obama signed a Presidential Finding Memo authorizing the State Department and CIA to engage in actions within Libya to identify a course of action.
We know in March 2011 when Hillary Clinton (State Dept) and Leon Panetta (CIA) constructed ''Operation Zero Footprint'' that President Obama approved the covert action and then informed the Gang of Eight of the weapons transfer operation.
Both of those known facts speak well to the Executive Office following a legally outlined process. This does not, however, dismiss the concern, which became the reality, that the action itself was terribly flawed and horridly imprudent.
During March, April and May 2011 there was enough intelligence information flowing to the White House informing them of exactly who would be the beneficiaries of U.S. Libyan involvement and specifically providing weapons. It did not take long to identify the Benghazi and Darnah ''rebels'' were actually affiliates of al-Qaeda.
While no-one reporting in 2011 was aware of Operation Zero Footprint, there were literally hundreds of media reports showcasing the ideology of the Libyan ''rebel'' uprising. Indeed there were numerous reports in mainstream media outlets of al-Qaeda fighters (numerous factions) flowing to Libya to oust their life-long nemesis, Gaddaffi.
From a policy standpoint it will have to be left up to historians to pore over the facts and ultimately decide what was *this* White House goal in the entire region.
Ben Ali removal -Tunisia- seemed OK to the administration, Obama and Clinton.Hosni Mubarak removal -Egypt- seemed even more ok to Obama and Clinton.Both of the above were viewed as potential sources for favorable policy outcomes. Indeed the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt -and election of President Morsi- did not seem to be a concern for the White House.
However, when you get to Gaddaffi's removal -Libya- you see a serious split between ideologies within the U.S. political class as Obama/Clinton actually pushed the outcome. The U.S. defense department saying they were apprehensive about this outcome, and Obama/Clinton going ''all in'' for Gaddaffi ouster with French President Sarkozy.
The same interventionist Obama/Clinton motivation was evident with Syria's Assad as yet another uprising surfaced in yet another Mid-East nation '' again in March/April 2011.
We know on October 20th 2011 Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddaffi was finally captured, then killed by ''the rebels''.
From the standpoint of ''regime change'' operation Zero Footprint was a success.
The Libyan Transitional National Council was now in control. Well, maybe in charge, or, well, sort of.
The TNC (pictured below 4 days later) may have been the face of Libya the Obama/Clinton team wanted to portray. But they were merely just that, a face.
We know Eastern Libya was then (2011), and is now (2014), a hotbed of radical Islam controlled by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Groups, the very people who benefitted from the arms that were part of Zero Footprint.
We know by the Fall/Winter of 2011 the U.S. State Dept and CIA were joined and trying to re-secure the same weapons they provided in the Spring/Summer.
December 2011 '' New York Times:
''Assistant Secretary of State Andrew J. Shapiro raised the American desire to arrange a purchase program in a meeting this month with Libya's new defense minister, according to American officials familiar with the proposal.
The United States has committed $40 million to secure Libya's arms stockpiles, much of it to prevent the spread of Manpads. No budget has been designed for a purchase program, and the price to be paid for each missile and its components has not been determined, the official said. (link)
We know from a speech delivered by Asst. Secretary of State Shapiro in Feb of 2012 the actual program to recapture the Zero Footprint weapons began in August of 2011 about two months before Gaddaffi was killed:
''Once the stalemate broke and the fighting rapidly shifted in the TNC's [Libyan Transitional National Council] favor in August, we immediately deployed a State Department expert from the MANPADS Task Force to Benghazi.
Mark Adams, who you will hear from shortly on the panel, is the head of our MANPADS Task Force and spent considerable time on the ground in Libya.
['... ] The initial primary objective was to reach an agreement with the TNC to set up a MANPADS control and destruction program that would enable us to set up what we call our Phase I efforts.
Phase I entailed an effort to rapidly survey, secure, and disable loose MANPADS across the country. To accomplish this, we immediately deployed our Quick Reaction Force, which are teams made up of civilian technical specialists.''
We know those ''civilian technical specialists'', being talked about in August 2011, were contractors, CIA contractors, hired by the State Department to recapture the weapons '' some of which they provided as a specific consequence of Operation Zero Footprint.
If the story ended there it would be bad enough. A flawed policy, a secret mission arm the Libyan ''rebels'' without a great deal of thinking through the longer term consequences. A flawed policy with political consequences.
But when you think about the larger picture you understand why the details of the covert weapons operation Zero Footprint were so tightly guarded among select members of Congress (the Gang of Eight), the CIA (Panetta), the State Department (Clinton) and the White House (Donilon).
Each of them was trying to manage a covert operation that would expose a U.S. policy decision to arm al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist militias.
But that's only ''IF'' the story ended there, in Libya, at the end of 2011 into the beginning of 2012. It didn't, the decisions got worse '' much worse.
The uprising in Syria was only a few months behind the uprising in Libya. Arguably if the timing were reversed you could ponder that Assad would have met Gaddaffi's fate, and Gaddaffi would be as alive today as President Assad.
Whichever rebel group got the attention of the R2P crowd was sure to be the first to get assistance. The Obama R2P Doctrine is so tenuous, and so lacking in political principle, it's subject to change based on the political whims of capitol hill at any given moment.
The Libyan ''rebels'' got all the weaponry love '' the Syrian ''rebels'', not-so-much.
Enter Hillary Clinton. As she reiterated vehemently to Greta Van Sustern during a recent interview, it was Hillary who wanted to help the Syrian rebels when no-one else wanted to assist them. Secretary Hillary Clinton wanted early and direct interventionist action in Syria to topple Assad just like Gaddaffi.
Obviously consequences from the first covert weapons mission in Libya made a stark case for not repeating it in Syria. Another huge factor against helping the FSA was Israel. Ultimately Israel could not afford to be put into such a risky position if Syrian rebel forces were given arms that ultimately might be used against them.
There's no way congress, in an election year, would approve of funding Syrian rebels against the possibility of it hurting Israel; And the White House was not about to do a known and official covert operation which had a great potential to go sideways, and become far too politically dangerous. 2012 was an election year.
Unless of course, you're a Clinton.
Who wanted to aid Syria more? President Obama or Hillary Clinton? That is a question for later year historians. Regardless of how the idea came up, we know a decision was made to do it, and to do it covertly and illegally.
Arming the Benghazi Darnah rebels was, well, stupid. It was actually stupid, and politically stupid, but it was not illegal.
Arming jihadist fighters in Syria without congressional approval, and without official covert notification laws being followed, *WAS* illegal.
Everything Iran-Contra was -and was not- can be rolled up with a big exclamation point.
We know the basic set up to arm the Syrian rebellion was generally not too complex.
Turkey would be used as an intermediary, and the U.S. had Sunni friends in Saudi Arabia -who were more than willing to see Assad removed- and financially assist in arming the Syrians without too great a concern for what could happen to Israel.
For Obama/Clinton to get weapons to the Syrians, without going through congress, would involve buying back the weapons already floating around from Operation Zero Footprint and redirecting them to Syria through Turkey.
The Saudis would be a willing financier if the State Dept needed additional money to facilitate the transfers.
We know Ambassador Chris Stevens set up a formal U.S. Embassy consulate in Tripoli around May 26th of 2012. And we know the State Dept and CIA set up their joint operations in Benghazi around the same time.
The official U.S. State Dept presence was vacated on Feb 25th of 2011 when the embassy personell were evacuated. Stevens was re-establishing the diplomatic office and acting as Ambassador to Libya during the 2012 reconstruction phase.
What we did not know at the time was that Chris Stevens was also acting as the facilitator for U.S. arms shipments OUT OF LIBYA, through Turkish diplomatic couriers and into Syria.
A very strong argument can easily be made that Chris Stevens was a CIA operative inside the State Department. Many people within the State Department are CIA personnel using the State Dept as part of their visible cover.
In Eastern Libya June, July, August 2012 '' Obviously the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Ansar Al Sharia, aka 17th Feb Brigade, and all of their commanders knew of the U.S. Benghazi weapons programs. Both the 2011 distribution, and the 2012 repurchase.
Considering the redeployment to Syria '' for the most part the Benghazi and Darnah brigades would have been in alignment with their Jihadist brethren in Syria being the beneficiaries of the shipments.
But there was in 2011/2012 '' an ideological rift between the newly emboldened Muslim Brotherhood and the 'more initially moderate' Free Syrian Army (FSA). As the Libyan conflict rolled on through the summer of 2011 more al-Qaeda elements flocked from other engagements into the Syrian fight. Moderates were replaced by extremists.
By the time Hillary and Chris Stevens were working on support for Syria, Summer 2012, the radical Syrian opposition was embedded inside the FSA. Arguably they were the majority element. The Syrian opposition had three al-Qaida arms operating within it. Including one that also operated in Libya:
Jund al-Sham, which is made up of al-Qaida militants who are Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese;Jund al-Islam, which in recent years merged with Ansar al-Islam, an extremist group of Sunni Iraqis operating under the al-Qaida banner and operating in Yemen and Libya;Jund Ansar al-Allah, an al-Qaida group based in Gaza linked to Palestinian camps in Lebanon and Syria.It would be into this eclectic mix of Jihadist ideologues that any diverted U.S. arms would flow. It's no wonder that Senator John McCain was so confused when he was calling them ''moderates'' in 2012/2013. Almost no-one knew the severe elements in Syria would rise to the surface and become the modern ISIS now capturing all of the global attention.
And'.... If you just realized'.... Yes, ISIS or ISIL currently on the march in Iraq, came from Syria, fought in Syria and more than likely was armed by the U.S. inside Syria; and trained by the same CIA operatives used by the State Dept to send Syria weapons from Benghazi and Darnah back in Libya.
If Operation Zero Footprint in Libya was stupid, arming the Syrian branches of al-Qaeda two years after the FSA was thoroughly corrupted by al-Qaeda, is infinite degrees beyond stupid.
But that's hindsight for ya'..... or as Secretary Clinton would say ''Whether they were, '... at this point, what difference does it make?''
By June of 2012 the New York Times was reporting that the CIA is operating a secret arms transfer program to Syria that sounded exactly like the re-diversion plan Clinton developed with Panetta/Petraeus. According to the Times suddenly, there is: '''...an influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels.''
We know on September 5th 2012 '' A Libyan flagged ship called Al Entisar (''The Victory'') docks in the Turkish port of Iskenderun. It is carrying 400 tons of cargo including many weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS) destined for Syrian rebels 35 miles away from Iskenderun.
The ship's captain told the Times of London that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Free Syrian Army broke into a fight over the arms.
This ongoing research outline is going to extend well beyond several thousand words. In the interests of absorption I will cut it off here and begin again below with the next update in approximately 12 to 24 hour increments.
Readers have shared their preference for this staggered process as the best for being able to read, understand and analyze the complexity within rather challenging research discussions.
TRANS ANATOLIAN NATURAL GAS PIPELINE PROJECT | TANAP
TANAP will run from the Turkish border with Georgia, beginning in the Turkish village of T¼rkg¶z¼ in the Posof district of Ardahan, will run through 20 provinces including Kars, Erzurum, Erzincan, Bayburt, G¼m¼Åhane, Giresun, Sivas, Yozgat, KÄ±rÅehir, KÄ±rÄ±kkale, Ankara, EskiÅehir, Bilecik, K¼tahya, Bursa, BalÄ±kesir, anakkale, TekirdaÄ and Edirne until it ends at the Greek border in the Ä°psala district of Edirne. From this point, the TAP Pipeline will connect to convey natural gas to European nations. Two off-take stations are located within Turkey for national natural gas transmission, one located in EskiÅehir and the other in Thrace. With 19km running under the Sea of Marmara, the main pipeline within Turkey reach a total of 1850km, along with off-take stations and aboveground installations, with their numbers and properties detailed below:
7 compressor stations,4 measuring stations,11 pigging stations,49 block valve stations and2 off-take stations to supply Turkey's national natural gas network
Serena ShimBornOctober 10, 1985Detroit, MichiganDiedOctober 19, 2014(aged 29)Suru§, ÅanlÄ±urfa Province, TurkeyCause of deathAssassinatedResting placeBourj el-Barajneh, LebanonNationalityUnited StatesOther namesSerena Ali SuhaimEducationAmerican University of Science and TechnologyAlma materClarenceville High SchoolOccupationTelevision journalistYears active2006''14EmployerPress TVReligionIslamChildren2Serena Shim (Arabic: Ø"ÙØ±ÙÙØ§ Ø¹ÙÙ Ø"ØÙÙ '',Serena Ali Suhaim; October 10, 1985 '' October 19, 2014) was an American journalist for Press TV. While covering the Siege of Kobanª as a war correspondent, she was allegedly killed in a car crash. Her employer called the accident "suspicious" as she was killed two days after Turkey allegedly accused her of spying.
After her education, she worked for a media company in Beirut. Shim covered reports for Press TV in Lebanon, Iraq, Ukraine and Turkey.
Her death took place only days after she published a story detailing the said Turkish government use of humanitarian aid marked trucks to transport weapons and ammunition to ISIL-ISIS factions that opposed the Assad administration's government in Syria. It should be noted the there are other news sources detailing ISIL-ISIS exporting oil through Turkey as well. Turkey is also said to have accused Serena Shim of spying. There is some question as to if she was transported directly to the hospital on the day of the "accident." It has been said the reason given for not investigating her death is because the US government does not investigate the death of citizens in other countries, true or not.
Covering the siege of KobanªEdit
Suru§, ÅanlÄ±urfa Province, Turkey is shown relative to Istanbul, DiyarbakÄ±r, and the capital city Ankara.In October 2014, Shim was assigned by Press TV to Turkey on a mission to cover the ISIL conflict. She was based in Suru§, ÅanlÄ±urfa Province, Turkey, which is a rural area near the Syrian border.
Accusation of spying by TurkeyEditOn October 17, Shim told Press TV that the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MÄ°T) had accused her of "spying". She stated that it is "probably due to some of the stories she had covered about Turkey's stance on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants in Kobanª". She had reported that ISIL militants being smuggled over the Turkish border into Syria on trucks bearing the symbols of NGOs like the "World Food Organisation". Shim, said on air she's "a bit frightened" by what MÄ°T "might use against me."
She died on 19 October 2014 in a car crash on her way back to her hotel. She was returning to Suru§ with her driver and camera operator Judy Irish in a rental car when the car collided with a cement mixer. Shim survived the crash, but died of a heart attack after being taken to an undisclosed location. Her co-worker Irish was injured and taken to Suru§ State Hospital.
The vehicle driver was subsequently arrested.Press TV disputed this, alleging that both driver and vehicle "have disappeared" and her death is "suspicious".
ÅanlÄ±urfa Governor Ä°zzettin K¼§¼k denied Press TV's claims and called them "completely baseless" and "attempts to put Turkey in a difficult situation". K¼§¼k said a detailed statement would be made after the investigations.
NEW YORK '' Documents made public by the Washington watchdog group Judicial Watch and separately by Wikileaks Julian Assange back up Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's assertion on Tuesday that U.S.-led coalition forces have given support to terror groups, including ISIS in Syria.
In an interview with Democracy Now's Juan Gonzlez on July 25, Assange said the thousands of documents released by Wikileaks through its ''Hillary Clinton Email Archive'' contain some 1,700 emails that connect Clinton to al-Qaida and ISIS in both Libya and Syria, demonstrating Clinton supplied weapons to ISIS via Syria.
''So, those Hillary Clinton emails, they connect together with the cables that we have published of Hillary Clinton, creating a rich picture of how Hillary Clinton performs in office, but, more broadly, how the U.S. Department of State operates,'' Assange said in the interview.
''So, for example, the disastrous, absolutely disastrous intervention in Libya, the destruction of the Gadhafi government, which led to the occupation of ISIS of large segments of that country, weapons flows going over to Syria, being pushed by Hillary Clinton, into jihadists within Syria, including ISIS, that's there in those emails.''
The Obama administration's betrayal is exposed in ''See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government's Submission to Jihad,'' by former DHS officer Philip Haney and WND Editor Art Moore!
Erdogan said that rather than supporting Turkey, the West was backing ISIS and groups Turkey classifies as terrorist organizations, the Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units and Democratic Union Party, who work with the U.S. on the ground in Syria.
''They are supporting all the terror groups,'' Erdogan said.''It's quite clear, perfectly obvious,'' he said, offering to provide proof in pictures and video.
See the Assange interview on Hillary's emails:
In response to the Assange interview, Snopes.com, a left-leaning ''fact checking'' website, argued that Assange released no emails that proved she ''deliberately and knowingly'' arranged for the United States to sell weapons to ISIS.
Snopes.com, however, did agree Clinton ''in her role in shaping the United States' actions regarding the Libyan intervention and the ongoing Syrian civil war'' may have negligently allowed arms to fall into the hands of ''jihadists.''
As a consequence, Snopes judged Assange's claim a ''mixture of true and false,'' insisting Clinton's negligence in allowing U.S. weapons to fall into the hands of ISIS terrorists in Syria was not the same thing as ''selling weapons to ISIS.''
However, since 2011 WND has reported that documents released by Judicial Watch and Wikileaks showed Clinton's State Department engineering the clandestine transfer of weapons from Libya to Syria that ended up in the hands of terrorist groups aligned with ISIS and al-Qaida.
Ambassador Stevens involved in weapons shipping
In May 2015, WND reported Judicial Watch made public more than 100 pages of previously classified Department of Defense and Department of State documents implicating the Obama administration in a cover-up to obscure the role Clinton and the State Department played in the rise of ISIS.
Why today's terrorism is never-ending by Lt. Col. James Zumwalt
The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, provide evidence that U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was involved in shipping weapons from Benghazi to support the al-Qaida-affiliated militias fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, effectively arming the Sunni jihadists who morphed into ISIS.
Judicial Watch also noted the DOD documents contain the first official documentation that the Obama administration knew that weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria.
An October 2012 DOD report confirmed:
Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPGs, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.
During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the (Qaddafi) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.
A DIA document made public by Wikileaks included an inventory of weapons that closely matches the inventory listed in the Department of Justice criminal case against arms dealer Marc Turi:
The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG's and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles. The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200ea '' 125mm and 200ea '' 155 mm.]
The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons.
Judicial Watch noted an August 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report, written at time the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria, said ''the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.''
Judicial Watch commented that the sectarian direction of the war in Syria was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the ''grave danger'' of the rise of ISIS.
The DIA document noted:
This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.
Judicial Watch said some of the ''dire consequences'' are blacked out, but the DIA presciently warned one such consequence would be the ''renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.''
Clinton sought to arm Free Syria Army
In an Aug. 17, 2014, email released by Wikileaks, Clinton, after her service as secretary of state, suggested to John Podesta: ''At the same time, we should return to plans to provide the FSA [Free Syria Army], with some group of moderate forces, with equipment that twill allow them to deal with a weakened ISIL, and stepped up operations against the Syrian regime.''
Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute, tied the statement to the Obama administration's plan to equip Syrian fighters, either the Free Syrian Army or ''other moderate forces,'' to a U.S.-led operation in coordination with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to steer weapons to Syria, ''ostensibly to fight both Assad and ISIS.''
McCarthy noted, however, that Clinton's 2014 memo to Podesta asserted the Saudi and Qatari governments both supported ISIS and other ''radical Sunni groups.''
In September 2013, WND reported Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., had relied on the work of Elizabeth O'Bagy, a 26-year-old graduate student, to argue in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the Obama administration should send weapons to arm the ''moderate'' Free Syria Army to oppose the Assad government in Syria.
WND detailed the extensive lobbying efforts conducted in Washington to advance the FSA as a ''moderate group,'' despite clear evidence the al-Nusra Front '' operating under the FSA umbrella '' had been declared a terrorist organization by the State Department; has pledged allegiance to al Qaida's top leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri; and was the group of choice for foreign jihadis pouring into Syria.
in September 2014, WND reported O'Bagy, who had been fired from her job with a Washington think-tank after her exposure by WND as a source for Kerry's argument that the FSA is a ''moderate'' rebel force in Syria, had also arranged for McCain a trip to Syria in May 2013, during which senator met with Abdul Hakim Belhaj, who was then represented as a leader of the FSA.
In November 2013, WND reported trusted Libyan expatriates had claimed Belhaj was at large in Libya. The expatriates identified Belhaj as an al-Qaida operative, noting he was at the top of a list of Libyan terrorists banned by the European Union from obtaining entrance visas and was the principal organizer of the terrorist attack in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2011, in which Ambassador Stevens was murdered.
Clinton arms deals tied to Turi prosecution
McCarthy tied Clinton's 2014 comment to Podesta regarding the FSA to a weapons shipment from Benghazi to Turkey for eventual transit to Syria that occurred just days before the Benghazi attack. McCarthy noted the September 2012 weapons shipment was coordinated by Belhaj, ''an al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadist with whom Stevens had consulted during the uprising against Qadhafi.''
McCarthy further noted the September 2012 shipment of weapons had been arranged by Marc Turi, a professional arms dealer who had been indicted by federal prosecutors in Phoenix for supplying arms to Libyan ''rebels'' during the 2010-2011 war.
McCarthy commented the Obama administration dropped the criminal case one day before a court-ordered deadline to disclose information about its efforts to arm Muslim rebels.
''Turi's lawyers had explained his defense to the court: His arms shipments, destined for the Libyan rebels and channeled through Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, were part of a U.S.-authorized effort,'' McCarthy wrote. ''Turi further asserts that the Obama administration was subsequently complicit in the shipment of weapons from Libya to 'rebels' in Syria, who are fighting the Assad regime.''
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, in an interview with WND, insisted the DOJ was forced to drop the Turi prosecution because federal prosecutors were convinced his defense would expose Clinton's secret arms running to the radical al-Qaida-affiliated militia in Libya in 2011.
Video proof of arms transfer
WND published visual evidence Clinton's State Department secretly provided weapons to Islamic jihadists in Libya to support the U.S.-backed NATO bombing in 2011.
In one of the videos published by WND, Moussa Ibrahim, Gadhafi's information minister and official spokesman, displayed to reporters in 2011 a cache of weapons and ammunition seized from a ship from Qatar intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard off Libya's coast.
The video matched a report of Qatari military equipment seized in mid-April 2011. Anthony Bell and David Witter of the Institute for the Study of War, in their October 2011 publication ''The Libyan Revolution: Stalemate & Siege, Part 3,'' said the shipments ''consisting of bulletproof vests, helmets and ammunition were bound for the rebels besieged in Misrata.''
''Though his shipment was unannounced, Qatari Prime Minister al-Thani alluded to arming the rebels just days before the crates appeared,'' they wrote.
Turi caught in Clinton's secret war
WND reported in July 2015 Napolitano's concerns that Turi was being set up for prosecution to continue a cover-up of the secret war on Libya.
The background of the Turi prosecution, while complicated, is at the heart of an allegation made by Napolitano in a syndicated column published July 1, 2015.
Napolitano charged Clinton, while secretary of state, lied when Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., asked her in a Senate committee hearing if the State Department had run guns illegally to Libyan rebels.
An interview of Turi by Fox News intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge and Fox News senior executive producer Pamela Browne led Napolitano to review emails to and from State Department and congressional officials during the years when Clinton was secretary of state.
Napolitano concluded it's ''beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty'' that Hillary had conducted a ''secret war'' shipping arms to Libya illegally in 2011.
Turi used as a pawn
Napolitano detailed for WND his understanding of the events behind the Obama administration's decision to run a clandestine war against Gadhafi.
''Secretary Clinton decided she had to get rid of Gadhafi because she wanted to take credit when she ran for president for being the government official responsible for liberating Libya,'' Napolitano said.
Clinton knew she would never get a declaration of war from Congress or authorization under the war powers resolution enacted over President Nixon's veto in 1973, he asserted.
''So, Secretary Clinton persuaded Obama to use CIA intelligence assets who would be exempted from the war powers resolution even if they wore military fatigues in Libya.''
Napolitano explained that to use intelligence assets under the war powers resolution, Clinton needed the cooperation and informal consent of the ''Congress within the Congress,'' referring to the House Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which are sworn to secrecy.
''The result is the president of the United States, the secretary of state and about two dozen people in the House and Senate, including the leadership of both parties in both houses, can authorize a clandestine war using CIA assets,'' he said.
''And this is exactly what President Obama and Secretary Clinton did.''Having obtained the authorization of the House and Senate intelligence committees, Clinton began a secret gun-running operation to Libya, using a provision in the United Nations-imposed arms embargo on Libya that allowed the foreign minister of participating countries to grant an exception to the embargo, Napolitano said.
The irony of Turi's prosecution is that he never actually shipped any weapons to Libya. But in prosecuting Turi for planning to ship weapons, Turi's attorneys argued in his defense that the Obama administration was planning to blame Turi for the arms shipment should Secretary Clinton's clandestine arms dealings ever become public.
A native of Arlington, Virginia, Bash graduated from the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School before attending Georgetown University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, served as the Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Hoya, and graduated magna cum laude. In 1998, Bash graduated with honors from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following his graduation, he clerked for the Honorable Leonie Brinkema, U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia. Bash was admitted to the bars of Virginia, Maryland, DC, the Eastern District of Virginia, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 2000, Bash served as the National Security Issues Director for the Presidential campaign of Al Gore and Joe Lieberman. In that role, he advised the candidates, their surrogates, and staff on national security policy matters, including the Middle East peace process, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, missile defense, and trade. From 2001 to 2004, Bash was in private law practice with the firm O'Melveny & Myers in their Washington, D.C. office. His practice focused on congressional investigations, regulatory matters, and litigation. He then served as chief minority counsel on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the U.S. House of Representatives and as an aide to California Representative Jane Harman, the committee's top Democrat.
He is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has spoken at conferences or as part of courses for Harvard Law School, Georgetown Law School, American University, and the National War College.
He was interviewed by The New York Times in regard to an October 5, 2013 U.S. Special Operations Forces raid in Tripoli, Libya that resulted in the capture of Abu Anas al-Libi, a terrorist target who was indicted in the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. Bash also appeared as a commentator on PBS NewsHour and was interviewed on ABC World News regarding both the Tripoli raid and an aborted raid in Somalia to capture an al-Shabab commander known as Ikrimah.
In 1998, he married Dana Bash, formerly Dana Schwartz, who has become a prominent journalist. They divorced in 2007. On October 7, 2014 he requested permission, via email, to make a phone call to John Podesta. John Said "No".
The Libya Plan
King of Morocco 2$8mm bribe, he's next
To resolve the crises of Nigeria as a nation state '-- Opinion '-- The Guardian Nigeria
Nigeria's Post-Colonial Crises and the Civil War of 1967-1970 taught the Nation State of Nigeria the following, namely:
. That progress in socio-economic growth, progress, security and prosperity of nations are driven not necessarily by natural resources endowment but more importantly by the developments in modern science and technology (S&T);
. That a Nation State needs real unity and real peace to develop its economy and to make real economic progress; and
. To actualise the foregoing, a nation must have (a) Political Stability (b) Selfless Leadership Elite with vision for modern economic development (c) National Political cohesion and (d) Nationalism, Patriotism, Pride and Love of the Citizens for the Nation.Most of the above attributes seem to be in short supply in the nation-state of Nigeria, particularly, since the end of the Civil War of 1967-1970.
What conclusions can we as a nation draw from the Civil War and the current endemic political travails of Nigeria to enable us (Nigerians) build a united nation state? :These, I believe include the following, namely:. Understanding that in 1914, Nigeria became a nation state, albeit, by forced amalgamation or cobbling together of various independent and disparate ethnic nationalities and entities (Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Fulani, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, Edo, Nupe, Ijaw, Uhrobo, etc.) numbering well over 200 (some with large, some with small populations) but with different cultures, religions, languages, and in specific geographical areas around the River Niger, by the virtue of British Imperial Power and Colonial diplomacy,
. The Colonial Authorities obviously and deliberately did not develop S&T as domestic instrument for modern economic growth and development, prosperity and security of the Nigerian State, possibly to avoid hurting the British home industry and economy or making Nigeria a prosperous modern competitive industrial and politically united nation, which would have compromised the British main objectives of Nigeria's colonization;
. From 1914-1960, therefore, Nigeria was sustained as a nation state by virtue of British imperial power and colonial diplomacy but remained in fact a poorly structured and an unstable nation state ''on paper, a geographical expression and or an artificial creation'' whose political unity and economy was sustained by imported foreign developed (mostly British) industrial, scientific, engineering and technological infrastructure and security apparatus;
. In 1914 ''1960 Nigeria existed and was led and administered as a conflicting nation state by three majority (population and size of territory) ethnic nationality political power blocks of Northern Region of Nigeria, Eastern Region of Nigeria and Western Region of Nigeria respectively, led by Hausa-Fulani, Igbo, and Yoruba ethnic nationalities respectively in which other various different minority ethnic nationality political power blocks such as Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, Edo, Ijaw, Nupe etc. were subsumed and ignored, Each of the three majority population power blocks is also plagued internally by diverse cultural, religious and differing ethnic nationalities;; Nigeria's political leadership elite also entered into political independence and took over from British Colonial Authorities without first fashioning out a vision of how to run a multi-ethnic nationality nation state of Nigeria in unity, equity, harmony, prosperity and welfare of all its citizens and the absence of a true Federal State Structure required for a multi-national nation state has remained till date, the Nigeria's albatross for true unity, peace and economic progress in the new nation state;
. From 1960-1966, in the absence of political ideology and a clear vision of national political development, the most powerful political power block namely Northern Nigeria Political Power Block (Northern Nigeria People's Congress (NPC) in alliance with the Eastern Nigeria Political Power Block, (National Council of Nigeria and Cameroun (NCNC) as junior partner kept Nigeria together as a nation and administered it, albeit, as a factionalised nation state with a very powerful Western Nigeria (Yoruba) Political Power Block (Action Group) in opposition to the government in power;
. The purposeful thoughts, vision and foresight of Nigeria's icons of anti-colonial struggle for the liberation of Nigeria and for a united Nigeria completely eluded the emerging Nigeria's political leadership elite at the dawn of political independence in 1960 which saw power and self-enrichment as the essence of governance;. The apparent manipulation of the Northern Nigeria Political Power Block with the apparent support initially of its junior partner in government, namely the Eastern Nigeria Political Power Block, to break and reduce the power and influence of the opposing Western Nigeria Political Power Block in 1963 led to a major political crisis in Western Region of Nigeria and the emergence of Military Rule in Nigeria in 1966 and a near disintegration of Nigeria as a nation state. This is the beginning of the current endemic and complex political crisis.
. On January, 15, 1966, the Federal Government of Nigeria was overthrown by a military insurrection in which a majority of Igbo officers were seriously implicated. The Northern Nigeria-led government was replaced by an Igbo ethnic National Military Officer who took over the control of the new Federal Military Government (FMG) and who followed up by abolishing the existing relatively True Federal Structure of Government and introduced a quasi Unitary Government that rendered the semi-autonomous Federating Regions into mere Administrative Units of the Igbo led FMG, from January, 15 to July 29, 1966;.
The above military action was interpreted as a move by the Eastern Nigeria (Igbo-led) Political Power Block to take over political power from Northern Nigeria (Hausa-Fulani-led) Political Power Block. This again is the main cause of the conflict between the former allies in government against the former Yoruba Political Power Block formerly in opposition to the Federal Central Government.
On July 29, 1966, the Military Officers of Northern Region of Nigeria undertook a revenge counter-coup d'etat against the Igbo-led Federal Government and replaced the latter with a Northern Nigeria Military government, which retained the quasi Unitary Administration of Nigeria inherited from the Igbo-led FMG till date.
So from January 15, 1966 till May 30, 1967 Nigeria was kept together as a nation, this time, not by the virtue of British Imperial Power, nor by the factionalised civilian constitutional democratic administration but by the military rule and military dictatorship now led by Northern Nigeria military officers,By May 30, 1967, the Eastern Nigeria Political Power Block seceded from Nigerian Federation to form its own nation state.
From 1967-1970, the two Political Power Blocks of Northern and Western Nigeria, this time working together, engaged in a ferocious military campaign and intense war against the seceding Eastern Nigeria Power Block, conquered the latter and forced it by military conquest back into Nigeria in January 1970.
Oragwu, was Head of Research /Coordinator of Technological Services in the now defunct State of Biafra, 1967-1970
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Nigeria, Morocco wealth funds sign pipeline deal to bring natural gas to Europe - Natural Gas | Platts News Article & Story
* Latest initiative to 'strengthen exports to Europe'* New project comes amid stalled Trans-Saharan Pipeline* Nigeria has 5.1 Tcm of gas reserves: BP
A new pipeline project to bring Nigerian gas through Africa to Europe has been launched by the sovereign wealth funds of Nigeria and Morocco, the latest attempt to link Nigeria's vast gas resources with the lucrative European gas market.
The Trans-African Pipeline will be developed jointly by the Moroccan sovereign wealth fund Ithmar Capital and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, the partners said Monday.
Nigeria has huge gas reserves totaling some 5.1 Tcm, according to the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy, but few options for monetizing the gas other than its LNG export facility.
Article continues below...
A previous pipeline project -- the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline -- was agreed on between Nigeria's NNPC and Algeria's Sonatrach in 2002, and an intergovernmental accord signed in 2009.But there has been little progress on the project since, given the huge distances involved and the high cost of developing such a vast pipeline project.
EUROPEAN NATGAS EXPORTSOn Monday, the governments of Nigeria and Morocco announced they would jointly develop a new regional gas pipeline "connecting the two countries, bringing the resources of Nigeria to Morocco, its neighbors and Europe."It is unclear exactly the route the pipeline would take, though the developers foresee it following the coast.
"The pipeline will run an estimated 4,000 km along the west coast of Africa and the countries through which it runs and the exact route will be determined as the project moves forward, based on further research," a spokesman for Ithmar told S&P Global Platts.
"Morocco and Nigeria are eager to work with all countries in West Africa to ensure their economies and people benefit from the project," he said.
Following the coast, however, would mean a route that would need the participation of up to 13 other countries.
The shortest route to Europe would be via Niger and Algeria to Morocco for further pipeline supply to Spain.
The spokesman said the routing had yet to be finalized, but that talks were expected with countries in the region.
The two state wealth funds announced the signing of a strategic partnership agreement and a memorandum of understanding that will see the two countries cooperate on bilateral investment for the first time in recent history.
"The project will strengthen energy exports to Europe, linking Nigerian gas to the European energy market through Morocco," Ithmar said.
It is also designed to support the creation of industrial hubs to attract foreign investment into West Africa.
The previously planned 30 Bcm/year Trans-Sahara link was designed to run for 1,037 km from Nigeria to the border with Niger, before running 841 km from Niger to Algeria and then another 2,303 km across Algeria to Spain.
--Stuart Elliott, email@example.com--Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Is the Nigeria-Morocco direct gas pipeline project just another "pipe dream"? - Ventures Africa
On Saturday, the Nigeria's minister of foreign affairs announced a partnership with the Moroccan government to construct a gas pipeline that will connect Nigeria, Morocco and other African countries to Europe. The agreement was reached during Morocco's King Mohammed VI visit to Nigeria.
The cost and duration of the project, though unknown, still pose great challenges as the project seems to be unviable considering the current predicaments prevailing in the continent.
A similar project''Trans-Saharan Gas Project (TSGP)''was proposed by Algeria in 2002. The Algerian government entered into an agreement with the Nigerian authorities to construct a gas pipeline worth $30 billion that would cross the Sahel through Niger and Algeria to reach the gates of Europe on a route of 4,300 km.
Abandoned Trans-Saharan Gas Project which was supposed to be from Nigeria to Algeria.The project was, however, unsuccessful. There were speculations that the project had been cancelled as a result of financing constraints but that is the fa§ade. Russia and the European Union were competing against each other to finance the project and, in the end, both parties backed out.
In 2009, Russian gas group, Gazprom signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to invest at least $2.5 billion in a joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The European Union, through its European Investment Bank, was interested in financing the project.
What, then, caused the failure of the project?
There had been security concerns in both countries. Nigeria's gas production has experienced a massive decline over the years as a result of incessant attacks on the gas pipeline by militants in the Niger Delta region. The gas shortages have led to a reduction in electricity generation within the country. The shortages have also led some multinational companies to explore alternative sources to generate electricity such as coal.
The rise of insurgency attacks in some regions within Nigeria and Algeria increased the fears concerning the project. The terror the Boko Haram group and Islamic State created increased the fears as to whether the pipelines would be secure in those regions.
The Nigerian government's credibility seems wobbly reviewing their history in executing other regional pipeline projects. The West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP), which connects Nigeria's gas reserves to Togo, Benin, and Ghana, was initially proposed in 1982 but took over 25 years before it could commence its operations. WAGP has since its commencement remained inconsistent in its gas supply to its clients.
West African Gas PipelineMorocco's plan
The Nigerian-Morocco gas pipeline is expected to connect with the West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP) through five to six countries. WAGP already connects Nigeria's large reserves to three West African countries. Estimating the length, the pipeline is expected to be longer and more expensive than the TSGP as it is to go through a longer route. Also, including five to six countries in this project compared to just two in TSGP portrays the slimmer chance of seeing this project accomplished.
The demand of the gas pipeline is highly required as some European countries have created a feud against Russia's proposed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction. The European Union is increasingly looking for alternative ways to reduce their dependency on Russia, which supplies up to half of the European's Union gas demands.
The Nigeria-Morocco pipeline project could be achievable if the partner countries get the full cooperation of all states in which the gas pipeline would be conveyed. From the outlook, the pipeline would be based offshore, making the project prone to less vandalisation but full approval of these countries would aid the smooth implementation of the project.
Nigeria and Morocco would require a high level of investor confidence to execute the pipeline project. Morocco has gained investor confidence over the years with its rapid growth in infrastructure. The recently launched Ashish J. Thakkar Global Entrepreneurship Index ranked Morroco as the African country with the best infrastructure. From their end, seeking finance might not be a problem. Nigeria, on the other hand, has seen a decline in investor confidence level as massive divestments have been made in 2016 by foreign investors from the country. The country has also seen a decline in economic growth with its third quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracting by 2.24 percent.
The stakes of the project are high but exigent. The odds have to play in the favour of Nigeria and Morocco. With the two partners at the opposite ends of the pipe, a flow has to be created to ensure this partnership is effective and achievable.
Nigeria and Morocco sign gas pipeline deal to link Africa to Europe | Article [AMP] | Reuters
ABUJA Dec 3 Nigeria and Morocco have signed a joint venture to construct a gas pipeline that will connect the two nations as well as some other African countries to Europe, Nigeria's minister of foreign affairs said on Saturday.
The agreement was reached during a visit by the Morocco's King Mohammed to the Nigerian capital Abuja, Geoffrey Onyema, the minister, said, adding that the pipeline project would be designed with the participation of all stakeholders.
"In this agreement both countries agreed to study and take concrete steps toward the promotion of a regional gas pipeline project that will connect Nigeria's gas resources, those of several West African countries and Morocco," Onyema told reporters in Abuja.
Onyema said the project aimed to create a competitive regional electricity market with the potential to be connected to the European energy markets.
No timeline was given for when the pipeline construction work will start and how much it will cost.
Nigeria is rich in hydrocarbons but produces little electricity, making its industries uncompetitive. Its economy now faces a recession caused by a plunge in crude prices.
Militants in its oil producing heartland of the Niger Delta have also blown up pipelines in a quest for a bigger share of Nigeria's oil wealth, which has cut crude output this year.
"Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco also agreed to develop integrated industrial clusters in the sub-region in sectors such as manufacturing, Agro-business and fertilizers to attract foreign capital and improve export competitiveness" the foreign minister added. (Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Toby Chopra)
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Morocco and Nigeria announce Trans-African Gas Pipeline | Rigfinder Oil Equipment | UAE
Morocco and Nigeria will jointly develop a new regional gas pipeline connecting the two countries, bringing gas resources of Nigeria to Morocco, its neighbours and Europe.
Morocco and Nigeria will jointly develop a new regional gas pipeline connecting the two countries, bringing gas resources of Nigeria to Morocco, its neighbours and Europe.
The Trans-African Pipeline project was announced during a Royal visit to Nigeria by His Majesty, King Mohammed VI, of Morocco.
The project will be supported through a new collaboration between Ithmar Capital, the Moroccan sovereign wealth fund, and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). The two funds announced the signing of a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will see their countries cooperate on bilateral investment
Under the SPA, Ithmar Capital and NSIA have committed to jointly pursue investment in strategic sectors including food security, renewable energy and infrastructure. The SPA also commits the two institutions to share knowledge and expertise relating to the extractives sector, collaborate on research and best practices, and provide policy guidance in order to strengthen both countries' capacity to manage natural resources.
The project will strengthen energy exports to Europe, linking Nigerian gas to the European energy market through Morocco.
The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Geoffrey Onyema, stated, ''This South-South open platform will accelerate the structural transformation of the national economies of the region, thereby putting the entire region on a higher growth path. The two Heads of State agreed to set up a Bilateral Coordination Body to monitor this important project and commended such a strategic cooperation in Africa.''
The new collaboration between Morocco and Nigeria is intended to set a model for South-South cooperation and act as a catalyst for African economic opportunities. It aligns with the King of Morocco's regional strategy, in which he has declared that Africa is the top priority in Morocco's foreign policy and that the Kingdom will contribute to economic projects that directly improve the lives of people in the region. This includes on projects related to the energy sector.
Source: Pipeline ME
Jodan also on Deck
Greek government and economy must fall for the TAP pipeline
The Clinton scandals will provide endless TV entertainment, which may be more like a reality TV show with the Kardashians. Most people think it will be Donald Trump. Trump may give us some frank insults that are badly needed now and then to keep people focused, but the Clintons will provide never-ending intrigue and scandals.
Now we have a new scandal involving Hillary's hedge fund manager and son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky, who is the husband of Chelsea Clinton. In 2012, he set up a Greek bond fund with a special arrangement with none other than Goldman Sachs expecting a bailout to boost Greek debt values. Yep! Now hedge fund manager Marc Mezvinsky placed a huge bet on a Greek economic recovery based upon the political expectation of a bailout for Greece going through. His Secretary of State mother-in-law allegedly seems to have been sharing classified information to help her son-in-law.
In 2012, Mezvinski's $325 million basket of offshore funds under the Eaglevale Partners lost tens of millions of dollars after predicting that bailouts of the Greek banking system would pump up the value of the country's distressed bonds. His exclusive Greek debt fund suffered near-total losses with inside political info. Newly released emails from 2012 show that Hillary and a Clinton Foundation consultant, Sidney Blumenthal, shared classified information about how German leadership viewed the prospects for a Greek bailout. Clinton also shared ''protected'' State Department information about Greek bonds with her husband who allegedly passed it on to their son-in-law who set up none other than a Greek bond hedge fund.
Sharing such sensitive information with friends and family, once again, shows how the Clintons work. Of course, that is illegal and the SEC would normally throw such a hedge fund manager in prison and strip him of his license for none other than Insider Trading. You can bet he too will get a pass by the SEC as will Goldman Sachs if there is any connection with the Blumenthal emails. This just never ends.
Well Chelsea is a director of the Clinton Foundation. Hillary says she is the only one with a plan to deal with Wall Street, which we must assume is to give them inside information to trade with to offset any pretend fines while making the fines tax deductible (nobody else gets that privilege). On the upside, if they keep betting that government deals and manipulations will win, well they may go broke because the free markets are not always acting as the insiders expect. Oops! Sorry about those Greek bonds.
Just maybe, Bill meeting with Lynch was not about the Hillary indictment, which is already fixed and makes no sense. The Justice Department is ALSO investigating the Clinton Foundation. The Sidney Blumenthal emails are revealing a different layer. Bill may have been trying to head off that investigation into the foundation, which could taint New York Bankers and other family members. The assumption it was all about the Hillary indictment is probably nonsense for there is no way they would have allowed Hillary to run for president if there would have been an indictment. That has all been fixed by Obama.
There is the Blue Code where cops do not rat on cops; well, Democrats have the same code in this case that has become notorious. If there was any possibility of an indictment, she would have to be on bail. Come on. There is no possible way Hillary will get indicted. That has been fixed to allow her to run. Obama will not torpedo his own party.
From the outset, Hillary was not well liked. Biden was under pressure to jump in, but as Hillary gained support, she was also creating her own get-out-of-jail free card. If she could muster enough popular support, it would become impossible for a Democrat to indict her. She could have sent a missile to kill the Pope and claimed it went off course as it was meant for IS, and it would be acceptable. All you have to do is listen to people like Cory Booker defend Hillary to see through the total BS.
This Bill Clinton meeting with Lynch was about something else. My bet is that the meeting was about the foundation and what is emerging from the Blumenthal emails.
2000-2003EditReines was a member of the 2000 Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign's rapid response operation. Reines remained involved in former Vice President Gore's public activities after Gore left office in 2001, going on to serve as Gore's teaching assistant and de facto spokesperson at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, when Gore taught the course "Covering National Affairs in the Information Age," in spring 2001. In December 2002 he contributed material for Gore's appearance on Saturday Night Live.
After the 2000 Presidential election was decided, Reines returned to New York and spent a year as Deputy Communications Director for the New York City Council before joining Speaker Peter Vallone's mayoral bid. He later worked briefly as Communications Director for U.S. Representative Jane Harman (D-CA).
Beginning in July 2002 Reines served as press secretary for Hillary Rodham Clinton, during her term as New York senator. Over the next several years he became an increasingly trusted adviser to Clinton, and a key adviser on Iraq issues.
In 2003, Reines helped orchestrate the media campaign and seven-month book tour that accompanied the release of Living History, Senator Clinton's bestselling memoir of her time in the White House. As the primary point of contact between Senator Clinton's official office and the national press corps, Reines served as one of Senator Clinton's primary spokesmen, and was responsible for many of her interviews and media appearances.
2008-2012EditDuring the 2008 Presidential Campaign, in addition to his role as press secretary and senior advisor to Hillary Clinton, he served as a spokesman for Chelsea Clinton, traveling with her throughout the primaries.
When Clinton took up her post as Secretary of State, in January 2009, Reines was appointed as her senior advisor. By 2010 he had been named Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategic Communications.
A scathing piece by Politico in March 2009 highlighted Reines's responsibility for one of Clinton's early gaffes as Secretary of State '' an erroneous Russian translation of the word "Reset" on a gag button presented to Clinton's Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.
In July 2009, Reines struck a deal with journalist Marc Ambinder to provide an advance copy of a Hillary Clinton speech to Ambinder in exchange for positive reporting on Clinton.
In its December 2009 profile of Hillary Clinton, Vogue magazine described him as Clinton's "Michael Clayton-esque image man and fixer." In March 2010, The Washington Post'sWhoRunsGov, a site offering user-contributed political profiles, moderated by an editorial team, included a profile of Reines as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, in its "Power 25: Press" series; and in July 2010, Politico included Reines in their "50 Politicos to Watch" list, categorizing him as a "fixer".
In September 2012, Reines vigorously took issue with CNN over its use of Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens's diary, which CNN found at the site of an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi which killed the ambassador. CNN fired back by suggesting that the State Department was "attacking the messenger" because of "questions about why the State Department didn't do more to protect Ambassador Stevens." Some media critics sided with CNN and questioned whether Reines' real grievance was indeed with CNN's disrespect for the privacy wishes of Stevens' family; BuzzFeed published an email exchange between Reines and Michael Hastings where the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State told Hastings to "Fuck off." Reines also took issue with a reporter's questions in December 2012, calling a Fox News correspondent's question about his boss "absolutely asinine."
2016EditIn the debate preparations for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, Reines has been standing in for Donald Trump. CBS commented that Reines is "known for his bullish, combative personality--traits that often mirror Trump's personal debate style".
^ ab"Decision Makers". National Journal. Archived from the original on 2010-08-06. Retrieved 2016-10-30. ^ ab"Reines, Philippe I. (2016). Who's Who in America. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who's Who LLC. Retrieved via Credo Reference database, 2016-10-30.^ ab"Bureau of Public Affairs Front Office Changes" [press release] (May 26, 2011). U.S. Department of State. "Cheryl Benton remains as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Outreach and Philippe Reines as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications." Retrieved 2016-10-30.^Zach Fryer-Biggs. "Clinton Allies Join Bush Alum To Form New Consulting Group". Defense News. Retrieved 2013-09-04. [dead link]^Juliet Eilperin (2013-09-03). "Former Hillary Clinton aides form bipartisan consulting firm". The Washington Post. ^ abcdParnes, Amie (April 16, 2008). "Top Clinton hand shields Chelsea". Politico.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. ^Gerth, Jeff; Van Natta, Don (2007). Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton. New York: Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-316-00784-9. Chapter 19, "The Club". "Working on the Gore-Lieberman 2000 presidential campaign, [Reines] honed his skills in reconnaissance, communications, and 'digging up the dirt' on the opposition."^Horowitz, Jason (June 12, 2011). "Longtime keeper of Hillary Clinton's image has forged a loyal badge of his own". Washington Post. "When Gore lost and took a teaching gig at Columbia University, Reines followed, acting as his teaching assistant and de facto spokesman." Concerning the title and date of Gore's course: "Former Vice President Al Gore to Teach at Columbia's School of Journalism" (January 25, 2001; updated September 18, 2002). Columbia News. Columbia University. Retrieved 2016-10-30.^ abcFinn, Robin (July 15, 2005). "Speaking, and Sweating, for the Senator". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-30.^"Philippe Reines, Founder & Managing Director". Beacon Global Strategies. Retrieved 2016-10-30.^Smith, Ben (March 23, 2009). "Reines storm: Clinton conflict brews". Politico. politico.com. Retrieved 2016-10-30. ^Trotter, J. K. (February 9, 2016). "This Is How Hillary Clinton Gets the Coverage She Wants". Gawker. gawker.com. Retrieved 2016-10-31.^Fredericks, Bob (February 10, 2016). "How a Clinton staffer 'blackmailed' reporters". New York Post. Retrieved 2016-10-31.^"Editor's note" (February 2016). In: Ambinder, Marc (July 15, 2009), "Hillary Clinton's 'Smart Power' Breaks Through". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2016-10-31.^"Magazine". Vogue. Retrieved 2012-09-25. ^"Philippe Reines [user-contributed profile; moderated by Rachel Van Dongen]". whorunsgov.com. The Washington Post Company. Archived from the original on 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2016-10-31. ^"The Fixers". Politico. July 23, 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2016-10-31. ^"State Department: CNN 'indefensible' on late ambassador Christopher Stevens's diary - Mike Allen". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. ^Hillary Clinton Aide Tells Reporter To "Fuck Off" And "Have A Good Life"BuzzFeed 24 September 2012^Erik Wemple (2 January 2013), Fox News producer was scolded by State DepartmentThe Washington Post^Haberman, Maggie; Healy, Patrick (24 September 2016). "Hillary Clinton Aide Playing Donald Trump in Mock Debates". The New York Times. ^Flores, Reena (24 September 2016). "Top Hillary Clinton aide playing Donald Trump in debate prep". CBS News. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
Operation Odyssey Dawn was the U.S. code name[Note 1] for the American role in the international military operation in Libya to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 during the initial period of 19''31 March 2011, which continued afterwards under NATO command as Operation Unified Protector. The initial operation implemented a no-fly zone that was proposed during the Libyan Civil War to prevent government forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi from carrying out air attacks on Anti-Gaddafi forces. On 19 March 2011, several countries prepared to take immediate military action at a summit in Paris. Operations commenced on the same day with a strike by French fighter jets, then U.S. and UK forces conducting strikes from ships and submarines via 110 Tomahawkcruise missiles and air assets bombing Gaddafi forces near Benghazi. The goal of coalition forces has been to impose a no-fly zone and to destroy forces that threaten civilians '' in effect this has meant forces loyal to Gaddafi.
The U.S. initially had strategic command of the military intervention, coordinated missions between coalition members and set up Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn on the USS Mount Whitney for the tactical command and control in the area of operations. but passed complete military command of the operation to NATO and took up a support role on 31 March 2011. Prior to that, an agreement to pass command of the arms embargo to NATO was reached on 23 March, and a handover of enforcement of the no-fly zone to NATO was agreed to on 24 March and became effective the following day. With the handover of coalition command to NATO, Operation Odyssey Dawn became the name for only the activities of U.S. forces, and the coalition's objectives continued to be carried out under Operation Unified Protector. However, NATO's objectives do not include aiding the rebel forces' efforts to take control of territory currently held by Gaddafi.
The British name for its military support of Resolution 1973 is Operation Ellamy, the Canadian participation is Operation Mobile, and the French participation is Op(C)ration Harmattan. NATO's military activity is Operation Unified Protector.
The strategic command of Operation Odyssey Dawn was under the authority of General Carter Ham, the Combatant Commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), a Unified Combatant Command of the Department of Defense. Tactical command in the theater of operations was under command of Admiral Sam Locklear, the Commander of United States Naval Forces Africa on board the command ship USS Mount Whitney in the Mediterranean Sea. Vice Admiral Harry B. Harris, Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, assumed responsibilities as the Joint Forces Maritime Component Commander, also stationed aboard USS Mount Whitney. Major General Margaret H. Woodward was commander of US Air Force aircraft involved in the operation. On 21 March 2011, President Obama stated the U.S. military action would be scaled back soon and was considering handing over command of the operation to either France, the UK or NATO. On 24 March 2011, NATO took command of enforcing the no-fly zone in Libya and was considering taking control of the rest of the mission. On 24 March 2011, the coalition agreed to have NATO command the no-fly zone, and the U.S. Department of Defense stated that the U.S. would relinquish command of Operation Odyssey Dawn as early as 28 March.
21h: The first main strike involved the launch of 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. and UK ships against shoreline air defenses of the Gaddafi regime. The U.S. Department of Defense reports that the dismantling of Libya's ability to hinder the enforcement of the UN no-fly zone was only the first of multiple stages in the operation. USMC Harriers participated in an air strike against a large military convoy outside Benghazi.
Sustained anti-aircraft fire erupted in Tripoli at around 02:33 EET. Three B-2 Spirit bombers targeted 45 hardened aircraft shelters at a Libyan airfield near Sirte. At the same time, U.S. Air Force fighter jets conducted missions searching for Libyan ground forces to attack. U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers jammed Libyan radar and communications. No U.S. aircraft were lost during the missions. The warplanes included Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier IIs (attacking pro-Gaddafi's ground forces), Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, and F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter jets.AdmiralMike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, states that there would be continuous allied air cover over Benghazi, and that the no-fly zone "is effectively in place". An EC-130J was recorded warning Libyan shipping "If you attempt to leave port, you will be attacked and destroyed immediately" in Arabic, French and English. Four Royal Danish Air Force F-16 flew their first mission over Libya
All fixed SA-2 Guideline, SA-3 Goa and SA-5 Gammon sites were taken out. Only SA-6 Gainful, hand held SA-7 Grail and SA-8 Gecko mobile SAMs are still a possible threat to aircraft. In the early hours of the day a building from Moammar Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli was completely destroyed by a cruise missile. Twelve more cruise missiles were fired at command and air defense sites.
At approximately 22:30 CET (evening of 21 March), a USAFE F-15E 91-0304 operating out of Aviano Air Base crashed about 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Benghazi. Both crew members ejected at high altitude and were subsequently separated. A MV-22 Osprey, supported by two AV-8Bs, two CH-53E Super Stallions, and a KC-130J Hercules from the 26th MEU initially recovered the pilot, while the weapons officer was recovered later after being rescued by rebel forces in the area. Two Marine Harriers accompanying the rescue force dropped two 500 lb bombs at the request of the ejected pilot, prior to the MV-22 landing in an attempt to deter an unidentified group of people heading towards the area. The UK had a "peripheral involvement" in the rescue of the U.S. pilots.
Six local villagers, including a young boy, were reported to have been injured by gunfire from the rescuing U.S. forces, Although a Marine spokesperson aboard USS Kearsarge denied that shots were fired: "The Osprey is not armed, and the Marines barely got off the aircraft. I was in the landing center the whole time, where we were monitoring what was going on, and firing was never reported", Pentagon sources were later reported to have confirmed that shots were fired.
The source of the civilian casualties is still being investigated. Overnight, the U.S. bombed the wreckage of the downed F-15E "to prevent materials from getting into the wrong hands."
In a 24-hours period; 175 air sorties were conducted (113 US, 62 coalition). Around this time, the U.S. changed its target priorities from air defenses to Libyan ground forces.
Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16s were assigned to the U.S. African Command and Operation Odyssey Dawn. A number of Norwegian F-16s took off from the Souda Bay Air Base on the island of Crete, Greece for their first mission over Libya.
Three laser-guided bombs were launched from 2 F-16s of the Royal Norwegian Airforce against Libyan tanks. F-16s from the Royal Norwegian Airforce bombed an airfield in Libya during the night. Coalition planes flew 164 sorties and coalition leaders reported damage to Gadhafi's ground forces.
Days 8 and 9 26 and 27 March 2011Lockheed AC-130 gunships and Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft began operations, attacking ground forces. These were the first aircraft used against troops; previous strikes had targeted command and anti-aircraft infrastructure. Two B-1 bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base attacked undisclosed targets in Libya.
Attack submarine USS Providence (SSN-719) completed all assigned strike missions and has left the area for previous duties. The U.S. is responsible for 80% of air refueling, 75% of aerial surveillance hours and 100% of electronic warfare missions.
Days 10 and 11 28 and 29 March 2011On 28 March, a USAF A-10 and a USN P-3 attack one Libyan Coast Guard vessel and two smaller craft. The P-3 fired AGM-65F Maverick missiles at a Vittoria-class[clarification needed] patrol boat, forcing the crew to beach her. The A-10 strafed the other two smaller boats with its 30mmGAU-8 Avenger cannon rounds, sinking one and forcing the crew to abandon the other. The Libyan vessels were attacked after U.S forces observed them firing into Misurata and at merchant vessels. The USS Barry provided situational awareness for the aircraft by managing the airspace and maintaining the maritime picture.
From 08:00 EET, NATO took sole command of air operations over Libya under Operation Unified Protector, taking over from U.S. Africa Command. The four Danish F-16 fighters flew a total of 43 missions and dropped 107 precision munitions in operation Odyssey Dawn before transiting to NATO command.
There has been criticism over the handling of the operation and the belief that the Obama administration failed to adequately consult the U.S. Congress. The Obama administration defended its handling of the Libyan crisis, drawing a clear line between military and political objectives. On 24 March White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters "We are not engaged in militarily-driven regime change." Instead, the administration is engaged in "time-limited, scope-limited" action with other countries to protect civilians from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi. However, this conflicts with multiple statements seeming to imply regime change as at least one objective of the Operation, including a report made to Congress as required by House Resolution 292:
"Establishing these conditions would pave the way for a genuine political transition '' of which Qadhafi's departure is a critical component. To bring about this objective, along with the international community, the United States responded to this crisis by developing, implementing, and monitoring sanctions and freezing billions in Government of Libya assets, building a broad international coalition focused on escalating diplomatic pressure on Qadhafi and increasing his isolation, and initiating and sustaining political support for military operations. ... Politically, U.S. leadership continues to play an important role in maintaining and expanding this international consensus that Qadhafi must step down, sending an unambiguous message to the regime. We continue working with the international community to enhance the capabilities of the Libyan opposition and increase the ability to achieve political transition. After many meetings with senior opposition members in Washington and abroad, combined with daily interactions with the U.S. mission in Benghazi, we have stated that the TNC has demonstrated itself to be the legitimate interlocutor of the Libyan people, in contrast to the Qadhafi regime that has lost all legitimacy to rule."
Odyssey | Definition of Odyssey by Merriam-Webster
Odysseus, the hero of Homer's Odyssey, spends 20 years traveling home from the Trojan War. He has astonishing adventures and learns a great deal about himself and the world; he even descends to the underworld to talk to the dead. Thus, an odyssey is any long, complicated journey, often a quest for a goal, and may be a spiritual or psychological journey as well as an actual voyage.
Lab tests underway to determine if sarin was used in Syria chemical attack '-- RT News
An analysis is underway to determine if sarin was used in Syria's chemical attack last month. The lab tests, which will take about two weeks, are being conducted with UN support. The analysis complies with scientific standards, Russia's FM stated.
TrendsSyria unrestTagsArms, Crime, Health, UK, SciTech, Politics, Terrorism, USA, War, Syria, Security, Syriagate, Medicine''As Lakhdar Brahimi said, there are scientific standards the [UN] experts are guided by,'' Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists Friday after a working breakfast with the UN-Arab League envoy for Syria.
Chemists from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are using samples taken from the site of the chemical attack staged outside the Syrian capital of Damascus on August 21.
At the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, leaders of Britain, France, and the US attempted to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding Moscow's position on the attack.
NATO allies have produced evidence of their own that the lethal agent used in Syria was sarin nerve gas. British Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that clothing and soil samples taken from Syria tested positive for sarin gas. The UK conclusion is based on results obtained by scientists at Porton Down in Wiltshire, England.
''We were confident and remain confident that Assad was responsible,'' Cameron said on Thursday. British intelligence has concluded that rebel forces have no capacity to stage a chemical attack.
US Secretary of State John Kerry told US media last Sunday that samples collected by first responders after the chemical attack in the Damascus suburb tested positive for the sarin nerve agent. Kerry made nine TV appearances in an attempt to gain public support for military intervention in Syria.
Last Saturday, US President Barack Obama announced that he will seek approval in Congress for the use of force against the Syrian government.
As the US seeks approval for a possible military strike against Syria, Russia argues that it was the opposition '' not Assad's government '' that launched the August 21 attack.
At a press conference after the G20 summit, Putin told journalists that the alleged chemical attack in Syria was a ''provocation staged by the rebel militants expecting to get foreign support.''
''We believe that at the very least we should wait for the results of the UN inspection commission in Syria,'' Putin said in an interview to AP and Russia's Channel 1 TV earlier this week.
Obtaining the results from the lab tests will take up to a fortnight, due to the complexity of sample probing. To determine which agent was used in the attack, chemists must turn solid dirt and tissue into liquid and then into gas. To do that, they dissolve the samples in a solvent, such as methanol, before analyzing its composition with the help of the gas chromatograph.
Sarin's chemical signature is classified in digital code as 99-125-81. If the sarin nerve agent is present in the samples, the chromatograph gas will show exactly this code, said Carlos Fraga, a chemist who specializes in nerve agent forensics at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. "You're always going to see that," he said.
But one test is far from being enough. Chemists will conduct 20 additional tests for every sample that comes back with a 99-125-81 code. Among those will be liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry tests, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry tests, infrared spectroscopy, and high resolution spectroscopy tests. Each test will take around two weeks.
Sarin gas blocks human nerve signals, causing a number of specific health disorders like respiratory distress, blurred vision, convulsions, and paralysis, along with diarrhea, vomiting, and headaches.
Experts must also determine exactly which symptoms preceded the deaths of the victims of the chemical attack.
Other nerve agents such as soman and VX cause death in a similar way, so chemists must verify the ''chemical signature'' of the weapon in order to determine how the agent was produced. Such information is expected to give clues as to who launched the deadly attack on August 21 '' the opposition or the Syrian government.
All of the tests will be performed in several laboratories to prevent possible inaccuracies of the chemical analyses.
From: Hillary Clinton To: Sidney Blumenthal Date: 2011-07-13 12:37 Subject: H: PLS CALL BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR TURKEY. IMPORTANT RE YOUR TRIP. SIDUNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05786890 Date: 01/07/2016RELEASE IN PART B6From: H Sent: ' Thursday, July 14, 2011 7:37 PM To: 'sbwhoeopSubject: Re: H: Pls call before you leave for Turkey. Important re your trip. Sid Got it. Will followup tomorrow. Anything else to convey? From: sbwhoeop [mailto:sbwhoeop Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 07:03 PM To: HSubject: Re: H: PIs call before you leave for Turkey. Important re your trip. Sid Read the memo I sent you. Here it is again: CONFIDENTIAL July 14, 2011 For: Hillary From: Sid Re: TNC You should be aware that there is a good chance at the contact meeting in Turkey the TNC ambassador to the UAE, a man you have not yet met, whose name is Dr. Neydah, may tell you the TNC has reached an agreement with a US company. The company is a new one, Osprey, headed by former General David Grange, former head of Delta Force. Osprey will provide field medical help, military training, organize supplies, and logistics to the TNC. They are trainers and organizers, not fighters. Grange can train their forces and he has drawn up a plan for taking Tripoli similar to the plan he helped develop that was used by the first wave of Special Forces in the capture of Baghdad. This is a private contract. It does not involve NATO. It puts Americans in a central role without being direct battle combatants. The TNC wants to demonstrate that they are pro-US. They see this as a significant way to do that. They are enthusiastic about this arrangement. They have held meetings with Grange in Geneva and Dubai this week, Tuesday and Wednesday, that concluded late last night (Wednesday). They have developed a good relationship. This is the group the TNC wants to work with. As I understand it, they are still working out funding, which is related to the overall TNC funding problems. Grange is very low key, wishes to avoid publicity and work quietly, unlike other publicity hungry firms. Grange is under the radar. Tyler, Cody and I acted as honest brokers, putting this arrangement together through a series of connections, linking the Libyans to Osprey and keeping it moving. The strategic imperative: Expecting Qaddafi to fall on his own or through a deus ex machina devolves the entire equation to wishful thinking. The TNC has been unable to train and organize its forces. The NATO air campaign cannot take ground. The TNC, whose leaders have been given to flights of fancy that Qaddafi will fall tomorrow or the day after, have come to the conclusion that they must organize their forces and that they must score a military victory of their own over Qaddafi that is not dependent solely on NATO in order to give them legitimacy. UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05786890 Date: 01/07/2016Original MessageFrom: H To: 'sbwhoeop
Top Clinton Bundlers Were Major Donors to Wife of FBI's Andrew McCabe
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton / AP
BY:Joe SchoffstallNovember 7, 2016 4:55 pm
Bundlers for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign joined Clinton ally and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in donating to the state senate campaign of Jill McCabe.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on donations from Common Good VA, McAuliffe's political action committee, to McCabe's Virginia state senate campaign in 2015. McCabe is the wife of Andrew McCabe, the FBI deputy director who helped in the investigation into Clinton's email practices.
McAuliffe contributed $467,500 to McCabe's campaign through his PAC, making her the third-largest recipient of contributions from McAuliffe in 2015. The Virginia Democratic Party provided an additional $207,788 to McCabe in the form of mailers, the Wall Street Journal noted.
However, McAuliffe was not the only Clinton backer to contribute to McCabe's campaign. Four top bundlers for Clinton-related efforts combined to give McCabe more than $130,000.
Fredrick D. Schaufeld, an investment banker and venture capitalist, sits on Hillary Clinton's National Finance Committee along with his wife, Karen. Individuals who raise or contribute at least $100,000 for Hillary for America, the Hillary Victory Fund, the Hillary Action Fund, or a combination of those three entities earn a spot on the committee.
Schaufeld contributed $65,332 to McCabe's campaign, public records shows. A total of $55,000 went to McCabe between June and late October 2015'--the same time that Common Good VA flooded McCabe's campaign with nearly a half million in contributions.
Schaufeld was the fourth largest donor to McCabe's campaign behind only McAuliffe's PAC, the Democratic Party of Virginia, and Planned Parenthood's Virginia affiliate. McCabe was the top recipient of campaign cash from Schaufeld last year.
Karen Schaufeld, Fredrick's wife, contributed $10,849 to McCabe in October.
Sonjia Smith, who sits on Hillary Clinton's National Finance Committee alongside her husband Michael Bills, donated $45,000 to McCabe's campaign. Smith was the fifth largest donor to McCabe, right behind Fredrick Shaufeld.
Smith's husband, Bills, donated $15,000 to McCabe in August 2015.
In all, McCabe raised $1.6 million for her unsuccessful Virginia state senate race.
McAuliffe's PAC, the Virginia Democratic Party, and donors who have bundled at least six figures for Clinton combined to provide $881,469 in funding to McCabe last year, or half of the amount she raised during her race.
A spokesman for McAuliffe told the Wall Street Journal the governor supported McCabe's campaign because he thought she would make a good state senator and that the assumption he donated in order to influence her husband's behavior at the FBI was ''ridiculous.''
''Any insinuation that his support was tied to anything other than his desire to elect candidates who would help pass his agenda is ridiculous,'' the spokesman said.
None of the Clinton bundlers immediately responded to requests for comment.
Meet Peter Kadzik '' Another Clinton Stooge at the Justice Department | Liberty Blitzkrieg
The name Peter Kadzik probably doesn't ring a bell for many of you, although it probably should. This guy is a real piece of work, as an excellent article published earlier today at the Daily Caller demonstrates.
The day after Hillary Clinton testified in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi last October, John Podesta, the Democrat's campaign chairman, met for dinner with a small group of well-connected friends, including Peter Kadzik, a top official at the Justice Department.
The dinner arrangement, revealed in hacked Podesta emails released by WikiLeaks, is just the latest example of an apparent conflict of interest between the Clinton campaign and the federal agency charged with investigating the former secretary of state's email practices.
Podesta and Kadzik, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, were in frequent contact, other emails show. In one email from January, Kadzik and Podesta, who were classmates at Georgetown Law School in the 1970s, discussed plans to celebrate Podesta's birthday. And in another sent last May, Kadzik's son emailed Podesta asking for a job on the Clinton campaign.
''The political appointees in the Obama administration, especially in the Department of Justice, appear to be very partisan in nature and I don't think had clean hands when it comes to the investigation of the private email server,'' says Matthew Whitaker, the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a government watchdog group.
Kadzik, who started at the DOJ in 2013, helped spearhead the effort to nominate Lynch, who was heavily criticized for her secret meeting with the former president.
Kadzik represented Podesta during the Monica Lewinsky investigation. And in the waning days of the Bill Clinton administration, Kadzik lobbied Podesta on behalf of Marc Rich, the fugitive who Bill Clinton controversially pardoned on his last day in office.
In a Sept. 2008 email, which the Washington Free Beacon flagged last week, Podesta emailed an Obama campaign official to recommend Kadzik for a supportive role in the campaign.
Podesta, who would later head up the Obama White House transition effort, wrote that Kadzik was a ''fantastic lawyer'' who ''kept me out of jail.''
Podesta made false statements to a grand jury impaneled by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr for the investigation. But he defended the falsehoods, saying later that he was merely relaying false information from Clinton that he did not know was inaccurate at the time.
''He did lie to me,'' Podesta said about Clinton in a National Public Radio interview in 1998. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate in Feb. 1999 of perjury and obstruction of justice charges related to the Lewinsky probe.
Kadzik, then a lawyer with the firm Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky, represented Podesta through the fiasco.
Podesta had been promoted to Clinton's chief of staff when he and Kadzik became embroiled in another scandal.
Kadzik was then representing Marc Rich, a billionaire financier who was wanted by the U.S. government for evading a $48 million tax bill. The fugitive, who was also implicated in illegal trading activity with nations that sponsored terrorism, had been living in Switzerland for 17 years when he sought the pardon.
To help Rich, Kadzik lobbied Podesta heavily in the weeks before Clinton left office on Jan. 20, 2001.
A House Oversight Committee report released in May 2002 stated that ''Kadzik was recruited into Marc Rich's lobbying campaign because he was a long-time friend of White House Chief of Staff John Podesta.''
The report noted that Kadzik contacted Podesta at least seven times regarding Rich's pardon.
On top of the all-hands-on-deck lobbying effort, Rich's ex-wife, Denise Rich, had doled out more than $1 million to the Clintons and other Democrats prior to the pardon. She gave $100,000 to Hillary Clinton's New York Senate campaign and another $450,000 to the Clinton presidential library.
The first mention of personal contact between Podesta and Kadzik in the WikiLeaks dump is in an Oct. 23, 2015 email sent out by Vincent Roberti, a lobbyist who is close to Podesta and his superlobbyist brother, Tony Podesta. In it, Roberti refers to a dinner reservation at Posto, a Washington D.C. restaurant.
The dinner was set for 7:30 that evening, just a day after Clinton gave 11 hours of testimony to the Benghazi Committee.
Podesta and Kadzik met several months later for dinner at Podesta's home, another email shows.And in an email sent on May 5, 2015, Kadzik's son asked Podesta for a job on the Clinton campaign.
I'll have the lobster risotto with a side of cronyism and middle class destruction.
Seems like a pretty important decision for a Clinton crony to make.
For more on the shameless and shady FBI ''investigation'' into Hillary Clinton, see:
Frank Giustra (born August 1957) is a Canadian businessman in the mining and filmmaking industries, and a philanthropist.
Giustra was born in August 1957 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, the son of Giuseppe and Domenica Giustra, and lived in Italy and Argentina as a child. Giustra spent his middle school years in Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada, and graduated from high school there in 1976. Giustra's father was a Sudbury nickel miner, who introduced his son to his broker. He graduated in 1979 from Douglas College where he spent his first year playing trumpet in the school's music program before switching over to business and finance.
Giustra took a securities course and began his career in the investment industry in 1978 with Merrill Lynch as an assistant trader and then as a stockbroker. In the early 1980s, Giustra left Merrill Lynch to create a resources-financing group in Europe for the new firm Yorkton Securities. He is said to have "transformed Yorkton into a major force in the world of international mining finance." In 1990, he became president of the company and, in 1995, was appointed chairman and CEO. From 2001 to 2007, Giustra was chair of Endeavour Financial, a merchant banking firm which financed mining companies. Giustra is now CEO of Fiore Group of Companies.
The Radcliffe Foundation was established in 1997 by Giustra, its president. The Vancouver-based foundation supports local and international disaster relief, economic development and homelessness charities, and offers children around the world hope for a better future.[how?] Internationally, the Radcliffe Foundation helps to fund a number of organizations with a common interest in enhancing understanding and empowering people. In June 2007, Giustra launched the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership with U.S. President Bill Clinton, an innovative partnership between William J. Clinton Foundation, the private sector, governments, local communities, and other NGOs to increase the scope, scale, impact, and sustainability of social and economic development efforts in areas where poverty is widespread.
CGSGI aims to alleviate poverty in the developing world in partnership with the global mining community. Along with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, these two prominent philanthropists[who?] have pledged a minimum of $100 million each toward the effort and the money was given to the Clinton Foundation. On June 17, 2010, Giustra teamed up again with Carlos Slim and President Clinton to create a $20 million fund that will finance small businesses in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
The Radcliffe Foundation has contributed $30M towards the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI), which works with governments and other partners to increase access to high-quality care and treatment for HIV-positive people.
In 2005, the Radcliffe Foundation began supporting the International Crisis Group, an independent organization working to prevent and resolve deadly conflict on five continents through analysis and high-level advocacy. With the support of Giustra, who sits on the executive committee, and contributions that total $10 million, the International Crisis Group is a leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict.
The Radcliffe Foundation also has been worked with the Vancouver Foundation and the City of Vancouver on a program called Streetohome. Established in 2008, Streetohome is the first broad community-based initiative which brings together non-profits, civil society groups, business, governments and citizens to effectively address homelessness in Vancouver. Giustra sits on the board of Streetohome Foundation and chairs the capital campaign. To show his dedication, Giustra donated $5 million in 2010.
In Vancouver and surrounding communities in British Columbia, the Radcliffe Foundation maintains a strong philanthropic presence, and supports a diverse base of charities and organizations, among which are: British Columbia Children's Hospital, Canuck Place, a pediatric hospice, Templeton Education Foundation, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, as well as various art and theater programs for children.
Lionsgate Entertainment, Thunderbird Films and Sea to Sky EntertainmentEditAfter he left investment banking in 1996, Giustra formed Lions Gate Entertainment in 1997, and served as chairman from 1997-2003. He hoped to capitalize on the growing film industry in Vancouver. The company bought a number of small production facilities and distributors. Its first success was American Psycho, which began a trend of producing and distributing films far too controversial for the major American studios. Other successes included Affliction, Gods and Monsters, Dogma, and the Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which turned out to be the studio's highest grossing film. In 2000, Giustra left the firm and it was taken over by Jon Feltheimer and Michael Burns. Giustra sold most of his stake in Lionsgate in 2003.
In December 2010, Giustra returned to Lions Gate Entertainment as a member of the board of directors. In March 2012, he launched a new joint venture with Lionsgate and Thunderbird Films, called Sea to Sky Entertainment, which will focus on projects in the television industry.
September 2014, Vancouver-based Thunderbird Films, where Giustra is both a director and investor, purchased UK Soda Pictures Inc. In April 2013 Thunderbird Films, which has a partnership with Lionsgate to run a TV studio, purchased Reunion Pictures for an undisclosed sum to bolster its one-hour drama production capacity. The deal is Thunderbird's latest move to turn the distribution and rights management company into a major film and TV production player in Canada and abroad. Lionsgate founder Frank Giustra is a major shareholder who largely orchestrated the 50-50 joint venture Sea to Sky Entertainment with Lionsgate.
Giustra is president and CEO of Fiore Group of Companies, a private firm managing a broad portfolio of private equity investments. Giustra has an established track record of building natural resource companies through access to capital and creative deal-making. Fiore Financial provides advisory services to Endeavour Mining Corporation, a gold mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Vancouver Magazine for numerous years has ranked Giustra in the Power 50 list of the most powerful people in Vancouver.
Giustra is a co-owner of Thunderbird Films. In August 2011, it was announced, by Alcon Entertainment that Ridley Scott will direct the new Blade Runner film. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO's of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers. He also formed Sea to Sky Entertainment.
Giustra became close with former US President Bill Clinton during fundraising efforts for tsunami relief in 2004. Giustra is a member of the board of trustees of the Clinton Foundation. Giustra provided his corporate jet for Clinton's fundraising campaign in Africa. The two play the card game Oh Hell during flights.
In June 2007, Giustra joined with Clinton to launch the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership to address global poverty. Giustra committed $USD 100 million plus half of what he makes in the resource industry for the rest of his life. Carlos Slim Helº, the Mexican businessman and richest person in the world, made a matching contribution and Giustra is expected to enlist others in the Canadian resource industry.
Giustra is frequently quoted regarding gold and currency markets in publications such as Forbes, StockHouse.com, and GoldEditor.com.
Giustra cited Andrew Carnegie as an influence in his philanthropy but credited his wife, Alison Lawton, a dot-com millionaire turned human rights activist and producer of documentary films on humanitarian crises, with inspiring him about sustainable growth.
Giustra is also a director of the International Crisis Group, an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts through high-level advocacy.
Recently, Giustra started Fiore Music, and Westsonic Music, and spends much of his time writing lyrics. He is also a guest blogger on the Huffington Post, under Dear Rich People.
In 2000, Giustra married Alison Lawton, an investor and producer of documentary films on humanitarian crises. Giustra and Lawton divorced in 2007 and have two children together. They live in West Vancouver.
^"MACQUARIE CAPITAL MARKETS CANADA LTD. - Officers (free information from Companies House)". Beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-19. ^"Archived Profile: Frank Giustra". Canada.com. 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2016-05-19. ^The Pursuit of the Wealth for the Greater Good, by Patrick Brethour, Andy Hoffman, Sinclair Stewart, Globe and Mail, June 22, 2007^"Bill Clinton Frank Giustra Social Enterprise Partnership and Initiative". Cgepartnership.com. Retrieved 2016-05-19. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012. ^Andy Hoffman. "Giustra teams with Clinton, Slim on Haiti fund". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-05-19. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011. ^Frances Bula. "Mining magnate donates $5-million for housing". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-05-19. ^"Funding Universe" Lionsgate Entertainment Corporation History Fundinguniverse.com, Retrieved on July 19, 2012^Dave McNary (2010-12-16). "Lionsgate board candidates won handily". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-19. ^"Endeavour Mining Corporation". Endeavourmining.com. Retrieved 2016-05-19. ^The Vancouver Power 50 2011 by Vancouver Magazine, December 1, 2011^"With Ridley Scott, new 'Blade Runner' gets a credibility stamp - latimes.com". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2011-08-18. Retrieved 2016-05-19. ^Marsha Lederman. "Frank Giustra launches Sea to Sky Entertainment". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-05-19. ^"Board of Directors". Clinton Foundation. Retrieved October 19, 2016. ^"Huge donation". Canada.com. 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2016-05-19. ^"Archived Profile: Alison Lawton, human rights activist and documentary filmmaker". Canada.com. 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
1,100 donors to a Canadian charity tied to Clinton Foundation remain secret
A charity affiliated with the Clinton Foundation failed to reveal the identities of its 1,100 donors, creating a broad exception to the foundation's promise to disclose funding sources as part of an ethics agreement with the Obama administration.
The number of undisclosed contributors to the charity, the Canada-based Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, signals a larger zone of secrecy around foundation donors than was previously known.
Details of the organization's fundraising were disclosed this week by a spokeswoman for the Canadian group's founder, mining magnate Frank Giustra.
The Canadian group has received attention in recent days as a potential avenue for anonymous Clinton Foundation donations from foreign business executives, including some who had interests before the U.S. government while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state.
The partnership, named in part for Bill Clinton, sends much of its money to the New York-based Clinton Foundation. Two of the partnership's known donors '-- Giustra and another mining executive, Ian Telfer '-- are featured in the soon-to-be-released book ''Clinton Cash'' for their roles in a series of deals that resulted in Russia controlling many uranium deposits around the world and in the United States.
With the foundation's finances emerging as an issue for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, a foundation official this week defended the arrangement with the Giustra group, noting in a blog post that Canadian law prevents charities in that country from disclosing their donors without the donors' permission.
The Canadian partnership has in recent days begun to reach out to its 28 largest donors, each of whom gave donations equivalent to at least $250,000 in U.S. dollars, to seek permission to release their names, said a person familiar with the foundation, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
The large number of undisclosed supporters of a Clinton-affiliated charity raises new questions about the foundation's adherence to the 2008 ethics agreement it struck with the Obama administration, which was designed to avoid conflicts of interest during Hillary Clinton's tenure at the State Department.
Former senator Richard G. Lugar (Ind.), who as the senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee quizzed Hillary Clinton during her 2009 confirmation hearings about potential conflicts stemming from foundation fundraising around the world, said Tuesday that he considered such undisclosed donations to violate the spirit of the ethics agreement.
''Clearly, there was an expectation and a commitment that large donations to the Clinton Foundation would be disclosed,'' Lugar said via e-mail.
A spokeswoman for the Canadian group said the majority of the 1,100 donors gave small, one-time gifts while attending a 2008 fundraising gala.
A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation said the agreement did not apply to the Canadian organization, which is a separate charity based in Vancouver. The spokesman compared the group to other major charities that provide funding to the Clinton Foundation but do not themselves disclose all their donors, such as Partners in Health and the Nature Conservancy.
In an analysis of public records and Clinton Foundation data, The Washington Post found that there was an overlap of Bill and Hillary Clinton's charitable work and their growing personal wealth. The Post's Rosalind S. Helderman breaks it down. (Alice Li/The Washington Post)
In the Sunday blog post, the foundation's acting chief executive, Maura Pally, said the arrangement was ''hardly an effort on our part to avoid transparency.''
However, the Giustra partnership has been more intertwined with the Clintons' $2 billion foundation than other independent charities.
It uses both the Clinton name and the logo of the Clinton Foundation. Giustra himself has given more than $30 million directly to the Clinton Foundation and sits on the organization's board. He has separately pledged $100 million to the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, making him one of the foundation's largest donors. Bruce Lindsey, a longtime Clinton adviser who chairs the foundation board, also sits on the board of the Canadian organization.
According to Canadian tax filings, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP) has spent nearly $30 million in current U.S. dollars since 2007; and nearly $25 million of that spending has gone directly to the Clinton Foundation, a spokeswoman said.
Bill Clinton has also personally raised funds for the group, including at the 2008 gala, where the Canadian mining industry pledged millions for the effort.
''I love this guy, and you should too,'' Clinton said of Giustra that night, according to Toronto's the Globe and Mail newspaper.
A foundation official has said the partnership was Giustra's brainchild, born of his desire to join forces with Bill Clinton to work to alleviate poverty around the world, particularly in places where the mining industry had been present.
The partnership's projects have included funding thousands of cataract operations for local residents in Peru and thousands more meals for starving children in Colombia, where Giustra has many investments.
A spokeswoman said the organization is active in Haiti, India, Peru, Colombia and El Salvador and is exploring expanding in Mexico, South Asia and Africa.
In an interview, Giustra said his group was not dependent on the Clintons.
''I'm not doing this because of Bill Clinton,'' Giustra said. ''He loves what we're doing with CGEP. But if for some reason he walked away tomorrow, I would just rename it. Call it something else and keep doing it, because I think we're on to something really great.''
Giustra said many of the organization's other donors are people he has met through the mining industry, where he has made his fortune, a community he saw as an untapped resource for philanthropy.
''Every year, we come up with a budget for CGEP programs,'' he said. ''And I make sure, by hook or by crook, that that amount is there. It has to come from me or some other means.''
One controversial Clinton Giustra partnership donor is a Canadian energy company that operates oil fields in Colombia.
The company, Pacific Rubiales, has been the subject of complaints to the State Department from organized labor groups reporting alleged mistreatment of workers. Labor officials said that repeated complaints to the State Department under Clinton and her successor have not produced significant action. The counsel for Pacific Rubiales, Peter Volk, denied the allegations, saying the complaints ''stemmed from a rival union to the one representing our employees.''
The company does not appear in the Clinton Foundation's published list of donors. But it has said in a news release that it has given$3.5 million to the Clinton Giustra partnership.
TwitterFacebookEmailEmails disclosed by a hacker show a close family friend was funneling intelligence about the crisis in Libya directly to the Secretary of State's private account starting before the Benghazi attack.
Emails disclosed by a hacker show a close family friend was funneling intelligence about the crisis in Libya directly to the Secretary of State's private account starting before the Benghazi attack.
by Jeff Gerth, ProPublica, and Sam Biddle, Gawker, March 27, 2015, 2:45 p.m.
Print Print This is part of an ongoing investigation How politics and government really work, and why they don't.
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Twitter TwitterFacebook Facebookvolumelow PodcastRSS RSS Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 2013. Lawmakers questioned Clinton about the security failures during the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that left four dead and 10 people injured. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)This story was co-published with Gawker.
Update, March 27, 6:48 p.m.: This story has been updated to include responses from the FBI and the State Department.
Starting weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal's account.
The emails, which were posted on the internet in 2013, also show that Blumenthal and another close Clinton associate discussed contracting with a retired Army special operations commander to put operatives on the ground near the Libya-Tunisia border while Libya's civil war raged in 2011.
Blumenthal's emails to Clinton, which were directed to her private email account, include at least a dozen detailed reports on events on the deteriorating political and security climate in Libya as well as events in other nations. They came to light after a hacker broke into Blumenthal's account and have taken on new significance in light of the disclosure that she conducted State Department and personal business exclusively over an email server that she controlled and kept secret from State Department officials and which only recently was discovered by congressional investigators.
The contents of that account are now being sought by a congressional inquiry into the Benghazi attacks. Clinton has handed over more than 30,000 pages of her emails to the State Department, after unilaterally deciding which ones involved government business; the State Department has so far handed almost 900 pages of those over to the committee. A Clinton spokesman told Gawker and ProPublica (which are collaborating on this story) that she has turned over all the emails Blumenthal sent to Clinton.
The dispatches from Blumenthal to Clinton's private email address were posted online after Blumenthal's account was hacked in 2013 by Romanian hacker Marcel-Lehel Lazar, who went by the name Guccifer. Lazar also broke into accounts belonging to George W. Bush's sister, Colin Powell, and others. He's now serving a seven-year sentence in his home country and was charged in a U.S. indictment last year.
The contents of the memos, which have recently become the subject of speculation in the right-wing media, raise new questions about how Clinton used her private email account and whether she tapped into an undisclosed back channel for information on Libya's crisis and other foreign policy matters.
Blumenthal, a New Yorker staff writer in the 1990s, became a top aide to President Bill Clinton and worked closely with Hillary Clinton during the fallout from the Whitewater investigation into the Clinton family. She tried to hire him when she joined President Obama's cabinet in 2009, but White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly nixed the idea on the grounds Blumenthal was a divisive figure whose attacks on Obama during the Democratic primary had poisoned his relationship with the new administration.
It's unclear who tasked Blumenthal, known for his fierce loyalty to the Clintons, with preparing detailed intelligence briefs. It's also not known who was paying him, or where the operation got its money. The memos were marked ''confidential'' and relied in many cases on ''sensitive'' sources in the Libyan opposition and Western intelligence and security services. Other reports focused on Egypt, Germany, and Turkey.
Indeed, though they were sent under Blumenthal's name, the reports appear to have been gathered and prepared by Tyler Drumheller, a former chief of the CIA's clandestine service in Europe who left the agency in 2005. Since then, he has established a consulting firm called Tyler Drumheller, LLC. He has also been affiliated with a firm called DMC Worldwide, which he co-founded with Washington, D.C., attorney Danny Murray and former general counsel to the U.S. Capitol Police John Caulfield. DMC Worldwide's now-defunct website describes it at as offering ''innovative security and intelligence solutions to global risks in a changing world.''
In one exchange in March 2013, Blumenthal emailed Drumheller, ''Thanks. Can you send Libya report.'' Drumheller replied, ''Here it is, pls do not share it with Cody. I don't want moin speculating on sources. It is on the Maghreb and Libya.'' Cody is Cody Shearer, a longtime Clinton family operative'--his brother was an ambassador under Bill Clinton and his now-deceased sister was married to Clinton State Department official Strobe Talbott'--who was in close contact with Blumenthal. While it's not entirely clear from the documents, ''Moin'' may refer to the nickname of Mohamed Mansour El Kikhia, a member of the Kikhia family, a prominent Libyan clan with ties to the Libyan National Transition Council. (An email address in Blumenthal's address book, which was also leaked, was associated with his Facebook page.)
There's no indication in Blumenthal's emails whether Clinton read or replied to them before she left State on February 1, 2013, but he was clearly part of a select group with knowledge of the private clintonemail.com address, which was unknown to the public until
Gawker published it this year. They do suggest that she interacted with Blumenthal using the account after she stepped down. ''H: got your message a few days ago,'' reads the subject line of one email from Blumenthal to Clinton on February 8, 2013; ''H: fyi, will continue to send relevant intel,'' reads another.
The memos cover a wide array of subjects in extreme detail, from German Prime Minister Angela Merkel's conversations with her finance minister about French president Francois Hollande''marked ''THIS INFORMATION COMES FROM AN EXTREMELY SENSITIVE SOURCE'''--to the composition of the newly elected South Korean president's transition team. At least 10 of the memos deal in whole or in part with internal Libyan politics and the government's fight against militants, including the status of the Libyan oil industry and the prospects for Western companies to participate.
One memo was sent on August 23, 2012, less than three weeks before Islamic militants stormed the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi. It cites ''an extremely sensitive source'' who highlighted a string of bombings and kidnappings of foreign diplomats and aid workers in Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata, suggesting they were the work of people loyal to late Libyan Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi.
While the memo doesn't rise to the level of a warning about the safety of U.S. diplomats, it portrays a deteriorating security climate. Clinton noted a few days after the Benghazi attack, which left four dead and 10 people injured, that U.S. intelligence officials didn't have advance knowledge of the threat.
On September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, Blumenthal sent a memo that cited a ''sensitive source'' saying that the interim Libyan president, Mohammed Yussef el Magariaf, was told by a senior security officer that the assault was inspired by an anti-Muslim video made in the U.S., as well as by allegations from Magariaf's political opponents that he had CIA ties.
Blumenthal followed up the next day with an email titled ''Re: More Magariaf private reax.'' It said Libyan security officials believed an Islamist radical group called the Ansa al Sharia brigade had prepared the attack a month in advance and ''took advantage of the cover'' provided by the demonstrations against the video.
An October 25, 2012 memo says that Magariaf and the Libyan army chief of staff agree that the ''situation in the country is becoming increasingly dangerous and unmanageable'' and ''far worse'' than Western leaders realize.
Blumenthal's email warnings, of course, followed a year of Libyan hawkishness on the part of Clinton. In February of 2011, she told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that "it is time for Gaddafi to go.'' The next month, after having described Russian reluctance over military intervention as ''despicable,'' Clinton met with rebel leaders in Paris and drummed up support for a no-fly zone while in Cairo. On March 17, 2011, the UN Security Council voted to back Libyan rebels against Gaddafi.
It's this buildup, which Clinton still proudly recalled in her 2014 memoir, that Blumenthal appears to join in on 2011. In addition to the intel memos, his emails also disclose that he and his associates worked to help the Libyan opposition, and even plotted to insert operatives on the ground using a private contractor.
A May 14, 2011 email exchange between Blumenthal and Shearer shows that they were negotiating with Drumheller to contract with someone referred to as ''Grange'' and ''the general'' to place send four operatives on a week-long mission to Tunis, Tunisia, and ''to the border and back.'' Tunisia borders Libya and Algeria.
''Sid, you are doing great work on this,'' Drumheller wrote to Blumenthal. ''It is going to be around $60,000, coverting r/t business class airfare to Tunis, travel in country to the border and back, and other expenses for 7''10 days for 4 guys.''
After Blumenthal forwarded that note to Shearer, he wrote back questioning the cost of the operation. ''Sid, do you think the general has to send four guys. He told us three guys yesterday, a translator and two other guys. I understand the difficulty of the mission and realize that K will be repaid but I am going to need an itemized budget for these guys.''
''The general'' and ''Grange'' appear to refer to David L. Grange, a major general in the Army who ran a secret Pentagon special operations unit before retiring in 1999. Grange subsequently founded Osprey Global Solutions, a consulting firm and government contractor that offers logistics, intelligence, security training, armament sales, and other services. The Osprey Foundation, which is a nonprofit arm of Osprey Global Solutions, is listed as one of the State Department's ''global partners'' in a 2014 report from the Office of Global Partnerships.'
Among the documents in the cache released by Lazar is an August 24, 2011, memorandum of understanding between Osprey Global Solutions and the Libyan National Transition Council'--the entity that took control in the wake of Qadaffi's execution'--agreeing that Osprey will contract with the NTC to ''assist in the resumption of access to its assets and operations in country'' and train Libyan forces in intelligence, weaponry, and ''rule-of-land warfare.'' The document refers to meetings held in Amman, Jordan between representatives of Osprey and a Mohammad Kikhia, who represented the National Transition Council.
Five months later, according to a document in the leak, Grange wrote on Osprey Global letterhead to Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro, introducing Osprey as a contractor eager to provide humanitarian and other assistance in Libya. ''We are keen to support the people of Libya under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Finance and the Libyan Stock Exchange,'' Grange wrote. Shapiro is a longtime Clinton loyalist; he served on her Senate staff as foreign policy advisor.
Another document in the cache, titled ''Letter_for_Moin,'' is an appeal from Drumheller to then-Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan offering the services of Tyler Drumheller LLC, ''to develop a program that will provide discreet confidential information allowing the appropriate entities in Libya to address any regional and international challenges.''
The ''K'' who was, according to Shearer's email, to be ''repaid'' for his role in the Tunisia operation appears to be someone named Khalifa al Sherif, who sent Blumenthal several emails containing up-to-the-minute information on the civil war in Libya, and appears to have been cited as a source in several of the reports.
Contacted by ProPublica and Gawker, Drumheller's attorney and business partner Danny Murray confirmed that Drumheller ''worked'' with Blumenthal and was aware of the hacked emails, but declined to comment further.
Shearer said only that "the FBI is involved and told me not to talk. There is a massive investigation of the hack and all the resulting information.'' The FBI declined to comment.
Blumenthal, Grange, and Kikhia all did not respond to repeated attempts to reach them. Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton had no comment on Blumenthal's activities with Drumheller.
Whatever Blumenthal, Shearer, Drumheller, and Grange were up to in 2011, 2012, and 2013 on Clinton's behalf, it appears that she could have used the help: According to State Department personnel directories, in 2011 and 2012'--the height of the Libya crisis'--State didn't have a Libyan desk officer, and the entire Near Eastern Magreb Bureau, which which covers Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya, had just two staffers. Today, State has three Libyan desk officers and 11 people in the Near Eastern Magreb Bureau. A State Department official wouldn't say how many officers were on the desk in 2011, but said there was always "at least one" officer and "sometimes many more, working on Libya."
Reached for comment, a State Department public affairs official who would only speak on background declined to address questions about Blumenthal's relationship to Clinton, whether she was aware of the intelligence network, and who if anyone was paying Blumenthal. Asked about the Tunisia-Libya mission, the official replied, ''There was a trip with the secretary in October of 2011, but there was also a congressional delegation in April, 2011. There were media reports about both of these at the time." Neither trip involved travelling via Tunis.
Like this story? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get more of our best work. Jeff Gerth is a senior reporter at ProPublica. Previously, Gerth worked as an investigative reporter at The New York Times. He has twice been awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
Robert Hunter Biden (born February 4, 1970) is an American lawyer and businessman. The second son from the marriage of U.S. Vice PresidentJoe Biden and his first wife, Neilia Biden, he is the stepson of Second Lady of the U.S.Jill Biden.
Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, after attending law school Hunter Biden became a senior VP at MBNA, a financial company, in the mid-1990s. In 1998 he was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a director of e-commerce policy issues in the U.S. Department of Commerce, and from 2001 to 2008 he was a partner at Oldaker, Biden, and Belair, LLP in Washington, D.C. Nominated by President George W. Bush to the Amtrak board of directors in 2006, Biden was unanimously confirmed as the board's only Democrat shortly afterwards. He served as the Amtrak board's vice-chair until 2009.
Elected chairman of World Food Program USA in 2012, by that time Biden was already traveling on behalf of the organization and advocating their programs in the media. In 2013 he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve, as a limited-duty service ensign; he served for two months and was discharged after testing positive for cocaine. Biden currently sits on the Chairman's Advisory Board for the National Democratic Institute, and he holds directorships on the boards of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, the Truman National Security Project, the Center for National Policy, and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, an appointment which met with some controversy in the press. Among other roles, Biden is also a partner at Rosemont Seneca Partners, LLC and is counsel to Boies, Schiller, Flexner, LLP.
Robert Hunter Biden was born on February 4, 1970 in Wilmington, Delaware, to Neilia (n(C)e Hunter) and U.S. Vice PresidentJoe Biden. Hunter Biden was two years old when his mother and younger sister, Naomi Christina, were killed in an automobile accident, and both Biden and his older brother, Beau, were seriously injured. In his eulogy at his brother's funeral in 2015, Hunter described his first memory after the accident as lying next to his brother in the hospital bed and having his brother hold his hand. Although their father had recently been elected to the US Senate, after the accident the family remained in Wilmington instead of moving to Washington, D.C. Throughout their childhoods, Hunter Biden and his brother accompanied their father on frequent trips to Washington, D.C., and on travel around the country and internationally. Hunter has described their experiences positively, explaining that "from the time we left the hospital, my dad spent every moment that he possibly could with us. No event was too small, no event was too great... we went to thousands of speeches, chicken dinners and debates. We rode on the train with him for thousands of miles. We went everywhere with him.'' As Hunter and Beau grew older they encouraged their father to remarry. Hunter was seven years old when future educator, Jill Jacobs, became his stepmother. His half-sister, Ashley, was born in 1981. Biden received a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. After graduating from college he joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, where he met his wife Kathleen.
Early positionsEditThe large US bank and holding companyMBNA hired Biden in late 1996, where he was employed as a senior vice president until 1998. He left MBNA after being appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as Executive Director of E-commerce Policy Coordination in the United States Department of Commerce. Working under SecretariesNorman Mineta and William M. Daley, he held the position until 2001. From 2001 to 2008 Biden was a founding partner of Oldaker, Biden, and Belair, LLP, a Washington D.C.-based law firm. Through the company he worked as an attorney and lobbyist, primarily lobbying on behalf of colleges, hospitals, and technology firms. Starting in 2006, Biden concurrently served as interim CEO and later chairman of Paradigm Global Advisors. In January 2007 he stepped down from "daily oversight" of Paradigm, although he remained Chairman.
After leaving Oldker, Biden and Belair in 2008, Biden continued in law and management as a partner at the investment company Rosemont Seneca Partners. As of 2010, he is counsel for Boies Schiller Flexner, a New York City-based law firm, and he periodically teaches as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He also co-founded the mergers and acquisitions firm Eudora Global in 2010, becoming a partner and director.
Amtrak boardEditOn May 16, 2006, Biden was nominated by U.S. President George W. Bush to occupy the vacancy left by former Governor of MassachusettsMichael Dukakis on the board of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, or Amtrak. Biden was unanimously confirmed as an active board-member on July 26, 2006, replacing Dukakis as the board's only Democrat.Politico published an article about Biden's work with Amtrak in February 2007, with author Andrew Glass explaining that since joining the board less than a year earlier Biden had "spent a good deal of his time advocating without pay on behalf of the hard-pressed, government-subsidized nationwide railroad." At the time, Amtrak employed 20,000 people in 46 states and served 25 million passengers a year, the most since its founding in 1970. Politico noted problems, however, stating that "the rail system chronically operates in the red. A pattern has emerged: Congress overrides cutbacks demanded by the White House and appropriates enough funds to keep Amtrak from plunging into insolvency. But, Amtrak advocates say, that is not enough to fix the system's woes." The article noted that Amtrak is banned by law from lobbying Congress, but David R. Johnson, assistant director of the non-partisan National Association of Railroad Passengers, was quoted stating that Amtrak has "an effective advocate in Hunter Biden."
By November 2008, the recently enacted HR 2095 legislation had expanded the Amtrak board to nine people, with only five of those roles filled at the time: Biden, Thomas C. Carper, Donna McLean, Nancy Naples, and the Secretary of TransportationMary Peters.Positions shifted on January 29, 2009, when in a unanimous decision at its regular board meeting, Amtrak named Thomas Carper to as the new chairman or the railroad, with former chairman Donna McLean stepping down and taking Biden's role as vice chairman. Biden remained on Amtrak's board. During his tenure on the board, which lasted until 2009, he selected Joseph H. Boardman, at the time administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, as the successor to Alexander Kummant as Amtrak President and CEO. In January 2010, Amtrak announced that Boardman's appointment had been extended indefinitely. After Boardman's appointment, Amtrak made some progress cutting debt, purchasing new equipment, and improving infrastructure, with cost recovery reaching a new company peak of 93% in 2014.
Chairman of WFP USAEditIn 2009 he joined the board of the World Food Program USA (WFP USA). He was elected chairman of WFP USA in 2012, and by that time was often traveling on behalf of the organization and advocating their various programs in the media. In 2011 he and WFP USA president Rick Leach met with families receiving food assistance in the Kenya refugee camp of Dadaab. Biden and Leach also traveled to the Philippines in 2013, surveying relief efforts and talking with survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in Guiuan and Tacloban.
Biden and family members, including his stepmother have taken part in a number of WFP USA campaigns, including the 2013 and 2014 Live Below The Line program in which participants are challenged to eat at the global poverty level of $1.50 a day. He and his wife and daughters were also involved in WFP's Back to School campaign, which raises funds for school lunches both in the US and internationally. He has represented WFP USA at events such as SXSW and the Town & Country Philanthropy Summit in 2014, and in April 2015 he appeared at the Milken Institute's Global Conference, speaking at the panel Creating Stronger Partnerships for Global Food Security.
U.S. Naval ReserveEditIn May 2013, Biden was selected as a direct commission officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, a program that allows civilians with no prior service to receive a limited duty officer's commission after attending a two-week class covering topics such as military history, etiquette, and drill and ceremony, in lieu of boot camp.[not in citation given] As Biden was past the cut-off age for the program he needed a waiver. Biden received a second waiver because of a past drug-related incident.
One month after commissioning, Biden tested positive for cocaine use and was discharged from the Navy reserve in February 2014.
News of Biden's discharge was not made public and was not first reported until October 2014 when it was revealed to the Wall Street Journal by a Navy official who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity. In a statement released by his attorney, Biden later acknowledged his discharge. A staff editorial in Biden's hometown newspaper, the News Journal, following the incident described the process by which Biden came to receive the various waivers that allowed him initial entry into the Navy as "soft corruption."
Burisma HoldingsEditOn April 18, 2014, it was announced that Biden would be joining the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, a firm which owns several Ukrainian oil and gas companies and is the country's largest non-governmental natural gas producer. Biden became an acting director on May 12, 2014. On Burisma's website, he wrote that he believed Burisma was important to the economy of Ukraine, and that he would be consulting "on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities".Burisma appointed several other directors at that time, including Aleksander KwaÅniewski,Vadym Pozharskyi, and financial manager Devon Archer, who is a partner at Rosemont Seneca Partners along with Biden.
The appointments met with significant press coverage, and critics argued that Biden's work for a country promoting Ukrainian energy independence was a blatant conflict of interest. The White House dismissed nepotism charges, but Melanie Sloan, the director of the non-profit organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, stated that without "solid evidence that Hunter Biden got his job to influence American foreign policy, there's no clear line that has been crossed". Morgan Williams, director of the US-Ukraine Business Council, argued that while there was no evidence of a conflict, the appointment violated an "unspoken" American tradition which frowns on businesses "with links to active politics" associating with the family members of politicians.
Rosemont SenecaEditRosemont Seneca is a Washington, D.C.-based investment and advisory firm run by Biden. Rosemont, with Boston-based Thornton Group, as a pair own 30% stake in the BHR Partners as of 2014. In November, 2016, BHR bought a minority interest in African copper mine Tenke Fungurume Mining S.A. for $1.14 billion in cash. China Molybdenum Co. is purchasing the majority interest from Freeport-McMoran and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the mine is located, owns 20% of the mine.
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The word 'Nafri' and why it is causing such a stir in Germany
Police in Cologne have had to defend themselves against stinging criticism for the second New Year in a row. This time for being too racially insensitive.
It took days for the truth about sexual assaults on New Year in Cologne to emerge last year, after Cologne police first issued a police report saying that the night had passed peacefully.
When it later became clear that over 1,000 women had been sexually assaulted, robbed or both, reportedly by men of North African origin, police were accused of silencing the crimes in order to prevent a public debate on the government's refugee policies.
Within days the police chief of Germany's fourth largest city was forced to resign, as the mayor accused him of not fully informing her about the crimes.
Later investigations also revealed that police had misled the public about the number of officers they had on duty that night.
In December Cologne police assured a concerned public that there would be no repeat of the sexual assaults and thefts at this year's festivities.
A police presence ten times that of 2016 was put in place to ensure stability.
But despite the evening passing relatively peacefully, a heated public debate has again erupted. This time though, the attacks are coming from the left of the political spectrum, with the police being accused of racism in their detention policies.
Particularly, a police tweet sent at 11.08pm noting that hundreds of "Nafris" - an abbreviation for North Africans - had been checked by officers, has caused consternation.
In total police handed out over 900 orders to young men, mainly North Africans, prohibiting them from entering the area around the cathedral.
Police say that many of the men were suspects in crimes committed last year and that telephone intercepts led them to believe they again had plans to commit crimes in the area.
But criticism of the term Nafri has been furious.
Simone Peter, leader of the Green Party, described it as ''derogatory'' and claimed the police had acted illegally by racially profiling people attending the festivities.
Peter's party colleague Volker Beck pointed out to the Rheinische Post that arresting people based on ethnicity and not on concrete suspicion of a crime would constitute a breach of the UN's anti-racism convention.
On Monday Cologne's police chief admitted that his force should have never tweeted the term.
''I find it very unfortunate that the term was used in this situation,'' J¼rgen Mathies told broadcaster WDR. ''I regret it immensely.''
But he went on to say that a form of profiling was necessary based on their experience the previous year.
''We had a clear idea of who we should be checking. It wasn't gray-haired old men or blond young women.''
Mathies also explained that the term Nafri has been in use for a longer period of time as internal police jargon.
Authorities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Cologne is the largest city, have previously published statistics showing that citizens of the North African states of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco are more often reported for committing crimes than people from countries such as Syria.
Cologne police spokesman Wolfgang Baldes told Die Welt on Monday that for years the city has had problems with reports of crimes by men from North Africa, often accused of pick-pocketing in the town centre and aggressive behaviour towards the police when they are stopped.
After a Tunisian man drove a truck into a crowded Berlin Christmas market on December 19th, debate once again erupted about the three North African states and whether they should be designated safe countries of origin.
The government's attempt to classify them as such, a status that would mean asylum would only be granted in exceptional circumstances, was blocked by the Green party last year due to fears about the human rights records in those countries.
Newspaper commentary on the identity checks in Cologne on New Year was also largely favourable towards the police.
"The high number of clearly aggressive young men, mainly from North Africa, who once again descended on Cologne, as well as Essen and Dortmund is scary," the Westfalen Blatt wrote.
"This has nothing to do with stigmatizing an ethnicity and everything to do with a sober analysis of reality. No one has anything against North Africans who abide by German law."
The Rheinische Post also said that the police "did only one thing - their duty".
But the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) bemoaned the fact that it took the police 12 hours before they explained that they had evidence that the North Africans they detained were planning criminality.
Recent extensions of police powers give them the ability "to intervene in people's lives without proof - in these circumstances presumption of innocence no longer plays a role," the newspaper warned.
Germany sees 'overwhelming' sales of Hitler's Mein Kampf - BBC News
Image copyrightAFPImage caption A Nazi-era copy of Mein Kampf: It was Hitler's manifesto for conquest and racial intolerance The German publisher of a special annotated edition of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf says sales have soared since its launch a year ago.
About 85,000 German-language copies of the anti-Semitic Nazi manifesto have been sold. Publisher Andreas Wirsching said "the figures overwhelmed us".
He is director of the Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ) in Munich.
At the end of January the IfZ will launch a sixth print run. The book contains critical notes by scholars.
Unlike the Nazi-era editions, the IfZ's Mein Kampf (My Struggle) has a plain white cover - without a picture of Hitler. The swastika and other Nazi symbols are banned in Germany.
Image copyrightAFPImage caption The IfZ edition of Mein Kampf includes copious notes by scholars providing context Mr Wirsching told the German news agency DPA that the IfZ was planning a shorter, French-language edition. "But two-thirds of our commentaries will be translated" for it, he said.
The first print run in Germany in 2016 was 4,000 copies.
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The decision to republish the inflammatory book was criticised by Jewish groups. Mein Kampf was originally printed in 1925 - eight years before Hitler came to power.
It sets out racist ideas that the Nazis put into practice later, including the denigration and oppression of Jews and Slavs.
After Nazi Germany was defeated in 1945, the Allied forces handed the copyright to the state of Bavaria. Under German law copyright lasts for 70 years.
While the Bavarian regional government held the copyright, reprinting of the book was banned. But the copyright expired a year ago.
Image copyrightAFPImage caption In December 2015, Prof Wirsching defended his institute's publication of Mein Kampf Mr Wirsching said he favoured "clever" teachers using the IfZ edition in the classroom. He warned against "repeating the absurd 1950s discussion, when people said 'it was all Hitler's fault'."
He said the IfZ had obtained solid legal advice before republishing the book on a limited scale. And the scholarly edition was aimed partly at pre-empting any editions put out by Nazi sympathisers.
"It would be irresponsible to just let this text spread arbitrarily," he told DPA.
Mobile Web - Lifestyle - DMV licensed 800,000 undocumented immigrants under 2-year-old law
Home' 'ImmigrationOn the day that California officials implemented a controversial law that allows residents in the country illegally to obtain driver licenses, DMV offices throughout the state were packed with immigrants looking to take advantage of the opportunity.
Two years after the implementation of AB 60 on Jan. 1, 2015, an estimated 806,000 undocumented residents have received driver's licenses, according to Department of Motor Vehicles statistics this month. About 14,000 of these licenses were issued in November alone, the DMV said.
The law has allowed those in the country illegally to come out of the shadows and drive safely in their neighborhoods, according to Maricela Gutierrez, executive director of the immigration advocacy organization, SIREN.
''Many of them have been able to drive their kids to school and to run errands, when many times they were taking buses that would take them up to three hours to get from point A to point B,'' she said. ''It opened up new opportunities.''
One San Jose resident who applied for a license just a few days after AB 60 went into effect received his license in the mail shortly after.
''It's a completely different feeling because you no longer have to worry about seeing a police car,'' said the 46-year-old, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Ramon. ''You're much more at peace when you drive. You can drive long distances with your family '-- to Disneyland or to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium '-- with confidence. You don't live in fear.''
But as President-elect Donald Trump, who vowed an illegal immigration crackdown as a candidate, prepares to take office, the law is coming under renewed scrutiny.
STATE ASSURANCESMany of those who received driver licenses under the law now fear they'll become deportation targets if federal immigration authorities can access their DMV information, despite assurances from state officials that it won't happen.
''We have definitely been hearing about a lot of fear from our community, especially with a new administration coming on board and the anti-immigrant rhetoric that's been out there,'' said Gutierrez. ''Everything is theoretical as we speak, but we are definitely taking precautions.''
The organization hosts workshops to inform immigrants of their rights and has advised AB 60 recipients to be cautious on the road.
The law aimed to ease deportation fears that proved a barrier for undocumented residents to be tested and licensed to drive, a potential safety concern in a state that is home to an estimated 3 million illegal immigrants. Access to a license also makes it easier for those residents to find work and put their kids in public school.
Opponents argued the law would weaken immigration enforcement and questioned the public safety benefit, noting it didn't guarantee undocumented immigrants receiving licenses would buy auto insurance.
Critics also point to another state ''motor-voter'' law, AB 1461, that starting in 2017 will automatically register most licensed California drivers to vote, arguing it could lead to election fraud if non-citizens barred from voting in federal elections become registered. State officials said there are safeguards in the system to prevent undocumented licensees from being registered to vote.
NO IMMIGRATION STATUSThe DMV said law enforcement agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, can obtain driver license information '-- such as name, gender/description, address, date of birth and driver license number '-- through certain data sharing systems. But the information doesn't indicate their immigration status or whether they received licenses under.
''The California Department of Motor Vehicles takes very seriously the protection of personal information for all license holders,'' the DMV said in a statement Tuesday following concerns about personal information being released to authorities.
DMV officials also said ''the President cannot unilaterally repeal AB 60 and AB 1461.''
California lawmakers have vowed to protect the rights of all immigrants, no matter their legal status.
''We would like to reassure the public, and our immigrant brothers and sisters, that we believe in respect, justice, dignity, and equality and that is how we will approach legislative action going forward,'' said Assemblyman Luis Alejo, who authored AB 60, on behalf of the California Latino Legislative Caucus.
To qualify for a driver's license under AB 60, applicants must prove their identity and residency in California; pass the written exam and a driving test; submit thumbprints and show proof of insurance, among other requirements. AB 60 licenses are marked with the words, ''federal limits apply.''
Ailing Vermont Town Pins Hopes on Mideast Refugees - NYTimes.com
RUTLAND, Vt. '-- They hustled into the church on a biting winter evening, unburdened themselves of scarves and gloves, and settled into pews to sound out words in Arabic.
''Ahlan fii Rutland,'' said Fran Knapp, a retiree who lives about 20 minutes away, one of two or three dozen people who have attended a class here on rudimentary Arabic.
Welcome to Rutland.
It was one of many preparations this remote city in central Vermont is making before 100 refugees from Syria and Iraq arrive here over the next year, with the first expected to come later this month.
The plan's fiercest advocate has been the mayor of Rutland, Christopher Louras, who has cited not the moral argument for resettling refugees, but an economic one: This shrinking city, long removed from its heyday as a marble producer and regional railroad hub, needs every new resident it can get. Syrian refugees, he has said, are an opportunity.
''Rutland's demographic condition right now is not just one of a declining population, but it's also a graying population,'' said Mr. Louras, who became the mayor about 10 years ago as a Republican, but has since become an independent. ''We need people,'' he added.
The plan, born in a time of national discord over Muslim immigration and criticism by President-elect Donald J. Trump of Syrian refugees, has divided the city: An opposition group, Rutland First, sprang up '-- as did Rutland Welcomes, to collect donated items, help the new arrivals and watch for job openings that might suit them.
But the preparations are unfolding under a cloud of uncertainty, because it is not yet clear whether, as president, Mr. Trump will make good on his campaign promise to suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States.
Immigration is part of the history of every American city. But experts say that in recent years, some towns and cities, reeling from shifts in the economy and declining populations, have focused anew on potential economic benefits from refugee resettlement, even as immigration has become a subject of partisan political battles.
''Over the last couple of decades, especially in the last 10 years, places have started to develop strategies to attract and retain immigrants and resettle refugees in order to boost their economic activity,'' said Audrey Singer, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who has studied refugee resettlement in American cities.
Refugees are a small subset of immigrants, and many cities that have made a point of welcoming them say that they do so primarily for humanitarian, not economic, reasons. But as cities in the Rust Belt, like Pittsburgh and Dayton, Ohio, and in other parts of the country, like Maine and upstate New York, set up offices to connect immigrants and refugees with services and job opportunities, advocates say economic benefits have arisen as a result.
''We've seen a few neighborhoods kind of turn around because of immigrants and refugees moving in,'' said Melissa Bertolo, the coordinator for one such support group, Welcome Dayton. She added that cities in the Rust Belt are ''all looking at how immigrant integration plays a part in the revitalization of a city.''
That is what some are hoping for here in Rutland, as the state suffers from population stagnation, according to Art Woolf, an associate professor of economics at the University of Vermont. The birthrate has declined and net migration has slowed, which Mr. Woolf ascribed to Americans' increasing preference for cities and dense suburbs.
''I think we're right on the beginning of the cusp of serious, serious labor problems,'' said Mr. Woolf, who added that the state's unemployment rate, at 3.6 percent, was a sign of more trouble to come. ''We're low because there's nobody available to work.''
Nowhere is that more pronounced, Mr. Woolf said, than Rutland County, here in the center of the state, which has lost residents since 2000. The city of Rutland has 15,824 residents, according to an estimate by the United States Census Bureau, which said the city had lost 4 percent of its population since 2010. The highest population for Rutland recorded by the Census Bureau was 19,293, in 1970.
It is a striking community, lately hobbled by isolation: There are mountains on the horizon, but the city is an hour from major highways. Its status as a railroad hub and a marble powerhouse is long gone, and recent decades have seen the loss of major factory employers.
''It hit a peak, it leveled off, and now we're trying to find ourselves,'' said Will Notte, 45, the president of the board of selectmen and a fifth-generation Rutlander who supports the refugee proposal.
The city's tiny downtown is making its way back from the recession and a fight against heroin; new bookstores, furniture stores and clothing boutiques have opened in recent years.
But city leaders are worried that population loss could make it harder for the remaining major employers, like General Electric plants that make parts for aircraft engines and the Rutland Regional Medical Center, to stay. They are putting $100,000 toward a $200,000 effort from local economic development groups to market the area and draw more residents.
Syrian refugees, business leaders say, could become an integral part of that effort, both by adding to the population '-- if only slightly '-- and bringing cultural diversity that they hope will attract younger residents.
The plan originated in the fall of 2015, when, after that November's terrorist attacks in Paris, Mr. Trump and more than two dozen governors expressed opposition to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States. But Peter Shumlin, the departing Democratic governor, said Vermont would welcome Syrian refugees, and Mr. Louras texted the governor to see whether they could bring refugees to Rutland. The city was officially selected by the State Department as a resettlement site in September.
Map | Map of Rutland, Vt.
''I saw that as an opportunity to grow our population, bring in individuals, families, new Americans from Syria who have a strong work ethic, who were fleeing for their lives and looking to rebuild those shattered lives,'' Mr. Louras said.
But the argument did not go down well among everyone in Rutland. One online petition referred to the refugees as ''the same people who hate us.'' Rutland First, the opposition group, emerged '-- using a Facebook page that has drawn vitriolic and obscene comments about refugees '-- with the goal of blocking or delaying the plan. Over the summer, seven of Rutland's 11 aldermen voted to approve a letter to the State Department saying they were not ready to support the plan.
Many members of Rutland First say that they are not biased or xenophobic, as their critics have said, but that they have economic concerns about whether the city can absorb the new arrivals.
''We're kind of stuck out here, with our level of economic depression, with our level of crime and drug issues,'' said Timothy Cook, a doctor and an Army Reserve colonel who gave Rutland First its name. ''We're the ones who are gonna have to foot the bill for this.''
A report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine found that between 2011 and 2013, first-generation immigrants cost states about $1,600 per person, but that second- and third-generation immigrants contributed $1,700 and $1,300 to state and local budgets, respectively.
And that is what business leaders in Rutland hope will happen here.
Resettlement, said Lyle Jepson, the executive director of the Rutland Economic Development Corporation, is ''supporting people when they need help.''
But, he added, ''Frankly, we need help. We need people to join our community.''
Europees register voor openbaar vervoer | Telegraaf.nl
woensdag 4 januari 2017, 7:11 (C) (C) Dijkstra b.v.De Nederlandse regering is met Belgi, Duitsland en Frankrijk in gesprek om de controle van passagiers van internationale bussen, treinen en boten te verscherpen. De Volkskrant zegt dat een woordvoerder van het ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie dit heeft gezegd.
Passagiers zouden een identiteitsbewijs moeten tonen, voordat ze een internationaal vervoersbewijs kunnen kopen. Uiteindelijk moet die extra controle voor de gehele Europese Unie gelden.
De gesprekken hierover zijn gestart na de vlucht van de terrorist die de aanslag op een kerstmarkt in Berlijn pleegde en daarna via Nederland naar Itali vluchtte.
Er is al een wetsvoorstel in voorbereiding om identificatie verplicht te stellen bij vliegtickets, waarna de gegevens opgeslagen worden in een Passagiers Namen Register.
Gerelateerde artikelenMeer artikelen in Binnenland
Water Utilities Lack Proper Filters For Weed-Killer | The Huffington Post
Results from a federal drinking water monitoring program show that many public water companies are ineffective at removing a widely used weed-killer from their water supplies.
As the Huffington Post Investigative Fund reported earlier this week, the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to notify the public about data showing that the herbicide atrazine has been found at levels above the federal safety limit in drinking water in at least four states. Atrazine has been studied for its potential link to breast cancer, prostate cancer, and birth defects, and the EPA considers it to be a potential endocrine disruptor. It is banned in the European Union.
But the EPA's data also reveals that many public water filtration systems are not removing the herbicide. In many places, atrazine levels in untreated water sources such as rivers directly match the levels that come out of the tap.
A carbon filter with granular activated carbon -- in other words, a giant Brita-like filter -- should absorb all or most of the atrazine. But the EPA's atrazine monitoring data shows that many water utilities in the Corn Belt do not use carbon filtration. Many use rapid sand filters instead. They are cheaper and last longer, but are unable to remove organic compounds such as PCBs, phthalates, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides such as atrazine.
"Carbon filters might have to be replaced every couple of years whereas sand filters could last 20 to 30 years," said Alan Roberson, director of security and regulatory affairs at the American Water Works Association, a non-profit organization representing water utilities.
To recover the cost of filtering atrazine, water companies in six states are preparing a lawsuit against the makers of atrazine, the Swiss company Syngenta.
When you compare the raw and finished water of an effective carbon filtration system, you see something like the chart below, which shows weekly levels of atrazine in river water and drinking water as measured last year in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Bowling Green added carbon filters to the water system in 2000. "We installed the filters to take care of taste and odor problems, but it [also] gets the atrazine out of there," said Chad Johnson, assistant superintendent at the water utility. "These filters are expensive, though. Our new building cost about five million dollars."
Every year, the utility replaces six of the 12 filter vessels at a cost of $126,000, Johnson said. He said the water plant had received $5 million in stimulus funds, which will be used to partially fund an $11 million project to install new membranes, which will remove nitrates and other chemicals from the water.
Atchison, Kan., is among water systems that do not have adequate filters in place. The chart shows weekly levels of atrazine in river water and drinking water as measured last year.
"I'll be darned," said Michael Matthews, the utilities director in Atchison, Kan., upon hearing that atrazine was barely being filtered from his drinking water. "That's bad."
Water plant managers said the economic downturn has made it even harder to convert to more effective filters. "Right now, we can't afford anything," said Lloyd Littrell of the Beloit, Kansas water plant, where rapid sand filters are used.
"It's impossible to get atrazine out of the water with these filters. There's no way to remove it," he said. "But people need this water. We can't just shut our doors and tell people to drink from the river."
Stan Schafer of the Baxter Springs plant, where sand filters are used, said it was difficult to get funding for water cleanup even prior to the recession. "Shoot, I'd like another filter," he said. "But they're expensive. We did a $2.5 million update about three years ago and that system is falling apart."
A civil engineering professor at Virginia Tech University, Marc Edwards, said that the cost of granular activated carbon treatment could double the total cost of drinking water treatment in some rural and poor communities.
"We are used to paying very little for tap water," Edwards said. "It is hard for some rural communities to justify the higher costs of advanced treatment."
"Most water systems don't have the resources to buy a new filter," said Kirk Leifheit, Assistant Chief of the Drinking Water Program at the Ohio EPA. "They are reporting to us needs in the billions."
The EPA only monitors the river water and drinking water in about 150 water systems, so it is unknown whether other communities might be experiencing problems filtering atrazine. Washington, D.C., and Maryland, for example, are not part of that program.
However, atrazine is heavily used in the Maryland area, according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey. The Washington Aqueduct, which treats water from the Potomac River for about 1 million in the DC area, does not filter for atrazine.
Water systems in 57 cities are preparing a lawsuit against the atrazine manufacturer, the Swiss company Syngenta, to recover the cost of filtering the chemical out of drinking water. Utilities in Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, Indiana, Missouri, and Iowa are preparing to file suits in state courts. A hearing in Illinois is scheduled for Monday.
"Many of those water providers have incurred an enormous amount of expenses at a time when their tax base is shrinking,"said Stephen Tillery of the Korein Tillery law firm in St. Louis, who represents the water systems. "They're cash strapped."
Jere White, executive director of the Kansas City Corn Growers Association and the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association, has been fighting atrazine regulation at both a local and national level since 1995. He has been vocal about opposing the class action lawsuit against Syngenta.
"The difference between them [the lawyers] and an ambulance chaser is the fact that with an ambulance chaser, you at least assume that there's an ambulance and an injury," White said in a phone interview.
White is also chairman of the Triazine Network which has been fighting atrazine regulation since 1995. The Network and the Corn Growers, according to White, receive regular funding from Syngenta -- for travel, speaking engagements (including EPA hearings), and education, though he pointed out that it has never been earmarked specifically for "advocacy." The Network, according to its website, "strives to keep the beneficial triazine herbicides available in the United States."
Updated August 27, 4:54 p.m. In an interview today, Jere White of the Kansas Corn Growers Association said he does not oppose all regulation of atrazine. As he characterized it, his organizations are seeking scientific justification from the EPA for stricter laws regulating the chemical.
Doctors Who Discovered Cancer Enzymes In Vaccines All Found Murdered |
The website Neon Nettle recently wrote an article about the strange circumstances surrounding the deaths of a handful of doctors from Florida, which all shared a common trait '' they discovered that nagalase enzyme protein was being added to vaccines which were then administrated to humans. And what does this enzyme do?
It prevents our body from producing vitamin D '' our main defense from cancer!
Thebigriddle.com says that ''Nagalase is a protein that's also created by all cancer cells. This protein is also found in very high concentrations in autistic children.'' Why would they be putting this harmful ingredient in our vaccines?
The enzyme prevents our body from synthesizing vitamin D and vitamin D is crucial in the fight against cancer and prevents autism. Nagalese is also known to undermine the immune system and has been linked to Type 2 Diabetes. This proves that these doctors weren't killed because they've found the cure to cancer or some other disease, they were killed because their research would have exposed Big Pharma and the fact that they're injecting our children with harmful cancer and autism causing vaccines.
It can't be a coincidence. It must have been done knowingly because the doctors that were killed in Florida were working together and were preparing to go public with what they've discovered. Unfortunately, they were silenced before they were able to inform the public about this scandalous conspiracy.
This is Depopulation 101 '' adding poison to vaccines and forcing every parent to have his kid vaccinated as a condition for attending school. These are their 'slow kill' methods and I must say they're working. More and more children are being diagnosed with autism and cancer and we're being fooled into believing it's all caused by pollution, unhealthy diets, and the modern way of life.
Dr. Ted Broer was willing to go public with what he's discovered on The Hagmann & Hagmann Report but they were having difficulties getting their show on air. For an hour they couldn't resolve the issue, every time they did the line kept disconnecting and their servers were eventually brought down. They finally managed to get him on a secure line and the first thing Dr.Broer said was ''I am not suicidal''. He kept pointing this out in case if someone tried to take him out and make it look like a suicide. He was scared that he won't be able to tell his story and inform the general public but luckily for us he did.
Here's a short clip from the interview, listen to it and spread the word, this thing needs to go viral, everyone needs to know what they're doing to us.
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A few years ago, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) looked at antidepressant use in 25 countries and found something startling.
In every single country the OECD looked at, antidepressant use was on the rise.
In Germany, antidepressant use had risen 46% in just four years. In Spain and Portugal, it rose about 20% during the same period. Iceland led the pack in overall use with about one in ten people taking a daily antidepressant '-- but that figure may underestimate the actual rate of use, since that calculation isn't restricted to just adults.
The United States was not included in the OECD analysis (we've added it to the chart below), but if it had been, it would knock Iceland out of the top spot: 11% of Americans over the age of 12 take an antidepressant.
Skye Gould / Tech Insider
It's difficult to say exactly what the data tell us.
Antidepressant use is not an accurate window into rates of depression. Instead, the popularity of antidepressants in a given country is the result of a complicated mix of depression rates, stigma, wealth, health coverage, and availability of treatment.
In the United States, for example, only about a third of people with severe depression take an antidepressant. In South Korea, where antidepressant use is the lowest among the countries analyzed, the suicide rate is the highest in the developed world. Koreans are much likelier than Americans to see mental illness as a personal weakness, research has shown, which means many never seek treatment.
According to a review of the research on depression in Nordic countries, Iceland's unusually high antidepressant use is "a result of their perceived effectiveness by users, but also an effect of limited access to alternative treatment like psychotherapy." The rising rate of antidepressant usage there, however, has not been tied to any decrease in suicide rate or disability due to depression.
In fact, the review notes, "the increase in antidepressants consumption has spurred an ongoing debate [about] whether antidepressants are overprescribed (medicalization) or underprescribed (poor access to treatment)."
Darren Staples / Reuters
The OECD suggests two possible reasons the rate of antidepressant consumption is on the rise in so many countries. The course of treatment lasts longer than it used to, and antidepressants are now prescribed not only for severe depression, but also for mild depression, anxiety, social phobia, and more.
Spending long periods of time on antidepressants actually aligns with international guidelines for treatment. The World Health Organization recommends that people continue taking antidepressants at least nine to 12 months after they've recovered. (It acknowledges, however, that the evidence supporting that recommendation is "moderate;" more research is needed.)
Among Americans, 60% of people taking antidepressants have been taking them for at least two years; 14% have taken them for 10 years or more. That seems to match the WHO's guidance, but it hides a larger, more difficult-to-solve problem.
Less than a third of Americans taking an antidepressant have actually had an appointment with a mental health professional within the past year, suggesting a critical weakness in a system where medication is widely available '-- often prescribed by primary care physicians '-- but holistic mental healthcare and frequent monitoring are not.
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Mariah's team says NYE performance was 'sabotaged' for ratings | Page Six
Diva Mariah Carey is claiming her disastrous New Year's Eve performance was an intentional set-up by the gig's producers to raise ratings, according to a report.
The singer's team even sent in a written complaint Sunday to Dick Clark Productions that the sound and microphone systems she was given to use were deliberately sabotaged ''so they could get Mariah drama,'' TMZ said.
Carey, 46, was hyped as the main attraction of ''Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve 2017,'' but ended up having a meltdown on stage when she was unable to hear her vocal track.
She ditched her bad lip syncing by the time she got to her second song, ''We Belong Together'' and stood on stage, looking disgusted.
At 2 p.m., the singer wrote on Twitter: ''S''t happens. Have a happy and healthy new year everybody! Here's to making more headlines in 2017.''
But within a few hours, the singer's handlers began laying the blame elsewhere and told TMZ Carey had been given ''inner ear'' pieces that did not work.
Carey's staff pointed out the singer even complained about the sound during an interview with host Ryan Seacrest an hour before she took the stage in Times Square.
''It's hard for me to hear you,'' she told Seacrest, appearing visibly strained.
During the hour between talking to Seacrest and taking the stage, her handlers reportedly continually complained about her ear pieces '-- and the fact her mic pack was not working properly.
Once on stage, Carey encountered even more woes when she discovered the teleprompter wasn't working, causing her to miss stage cues, her staff complained.
''This is sabotage,'' a handler reportedly emailed an executive of Dick Clark Productions, the world's largest producer of televised and live event programming.
Dick Clark did not return calls from The Post seeking comment.
KKK Leaders Allege Producers Paid Them to Fake Scenes in A&E Series | Variety
The subjects of a TV documentary series about the Ku Klux Klan abruptly canceled last week by A&E allege to Variety that significant portions of what was filmed were fabricated by the producers.
Some KKK leaders divulged that they were paid hundreds of dollars in cash each day of filming to compel them on camera to distort the facts of their lives to fit the documentary's predetermined narrative: tension between Klan members and relatives of theirs who wanted to get out of the Klan.
The findings are based on an exclusive Variety investigation based on interviews with over two dozen individuals in and around the KKK who cooperated with the documentary in at least six U.S. states.
Originally scheduled to air Jan. 10, ''Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America'' was produced by Venice, Calif.-based production company This Is Just a Test.
The KKK leaders who were interviewed by Variety detailed how they were wooed with promises the program would capture the truth about life in the organization; encouraged not to file taxes on cash payments for agreeing to participate in the filming; presented with pre-scripted fictional story scenarios; instructed what to say on camera; asked to misrepresent their actual identities, motivations and relationships with others, and re-enacted camera shoots repeatedly until the production team was satisfied.
The production team even paid for material and equipment to construct and burn wooden crosses and Nazi swastikas, according to multiple sources including Richard Nichols, who is one of the featured subjects of the documentary series as the Grand Dragon of a KKK cell known as the Tennessee White Knights of the Invisible Empire. He also said he was encouraged by a producer to use the epithet ''nigger'' in interviews.
''We were betrayed by the producers and A&E,'' said Nichols. ''It was all made up'--pretty much everything we said and did was fake and because that is what the film people told us to do and say.''
Asked about allegations, a rep for A&E declined comment beyond issuing a statement that made clear the company is going to take the additional step of conducting a probe of the production: ''A&E had already made the decision to cancel this documentary series based on recently discovered payment practices of the producers in the field and we are conducting a full independent investigation into the production.''
Production company TIJAT also issued a statement in response to the allegations, which suggested participants are being intimidated into tarnishing the show.
''We take these allegations very seriously and in partnership with A&E we will be looking into them fully,'' a portion of its statement read. ''We have been told that participants in the series have received threats and coerced into speaking out against the authenticity of the show.''
Led by principals Aengus James and Colin Miller, TIJAT is a prolific producer of unscripted TV series for cable networks such as TLC's ''I Am Jazz'' and Animal Planet's ''Project Grizzly,'' as well as theatrical documentaries and commercials. TIJAT is currently negotiating with A&E to get the rights back to ''Escaping the KKK'' with the intent of shopping it to another network. Producers told KKK leaders who participated in the documentary prior to the cancellation that a second season was being discussed with the network.
The allegations are in stark contradiction to how the eight-episode series was positioned to the public by both A&E and TIJAT.
''This show is not rehearsed or prepackaged,'' said Rob Sharenow, executive vice president and general manager of A&E and Lifetime told The Hollywood Reporter on Dec. 19. ''These filmmakers knew that they weren't going in making a reality show, they were making a hard-hitting series about a provocative subject.''
The purported quality of the program, originally known as ''Generation KKK,'' helped draw the support of organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change, which A&E publicized. But that didn't keep ''Generation KKK'' from being accused on social media of providing a platform for a hate group. The network subsequently retitled the series, a decision Sharenow explained to Variety on Dec. 23 reflected its standing as a ''pure documentary.''
But the very next day ''Escaping the KKK'' was suddenly canceled. As its Dec. 24 announcement revealed, the cable network made the surprise move after being made aware of payments made by the production company to Klan members, contrary to assurances the company said were made to advocacy organizations that supported the series and the public.
''A&E learned last night from the third-party producers who made the documentary that cash payments '-- which we currently understand to be nominal '-- were made in the field to some participants in order to facilitate access,'' read a statement issued by the network.
The cancellation occurred less than 24 hours after this reporter contacted several producers at TIJAT with the allegations contained in this story. Those same producers, according to multiple KKK members who participated in the documentary, subsequently warned them not to speak to this reporter if contacted.
But sources close to the production also cast doubt on the testimony of KKK leaders, describing them as inveterate liars motivated by an agenda to scuttle a series that could make them look bad if it ever aired and prone to confusing being manipulated with aggressive questioning from producers.
What prompted Nichols to share his life with TV viewers was a solicitation via email from a TIJAT producer, which he summarized as saying, ''We want to show everyone the real truth about the Klan.'' Nichols, who can trace his lineage back to one of the founding members of the KKK, said he allowed TIJAT into his home in Pulaski, Tenn., and the KKK circles in which he traveled for anywhere from three to eight days at a time each month for a period that lasted four or five months in mid-2016.
But as Nichols describes it, the production had little interest in accurately reflecting his life. Instead, he says TIJAT producers manipulated nearly every aspect of what appeared on camera, right down to making sure his choice of words during interviews was sufficiently objectionable.
''They kept asking me, wanting me, to use the word 'nigger,''' said Nichols, who alleged he was paid $600 per day by producers to participate. ''I was sitting down being filmed and interviewed with the lights and the backdrop set up, and I said something and used the word 'blacks.' Then the producer interrupted me and said 'No, no, no. We want him to use the word ''nigger!'''''
TIJAT producers went so far as to orchestrate more than one cross-burning ceremony in Pulaski, though it is presented in the documentary as if the KKK is actually hosting the event. ''We've been allowed special access to film this secret induction,'' reads a title card that precedes one of the cross-burning scenes.
''It was the producers who told me they wanted a cross-lighting,'' recounted Nichols. ''In fact they made two cross-lightings cause they wanted to reshoot some scenes. They bought everything'--the wood, the burlap to wrap around the wood, the diesel and kerosene for my cross lighting. They even brought all the food for everyone.''
Nichols' storyline in the documentary series involves his efforts to recruit a young man, Cody Hutt, into the KKK. But their dynamic was also less than truthful: Hutt made it clear to the producers he was never seriously considering joining the KKK, but he was willing to take $200 per day from them to act the part. ''From the first day, I sat them (down) and told them I had no interest in joining the Klan,'' said Hutt.
As TIJAT's cameras capture, the tension between Nichols and Hutt reaches the boiling point when Hutt brings an anti-hate activist, Bryon Widner, to Nichols' home to help convince Nichols to leave Hutt alone. When Nichols learns who Widner is, he angrily demands he leaves the house, even threatening to kill Widner.
But Nichols and Hutt say the scene was a fabrication. ''That was 100% the TV guys' idea and staged,'' said Nichols.
''When me and Richard had a fall(ing) out and he was mad because I wouldn't join'--they staged that all,'' said Hutt.
Nichols is one of four separate Klan members who are the focus of the documentary series, which also chronicles separate cells of the hate group operating in Mississippi, Georgia and Kentucky.
The Klan activity in Tennessee was not the only one with fabricated elements; sources knowledgeable of what transpired among all four featured Klan groups where TIJAT shot described similar circumstances.
In Kentucky, which unlike the other three areas is not depicted in the first four episodes of the series provided to TV critics, TIJAT producers weren't above turning its documentary subjects into fictional characters.
''They told me to find someone who was family that was against my beliefs,'' said Dan Elmquist, the Imperial Wizard of the Kentucky-based Nordic Order of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, who reports getting $500 a day to participate. ''They were trying to get my wife and me to say that my wife didn't like me involved in Klan stuff, but my wife is a member of the Klan. So we filmed with my Nighthawk's wife saying she was my cousin and acting as the 'anti-Klan' person. A&E knew she wasn't my cousin or against the Klan.''
The ''Nighthawk''''which is KKK terminology for a clan's chief of security'--for the Nordic Order Knights who confirmed Elmquist's account in an interview is Chris Brasher of Bowling Green, Ken. (When Elmquist and Brasher refers to ''A&E,'' they are not referring to the network, but producers from TIJAT. )
''A&E would give me an order of what to say''it was scripted,'' said Brasher, who also reported getting $500 per day. ''My wife isn't a member of the Klan. A&E was telling her to say to me 'If you don't leave the Klan I am going to leave you. I don't want to leave my husband, but if he doesn't leave the Klan I will.' ''It was a joke, really. My wife and I get along fine. She was never going to leave me because I am in the Klan. A&E made that all up and told us what to say.''
But sources close to the production say that whatever interviews Brasher sat for were not intended for the documentary's first season, and that it could have been for a demo reel for another season.
A&E's payment policies for unscripted series have already created other problems for the network. Citing ''Escaping the KKK'' earlier this week, an attorney representing the Church of Scientology accused A&E of hypocrisy by alleging that two of the participants in the docuseries ''Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath'' were paid to appear on camera. The network hasn't responded to the Church's charge.
On the Tennessee shooting location of the KKK documentary, Nichols and Hutt describe being paid by a man with a blue, rectangular bank money bag, which he would unzip and hand out $50 or $100 bills.
Of the leaders of the four Ku Klux Klan groups featured on the TV series, only one denied receiving payments for his participation. ''I was never paid a dime but I wished they did,'' said Steve Howard, Imperial Wizard for the North Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, on Dec. 24.
But on Dec. 26, Howard lashed out on his Facebook account demanding $100,000 payments from A&E and the film production company for money he said was promised and owed him. ''Tomorrow by 11 I start singing. So someone better take care of it. I want lost wages,'' wrote Howard. ''They can buy me out or I start singing.''
Howard took down his Facebook posts less than 24 hours later.
What is still unclear is which entities had foreknowledge of the fabrications. While it is conceivable A&E could have learned what was going on via communication between the network and production during the shoot, it is also possible that the network was kept in the dark. Even the principals of the production company itself may not have had complete knowledge of how individual producers were conducting themselves on the ground at shoots.
But the documentary raises troubling questions as to how much responsibility and oversight a network should have over the content of programming it licenses to air.
In addition, the series exposes the often blurry line in TV programming between the traditional documentary, in which filmmakers typically take a fly-on-the-wall approach minimizing interference in the action unfolding in front of their cameras, with so-called reality TV like A&E's own hit ''Duck Dynasty,'' which may appear to be cinema verite to unsophisticated viewers but is almost as controlled by producers as scripted dramas or comedies, with real people essentially functioning as paid actors.
The lure of easy money certainly has its allure to KKK members and their families living in some of the poorest regions of the country. Hutt, a 22-year-old high-school dropout who lives with his mother, readily admits that getting paid by producers was his motivation for helping distort the truth.
''Hey, I loved the money. Don't get me wrong; I wanted them to come back,'' he confessed. ''Now I don't want anything to do with them.''
Nate Thayer is a freelance journalist based in Washington D.C.
Shut Up Slave!
Finland trials basic income for unemployed | World news | The Guardian
Finland has started paying a basic income of '¬560 a month to randomly selected unemployed people. Photograph: Guenter Artinger/EPA
Finland has become the first country in Europe to pay its unemployed citizens an unconditional monthly sum, in a social experiment that will be watched around the world amid gathering interest in the idea of a universal basic income.
Under the two-year, nationwide pilot scheme, which began on 1 January, 2,000 unemployed Finns aged 25 to 58 will receive a guaranteed sum of '¬560 (£475). The income will replace their existing social benefits and will be paid even if they find work.
Kela, Finland's social security body, said the trial aimed to cut red tape, poverty and above all unemployment, which stands in the Nordic country at 8.1%. The present system can discourage jobless people from working since even low earnings trigger a big cut in benefits.
''For someone receiving a basic income, there are no repercussions if they work a few days or a couple of weeks,'' said Marjukka Turunen, of Kela's legal affairs unit. ''Working and self-employment are worthwhile no matter what.''
The government-backed scheme, which Kela hopes to expand in 2018, is the first national trial of an idea that has been circulating among economists and politicians ever since Thomas Paine proposed a basic capital grant for individuals in 1797.
Attractive to the left because of its promise to lower poverty and to the right '' including, in Finland, the populist Finns party, part of the ruling centre-right coalition '' as a route to a leaner, less bureaucratic welfare system, the concept is steadily gaining traction as automation threatens jobs.
A survey last year by Dalia Research found that 68% of people across all 28 EU member states would ''definitely or probably'' vote in favour of some form of universal basic income, also known as a citizens' wage, granted to everyone with no means test or requirement to work.
In a referendum last year 75% of Swiss voters rejected a basic income scheme, but that proposal '' to give every adult an unconditional minimum monthly income of SFr2,500 (£1,980) '' would have meant increasing welfare spending from 19.4% to around a third of the country's GDP, and did not have government backing.
Basic income experiments are also due to take place this year in several cities in the Netherlands, including Utrecht, Tilburg, Nijmegen, Wageningen and Groningen. In Utrecht's version, called Know What Works, several test groups will get a basic monthly income of '¬970 under slightly different conditions.
One will get the sum as unemployment benefit, with an obligation to seek work '' and sanctions '' attached. Another will get it unconditionally, whether or not they seek work. A third will get an extra '¬125 providing they volunteer for community service. Another will get the extra '¬125 automatically, but must give it back if they do not volunteer.
The Italian city of Livorno began giving a guaranteed basic income of just over '¬500 a month to the city's 100 poorest families last June, and expanded the scheme to take in a further 100 families on 1 January. Ragusa and Naples are considering similar trials.
In Canada, Ontario is set to launch a C$25m (£15m) basic income pilot project this spring. In Scotland, local councils in Fife and Glasgow are looking into trial schemes that could launch in 2017, which would make them the first parts of the UK to experiment with universal basic income.
The Green party in the UK has supported the idea of a citizen's wage, partly owing to rapidly increasing job insecurity and the rise of the gig economy, and partly owing to the massive costs associated with administering increasingly complex and unwieldy welfare systems.
Proponents of universal basic income argue that it can be more efficient and more equitable than traditional welfare systems, and will also protect people better as economies change through automation.
''Credible estimates suggest it will be technically possible to automate between a quarter and a third of all current jobs in the western world within 20 years,'' Robert Skidelsky, professor of political economy at the University of Warwick, said in a paper last year.
He said a universal basic income that grew in line with productivity ''would ensure the benefits of automation were shared by the many, not just the few.''
Economists Howard Reed and Stewart Lansley saw further benefits in a report for Compass last year. As well as a solid income base in an age of increasing economic and social insecurity, a universal basic income would offer ''financial independence and freedom of choice for individuals between work and leisure, education and caring, while recognising the huge value of unpaid work,'' they said.
Opponents, including the Conservative government which rejected a call from the Scottish National party last year for a basic income scheme, see it as unaffordable and unlikely to incentivise people to find work.
Melbourne landlord blasted for installing coin-operated toilet
Twitter just made it a little easier to determine which users have that little blue tick.
Beginning today, the social network is identifying verified users in additional places across its platform. This means tweets from verified accounts will be marked as such in Twitter's main timeline rather than exclusively on their individual pages.
Previously, users had to navigate to each profile to determine whether their tweets were verified or not.
(Screenshot)A spokesperson from Twitter confirmed the update Wednesday evening.
Journalists will be among the largest beneficiaries of this tweak, given that they constitute about one-forth of Twitter's total verified user base. It will now be slightly easier for casual users to determine which information comes from trusted accounts and which do not.
It appears as if there's many more changes for Twitter in the works. Late last month, CEO Jack Dorsey said the social media company was considering a button that allowed users to edit tweets, among other things.
Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics. He's also reported for USA TODAY College and The Sacramento Bee, and he was editor in chief of The Orion, Chico State's student-run newspaper. An Air Force brat who grew up around Northern California, he's still adjusting to the Florida sunshine.
At least 50 Donald Trump electors were illegally seated as Electoral College members: report - Salon.com
More than 50 Electoral College members who voted for Donald Trump were ineligible to serve as presidential electors because they did not live in the congressional districts they represented or held elective office in states legally barring dual officeholders.
That stunning finding is among the conclusions of an extensive 1,000-plus page legal briefing prepared by a bipartisan nationwide legal team for members of Congress who are being urged to object to certifying the 2016 Electoral College results on Friday.
''Trump's ascension to the presidency is completely illegitimate,'' said Ryan Clayton of Americans Take Action, who is promoting the effort. ''It's not just Russians hacking our democracy. It's not just voter suppression at unprecedented levels. It is also [that] there are Republicans illegally casting ballots in the Electoral College, and in a sufficient number that the results of the Electoral College proceedings are illegitimate as well.''
''Republicans like to talk all the time about people voting illegally,'' Clayton continued. ''We have a list of a bunch of Republicans that allegedly voted illegally in the Electoral College. Pam Bondi is the attorney general of the state of Florida and the Florida Constitution says that you cannot hold two offices. And she holds the office of Attorney General and she holds the office of federal elector in the Electoral College. That is a violation of the law. That is a violation of the Constitution. And the vote that she cast in this election is illegal.''
A joint congressional session is scheduled to ratify the 2016 Electoral College vote this Friday. While there have been calls to challenge that certification'--including one women-led effort saying Trump's victory is due to voter suppression targeting people of color'--the analysis that scores of Trump electors were illegally seated, and the additional finding that most states won by Trump improperly filed their Electoral College ''Certificates of Vote'' with Congress, is unprecedented.
Their research and report grew out of the legal activities surrounding the December 19 Electoral College meeting, where Clayton and others urged Republican electors to reject Trump saying they had a constitutional responsibility to pick a more qualified president.
Clayton is hoping that sufficient numbers of Republicans in Congress will not vote to ratify the Electoral College results, thus depriving Trump of the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to win the presidency. If that transpires, the House would then decide between the three top Electoral College vote-getters'--Trump, Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell, he said. But before any of that can happen, there needs to be a formal challenge to ratifying the 2016 Electoral College results in Friday's joint session of Congress, which is where the research finding that scores of Trump votes were illegally cast comes in.
''We have reason to believe that there are at least 50 electoral votes that were not regularly given or not lawfully certified (16 Congressional District violations and 34 Dual Office-Holder violations),'' the executive summary of the Electoral Vote Objection Packet said. ''The number could be over a hundred. We urge you to prepare written objections for January 6.''
''The compiling of the laws and evidence in this Electoral Vote Objection Package was completed by a national team of roughly 15 pro bono attorneys, law students, and legal assistants who represent no client or entity,'' the summary said. ''We are non-partisan'--Democrat, Republican, and Independent. We live in different parts of the country, urban and rural, red states and blue states.''
Challenging the Electoral College
The Electoral College's results have only been challenged twice since 1877. The most recent was in 2005, when an objection to Ohio's Electoral College votes was filed by Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, D-OH, and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA. While that effort did not stop President George W. Bush's reelection, it did force both chambers of Congress to debate for two hours before the Electoral College vote was ratified. Tubbs-Jones and Boxer used the podium to rail against GOP efforts to suppress the vote and disqualify ballots in communities of color.
The process for challenging the Electoral College vote is two-fold. First, a House member has to file a formal challenge and objection. Then one House member and one senator has to sign on, prompting each body to retire to their chambers for the two-hour debate.
The Electoral Vote Objection Packet briefing cites two main areas where 2016 Electoral College members were illegally seated and a third where their votes electing Trump were improperly sent to Congress.
''Specifically, at least 16 electors lived outside the congressional districts they represented in violation of state statutory residency requirements, and at least 34 electors held dual offices, in direct violation of statutes prohibiting dual-office holding,'' the briefing's executive summary says, noting this violates two sections of the U.S. Constitution.
The first group of illegitimate electors amounts to political carpetbagging. ''In North Carolina, for instance,'' the briefing says, a state law, ''NCGS 163-1(c) states, 'One presidential elector shall be nominated from each congressional district'...' Yet, we have voter registration cards showing that numerous North Carolina electors lived outside the congressional districts they represented.''
The report lists the following states and their number of illegitimate electors: Arkansas (two from outside its congressional district); Indiana (one), Louisiana (one), Michigan (one), North Carolina (seven), Oklahoma (one), and Texas (three).
The second group of illegitimate electors is based on the fact that presidential electors hold a federal office, however short-lived, and that directly conflicts with states that ban elected officials from holding more than one office at a time. Florida's state constitution, for example, bars dual-office holding. Its Supreme Court has issued rulings that further define what constitutes an officeholder. And the state legislature has passed other laws treating them as public officials, such as reimbursing them for travel costs.
''Ironically, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has issued a number of Advisory Legal Opinions on dual-office holding, was a presidential elector,'' the briefing said. ''Her name was on the Governor's certification list of Republican electors, and also Attorney General Bondi cast her electoral ballot on December 19. More Negron, who also cast an electoral vote, is currently president of the Florida Senate.''
The report lists the following states and their number of illegitimate electors based on dual-office holders: Alabama (two), Florida (12), Georgia (four), Iowa (two), Kansas (four), Kentucky (one), Michigan (one), Missouri (one), Nebraska (one), North Carolina (one), Ohio (one), Oklahoma (two), Pennsylvania (two), South Carolina (one), South Dakota (three), Tennessee (two), Texas (four), Utah (one), and West Virginia (three). This tally, which adds up to 49 electors, was taken from a spreadsheet accompanying the briefing and is a larger number than what was cited in the report's executive summary, which is quoted above.
Finally, there is another area of concern. Apparently, 23 states'--out of the 31 that cast Electoral College votes for Trump'--did not properly report separate vote counts for president and vice-president to Congress. That violates the 12th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and a federal law requiring presidential electors in each state to ''provide 'two distinct lists of votes,' one for the president and the other for the Vice President,'' the briefing said. ''Of 31 states, only eight states followed that law,'' the report said. ''Some states codify the federal law into their own state law regarding presidential electors. Of those, 15 states did not provide two lists of signatures on their Certificates of Vote.''
''We are not providing any legal advice,'' the briefing's disclaimer says. ''We strongly suggest that members of Congress employ their own legal teams to verify our work.''
It may be that the efforts to convince Congress to challenge the ratification of the 2016 Electoral College amounts to little more than a Hail Mary aimed at derailing a Trump presidency. As of late Wednesday, Clayton thought there would be House members willing to object to certifying the Electoral College vote, but he was less certain about finding a senator willing to go along.
But even if a challenge is mounted and fails, it underscores the illegitimate basis of Trump's presidency and the deep opposition to it, and refutes the GOP's outrageous claim that it has a mandate for dismantling government programs across the board.
''We have a list of 50 illegal electors,'' Clayton said. ''That puts Donald Trump below the threshold that he needs to be elected president. Let's debate it in an open session. According to the Constitution, the Congress, if nobody wins on the first round of balloting, picks from the top three candidates. That will be Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Colin Powell.''
Free marijuana to be handed out at Trump inauguration | abc7chicago.com
A group of marijuana legalization advocates plan to hand out thousands of joints during President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.Pro-marijuana organization DCMJ will begin distributing the 4,200 joints at 8 a.m. on Jan. 20 on the west side of Dupont Circle. The participants will then walk to the National Mall.
At four minutes and 20 seconds into Trump's speech, DCMJ founder Adam Eidinger says protesters will light up.He says the giveaway is legal as long as it's done on District of Columbia land. Those smoking on federal land risk arrest.
Eidinger says the group wants to send a message that the federal government should legalize cannabis.Marijuana advocates are concerned about what actions attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama would take on the issue. Sessions has previously spoken out against marijuana legalization.
(Copyright (C)2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Cannabis May Help Treat Tourette Syndrome | The Marijuana Times
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder that is characterized by involuntary, repetitive movements and vocal or phonic tics. Simple motor tics are characterized by movement problems such as impaired or uncontrolled jaw movements, eye blinking, facial movements, shoulder shrugging, arm jerking and neck stretching; while complex motor tics involve multiple muscles and their abnormal movements. Vocal/phonic tics are characterized by abnormal sounds such as hooting, throat clearing, etc. Patients with complex vocal tics speak out inconsistent or unrecognizable words, and in some cases words may be inappropriate or socially unacceptable. TS patients usually suffer at least two motor tics and at least one vocal or phonic tic that persists more than one year.
The onset of TS typically occurs between the ages of 5-7 years with presentation of a motor tic of the head or neck area, resulting in impaired neurodevelopment. The frequency and severity of tic tends to increase between the ages of 8-12 years. Most TS patients experience improvement in late adolescence and possibly become asymptomatic. However, some patients suffer persistent and severe forms of tics even into adulthood, and require medical attention. The exact cause of TS is unknown, and the severity of TS varies widely among patients. Experts believe hereditary, developmental and environmental factors play a vital role in the onset of TS.
The co-morbidity of TS includes other neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders that cause more harm than tics. The co-occurrence of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is common in TS and tic disorders.
As of now, no cure is available for TS; however, as stated before, the condition generally improves with age in many patients.
Relevance of CB1 receptors in TS pathophysiology
Based on the supportive evidence, we can speculate the role of the CB1 receptor system in the pathophysiology of TS. If we look into the fact CB1 receptors are densely present in the molecular layers of the cerebellum, basal ganglia and hippocampus, we can understand the importance of CB1 receptor activation for treatment of tic disorders.
Neurophysiological studies have shown the presence of CB1 receptors at higher concentrations in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, output nuclei of the basal ganglia and forebrain, which is associated with cognitive functions. Sparsely densepresence of CB1 receptorsin the lower brainstem regions, which regulate respiratory and cardiovascular functions, actually explain why THC is not lethal '' even at higher doses.
Several studies have provided evidence suggesting a complex interaction between the dopaminergic system and CB1 receptor system in TS patients. Nonetheless, only one study hasinvestigatedthe effect of the CB1 agonist (synthetic) on central CB1 receptors in six TS patients. The binding effects of THC were compared before and after administration by employing single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).
Although studies have reported that the pathogenesis of TS is caused by genetic variations or polymorphism in the cannabinoid receptor (CNR1) gene, this study has reported moderate CB1 receptor specific binding of agonists with CB1 receptors. These results were confirmed byanother study. In line with this evidence,one studyhas reported significant reduction of TS-related symptoms after9-THC treatment. We can see that the pathology of tics is not related to genetic polymorphism of cannabinoid receptors, and could be the possible involvement of pre-existing dysfunctional CB1 receptors. We have adequate grounds to assume that THC administration might improve cognitive functions in TS patients; however this influence might be different in healthy users due to functional involvement of the CB1 receptor system in the regulation of cognitive function, attention and memory. The role of cannabis use in cognitive impairment in healthy users remains a controversial debate to date.
Cannabinoids for TS
Twostudies, published in 2003 and2013respectively, have acknowledged the use of delta-9-THC for treatment of TS, if other well-established, conventional therapies either fail to achieve symptomatic improvement or cause an unacceptable degree of adverse events in patients. These are not the only studies that suggest THC might be a successful alternative option for management of severe, treatment-refractory TS. Delta 9-THC might beparticularly helpfulfor treatment of stimulant-induced exacerbation of tics and related co-morbidities by enhancement of intra-cortical inhibition and induction of neurotransmitter release.
Cannabinoids canmodulatebrain neurotransmitter systems, such as glutamine and GABA, by which it is possible to treat TS or reduce the behavioral symptoms of tics.
A systematic review study by German researchers reported successful treatment of a 25-year old male TS patient with a single dose of 10 mg of THC. Although the study design was open-labeled and uncontrolled, the therapeutic benefit remains irrefutable.
Subjective evidential studies have suggested that delta-9-THC has the potential to reduce tics and related behavioral disorders. To confirm this, a team of researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized single-dose study to investigate thesafety and efficacyof various doses of THC in 12 TS patients. The tested doses were 5.0, 7.5 and 10.0 mg of delta-9-THC. The severity of tic was assessed by Tourette Syndrome Symptom List, or TSSL (self-reported), which was cross-checked by clinical examiners' rating scales, including Tourette Syndrome Severity Scale, Yale Global Tic Severity Scale etc, in addition to assessment of behavioral disorders such as obsessive compulsive behavior/disorder (OCB/OCD). The maximum plasma concentrations of THC and its metabolites (11-OH-THC and THC-COOH) were correlated with the clinical improvements or changes.
Significant improvement in tics and OCB was observed using the TSSL, compared to the placebo group. These benefits were concordant to the examiners' ratings, with significant improvement in the scores of simple motor tics, vocal tics and complex motor tics. Surprisingly, the severity score dropped from 41 to 7 within two hours of delta-9-THC administration. The treatment benefit lasted for several hours without causing significant adverse events in the treated subjects, except occurrence of mild psychoactive side effects. Plasma analysis revealed a significant relationship between higher 11-OH-THC plasma concentration and tic improvement after single dose THC administration. These results suggest that the therapeutic effects of 9-delta-THC are attributed to its metabolite 11-OH-THC. The study concluded that delta-9-THC is safe and effective in treating tics and associated behavioral problems.
To confirm these findings, the investigators conducted two follow-up studies including onerandomized-controlled studyinvolving 24 TS patients who received daily doses of up to 10 mg of THC for 6 weeks. Upon completion of dosing, the patients experienced clinically significant reduction in tics. This study was followed-up by a single-dose, cross-overstudythat enrolled 12 TS patients who received 10 mg of delta-9-THC. Statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements were observed in the treatment group when compared with the placebo group, without causing any serious adverse events. This evidence suggests THC is a safer and effective treatment option for tics. These results were confirmed inother studiesas well. None of thesestudiesreported risk or occurrence of acute or long-term cognitive deficits in THC-received study subjects.
Not only clinical studies, but even individual case studies provide supportive evidence for treatment of tics and related behavioral symptoms in TS patients.One case studythat observed the effects of cannabis smoking in three male TS patients who were 15-39 years of age reported clinical improvement of tics. Additionally, the patients reported improvement of attention span, self-mutilatory behavior, premonitory urges and hypersexuality upon smoking cannabis every day. Anothersingle case studythat looked into a 36-year old TS patient reported symptom-free remission of tics for over a year, and the patient was taking one 'cone' of cannabis every night but was not on any other treatment. This evidence suggests that cannabis may have beneficial effects for treating TS symptoms.
Althoughone Cochrane review studyhas noted these benefits are small, we should note that the two studies included for the analysis have reported positive effects of THC treatment, as evidenced by improvements in tic frequency and severity of disease. To sum up, cannabis could be a safer, more effective alternate treatment option to treat tics and behavioral symptoms of TS, particularly for treatment-refractory TS patients.
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Bill and Hillary Clinton Will Attend the Trump Inauguration
January 3, 201701/03/20172:01 p.m.ByYashar AliShare
ShareShareShareEmailPrintPhoto: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty ImagesBill and Hillary Clinton have decided to attend the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, according to two sources with knowledge of their plans. The Clintons will join former Presidents George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, who have also announced that they will attend. George and Laura Bush said today that they would be present ''to witness the peaceful transfer of power.''
Two well-placed sources tell New York that over the past few weeks Hillary Clinton discussed with trusted advisers and friends whether or not she should attend the inaugural. She and President Clinton, the sources said, decided to do so out of a sense of duty and respect for the American democratic process.
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For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art - including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko - as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince - except that it acted secretly - the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years.
The connection is improbable. This was a period, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the great majority of Americans disliked or even despised modern art - President Truman summed up the popular view when he said: "If that's art, then I'm a Hottentot." As for the artists themselves, many were ex- communists barely acceptable in the America of the McCarthyite era, and certainly not the sort of people normally likely to receive US government backing.
Why did the CIA support them? Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.
The existence of this policy, rumoured and disputed for many years, has now been confirmed for the first time by former CIA officials. Unknown to the artists, the new American art was secretly promoted under a policy known as the "long leash" - arrangements similar in some ways to the indirect CIA backing of the journal Encounter, edited by Stephen Spender.
The decision to include culture and art in the US Cold War arsenal was taken as soon as the CIA was founded in 1947. Dismayed at the appeal communism still had for many intellectuals and artists in the West, the new agency set up a division, the Propaganda Assets Inventory, which at its peak could influence more than 800 newspapers, magazines and public information organisations. They joked that it was like a Wurlitzer jukebox: when the CIA pushed a button it could hear whatever tune it wanted playing across the world.
The next key step came in 1950, when the International Organisations Division (IOD) was set up under Tom Braden. It was this office which subsidised the animated version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, which sponsored American jazz artists, opera recitals, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's international touring programme. Its agents were placed in the film industry, in publishing houses, even as travel writers for the celebrated Fodor guides. And, we now know, it promoted America's anarchic avant-garde movement, Abstract Expressionism.
Initially, more open attempts were made to support the new American art. In 1947 the State Department organised and paid for a touring international exhibition entitled "Advancing American Art", with the aim of rebutting Soviet suggestions that America was a cultural desert. But the show caused outrage at home, prompting Truman to make his Hottentot remark and one bitter congressman to declare: "I am just a dumb American who pays taxes for this kind of trash." The tour had to be cancelled.
The US government now faced a dilemma. This philistinism, combined with Joseph McCarthy's hysterical denunciations of all that was avant-garde or unorthodox, was deeply embarrassing. It discredited the idea that America was a sophisticated, culturally rich democracy. It also prevented the US government from consolidating the shift in cultural supremacy from Paris to New York since the 1930s. To resolve this dilemma, the CIA was brought in.
The connection is not quite as odd as it might appear. At this time the new agency, staffed mainly by Yale and Harvard graduates, many of whom collected art and wrote novels in their spare time, was a haven of liberalism when compared with a political world dominated by McCarthy or with J Edgar Hoover's FBI. If any official institution was in a position to celebrate the collection of Leninists, Trotskyites and heavy drinkers that made up the New York School, it was the CIA.
Until now there has been no first-hand evidence to prove that this connection was made, but for the first time a former case officer, Donald Jameson, has broken the silence. Yes, he says, the agency saw Abstract Expressionism as an opportunity, and yes, it ran with it.
"Regarding Abstract Expressionism, I'd love to be able to say that the CIA invented it just to see what happens in New York and downtown SoHo tomorrow!" he joked. "But I think that what we did really was to recognise the difference. It was recognised that Abstract Expression- ism was the kind of art that made Socialist Realism look even more stylised and more rigid and confined than it was. And that relationship was exploited in some of the exhibitions.
"In a way our understanding was helped because Moscow in those days was very vicious in its denunciation of any kind of non-conformity to its own very rigid patterns. And so one could quite adequately and accurately reason that anything they criticised that much and that heavy- handedly was worth support one way or another."
To pursue its underground interest in America's lefty avant-garde, the CIA had to be sure its patronage could not be discovered. "Matters of this sort could only have been done at two or three removes," Mr Jameson explained, "so that there wouldn't be any question of having to clear Jackson Pollock, for example, or do anything that would involve these people in the organisation. And it couldn't have been any closer, because most of them were people who had very little respect for the government, in particular, and certainly none for the CIA. If you had to use people who considered themselves one way or another to be closer to Moscow than to Washington, well, so much the better perhaps."
This was the "long leash". The centrepiece of the CIA campaign became the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a vast jamboree of intellectuals, writers, historians, poets, and artists which was set up with CIA funds in 1950 and run by a CIA agent. It was the beach-head from which culture could be defended against the attacks of Moscow and its "fellow travellers" in the West. At its height, it had offices in 35 countries and published more than two dozen magazines, including Encounter.
The Congress for Cultural Freedom also gave the CIA the ideal front to promote its covert interest in Abstract Expressionism. It would be the official sponsor of touring exhibitions; its magazines would provide useful platforms for critics favourable to the new American painting; and no one, the artists included, would be any the wiser.
This organisation put together several exhibitions of Abstract Expressionism during the 1950s. One of the most significant, "The New American Painting", visited every big European city in 1958-59. Other influential shows included "Modern Art in the United States" (1955) and "Masterpieces of the Twentieth Century" (1952).
Because Abstract Expressionism was expensive to move around and exhibit, millionaires and museums were called into play. Pre-eminent among these was Nelson Rockefeller, whose mother had co-founded the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As president of what he called "Mummy's museum", Rockefeller was one of the biggest backers of Abstract Expressionism (which he called "free enterprise painting"). His museum was contracted to the Congress for Cultural Freedom to organise and curate most of its important art shows.
The museum was also linked to the CIA by several other bridges. William Paley, the president of CBS broadcasting and a founding father of the CIA, sat on the members' board of the museum's International Programme. John Hay Whitney, who had served in the agency's wartime predecessor, the OSS, was its chairman. And Tom Braden, first chief of the CIA's International Organisations Division, was executive secretary of the museum in 1949.
Now in his eighties, Mr Braden lives in Woodbridge, Virginia, in a house packed with Abstract Expressionist works and guarded by enormous Alsatians. He explained the purpose of the IOD.
"We wanted to unite all the people who were writers, who were musicians, who were artists, to demonstrate that the West and the United States was devoted to freedom of expression and to intellectual achievement, without any rigid barriers as to what you must write, and what you must say, and what you must do, and what you must paint, which was what was going on in the Soviet Union. I think it was the most important division that the agency had, and I think that it played an enormous role in the Cold War."
He confirmed that his division had acted secretly because of the public hostility to the avant-garde: "It was very difficult to get Congress to go along with some of the things we wanted to do - send art abroad, send symphonies abroad, publish magazines abroad. That's one of the reasons it had to be done covertly. It had to be a secret. In order to encourage openness we had to be secret."
If this meant playing pope to this century's Michelangelos, well, all the better: "It takes a pope or somebody with a lot of money to recognise art and to support it," Mr Braden said. "And after many centuries people say, 'Oh look! the Sistine Chapel, the most beautiful creation on Earth!' It's a problem that civilisation has faced ever since the first artist and the first millionaire or pope who supported him. And yet if it hadn't been for the multi-millionaires or the popes, we wouldn't have had the art."
Would Abstract Expressionism have been the dominant art movement of the post-war years without this patronage? The answer is probably yes. Equally, it would be wrong to suggest that when you look at an Abstract Expressionist painting you are being duped by the CIA.
But look where this art ended up: in the marble halls of banks, in airports, in city halls, boardrooms and great galleries. For the Cold Warriors who promoted them, these paintings were a logo, a signature for their culture and system which they wanted to display everywhere that counted. They succeeded.
* The full story of the CIA and modern art is told in 'Hidden Hands' on Channel 4 next Sunday at 8pm. The first programme in the series is screened tonight. Frances Stonor Saunders is writing a book on the cultural Cold War.
In 1958 the touring exhibition "The New American Painting", including works by Pollock, de Kooning, Motherwell and others, was on show in Paris. The Tate Gallery was keen to have it next, but could not afford to bring it over. Late in the day, an American millionaire and art lover, Julius Fleischmann, stepped in with the cash and the show was brought to London.
The money that Fleischmann provided, however, was not his but the CIA's. It came through a body called the Farfield Foundation, of which Fleischmann was president, but far from being a millionaire's charitable arm, the foundation was a secret conduit for CIA funds.
So, unknown to the Tate, the public or the artists, the exhibition was transferred to London at American taxpayers' expense to serve subtle Cold War propaganda purposes. A former CIA man, Tom Braden, described how such conduits as the Farfield Foundation were set up. "We would go to somebody in New York who was a well-known rich person and we would say, 'We want to set up a foundation.' We would tell him what we were trying to do and pledge him to secrecy, and he would say, 'Of course I'll do it,' and then you would publish a letterhead and his name would be on it and there would be a foundation. It was really a pretty simple device."
Julius Fleischmann was well placed for such a role. He sat on the board of the International Programme of the Museum of Modern Art in New York - as did several powerful figures close to the CIA.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.
Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ''eco- refugees,' ' threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.
He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.
As the warming melts polar icecaps, ocean levels will rise by up to three feet, enough to cover the Maldives and other flat island nations, Brown told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday.
Coastal regions will be inundated; one-sixth of Bangladesh could be flooded, displacing a fourth of its 90 million people. A fifth of Egypt's arable land in the Nile Delta would be flooded, cutting off its food supply, according to a joint UNEP and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study.
''Ecological refugees will become a major concern, and what's worse is you may find that people can move to drier ground, but the soils and the natural resources may not support life. Africa doesn't have to worry about land, but would you want to live in the Sahara?'' he said.
UNEP estimates it would cost the United States at least $100 billion to protect its east coast alone.
Shifting climate patterns would bring back 1930s Dust Bowl conditions to Canadian and U.S. wheatlands, while the Soviet Union could reap bumper crops if it adapts its agriculture in time, according to a study by UNEP and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
Excess carbon dioxide is pouring into the atmosphere because of humanity's use of fossil fuels and burning of rain forests, the study says. The atmosphere is retaining more heat than it radiates, much like a greenhouse.
The most conservative scientific estimate that the Earth's temperature will rise 1 to 7 degrees in the next 30 years, said Brown.
The difference may seem slight, he said, but the planet is only 9 degrees warmer now than during the 8,000-year Ice Age that ended 10,000 years ago.
Brown said if the warming trend continues, ''the question is will we be able to reverse the process in time? We say that within the next 10 years, given the present loads that the atmosphere has to bear, we have an opportunity to start the stabilizing process.''
He said even the most conservative scientists ''already tell us there's nothing we can do now to stop a ... change'' of about 3 degrees.
''Anything beyond that, and we have to start thinking about the significant rise of the sea levels ... we can expect more ferocious storms, hurricanes, wind shear, dust erosion.''
He said there is time to act, but there is no time to waste.
UNEP is working toward forming a scientific plan of action by the end of 1990, and the adoption of a global climate treaty by 1992. In May, delegates from 103 nations met in Nairobi, Kenya - where UNEP is based - and decided to open negotiations on the treaty next year.
Nations will be asked to reduce the use of fossil fuels, cut the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases such as methane and fluorocarbons, and preserve the rain forests.
''We have no clear idea about the ecological minimum of green space that the planet needs to function effectively. What we do know is that we are destroying the tropical rain forest at the rate of 50 acres a minute, about one football field per second,'' said Brown.
Each acre of rain forest can store 100 tons of carbon dioxide and reprocess it into oxygen.
Brown suggested that compensating Brazil, Indonesia and Kenya for preserving rain forests may be necessary.
The European Community istalking about a half-cent levy on each kilowatt- hour of fossil fuels to raise $55 million a year to protect the rain forests, and other direct subsidies may be possible, he said.
The treaty could also call for improved energy efficiency, increasing conservation, and for developed nations to transfer technology to Third World nations to help them save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions, said Brown.
What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source? - FAQ - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Ontario's new climate-change plan will cost the average household $13 a month '-- far less than a carbon tax that would have meant a monthly hit of up to $107, according to an internal report on the scheme.
Premier Kathleen Wynne's cap-and-trade proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enshrined in legislation expected to pass Wednesday, will drag on the economy by 0.03 per cent in 2020.
Growth forecast to be 11 per cent between 2015 and 2020 will be adjusted downward to 10.97 per cent, having roughly the same effect on the provincial economy as a statutory holiday.
That's according to a government draft obtained by the Star of the ''impact modeling and analysis'' of Ontario's new carbon-pricing program being done along with Quebec and Ontario.
Prepared by EnviroEconomics, which advises governments on the economic effect of environmental policy changes, the report warned a carbon tax on fuels to curb emissions would be more expensive for consumers.
Under Wynne's plan, gasoline prices will rise by 4.3 cents a litre and the average monthly natural gas bill will jump $5 next year.
''Households will experience some cost increase related to carbon pricing. The average energy costs to households for building energy and transport could rise in the order (of) $13 per month in 2017,'' said the EnviroEconomics study.
In all, the system will bring in an additional $1.3 billion annually to the treasury, which, by law, must spent on environmental initiatives such as retrofitting inefficient buildings and boosting the number of charging stations for electric cars.
But to achieve Ontario's ambitious targets '-- cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030, and 80 per cent by 2050 '-- a carbon tax on fuels would have been even more costly.
''With alternative options, household costs could be four to eight times higher,'' the EnviroEconomics study said of carbon taxes.
The firm concluded the average household would spend between $48 and $107 more a month if carbon taxes were slapped directly on gasoline and natural gas. Such levies would also have caused a drop in gross domestic product of between 0.21 per cent and 0.4 per cent.
''This gives us the best bang for the buck,'' one official said Monday of the cap-and-trade system that discourages carbon emissions through a complicated system of credits.
Businesses will have greenhouse gas limits, or caps, and those coming in under theirs can sell or trade credits.
This is to create an economic incentive to pollute less.
An industry's overall cap will gradually be lowered in order to reduce pollution, which should promote the use of greener energy sources such as wind and solar power in homes and electric cars on roads.
Ontario expects to cut 18.7 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. (In perspective, the province's output was 170.2 megatonnes in 2014, lower than the 210.6 megatonnes spewed out in 2005, the reduction thanks mostly to ending coal-fired electricity generation.)
But of that 18.7 megatonnes, EnviroEconomics notes that only 3.8 megatonnes will actually be in Ontario '-- the rest could be slashed in Quebec and California, though this province would still get credit for the reduction in the three-jurisdiction cap-and-trade program.
The report also found Ontario's exports would drop by 0.51 per cent in 2020 due to the carbon-pricing, although a straight carbon tax would have triggered a drop of anywhere between 2.5 per cent and 8.4 per cent.
As well, it points out more than 50 different ''carbon-intensive'' industries, including auto manufacturing, cement, chemicals, forestry, iron and steel, and petroleum, face some risk under the forthcoming regime.
Environment Minister Glen Murray insisted Monday that that's why the government will have ''transitional assistance'' to help businesses adjust to the new reality of polluting less.
''There's nine large emitting industry associations '-- if you look at the 158 large emitting sites in Ontario '-- that are going to be reducing, whether it's a cement factory or steel plant, or refinery,'' said Murray.
''We're working closely with them. We're actually seeing plans come forward by many industry sectors about how they want to manage it,'' he said. ''(We) will have several billion dollars over the next four to five years to invest in those plans to help them make that transformation, as they are in Quebec, and as they are in California.''
''Remember, our industries support cap-and-trade over (a carbon) tax . . . because they realize that a market-mechanism system is better than a politically defined system.''
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she is worried about the consequences of what Murray is proposing.
''We're concerned about jobs, we're concerned about everyday people and their ability to afford these kinds of changes,'' said Horwath, urging the government to reveal its full plan as soon as possible.
''Some of these changes seem quite substantial.''
Progressive Conservative MPP John Yakabuski (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke) expressed alarm that the Liberal plan could ''cripple the economy'' and spell ''disaster'' for Ontario families.
''It just doesn't make any sense. It's wonderful to be as green as possible, but it has to be plausible. It has to be realistic,'' said Yakabuski.
With files from Rob Ferguson
The Transgender Movement Targets Autistic Children - Crisis Magazine
Last May, Dr. Kathleen Levinstein, a professor of social work at the University of Michigan, wrote a heartbreaking piece about her autistic daughter, a teenaged girl who became convinced that she was really a man trapped inside a woman's body. With encouragement from transgender activists at the local organization of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), the vulnerable young woman took sex-altering hormones and cut off her breasts. Dr. Levinstein now grieves the mutilation of her daughter's body and the increased psychological confusion her daughter is experiencing as a result of the hormones.
She states, ''She has been taken advantage of. Healthy organs were amputated'.... It is a crime not just against women, but particularly against disabled women. So many of these young women who are 'transitioning' are also autistic.''
Some contemporary studies have made a connection between gender ''dysphoria'' and autism. A recent article in The Atlantic uses these studies to push the idea that ''transitioning'' is a healthy, even necessary, option for those on the spectrum who want it. The author asserts that any effort to discourage such ''medical care'' to those with special needs is callous. In this way, The Atlantic interweaves natural sympathy for the growing autism awareness movement with transgender ideology.
The Atlantic has it backwards. To help and protect individuals on the spectrum, there needs to be greater awareness of transgenderism's lies and why those on the spectrum could be susceptible to its manipulation. Encouraging sex-change or an alternate gender identity is destructive to individuals with autism or Asperger's (previously in a separate diagnostic category), only furthering their private pain.
Why would those who are neurobiologically different also come to see themselves as a different biological sex with the rising influence of the transgender movement? Neurologically atypical individuals spend much of their childhood and adolescence quietly struggling with how others misunderstand them and how they understand themselves. It is critical to understand this struggle in order to push back against the encroachment of transgender ideology into the gifted and special needs community.
With boys, the struggle may be outwardly noticeable. With young girls, the struggle is often more hidden (and undiagnosed). I can offer some insight into this struggle through my own childhood experience as an undiagnosed girl with Asperger's.
As a child, I flapped my hands and engaged in what it called ''stimming.'' My particular type of stimming involved opening my mouth wide in a self-stimulatory manner. My jaw dropped and my hands shook repetitively while my voice sounded as if it was out-of-breath (I wasn't struggling for breath at all). Most clinicians in the 1970s and 1980s did not even know what ''stimming'' was. Autism was not fully on the cultural radar yet and the groundbreaking writings of Hans Asperger had only been recently translated from the original German. I loved stimming and still do. It felt relaxing: a kind of natural, harmless high in the brain that others around me would never know and could not attain. Nonetheless, I learned at a young age to only stimmy in private so as to avoid ridicule.
From a young age, I always knew I was different in some way. Females with Asperger's often go unrecognized because young girls are better able to ''fake it until they make it'' in the neurotypical world. They are better at it up to a point. That point is usually adolescence. During adolescence, the stresses of holding all the quirks and idiosyncrasies in check can be too much to bear in the face of increased social expectations.
As a result, Asperger's girls growing up often prefer the company of boys and generally find it far easier to relate with males. As psychiatrist Martin L. Kutscher writes in The Syndrome Mix, ''Many women who have Asperger's syndrome have described to psychologists and in autobiographies how they sometimes think they have a male rather than a female brain, having a greater understanding and appreciation of the interests, thinking, and humor of boys during their early school years.'' Sound familiar? This aspect of their cerebral wiring'--the conflict between what they feel, how they perceive the world and how the world perceives them'--existed long before the neo-Gnosticism of transgender ideology came into vogue.
Their thinking is often highly literal. Their mothers struggle to understand them and they find it easier to relate to their fathers.
Due to their unusual traits, they are also prime targets for bullying by ''mean girls'' during adolescence, further alienating them. I can attest to that from personal experience having ended up with a concussion and blood streaming down my face in middle school. These girls are not ''boys trapped in a girl's body.'' These are girls who think differently and are often misunderstood by the other young girls around them. They don't need to be encouraged to become males. Others need to be encouraged to better understand them as unique young women.
Boys on the spectrum face other sets of struggles. Sensory-seeking little boys may like to touch the ruffles, tutus or lace on girls' clothes for comfort. They often have delayed gross motor skills, making it difficult for them to engage in the contact sports through which boys generally bond. Boys who toe-walk due to problems with their vestibular system may be mocked for ''walking like a girl'' or ''acting girly.'' Boys on the spectrum are routinely bullied or rejected by other boys, leading them to question their very identity as boys.
You could explain to parents and teachers that boys touching girls' clothes need greater sensory input. You could encourage parents to help their children improve gross motor skills through physical therapy or individualized sports such as gymnastics or martial arts. You could have an occupational therapist work with them on their vestibular system. You could help them develop the friendships with other boys that they desperately crave, such as by finding parents or groups who have children with shared interests or needs.
Or you could play into false and shallow stereotypes of the sexes and tell parents that their child is really a ''girl trapped in a boy's body.'' Sadly, you can see this is already happening just by perusing internet forums for moms of children with Asperger's. Some mothers of Aspies now refer to their sons as ''male-assigned'' rather than boys.
These parents do not need to be told to accept that their child is really a ''male trapped in a woman's body'' or ''a woman trapped in a man's body.'' They need to be further educated on special needs and taught ways to relate to their quirky and gifted son or daughter with Asperger's.
A new campaign has sprung up on social media with the hashtag #AutisticTransPride. A movement telling young people on the spectrum that the identity issues they will struggle with as they grow-up can be solved through sex change or ''gender questioning'' is cruel. Surface changes in clothes and pronouns will solve nothing and only exacerbate their suffering. What they need is not biological alteration, but greater acceptance and understanding of their neurobiological differences.
For a pseudo-religious movement to target this vulnerable population of youths for their own ideological ends is nothing less than child abuse. The latest Atlantic piece is just another shot across the bow. If we do not remain vigilant in speaking the truth, young people with special needs will just be the latest victims in the left-wing cultural assault against human biology.
It's gone completely off the deep end and is not conducive to national greatness:Beginning on Jan. 1, prostitution by minors will be legal in California. Yes, you read that right.
SB 1322 bars law enforcement from arresting sex workers who are under the age of 18 for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, or loitering with the intent to do so. So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution.
This terribly destructive legislation was written and passed by the progressive Democrats who control California's state government with a two-thirds "supermajority." To their credit, they are sincere in their belief that decriminalizing underage prostitution is good public policy that will help victims of sex trafficking. Unfortunately, the reality is that the legalization of underage prostitution suffers from the fatal defect endemic to progressive-left policymaking: it ignores experience, common sense and most of all human nature '-- especially its darker side....
Unfortunately for Californians, SB 1322 isn't an outlier '-- it's only the tip of the liberal iceberg. 2017 will see the Golden State subjected to wave after wave of laws taking effect that are well-intentioned but disastrous embodiments of progressive utopianism.
One such new Democratic-authored law throws open the door to even greater government dependency on the part of the poor by rolling back proven reforms. In 1996, welfare reform was one of the greatest social legislation achievements of the last century, ending the lifetime welfare system and putting millions of Americans on the road to self-reliance and self-respect. In its wake, California lawmakers passed a law barring increased payments to women who have more children while still on welfare, in order to encourage women to achieve independence before having more children.
It's a tough provision that works '-- which was apparently irrelevant to Gov. Jerry Brown, who just signed a bill repealing that prohibition. Henceforth, no matter how many children someone has while on welfare, the state government will ratchet up payments with each child, with no limit.
I think it is giving California's lunatic left entirely too much credit to assume they are sincere in any beliefs. So, here is a three-step plan for the God-Emperor to Make America Great Again.Relocate all post-1965 non-Americans and dual citizens to California. Settle them on the copious national parkland there.Declare California independent. Build the Wall with California on the other side.He can even sweeten the deal by letting California off the hook for their pro-rata share of the national debt.
Ebola vaccine is safe and effective, scientists declare after trials | World news | The Guardian
A woman receives an Ebola vaccine at a health centre in Conakry, Guinea, in March 2015. Photograph: Cellou Binani/AFP/Getty Images
A vaccine for Ebola which has completed successful trials in Guinea and Sierra Leone means the virus should never again be able to wreak the havoc it did during the recent epidemic in west Africa, say scientists.
More than 11,000 people died in the outbreak, which began unnoticed in December 2013 and spread across the region, infecting at least 28,600 people and triggering a global response, including a race to get an effective vaccine tested and into use.
Final results for the vaccine that was rushed into trials in Guinea and later Sierra Leone show that it was highly effective against one of the most lethal known pathogens in existence. Ten days after vaccination, none of the trial subjects developed Ebola virus disease. The very few who did, in the days immediately following vaccination, are thought to have been infected already.
''While these compelling results come too late for those who lost their lives during west Africa's Ebola epidemic, they show that when the next Ebola outbreak hits, we will not be defenceless,'' said Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, the World Health Organisation's assistant director general for health systems and innovation, and the study's lead author.
Dr Marie-Paule Kieny of the WHO announces the results at the United Nations in Geneva on 22 December. Photograph: Martial Trezzini/EPAMerck, Sharp & Dohme, the company manufacturing the vaccine, has received permission to go through fast-track procedures for a licence from the US and European regulatory authorities. It has committed to making 300,000 doses that will be ready for any emergency even before formal approval, with $5m (£4m) in funding from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
The trial began in the coastal region of Basse-Guin(C)e, which still had cases in 2015, even though the numbers were abating across the region. Writing in the Lancet medical journal, the scientists say it was not easy.
''A devastating outbreak of Ebola virus disease is clearly not the ideal situation for doing a vaccine trial. The healthcare system in Guinea was strained, potential trial participants were worried about a candidate vaccine made by foreign people, and the Ebola virus disease response teams were facing security issues,'' they write.
They collaborated closely with the government and local authorities in Guinea and chose a ''ring vaccination'' design for the trial, which was unusual but had been successful in helping stamp out smallpox decades ago.
When a new case of Ebola was diagnosed, the teams offered vaccination to everybody who had been in contact with that person in the previous three weeks, from family to friends and neighbours. They also offered vaccination to the closest contacts of those contacts. This cluster '' or ring '' amounted to around 80 people on average. Altogether, 117 such rings or clusters were identified. At first, adults were randomly assigned to get the vaccine immediately or three weeks later, but when it became clear that the vaccine was protecting most people, everybody was offered immediate vaccination, including children.
A baby receives a vaccine in Freetown, Sierra Leone, November 2014. Photograph: Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty ImagesAmong the 5,837 people who received the vaccine, still known only as rVSV-ZEBOV, no Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination. Among those who were not vaccinated, there were 23 cases. There were very few serious side-effects '' one case of fever and one of anaphylaxis (allergic reaction) thought to be related to the vaccine.
The authors of the study say the ring design was also helpful in ending the outbreak and suggest it could be a useful way to tackle the disease in future.
Co-author John Edmunds, professor of infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, whose team helped design the trial, said: ''This novel and historic trial, conducted under the most difficult of circumstances, has demonstrated that the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine is safe and effective. When Ebola strikes again we will be in a much better position to offer help to affected communities, as well as protect the brave volunteers who help control this terrible disease.''
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, which supported the trial, said the outcome was ''simply remarkable'' and demonstrated what was possible even in the midst of a raging epidemic. ''We've shown that by working collaboratively, across international borders and sectors, we can develop and test vaccines rapidly and use them to help bring epidemics to an end,'' he said.
''Had a vaccine been available earlier in the Ebola epidemic, thousands of lives might have been saved. We have to get ahead of the curve and make promising diagnostics, drugs and vaccines for diseases we know could be a threat in the future. My hope is that this success story provides the inspiration we need to make this happen and change the way the world prepares for epidemics.''
Dr Sakoba K(C)ita, coordinator of the Ebola response and director of the National Agency for Health Security in Guinea, said: ''Ebola left a devastating legacy in our country. We are proud that we have been able to contribute to developing a vaccine that will prevent other nations from enduring what we endured.''
Twitter users publish photo of passport of Kyrgyz citizen allegedly 'belonging to Istanbul night club shooter'AKIPRESS.COM - Turkish Twitter users posted and retweeted a photo of alleged passport of Kyrgyz citizen identified as "Iakhe Mashrapov" who "could be the suspected Istanbul night club shooter." The shooter is still at large since January 1.
Kyrgyz state registration authorities were not immediately available to confirm/reject the validity of the passport seen in the photo.
The image shows the passport of the citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic belonging to "Iakhe Mashrapov", male, born on August 2, 1988. In the photo, the document issue date is October 21, 2016, the issuer is the State Registration Service of the Kyrgyz Republic.
This passport could be real, however the person owning the document might have nothing to do with the terrorist attack in Istanbul as official confirmation is awaited.
The Reina nightclub on Istanbul's European side was attacked during New Year's eve celebrations by a man who, according to witnesses, was talking in Arabic. The attacker is said to have opened fire from a Kalashnikov assault rifle. At least 39 people were killed, including 16 foreigners, and 69 injured as a result of the attack.
Initial Turkish police reports suggested that the suspect may be from Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan, while officials are also investigating the possibility that the attacker may be from Xinjiang in eastern China. Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Ministry says it is looking into media reports that the gunman in the New Year's Eve night club attack in Istanbul could be from the Central Asian country.
The Daesh terror group claimed the attack on Monday. Police arrested eight suspects on Monday in connection with the nightclub attack.
The manhunt is underway.
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17:47Iakhe Mashrapov denies any involvement in Istanbul night club shooting (interview)
16:49Uzbekistan, Germany vow to cooperate in maintaining ecosystem of Amudarya
16:45Gold price surges above $1,150.0 per troy ounce in week
16:32At least 100 homes burned as fire erupts in Valparaiso, Chile
16:30Uzbekistan, Singapore to jointly create fertilizer production plant
16:22Islamic State kills 24 with Baghdad car bomb, attack police stations in Samarra
16:19Turkmenistan sets up fund for protection and improvement of historical and cultural monuments
16:182016 seen Kyrgyz-UK trade grown: Ministry of Economy
16:17Turkmenistan's Representatives to UN Food and Agricultural Organization, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons named
16:10Mongolia raises monthly minimum wage by 25%
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FBI SCAM-New York KKK member jailed after X-ray gun plans to kill Muslims | World | News | Daily Express
Glendon Scott Crawford, a self-confessed member of a white supremacist group, wanted to use the killer radiation device as a weapon of mass destruction against Muslims.
A Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation concluded that the 52-year-old was "an extremist" who wanted to kill Muslims while they slept with lethal doses of radiation.
FBI agents, whose undercover operation discovered the plot, said the mass murder plan would have worked if it had been carried out.
Mr Crawford and his co-conspirator Eric Feight were only caught out after they asked the KKK and Jewish synagogues if they would help fund the weapon.
Crawford wanted to kill Muslims while they sleptIn their meetings with undercover agents, the pair said the "death ray gun" would blast Muslims, whom he labelled "medical waste".
If the plan was completed, the truck-mounted radiation particle weapon would aim a lethal beam of radioactivity near mosques, Islamic community centres and schools.
All those targeted would eventually die from radiation sickness within two weeks.
The gun would be mounted inside a truck and driven to an area with a high population of MuslimsCrawford planned to kill Muslims on account of their religion
Department of Justice spokesman
The DOJ spokesman said: "His goal was to modify an industrial-grade X-ray radiation device and use it to cause death or injury by exposing people to lethal doses of ionizing radiation.
"Crawford planned to kill Muslims on account of their religion and other people whose political and social beliefs he disagreed with, including government officials."
Mr Crawford, who bought the radiation device from FBI agents posing as businessmen, was arrested last year during a DOJ raid.
While Mr Feight was sentenced to eight years in prison, Mr Crawford was sentenced to thirty years.
FBI agents stormed the New York mechanics houseCCTV
The FBI said the plot would have worked had they not intervenedThe mechanic from New York is the first person to be convicted under a 2004 law that makes it illegal to produce a radiological dispersal device.
The investigation began in 2012 when Mr Crawford visited a synagogue and "asked to speak with a person who might be willing to help him with a type of technology that could be used by Israel to defeat its enemies, specifically, by killing Israel's enemies while they slept".
According to the court reports, Mr Crawford also described the device's capabilities as "Hiroshima on a light switch" and that "everything with respiration would be dead by the morning".
Prosecutors wrote: "His plot to murder people he did not know was designed to, in his oft-repeated words, 'take his country back' from government leaders by forcing them to change government conduct he perceived as favouring Muslims."
54% of organizations have not advanced their GDPR compliance readiness
More than half of organizations have failed to begin any work on meeting minimum General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance, according to a study conducted by Vanson Bourne.
Intended to harmonize data security, retention and governance legislation across European Union (EU) member states, GDPR requires greater oversight of where and how sensitive data'--including personal, credit card, banking and health information'--is stored and transferred, and how access to it is policed and audited by organizations. GDPR will not only affect companies within the EU, but extend globally to the U.S. and other countries, impacting any company that conducts business in the region or with an EU organization.
The research findings from The Global Databerg Report'--which surveyed more than 2,500 senior technology decision makers in 2016 across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the U.S. and Asia Pacific'--reveal 54 percent of organizations have not advanced their GDPR compliance readiness.
With a quarter of the EU's grace period over before the legislation takes effect in May 2018, the responses bring into focus a number of operational, compliance and planning issues, in particular the ownership of GDPR processes and the ability to implement data cleansing policies and end of life requirements.
Unclear Executive Ownership of GDPRFindings from the research revealed a lack of preparedness for GDPR and confusion over who is ultimately responsible for its adherence and compliance. Almost one third, or 32 percent, of survey respondents believe the Chief Information Officer is responsible for GDPR, compared to 21 percent for the Chief Information Security Officer, 14 percent for the Chief Executive Officer and 10 percent for the Chief Data Officer.
According to the survey, those individuals responsible for implementing a GDPR process also face a variety of risks if data is not handled properly. Just under one third, or 31 percent, of respondents were worried about reputational damage to their organizations from poor data policies, while almost 40 percent were fearful of a major compliance failing within their business.
Data Pressure PointsFragmentation of data and loss of visibility are among the biggest data challenges organizations face, making it more difficult to comply with GDPR regulations. An estimated 35 percent of those surveyed flagged this issue as their biggest concern. In particular, the rise of unmanaged cloud-based file storage and consumer file-sharing services in the enterprise raised fears about future compliance issues.
A quarter of respondents admitted to using cloud-based services, such as Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, EMC Simplicity or Microsoft OneDrive, against their current company policies. Another 25 percent reported running unrecognized off-site file storage services, making it even harder for IT departments to manage their use with recognized tools.
In addition to the storage challenges, respondents pointed to perceived risk factors that any security and regulatory compliance must address. Over one half, or 52 percent, of respondents said they were concerned about the threat of data loss from the business, with 48 percent particularly concerned about data being lost in transit between sites and systems. Four in 10 respondents were also concerned about employees mishandling data and undermining compliance efforts in the process.
The right to be forgottenWith GDPR, businesses must analyze and act on legitimate requests from individuals to have their data purged by organizations if it is no longer relevant or necessary. However, the combination of data fragmentation and unstructured data hoarding within organizations makes it almost impossible for companies to comply with these requests.
The lack of visibility into dark data and information held outside of corporate IT systems complicates compliance and exposes organizations to substantial financial and legal risk. These and other GDPR compliance failures carry a harsh financial cost for businesses: a maximum fine of '¬20 million ($22.3 million) or up to four percent of worldwide revenue, whichever is higher.
''GDPR is the most significant change to data protection in a generation and an imminent global issue that will dominate data privacy, management and regulation discussions in 2017,'' said Mike Palmer, Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer, Veritas. ''To avoid potential regulatory fines or worse, damage to their corporate brands and reputations, global enterprises must take action now to understand where their data resides and how to protect it.''
CES 2017: Tech preview of Las Vegas's biggest launches - BBC News
Media captionWATCH: A device that lets children create their own bedtime stories is just one of thousands of new products that will go on show at CESCES provides a first glimpse at the future.
Pretty much all of the tech giants attend the vast Vegas expo - either to unveil new products or to clinch deals behind the scene.
But in recent years it's been start-ups that have had many of the most eye-arresting and sensational reveals.
There are more at this year's show than ever before, thanks in part to crowdfunding. They now have to convince retailers - hunting through the halls for the next bestsellers - that the promise of their concept videos has been delivered upon.
Media captionWATCH: A start-up offering virtual reality thrills without the need for a headset is one of more than 200 French companies at CES this yearDozens of start-ups are also there thanks to help from governments and other national bodies - France, Israel, Ukraine and the Netherlands all have stands where they'll fly the flag for local talent.
But China may make the biggest splash with more than 1,300 registered exhibitors.
"Every year at CES I meet the people who work on the technology that affects our lives and you can see literally every part of the tech industry represented," innovation evangelist Robert Scoble told the BBC.
Of course, there's a lot of crud too - the challenge is to distinguish the potential hits from the glitch-ridden flops.
Below, we have picked what could be some of the week's highlights:
Voice control and other new interfacesCES marks the beginning of a land grab by three of the leading virtual assistants: Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana and the Google Assistant.
The companies all want their voice-controlled AIs to power third-party products. And Amazon looks to have the head start.
Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage caption The C by GE table lamp has a central blue ring that responds when Alexa is summoned The headphones specialist OnVocal will be showing off wireless earphones that link up to Alexa, and GE has also preannounced a table lamp that doubles as a speaker powered by Amazon's voice service. Sonos too aims to add the facility to its wireless speakers, though we believe it isn't quite ready to show off its efforts.
But don't count the other two out.
We know Microsoft is working with Harman Kardon on a "premium audio" speaker, and the firm has teased adding Cortana to other types of products, including toasters. And Google has secured at least one bit of kit at CES - the Aivia speaker - to host its cloud-based intelligence.
Image copyrightAiviaImage caption Aivia says its smart speaker will be equipped with Google Assistant One expert suggested others will also try to gatecrash the party.
It's not all about voice though.
The French start-up Bixi will be making the case for gesture controls. It will be demoing the final design of a gizmo that lets you control smartphones and tablets with a wave of a hand.
Media captionWATCH: Bixi's glowing pad lets smartphones and tablets be controlled with a wave of the handMore groundbreaking perhaps is the Blitab, a tactile tablet described as the iPad for the blind.
The Austrian innovation produces small physical bubbles in an area above its touchscreen which delivers refresh double lines of dynamic Braille.
Image copyrightBlitabImage caption Blitab plans to show off an Android tablet with a dynamic braille display Year of the robot?We're still decades away from having the type of androids seen on TV shows such as Westworld or Humans.
But CES is still an opportunity to see how far along more specialised kit has become.
London-based Emotech is one to watch.
Image copyrightEmotechImage caption The Olly robot learns over time how best to behave with different users It will unveil Olly - a tabletop bot with its own smart assistant that recognises different household members and adapts it personality to suit each one.
The project was developed with help from academics at University College London, Imperial College and Edinburgh University, and has already secured $10m (£8.2m) of investment from China.
There will also be a range of modular robots.
Several companies are backing the concept, which allows users to switch about parts to change skills and manoeuvrability.
Image copyrightEvovacsImage caption The Unibot offers changes function depending on which modules are connected to its base Examples will include Modi, a Lego-style kit that lets owners build a bot out of small cubes - each offering different functions such as motors, lights and infra-red detectors.
Another is Unibot, a robotic vacuum cleaner that trebles up as a mobile home security camera and an air purifier/humidifier.
Meanwhile, OAPs can look forward to Cutii, a robot that resembles an iPad on wheels, which will supposedly become their "companion".
And there will also be bots that zoom round tennis courts picking up balls, remove droppings from cat litter, and even move physical chess pieces around a board.
Image copyrightITRI Taiwan/Auto-pets/Yumii/TennibotImage caption There will be a range of robots specialising in niche tasks at the show Keep an eye out for Laundroid, too. The Japanese clothes-folding machine raised $60m from Panasonic and others for its giant clothes-folding droid following an appearance at last year's CES.
Some have described the idea as ridiculous.
But it will be interesting to see if it works well enough to go on sale later this year, as planned.
Image copyrightSeven DreamersImage caption Potential buyers of the Laundroid will have to make sure they have room to install it Health and wearables
Pregnancy seems to be one of health tech's preoccupations this year.
There is both Ava, a sensor-equipped wristband that apparently alerts women to when they are most fertile, and Trakfertility, a DIY sperm count test that tells an associated app what steps the owner should take to boost their numbers.
Image copyrightAva ScienceImage caption Ava claims its wearable will help women "understand" their bodies better to help them get pregnant And just in case you are tempted to pair off with the wrong partner, Milo Sensors is in town with what it describes as the world's first blood alcohol wearable.
It's easy to joke, but health tech is booming and analysts are competing to predict how many billions of pounds it will be worth in a decade's time.
The ultimate goal is to create something resembling Star Trek's Tricoder - an all-in-one device that diagnoses any ailment.
An Israeli start-up will be showing off a gadget that promises to get us at least partly there.
Image copyrightTytoCareImage caption TytoCare says it wants to put "health in the hands of consumers" with its diagnostic devices The TytoHome is designed to let families take heart, lungs, throat, abdomen and other organs' readings and send them to their clinicians. Its slogan is a "check-up without the check-in", but medics may need convincing.
There will doubtless be new twists on the fitness tracker too. It would be unwise to suggest the market for such devices has peaked - Fitbit's app topped Apple's App Store this Christmas, indicating people are still buying them in droves.
But a more intriguing development is wearables with built-in airbags.
Image copyrightInemotion/ActiveProtectiveImage caption At least two companies at CES are trying to adapt the car's airbag for the human body ActiveProtective is promising to show off a prototype smart belt for the elderly that triggers a cushioning action over their hips if it detects a fall.
And Inemotion has developed ski racing clothes with a similar function to prevent injuries on the piste.
France's Wair has a different spin on discreet wearable tech with a internet-connected scarf that doubles as an air filter.
Media captionWATCH: Wair's smart scarf promises cleaner air with a focus on fashionBut the question remains whether wearable tech has a profitable future beyond health.
There will be more app-laden smartwatches - including the possibility of the first Android Wear 2.0 devices - at the show, but the sector has not been the hit many had predicted.
We're also promised the world's first vibrating tight cut jeans that offer their wearers directions without having to look at a screen.
Image copyrightSpinali DesignImage caption Spinali Design's jeans connect to a smartphone to buzz different sides of the wearer's body to direct them to turn left or right TelevisionsIf you had asked the experts a decade ago, they would probably have predicted OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs would be the norm by now. But the tech has faced several setbacks.
It's stubbornly refused to become as cheap to manufacture as hoped, it doesn't go as bright as LED equivalents and some complain that it "crushes the blacks" making it hard to distinguish detail in the shadows.
Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage caption Panasonic was once famed for its plasma TVs, now its focus is OLED Even so, OLED retains a wow factor thanks to its ability to control the light of each individual pixel, helping its images to have more "pop", and its screens to be ever thinner.
Panasonic has hinted it will show off an OLED display at CES that will better handle dim scenes, and there is speculation Sony has similar news.
Plus there's reason to believe prices are about to drop.
Until recently, LG manufactured all the OLED panels used by itself and other brands. But now BOE - a Chinese company - has a rival component. The question is who will break ranks to adopt it.
Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage caption QLED, UHD, HDR, HLG - OMG!!! - be prepared to get your head round a lot of acronyms if you want to understand the latest TV tech Expect Samsung to make a loud noise about QLED, a new spin on its "quantum dot" technology that allows its screens to be brighter than ever before.
That's important because of HDR - another acronym you're going to have to get used to. It refers to high dynamic range, which allows images to appear more vibrant and detailed - especially in scenes containing both glints of light and shadows.
Image caption Dolby claims its version of HDR offers the best picture quality, but most TV-makers have opted to support the open source HDR10 standard instead The problem is that there are three rival HDR standards - HDR10, Dolby Vision and the BBC's forthcoming HLG - meaning the potential for another format war.
But it is possible to support all three, so it will be revealing to see if any of manufactures make a commitment to do so with their new screens.
Smart home and other "internet-of-things"It's now relatively cheap and power-efficient to add sensors and wireless data links to products. That's led to an explosion of ideas - some more sensible than others.
Image copyrightGenicanIt's debateable how many of us really need Genican, for example, a device that scans rubbish's barcodes as it is thrown away in order to build up a shopping list of replacement items.
Likewise, it's not clear whether an aromatherapy diffuser needs to be smartphone-controlled, even if its scents really boost memory and clean lungs, as claimed.
Media captionWATCH: A new gadget at CES allows users to change the smell of a room via a tap of an app.Where things get more interesting is when tech genuinely makes lives simpler without requiring too much effort.
One way firms are trying to do this is by focusing on the refrigerator.
LG has a model that activates a sterilisation process when it senses temperature and/or humidity issues in order to extend food's shelf life.
And for those who would prefer to retrofit their existing equipment, UK start-up Smarter Applications has Fridgecam: a device that keeps track of what its owners have in stock and when it expires, sending alerts to buy new items when necessary.
Image copyrightSmarter ApplicationsImage caption The Fridgecam shows owners what's in their fridge and can suggest recipes based on the contents But one expert says if the sector is to achieve its potential, consumers need to be reassured that the risks do not outweigh the benefits.
"In the last 18 months the conversation about security and privacy has moved from the tech pages to the front pages of newspapers," said John Curran from the consultancy Accenture.
"To make these devices easy to connect and easy to use, some companies have hardcoded passwords or put no security measures in place, and that made them an easy target.
"At CES we're looking for businesses to be more transparent about what data is being collected, how it's being used and with whom it's being shared.
"And they need to make it easier for consumers to adjust their security settings."
Virtual and augmented realityImage copyrightGetty ImagesImage caption HTC beat Sony and Oculus to bring a virtual reality headset to market in April There are rumours that HTC will unveil a second-generation Vive VR headset at CES - possibly introducing wireless capabilities - but the system is only nine months old, so that seems a tad optimistic.
The two other big virtual reality firms - Sony and Facebook's Oculus division - launched their kit even more recently.
Even so, there should still be lots of developments.
Huawei has just hired Steve LaValle, one of the brains behind Oculus, and the Chinese firm is set to reveal more about its VR plans at the show.
It's a safe bet that several third-party headsets previously teased by Microsoft will also be on display.
Image copyrightMicrosoftImage caption In October, Microsoft disclosed that several firms were working on Windows 10 compatible VR headsets And we will also see the introduction of Fove, a crowdfunded VR headset with eye-tracking abilities, allowing gamers to control action with shifts in their gaze.
Fove won't be the only one trying to offer new ways for users to interact with virtual experiences.
Image copyrightFoveImage caption Fove raised $480,000 for its eye-tracking headset via Kickstarter and plans to start delivering them during the week of CES A foot controller that lets you direct where your character walks, a sensor-laden T-shirt that tracks your torso's movements, and various haptic devices that try to let consumers feel virtual objects are just some of the products with CES stands.
With augmented reality - where graphics and real-world views are mixed together - things are still at an early stage.
But Asus and others may reveal handsets that include Google's Project Tango depth-sensing technology, adding basic AR capabilities.
Image copyrightIntelImage caption Most augmented headsets overlay graphics over the real world, but Intel is taking the reverse approach Intel will have more to say about Project Alloy - a headset that lets you see your hands and other real-world objects within VR worlds.
And a start-up called Occipital will demo a contraption that uses an iPhone to create something akin to Microsoft's HoloLens mixed-reality headset.
While hardware may dominate the headlines, it could be content that determines which products are winners.
Image copyrightOccipitalImage caption Occipital's Bridge headset scans the surrounding area to create a digital copy in which the user can interact with virtual characters "In the US the National Basketball Association recently announced that it will broadcast games in virtual reality," noted Mr Curran.
"And as other big media and content companies get involved, they will attract more types of consumers to VR, rather than just the tech-enthused.
"So, I'll be looking to see which platforms the media providers target as they pursue opportunities in this space."
TransportationThere's going to be a lot of talk and demos of self-driving cars by the big automakers on and off the Las Vegas strip.
Image copyrightRinspeedImage caption Rinspeed will be exhibiting a concept vehicle designed for a self-driving future Menawhile, rival chipmakers - including Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm - will be excitedly pitching their processors and 5G chips as the potential heart of the autonomous vehicle revolution.
But you'll have to wait for a future CES to find anything road-ready that allows the "driver" to really ignore the steering wheel.
Image copyrightBMWImage caption BMW says the functions of its concept car can be controlled without any physical contact This time round, look instead for new ways to interact with your vehicle.
BMW will unveil its HoloActiv Touch system, in which motorists use finger gestures to interact with graphics that project out of dashboard screens.
And Continental will demo facial recognition tech that recognises who is driving and adjusts mirror and seat positions accordingly.
Faraday Future is also back for a second year to convince sceptics that it can launch an electric car before its funds dry up.
Image copyrightFaraday FutureImage caption Faraday Future has posted teaser videos in which it claims its car can accelerate from standstill more quickly than the Tesla Model X There will also be all kinds of alternative transport ideas including an intelligent scooter that shuts off its power if it detects an accident, a motorised rideable suitcase and the latest evolutions of the hoverboard.
Odds and endsAnd we've still barely scratched the surface. There are zones dedicated to drones, beauty tech and 3D printing.
Plus there's room for oddities, such as a device that claims to be able to record smells.
Image copyrightAEE/Magic InstrumentsImage caption AEE will be showing off a "flying selfie stick" while Magic Instruments claims people can learn to play its Mi Guitar in minutes The BBC tech team will do its best to keep you across all the major developments from the first press day on Tuesday until the show floors shut on Sunday.
You can keep up to date at bbc.co.uk/ces2017 and by following our Twitter list of those covering CES.
War on Guns
Obama Administration Finalizes Social Security Gun Ban - Breitbart
Breitbart News reported this ban on July 18, 2015, when it was learned that the Obama administration was creating a ban on gun purchases that would apply to Social Security recipients who needed help managing their finances. The Los Angeles Times reported that the ban would be sweeping; that it would cover those who are unable to manage their own affairs for a multitude of reasons''from ''subnormal intelligence or mental illness'' to ''incompetency,'' an unspecified ''condition,'' or ''disease.''
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In January, Obama incorporated the ban into his executive gun controls. A White House preview of those controls explained that the Social Security Administration (SSA) was putting together rules for how/when to enforce the ban:
Current law prohibits individuals from buying a gun if, because of a mental health issue, they are either a danger to themselves or others or are unable to manage their own affairs. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has indicated that it will begin the rulemaking process to ensure that appropriate information in its records is reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The reporting that SSA, in consultation with the Department of Justice, is expected to require will cover appropriate records of the approximately 75,000 people each year who have a documented mental health issue, receive disability benefits, and are unable to manage those benefits because of their mental impairment, or who have been found by a state or federal court to be legally incompetent. The rulemaking will also provide a mechanism for people to seek relief from the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm for reasons related to mental health.
In early May 2016 the SSA released more information on the ban in a 41-page preview. Page 19 said:
Under our representative payee policy, unless direct payment is prohibited, we presume that an adult beneficiary is capable of managing or directing the management of benefits. However, if we have information that the beneficiary has a mental or physical impairment that prevents him or her from managing or directing the management of benefits, we will develop the issue of capability. If a beneficiary has a mental impairment, we will develop the capability issue if there is an indication that the beneficiary may lack the ability to reason properly, is disoriented, has seriously impaired judgment, or is unable to communicate with others.
In other words, once the beneficiary has the SSA's attention''by having someone help with finances''the process of determining mental health status begins, becoming incrementally intrusive. And if a ruling of mental illness sufficient to meet the reporting threshold is handed down, then the beneficiary will be reported to NICS and prohibited from purchasing firearms.
Despite public outcry, the rules have now been finalized. The NRA-ILA reports:
Barack Obama's Social Security Administration (SSA) issued the final version of a rule that will doom tens of thousands of law-abiding (and vulnerable) disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients to a loss of Second Amendment rights under the guise of re-characterizing them as ''mental defectives.'' The SSA, for the first time in its history, will be coopted into the federal government's gun control apparatus, effectively requiring Social Security applicants to weigh their need for benefits against their fundamental rights when applying for assistance based on mental health problems.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of ''Bullets with AWR Hawkins,'' a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly email@example.com.
The spread of global cash bans continues with Greece unveiling their so-called 'soft' approach by which taxpayers will only be granted tax-allowances or deductions when payments are made via credit or debit cards. As KeepTalkingGreeece reports, the new guidelines refer to employees, pensioners, farmers, and also the unemployed.
Accepted expenditure will be:
purchases for food and supermarket products, electronic and electric devices, household equipment, footwear, clothing, fuel, furniture, cigarettes, drinksRestaurants, cafeterias,bars and hotelsServices like by hairdressers and beauty parlors, gyms and dance schools, car repair, plumbers, electricians, painters, carpenters, lawyers and accountants.For doctors and pharmacy the same practice will be valid as in last year. The tax office will accept the expenditure only if payments are made per credit card or bank transfer.Expenditure for utility bills, landlines and mobile phones, heating, rent, loan repayments that in fact swallow the largest amount of monthly expenditure for private households will not be accepted. Also not accepted is expenditure for toll and transport tickets.In its ''wisdom'' the Greek Finance Ministry has determined the amount the taxpayers will have to pay with electronic money in order to be able to get the tax allowance:
10% for annual income up to '¬10,00015% for annual income '¬10,001-'¬30,00020% for annual income over '¬30,001The famous Greek wisdom in times of austerity, bailout agreements and economic crisis remains the same also in 2017 and as neoliberal as possible since 2010: crack the low and medium incomes, let the rich fly free
Find the Surrealism
income '¬7,000: expenditure per plastic money must be '¬700income '¬10,000: expenditure per plastic money must be '¬1,000income '¬30,000: expenditure per plastic money must be '¬4,500income '¬60,000 expenditure per plastic money must be '¬12,000Should a taxpayer not be able to spend the necessary percentage of the annual income according to the guidelines, the punishment will be a penalty of 22% imposed on the missing difference.
I heard on television that couples will have to spend separately '' but better check with your accountant. The average taxpayer in Greece needs an accountant anyway, someone who will follow the revenue-expedience balance month by month for the sake of the tax office.
In the bizarre Greek world we live in, households will be obliged to spend money even if they do not want to. As the large part of monthly need coverage (utilities etc) is not accepted by the tax office, households who do not manage to reach the necessary percentage through supermarket percentages will have to go and spend like crazy in retail, dance schools and gyms and other goods and service providers.
Exempted from the compulsory usage of credit/debit cards are seniors over 70 years old, residents of remote areas and people with disability over 80%. I suppose they will have to continue the collection of paper receipts.
KTG understands that with these new system, taxpayers will not need to collect the stupid receipts from cash register, where the amount had faded away when they were supposed to be brought to the tax office in a huge plastic bag.
The cap for cash transactions falls from 1,500 until 31.12.2016 down to 500 euro. In simple words: any purchase of good and service over 500 euro will need to be done via plastic money.
Velvet Goldmine and Jack Steven '' The Bowie Plot Thickens
The 1998 British film Velvet Goldmine is about a glam rock icon patterned after David Bowie and his life story (to the extent that he allegedly threatened to sue) who fakes his own death in a publicity stunt: ''In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.'' '' IMDB.
VELVET GOLDMINE =990. CURT WILD =660. BRIAN SLADE =510. Rockstar =51. Conspiracy =51. Freemason =51. Zionism =51.The film came out (11+6+98) =115. (Directed by) Todd Haynes =115. K West =1105. Holy Androgyne =1105. Freemasons =115/690. Psychological Operations =115/690. That's right, 115 is synonymous with 690 and Bowie died at 69.Notice the 660/990 connection with the character and the title?There's a conspiracy theory bouncing around the internet tubes that David Bowie has indeed faked his own death and is now posing as music industry executive Jack Steven. The theory is based on a Sky News appearance by a mysterious man with little background information who looks suspiciously similar to the Starman and who fades in and out of various accents.
MUSIC INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE JACK STEVEN =158. According to his LinkedIn, he's the CEO of KUBA ENTERTAINMENT =1158 and the co-founder of FORTRESS MUSIC =185. The journalist in Velvet Goldmine investigating the fake death of Brian Slade is ARTHUR STUART =185. The 158 and 185 pairing represents the fulfilment of 585, which is interesting because it's the 585th episode of Simpsons that foreshadowed Bowie's death, airing just hours before his death announcement.
Bowie died on 1/10 from ''Liver Cancer'' =110 (2+9+22+5+18+0+3+1+14+3+5+18). Bowie =966. Dead at Sixty-Nine =66. He was born on ''January Eighth''=66. Born David Jones, he changed his name in '66 after the Monkees' Davy Jones achieved stardom. Davy died at age 66 and DAVY AND DAVID JONES =66. Bowie 'died' exactly 17 years and 66 days after the American release of Velvet Goldmine.
Music Industry Executive Jack Steven =131. Curt Wild =1316. David Bowie Ritual Sacrifice =131. Bowie Sacrificed =131. Bowie Heading for Number One =131.Jack Steven =1554. Great Song Writer =1554. Jack Steven =38 (Death / PsyOps / Death Note). Smoke & Mirrors =83.Arthur Stuart =1110. American Singer Curt Wild =111.That's a helluva lotta tight synchronicities coded into all those names, wouldn't you agree? Quite the coincidence otherwise.
Notice the 581 is the reflection of Arthur Stuart =185, Fortress Music =185, Music Industry Executive Jack Steven =158. And double-coded into the tagline is the age of America at the time of Bowie's death. Mind Control Technique =239. The 52nd prime is 239. Blood Contract =52. Masonic Media =52. Imaginary =52.
The October 23 is another clue: 10/23 = 123. Conspiracy =123. Androgyny =123. And OCTOBER TWENTY-THIRD =2036. Super Bowl XLIX =2036 (last year's Bowl). The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars =236. And flip the 6 upside down'... The symbol of transformation, the Luciferian New Age, the transhuman agenda. I mean really, faking your death to become another person is pretty transhuman in itself.
Jack Steven's education is listed as ''UNIVERSITY OF LIFE''=1290. TRANSHUMAN =129. MEMORY HOLE =129. JEDI MIND TRICK =129.And a just as I wrote this, Bowie's song ''Seven'' came on the radio where he sings ''777'' over and over: TRANSHUMANISM AGENDA =777. THE AQUARIUS AGE =777.**Of course it's totally possible that Bowie actually died and Jack Steven is simply a bizarro doppelg¤nger and this is all just another white rabbit sleight of hand distraction from something else'...
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO - 4 in custody after mentally disabled man tied up, tortured on Facebook Live | WFLD
Chicago investigators are questioning four African-Americans after a Facebook Live video shows a group of people torturing a white mentally disabled man while someone yelled "F*** Trump!" and "F*** white people!"
FOX 32 NEWS - Chicago investigators are questioning four African-Americans after a Facebook Live video shows a group of people torturing a white mentally disabled man while someone yelled "F*** Trump!" and "F*** white people!"
Chicago police were made aware of the video Tuesday afternoon. A young African American woman streamed the video live on Facebook showing at least four people holding the young white man hostage.
"The video is reprehensible," said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
"It's sickening. You know it makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that," Police Supt. Eddie Johnson added.
Throughout the video, the victim is repeatedly kicked and hit, his scalp is cut, all while he is tied up with his mouth taped shut.
At one point, the victim is held at knife point and told to curse President-elect Donald Trump. The group also forces the victim to drink water from a toilet.
The suspects can be heard saying they want the video to go viral.
Detectives think the victim, who lives in the suburbs and appeared to be in his late teens or early 20s, met some acquaintances in northwest suburban Streamwood and they drove him to Chicago in a stolen vehicle, Guglielmi said.
The victim is then believed to have been held hostage and tortured in an apartment in the 3400 block of West Lexington on the West Side, Guglielmi said.
On Tuesday afternoon, police officers spotted the victim walking on a street on the West Side wearing shorts, Guglielmi said. Because it was unusual to see a man in shorts in the cold weather, the officers stopped to talk to the man, who appeared disoriented, and he was taken to a hospital to be treated for his injuries.
Toxicology tests were performed at the hospital to determine if the victim was under the influence of anything.
Police said the victim was a classmate of one of the suspects. He was held hostage for at least 24 hours and as long as 48 hours.
"It's quite a possibility that this is a kidnapping and that's certainly one of the charges we'll be seeking if it turns out to be that. But, he's traumatized by the incident and it's tough to communicate with him at this point," said Chicago Police Commander Kevin Duffin.
Community activist Andrew Holmes was made aware of the disturbing video, which he is calling a "hate crime."
Although President-elect Donald Trump was mentioned, Chicago Police do not believe the crime was politically motivated.
"I think some of it is just stupidity, people just ranting about something that they think might make a headline. I don't think that at this point we have anything concrete to really point us in that direction, but we'll keep investigating and we'll let the facts guide us on how this concludes," Supt. Johnson said.
Charges are expected to be filed in the next 24 hours.
MOBILE APP USERS: Watch Video Here
VIDEO - Former CIA Director Says Multiple Countries May Be Behind Hacks - YouTube
"Research and development of the cutting-edge tech weapons are actively progressing and strengthening our defense capabilities, including last stage preparation of tests for intercontinental ballistic rocket launch have been continuously succeeding," Kim said in a televised address on New Year's Day.
The speech was full of the North's usual self-congratulatory, lofty proclamations and anti-Western rhetoric.
Kim referred to North Korea as a "nuclear and military power in the east that formidable enemy dare encroach on" and said "unless the US and its vassal forces stop nuclear threat and blackmail and unless they stop the war exercises which they stage right at our noses under the pretext of annual exercises, the DPRK would keep increasing the military capabilities for self-defense and preemptive striking capacity with a main emphasis on nuclear force," according to state news agency KCNA.
But there's reason to take Kim's threats more seriously than those in years past.
In 2016 North Korea backed up its fiery rhetoric with two nuclear tests -- the country had only conducted three before -- and a handful of land and sea-based missile tests.
"Combining nuclear warheads with ballistic missile technology in the hands of a volatile leader like Kim Jong Un is a recipe for disaster," Adm. Harry Harris, the head of the US military's Pacific Command, said in a December speech.Despite Pyongyang's apparent progress on a warhead, it doesn't have good enough missile and rocket technology to deliver a nuke -- at least not yet, says Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the Rand Corporation think tank.But Kim is determined to develop nuclear weapons by the end of 2017 "at all costs," according to a high-profile North Korean who defected.
"Following the ruling party congress in May, Kim Jong-un made it a party policy to finish nuclear development within the earliest time possible," Thae Yong-ho, formerly No. 2 at the North Korean Embassy in London, said in a news briefing, according to the Yonhap News Agency.Thae said North Korea is betting that South Korea and the US won't be able to deter the North's nuclear ambitions due to domestic politics in both countries.
But Seoul warned Pyongyang against developing nuclear weapons.
"It's the firm will of South Korea and the international community to not tolerate North Korea's nuclear development," a statement from the South Korean Unification Ministry said. "We repeatedly warn that if North Korea continues to develop its nuclear program, it will only face strong sanctions and pressure.
"If North Korea really wishes for the peace in the Korean peninsula and improvement in the ties between the South and North, it will need to come out to the road of denuclearization with sincerity," the statement said.
K.J Kwon reported from Seoul, and Joshua Berlinger wrote from Hong Kong. CNN's Brad Lendon contributed to this report
VIDEO - CNN BLACK PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT RACIST WHITE PEOPLE! ALL DAY! EVERYDAY! - YouTube
Senate Minority Leader-elect Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that the Republicans' plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act will ''make America sick again,'' creating chaos in the health care system and even affect private health insurance. Read Full Story
VIDEO - At Age 3 '-- Transitioning From Jack To Jackie : NPR Ed : NPR
It's controlled after-school anarchy at the Christian-Carter household. Seven-year-old Chloe has rolled herself up in an exercise mat in the living room of the family's Oakland, Calif., home.
"Look I'm a burrito," Chloe shouts.
Her 4-year-old sister, Jackie, swoops in for a bite '-- and a hard push.
"Ow!" Chloe shouts. "Mom! Jackie pushed me!"
Just two sisters playing, occasionally sparring, as dad, James Christian, and mom, Mary Carter, watch nearby.
Jackie's birthday is in mid-October, but for Carter and Christian, a second date is seared in memory almost as intensely '-- what Carter calls "The Day."
Five Makeshift Ponytails
"It was May 15, 2014, and I remember the date because Jackie was out of school that day," she says. "We drove to drop her older sister off at kindergarten. And normally Jackie is quite happy and content to hang out with me and play."
Jackie was 3 then, and she was called Jack. Glancing into the backseat of her car, Mary noticed something different.
Sisters Jackie Carter Christian (left) and Chloe Marie Christian at the beach. Courtesy of the Christian familyhide caption
toggle captionCourtesy of the Christian familySisters Jackie Carter Christian (left) and Chloe Marie Christian at the beach.
Courtesy of the Christian family"Jackie just looked really, really sad; sadder than a 3 1/2-year-old should look," Carter says. "This weight that looked like it weighed more than she did, something she had to say and I didn't know what that was.
"So I asked. I said, 'Jackie, are you sad that you're not going to school today?' And Jackie was really quiet and put her head down and said 'No, I'm sad because I'm a boy.' "
Carter was taken aback. Her youngest had been wearing her big sister's dresses regularly and enjoyed donning pink boots. But this was new.
Carter wanted to confirm. "You're really not happy being a boy?" she asked.
"I thought a little bit longer and I said, 'Well, are you happy being you?' And that made Jackie smile," she says. "And I felt like for that moment, that was all that really mattered. That was 'The Day.' "
Carter took her to a chain drugstore, and Jackie asked for elastic hair bands. Her hair wasn't long enough yet, but Carter put Jackie's hair up in five makeshift ponytails.
"And I've never seen such a happy child," she remembers. "To go from maybe an hour before this, this child who looks so sad, to that, I felt like I'd done something right by her."
In the months that followed, they started talking over girl names, with help from Jackie's pre-K teacher. On her fourth birthday, the family sang happy birthday for the first time to Jackie.
Jackie Stood Her Ground
A new job for Christian had prompted the family to move from Atlanta to Oakland two years ago. Carter and Christian say they feel lucky they've landed there. The Bay Area is one of the most LGBT friendly regions in the nation. The challenges ahead might be far greater, Christian says, if they'd stayed in the South.
He recalls the Fourth of July weekend last year, when they were back visiting Atlanta. At a community party, Christian noticed a group of kids gathering around Jackie, who still went by Jack back then.
"There was a point when some of the other boys, alpha males, talking about 15 kids surrounding Jackie," he says, "wanted to challenge this notion, 'Wait a minute, you said you're a boy but you're wearing a dress and have ponytails. I don't understand that.' "
Christian says he felt anger at first. "Then joy, when this girl of about 9 stepped in and said, 'This is Jack, he's my friend.' And Jackie stood her ground, and so that made me very proud," he says.
It's only been a little more than a year since Jack became Jackie. Neither of her parents has any illusions about the potential struggles ahead. Transgender people have alarmingly high rates of depression, substance abuse and suicide.
"There will be more challenges, certainly, as Jackie gets older and gets around more kids," Christian says. "Then puberty, and dating, and the challenges will be like a very steep curve. But I'm hoping that by the time she gets there, I hope, one, we've given her the tools and two, that there's more acceptance of this issue."
There is more acceptance now than there was even a few years ago, says psychologist Diane Ehrensaft at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. Ehrensaft has worked with transgender youth for more than 20 years.
"We as a culture have lifted the lid so that kids can start speaking up, showing themselves and that we have a lens to understand it from," she says. "That's all very new. We are now much more commonly hearing very little children speak up, 'Please let me be the gender I am rather than the gender you think I am.' "
Experts in the field diverge on how to approach gender identity issues in the very young. Jackie's parents know some people may not understand their approach. It is even hard for them at times.
As Carter explains, her daughter Chloe is the only one in the family Jackie still allows to occasionally refer to her as "Jack," as "he" and as "brother."
"Chloe is very loving and protective and supportive," she says. "But I think for Chloe, she still attaches this memory of her little brother, of Jack. And it's right now hard for her to let that go. It's that last piece she's holding on to."
"I myself have times when I miss my boy," says James Christian. "And I look at the old clothes and the old pictures and I will miss Jack. And that's probably never going to go away. That's just going to take some time."
VIDEO - WSJ Editor Says He Will Not Report On Trump's Lies As 'Lies' | Crooks and Liars
Why should Meet The Press in 2017 be any different than it has been for over a decade now? The man who never wants to anger his guests by holding their feet to the fire, Chuck Todd, is as deferential as ever to people who sanitize news like the WSJ's Gerard Baker, the editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper.
When Donald Trump says things that are undoubtedly lies, not even just hyperbole, Mr. Baker is of the opinion that calling a lie a lie will alienate readers, as if "readers" are also Trump supporters. You are also forbidden to have any controversial opinions, no matter how factual you are, because certain people don't like the truth. Being honest in a way they perceive as derogatory will cause them not to 'trust' you.
Merriam Webster defines the noun lie as: something untrue that is said or written to deceive someone. Gerard Baker believes that the entire Birther nonsense should be labeled as proven false, but you can't say it's a lie? Saying President Obama was not born in the U.S. with no evidence is something the reader or viewer should decide is a lie or not, even if it is 100% proven to be a LIE. This sounds like the ultimate euphemism issued by a 'Nanny State' indeed.
BAKER: It's about trust. If our readers see that you're saying scathing things about Donald Trump on Twitter or they hear you on TV saying things in a commentary way that appear to be very critical and hostile to Donald Trump, they're not going to trust what you write.
Even when you're writing, absolutely write fairly, you report fairly. But if they think that you are coming from a position, they're not going to trust you. So I was very concerned that we be seen to be fair.
Of course, the definition of what he thinks is fair shouldn't be up for debate, but we are living in the post-factual Trump world now, right? Baker believes that if you are brutally honest and call a lie a lie, when there are people who don't want to hear the truth, you too will lose credibility and their trust. Isn't that the equivalent of too much 'political correctness' or the dreaded 'Nanny State,' they claim exists only on the Democratic side? They can't see that the idea of sterilizing the news to make the ignorant self-loathing voters happy is a form of coddling those who can't handle the truth? Obviously not.
'' Story continues below ''
TODD: The issue of facts. We don't -- people always say, "You've got to fact check, you've got to fact check." There isn't an agreement on what the facts are. And this is yet another challenge for you and everybody here. Do you feel comfortable saying so and so lied? You know, if somebody says just an outright falsehood, do you say the word, "lie"? Is that important to start putting in reporting, or not?
GERARD BAKER: You know it's a good -- I'd be careful about using the word, "lie." "Lie" implies much more than just saying something that's false. It implies a deliberate intent to mislead. I think it's perfectly -- when Donald Trump says thousands of people were on the rooftops of New Jersey on 9/11 celebrating, thousands of Muslims were there celebrating, I think it's right to investigate that claim, to report what we found, which is that nobody found any evidence of that whatsoever, and to say that.
I think it's then up to the reader to make up their own mind to say, "This is what Donald Trump says. This is what a reliable, trustworthy news organization reports. And you know what? I don't think that's true." I think if you start ascribing a moral intent, as it were, to someone by saying that they've lied, I think you run the risk that you look like you are, like you're not being objective.
And I do think also it applies -- this is happening all the time now, people are looking at Donald Trump's saying and saying, "This is false. It's a false claim." I think people say, "Well, you know what? Hillary Clinton said a lot of things that were false." I don't recall the press being quite so concerned about saying that she lied in headlines or in stories like that.
Oh, thanks Gerard. We almost went into the forbidden realm of finally calling out the liars in the GOP, as usual, and that is verboten. Both sides, I say, both sides are equal dammit! I almost forgot, the media's manufactured hoaxes and lies about Hillary Clinton deserve equal merit, and disproportionately higher condemnation, so what if the truth indicated otherwise? So what if we've now got a man with the IQ of dandelion greens as the POTUS? As long as these returning champions come back every Sunday, it's okay to sugar coat lies as something the consumer decides is true or false, because you gotta get those advertising dollars.
Thanks to the legitimizing of a fallacy-driven agenda that emanates from the Tweets of a crazed megalomaniac, we now have an obfuscation of the truth in fear it will be labeled 'fake news.' Thanks to this failure to call a lie exactly what it is, Trump's supporters believe the most outlandish fallacies to be true and by golly, no one will convince them of the facts without being labeled something awful, like 'educated' or 'intellectual elitist' or a 'thinker.'
Trump supporters are also likely to ascribe to any number of falsehoods: 67 percent of Trump voters think that unemployment increased during the Obama administration (it decreased), and 39 percent think the stock market went down during Obama's time in office (it went up). Thirteen percent believe in Pizzagate, the bizarre conspiracy theory that alleges that Hillary Clinton has ties to a child sex trafficking ring run out of a local DC pizzeria (there is absolutely zero credible evidence that the pizzeria is anything but a pizzeria).
Some of the more radical lies these people believe to be true include the idiotic notion that the election was wrought with voter fraud. They don't see the danger in believing that Russia had nothing to do with the hacks in our election or that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. Now we'll simply let Russia decide our fate. Why not abandon science while we're at it? Climate change attributed to the actions of human beings is something we should deny, and frankly who cares if the sea level rises and puts large coastal cities under water. Just don't call lies what they are.
Unquestionable loyalty given to those who deserve no trust whatsoever is what creates autocratic tyrants. History has shown that too many times. The press should be able to portray the truth without worrying about hurting people's feelings. Lord knows they didn't fear any loss of revenue when they purported the many Clinton rumors to be factual and skewed public opinion in a very dangerous way. But then again, the media has treated Clinton with a disgusting double standard.
The Daily Kos sums it up perfectly here:
It is incomprehensible that so many Americans can be so plainly and dangerously ill-informed. It doesn't bode well for 2017 and beyond as the Trump administration begins to put its imprimatur on the country. But this epidemic of ignorance was not accidental. It was a deliberate act of disinformation by Trump and the Republican Party. And the media bears its share of responsibility for putting ratings and profit before journalistic ethics.
Sadly, they will continue this delusion as long as it brings in revenue. Long gone are the days where Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley would debate without fear of offending people with the truth, and calling a lie out for what it is.
VIDEO - Absolutely Stunning '' Leaked Audio of Secretary Kerry Reveals President Obama Intentionally Allowed Rise of ISIS'... | The Last Refuge
There are moments within investigative research when your jaw can stand agape as you recognize the scope of what you are reading or hearing. A brutally down-played audio of Secretary John Kerry is just such an occasion.
'... In August of 2014 President Obama (wearing a tan business suit) gave a press conference where he stated he ''did not have a strategy'' against ISIS. ''Video Link''
'... Two months later, in October of 2014, Josh Earnest gave a press conference where he stated: ''Our ISIS strategy is dependent on something that does not yet exist'' ''Video Link''
However, on September 30th 2016 the New York Times quietly released a leaked audio recording of Secretary John Kerry meeting with multiple factions associated within Syria.
When you listen to the audio recording (embed below) it becomes immediately obvious what was going on when both of those 2014 statements were made by the White House. In addition, you discover why this jaw-dropping 2016 leak/story was buried by the U.S. media and how it connects to over 5 years of perplexing U.S. mid-east policy.
This evidence within this single story would/should forever remove any credibility toward the U.S. foreign policy under President Obama. It also destroys the credibility of a large number of well known republicans. What the recording reveals is substantive:
'... First, only regime change, the removal of Bashir Assad, in Syria was the goal for President Obama. This is admitted and outlined by Secretary John Kerry.
'... Secondly, in order to accomplish this primary goal, the White House was willing to watch the rise of ISIS by placing their bet that ISIS's success would force Syrian President Bashir Assad to acquiesce toward Obama's terms and step down.
'... Thirdly, in order to facilitate the two objectives, Obama and Kerry intentionally gave arms to ISIS and even, arguably, attacked a Syrian government military convoy to stop a strategic attack upon the Islamic extremists killing 80 Syrian soldiers.
Pause for a moment and consider those three points carefully before continuing. Because this audio (below), along with accompanying research now surfacing, not only exposes these three points as truth '' but also provides the specific evidence toward them.
The problem in the Obama/Kerry's secret strategy became clear when ISIS grew in sufficient strength to give the White House optimism for the scheme '' however, instead of capitulation Assad then turned to Russia for help.
When Russia came to aid Bashir Assad the Syrian Government began being able to defeat ISIS and the Islamic Extremist elements within Syria. For the hidden plan of Obama/Kerry (and also McCain, Graham, et al), Russia defeating ISIS, al-Qaeda and al-Nusra, upended their objective.
The revelations within this leaked audio are simply astounding. The 40-minute discussion took place on the sidelines of a United Nations General Assembly in New York. The meeting took place at the Dutch Mission to the United Nations on Sept. 22nd 2016:
['...] Kerry's off-record conversation was apparently with two dozen 'Syrian civilians', all from US backed opposition-linked NGO's in education and medical groups supposedly working in 'rebel-held' (aka terrorist-held) areas in Syria.
This opposition conclave also included 'rescue workers' which can only be ambassadors from the White Helmets, a pseudo NGO which serves as Washington and London's primary PR front in pursuit of a ''No Fly Zone' in Syria, and it's being bankrolled by the US, UK, EU and other coalition states to the tune of well over $100 million (so far). (link)
Listen to the audio.Key Kerry moments at 02:00, and again at approximately 18:30 forward.
The discussion from 18:30 through to 29:00 are exceptionally revealing and should be listened to by anyone who has wondered what was going on in Syria. Kerry even makes mention of the ''Responsibility to Protect, or R2P'' principle:
'... New York Times Link '' HERE
'... Analysis via 21st Century Wire '' HERE
'... More Analysis '' HERE
Against the backdrop of this recording we can reconcile so many historic issues. We already know of a Second Presidential Finding Memo authorizing additional CIA covert action in 2012, this time in Syria. However, unlike the 2011 Libyan operation we do not know the operational name of the second action in 2012 Syria.
2012:WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (Reuters) '' President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said.
Obama's order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence ''finding,'' broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad. (link)
Further consider how this Kerry audio tape, and the now transparent Obama policy toward Syria, absolutely confirms our previous research as it is contained with the Benghazi Brief surrounding Syria:
(JULY 2012) As they stood outside the commandeered government building in the town of Mohassen, it was hard to distinguish Abu Khuder's men from any other brigade in the Syrian civil war, in their combat fatigues, T-shirts and beards.
But these were not average members of the Free Syrian Army. Abu Khuder and his men fight for al-Qaida. They call themselves the ghuraba'a, or ''strangers'', after a famous jihadi poem celebrating Osama bin Laden's time with his followers in the Afghan mountains, and they are one of a number of jihadi organisations establishing a foothold in the east of the country now that the conflict in Syria has stretched well into its second bloody year.
They try to hide their presence. ''Some people are worried about carrying the [black] flags,'' said Abu Khuder. ''They fear America will come and fight us. So we fight in secret. Why give Bashar and the west a pretext?'' But their existence is common knowledge in Mohassen. Even passers-by joke with the men about car bombs and IEDs.
According to Abu Khuder, his men are working closely with the military council that commands the Free Syrian Army brigades in the region. ''We meet almost every day,'' he said. ''We have clear instructions from our [al-Qaida] leadership that if the FSA need our help we should give it. We help them with IEDs and car bombs. Our main talent is in the bombing operations.'' Abu Khuder's men had a lot of experience in bomb-making from Iraq and elsewhere, he added.
['...] Abu Khuder split with the FSA and pledged allegiance to al-Qaida's organisation in Syria, the Jabhat al Nusra or Solidarity Front. He let his beard grow and adopted the religious rhetoric of a jihadi, becoming a commander of one their battalions.
''The Free Syrian Army has no rules and no military or religious order. Everything happens chaotically,'' he said. ''Al-Qaida has a law that no one, not even the emir, can break.
''The FSA lacks the ability to plan and lacks military experience. That is what [al-Qaida] can bring. They have an organisation that all countries have acknowledged.
''In the beginning there were very few. Now, mashallah, there are immigrants joining us and bringing their experience,'' he told the gathered people. ''Men from Yemen, Saudi, Iraq and Jordan. Yemenis are the best in their religion and discipline and the Iraqis are the worst in everything '' even in religion.''
At this, one man in the room '' an activist in his mid-30s who did not want to be named '' said: ''So what are you trying to do, Abu Khuder? Are you going to start cutting off hands and make us like Saudi? Is this why we are fighting a revolution?''
''[Al-Qaida's] goal is establishing an Islamic state and not a Syrian state,'' he replied. ''Those who fear the organisation fear the implementation of Allah's jurisdiction. If you don't commit sins there is nothing to fear.''(link '' more)
al-Qaeda's goal was to establish the Islamic State, that's the origin of ISIS. Against the backdrop of ISIS formation in Syria, and understanding the Obama objectives were regime change first and foremost, we can now reconcile all of Obama's foreign policy surrounding Syria.
President Obama, Secretary Clinton and later Secretary Kerry, together with John McCain, and the CIA tentacled team within the Republican party, were willing to support ISIS (under all factional names) in order to overthrow Bashir Assad'...
'...THIS WAS THE POLICY. Nothing else mattered.
Now, does THIS also begin to make more sense:
Representative Adam Kinzinger, Senator John McCain, candidate Evan McMullin
What you are about to read is specifically how the Muslim Brotherhood, and ISIS, connect to the Republicans outlined above '' and how their individual behaviors within the 2016 election begin to make sense. Perhaps, like us, you will have an ah-ha moment.
The ''Never Trump'' coalition has always consisted of a few noisy and indecent politicians within Washington DC. Senator Ben Sasse, Senator Jeff Flake and Representative Adam Kinzinger the most noteworthy and vitriolic.
Whenever CNN, or for that matter any media, want a republican voice to argue against Donald Trump, in the ''current days' outrage du jour'', they call upon Kinzinger first and foremost. He seemingly loves the spotlight as much as he enjoys promoting himself on social media. In essence, he's a proud #NeverTrumper.
We'll come back to Kinzinger and McMullin in a moment. But first we must place the second set of puzzle pieces on the table.
When we did all the exhaustive research into the Benghazi Brief three years ago, one of the pictures that continued to draw our interest was this one:
The picture above was taken during a time when Senator John McCain visited Syria, and the Western media were proclaiming there were ''moderates'' in the opposition to Bashir Assad. Senator McCain proclaimed this 2012 visit to be meeting with the ''Free Syrian Army''. [Coincidentally, this was on the same trip where he met Ambassador Chris Stevens at the Benghazi courthouse in Libya for the last time].
However, at the same time McCain was trying to convince the world of moderate Syrian resistance, multiple voices within non-traditional journalism, and a large number of people doing independent research, reached the conclusion that al-qaeda and al-Nusra extremists had completely infiltrated the Syrian resistance groups, and a new militant Islamic network was forming.
''2012 NO ISLAM WITHOUT JIHAD'' '' members of the Free Syrian Army. Abu Khuder and his men fight for al-Qaida. They call themselves the ghuraba'a, or ''strangers'', after a famous jihadi poem celebrating Osama bin Laden's time with his followers in the Afghan mountains, and they are one of a number of jihadi organisations establishing a foothold in the east of the country now that the conflict in Syria has stretched well into its second bloody year.They try to hide their presence. ''Some people are worried about carrying the [black] flags,'' said Abu Khuder. ''They fear America will come and fight us. So we fight in secret. Why give Bashar and the west a pretext?'' But their existence is common knowledge in Mohassen. Even passers-by joke with the men about car bombs and IEDs.
That network ultimately evidenced and defined itself as the Islamic State, or ISIS.
In 2013 and 2014, even though ISIS initially did not have a name, as the hardline extremists in Syria became more openly visible, eventually the western media accepted Raqqa and Aleppo had become the de-facto center of Syrian ISIS operations. In August of 2014 President Obama finally admitted the problem and stated his administration was caught off guard and did not have a strategy to combat them.
Back To The Photograph '' The importance of the McCain photograph became increasingly interesting because ISIS as an extremist force became increasingly visible. As a direct consequence we were able to identify the ideology of the people in the picture:
There has been some skepticism as to #2 being al-Baghdadi himself, and Senator John McCain has strongly refuted this claim. However, there is more evidence to prove it is Baghdadi than to refute it's not Baghdadi. Person #2 looks just like him:
In addition, one of the important bits of evidence to prove #2 is indeed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is actually found in #1 Abu Mosa (ISIS Press Officer).
There is absolutely no doubt that #1 is the (now dead) Islamic State Press Officer Abu Mosa.
Abu Mosa was killed in August 2014. In 2012, during organization, Baghdadi would have a man with this level of importance to the Islamic State around him at the time this picture was taken.
However, lets look at #5 '' ''Mouaz Moustafa'', because he is the current person that should be of interest to everyone in the 2016 presidential discussion. Moustafa is the connective tissue per se'. In the photograph, he's also Senator McCain's intermediary:
Fast forward two intense years later and look where #5, Mouaz Moustafa shows up in 2014. And more specifically the two faces that show up with him:
Well lookie there. During a trip to Turkey in 2014 to discuss arming Syrian rebel groups, under the auspices of fighting ISIS, you see Representative Adam Kinzinger appear. Oh yeah, and who's that other fellow circled in the meeting? '....why that's our anti-Trump candidate Evan McMullin.
Huh, fancy that.
Spotting Evan McMullin conspicuously standing there in the picture made us want to go back to the CNN file footage from the time and see if he was actually visible in the report they filed from Turkey. Yup, he's there alright.
Watch and spot him in the background during quite a bit of the footage:
Long before anyone heard about Evan McMullin running for President, there he is paling around with #NeverTrump Adam Kinzinger in Turkey chatting with the Muslim Brotherhood affiliates (guise SETF) who are essentially the political arm of ISIS under a differing name.
The declared purpose of the meeting was to discuss who and how to arm the entities within Syria. However, just like in 2012/2013 these same Brotherhood voices in 2014 are simply trying to present themselves as one thing, only to gain the goal of another. That's ultimately the story behind the arms deals within The Benghazi Brief. That's the lesson that should have been learned if the truth contained within the brief were ever to have larger public interest.
Additionally, all that said '' it's connections like these that make other things, like the opposition to Donald Trump, make much more sense.
Things that help make other things make much more sense'....
VIDEO - Trump's Press Secretary Begs The American People To Stop Mocking Donald Trump
Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer went on national television to complain that the American people are mocking Donald Trump and called on every American to support the president-elect instead of mocking him.
Video of Trump press secretary Sean Spicer on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos
Spicer was talking about Trump trying to take credit for jobs that were already announced when he claimed that the American people are mocking and undermining the president-elect:So the idea is everyone wants to talk about the tweets he sent. But I would actually focus on the action he's getting. Donald Trump is not president yet and he's getting action, successes and wins, both abroad and here at home.
Everything he does right now, he gets '-- he speaks for the head of Sprint, gets 5,000 jobs moved from abroad. And everyone starts to mock him. Oh, those jobs were already announced. They weren't. The sales jobs have been a previous announce. These jobs were coming from abroad to America.
And instead of trying to mock him or undermine him, it's time that people started to give him credit for actually getting things done.
Trump is mocked because he isn't getting anything done. The president-elect is taking credit for things that already happened, or the accomplishments of others. For example, Trump took credit for the good economic numbers in November despite the fact that the growing economy has nothing to do with him because he is not yet the president. Trump took credit for the horrible Carrier deal that Mike Pence negotiated, and Trump is trying to pass off the Sprint job announcement, which he had nothing to do with, as an accomplishment.''
President-elect Donald Trump's Press Secretary was practically begging America to stop making fun of the incoming president. Trump isn't going to find much popular support for his presidency because the majority of voters did not support him.
If Trump continues to act like a narcissistic and petty reality television star instead of a president, he is going to mocked.
One can only imagine the howls of laughter from Republicans if Obama's press secretary would have gone on national television and complained about the American people making fun of him.
Trump isn't even in office yet, but his team is demanding credit for things that they have not done, which is exactly why the American people will continue to mock the president-elect.
ABC This Week, sean spicer, The American people are mocking Trump, Trump being mocked