9:15 PM 9/18/2017 – Manafort FISA Report

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Manafort FISA – Google Search

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Story image for Manafort FISA from CNN

Exclusive: US government wiretapped former Trump campaign …

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A secret order authorized by the court that handles the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) began after Manafort became the subject of …
Making Sense of the Manafort FISA Report
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Story image for Manafort FISA from Reuters

Trump campaign adviser was wiretapped under secret court orders …

Reuters36 minutes ago
Manafort became Trump’s campaign manager in June 2016 but was forced to … FISA warrants require the approval of top FBI and Justice …
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Analysis: Paul Manafort Wiretapping Raises New Questions About …

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CNN did not report on the contents of the government basis for obtaining the FISA warrant against Manafort, whose name repeatedly appears …
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Making Sense of the Manafort FISA Report – TPM (blog)

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Making Sense of the Manafort FISA Report
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Let’s also remember that letter former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid wrote to James Comey after he appeared to reopen the Clinton emails investigation at the end of October. Quoting Reid:”In my communications with you and other top officials in the … 

Donald Trump may have incriminated himself on tape on Paul Manafort’s FISA wiretap 

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Earlier this year, Donald Trump asserted that the federal government had wiretapped him at Trump Tower during the campaign. This was a wildly incorrect false claim. But while Trump himself never was wiretapped, his reckless behavior after the election appears to have gotten him tied up in a wiretap after all – and in the process, he may have incriminated himself on tape.

This evening, CNN reported that there was a FISA wiretap warrant on Paul Manafort both before and after the election (link). It’s confirmed that the first warrant covered the period of the election after Manafort had departed the Trump campaign, when they continued to communicate by phone. The second warrant covered the period of time after Trump took office and continued to speak with Manafort by phone. This means that the Feds all but certainly have tapes of the conversations between Trump and Manafort. Those tapes are now in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s hands.

Now it comes down to what the two men discussed during these wiretapped conversations. It’s known, for instance, that Manafort told Trump near the end of the election that he should head to Michigan, a state which is widely suspected of having been targeted by the Russians. If Manafort’s advice to Trump included an admission that Russia had paved the way for Trump’s surprise upset in the state, then Trump is on the hook for election collusion or worse. But the wiretapped conversations after the election may be more damning.

By the time Donald Trump and Paul Manafort were communicating in 2017, Trump was the president and Manafort was known to be under federal investigation. Their mutual decision to continue communicating suggests that they were conspiring to try to get themselves and each other off the hook. If so, Trump has nailed himself on obstruction and other charges.

The post Donald Trump may have incriminated himself on tape on Paul Manafort’s FISA wiretapappeared first on Palmer Report.

Trump legal team reflects their chaotic client – CNN

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Trump legal team reflects their chaotic client
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Washington (CNN) Ty Cobb and other lawyers were supposed to impose discipline on an unruly White House as it confronted the investigation into President Donald Trump’s possible collusion with Russians in the 2016 election. It appears the opposite has …
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The 2016 election was not a fluke – Washington Post

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The 2016 election was not a fluke
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It is understandable that she would blame James B. Comey, Vladimir Putin and the media for damaging her prospects — and that she would play down her own strategic and tactical missteps. But take … The election never should have been close enough for 
Dissecting the election, Hillary Clinton sees dangers for democracyPBS NewsHourall 660 news articles »

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation sets a tough tone – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation sets a tough tone
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The tactics reflect some of the hard-charging — and polarizing — personalities of Mueller’s team, seasoned prosecutors with experience investigating financial fraud, money laundering andorganized crime. Admirers of Andrew Weissmann, one of the team and more »

FBI wire tapped Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort: Report – Washington Examiner

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FBI wire tapped Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort: Report
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The U.S. government wiretapped President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort as a part of an investigation into work done by Washington consulting firms for Ukrainian politicians. CNN reported Monday multiple intelligence community officials …and more »

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‪Paul Manafort was under FISA surveillance the entire time, and now Robert Mueller is about to indict him‬ 

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It turns out Paul Manafort has been under FISA surveillance the entire time. The Feds are now confirmed to have had a FISA warrant on Paul Manafort both during and after the election, monitoring his phone calls and communications. This includes Manafort’s calls to Donald Trump since he took office. It also includes potentially incriminating conversations between Manafort and Russia.

This bombshell comes by way of CNN, which is revealing this evening that the Feds have been targeting Paul Manafort since 2014 in relation to his involvement in the election of a Russian puppet in Ukraine (link). Some of the intercepted phone conversations took place between Manafort and Trump – meaning that the person occupying the office of President of the United States is associating with shady individuals so closely that he’s now been picked up on a wiretap. This is an incredible revelation. But there’s much more.

Here’s the part that’s about to put Paul Manafort’s back firmly against the wall. CNN is reporting that “Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign.” Not shockingly, the New York Times is reporting this evening that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to indict Paul Manafort (link), which confirms just how far along his probe is progressing.

For what it’s worth, Palmer Report deduced four days ago that Robert Mueller was on the verge of indicting Paul Manafort (link). These new developments this evening serve to confirm that Mueller is indeed willing to back Manafort up firmly against a wall in order to get him to flip on Donald Trump. As has previously been widely reported, Mueller is working with the New York Attorney General to bring parallel state-level charges against Manafort that can’t be pardoned by Trump – meaning Manafort’s only way out is to give Trump up.

The post ‪Paul Manafort was under FISA surveillance the entire time, and now Robert Mueller is about to indict him‬ appeared first on Palmer Report.

Paul Manafort Reportedly Wiretapped By Feds

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The FBI is investigating Trump’s former campaign manager.

Man sentenced for trying to sell satellite secrets to Russia

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A California engineer who worked for a defense contractor has been sentenced to five years in prison for selling sensitive satellite information to an undercover FBI employee he thought was a Russian agent

Russia strikes Syrian Democratic Forces near Deir Ezzor

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Forces from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were struck by Russian air assets near the Deir Ezzor frontline on September 16th, this according to a statement made by the Combined Joint Task Force –…

The post Russia strikes Syrian Democratic Forces near Deir Ezzor appeared first on Lima Charlie News.

Hacker who harassed leaders from CIA and FBI is sentenced to 5 … – Washington Post

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An aspiring hacker who harassed the CIA director and the national intelligence director, among others, in 2015 was sentenced Friday to five years in federal …and more »

Yes, James Comey may have cost Hillary Clinton the presidency — but we’ll never know for sure – Washington Post

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Yes, James Comey may have cost Hillary Clinton the presidency — but we’ll never know for sure
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A pair of political science professors are out with a seemingly significant study: Despite Hillary Clinton saying she would be president if not for James BComey — and FiveThirtyEight, among others, lending credence to that claim — “We don’t think  

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Trump’s lawyer has a big mouth. Here’s what that tells us about Mueller’s probe. – Washington Post

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Trump’s lawyer has a big mouth. Here’s what that tells us about Mueller’s probe.
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… in that conversation indeed exist, they could well provide special counsel Robert S. Mueller III with crucial evidence about Trump’s thinking as Mueller investigates whether the president obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James BComey.and more »

Russian forces struck a location “known to the Russians to contain Syrian Democratic Forces and Coalition advisers” near the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, causing injuries to U.S.-backed Kurdish-dominated S.D.F. fighters, according to a statement by Operation Inherent Resolve on Saturday. | Global Security News

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SYRIA

Russian forces struck a location “known to the Russians to contain Syrian Democratic Forces and Coalition advisers” near the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, causing injuries to U.S.-backed Kurdish-dominated S.D.F. fighters, according to a statement by Operation Inherent Resolve on Saturday.

US troops in Syria battle anti-Assad rebels once funded by the CIA

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US troops in SyriaAmerican troops deployed in Syria have exchanged fire with rebels that were until recently supported by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. In 2013, soon after the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, the then-US President Barack Obama instructed the Central Intelligence Agency to provide covert support to fighters in Syria. Acting on the president’s directive, the CIA promptly joined forces with spy agencies from Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to assist fighters affiliated with the Free Syrian Army. At that time, Washington saw the Free Syrian Army and forces affiliated with it as ideologically moderate. It also agreed with the group’s main aim, which was to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Under the project, which was codenamed TIMBER SYCAMORE, CIA personnel trained Free Syrian Army fighters in irregular warfare, while also providing them with light weaponry including machine guns, sniper rifles and off-road vehicles. But on July 19 of this year, US President Donald Trump abruptly ended the CIA program, which he called “dangerous and wasteful”. It soon became apparent that many Free Syrian Army soldiers approached Turkey, seeking financial income and protection. By early August, there were reports from Syria that large groups of former Free Syrian Army troops were conducting raids in northern Syria in coordination with the Turkish military.

Early on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Combined Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve told reporters that US troops in Syria had come under fire by Turkish-commanded former Free Syrian Army units. The spokesman told reporters in Kuwait City that the rebels shot at US troops in the outskirts of Manbij, a northern Syrian city of about 70,000, located a few miles from the Turkish border. The American soldiers reportedly returned fire before seeking shelter from the assault. According to the US Pentagon, the Turkish government was promptly contacted by Inherent Resolve commanders, who described the incident as “not acceptable”. Washington alleges that its troops have come under fire “multiple times” in the past month. Some of the culprits are believed to be Turkish-controlled Syrian insurgents, including former members of the Free Syrian Army.

Turkey and the US are member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. But the two countries do not follow a common policy on Syria. The US Pentagon supports Kurdish insurgents in Syria, which Turkey claims are connected with Kurdish separatists inside Turkey. Washington’s official position on Kurdish separatists is that they engage in terrorism against the Turkish state.

► Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 30 August 2017 | Permalink

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Russian Strike Wounds Syrian Democratic Forces Troops > Operation Inherent Resolve > News Releases

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By CJTF-OIR | September 16, 2017

SOUTHWEST ASIA – At approximately 12:30 a.m. GMT Sept. 16, Russian forces struck a target east of the Euphrates River in Syria near Dayr Az Zawr, causing injuries to Coalition partner forces.

Russian munitions impacted a location known to the Russians to contain Syrian Democratic Forces and Coalition advisors. Several SDF fighters were wounded and received medical care as a result of the strike.

Multinational Coalition troops advising and assisting the SDF were present but not wounded as a result of the Russian strike. “Coalition officials are available and the de-confliction line with Russia is open 24 hours per day,” said Coalition commander Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II. “We put our full efforts into preventing unnecessary escalation among forces that share ISIS as our common enemy,” said Funk.

The Coalition and its partners remain committed to the defeat of ISIS and continued de-confliction with Russian officials. Coalition forces and partners always retain the right of self-defense.

Intelligence, Politicization, and the Russia Probe

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Editor’s Note: The incoming administration’s scorn for intelligence professionals is a matter of grave concern to many of us at LawfareI, for one, worry that the administration will conduct its foreign policy without understanding the dynamics of foreign governments, their attempts to mislead us, and emerging threats like cyber subversion. Joshua Rovner, a scholar of intelligence at American University, makes me even more concerned. He takes the long view, going beyond the potential for short-term policy catastrophe to explain the long tradition of policymaker suspicion of intelligence and the many potential negative consequences for the intelligence community.

***

In August, the Washington Post reported that intelligence officials are concerned about their new boss, given CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s political background and staunch support of Trump during the campaign. As a Republican representative from Kansas, Pompeo stood out in Congress for his relentless pressure to find a scandal in the Benghazi tragedy and to connect it with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Not satisfied with the House Benghazi Committee’s final report, he attached an addendum declaring that Clinton “misled the public” about the affair and “failed to lead.” Meanwhile he threw his support behind Trump, “a commander in chief who fearlessly puts America out in front.”

Pompeo is not the first politician to lead the CIA, but his relentless brand of politics and close ties to Trump have led to fears that he cannot remain impartial about the Russia probe. In particular, critics worry that he will inhibit the work of the Agency’s Mission Center for Counterintelligence, which may possess damaging information about Russia’s role in last year’s election. The Center is the Agency’s hub for tracking foreign intelligence efforts in the United States, and according to the Post, a conduit to the FBI. Pompeo reportedly ordered the Center to report to him directly, which makes sense given his commitment to track down leakers and the sensitivity of the issue. But some within the Agency worry that he could use his position to discourage it from pursuing the investigation at all.

[Pompeo’s] relentless brand of politics and close ties to Trump have led to fears that he cannot remain impartial about the Russia probe.

Concerns about Pompeo are not new. In February, the Post reported that he was asked to call reporters in an effort to dispute stories about connections between Trump associates and Russian intelligence operatives. While Pompeo never acknowledged doing so, his public comments about broader Russian influence operations are mild compared to releases from U.S. agencies. Before the election, a joint statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security concluded that Russia had hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee in an effort to sway the outcome, and that “only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.” This January, a second assessment explained why the election was a serious escalation in Russia’s long-term effort to influence U.S. politics.

Pompeo agreed with these findings in his confirmation hearings, but more recently he has argued that Russia’s so-called “active measures” are nothing new. He turned heads at the Aspen Security Forumwhen asked whether Russia had interfered in the election. “Yeah, of course,” he said. “And the one before that, and the one before that, they have been at this a hell of a long time.” Some fear that this formulation is too dismissive. While Soviet active measures in the Cold War were mostly dismal failures, this episode appears to have been much more successful, and Russia’s technical sophistication in cyber-espionage means that old analogies are not really relevant to understanding the present threat.

To be fair, Pompeo’s comments have gone far beyond what Trump has been willing to acknowledge about Russian activities. At various times, the president has pinned the blame for the DNC hacks on Russia, China, and the DNC itself. His only consistent theme is that the problem of attribution is too hard to make a firm judgment. Pompeo has been much more critical of Russia, but his caveats, especially the repeated suggestion that last year’s events were nothing new, have some worried that he will lean in Trump’s direction as the investigation intensifies. In other areas he has willingly assumed the role of a policy advocate, rather than an impartial intelligence official. This is in keeping with his embrace of Trump during the election season.

All presidents have incentives to politicize intelligence. Intelligence agencies are particularly effective public-relations vehicles because they control secret information, and individuals tend to believe in secrets. In this case, Trump has obvious reason to use intelligence leaders to muddy the waters about what happened during the campaign, and to create distance between the actions of the Russian government and his own staff. One reason why the Russia investigation is so explosive is that the intelligence community takes it so seriously. The president would surely love to see it downplay the results.

There are many ways to get intelligence to toe the policy line. Direct politicization occurs when they lean on intelligence leaders directly, cajoling them to shape intelligence conclusions in ways that are politically convenient. Indirect politicization, by contrast, occurs when policymakers send subtle signals about what they expect to see and hear. In this case, concerned intelligence officers seem to accuse Trump of what I call “manipulation by appointment.” Rather than twisting the elbows of intelligence chiefs, the idea is to put reliable friends in high places. Critics accused President Reagan of this tactic, for instance, when he appointed his campaign manager William Casey to lead the intelligence community. While pressuring senior officials can lead to political scandal, manipulation by appointment helps avoid that risk.

We can expect to see a few things if Pompeo turns out to be susceptible to White House pressure.

It is unclear that Trump chose Pompeo because he wanted a pliant leader at the CIA. We will not have the whole story for a long time, and episodes of politicization are extremely difficult to categorize. We can expect to see a few things if Pompeo turns out to be susceptible to White House pressure. Most importantly, he will temper his previous assertions about Russian responsibility for the election hack, even if the underlying intelligence remains the same. We will also see efforts to skirt organizational best practices in the CIA. Finally, we will probably see more CIA officials providing specific corroboration about how Pompeo interfered with their work. On the other hand, if Pompeo maintains his integrity, then the investigation will go by the book, and criticisms of the director will be rare and vague.

Nonetheless, there are reasons to be very concerned. Politicization is most likely when the political stakes are very high, and when leaders make public statements on controversial issues that are out of step with intelligence judgments. We are seeing this play out now. Trump’s cavalier attitude about Russian meddling stands in sharp contrast with the intelligence community, and his political future would be in serious doubt if the Russia investigation concludes that there was meaningful collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. In this hothouse environment, he has every reason to hope that special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusions point in the other direction.

Mueller’s work depends on support from intelligence and law enforcement. Intercepted communications provided by the National Security Agency and investigative leads from the FBI will surely be central to the case, one way or the other. This is why Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey was so troubling to observers, some of whom accused the president of obstructing the investigation by removing an official who was insufficiently loyal. Trump may believe that the new director, Christopher Wray, may be easier to manage. Similarly, he may be confident that his long-time political ally Pompeo will help him ride out the Russia probe.

If this is true, the implications are profound and disturbing. Politicization has many negative effects on the quality of intelligence: It can skew findings, inhibit later reassessments, and poison intelligence-policy relations over the long-term.

In this case there is another possible danger. It is obvious that Trump has critics inside the CIA, judging by what anonymous sources have told the press. But there are surely others within the Agency who view him favorably, not least because of his aggressive approach to counterterrorism. Trump seems to favor more aggressive collection, regardless of questions of ethics and effectiveness. He came out in favor of waterboarding, for example, arguing that it is necessary to “fight fire with fire.” Pompeo shares his inclinations. Last year he offered a strong defense of intelligence personnel against accusations that they had gone too far. “These men and women are not torturers,” he said, “they are patriots.” Pompeo’s comments suggest he will err on the side of being more aggressive, a mindset that probably resonates with some officers in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations. The CIA is not a monolith.

The result might be a fracture between the Agency’s collectors and analysts. If many of the former are excited about working under Pompeo, and many of the latter believe he is a mouthpiece for the administration, then the prospects for effective collaboration are slim. The relationship between collection and analysis has always been complicated, and the Agency has invested a great deal of effort in bringing the two disciplines closer together. Most recently, it has reorganized around regional and topical mission centers in part to enhance collaboration. While this initiative is not without critics, there are good reasons to make such interactions routine. Among other things, collectors may overestimate the usefulness of their sources if they lack ready access to analysts who make sense of new information. Conversely, analysts’ work may be incomplete or outdated if they don’t have access to ongoing collection efforts. The same is true regarding covert operations: Plans that sound good in theory but are not backstopped by solid analysis may prove disastrous. Effective intelligence collection relies on a healthy working relationship with analysts. If a split develops as a result of Pompeo and the Russia probe, that working relationship may suffer.

For this reason, among others, we should be very concerned about politicization. Pompeo has a politician’s instincts and close ties to the president. This does not mean he will be politicized, of course, but it has raised suspicions within the CIA. “People have to watch him,” said one official to the Post. “It’s almost as if he can’t resist the impulse to be political.” To overcome these suspicions, and to protect the institutional integrity of the Agency, he should try.

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Report: Russia probe creates strife between WH counsel, Trump attorneys – CBS News

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Report: Russia probe creates strife between WH counsel, Trump attorneys
CBS News
The White House counsel and Trump attorneys are reportedly struggling to determine the extent of their cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any possible collusion on the part of …
Trump lawyer talked loudly about Russia probe at DC restaurant with reporter nearbyVox
In Russia scandal, Trump’s legal team isn’t a fine-tuned machineMSNBC
Trump’s lawyers are clashing over how to handle the Russia probeBusiness Insider
New York Daily News –AOL –Slate Magazine (blog)
all 73 news articles »

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Trump’s lawyers have debated how much to cooperate

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TRUMP-RUSSIA

Trump’s lawyers have debated how much to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and his team looking into Russian meddling in the election, with the arguments erupting into conflict last week, Peter Baker and Kenneth P. Vogel explain at the New York Times.

A close business associate of Trump, Michael Cohen, is scheduled to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow, Cohen said yesterday. Reuters reports.

Attorney Kyle Feeny has joined Mueller’s team, moving to his new position from his previous role at the Justice Department. Josh Greenstein reveals at POLITICO.


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Angela Merkel: Germans embrace predictability and stability ahead of vote

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“We will take Merkel over TrumpPutin or Erdogan. People can call our politics boring or dull but it looks a lot better than elsewhere right now.” A group of people smile and clink their beers together at Oktoberfest. Photo: Even some people who 

Angela Merkel: Germans embrace predictability and stability ahead of vote
ABC Online

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Angela Merkel: Germans embrace predictability and stability ahead of vote – ABC Online

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Angela Merkel: Germans embrace predictability and stability ahead of vote
ABC Online
“We will take Merkel over TrumpPutin or Erdogan. People can call our politics boring or dull but it looks a lot better than elsewhere right now.” A group of people smile and clink their beers together at Oktoberfest. Photo: Even some people who 
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all 144 news articles »

Donald Trump’s bumbling attorney accidentally gives away secrets when he’s overheard at restaurant 

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The attorneys representing Donald Trump in his Russia scandal have seemingly been in a race to see who could screw up in the most embarrassing fashion. Two of them have had late night email feuds with strangers. One accused a reporter of being on drugs. One of them was fired after he threatened someone. Now one of his attorneys has found an entirely new way to screw up: he unwittingly gave away secrets about the internal workings of Trump’s legal team when he was overheard in a restaurant.

The incredible story comes by way of the New York Times, which reveals that one of its reporters overheard Trump attorney Ty Cobb (yes that’s his real name) while they were both dining at the same steakhouse (link). Cobb was overheard accusing his colleague, White House Counsel Don McGahn, of having his own spies within the administration.

The Times contacted the White House to follow up on what it had overheard Cobb saying, and in the process McGahn became aware of what Cobb had said about him. This prompted McGahn to privately “erupt” at Cobb. It also led Chief of Staff John Kelly to “reprimand” Cobb for having discussed such things in public at a restaurant where he could be overheard. This is just some of the dysfunction that’s going on within Trump’s no-star legal team.

Donald Trump hired Ty Cobb as a White House lawyer so taxpayers would have to pick up the tab, even though Cobb is directly representing Trump in the Russia scandal. But this may backfire, as it means Cobb and Trump don’t have the usual attorney-client privilege. Nor is there any such privilege between Trump and McGahn. For that matter, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is targeting McGahn as a potential witness or co-conspirator, as he helped Trump craft his attempted cover-up of Donald Trump Jr’s Russia meeting.

The post Donald Trump’s bumbling attorney accidentally gives away secrets when he’s overheard at restaurant appeared first on Palmer Report.

Why a Facebook warrant could signal a turning point in Mueller’s investigation – CBS News

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Why a Facebook warrant could signal a turning point in Mueller’s investigation
CBS News
CBS News has confirmed that Facebook turned over materials about Russian ad buys to Mueller’s team, which is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any ties to the Trump campaign. Last week, Facebook acknowledged that …
Report describes Facebook’s viewpoint amid Russia investigationWDEF News 12
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Anatomy of a Russian attack: First signs of the Kremlin’s attempt to influence the 2016 election – WTOP

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WTOP
Anatomy of a Russian attack: First signs of the Kremlin’s attempt to influence the 2016 election
WTOP
The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that an attempt to interfere in the 2016 U.S.election was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. A WTOP investigation that began in November 2016 examines how the attack happened, when it started, …

and more »

Trump Pushes UN: ‘We Are Not Seeing the Results’ – New York Times

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Trump Pushes UN: ‘We Are Not Seeing the Results’
New York Times
UNITED NATIONS — President Trump on Monday opened his first visit to the United Nations since taking office with a polite but firm call for the 72-year-old institution to overhaul itself, as world leaders waited to see how he would reconcile his 
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NBCNews.com –CNBC –BBC News
all 1,662 news articles »

Trump Lawyers Dish On Russia Probe At Steakhouse As NYT Reporter Listens In

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Two of President Trump’s lawyers were overheard by a New York Times reporter “loudly discussing” the Russia investigation

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As Russia scandal moves forward, Team Mueller isn’t done growing – MSNBC

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MSNBC
As Russia scandal moves forward, Team Mueller isn’t done growing
MSNBC
An attorney working on the Justice Department’s highest-profile money-laundering case recently transferred off that assignment in order to join the staff of the special prosecutor investigating theTrump campaign’s potential ties to Russia, POLITICO 
New Legislation to Protect Russia Investigation’s Robert Mueller From TrumpNewsweek
Mueller just obtained a warrant that could change the entire nature of the RussiainvestigationBusiness Insider
Trump and Russia: what does Robert Mueller know?Financial Times
Washington Examiner –POLITICO Magazine –Wall Street Journal –CNNMoney
all 144 news articles »

Trump Still Hasn’t Officially Declared The Opioid Crisis A National Emergency

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More than a month ago, Trump announced he was “drawing documents now” to tackle “a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had.”

Opioid Crisis – Google Search

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Opioid Crisis Fast Facts – Gant Daily

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Opioid Crisis Fast Facts
Gant Daily
About 11.5 million Americans age 12 and older misused prescription pain medicine in 2016, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. About 948,000 or 0.3% of the US population age 12 and up used heroin in 2016.

and more »


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Why a Facebook warrant could signal a turning point in Mueller’s investigation

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Why a Facebook warrant could signal a turning point in Mueller’s investigation – CBS News

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CBS News
Why a Facebook warrant could signal a turning point in Mueller’s investigation
CBS News
CBS News has confirmed that Facebook turned over materials about Russian ad buys to Mueller’s team, which is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any ties to the Trump campaign. Last week, Facebook acknowledged that …
Report describes Facebook’s viewpoint amid Russia investigationWDEF News 12
Mueller just obtained a warrant that could change the entire nature of the RussiainvestigationThe Independent
Report: Facebook gave special investigator Robert Mueller detailed info on Russian ad buysTechCrunch
New York Times –Engadget –The Daily Dot
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Anatomy of a Russian attack: First signs of the Kremlin’s attempt to influence the 2016 election – WTOP

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WTOP
Anatomy of a Russian attack: First signs of the Kremlin’s attempt to influence the 2016 election
WTOP
The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that an attempt to interfere in the 2016 U.S.election was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. A WTOP investigation that began in November 2016 examines how the attack happened, when it started, …

and more »

Trump Pushes UN: ‘We Are Not Seeing the Results’ – New York Times

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New York Times
Trump Pushes UN: ‘We Are Not Seeing the Results’
New York Times
UNITED NATIONS — President Trump on Monday opened his first visit to the United Nations since taking office with a polite but firm call for the 72-year-old institution to overhaul itself, as world leaders waited to see how he would reconcile his 
Trump pays tribute to the military, the UN and Americans by paying tribute to himselfWashington Post
Trump calls for whistleblower protections as part of UN reformsCNN
Trump opens UN comments with mention of Trump World TowerPolitico
NBCNews.com –CNBC –BBC News
all 1,662 news articles »

Trump Lawyers Dish On Russia Probe At Steakhouse As NYT Reporter Listens In

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Two of President Trump’s lawyers were overheard by a New York Times reporter “loudly discussing” the Russia investigation

As Russia scandal moves forward, Team Mueller isn’t done growing – MSNBC

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MSNBC
As Russia scandal moves forward, Team Mueller isn’t done growing
MSNBC
An attorney working on the Justice Department’s highest-profile money-laundering case recently transferred off that assignment in order to join the staff of the special prosecutor investigating theTrump campaign’s potential ties to Russia, POLITICO 
New Legislation to Protect Russia Investigation’s Robert Mueller From TrumpNewsweek
Mueller just obtained a warrant that could change the entire nature of the RussiainvestigationBusiness Insider
Trump and Russia: what does Robert Mueller know?Financial Times
Washington Examiner –POLITICO Magazine –Wall Street Journal –CNNMoney
all 144 news articles »

Trump Still Hasn’t Officially Declared The Opioid Crisis A National Emergency

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More than a month ago, Trump announced he was “drawing documents now” to tackle “a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had.”

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Opioid Crisis – Google Search

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Opioid Crisis Fast Facts – Gant Daily

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Opioid Crisis Fast Facts
Gant Daily
About 11.5 million Americans age 12 and older misused prescription pain medicine in 2016, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. About 948,000 or 0.3% of the US population age 12 and up used heroin in 2016.

and more »


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Trump Lawyers Dish On Russia Probe At Steakhouse As NYT Reporter Listens In

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Trump Lawyers Dish On Russia Probe At Steakhouse As NYT Reporter Listens In

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Two of President Trump’s lawyers were overheard by a New York Times reporter “loudly discussing” the Russia investigation.

VICE News
Donald Trump’s lawyers fail at basic lawyering: Privacy
Salon
President Donald Trump may be focusing on how to wriggle out of the Russia scandal that threatens to envelop his administration, but in order to do that, his legal team will first need to get their proverbial house in order. Exhibit A: The fact that 
Trump’s lawyer caught gossiping about White House dramaVICE News
NYT: Cobb overheard talking about colleagues, Russia probe at DC steakhouseCNNall 37 news articles »

Donald Trump’s bumbling attorney accidentally gives away secrets when he’s overheard at restaurant 

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The attorneys representing Donald Trump in his Russia scandal have seemingly been in a race to see who could screw up in the most embarrassing fashion. Two of them have had late night email feuds with strangers. One accused a reporter of being on drugs. One of them was fired after he threatened someone. Now one of his attorneys has found an entirely new way to screw up: he unwittingly gave away secrets about the internal workings of Trump’s legal team when he was overheard in a restaurant.

The incredible story comes by way of the New York Times, which reveals that one of its reporters overheard Trump attorney Ty Cobb (yes that’s his real name) while they were both dining at the same steakhouse (link). Cobb was overheard accusing his colleague, White House Counsel Don McGahn, of having his own spies within the administration.

The Times contacted the White House to follow up on what it had overheard Cobb saying, and in the process McGahn became aware of what Cobb had said about him. This prompted McGahn to privately “erupt” at Cobb. It also led Chief of Staff John Kelly to “reprimand” Cobb for having discussed such things in public at a restaurant where he could be overheard. This is just some of the dysfunction that’s going on within Trump’s no-star legal team.

Donald Trump hired Ty Cobb as a White House lawyer so taxpayers would have to pick up the tab, even though Cobb is directly representing Trump in the Russia scandal. But this may backfire, as it means Cobb and Trump don’t have the usual attorney-client privilege. Nor is there any such privilege between Trump and McGahn. For that matter, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is targeting McGahn as a potential witness or co-conspirator, as he helped Trump craft his attempted cover-up of Donald Trump Jr’s Russia meeting.

The post Donald Trump’s bumbling attorney accidentally gives away secrets when he’s overheard at restaurant appeared first on Palmer Report.

 

As Russia scandal moves forward, Team Mueller isn’t done growing – MSNBC

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MSNBC
As Russia scandal moves forward, Team Mueller isn’t done growing
MSNBC
An attorney working on the Justice Department’s highest-profile money-laundering case recently transferred off that assignment in order to join the staff of the special prosecutor investigating theTrump campaign’s potential ties to Russia, POLITICO 
New Legislation to Protect Russia Investigation’s Robert Mueller From TrumpNewsweek
Mueller just obtained a warrant that could change the entire nature of the RussiainvestigationBusiness Insider
Trump and Russia: what does Robert Mueller know?Financial Times
Washington Examiner –POLITICO Magazine –Wall Street Journal –CNNMoney
all 144 news articles »

Trump Still Hasn’t Officially Declared The Opioid Crisis A National Emergency

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More than a month ago, Trump announced he was “drawing documents now” to tackle “a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had.”

Opioid Crisis – Google Search

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Image result for Opioid Crisis

Opioid Crisis Fast Facts – Gant Daily

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Opioid Crisis Fast Facts
Gant Daily
About 11.5 million Americans age 12 and older misused prescription pain medicine in 2016, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. About 948,000 or 0.3% of the US population age 12 and up used heroin in 2016.and more »

Nonfiction: Survival of the Prettiest 

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Darwin’s theory of aesthetics may be the sexiest, most dangerous idea in evolution.

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Bus Crash in Queens Injures More Than a Dozen

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The crash occurred around 6:15 a.m. at Main Street and Northern Boulevard, a busy intersection in the Flushing neighborhood.

Survival of the Prettiest – The New York Times

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But it’s another of Darwin’s theories, his least appreciated (at least to judge by popular books), that is his most seditious — and that this year finally gets the thorough defense it deserves.

A little over a decade after he published “On the Origin of Species,” in which he described his theory of natural selection shaped by “survival of the fittest,” Darwin published another troublesome treatise — “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relationship to Sex.” This expanded on an idea he mentioned only briefly in “Origin.” Sometimes, he proposed, in organisms that reproduce by having sex, a different kind of selection occurs: Animals choose mates that are not the fittest candidates available, but the most attractive or alluring. Sometimes, in other words, aesthetics rule.

Darwin conceived this idea largely because he found natural selection could not account for the ornaments seen in many animals, especially males, all over the world — the bright buttocks and faces of many monkeys and apes; the white legs and backside of the Banteng bull, in Malaysia; the elaborate feathers and mating dances of countless birds including bee-eaters and bell-birds, nightjars, hummingbirds and herons, gaudy birds of paradise and lurid pheasants, and the peacock, that showboat, whose extravagant tail seems a survival hindrance but so pleases females that well-fanned cocks regularly win their favor. Only a consistent preference for such ornament — in many species, a “choice exerted by the female” — could select for such decoration. This sexual selection,as Darwin called it, this taste for beauty rather than brawn, constituted an evolutionary mechanism separate, independent, and sometimes contrary to natural selection.

To Darwin’s dismay, many biologists rejected this theory. For one thing, Darwin’s elevation of sexual selection threatened the idea of natural selection as the one true and almighty force shaping life — a creative force powerful and concentrated enough to displace that of God. And some felt Darwin’s sexual selection gave too much power to all those females exerting choices based on beauty. As the zoologist St. George Jackson Mivart complained in an influential early review of “Descent,” “the instability of vicious feminine caprice” was too soft and slippery a force to drive something as important as evolution.

Darwin’s sexual selection theory thus failed to win the sort of victory that his theory of natural selection did. Ever since, the adaptationist, “fitness first” view of sexual selection as a subset of natural selection has dominated, driving the interpretation of most significant traits. Fancy feathers or (in humans) symmetrical faces have been cast not as instruments of sexual selection, but as “honest signals” of some greater underlying fitness. Meanwhile, the “modern synthesis” of the mid-1900s, which reconciled Darwinian evolution with Mendelian genetics, redefined evolutionary fitness itself not in terms of traits, but as the survival and spread of the individual genes that generated the traits. Genes, rather than traits, became what natural selection selected.

And so things largely remained until now. This summer, however, almost 150 years after Darwin published his sexual selection theory to mixed reception, Richard Prum, a mild-mannered ornithologist and museum curator from Yale, has published a book intended to win Darwin’s sex theory a more climactic victory. With THE EVOLUTION OF BEAUTY (Doubleday, $30), Prum, drawing on decades of study, hundreds of papers, and a lively, literate, and mischievous mind, means to prove an enriched version of Darwin’s sexual selection theory and rescue evolutionary biology from its “tedious and limiting adaptationist insistence on the ubiquitous power of natural selection.” He feels this insistence has given humankind an impoverished, even corrupted view of evolution in general, and in particular of how evolution has shaped sexual relations and human culture.

As Prum knows, he’s in for a fight. The biologists who most militantly defend the adaptationist Darwinian view of evolution, such as Richard Dawkins, do not gladly suffer dissent. But true to his argument, Prum seeks to prevail less through brute force of attack than by making his case with clarity, grace and charm. Like a bowerbird arranging its display for potential mates, he seeks not to best his chesty, chattering rivals, but to persuade the open-minded. The result is a delicious read, both seductive and mutinous.

Richard Prum is first and foremost an obsessive birder. Having personally seen over a third of the world’s 10,000 known bird species, he draws on his observations and wide reading to defeather and gut the adaptationist view that beauty is an “honest signaling” of evolutionary fitness. His attention never strays far from nature, and his writing in these bird passages is minutely detailed, exquisitely observant, deeply informed, and often tenderly sensual. When describing, say, the “throbbing” display of the lavishly decorated argus bird, he delivers a feathery brush of the erotic.

Prum is also an expert on the evolution of feathers, and he writes of them with the insight and appreciation one hears in the funnest art critics — think Kenneth Clark crossed with Sister Wendy. Prum makes an elegant, plausible argument that rather than having evolved for flight, feathers may actually have first evolved as a decorative surface for sexual display: fitness as a downstream benefit of beauty. The art-critic overtones come not by chance. Prum considers birds artists. Manakins (Prum’s study group) carefully choreograph their dances. Bowerbirds mastered perspective in their bower building eons before human painters grokked it during the Renaissance.

Bowerbird males provide Prum some of his most convincing examples. These remarkable birds woo their potential mates by constructing circles, cones, or maypole-like structures out of twigs, then ornamenting both the structures and the ground within and around them with stones, shells, beetle cases, colorful fungi and other found art. Both the architecture and the male’s behavior invite the female to observe and consider while leaving her both the space to do so and a clear escape path. In some bowerbird species the male laboriously arranges and rearranges his display, examining it from various angles and making small fixes, writes Prum, with the care of a “fussy florist.” The males of several species observe the female examining their work while half-hidden behind a tree or some fencelike part of the bower. If she likes what she sees, she stretches her neck and raises her tail in invitation, and the male comes to mate. (This takes only seconds, and the two will never meet again.) If she doesn’t, she leaves.

Prum believes these and similar courtship appeals in other species have arisen from a long, multigenerational, co-evolutionary conversation between mating partners. The male’s aesthetic and social qualities are repeatedly tested, judged and (through selection) modified according to whether they please potential mates. Thus the females’ individual preferences, says Prum, help drive evolution.

Like all selection, this is not intended to reach any particular goal; it just unfolds according to the demands of either fitness, or in this case, beauty. A trait selected for its beauty, of course, might create problems by selecting for ornaments that work against fitness. But, most crucially in the end, and often offsetting these problems, this “aesthetic” courtship, says Prum, creates an environment, temperaments and rituals — a sort of culture — that give the female sexual choice, autonomy and safety. (As noted, she doesn’t get everything; once she and the male mate and part, she raises the offspring by herself.)

Prum sees such aesthetic choices as driving a gradual “aesthetic remodeling” — an evolutionary reshaping of mating behavior, and even of male social behavior more widely, by the civilizing pressure of female preference. Prum stresses this is not about emasculating males, or dominating them; it’s simply about selecting for males who allow females autonomy and choice.

By this point in the book, Prum, having made his case so well in birds, turns to the implications of sexual selection for Homo sapiens. He nimbly mines both the animal and human literature to show how, for one human trait after another, adaptationist explanations miss the mark while aesthetic explanations hit home. His catalog of Things Natural Selection Can’t Explain but Sexual Selection Easily Can includes homosexuality, a tendency toward monogamy, both sex’s taste and capacity for sex outside of female fertility periods, the deweaponization of the human male through the evolutionary shrinkage of almost every body part except the brain and the evolution of human paternal care, which is highly unusual among our fellow apes and close primate cousins. To name just a few.

Consider, for instance, this handful of well-known distinguishing human traits: our constant interest in sex, permanent breasts, big penises, and, last but hardly least, women’s orgasms. Except for constant sexual interest (and possibly female orgasm) in bonobos, none of these traits evolved in our fellow ape species. Prum argues that they evolved in humans because they help women evaluate men’s prosocial-pleasure potential. When sex offers orgasm at relatively low pregnancy risk, it provides a way not just to reproduce but to assess potential mates’ attention to female desires, tastes and choices. Essentially, Prum says, humans evolved to negotiate and have sex as a sort of display ritual. The boudoir is our bower.

One of Prum’s takeaways is that, given all this, we have choices to make. All sexual selection, he says, is shaped by conflicts between male and female anatomy, physiology, and agendas. Prum argues that sexual species tend to evolve toward one of two responses to this conflict. One evolutionary response is for males to use greater size to control or coerce the female and curb her power over whether, with whom, and how often she will mate and reproduce. This approach is common in many duck species and gorillas, whose dominant males use the threat of force to command exclusive mating access to the females in their groups and often murder the offspring of their predecessors. The other evolutionary answer is the aesthetic route — the resolution of differences between male and female needs and desires by behaviors and rituals that respect the other sex’s priorities and their decisions about how to pursue them.

Prum proposes that we humans have evolved along the latter path, and that, given our powers of thought, conscience and agency, we can accelerate that aesthetic and social evolution. This, he asserts, is why beauty should not be seen as merely the stamp of quality assurance that conventional evolutionary theory thinks it is. Beauty, rather, forms the foundation of an entire, complex evolutionary dynamic — one that can influence how we treat each other.

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· · · · · ·

Why America’s Missile Defenses Might Not Work Against North Korea 

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Dave Majumdar

Security, Asia

And that’s a huge problem.

Late last week, the United States tracked a North Korean intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) test that once again overflew Japan before landing in the Pacific.

The IRBM is the latest in a series of North Korean provocations this year that has included the test of a hydrogen bomb and an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) among other events. There is little the United States and its allies can do in response except to deter Pyongyang. Suggestions that the United States and Japan shoot down North Korean missile tests—an option often bandied about by certain political commentators are fanciful. Neither the United States or Japan likely has such a capability—even if they were so inclined.

“U.S. Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a single North Korean ballistic missile launch at 11:57 a.m. (Hawaii time) Sept. 14. Initial assessment indicates the launch of an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM),” U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Cmdr. Dave Benham wrote in a Sept. 14 email.

“The launch occurred in the vicinity of Sunan, North Korea and flew east. The ballistic missile overflew the territory of northern Japan before landing in the Pacific Ocean east of Japan. We are working with our interagency partners on a more detailed assessment and we will provide a public update if warranted.”

Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association told The National Interest last month that intercepting such tests would be extremely difficult. Other experts also agreed with Reif’s assessment.

“Shooting down a North Korean missile on a test trajectory—as was the case with the 8/29 HS-12 test—is an entirely different and even more difficult challenge,” Reif said.

“Our BMD systems are not designed or postured to defend the open ocean. And we couldn’t rely on THAAD, since there are no THAAD batteries in the Japan. Patriot is also a no go, since it is designed to defend against slower short-range missiles during their terminal phase.”

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How 9/11 Changed America: For Better and for Worse

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Today we commemorate the 16th anniversary of what Al-Qa’ida termed its Planes Operation, the most consequential terrorist attacks in history. That operation left 19 dead jihadists, 2,978 dead innocent victims, plus thousands of injured. Not to mention the World Trade Center complex annihilated, four jetliners destroyed, the Pentagon badly damaged, and a nation changed forever.

In Lower Manhattan and at the Pentagon – all rebuilt with appropriate memorials to that day – the usual solemn 9/11 remembrances will take place. Those who recall may think back, briefly, to that sunny Tuesday morning when the world changed. Some will speak of it. Just as my parents and their friends once bored me with their exact memories of where they were on November 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, now my friends and I bore our children with precise recollections of 9/11.

With the passing of time we can see the Planes Operation and its impacts with a clarity that was previously out of reach. In the months after 9/11, when shock turned to an outrage that birthed a national unity which proved as intense as it was fleeting, a new era dawned for America in a long-term struggle against Islamist terrorism and extremism. How has that conflict panned out over the last 16 years?

In the first place, it ought to be noted that our Intelligence Community has done a commendable job of keeping mass-casualty terrorism away from our shores since 9/11. In particular, FBI-NSA teamwork, in near-seamless collaboration with close foreign intelligence partners, has foiled hundreds of terrorist plots “left of boom” as they say in the spy trade. Jihadists have executed exactly zero “big wedding” attacks in the United States in the last 16 years – and it’s not for any lack of trying.

Indeed, since 9/11 the FBI-NSA counterterrorism partnership has grown so effective at stopping jihadists before they kill that civil libertarians routinely complain that many of these would-be terrorists are harmless ne’er-do-wells and fantasists entrapped by government informants. This is a by-product of the success of our domestic counterterrorism in recent years.

Although jihadists, usually self-styled, have killed Americans at home since 9/11, most of these terrorists have been inspired – not directed – by violent co-religionists overseas. In a typical case, the worst of these attacks, the June 2016 slaughter at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, killed 49 innocents; yet their murderer, Omar Mateen, a native-born American citizen, despite clearly being inspired by the Islamic State, was not directed by them except in his own diseased mind.

Read the rest at The Observer …

Filed under: EspionageHistoryStrategyTerrorismUSG  

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American Tourists Doused With Acid In Marseilles, One Suspect Arrested 

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Two American tourists are receiving hospital treatment for burns after being attacked by an unknown female at the Saint Charles train station in Marseilles, who hurled acid at the group of four young women.

The attack with hydrochloric acid occurred on Sunday shortly after 11am, the La Provence newspaper reported, while the group of four was waiting for their transit to Paris. Two of the women are receiving treatment for burns, including a possible eye injury, while the others are being treated for shock, a French official told AP.

One suspect, aged between 41 and 51 years old, has been taken into custody. Police say there does not seem to be a terrorist or religious motive, and the woman appears to be mentally unbalanced.

French prosecutors are not investigating the acid attack on four American women in Marseilles as an act of terror, AP later reported.

As Persian Gulf crisis persists, alarm in Washington deepens

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The Trump administration fears that the bitter dispute among allies will damage U.S. interests.

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No, We Cannot Shoot Down North Korea’s Missiles

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In a test, SM-6 missiles fired from the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) hit a target medium-range ballistic missile off Hawaii, Au. 29, 2017.

In wake of airstrike, US military moves to establish closer communication with Russian forces in Syria

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The Pentagon is taking additional steps to ensure that U.S. and Russian battlefield commanders are able to directly communicate with one another after an airstrike on U.S. proxy forces near Deir al-Zour, Syria, that wounded several fighters Saturday, the United States’ highest -ranking military officer said.

     

Trump and the United Nations: Reform or Die?

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Zalmay Khalilzad

Politics, North America

U.S. President Trump waves as he arrives at Morristown municipal airport for a weekend at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster ahead of next week's United Nations General Assembly

President Trump is taking on a tough but necessary task at the UN.

President Donald Trump will be hosting a meeting on Monday in New York on reforming the United Nations. With that, the president is taking on a very tough but very necessary task. The institution is in serious need of reform but achieving that will be very difficult. Yet, unless it reforms substantially, the UN faces the prospect of becoming less relevant and having its very mission and existence questioned.

Promoting security, human rights, humanitarian assistance and sustainable development are the primary responsibility of the individual member states, and assisting members in these four areas is the core mission of the UN—including peacekeeping, assisting refugees, facilitating international agreements on important issues and prodding countries to carry out their obligation under international law. However, the UN apparatus has become unwieldy, bureaucratically overburdened, inefficient, ineffective and fiscally irresponsible. These problems need to fixed.

Since becoming Secretary General, Antonio Guterres has emphasized reform—his focus of effort and the proposals he has developed do not pertain to adjusting the organization’s mission. Rather, they focus solely on how it carries its responsibilities, with the goal of increasing the organization’s capacity to implements its current mission more effectively by becoming more integrated, more transparent and more accountable. The meeting is aimed at boosting his initiatives.

The Trump/Guterres event will be well received and there will be many positive statements in support of reform. However, the actual implementation of the reforms will face serious challenges.

A key challenge is disagreement among member states on what needs to be done. When it comes to what reform actually means, different countries and voting blocs have varying priorities. The United States and its allies want the United Nations to take greater initiative in reforming management to increase transparency, accountability, effectiveness and efficiency. Rising powers are eager to join the Security Council as permanent members, but are unwilling to embrace the management reforms necessary to reduce waste and increase efficiency and effectiveness, because those moves are unpopular with the developing countries whose votes they will need to achieve their Security Council aspiration.

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In wake of airstrike, U.S. military moves to establish closer communication with Russian forces in Syria

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Russia has denied taking part in the strike, despite a U.S. statement Saturday that specifically indicated Russian aircraft participated in the bombing.


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Opioid Crisis Fast Facts – Gant Daily

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Opioid Crisis

Opioid Crisis Fast Facts – Gant Daily 

May 10, 2007 – The federal government brings criminal charges against Purdue Pharma for misleadingly advertising OxyContin as safer and less addictive than other opioids. The company and three executives are charged with “misleading and defrauding physicians and consumers.” Purdue Pharma and the executives plead guilty, agreeing to pay a $634.5 million in criminal and civil fines. The three executives plead guilty on criminal misdemeanor charges and are later sentenced to probation.

2010 – FDA approves an “abuse-deterrant” formulation of OxyContin, to help curb abuse. However, people still find ways to abuse it.

May 20, 2015 – The DEA announces that it has arrested 280 people, including 22 doctors and pharmacists, after a 15-month sting operation centered on health care providers who dispense large amounts of opioids. The sting, dubbed Operation Pilluted, is the largest prescription drug bust in the history of the DEA.

March 18, 2016 – The CDC publishes guidelines for prescribing opioids for patients with chronic pain. Recommendations include prescribing over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen in lieu of opioids. Doctors are encouraged to promote exercise and behavioral treatments to help patients cope with pain.

March 29, 2017 – President Donald Trump signs an executive order calling for the establishment of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is selected as the chairman of the group, with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as an adviser.

July 31, 2017 – After a delay, the White House panel examining the nation’s opioid epidemic releases its interim report, asking President Trump to declare a national public health emergency to combat the ongoing crisis.

August 8, 2017 – Trump holds a press briefing on opioids at his New Jersey golf club and says that a stronger law enforcement response is needed to combat the crisis. He stops short of declaring a national public health emergency.

August 10, 2017 – The White House issues a press release stating that Trump is directing his “administration to use all appropriate authority to respond to the opioid emergency.” The administration does not, however, make a formal declaration of a national public health emergency, which would free up resources and funding to help opioid addicts and jumpstart prevention programs. As of September 14, 2017, the president still has not formally declared a national public health emergency, as recommended by his opioid commission. 

Trump Still Hasn’t Officially Declared The Opioid Crisis A National Emergency

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More than a month ago, Trump announced he was “drawing documents now” to tackle “a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had.”

 

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Donald Trump’s lawyers overheard discussing Russia investigation in Washington steakhouse – Telegraph.co.uk

Hillary Clinton Says She’s ‘Optimistic About Our Country, But I Am Not Naive’ – NPR
In Russia scandal, Trump’s legal team isn’t a fine-tuned machine – MSNBC
Bitcoin and Blockchain: A Russian Money Laundering Bonanza? – Newsweek
Michael Flynn Prepping for a $1 Million Legal Tab – Daily Beast
Trump extends a hand to the UN even as he urges reform
THERE IS SOMETHING ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF DENMARK – Bloomberg BNA
Senate Investigators to Interview Trump Attorney in Russia Probe – U.S. News & World Report
Americas inflation enigma continues to confound
Clinton won’t rule out questioning legitimacy of election – The Hill
What Are Juggalos and Why Are They Marching Against the FBI?
Mnuchin and Pompeo should recuse themselves from the Russia investigation WP
On MSNBC Steven Harper Talks About the Moscow Tower Deal That ‘Will Get Donald Elected’ – BillMoyers.com
Felix Sater Is a Lean, Mean Trump-Russia Machine – Bloomberg
Now embroiled in Trump-Russia inquiry, Felix Sater once was an FBI informant – Los Angeles Times
Felix Sater, possible key to Trump-Russia probe, faces credibility questions – Washington Examiner
‘Fecalboy.com’ is just one of the nasty domain names Trump pal Felix Sater used to target a common foe – MarketWatch
Felix Sater: the enigmatic businessman at the heart of the Trump-Russia inquiry – The Guardian
The Trump-Russia probe contains explosive allegations and the President will struggle to conceal the secrets of his past – The Independent
Who Is Felix Sater? Trump’s Associate Bragged His Russian Deal Could Get Our Boy Elected – Gears Of Biz
Top House Democrat: ‘Past time’ to subpoena Comey documents – Los Angeles Times
Editorial: Mueller finds alarming signs and sleazy people in collusion probe – STLtoday.com
‘Business as usual and nothing more’: Trump’s longtime lawyer defends contacts with top Russian official – Business Insider
Russian émigré in Trump saga still surrounded by fellow financial fraudsters – Sacramento Bee

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