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|Papadopoulos lied to FBI out of loyalty to Trump: report | TheHill|
|Trump: U.S. Will No Longer Tolerate Trade Abuses|
When the United States enters into a trading relationship with other countries or other peoples, we will from now on expect that our partners will faithfully follow the rules.”
|Mueller Probes Flynn’s Role in Alleged Plan to Deliver Cleric to Turkey – Wall Street Journal|
|Special Counsel Mueller is investigating allegations that Michael Flynn was involved in a plot to kidnap an enemy of … – The Week Magazine|
|The Early Edition: November 10, 2017|
Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Heres todays news.
TRUMP ASIA TRIP
President Trump employed a mix of flattery and tough talk when meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing yesterday during his tour of Asia, the talks focused on the U.S.-China trade relationship and the threat posed by North Koreas nuclear weapons program, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying that the strong personal rapport between Trump and Xi allowed the two leaders to communicate more effectively, especially when discussing the Pyongyang regime. Jeremy Page, Michael C. Bender and Chun Han Wong report at the Wall Street Journal.
The U.S. and China could probably solve all of the worlds problems, Trump said yesterday, notably toning down his criticisms of Beijing. Jill Colvin and Jonathan Lemire report at the AP.
Trump arrived in Vietnam today for the Asian-Pacific Economic Forum (A.P.E.C.), amid improved relations between U.S. and Vietnam, partly due to Vietnams desire for the U.S. to counter Chinas influence in the region. Hannah Beech explains at the New York Times.
Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not hold a formal meeting at the A.P.E.C. summit today, but it is possible and likely that the two leaders would bump into each other, the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Air Force One today. Ali Vitali reports at NBC News.
Trump was more conciliatory than confrontational when meeting with Xi, taking a softer approach on the North Korean threat and Chinas role in the crisis, thanking Xi for his efforts but calling on him to put more pressure on the Pyongyang regime. Jonathan Lemire provides an analysis at the AP.
There was nothing but pleasantries and soothing tones when Trump and Xi met in Beijing, however the question remains what each leader gained and what was lost. Emily Rauhala and Simon Denyer provide an analysis at the Washington Post.
The relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines has been strained as the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has moved closer to China, on the other hand, the U.S. has been improving relations with Vietnam and this is a relationship that Trump can exploit. Jamie Tarabay provides an analysis at CNN.
There have been growing fears that the recently resigned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is being held in Saudi Arabia following his resignation from the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Saturday, the speculation has fueled concerns that Lebanon would be the battleground for the escalating Saudi-Iran tensions as Hariri blamed Iran and its Hezbollah allies for creating a state within a state Hariris speech mirroring the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans combative rhetoric. Louisa Loveluck and Kareem Fahim report at the Washington Post.
Lebanons President Michel Aoun told Saudi Arabias envoy today that Hariri must return to Lebanon and explain why he tendered his resignation from Riyadh. Tom Perry and Sarah Dadouch report at Reuters.
Lebanese government officials have said that they havent heard from Hariri since he left for Saudi Arabia last week, Hariris decision to resign left the Lebanese government and the nation stunned and the resignation occurred in the context of Saudi Arabias contention that Hezbollah acts as a proxy of Iran and has true control of Lebanon. Zeina Karam and Bassem Mroue report at the AP.
A source close to Hariri claimed that Saudi Arabia ordered Hariri to resign and have put him under house arrest, another source claimed that Saudi Arabia have been controlling and limiting his movement. Laila Bassam and Tom Perry report at Reuters.
Hariris resignation shows that Iran is taking over Lebanon. Hezbollah is taking over Lebanon, Israels Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said yesterday, saying that the time is now appropriate for a diplomatic offensive against Iran and Hezbollah at the U.N., he also dismissed allegations that Saudi Arabia forced Hariri to resign. Josef Federman reports at the AP.
The State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert refused to elaborate on Hariris status in Saudi Arabia when asked yesterday to describe the meetings between Hariri and the U.S. charge daffaires in Riyadh, meanwhile Russias ambassador to Lebanon threatened to refer Hariris case to the U.N. Security Council if the ambiguity continues. Al Jazeera reports.
Saudi Arabia yesterday ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon, raising concerns of further instability and possible war as Lebanon is seemingly caught in the middle of the Saudi-Iran rivalry. Anne Barnard reports at the New York Times.
Kuwait and Bahrain have also ordered their citizens to leave Lebanon, the AP reports.
We would like to see sanctions on Iran for its support of terrorism and sanctions on Iran for violating the ballistic missile resolutions of the United Nations, the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said yesterday, referring to Saturdays firing of a ballistic missile by Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels at the Saudi capital of Riyadh. When asked whether Saudi Arabia were heading for a direct confrontation with Iran, al-Jubeir responded we hope not. Hadley Gamble and Sam Meredith report at CNBC.
The French President Emmanuel Macron made a surprise visit to Saudi Arabia last night to talk with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Macron blamed Iran for a ballistic missile launch saying that it was obviously an Iranian missile, but adding that it was important for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to be maintained in the interests of global and regional stability. Jon Gambrell reports at the AP.
Macron also discussed the status of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned from the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Saturday and cited threats to his life and Iran and Hezbollahs destructive role in Lebanon as reasons for his decision. Macron said that all Lebanese officials should be able to live freely and without threats. The BBC reports.
There is no end in sight for the war in Yemen as the Saudi-led coalition continue their campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and initiatives to bring about peace remain elusive. Brian Rohan provides an overview of the situation in the context of the Saudi-Iran rivalry at the AP.
The Trump administration has chosen to back Saudi Arabia and has been hostile to Iran, in particular the 2015 nuclear deal and Irans support for the militant faction of Lebanons Hezbollah group, however the latest escalation in tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia has raised concerns about the dynamics of the U.S.-Saudi relationship and its impact on the region and the world. Vivian Salma explains at NBC News.
The U.S. faces a dilemma: how closely should it align with Saudi Arabia in its combative approach to Iran? There has been no consensus within the Trump administration and some have raised concerns that they would not want to antagonize Iran and provoke a reaction from Irans proxies in Iraq and Syria. Dion Nissenbaum explains at the Wall Street Journal.
Bin Salmans decision to oust Hariri has handed power to Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, however Saudis economic influence in Lebanon may force Hezbollah to compromise over its weaponry in order to salvage the economy, the Economist writes.
Trump has played a role in Bin Salmans efforts to consolidate his power in Saudi Arabia, the Crown Princes zeal for reform reflects a modernization drive that eschews democratic principles and diverges from the Western model a framework that Trump has consistently undermined through rhetoric and action. Anne Applebaum writes at the Washington Post.
Trumps former security chief Keith Schiller testified before the House Intelligence Committee yesterday, confirming that a foreign individual offered to send five women to Trumps hotel room during his visit to Moscow in November 2013, but Schiller refused the mans offer saying that were not interested in that. Carol D. Leonnig reports at the Washington Post.
Schiller made the comments about the five women in the context of him strenuously disputing the contents of the salacious dossier compiled by former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele, which alleged connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. Ken Dilanian and Jonathan Allen report at the Hill.
The White House senior adviser Stephen Miller has been interviewed by special counsel Robert Muellers team as part of investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, sources familiar with the investigation said yesterday, one source claiming that Millers role in the firing of former F.B.I. Director James Comey was among the topics discussed. Pamela Brown, Gloria Borger and Evan Perez report at CNN.
The opposition research firm Fusion G.P.S. produced negative information on the Clinton Foundation that the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya offered to Trump Jr. and Trump campaign officials during their meeting in June 2016, according to sources familiar with the matter. Mark Hosenball reports at Reuters.
Schillers revelation about the offer of five women demonstrates how things work in Russia and their pursuit of kompromat tactics, Chris Cilizza writes at CNN.
The Russian state-funded R.T. television news network said yesterday that it would register as a foreign agent in compliance with a request from the U.S. Justice Department, but said that it would challenge the decision as the demand is discriminative. Focus on the network has intensified in light of the investigations into Russias role in the 2016 election and the lobbying efforts of Trumps former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates. Paul Sonne reports at the Wall Street Journal.
The Russian embassy in the U.S. yesterday condemned the Justice Department for demanding R.T. to register as a foreign agent, saying that measures limiting activity will inevitably trigger an immediate symmetrical response. Julia Manchester reports at the Hill.
The U.S. is expected to propose the deployment of 20,000 peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine in the coming days in a test of Russias willingness to end the conflict in Ukraine, however Western officials remain skeptical that Russia would fulfil its commitments under the 2015 Minsk agreement to withdraw all troops and weapons out of Ukraine and allow Kiev to restore control over the country following Russias annexation of the Crimea in 2014. Laurence Norman and Julian E. Barnes report at the Wall Street Journal.
Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday accused the U.S. of attempting to interfere in Russias presidential campaign and claimed that the U.S.s role in trying to disqualify Russian athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics was a means of trying to undermine his presidency. David Filipov and Marissa Payne report at the Washington Post.
The Islamic State group have taken back half of the Syrian town of Albu Kamal despite the Syrian armys announcement yesterday that it had captured the town, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Reuters reports.
The Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was spotted Albu Kamal, a Hezbollah-run media unit claimed today, but did not offer further information, Reuters reporting.
Syrian opposition activists denied claims that al-Baghdadi has been sighted, saying that the Syrian army was seeking to distract from its losses in Albu Kamal. Bassem Mroue reports at the AP.
Iran- and Russia-backed Syrian government forces now face possible confrontation with U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) following yesterdays defeat of the Islamic State group in their last significant stronghold in the country, Sarah El Deeb explains at the AP.
Russias deplorable attempts to discredit the report into chemical weapons attacks in Syria continue to deny the truth, the U.S. representative Kenneth D. Ward said yesterday at a meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (O.P.C.W.), remarks that were posted on O.P.C.W.s website. Mike Corder reports at the AP.
The U.S.-led coalition has been setting up outposts in western Iraq near the border of Syria to clear Islamic State group militants from their last redoubt in the Euphrates River valley, Susannah George reports at the AP.
U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out six airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on November 3. Separately, partner forces conducted four strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command] The figures have not been updated since November 4.
The U.S. military has killed several al-Shabab Islamist militants in Somalia in airstrikes yesterday, the U.S. military stated. Abi Guled reports at the AP.
The European Union will preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and ensure that it will be fully implemented by all, in all its parts, the E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said today. Reutersreports.
The self-styled Libyan National Army forced Islamist fighters from the city of Beghazi yesterday, expelling the militants from one of their last strongholds in the country, Reuters reports.
N.A.T.O. announced yesterday that it would deploy around 700 troops to Afghanistan, falling short of U.S. expectations of around 1,500 troops, the N.A.T.O. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that there are still some gaps that the alliance would work on. Julian E. Barnes and Craig Nelson report at the Wall Street Journal.
Militants loyal to the Islamic State group killed six soldiers and injured four on a southern Philippine island, according to Philippine military spokesperson, Reuters reporting.
Israel will be holding its largest-ever air drills with pilots from 8 countries and around 1,000 participants, the Israeli military announced yesterday, the exercises coming amid increased tensions in the region. Tia Goldenberg reports at the AP.
An ex-Guantánamo Bay inmate has filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government claiming that it was complicit in his detention and torture, Jillian Kestler-DAmours reports at Al Jazeera.
|UK House Speaker Doubles Down On Trump Parliament Speech Ban|
The honor was given to former President Barack Obama in 2011.
|Trump talks tough on trade in Vietnam, no formal meeting with Putin – Washington Post|
|Former FBI counter-spy on Mueller, Trump and Putin: Russia is winning|
These are people who wanted to win at all costs, and believed that this information was something they could get that would help secure the presidency for Trump. Those are the boxes that get ticked for me. Then there is actually the question of opportunity and access. We know Manafort had connections with the Kremlin.
Again, this pattern demonstrates an attempt by the Russians to recruit U.S. persons to support their operational intent to undermine our country.
How does the information gleamed from Mueller’s indictment either complicate or clarify the timeline of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election?
I think the biggest problem we have with Manafort and Gates is that there are alleged criminal activities which predate the campaign, especially the Ukrainian money-laundering operation.
That is something which will be used to parry and deflect. But ultimately it does not matter if these events happened before the presidential campaign. They are still a crime. It also shows that Manafort is a man who has been a campaign manager and likely a money launderer for the Russians. He should never have been in that position [on the Trump campaign] to begin with. At best, Donald Trump could just plead ignorance, that he didn’t do his due diligence. Again, this doesn’t make him look any better.
How do you read the question of Trump’s involvement, given the new information? Like a Mafia don, it seems that Trump will say he had no idea what was going on around him.
That’s a very good point. I think that Donald Trump was not fully aware of a lot of these intricacies. I think he was not aware of them simply because of the Russians. The Russians were very smart about this, in terms of figuring out how to recruit people. We see that with Hillary Clinton emails and the success that they apparently had there.
|Former FBI counter-spy on Mueller, Trump and Putin: Russia is winning – Salon|
|Legal expert thinks Robert Mueller may indict Vladimir Putin in Donald Trumps Russia scandal|
Yes, you read that headline correctly. One legal expert, who has a law degree from Oxford and another law degree from the London School of Economics, is weighing in on Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. Based on the available evidence and the direction he thinks things are now headed in, he believes that Special Counsel Robert Mueller may end up indicting Russian President Vladimir Putin.
That’s the argument from Brent Budowsky, a legal expert who has written a new op-ed about the matter for The Hill (link). He makes a compelling case that Robert Mueller has the legal grounds to convene a grand jury against Putin, and the evidence to bring an indictment against him. Putin has committed various major and quantifiable crimes against the United States as part of an attempt at interfering in the U.S. election on Donald Trump’s behalf. Budowsky is urging Mueller to name Putin as an unindicted co-conspirator instead but the bottom line is why Mueller would go after Putin at all.
Palmer Report’s own take on the matter is this: short of a regime change, Russia obviously would not be willing to extradite its own president to stand trial in the United States. Mueller could try Putin in absentia, as a way of publicly laying out the case that Putin rigged the election in Trump’s favor and worked with members of the Trump campaign to do it. In so doing, Mueller would be trying Donald Trump by proxy.
There are a number of legal experts who believe Robert Mueller can indict Donald Trump while he’s still a sitting president. There are far fewer who believe Mueller can actually put a sitting U.S. president on trial, because the Constitution grants impeachment trial power to Congress. However, nothing says Mueller can’t put the president of Russia on trial, as a way of convincing the American public that Trump is overwhelmingly guilty and illegitimate thus helping to force Trump’s ouster.
The post Legal expert thinks Robert Mueller may indict Vladimir Putin in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal appeared first on Palmer Report.
|AP: Russia Twitter trolls rushed to deflect Trump bad news – CBS News|
|1917 Russian Revolution: The gay community’s brief window of freedom|
By Olga Khoroshilova St. Petersburg State University of Industrial Technologies and Design
In January 1921 Russian Baltic Fleet sailor Afanasy Shaur organised an extraordinary gay wedding in Petrograd.
The guests included 95 former army officers along with members of the lower ranks of both the army and navy, and one woman, dressed in a man’s suit.
The city had never seen anything like it.
Shaur pulled out all the stops. He did not think guests would come if it had just been a party.
But he gambled – rightly – that a proper wedding with all the Russian traditions, bread and salt, a blessing from the proud parents, and a concert to follow, would be irresistible.
At the time Russia’s gay community was enjoying a brief window of tolerance.
After the October Revolution in 1917, the Bolsheviks scrapped and rewrote the country’s laws. They produced two Criminal Codes – in 1922 and 1926 – and an article prohibiting gay sex was left off both.
But the wedding in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) was not all it seemed.
Afanasy Shaur was in fact a member of the secret police, and at the end of the festivities the guests were all arrested.
It emerged that Shaur had arranged the whole event as a way to curry favour with his bosses. He claimed these former military men were counter-revolutionaries who wanted to destroy the young Red Army from the inside.
But despite Shaur’s efforts, the accusations did not stick. The case was eventually closed and the “counter-revolutionaries” got away with nothing more than a fright.
How to recognise ‘one’s own’
Gay men had been part of a distinct underground community in Russia long before the revolution and they recognised each other by the “secret language” of fashion.
In St Petersburg, some wore red ties, or red shawls, onto which they would sew the back pockets of trousers.
Others powdered their faces and wore a lot of mascara.
After the revolution, the heavily made-up “silent film star look” became more mainstream and no longer just a fashion for young gay men.
Read more about the Russian Revolution
The upheaval of the revolution and civil war brought hard times to Russia and gay men were not able to match the flamboyant clothes and luxury accessories favoured by some of their counterparts across Europe.
Legal but still persecuted
The Bolsheviks were indirectly influenced by Magnus Hirschfeld, a German scientist who founded the Institute of Sexology in Berlin.
Hirschfeld often spoke in public of his conviction that homosexuality was not a disease, but a natural manifestation of human sexuality.
But although there may not have been an article relating to gay sex in the criminal codes of the 1920s, the community was still persecuted. Gay men were often beaten, blackmailed or sacked from their jobs.
Some wrote heartfelt letters to the psychiatrist Vladimir Bekhterev, considering him their last hope. They poured out their souls, asking him to help them cope with depression and even to “cure their illness”.
These letters and other documents show that members of the gay community were incredibly brave – some wore women’s dresses and corsets, wore their hair long and often looked like real women.
‘Aristocrats’ and ‘simple people’
Curiously, even though the revolution abolished class division, gay men continued to be divided by social classes. There were two gay communities and they rarely mixed.
The first were the so-called “aristocrats” – representatives of the creative intelligentsia, nobles, officials, and officers of the Tsarist army and navy.
The other community was “simple” (the name, evidently, was invented by the “aristocrats”). It consisted of soldiers, sailors, clerks – people who had not been part of the fashionable St Petersburg salons before the revolution and who were not welcome guests of the “aristocrats” after 1917.
In the 1920s, German Travesti theatre – in which men dress as women and vice versa – became popular among Soviet gay men. They were particularly fond of Hansi Sturm, the star of the Berlin night club El Dorado.
“Aristocrats” only rarely invited handsome men from the “simple” ranks to attend their extravagant soirees. But the male artists who dressed as women were not restrained by class restrictions.
They became stars and impersonated, among others, famous ballerinas like Matilda Kshesinskaya, who was mistress to Tsar Nicholas II.
Their wardrobes were full of beautiful costumes made by professional tailors. They used to rent them from the famous Petrograd tailor Leifert or have them made by him.
Before the revolution, Leifert was a supplier to the imperial court and he also made costumes for the dancers of the Mariinsky Theatre.
And then it all came to an end
After Afanasy Shaur’s plot to ensnare “counter-revolutionaries” with his spectacular gay marriage ceremony, there were no more high-profile weddings or arrests like this in the 1920s.
Although homosexuality was tolerated, the community started to lose its freedom in the 1930s.
In July 1933, 175 gay men from different walks of life were arrested in what came to be known as the Case of the Leningrad Homosexuals.
While the full details of the case remain classified, it is known that all those detained were given prison sentences on a range of charges from working for British intelligence to “malicious counter-revolutionism” and “moral corruption of the Red Army”.
It is thought that Shaur’s “wedding” in 1921 played a significant role in this. The secret police had not forgotten his claims that “sodomizers were corrupting the army and navy”.
Those same assertions were repeated in the early 1930s, as well as in forced confessions obtained by the secret police.
The Case of the Leningrad Homosexuals led to the re-inclusion of the article outlawing homosexuality in the new Criminal Code of 1934 and Russia’s short-lived tolerance of gay rights finally came to an end.
Olga Khoroshilova was speaking to BBC Russian’s Anna Kosinskaya.
|The Root Causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S., and the shattering of illusions by Michael Novakhov pic.twitter.com/DMrK7jCrlu|
The Root Causes of Mass Shootings in the U.S., and the shattering of illusions by Michael Novakhov pic.twitter.com/DMrK7jCrlu
|4:55 AM 11/9/2017 Mueller could indict Putin for multiple violations of American law | M.N.: Prepare the VIP prison cell at Rikers Island! pic.twitter.com/zP5cwQfudm|
4:55 AM 11/9/2017 Mueller could indict Putin for multiple violations of American law | M.N.: Prepare the VIP prison cell at Rikers Island! pic.twitter.com/zP5cwQfudm
|FBI counterterror chief, reportedly drunk, loses weapon|
Robert Manson, a supervisor in the FBI’s counterterrorism division, got drunk — allegedly — during a party with exotic dancers, better known as strippers, at a hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, went to bed, woke up and found his service weapon missing.
This isn’t just embarrassing. It’s downright dangerous to innocent American citizens.
Seriously. Could we please keep the federal law enforcement weapons out of the hands of strippers? Seems a simple request.
Here’s how the New York Times reports the story: “Manson, a unit chief in the F.B.I.’s international terrorism section, had his Glock .40-caliber handgun, a $6,000 Rolex watch and $60 cash stolen from his room at the Westin hotel in Charlotte. … Manson and other senior agents were in Charlotte for training … The agents later told the police that they had been drinking with women who said they were exotic dancers.”
What a red-faced moment for the agency. To say the least.
Police officers for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department were called to investigate the thefts, during which they ascertained “Manson was incapacitated because of alcohol.”
In other words, he was stone-cold drunk — a stumbling, bumbling idiot.
And here’s the kicker — the red flag to watch.
“Federal law allows agents to carry concealed weapons while off duty, but not while they are intoxicated. … FBI rules prohibit agents from leaving their guns in unsecure places,” the newspaper reported. “No arrests have been made and police officers have not recovered the gun.”
Great. So an FBI agent’s gun is out there, floating around in some undisclosed circle — some undisclosed circle related to the field of stripping. And the cover-up at the federal level goes on. The incident occurred in July, post-James Comey and pre-Christopher Wray, when Andrew McCabe was interim agency director (McCabe, who’s married to the Democratic-donating, Hillary Clinton-loving Jill McCabe). Yet America’s taxpayers, the ones who pay, apparently, for FBI agents to get drunk and hang with strippers and compromise citizen security by losing their weapons, are just learning of it all now.
Remember when Secret Service agents went similarly wild?
The story detailed how the second-in-charge of Barack Obama’s presidential detail went out for a night of drinking and driving that ended only when the taxpayer-funded vehicle smashed into a White House barrier — and how agents serving in Colombia were caught in embarrassing throes of passion with local prostitutes, just feet from where Obama’s own hotel digs. That latter story came to light ‘cause the prostitutes were pissed they didn’t get paid.
Eight Secret Service agents lost their jobs over that public relations headache.
Now how about Manson?
Michael Kortan, a spokesman for the FBI, said the North Carolina hotel incident was under internal investigation. But come on now. It happened back in July — July 10, to be exact, according to Fox News.
Does it really take that long to review a hotel camera or two?
Regardless, this is more than embarrassing for the FBI. Citizen safety is at issue. There’s a missing weapon involved — a missing weapon the FBI let into the world. And try as the agency might to keep a lid on the whole shameful drunken partying hotel matter, fact is, if a citizen ends up being injured by this weapon, the FBI will be culpable. And that’s not just red-faced. That’s near-criminal.
|Russian Intelligence Service fire: Bblaze at Moscow secret service HQ | World | News | Express.co.uk|
Russian Intelligence Service fire: Bblaze at Moscow secret service HQ | World | News | Express.co.uk
|Syria declares victory over Islamic State group|
Syria’s army declared victory over the Islamic State (ISIL) militant group on Thursday, saying its capture of the jihadists’ last town in the country marked the collapse of their self-declared caliphate.
The army and its allies say they are still fighting ISIL in desert areas near the eastern town of Albu Kamal, which was the group’s last major urban stronghold in Syria.
Government troops earlier linked up with Iraqi forces at the border after taking the nearby city of al-Qaim.
ISIL already l
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|FBI struggling to unlock Texas gunman’s phone|
Rep. McCaul speaks out on the ongoing technology hurdles facing law enforcement.
|Are Mass Murderers Insane? Usually Not, Researchers Say|
Ditto for Dylann Roof, the racist who murdered nine African-American churchgoers in South Carolina in 2015, and Christopher Harper-Mercer, the angry young man who killed nine people at a community college in Oregon the same year.
Nor does anything in these criminals’ history — including domestic violence, like Mr. Kelley’s — serve to reliably predict their spectacularly cruel acts. Even if spree killers have committed domestic violence disproportionately more often — and this assertion is in dispute — the vast majority of men who are guilty of that crime never proceed to mass murder.
Most mass murderers instead belong to a rogue’s gallery of the disgruntled and aggrieved, whose anger and intentions wax and wane over time, eventually curdling into violence in the wake of some perceived humiliation.
“In almost all high-end mass killings, the perpetrator’s thinking evolves,” said Kevin Cameron, executive director of the Canadian Center for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response.
“They have a passing thought. They think about it more, they fantasize, they slowly build a justification. They prepare, and then when the right set of circumstances comes along, it unleashes the rage.”
This evolution proceeds rationally and logically, at least in the murderer’s mind. The unthinkable becomes thinkable, then inevitable.
Researchers define mass killings as an event leaving four or more dead at the same place and time. These incidents occur at an average of about one a day across the United States; few make national headlines.
At least half of the perpetrators die in the act, either by committing suicide (Mr. Kelley is said to have shot himself in the head) or being felled by police.
Analyzing his database, Dr. Stone has concluded that about 65 percent of mass killers exhibited no evidence of a severe mental disorder; 22 percent likely had psychosis, the delusional thinking and hallucinations that characterize schizophrenia, or sometimes accompany mania and severe depression. (The remainder likely had depressive or antisocial traits.)
Among the psychotic, he counts Jared Loughner, the Arizona man who shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, and 18 others in 2011. By most accounts, including his own, Mr. Loughner was becoming increasingly delusional.
Adam Lanza, who in 2012 killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., exhibited extreme paranoia in the months leading up to his crime, isolating himself in his room.
But what to make of John Robert Neumann Jr., who in June shot and killed five former co-workers at a warehouse in Orlando before turning the gun on himself? Mr. Neumann was not overtly psychotic, as far as anyone knows, and this is far more typical of the men who commit mass killings generally.
“The majority of the killers were disgruntled workers or jilted lovers who were acting on a deep sense of injustice,” and not mentally ill, Dr. Stone said of his research.
In a 2016 analysis of 71 lone-actor terrorists and 115 mass killers, researchers convened by the Department of Justice found the rate of psychotic disorders to be about what Dr. Stone had discovered: roughly 20 percent.
The overall rate of any psychiatric history among mass killers — including such probable diagnoses as depression, learning disabilities or A.D.H.D. — was 48 percent.
About two-thirds of this group had faced “long-term stress,” like trouble at school or keeping a job, failure in business, or disabling physical injuries from, say, a car accident.
Substance abuse was also common: More than 40 percent had problems with alcohol, marijuana or other drugs.
Looking at both studies, and using data from his own work, J. Reid Meloy, a forensic psychologist who consults with the F.B.I., has identified what he believes is a common thread: a “paranoid spectrum,” he calls it.
At the extreme end is full-on psychosis of the Loughner variety. But the majority of people on this spectrum are not deeply ill; rather, they are injustice collectors. They are prone to perceive insults and failures as cumulative, and often to blame them on one person or one group.
“If you have this paranoid streak, this vigilance, this sense that others have been persecuting you for years, there’s an accumulation of maltreatment and an intense urge to stop that persecution,” Dr. Meloy said.
“That may never happen. The person may never act on the urge. But when they do, typically there’s a triggering event. It’s a loss in love or work — something that starts a clock ticking, that starts the planning.”
Mental health treatment might make a difference for the one in five murderers who have severe mental disorders, experts say. Prevention is also possible in a few other cases — for instance, if the perpetrators make overt threats and those threats are reported.
But other factors must be weighed.
“In my large file of mass murders, if you look decade by decade, the numbers of victims are fairly small up until the 1960s,” said Dr. Stone. “That’s when the deaths start going way up. When the AK-47s and the Kalashnikovs and the Uzis — all these semiautomatic weapons, when they became so easily accessible.”
|Trump tweets that failed Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate did not embrace me|
President Trump on Tuesday quickly sought to distance himself from Republican gubernatorial hopeful Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governors race as Democrat Ralph Northam was projected to win by multiple news outlets. Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for, Trump said on Twitter in the midst of his […]
|In Beijing, Trump lavishes praise on Chinese leader, touts great chemistry between them|
BEIJING President Trump lavished praise on Chinese leader Xi Jinping ahead of a formal bilateral meeting here Thursday, touting “great chemistry” between them and declaring their relationship a “great one.” In brief remarks, Trump said the two nations could work together “to solve world problems for many, many years to come,” and he thanked Xi […]
|putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Tillerson: Trump could have formal meeting with Putin at Asia summit – Fox News|
putin won US 2016 election – Google News
|Russian Intelligence Service fire: Bblaze at Moscow secret service HQ | World | News|
The blaze ripped through part of the secret service facility in Yasenevo, Moscow.
Local media reported 15 fire crews had been sent to battle the flames.
Workers were evacuated as the fire raged.
It is thought the fire affected a two-storey building in the complex, situated on the outskirts of Moscow.
Colonel Sergei Ivanov, a spokesman for the spy agency, later said the fire happened at one of the service’s “technical installations.
He later said the fire had been extinguished, and there were no casualties.
Russian media, quoting unnamed sources in the emergency services, said that the fire broke out in a cable gallery under the spy service’s headquarters.
The job was made more complex by the fact that mobile communication is blocked at the centre.
The country’s Foreign Intelligence Service, a successor to the KGB, is the centre for the regime’s spy network, directing espionage activities outside the country.
Its building complex has doubled in size in recent years.
The service is led by Mikhail Fradkov, an ex-diplomat who is thought to have served with the KGB.
|What the Manafort Indictment Reveals About What Drove Putin | Putin’s Revenge | FRONTLINE | PBS|
More than a decade before he became Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort started advising another future president, Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine. That relationship would lead him into a network of Russian and pro-Russian business and political interests, netting him millions of dollars.
On Monday, it led to his surrender to the FBI to face criminal charges in the widening investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
While the White House said that the indictment of Manafort and his longtime business partner had nothing to do with President Trump or his campaign, Manafort’s Ukrainian connections put him near the center of a political drama that experts say became a prelude to Russia’s eventual determination to interfere in the presidential election.
In interviews for the film Putin’s Revenge, FRONTLINE’s months-long investigation into the origins of Russia’s electoral meddling, former U.S. diplomats, intelligence officials, historians, and Russian and American journalists singled out protests in 2014 to oust Yanukovych as a pivotal moment for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who blamed the Obama administration for the unrest.
It was in Ukraine, that Putin would test out a new type of “hybrid” warfare, a strategy combining diplomatic and military deception along with cyber attacks and efforts to sow confusion through propaganda and “fake news” – foreshadowing what would eventually transpire in the U.S. elections two years later.
As demonstrators marched on the Ukrainian capital, hackers intercepted a phone call between Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. On the call, Nuland appeared to signal a preference for a new government in Ukraine and uttered a profanity about the European Union, a key American ally during negotiations over the crisis.
Intercepting diplomatic communications was nothing new. But the subsequent leak of the conversation, experts said, was designed to create division between U.S. negotiators and the EU.
“Clearly they were looking to discredit me personally as the main negotiator at that time to thereby reduce U.S. influence,” Nuland told FRONTLINE.
“In retrospect, some people think we should have taken this a lot more seriously than we did … Because it was the first demonstration that Russia was willing and able to use techniques against the United States that it had previously not dared to attempt,” Evan Osnos of The New Yorker said in an interview with FRONTLINE.
Ukraine would also become a testing ground for using disinformation as a weapon, most notably, in Putin’s denials after Russian forces moved into the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. The forces numbered in the thousands, and although they wore Russian-style combat uniforms, the uniforms lacked Russian insignia, providing the Kremlin a measure of deniability.
“This is a classic example of [Russia] using asymmetric tactics,” said Antony Blinken, who served as deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017. “It sent in small numbers of special forces who allied themselves with local separatists, gave them instruction, gave them equipment, gave them money, gave them direction, and then Putin denied their presence.”
“It was striking,” added Blinken. “We would be in the Oval Office, and the president would be on the phone with Putin, and Putin would be denying, and in fact, flat-out lying, about Russia’s presence in Ukraine. Obama would say to him, ‘Vladimir, we’re not blind. We have eyes. We can see.’ And Putin would just move on as if nothing had happened.”
Based on the success of his efforts in Ukraine, by the start of the 2016 election, Putin saw a ripe opportunity for intervention in the U.S. election, according to interviews for Putin’s Revenge.
One reason was Trump’s public praise of Putin and the involvement in the Trump campaign of officials with ties to Russia. These included Manafort, a longtime Republican political operative who had worked as a political consultant to Yanukovych and his pro-Russia Party of Regions.
Manafort was brought onto the Trump campaign in 2016 to help keep GOP delegates from breaking with Trump. Just three months later, he was promoted to the role of chief strategist and campaign manager. In August, Manafort was fired following reports about his business dealings in Ukraine, but not before raising Russia’s profile within the candidate’s team.
“Manafort has these connections to Putin-friendly forces in Eastern Europe, so the campaign suddenly started to reflect more of Manafort’s instincts than the disorienting Trump instincts on foreign policy that we saw earlier in the campaign,” said Robert Costa, a national political reporter for The Washington Post. “There wasn’t really a Russia view from Trump or his campaign team until the summer of 2016, the spring of 2016, when Manafort comes on.”
Manafort not only “spent years in Ukrainian politics,” he also “became close to Russian oligarchs,” according to Ryan Lizza, the Washington correspondent for The New Yorker.
“If you’re Putin, you’re saying: ‘Huh, OK. This is a whole new team. This is not Hillary Clinton and her circle of anti-Putin hawks. This is a group of people that knows that region, is skeptical of NATO, and is probably willing to reach out to Moscow,’” said Lizza.
President Trump is now trying to distance himself from Manafort, saying in a tweet on Monday, “Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign.” But the 31-page indictment alleges that for nearly a decade — including while he running the Trump campaign — Manafort and his longtime business partner, Rick Gates, used overseas shell companies to launder millions of dollars earned while lobbying on behalf of pro-Russian officials in the Ukrainian government. The two men were also charged with making false statements and other counts. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Putin and the Kremlin have denied any involvement in the U.S. election. But the case against Manafort and Gates is just part of the intensifying Russia probe, which now also includes the cooperation of a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, who admitted lying to the F.B.I. about how he sought to meet with Russians offering “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
Of particular interest to investigators will be what Trump officials knew about Papadopoulos’s contacts with Russians ahead of a June meeting at Trump Tower between Russians who were promising damaging information on Clinton and senior members of the Trump campaign, including the candidate’s eldest son and Manafort.
Court documents released Monday show that Papadopoulos informed members of the Trump campaign about his conversations with the Russians. What the documents leave out, however, is whether Papadopoulos informed campaign officials about a conversation in which he was told by that Moscow had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told FRONTLINE that the Trump Tower meeting suggested that its members had previous knowledge about what the Russian government wanted to achieve.
“It’s significant because a whole context of the meeting was set up under the premise, ‘We have some dirt to give you on Hillary Clinton as a part of our effort to help elect Donald Trump,’” he said. “It was part of the Russian government’s effort to help Donald Trump. That suggests a prior relationship, prior work, prior communication about what the Russian government hopes an effort was designed to accomplish.”
In their initial response to the meeting, Trump officials did not say whether the presidential campaign was discussed, but maintained that the conversation focused “primarily” on the issue of Russian adoptions. The New York Times later reported that Trump officials attended the meeting after a trusted intermediary told Trump’s eldest son that a senior Russian government official was offering documents that “would incriminate Hillary … and would be very useful to your father.”
Donald Trump Jr. responded, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.” Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting and said he would bring colleagues, including “Paul Manafort (campaign boss).
|Political Polarization Is A Psychology Problem|
And there are some easy ways to address it.