6:07 AM 12/8/2017 – Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on … – The Sun

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Donald Trump Is Making It Hard For Santa Claus To Fulfill Melania’s Christmas List

Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on … – The Sun

Hannity: Trump-Russia Probe ‘A House Of Cards Beginning to Crash Down’ – Fox News Insider
Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened
Donald Trump: The huge Israel announcement has overshadowed the Russia turmoil at home – ABC Online
Poll Shows Trump’s Support Dropping Among White Evangelicals
Why the Kremlin is suddenly admitting that it rigged the election in Donald Trumps favor
Colbert Brings Down The House By Using Trumps Words Against Don Jr.
Russian Colonel General Identified as Key MH17 Figure – bellingcat
Can the president obstruct justice?
The Evolving Stalemate Between Russia and the West – STRATFOR
The Strange Tale of Peter Strzok – The Atlantic
Bitcoins soar to heavens in value, but leave a staggering toll on earthly environment
Mikhail Lesin’s death swung attention to Russia after Obama’s intelligence fiasco – Washington Times
FBI director defends bureau’s integrity as critics question handling of Trump, Clinton probes – Washington Post
FBI must identify origin of Trump-Russia collusion idea: Rep. DeSantis
Tillerson Says the US Will Never Accept Crimea Annexation – New York Times
Trump to release medical records – Jamaica Observer
Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt?
Live Stream: Wray Testifies Before House Judiciary on FBI Oversight
Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era
Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era – Bloomberg
Russian Military Wants To Help Trump Destroy ISIS in Iraq – Newsweek
Putin and Russia’s 2018 Election – STRATFOR
WATCH: FBI director Christopher Wray testifies before House committee – New York Daily News

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Donald Trump Is Making It Hard For Santa Claus To Fulfill Melania’s Christmas List

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

The first lady asked for peace, health, love and kindness, but apparently not irony.

Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on … – The Sun

mikenova shared this story from organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News.


The Sun
Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on …
The Sun
I hope the authorities sit up and take notice of this report, which suggests highly dangerous individuals and criminal organisations are using a cloak of anonymity surrounding Bitcoin to finance crime. Regulation of crypto-currencies is long overdue 

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Hannity: Trump-Russia Probe ‘A House Of Cards Beginning to Crash Down’ – Fox News Insider

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Fox News Insider
Hannity: Trump-Russia Probe ‘A House Of Cards Beginning to Crash Down’
Fox News Insider
Sean Hannity said in his Opening Monologue that the federal investigation into President Trump is becoming a “house of cards [that is] beginning to crash down.” Hannity said that the increasing tally of probe-related officials to be shown to have 

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Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

Comey had “guts” when the FBI was investigating Clinton, Trump said, months before he fired the director.

Donald Trump: The huge Israel announcement has overshadowed the Russia turmoil at home – ABC Online

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ABC Online
Donald Trump: The huge Israel announcement has overshadowed the Russia turmoil at home
ABC Online
It’s a move that the President had promised to deliver from way back when he was just candidate Trump. It’s also something that many Presidents have said they’d do but haven’t and it’s largely supported by the Washington Establishment. The White 
Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement faces further backlash: Russia, Canada, Pakistan condemn US decisionFirstpost
Forget Russia, Israel Actual Foreign Power Collaborating With Team TrumpSputnik International

all 8,029 news articles »

Poll Shows Trump’s Support Dropping Among White Evangelicals

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

The president’s approval rating continues to fall in his first year in office.

Why the Kremlin is suddenly admitting that it rigged the election in Donald Trumps favor

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

After a year of largely denying it, even while throwing in the occasional wink, the Russian government is now finally admitting that it rigged the United States presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor. It’s not saying so in exact words. Instead it’s acknowledging through a state-controlled media outlet that it arrested one of its own intel officers for admitting to the U.S. that Russia rigged the election. Rachel Maddow broke this news on her show, but left it an open question as to why Russia is choosing now. I have some thoughts on that.

Keep in mind that just yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he’s “running” for reelection in early 2018 after all. I’m putting “running” in quotes because he’ll rig this election like he always does, and he’ll win automatically. But this announcement is something of a surprise, because just a week ago, someone planted a series of stories in major European newspapers which claimed Putin was considering retiring. These stories had to have been planted by the Russian oligarchs as a warning to Putin: get your act together on this nonsense with Trump and sanctions, or we will put you out of business.

To be clear, even though Putin has total control over his puppet Trump, there is nothing that Putin can do to get Trump to lift U.S. sanctions on Russia. Both political parties are intent on increasing those sanctions, in retaliation for Putin’s decision to rig the election for Trump. There is only one possible way Putin can get those sanctions lifted, even though it may be a long shot, and he’s savvy enough to know it.

The United States will continue to take a defensive and punitive position toward Russia as long as Donald Trump illegitimately remains in power. If Trump is gone, and Russia begins to atone for its sins, then maybe those sanctions get incrementally walked back as a way of encouraging future good behavior. I’m not saying Putin is preparing to oust Trump in the hope of keeping his oligarchs happy. I’m just saying I think he’s testing the waters for ousting Trump by admitting today that he rigged the election. Watch Putin’s next move carefully.

The post Why the Kremlin is suddenly admitting that it rigged the election in Donald Trump’s favorappeared first on Palmer Report.

Colbert Brings Down The House By Using Trumps Words Against Don Jr.

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“Late Show” host slams the latest claims from the president’s son.

Russian Colonel General Identified as Key MH17 Figure – bellingcat

mikenova shared this story from Russian Intelligence services and organized crime – Google News.


bellingcat
Russian Colonel General Identified as Key MH17 Figure
bellingcat
The investigation has identified, to a high degree of certainty, Delfin as Colonel General Nikolai Fedorovich Tkachev, currently serving as the Chief Inspector of the Central Military District of the Russian Federation. Photographs, videos, and audio 

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Can the president obstruct justice?

mikenova shared this story from Post Politics.

Can the president obstruct justice?

One of President Trumps private lawyers, John Dowd, made a bold claim Monday that a president cannot be found guilty of obstruction of justice. The statement raised a lot of questions for legal experts when it comes to laws applying to the American presidency: Can a president obstruct justice? Or is he immune from this as […]

The Evolving Stalemate Between Russia and the West – STRATFOR

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STRATFOR
The Evolving Stalemate Between Russia and the West
STRATFOR
Those efforts have substantially boosted Russian influence in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific, and it has followed by deepening its ties in other strategic theaters such as Afghanistan, Venezuela and Libya. Initially, Russia appeared to be 
Tillerson says Ukraine key sticking point in US-Russia tiesABC News
Is Rapprochement with Russia Still Possible?The American Conservative

all 136 news articles »

The Strange Tale of Peter Strzok – The Atlantic

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The Atlantic
The Strange Tale of Peter Strzok
The Atlantic
Nationwide, law enforcement tends to lean right, and during the campaign, Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani acknowledged receiving secrets from FBI insiders. While the Justice Department has a clear code of ethics, it does not preclude employees from holding 

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Bitcoins soar to heavens in value, but leave a staggering toll on earthly environment

mikenova shared this story from National News |.

The jump in value of bitcoins has been nothing short of precipitous: A bitcoin that started 2017 worth $1,023 was trading at $16,999 at 2 p.m. Thursday. The currency has … Click to Continue »

Mikhail Lesin’s death swung attention to Russia after Obama’s intelligence fiasco – Washington Times

mikenova shared this story from putin won US 2016 election – Google News.

Mikhail Lesin’s death swung attention to Russia after Obama’s intelligence fiasco
Washington Times
How exactly did the corpse of Mikhail Lesin, Moscow’s most influential media magnate and the founder of the Kremlin-backed global satellite TV network Russia Today, or RT, wind up in a Washington hotel room just a mile from the White House almost

FBI director defends bureau’s integrity as critics question handling of Trump, Clinton probes – Washington Post

mikenova shared this story from Top Stories – Google News.


Washington Post
FBI director defends bureau’s integrity as critics question handling of Trump, Clinton probes
Washington Post
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray defended the agency’s integrity Thursday, telling skeptical Republican lawmakers that its agents are decent people committed to the highest principles of integrity and respect.” Wray was asked at the House Judiciary
FBI Director Christopher Wray defends agency after Trump’s attacksCNN
FBI Director Wray grilled by Republicans over ‘bias’ concerns in Russia, Clinton email casesFox News
FBI Director Christopher Wray defends bureau amid turbulence over Russia investigationLos Angeles Times
USA TODAY –CBS News –U.S. News & World Report –Business Insider
all 86 news articles »
FBI must identify origin of Trump-Russia collusion idea: Rep. DeSantis

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Signed in as mikenova

Share this story on NewsBlur

Shared stories are on their way…

Tillerson Says the US Will Never Accept Crimea Annexation – New York Times

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New York Times
Tillerson Says the US Will Never Accept Crimea Annexation
New York Times
After his talks with Mr. Putin in November on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Danang, Vietnam, Mr. Trump emphasized that he believed Mr. Putin was sincere in his denials of interference in the 2016 United States 
Tillerson says Ukraine key sticking point in US-Russia tiesWCAX
Is Rapprochement with Russia Still Possible?The American Conservative

all 150 news articles »

Trump to release medical records – Jamaica Observer

mikenova shared this story from Trump personality profile – Google News.


Jamaica Observer
Trump to release medical records
Jamaica Observer
… Center) and those records will be released by the doctor following that taking place.” It is the first time the White House has committed to releasing records about the president’s health, something his predecessors did regularly. Wednesday’s 

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Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt?

mikenova shared this story .

According to the whistle-blower, Copson said, “This is the start of something I have been working on for years. Mike has been putting everything in place for us.” Copson allegedly turned his phone around when he received the text, displaying the message from Flynn that the project was “good to go.” This would mean that Flynn’s first action for the new president was to let his former business partners know that their plan to build nuclear reactors with Russian partners was on.

Think about this for a moment. By this time, Flynn and everyone else in the country was aware that Russia had interfered in the election and that there was serious suspicion surrounding the Trump campaign’s and transition team’s dealings with Russian actors. They knew about the “Steele dossier” because it had been written up in Mother Jones before the election, and Trump himself had been briefed on it by FBI Director James Comey. If what this whistle-blower says is true, Flynn was even more reckless than we knew.

This news is especially damning since we already know that Flynn failed to disclose trips to the Middle East on behalf of ACU when he filed his security clearance renewal application in 2016. It means that his memory was sharp enough to call his friend even before Trump had finished his speech, but not good enough to remember to put his dubious business activities on his disclosure forms. And Robert Mueller knew all about it.

Flynn has made the case in public that it’s important to engage in business deals with Russian interests because the United States needs the Russian government to help fight ISIS. It’s even possible that’s what he thought he was doing — along with lining up a fat payday. According to The Washington Post, Flynn pushed this plan relentlessly during his brief tenure in the White House as national security adviser and his staff kept pushing it even after he left, without really understanding why they were doing it, just knowing that Flynn insisted it was a high priority.

Live Stream: Wray Testifies Before House Judiciary on FBI Oversight

mikenova shared this story from Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices.

FBI Director Christopher Wray is testifying this morning at 10 a.m. before the House Judiciary Committee. Read his prepared testimony, and watch the live stream below.

Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era

mikenova shared this story .

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that he would run for a fourth term as president was long predicted, though it seemed to some Russian observers (incorrectly) that he waited unusually long to make it. Less predictable is how the system Putin built will plan its perpetuation after his term ends in 2024, when he’s constitutionally barred from running again.

Putin’s third term has been his most important one, more momentous even than his first, in 2000-2004, which was marked by U.S. Republican-style economic reforms, a flat income tax, the harsh taming of the 1990s oligarchs and the recentralization of power. In 2012-2018, Putin abandoned any pretense of playing along with the U.S. and its European allies and sought to make it clear to the rest of the world that Pax Americana was ending. In that, he has been largely successful. He has, however, neglected the base on which his geopolitical achievements rest — his own Russia, the vast, still poor, increasingly cynical and potentially very angry nation that Putin may not quite represent, or even run, anymore.

Putin claims his biggest successes outside of Russia. He has held on to illegally annexed Crimea, and the Kremlin retained operational control over the mob-run, separatist “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine, most recently through what looked like an engineered coup in one of them. Putin was held back from further territorial gains by cost considerations — it appears important to him to keep regular military casualties low while making proxies shoulder most of the burden — but his minimum goals, including instability in Ukraine, have been achieved. It’s obvious even to the most biased observers that, despite massive Western support, modern Ukraine is a corrupt mess that is hardly more European than when its people decided to break away from the Russian orbit at the beginning of Putin’s third term.

Despite U.S. resistance, Putin helped his Syrian ally, President Bashar al-Assad, win his civil war. At the end of 2017, it’s clear that if Assad is leaving at all, he’s not being toppled, the way the U.S. and its allies toppled Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi. Putin’s successful, resource-light intervention has redrawn the Middle Eastern relationship map, helping effectively rip Turkey out of the Western alliance and forcing even Saudi Arabia to seek a good working relationship with Moscow, which was solidified by an oil policy alliance.

Putin has also given hope to illiberal forces throughout Europe, which failed to win critical elections this year but which will remain useful allies. And, deservedly or not, Russia has been established in the Western elite’s mind as a hacking superpower, a different kind of tech force than the U.S. with its commercial internet behemoths. It’s a reputation Putin is looking to strengthen by embracing cryptocurrency technology as an alternative to the Western-dominated financial system.

All of this has cost Russia its place in the G-8 and its vague aspirations to membership in a greater Europe, stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok. But it hasn’t made Russia a pariah to the rest of the world, most notably to China, which has benignly allowed Putin to shake the foundations of the Western-led global order. Putin’s third term will likely be remembered as the four years that made a multi-polar world if not a reality, then a possibility.

But as Putin’s skill was applied to geopolitics, he was an increasingly absent feudal lord at home. Gleb Pavlovsky, a Kremlin political operator during Putin’s early years in power, captured this feeling best in an interview with Echo Moskvy radio on Wednesday:

For the world, it’s Putin’s Russia. But inside, it’s no longer Putin’s, it’s already post-Putin, and all the main players in it try, so to say, to make their own moves, set up their own chessmen, build up a potential for the moment Putin is no longer there. Putin is just walking around trying to get in on this process. I don’t think it’s possible for him to own it anymore.

Indeed, if first- and second-term Putin was a competent micromanager, making all the important decisions and mediating every significant conflict, Putin now appears to have lost that ability.

One high-profile example is the ongoing trial of former economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev, against whom a close Putin associate, Igor Sechin, the head of state-owned oil giant Rosneft, organized a sting operation to accuse him of extorting a $2 million bribe. The trial has been open to the press, and the secretive Rosneft chief has suffered the indignity of being repeatedly summoned to appear and inventing excuses not to. This is the kind of conflict that, in earlier days, Putin wouldn’t have allowed to play out in the open — at least not for long.

Another example is the defiant independence of Ramzan Kadyrov, the Putin-installed head of Chechnya. His conspicuous wealth, violent suppression of opponents and insistence on conservative Islamic values in a secular state are an ongoing challenge to Moscow’s authority — but Kadyrov’s warlord reputation seems to keep the federal law enforcement apparatus at bay. Again, Putin hasn’t intervened.

Even the banishment of Russian officials from next year’s winter Olympics is indicative of Putin’s weakening leadership. Russian state propaganda outlets discuss it in terms of geopolitical retribution — but Putin could have staged a domestic clean-up and kicked out officials who had, at best, failed to out a doping conspiracy in Russian sports and at worst, participated in it. He could then have appealed to his old friend International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach for support. Yet no such clean-up has taken place, indicating Putin’s remoteness and relative indifference.

Throughout the third term, Putin also drifted on economic policy. Little was done to prepare Russia for an era of low oil prices. A modest agricultural boom which has turned the country into a top grain exporter is no substitute for the lost hydrocarbon revenues, and snail-paced economic growth based on a borrowing-fueled consumption surge isn’t enough to generate economic optimism. Putin has repeatedly shown a reluctance to promote any bold change that would show Russians a more hopeful future.

Though Putin remains by far Russia’s most popular politician, Russians have been apathetic about the March election. According to Levada Center’s latest poll, only 58 percent of voters intend to cast ballots. In 2012, 65.3 percent turned out, and polls at the same time in the electoral cycle indicated that more than two-thirds would cast votes. Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption activist and Putin’s only serious opponent, won’t be allowed to run against him despite months of campaigning and mustering visible support in the Russian hinterland, especially among the young. He has promised to campaign actively for a boycott of the election.

The Soviet-style campaign announcement on Wednesday — during a visit to a truck factory in Nizhny Novgorod, where a worker asked him a “spontaneous” question about the election — is evidence of the Kremlin’s lack of ideas, characteristic of its domestic policy during Putin’s third term. Putin’s legitimacy after his inevitable win will be the lowest of his reign, spurring an ever more active battle for succession, in which new players are likely to start emerging as soon as Putin is re-enthroned.

Putin has cast Russia in the role of the world’s biggest geopolitical disruptor. But its current performance is unsustainable without coherent, successful domestic policies. Putin has presided over, indeed enabled, a corrupt, inefficiently run country where people — including those in the top echelons of business and power — just fend for themselves as best they can. The question of what kind of future Russia might have will arise after Putin’s re-election, and Putin won’t necessarily have much say in it.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Therese Raphael at traphael4@bloomberg.net

Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era – Bloomberg

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Bloomberg
Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era
Bloomberg
He has held on to illegally annexed Crimea, and the Kremlin retained operational control over the mob-run, separatist “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine, most recently through what looked like an engineered coup in one of them. Putin was held back 
Top Vladimir Putin Critic Pays Visit To SCFITSNews
US govt could ‘lose perspective’ & move towards war – Oliver StoneRT

all 370 news articles »

Russian Military Wants To Help Trump Destroy ISIS in Iraq – Newsweek

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Newsweek
Russian Military Wants To Help Trump Destroy ISIS in Iraq
Newsweek
Russia has offered to assist the U.S. in the final stages of the fight against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Iraq after Moscow declared total victory against the jihadis in neighboring Syria. Russia has long questioned the effectiveness 
ISIS defeat in Syria ‘significant step, but remnants may regroup elsewhere’RT

all 48 news articles »

Putin and Russia’s 2018 Election – STRATFOR

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STRATFOR
Putin and Russia’s 2018 Election
STRATFOR
As the world continues to focus on the 2016 U.S. presidential election and claims of Russian involvement more than a year later, Russia is preparing for its own presidential election season in 2018. In this episode of the Stratfor Podcast, Vice 

WATCH: FBI director Christopher Wray testifies before House committee – New York Daily News

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New York Daily News
WATCH: FBI director Christopher Wray testifies before House committee
New York Daily News
The FBI that I see is people decent people committed to professionalism and respect. The FBI that I see is respected and appreciated by our partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement, in the intelligence community, by our foreign 
A tale of 3 Trump-Russia ‘smoking guns’ in 36 hoursWashington Post
The 10 Events You Need To Know To Understand The Michael Flynn StoryNPR
Anti-Trump bias exposed in Mueller probeFox News
PoliticusUSA
all 995 news articles »

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