“paradise papers” – Google News: MADAGASCAR : Former Sam Malin business buddy Robert Nelson prepares Vuna departure – Africa Intelligence

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MADAGASCAR : Former Sam Malin business buddy Robert Nelson prepares Vuna departure  Africa Intelligence

As he approaches retirement, Australian businessman Robert Nelson is preparing his departure from the Malagasy mining junior Vuna Resources, a.

“paradise papers” – Google News


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Cambridge Analytica from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): “cambridge analytica” – Google News: Facebook Is Fifteen Years Old – 10 daily

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Facebook Is Fifteen Years Old  10 daily

Happy birthday, Facebook. You’re fifteen years old. Congratulations. That’s a big milestone for you. Sorry, we didn’t get you anything, but we feel like you’ve …

“cambridge analytica” – Google News

Cambridge Analytica from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “crime and terror” – Google News: Uhuru pressures Maraga, Kuria targets Matiang’i, Mombasa terror hubs: Your Breakfast Briefing – The Star, Kenya

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Uhuru pressures Maraga, Kuria targets Matiang’i, Mombasa terror hubs: Your Breakfast Briefing  The Star, Kenya

Good Morning.A threat by President Uhuru Kenyatta to Chief Justice David Maraga forced the CJ to make radical changes in the Judiciary on Monday.

“crime and terror” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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“trump putin” – Google News: Trump picks Treasury’s David Malpass to head World Bank – Axios

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Trump picks Treasury’s David Malpass to head World Bank  Axios

David Malpass, a top Treasury official, will be nominated for president of the World Bank by President Trump on Wednesday in an effort to shake up the …

“trump putin” – Google News


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“Donald Trump Jr. Wikileaks” – Google News: Trump Inaugural Committee Is Subpoenaed for Documents – The Wall Street Journal

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Trump Inaugural Committee Is Subpoenaed for Documents  The Wall Street Journal

Lawyers for President Trump’s inaugural committee have received subpoenas for documents from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office.

“Donald Trump Jr. Wikileaks” – Google News


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: List emerges of the criminal charges SDNY is bringing against Donald Trump and his family

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Earlier this evening, we learned that federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York have subpoenaed records from Donald Trump’s inauguration committee. This is a big deal because the inauguration was little more than a front for Trump, his family, and his allies taking illegal foreign bribes and then pocketing the money. Now we’re learning about the specific criminal charges that SDNY is planning for those involved.





CNN has now published a list of the crimes being alleged in relation to the subpoena that the SDNY sent to the Trump inauguration committee: “conspiracy against the U.S., false statements, mail & wire fraud, money laundering, disclosure violations, & laws prohibiting contributions by foreign nations and in the name of another person.” This is being reported by CNN correspondent Kara Scannell. Why is this such a big deal? These are, by default, the charges that the SNDY is planning against Donald Trump and his family.




For one thing, back in mid-December of 2018, Palmer Report brought you the story of how Donald Trump made personnel changes to his transition team so he could personally pocket the inauguration donations. This means SDNY is ostensibly targeting Donald Trump himself. Then there was the report from December that Ivanka Trump was caught up in the inauguration scandal.



This SDNY development is notable for two big reasons. For one thing, it’s the first time in which we’ve seen a detailed list of criminal charges surface from federal prosecutors against Donald Trump and his family. This also hints at Robert Mueller’s endgame against Donald Trump: he’s going to have his allies at SDNY bring criminal charges against Trump’s kids as a way of forcing Trump out of office. Stay tuned, as things are moving quickly now.

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The post List emerges of the criminal charges SDNY is bringing against Donald Trump and his family appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Politics: Federal prosecutors issue sweeping subpoena for documents from Trump inaugural committee, a sign of a deepening criminal probe

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A wide-ranging subpoena seeks an array of documents, including all information related to inaugural donors, vendors, contractors and foreign contributors to the committee, according to a copy reviewed by The Washington Post.

Politics

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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“Mueller’s Russia investigation” – Google News: Federal Prosecutors Subpoena Trump Inaugural Committee for Documentation on the $107 Million Bonanza – Slate Magazine

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Federal Prosecutors Subpoena Trump Inaugural Committee for Documentation on the $107 Million Bonanza  Slate Magazine

The escalation of the inquiry shows that there may have been numerous other avenues for Trump-themed graft.

“Mueller’s Russia investigation” – Google News


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Politics: Federal prosecutors issue sweeping subpoena for documents from Trump inaugural committee, a sign of a deepening criminal probe

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A wide-ranging subpoena served on the inaugural committee Monday seeks an array of documents, including all information related to inaugural donors, vendors, contractors, bank accounts of the inaugural committee and any information related to foreign contributors to the committee, according to a copy reviewed by The Washington Post. The subpoena also specifically seeks all communications […]

Politics

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “Trump and the Mob” – Google News: EDITORIAL: Trump likes to be unpredictable, the State of the Union address is his chance to act thus – Washington Times

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EDITORIAL: Trump likes to be unpredictable, the State of the Union address is his chance to act thus  Washington Times

The Constitution requires that the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their …

“Trump and the Mob” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “trump and republican party” – Google News: ‘War within the Republican Party’: How Trump is playing with fire and risks fracturing the GOP – AlterNet

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‘War within the Republican Party’: How Trump is playing with fire and risks fracturing the GOP  AlterNet

President Donald Trump is stuck between a wall and his constitutional limits. His attempt to use a government shutdown to force Democrats into passing funds …

“trump and republican party” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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“elections 2016 russian ads on social media” – Google News: A look back at 15 years of Facebook – The Wall Street Journal – BizNews

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A look back at 15 years of Facebook – The Wall Street Journal  BizNews

Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in a dorm room in February 2004 as a way for Ivy League buddies to socialize. Fifteen years later, it had 2.32bn customers.

“elections 2016 russian ads on social media” – Google News


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“Conspiracy Against US” – Google News: No Conspiracy, Just Competition, Bitcoin Cos. Say – Law360

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No Conspiracy, Just Competition, Bitcoin Cos. Say  Law360

A bitcoin miner, a cryptocurrency exchange and an individual software developer all moved Friday to duck allegations that they participated in a broad …

“Conspiracy Against US” – Google News


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Here comes Hope Hicks’ day of reckoning

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Of all the strange and unanswered storylines in the Trump-Russia scandal and aftermath, the saga of Hope Hicks might be the most confusing. Now it’s all about to come full circle in a big way, potentially within days, and we’re finally about to get some answers as to what on earth was really going on with her.

Everyone recalls the infamous series of events in which Hope Hicks testified privately before the House Intel Committee, then announced the next day that she was resigning from Donald Trump’s White House. Who does that, and why? Did she realize during her testimony that the obstruction of justice scandal was uglier than she thought? Did she tell the truth during her testimony, in a way that she expected would get her fired? Did she perjure herself, and then conclude that she needed to resign and cut a plea deal?


Months prior to this series of events, Hope Hicks reportedly spent multiple days giving testimony to Robert Mueller. Today the House Intel Committee, which is now in the hands of the Democrats, announced that it will vote on Wednesday to give Hicks’ testimony transcript to Mueller. Adam Schiff said last week that Mueller already has unofficial copies of the House Intel Committee transcripts. So if Hicks told a different story to Mueller than she told the committee, then Mueller already has her nailed for perjury, and he’ll be able to indict her the minute he gets the official transcript this week. There’s more.





The Hope Hicks saga happened against a backdrop of another former Trump adviser, Mark Corallo, having reportedly told Robert Mueller that he witnessed Hicks vowing to suppress and/or destroy Donald Trump Jr’s incriminating emails. If Corallo’s claims are backed up by solid evidence – and we don’t know if they are – then Hicks is going to prison for a long time on obstruction of justice charges. For that matter, former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks thinks that Hicks could be criminally liable simply for having helped Donald Trump craft the dishonest statement about Junior’s meeting, even before getting to Corallo’s accusations.




Of course this is all a moot point if Hope Hicks has already cut a plea deal with Robert Mueller, or if she’s informally given him enough cooperation that he’s not interested in indicting her. For that matter, if she told the truth both times she testified, and if the Corallo accusations haven’t turned out to be substantive, then there would be nothing to indict her on. But if she has told Mueller and Congress the truth about the antics of Donald Trump Senior and Junior, then she’s helped send them to prison.



Whatever the real story is with Hope Hicks, suffice it to say that Robert Mueller already knows the whole story. Her official testimony transcript has got to be the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to her role in all this. If she’s going down on criminal charges, or if she’s sold out others for their crimes, that should all come out soon now.

Click here to help fund Palmer Report’s editorial takedown of Donald Trump!



The post Here comes Hope Hicks’ day of reckoning appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “Putin and American political process” – Google News: Axios World – February 4, 2019 – Axios

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Axios World – February 4, 2019  Axios

A smart, essential look at the leading trends and news across the globe, by David Lawler. Monday and Thursday evenings.

“Putin and American political process” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “Trump” – Google News: New York prosecutors seek records from Trump inauguration committee: Sources – ABC News

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New York prosecutors seek records from Trump inauguration committee: Sources  ABC News

Prosecutors in New York’s Southern District have reached out to President Donald Trump’s inauguration committee and plan to subpoena the organization for …

“Trump” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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“2016 Presidential Election Investigation” – Google News: Paul Manafort to be sentenced March 13 – CNN

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Paul Manafort to be sentenced March 13  CNN

Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort will be sentenced for the first time on March 13, a federal judge in Washington who …

“2016 Presidential Election Investigation” – Google News


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“Trump – Russia Investigations” – Google News: Trump to name acting Interior secretary to lead department – nbc16.com

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Trump to name acting Interior secretary to lead department  nbc16.com

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Monday that he is nominating David Bernhardt, a former lobbyist for oil and gas companies and other …

“Trump – Russia Investigations” – Google News


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Just Security: What to Make of the Pentagon’s Internal Civilian Casualties Review, and What Comes Next

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Earlier today, Missy Ryan at the Washington Post reported on a major examination of civilian deaths in military operations underway at the Pentagon, including an internal study on civilian casualties that was completed in April but not previously released or even known to the public. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ordered the internal review in late 2017 at the behest of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis following several troubling media reports regarding a rise in U.S.-caused civilian casualties and serious failings of existing investigation and response mechanisms.

The internal review, however, was quite narrow in scope and, as a result, does not answer some of the biggest questions about the principal causes of civilian casualties–or their reported increase under this administration. Nor does the report resolve the broad disparity between the Pentagon’s publicly reported civilian casualties’ figures and the estimates of NGOs like Airwars that systematically track casualty reports.

But the report’s recommendations, which you can read here, do provide ample basis for the development of a more comprehensive Defense Department policy on civilian casualties, an effort that is underway now at the Pentagon. This review also validates the need for more in-depth internal research into some of the questions that this review leaves unresolved.

Below we analyze some of the key takeaways from the report’s findings and recommendations and then provide a roadmap of what to expect next given the looming statutory reporting deadlines on civilian casualties and the Pentagon’s new effort to craft a comprehensive Department-wide civilian casualties policy.

(In the interest of full disclosure, the two of us participated confidentially in the NGO advisory panel and NGO roundtables mentioned on page 1 of the report. Our participation was in the form of providing recommendations and raising issues of concern. We did not participate in the drafting of the study or the selection of its findings and recommendations and it should not be assumed from our participation as advisors that we concur with the study’s scope, methodology, findings, or recommendations.)

Scope and Organization of the Report

The newly released report summarizes the findings and recommendations of a study carried out by the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies “to examine civilian casualties (CIVCAS) that resulted from US air or artillery strikes in the US Central Command (CENTCOM) and US Africa Command (AFRICOM) Areas of Operation (AOR) from 2015-2017.”

The report is then further limited to five categories of analysis (or tasks): A) Guidance, Intent, and Oversight; B) Internal Reporting Procedures; C) Reconciliation and Verification of External Reports; D) Investigations; and E) Response, including Solatia. Within these categories the study addresses more specific “sub-tasks,” which provide much needed clarification of the “purpose” of each task. For each of these categories the report contains both findings and corresponding recommendations.

All told the report is only about two dozen pages, not counting the redacted appendix containing the Secretary of Defense Level Rules of Engagement. Given the bevy of complex issues that must be addressed to develop an effective and comprehensive civilian casualties policy across the Department, the length of the report alone makes it clear that this first study is just the start of what is needed to produce real results.

Key Positive Takeaways

  • The report calls for proactively seeking additional sources of information when assessing internal reports and incorporating civilian casualties in battle damage assessments (Recommendation 4).
  • Recommendation 5 suggests standardizing the civilian casualties assessment processes within the Combatant Commands. The same recommendation includes a proposal for “civilian casualty review boards” to provide feedback and lessons learned to pilots, analysts, and ground force commanders. (Such a body could be valuable, but should not, as the report suggests, take the place of formal investigations, especially given the fact that assessment reports seem to have replaced the administrative investigation as a means of preliminary inquiry already.)
  • The report calls on the Joint Staff to develop standard, but flexible, protocols for responding to known cases of civilian casualties (Recommendation 9). The report rightly acknowledges that the range of options available in such cases includes, but extends beyond, solatiapayments, to apologies and explanations, in-kind offerings, and clearing of the family name of victims.
  • The report’s first two recommendations call for clarifying guidance and doctrine related to the risk of civilian casualties in “by, with, and through” activities, which many groups, including our own, have called for in the past (oddly the body of the report neglected to include any analysis or justification for these recommendations, unless it has been redacted).
  • The report also sheds new light on the sequence of steps taken to assess internal and externally-sourced reports of civilian casualties, to include the initial assessment and the credibility assessment process.

Gaps and Shortcomings Meriting Further Review

  • The report contains a “finding” that NGOs are frustrated by a perceived lack of transparency (Finding B.3.) – with no qualitative assessment of the validity of that view (i.e., there is no actual finding on this issue).
  • Many findings are entirely redacted, such as the section on civilian casualties in urban environments (A.6.), or lack the detail needed for the public to evaluate some of the more significant claims, such as the presence of clear commander’s intent related to civilian casualties in military guidance.
  • A lack of emphasis or detail regarding the benefits and means available for engaging local groups, survivors, and witnesses directly or through intermediaries to corroborate external reports or in the response to civilian harm.
  • Too few recommendations for ways to improve communication between the military and outside sources in order to lead to more accurate outcomes, despite the report’s acknowledgement that the standards used to evaluate external information are too strict.
  • The report contains almost no analysis from Afghanistan, and does not include any “leading practices” or “lessons learned” from any theater from the last 17 years of war.

And Perhaps the Most Interesting Set of Findings

Footnote 1 of the main report makes explicit that the “report does not attempt to explain causality for the observed increase in civilian casualties between 2015 and 2017, or to explain the gap in civilian casualty numbers between the US military and NGOs.”  Yet even within these parameters, the study group could not entirely avoid these most important controversies, and some of the findings could create necessary space for addressing them.  For example:

  • One of the report’s most important findings is the conclusion that “US military standards for verifying third party allegations vary significantly, and some may be construed as restrictive” (Finding C1). This conclusion, while brief and incomplete, provides some official validation of one of the most consistent grievances of outside groups: that the military has set the threshold for considering external reports of civilian casualties too high. The corresponding recommendation (Recommendation 7) points to the need to broaden the geographic and temporal parameters used to verify external reports of inquiry (a longstanding request by Airwars) and calls for a new classification system that allows for a category of “disputed” cases that would add much-needed nuance to aggregated estimates that rest on the binary classifications of “confirmed” and “non-credible.” The implications of this finding extend far beyond just the important interest served by recognizing the value of external sources of information. A more accurate range of estimates could also change operating assumptions about the presence of civilians in future engagements, perhaps saving lives in the process.
  • The report attempts to resolve a main source of discrepancy between internal and external civilian casualty estimates, by finding that the Positive Identification (PID) procedures used in targeting decisions did not result in a meaningful increase in civilian casualties (finding A.4.). Over-classification of noncombatants as combatants remains a top concern of outside groups and experts and, interestingly, this is the only issue for which the report notes that there was internal dissent among the Defense Department’s study group members. In a footnote, the study explains that two study group members challenged this finding in part on the basis of the interview-dependent methodology of the study and the fact that those being interviewed would not perceive a problem because they would not be aware of the misidentification.

What to Expect Next  

Readers interested in this issue will want to watch out for a major report due to Congress this Friday under Section 936 of last year’s National Defense Authorization Act. This provision, detailed here, requires the Pentagon to develop a comprehensive civilian casualties policy (which is reportedly underway), to appoint a senior civilian official (which it did back in November), and to provide Congress an update on the Pentagon’s efforts at the 180-day mark. Following this 180-day update, the Pentagon has another report coming due on May 1 on the number of U.S. military-caused civilian casualties.

These two upcoming reports to Congress will be important bell weathers for what to expect from the Pentagon’s new civilian casualties guidance on preventing and responding to civilian casualties and just how serious the Pentagon is about doing, as former Secretary Mattis has urged, “everything humanely possible” to avoid harm to civilians.

 

IMAGE: A U.S. Air Force MQ-1B Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) returns from a mission to an air base in the Persian Gulf region on January 7, 2016. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Just Security

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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