9:24 AM 11/2/2017 – M.N.: The power of denial: “I’m not under investigation as you know,” Trump said yesterday… | M.N.: What do you mean by “radicalized”? Were they recruited in Russia? By whom? For what purposes? Who recruited them?

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  • Most of the Uzbek and Tajik Islamic State group recruits have been radicalized in Russia, demonstrating the power of the terrorist group’s Russian-language propaganda, Amie Ferris-Rotma writes at Foreign Policy.
M.N.: What do you mean by “radicalized”? 
Were they recruited in Russia?
By whom? For what purposes? Who recruited them?

_______________________________

  • “I’m not under investigation as you know,” Trump said yesterday in a phone call about the investigations between the Trump campaign and Russia, saying that he was not “angry at anybody” and that the indictment of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort “has nothing to do with us.” Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker report at the New York Times.

M.N.: The power of denial.

__________________________________________

The Early Edition: November 2, 2017 

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

NEW YORK TERROR ATTACK

Federal prosecutors have filed charges against 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov who is suspected of carrying out Tuesday’s attack in New York. The charges accuse the driver, who killed eight people and injured 12, of aiding the Islamic State group and working with “others known and unknown.” Melanie Grayce West, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Rebecca Davis O’Brien report at the Wall Street Journal.

  • The F.B.I. are no longer seeking information about a second individual in connection with the attack, the Assistant F.B.I. Director Bill Sweeney announced yesterday, adding that “we have found him. I’ll leave it at that.” Josh Delk reports at the Hill.
  • The charges against Saipov were filed in civilian court and not the military system, following comments by the president that the U.S. criminal justice system was a “laughingstock” and that he would consider trying Saipov at the military court in Guantánamo Bay. Benjamin Mueller, William K. Rashbaum, Al Baker and Adam Goldman report at the New York Times.
  • Saipov said he was proud of what he had done, he requested that the Islamic State flag be displayed in his hospital room and told the F.B.I. that he was inspired after watching a video of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky and Mark Brennan report at the Washington Post.

Trump used the terrorist attack to promote hardline policies, saying yesterday that he would take action to remove the “diversity lottery” program for foreigners seeking U.S. visas and step up “extreme vetting” of immigrants, also taking aim at Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) for helping to create the “lottery” program and stating that the U.S. needs a system of “punishment that’s far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now.” David Nakamura and Ed O’Keefe report at the Washington Post.

  • Saipov “killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENTALTY!” Trump tweeted last night, his comments potentially causing problems when the criminal case comes to be heard as defense lawyers could argue that their client cannot get a fair trial. Cristiano Lima reports at POLITICO.

The New York attack has shone the spotlight on Uzbekistan and Central Asia’s problems with terrorism, the region consists of five predominantly Muslim Soviet republics that have struggled with poverty and have served as recruitment ground for the Islamic State group. Sajjan Gohel explains at CNN.

  • Sending Saipov to Guantánamo would be unprecedented, likely drawing the ire of the F.B.I. and career national security professionals, and raising complex legal questions as the suspect is a lawful permanent U.S. resident. Charlie Savage explains at the New York Times.
  • “It’s hard to imagine a worse idea” than sending Saipov to Guantánamo Bay, the co-editor of Just Security Stephen I. Vladeck writes at the Washington Post, setting out the legal obstacles, arguing that the U.S. criminal justice system is well-equipped to handle such cases, and highlighting that Guantánamo proceedings have been dysfunctional.
  • The Islamic State group tends to keep quiet when a recruit is apprehended and there may be a number of reasons that they do not claim responsibility in such scenarios, Rukmini Callimachi explains at the New York Times.
  • Most of the Uzbek and Tajik Islamic State group recruits have been radicalized in Russia, demonstrating the power of the terrorist group’s Russian-language propaganda, Amie Ferris-Rotma writes at Foreign Policy.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

  • Federal prosecutors and agents have gathered evidence to charge more than six members of the Russian government who were involved in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s (D.N.C.) computer system during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, according to sources familiar with the matter. Aruna Viswanatha and Del Quentin Wilbur report at the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s my THREAD from Sunday eve of #IndictmentDay explaining why indicting Russians would be a game changer 👇https://t.co/5nOjC3ssGl

— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) November 2, 2017

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  • “I’m not under investigation as you know,” Trump said yesterday in a phone call about the investigations between the Trump campaign and Russia, saying that he was not “angry at anybody” and that the indictment of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort “has nothing to do with us.” Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker report at the New York Times.

“No I don’t believe he does,” the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded yesterday when asked whether the president recalled the suggestion by his former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in March 2016 that he arrange a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reuters reporting.

Manafort and former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates pose a significant flight risk according to federal prosecutors, due to their “substantial ties abroad” and Manafort currently holds three U.S. passports. The two men were charged earlier this week as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Reuters reports.

  • A sampling of political ads purchased by Russian operatives on Facebook and Twitter around the 2016 U.S. election were disclosed by lawmakers yesterday during the second day of congressional hearings with representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Google; the disclosures revealing the extent of Russia’s online campaign to spread disinformation and sow discord. Cecilia King, Nicholas Fandos and Mike Isaac report at the New York Times.
  • Examples of Russian-bought ads on Facebook and Instagram are provided at POLITICO.
  • An analysis of Russian-bought Facebook ads and how they made an impact is provided by Leslie Shapiro at the Washington Post.
  • The former national security adviser Michael Flynn followed five Russia-backed Twitter accounts and promoted their messages, Ben Collins and Kevin Poulsen report at The Daily Beast.
  • The opposition research firm Fusion GPS paid former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele $168,000 to compile the dossier alleging links between Russia and the Trump campaign, the firm said in a statement yesterday. Mark Hosenball reports at Reuters.
  • Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton defended the decision to pay for part of the Steele dossier in an interview yesterday, also expressing frustration that voters were not made aware before election day that the Trump campaign was under investigation by the F.B.I.. Henry C. Jackson reports at POLITICO.

NORTH KOREA

“Armed conflict must be avoided under any circumstance,” the South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a speech yesterday ahead of Trump’s 12-day visit to Asia, vowing to maintain South Korea’s “overwhelming military superiority” but emphasizing that military action on the Peninsula could not be taken without “prior consent” of Seoul. Jonathan Cheng reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday called for more pressure to be exerted on North Korea to bring about negotiations, Abe also reiterating his support for Trump’s policy that all options are on the table to deal with the nuclear threat. Mari Yamaguchi reports at the AP.

North Korea is developing an advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (I.C.B.M.), according to an anonymous U.S. official, and the missile could potentially strike the U.S. mainland. Barbara Starr reports at CNN.

A bipartisan bill providing for sanctions on North Korea was agreed yesterday and the Senate Banking Committee would act on the bill next week, Patricia Zengerle reports at Reuters.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) yesterday called on Trump to release an assessment of the potential casualties and costs that would come as a consequence of a war with North Korea. Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.

Trump will seek to convince Chinese President Xi Jinping to do more to rein in North Korea when Trump visits Beijing next week, according to senior administration officials. Steve Holland and John Walcott report at Reuters.

China hopes to work with North Korea “to make a positive contribution to … defending regional peace and stability,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a message replying to North Korea’s congratulatory message on China’s Communist Party Congress. Soyoung Kim and Ken Blanchard report at Reuters.

The recent normalization of relations between China and South Korea could change the dynamics of Trump’s Asia trip and how his administration intends to deal with North Korea and its allies in the region. Jane Perlez, Mark Landler and Choe Sang-Hun explain at the New York Times.

“We can educated [the] North Korean population to stand up by disseminating outside information,” a high-ranking official who defected from North Korea told U.S. lawmakers yesterday, also urging officials to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to convince him to abandon his nuclear program. The BBC reports.

A U.N. resolution drafted by the European Union and Japan would condemn the “gross violations of human rights” in North Korea, the U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee is expected to vote on the draft this month. Edith M. Lederer reports at the AP.

IRAN

Russia opposes “any unilateral change” to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday during a meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, making the comments following Trump’s decision in October to de- certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement and adding that Russia opposes “linking Iran’s nuclear program with other issues including defensive issues.” Nasser Karimi reports at the AP.

The U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will travel to Washington next week to convince senators not to abandon the nuclear deal or impose sanctions against Iran, saying that the 80 million Iranians “deserve and need to feel the benefits of both the deal and engagement,” but adding that the world should not be “blind” to the “disruptive behavior of Iran.” Patrick Wintour reports at the Guardian.

SYRIA

“We count on the cooperation of Iran and other partners” to end the war in Syria, the Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday following discussions with Iranian leaders, saying that the latest round of Syria talks currently being held in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana were “advancing well.” Aresu Eqbali and Asa Fitch report at the Wall Street Journal.

The official Syrian opposition said that it would not attend Russia-brokered Syrian peace talks planned for this month, Turkey has also expressed opposition to an invitation extended to the Syrian Kurds and rejected negotiations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime outside the U.N.’s Geneva process or without U.N. sponsorship. Patrick Wintour reports at the Guardian.

Russia’s veto of the investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria shows a “callous disregard for the suffering and loss of life,” the White House said in a statement yesterday, referring to Russia’s vote eight days ago at the U.N. Security Council which prevented the renewal of the Joint Investigative Mechanism’s (J.I.M.) mandate. Brendan O’Brien reports at Reuters.

A suspected Israeli airstrike hit a target in Syria’s Homs province yesterday, and the Syrian army responded by firing surface-to-air missile at the aircraft. Israel has declined to comment on the reports, but the Intelligence Minister reiterated that “smuggling arms to Hezbollah is a red line in our eyes.” Ori Lewis reports at Reuters.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out eight airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on October 31. Separately, partner forces conducted five strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

IRAQ

Negotiations between Iraq’s central government and the semiautonomous Kurdistan region over border controls have failed, according to Iraqi officials. Tensions between Baghdad and Iraq Kurdistan have been high since September’s controversial independence referendum. The AP reports.

Iraqi federal forces threatened yesterday to resume military operations against Kurdish-held territory following the dispute over border controls, Reuters reporting.

NIGER

Niger would be open to allowing U.S. for investigation, reconnaissance and combat, Niger’s Prime Minister Brigi Rafini said yesterday, adding that there would be an inquest into the ambush of U.S. and Nigerian forces on Oct. 4. Vipal Monga and Joe Parkinson report at the Wall Street Journal.

Niger asked the U.S. “some weeks ago” to arm drones and “use them as needed,” Niger’s Defense Minister Kalla Mountari said yesterday. Tim Cocks and Absoulave Massalatchi reporting at Reuters.

BIN LADEN RAID DOCUMENTS

A series of documents collected from the raid of Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistani hideout were released by the C.I.A. yesterday, the documents revealing that Bin Laden was involved in al-Qaeda operations while in hiding. Nancy A. Youssef reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The documents reveal information about Bin Laden’s son, Hamza, and according to analysts from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (F.D.D.) reveal a relationship between al-Qaeda and Iran. The BBC reports.

GUANTÁNAMO BAY

The head of the war court defense team Marine Brig. Gen. John Baker was yesterday sentenced to 21 days confinement by the military judge presiding over the trial of the suspected U.S.S. Cole bombing at Guantánamo Bay, due to Baker’s refusal to follow his orders. Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

The judge also declared Baker’s decision to release three civilian lawyers from the defense team “null and void,” Carol Rosenberg reports at the Miami Herald.

The context behind Baker’s confinement is provided by Spencer Ackerman at The Daily Beast.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY

Asian nations are bracing themselves for Trump’s visit to Asia which begins later this week, Foster Klug describes the mood at the AP.

An associate of Vice President Mike Pence has been nominated to be director general of the foreign service, causing concern that diplomacy would be further politicized by the Trump administration. Robbie Gramer explains at Foreign Policy.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The U.S. yesterday defended its decision to vote against the U.N. resolution calling for a repeal of the embargo imposed on Cuba, Rick Gladstone reports at the New York Times.

The House passed legislation allowing the State Department to revoke the passports of individuals suspected to be foreign terrorists, Cristina Marcos reports at the Hill.

The two fatal U.S. Navy collisions during the summer were “avoidable,” according to a report released by the U.S. Navy. Barbara Starr, Jamie Crawford and Brad Lendon report at the CNN.

An airstrike in Yemen killed at least 25 civilians and wounded at least nine, according to health officials, a statement carried by Saudi Arabia’s officials news agency said that the Arab coalition would investigate the attack. Shuaib Almosawa and Nour Youssef report at the New York Times.

Read on Just Security »

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The Fifth Column in the Fifth Domain

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The key question as representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google testify Tuesday and Wednesday before Congress is not how Russia used social media to interfere in last year’s presidential election, but rather what role U.S. voters, the federal government and social media companies should play in building resiliency against such disinformation campaigns in the future. However, in the short-term, collaboration between the government and private industry to institute transparency of ads may minimize the impact of nefarious foreign actors.

  • Tuesday, Colin Stretch, the general counsel of Facebook, Sean Edgett, the acting general counsel of Twitter, and Richard Salgado, the director of law enforcement and information security at Google, will testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism to discuss extremist content and Russian disinformation online.
  • Wednesday, Facebook’s Stretch, Twitter’s Edgett, and Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president and general counsel, will also testify in front of the House Intelligence Committee following a earlier hearingat the Senate Intelligence Committee on the same topic.

While lawmakers are likely to criticize the social media executives for the exploitation of their platforms this week, the companies will likely respond that no private company should, in a free society, determine what is true and what is not. Social media, hailed as a powerful communication tool and a great equalizer by internet idealists, has also been clearly demonstrated as a critical element in amplifying deceptive narratives to susceptible audiences.

  • “Twitter’s open and real-time nature is a powerful antidote to the spreading of all types of false information,” wrote Colin Crowell, Twitter’s vice president of public policy, government and philanthropy in June. “This is important because we cannot distinguish whether every single Tweet from every person is truthful or not. We, as a company, should not be the arbiter of truth.”
  • The scale of use of these platforms also means policing propagators of disinformation – foreign or domestic – among billions of other users will never be perfect.

Todd Rosenblum - The Cipher Brief

However, Russian use of these prominent internet platforms was merely one aspect of what was a much larger and more coordinated Russian effort to undermine faith in Western democratic institutions. Solving the social media problem will not solve the Russia problem, but experts agree that, given the continuing success of Russia’s interference in U.S. politics, both the Kremlin and other nefarious actors will execute similar information operations against vulnerable open societies in the coming years.

Mark Jacobson - The Cipher Brief

  • Dezinformatsia, a Russian umbrella term for so-called disinformation operations, seeks to muddy the political and social waters of adversaries, undermining public trust.
  • Disinformation is spread through both overt state-sponsored media, such as Russian channels RT and Sputnik, and covert operations, such as weaponized hack-and-leak operations, cutouts, and compromising material, or Kompromat.
  • According to Facebook’s own statements, the Kremlin employs a network of paid trolls – most notably the Internet Research Agency – to amplify divisive opinions and misinformation to exploit societies’ political flashpoints, from immigration and racism to gender identity and gun rights. Between 2015 and 2017, the troll farm reportedly posted about 80,000 times – over 200 posts a day – and that roughly 29 million people received the content in their news feeds, and at most, another 126 million may have been exposed to the Kremlin-directed disinformation through likes and shares.
  • According to data from six of the 470 Russian Facebook pages that have been identified by the company– namely Blacktivists, United Muslims of America, Being Patriotic, Heart of Texas, Secured Borders and LGBT United – Russian disinformation content had been shared over 340 million times, and therefore likely magnitudes greater, given that it represented merely slightly over 1 percent of the known Russian sites.
  • Facebook disclosed that known Russian agents bought some $100,000 in advertisements, or around 3000 ads total, targeting specific demographic audiences and geographies such as critical election swing states, including Michigan and Wisconsin.
  • Google has acknowledged that Russian trolls uploaded over a thousand videos to YouTube on 18 different channels.

In the short-term, increased transparency of the sources and funding of ads on social media will minimize the risk of manipulation. Social Media companies have begun to implement this transparency, but online ads are often automated, making vetting and policing difficult.

  • Last week, Twitter announced that it will ban Russian state-sponsored media channels RT and Sputnik from purchasing ads and will require election-related ads for candidates to disclose who is purchasing them and how they are being targeted.
  • Rob Goldman, Facebook’s vice president in charge of ad products, said the company is designing new tools that will allow users to click on a link to see all the ads any given advertiser is running, even if it did not initially target them. Goldman also said the company will build an archive of federal election ads that appear on Facebook, including the amount spent and number times an ad is displayed.

Ultimately, informing users of potential disinformation may be the primary way to navigate the complex and easily-manipulated digital information landscape of the future. How consumers of news on social media can effectively distinguish fact from fiction will be the real bulwark against Russian disinformation, not the policing of content from privately owned platforms.

Todd Rosenblum - The Cipher Brief

Mark Jacobson - The Cipher Brief

Twitter, Facebook, and Google did not respond to requests for comment.

Levi Maxey is a cyber and technology analyst at The Cipher Brief. Follow him on Twitter @lemax13.

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Russian hackers targeted hundreds of US Gmail accounts, new ‘hit list’ shows

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Capitalizing on spying tools believed to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, hackers staged a cyber assault with a self-spreading malware that has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries.  (Reuters)

The Russian hackers who targeted Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign also attempted to breach several thousand email inboxes, including those of U.S. defense contractors, a papal representative, and a member of the punk band Pussy Riot.

That’s according to a digital hit list obtained by the Associated Press.

The comprehensive list highlights not only the close relationship between the hacking group Fancy Bear and the Russian government, but also the wide variety of their targets — including both Republicans and Democrats — going back several years.

The lengthy catalogue, which includes approximately 4,700 Gmail users worldwide, is “a master list of individuals whom Russia would like to spy on, embarrass, discredit or silence,” Keir Giles, director of the Conflict Studies Research Center, told the AP.

Hackers acquired “a master list of individuals whom Russia would like to spy on, embarrass, discredit or silence.”

– Keir Giles, director of the Conflict Studies Research Center

In the U.S., the hackers tried to access at least 570 inboxes, according to the AP. Workers for Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin were among the most targeted, as well as top U.S. officials, including former Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark. Additionally, more than 130 political party workers’ inboxes were targeted, including several Democrats and some Republicans.

Also accessed: The private correspondence of U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, in cyberattacks tied to Russian hackers.

In Ukraine, the AP’s analysis showed that Fancy Bear tried to access at least 545 email accounts, including one belonging to President Petro Poroshenko. And the hackers actively sought to breach numerous accounts of domestic Russian dissidents, musicians and journalists.

Targets there included the Vatican’s representative in Kiev and feminist Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina, who was detained in August for rallying for the release of a Ukrainian filmmaker outside his Siberian prison.

The hit list was divined using data assembled by Secureworks, a cybersecurity firm. Secureworks obtained thousands of malicious links and emails after Fancy Bear accidentally revealed secretive information about its phishing operation.

Fancy Bear is believed to be closely associated with the Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU. The AP’s findings provide further evidence of Fancy Bear’s collaboration with the Russian government.

Fancy Bear’s work is not confined to hacking emails. In 2014, experts believe Fancy Bear created a malicious version of a mobile app and posted it to a Ukrainian military forum. The compromised app likely allowed the Russian military to view the locations of Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield, officials said.

Security researchers believe Fancy Bear is using a sophisticated leaked National Security Agency hacking tool known as EternalBlue, the Hill reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Russian hackers targeted hundreds of US Gmail accounts, new ‘hit list’ shows – Fox News

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Fox News
Russian hackers targeted hundreds of US Gmail accounts, new ‘hit list’ shows
Fox News
Capitalizing on spying tools believed to have been developed by the U.S. National SecurityAgency, hackers staged a cyber assault with a self-spreading malware that has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries. (Reuters).and more »

Child sex offenders to be named as such in US passports

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The Trump administration is moving to require the passports of registered child sex offenders to identify them as such

Congressional Dems File Brief Opposing Bakers in Gay Wedding Cake Case 

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More than 200 congressional Democrats joined an amici curiae brief Wednesday in support of the same-sex couple who sued a Colorado-based baker after he refused to bake a cake for their wedding.

Led by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wisc.) and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the first openly gay New Yorker elected to Congress, the brief was joined by 36 Senators and 175 members of the House of Representatives. Among the notable signatories are Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.).

“I support religious freedom and the freedom of full equality for every American. Our religious beliefs don’t entitle any of us to discriminate against others and I don’t believe that any American should face discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation—whether it’s at a bakery, a hotel, or a doctor’s office,” said Baldwin. “It is simply wrong to discriminate against any American based on who they are or who they love. If an individual has the ability to pay for a service and is not in violation of the law, they should not be turned away.”

The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, concerns cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, who refused to sell a cake to Charlie Craig and David Mullins for the two men’s wedding. In response, Craig and Mullins filed charges in front of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, contending that their civil rights had been denied.

The case centers around Phillips’s First Amendment rights to both freedom of worship and to freedom of expression: Phillips sees his work as art, and thinks that the obligation to make cakes independent of their use contravenes his expression rights. Craig and Mullins, meanwhile, contend that Phillips’s denial of service to them violates their civil rights to not be turned away in public simply because of their sexual orientation.

The case has drawn attention as the latest to deal with rights for gay Americans—following 2012’s United States v. Windsor and 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges—and for Americans who oppose same-sex marriage for religious or moral reasons.

Ruling in favor of Phillips would be contrary to the history of antidiscrimination legislation, and would permit unchecked discrimination while blocking legislators from intervening, the Democrats said.

“To allow the exemptions sought by Petitioners would effectively create a constitutional rule condoning broad-based discriminatory conduct while hamstringing Congress from enacting comprehensive nondiscrimination legislation in the future,” they write.

Rather, they contend, the religious concerns of Phillips and others are overruled by a need to practice equal treatment, the “cost” of doing business in an equal society. The exemption that Phillips seeks is incompatible with existing non-discrimination law, regardless of how much he engages in “expressive” conduct.

“At a minimum, the obligation to recognize basic civil rights and practice equal treatment is at least the ‘cost’ of doing business. Put simply, doing business in a society of equals necessitates equal treatments,” they write.

The Democrats also claim that Masterpiece’s argument is reminiscent of those made against passage of title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination against African Americans in restaurants, shops, and other “places of public accommodation.”

“The very reasons once cited for the pervasive exclusion of African Americans from places of public accommodation … could be cited in support of conduct invoking this exemption,” they write.

Eleven Senate Democrats, as well as Democrat-aligned independent Sen. Angus King (Maine), did not join the brief. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) did sign on. Among those who did not join the brief are several Senators who face tough reelection battles in 2018: Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), and Joe Manchin (W.Va.).

An amici brief from congressional Republicans, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Reps. Vicky Hartzler (Miss.) and Mike Johnson (La.), was filed in September in support of Phillips and Masterpiece.

The post Congressional Dems File Brief Opposing Bakers in Gay Wedding Cake Case appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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FBI is closer to drawing a conclusion on motive for Las Vegas shooting

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ImageJim Wilson / The New York Times

FBI agents gather near an entrance to the site of the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, Oct. 4, 2017. A lone gunman, Stephen Paddock, fired down onto attendees at the festival from a 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay suite nearby, killing at least 59 and injuring hundreds.

By Ricardo Torres-Cortez (contact)

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 | 2 a.m.

Click to enlarge photoSteve Marcus

Aaron Rouse, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Las Vegas Division, responds to a question during a media briefing at Metro Police headquarters Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017.

A month into the investigation of why Stephen Paddock indiscriminately rained gunfire on thousands of concert attendees, killing 58 and injuring hundreds at the Route 91 Harvest festival, investigators maintain that there is “absolutely” no indication the gunman was ideologically driven or affiliated with any international or domestic terror or hate group.

But investigators have made significant strides in their efforts to try to determine the how and the why the 64-year-old Mesquite gunman decided to shatter windows of a 32nd story Mandalay Bay suite, bringing forth the biggest loss of life during a shooting in modern U.S. history Oct. 1 on the Las Vegas Strip, said Aaron Rouse, FBI Las Vegas’ special agent in charge.

“We do know a lot more (about Paddock) than when we started,” Rouse told the Las Vegas Sun Wednesday afternoon. “I feel like we are going in the correct direction to understand why this happened.”

Asked if investigators have pinpointed a possible motive, Rouse said he believes that, “When we’re done, we’ll have as close to an answer on the why as you’re going to be able to come to without talking with (Paddock).”

But before that conclusion is made and publicly announced, investigators need to ensure that determination comes from evidence and facts and not from speculation or assumption, Rouse said, asking for patience from the public. “It won’t be as fast as people would want it to be. This isn’t a TV show.”

Since the shooting, investigators have received and tracked hundreds of tips, Rouse said.

Initially, the probe extended worldwide, but it’s scaled down since agents got a lot of the answers they were searching for, which include Paddock’s movements and contacts, Rouse said. Briefings are held daily and new developments are communicated to Metro Police, which is working in conjunction with its federal counterpart.

At one point more than 300 FBI personnel had been summoned, with hundreds more in rotation when the original group became fatigued. The FBI’s Evidence Response Team “painstakingly” worked side by side with Metro’s forensic investigators in a “very long and detailed effort” to measure and study the killing field.

“When they’re done with their final report, there will be — I think — as best representation forensically of what happened as you can possibly ask for,” Rouse said. And that information led investigators in “good directions.”

The agency’s victim assistance unit repatriated belongings left behind by the victims with their loved ones. “You never quite know how a small object is going to affect someone’s life,” Rouse said.

Interviews and follow-ups have been conducted and subpoenas have been served and returned. It’s not rare to see hundreds or even thousands of these court orders in an investigation of this scale, Rouse said. Footage related to the shooting, a substantial amount turned in by civilians, has amounted to more than 40 terabytes.

Rouse said video provided by the public has helped tighten a timeline, which has seen several adjustments. “We can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.”

We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve had a fairly good, robust understanding of the events that have gone on, and unfortunately people got wrapped up around a timeline,” Rouse said, referring to what Metro Police has said about that due to its preliminary nature, it was likely to include inconsistencies as investigators learned more, and dealt with different time stamps, logs and witness statements.

Responding to criticism of the shifting timeline, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said during the last public briefing Oct. 13 that information released the days after the shooting, which was what investigators knew at the time, was to “calm the public” and not serve as an official account or build a legal case.

The current timeline remains consistent, Rouse said.

As with other modern mass-casualty events, conspiracy theories have been rampant online. Was there a second shooter; was it a false-flag operation, is there a government cover-up?

All evidence points to Paddock being the only shooter and “we’re too busy to pay attention” to online conspiracy theorists, Rouse said.

“Thousands of people have been involved in this effort, (a cover-up) would require an effort to keep all of them in line with the same story and that doesn’t happen in real life,” Rouse said. “So we’re going to continue to focus on the facts, we’re going to continue to focus on being thorough, and it will take as long as it takes, but I believe we’re making significant progress.”

Asked if the misinformation has led to false tips, Rouse said that it happens in every investigation.

“I think it becomes more intensified because of the media outpouring on this particular event,” Rouse said. But they follow every lead to assure that what’s being reported “absolutely did or did not happen.”

Victims, their loved ones and the public deserve for the FBI to be right, as that contributes to the trust and confidence the federal agency seeks. “I have the ultimate confidence to know that we’re following a tried and true course that has worked well for law enforcement agencies worldwide.”

Nevada can be proud of the public-private partnerships, Rouse said.

“Bad things are going to happen,” Rouse said. “It’s how you respond to them that shows your true sense of community, and this is a strong community.”

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· · · · · ·

FBI is closer to drawing a conclusion on motive for Las Vegas shooting – Las Vegas Sun

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FBI is closer to drawing a conclusion on motive for Las Vegas shooting
Las Vegas Sun
FBI agents gather near an entrance to the site of the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, Oct. 4, 2017. A lone gunman, Stephen Paddock, fired down onto attendees at the festival from a 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay suite nearby, killing at least 59 and and more »

With Tweet, Trump May Add Burden to Prosecution of Attack Suspect 

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The president’s late-night Twitter message could complicate the case against the man accused in the Manhattan truck attack before it even heads to trial.

Child sex offenders to be named as such in US passports

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America’s registered child sex offenders will now have to use passports identifying them for their past crimes when traveling overseas.

     

Bin Laden raid: Son Hamza’s wedding video in CIA file release – BBC News

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BBC News
Bin Laden raid: Son Hamza’s wedding video in CIA file release
BBC News
Osama Bin Laden’s personal diary, video of his son Hamza’s wedding and documentaries about himself were among files found on the al-Qaeda leader’s computer, the CIA has revealed. Nearly half a million of the files have been released, the fourth such …
CIA releases more files it says came from bin Laden raid, including his journalCNN
Inside Bin Laden’s Files: GIFs, Memes, and Mr. BeanWIRED
CIA release of bin Laden files renews interest in Iran linksFox News
PBS NewsHour –Ars Technica –Washington Post –CIA
all 225 news articles »

CIA release of bin Laden files renews interest in Iran links

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The CIA’s release of documents seized during the 2011 raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden has again raised questions about Iran’s support of the extremist network leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

     
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Rumbles of the Quantum Computing Revolution in SecurityTheoretical ideas appear … 

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Rumbles of the Quantum Computing Revolution in Security

Theoretical ideas appear to be on the brink of spurring a revolution in quantum technologies and, as a result, defense and national security.

Street Sense: The Urban Battlefields of the FutureCounterinsurgency operations o… 

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Street Sense: The Urban Battlefields of the Future

Counterinsurgency operations of the future will take place in crowded urban environments; fighting within cities, rather than for them.

What Defines a Terrorist? Motive Matters.Is terrorism defined by the existence o… 

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What Defines a Terrorist? Motive Matters.

Is terrorism defined by the existence of a political motive, or is it a description of a tactic?

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/tech/social-media-fifth-column-fifth-domain 

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Social Media: The Fifth Column in the Fifth Domain

Social Media: The Fifth Column in the Fifth Domain

As representatives from Twitter, Facebook, and Google prepare to testify before Congress, we look at how these platforms fit into a larger Russian disinformation campaign.

Stay tuned for new episode of Intelligence Matters featuring @pburelli on what’s behind the crisis in Venezuelapic.twitter.com/iz2VFatSat 

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Stay tuned for new episode of Intelligence Matters featuring  on what’s behind the crisis in Venezuela 

What About Election Meddling by U.S. Intelligence?

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In an otherwise forgettable February 2017 interview, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly asked Donald Trump how he could respect Russian President Vladimir Putin, who O’Reilly labeled as a “killer.” Trump shockingly defended Putin by commenting, “There are a lot of killers. We have killers. Well, you think our country is so innocent?” On a separate Fox program in 2015, Trump brushed off comments that Putin kills journalists who disagree with him, responding, “I think our country does plenty of killing too.” Trump’s tendency to attribute moral equivalence to otherwise non-comparable issues was again on display when he repeatedly blamed “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

This political tactic of deflecting answers is not unique to Trump. Indeed, it is long-favorite ploy of Soviet and Russian spokesmen. The Washington Post recently wrote an article about the issue entitled, “Whataboutism: The Cold War tactic, thawed by Putin, is brandished by Donald Trump.” Of the many practices and talking points that President Trump has seemed to borrow from Putin’s Russia, “whataboutism” is particularly insidious. As New York Times correspondent Anne O’Hare described this much-used trick, “it may not convince, but it adds to the confusion between truth and falsehood and fosters that darkness of the mind in which dictatorships operate.” When combined with Russia’s use of disinformation, bots, propaganda, espionage, cyber-attacks, Facebook advertisements, and espionage, it makes for a powerful intelligence operation.

Both authors of this piece served in the CIA and have become sensitive to a “whataboutism” charge often leveled by people across the political spectrum: “So what if Russia meddled in our election? It is exactly what the CIA does around the world.” Such suggestions—particularly from the president himself—are frustrating, to say the least. Rather than be compared to U.S. actions overseas, the Russian intelligence operation needs to be judged for what it is: a Russian attack on the United States.

At the risk of acting exactly as Russia would like, we’ll indulge the whataboutism crowd for a moment. We openly admit the CIA is an espionage enterprise, and a major component of that, as the CIA says in its mission statement, is to conduct “effective covert action as directed by the President.” A covert action—be it, for example, sabotage, the spreading of propaganda or a paramilitary operation—is designed to hide the hand of the country carrying out that action, or at least provide plausible deniability. The action itself is usually intended to have a political effect. Covert action is similar to what Russian intelligence services call “active measures.”

The president must approve every covert action through a “Presidential Finding,” and the intelligence oversight committees in Congress monitor the action.

We also openly admit the United States has participated in its share of excesses. In the early years of the Cold War, the United States overthrew governments, including democratically elected ones, and even attempted to assassinate leaders of other countries.

These are not the proudest moments of our history, which is why our democratic institutions have sought to curb such excesses and ensure our intelligence activities align with our values as a nation. Constitutional change in leadership has assured those values are constantly reassessed. The pendulum has swung over time. The 1975 Church Committee investigations of intelligence abuses put an end to U.S. government-sanctioned assassination and established the Senate oversight committee. However, the attacks of September 11 led to new excesses, the consequences of which we, as a country, are still dealing with today.

Indeed, due to increased oversight and lessons learned from earlier mistakes, the CIA has been out of the business of overthrowing governments for a long time. One can agree or disagree with the policy, but recent efforts aimed at regime change have come with a decidedly military flavor. Of course, there are consequences to any effort aimed at overthrowing a country’s leadership, but it seems the United States has come to the conclusion that it is better to do so overtly, and with allies if possible.

The key point, however, is that our society processes its blunders and takes the consequences seriously. Our covert action does not take place in a vacuum, but within a structured set of rules and laws. They are not perfect. When we see imperfections, we work to fix them. It’s not always pretty, and it doesn’t always work well (ask any field officer how many meetings with lawyers he or she had to have before undertaking even the slightest first step toward covert action). But generally speaking, we endeavor to create a better way of doing things, implementing checks and balances to control potential overreach. We keep aiming for better.

So how is Russia’s influence operation against our election different?

Russia’s influence operation is an attempt by an authoritarian regime, led by a single individual with zero oversight and who is not accountable in any way, to influence and divide a democratic society through its open, democratic election process. It is the equivalent of Russia bombing the democratic institutions of the Western world.

Putin is in a weak position. With an economy smaller than that of New York state and no vision for the country except his own enrichment, Putin has very little to offer his people. Unable to raise his country up, he seeks parity by pulling other countries down. Underlying this is a desire to consolidate and maintain power in a single central authority: Putin himself. Indeed, Putin not only attacks the democratic institutions of other countries, he even stage manages his own elections.

The Russian influence operation against our election was part of this strategy, which was also applied across Europe as several countries held elections, including in the Netherlands, France and Germany. A key component of this operation is preventing people from having a say in their own government, by spreading lies about candidates or asking what’s the point in voting at all, and by exploiting societal fractures and dividing people. Putin has needed this at home—again, because he has little to offer in terms of a vision of the future of Russia—and he is attempting to implement the same elsewhere.

In a free society, citizens have the ability to learn about their government’s actions and to debate and criticize them. Journalists, too, are free to be critical of their leaders. They can – and do – uncover CIA covert activities and critique and criticize as they wish. In Russia, this gets you killed. Putin’s government is implicated in numerous assassinations of Russian journalists and opposition figures.

In a callback to Soviet times, Putin sees both the public and private sectors as his personal foreign policy tools. He directs private companies and individuals to carry out his active measures. Troll farms spread disinformation. Hackers steal information. He has enlisted Russian media to serve as his foreign policy tool. As the editor of RT America said in an interview with The Hill, “When Russia is at war, we are, of course, on Russia’s side.” U.S. covert action, on the other hand, is authorized directly by the President and restrained by Congressional oversight. We also transfer power every four or eight years. Putin faces no such restraints.

Despite President Trump’s rants against journalists, the United States government does not dictate the content of U.S. media outlets. Even ex-spooks are allowed to speak out. John recently publicly questioned if Trump colluded with Russia, and Alex wrote a series critical of the U.S. role in overthrowing Iran’s prime minister in 1953. Can you imagine an ex-KGB officer writing a public article criticizing Putin or a Russian active measures campaign? The polonium-laced tea would be delivered directly to her hotel room.

The fundamental difference between Putin’s Russia and the United States is the key to understanding why Russia’s influence operation is different. The assignment of moral equivalence between an open society, however imperfect, and Putin’s Russia that inhibits a free press, squashes any and all opposition, and invades its neighbors is wrong, and frankly offensive to those public servants upholding the Constitution.

At the end of the day, there is a reality of right and wrong in the world. The U.S., despite its mistakes, is about a world order that serves the U.S. by benefiting all. Putin, on the other hand, seeks to interrupt and weaken the credibility of the West worldwide, fueled by the singular ambition of maintaining personal power and wealth.

Yes, the U.S. takes action overseas, but it is fundamentally different than Russia and is supported by a legal process that is answerable to the electorate. As Joel Harding commented recently on his blog, To Inform is to Influence, “In the United States we count our blessings in terms of our freedoms. Freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and so on. I often ask, what freedoms do Russians have?”

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Russian Intelligence services – Google News: What About Election Meddling by U.S. Intelligence? – The Cipher Brief – The Cipher Brief

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What About Election Meddling by U.S. Intelligence? – The Cipher Brief
The Cipher Brief
President Trump is borrowing one of Putin’s and Russia’s most insidious tactics: ‘whataboutism.’and more »

 Russian Intelligence services – Google News

Donald Trump – Google News: Trump just said alleged NYC terrorist should be killed. That may hurt the case against him – CNBC

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CNBC
Trump just said alleged NYC terrorist should be killed. That may hurt the case against him
CNBC
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the man alleged to have committed a terrorist attack in New York City this week should be killed. “SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!” Trump tweeted, referring to Sayfullo Saipov, who was charged Wednesday …
The Attack in Manhattan Poses a Test for Donald TrumpThe Atlantic
Donald Trump Responds To NYC Incident: ‘NOT IN THE USA’HuffPost
Donald Trump’s death penalty call for New York terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov raises fears of tainted trialTelegraph.co.uk

all 3,313 news articles »

 Donald Trump – Google News

Russia sought to influence LGBT voters with ‘Buff Bernie’ ad

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Russian propagandists sought to influence LGBT voters with a “Buff Bernie” ad. (Photo public domain)

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Russia sought to influence LGBT voters with ‘Buff Bernie’ ad – Washington Blade

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Washington Blade
Russia sought to influence LGBT voters with ‘Buff Bernie’ ad
Washington Blade
The highly anticipated dump of social media ads Russian propagandists used to influence the2016 election against Hillary Clinton was made public Wednesday, revealing at least one adaimed at titillating gay voters with a buffed up version of her and more »

Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: House Drops Motherlode of Russian Propaganda – Daily Beast

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Daily Beast
House Drops Motherlode of Russian Propaganda
Daily Beast
Paid ads are a small fraction of Russian propaganda on social media, both the companies and their legislative overseers emphasized. Far larger was the organic content created by troll farms like Internet Research Agency—a St.Petersburg-based Russian …
Lawmakers slam social media giants for fake news and Russian adsNew York Post
Facebook, Google, Twitter say 150 million Americans saw Russian propagandaSan Francisco Chronicle
Lawmakers say there’s still more work to be done after second day of social media testimony on HillCBS News
Christian Science Monitor –WIRED –Business Insider –Google Blog
all 313 news articles »

 Russian propaganda on social media – Google News

Russians Posing as Black Activists on Facebook – Google News: The social media ads Russia wanted Americans to see – Politico

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Politico
The social media ads Russia wanted Americans to see
Politico
Russian accounts bought thousands of social media ads on hot-button U.S. issues ranging fromBlack Lives Matter to illegal immigration, according to a batch of the ads released Wednesday by members of the House intelligence panel. Here is a sampling of 

 Russians Posing as Black Activists on Facebook – Google News

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House Intelligence Committee Releases Incendiary Russian Social Media Ads – New York Times

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New York Times
House Intelligence Committee Releases Incendiary Russian Social Media Ads
New York Times
The House Intelligence Committee released dozens of advertisements that Russia-linked firms created during the 2016 campaign. • Facebook, Google and Twitter are on Capitol Hill on Wednesday after a hearing a day earlier, this time to face questions 
Senators Take to Facebook to Criticize Facebook’s Russian AdsWIRED
Facebook also showed Russia-linked ads on other websitesMarkets Insider
These are some of the tweets and Facebook ads Russia used to try and influence the 2016 presidential electionRecode
The Guardian –Fortune –Google Blog –Meeting | Hearings & Meetings | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
all 883 news articles »

Russia Investigations: Connecting the Dots – Bloomberg

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Bloomberg
Russia Investigations: Connecting the Dots
Bloomberg
Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were placed under house arrest after pleading not guilty to charges in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling with the 2016 U.S. election. George Papadopoulos, an ex-foreign policy adviser, …
How to Interpret Robert Mueller’s Charges Against Paul ManafortWIRED
Robert Mueller’s Office Will Issue First Indictment Monday, Sources ConfirmNBCNews.com
Top House Intelligence member ‘can’t comment’ if Trump under investigation in Russia probeABC News
The Atlantic –CNN –Politico
all 1,069 news articles »

The Russia investigation timeline – CBS News

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CBS News
The Russia investigation timeline
CBS News
By Katie Ross Dominick, Julia Burnham, Nicole Sganga and Brittany Knotts. November 2013. The Miss Universe pageant is held in Moscow. “The event’s location was secured thanks to licensing fees of nearly $20 million paid by a Moscow real estate …
Washington prepares for the unexpected as Russia investigation unfoldsWashington Post
Americans are really divided on the Russia investigationCNN
A Lot Happened in the Russia Investigation on Monday. Here’s a Wrap-Up.New York Times
The Providence Journal –USA TODAY –The Independent
all 5,510 news articles »

The Man Who Could Break the Russia Investigation Wide Open – WNYC

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WNYC
The Man Who Could Break the Russia Investigation Wide Open
WNYC
Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about an April 2016 conversation with a Russian professor who claimed to have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Max Kutner, a senior politics writer at Newsweek, and Amy Sabrin, a 

Trump resists mounting pressure from Bannon and others to fight Mueller – Washington Post

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WIRED
Trump resists mounting pressure from Bannon and others to fight Mueller
Washington Post
Debate intensified in President Trump’s political circle Tuesday over how aggressively to confront special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, dividing some of the president’s advisers and loyalists as the Russia investigation enters a new phase following 
How to Interpret Robert Mueller’s Charges Against Paul ManafortWIRED
Robert Mueller’s Office Will Issue First Indictment Monday, Sources ConfirmNBCNews.com
Robert Mueller’s First ChargesThe Atlantic
Politico –KRIS Corpus Christi News –New York Magazine –CNN
all 1,099 news articles »

White House signals Trump will stay out of Mueller’s way – Politico

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Politico
White House signals Trump will stay out of Mueller’s way
Politico
Defunding the Russia investigation? Influential Republicans are warning the White House to avoid such a direct attack. Setting up a dueling probe to dig into Democratic scandals? That might distract attention, but it won’t stop Mueller’s wide-ranging and more »
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Mueller moves complicate Hill Russia inquiries – CNN

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CNN
Mueller moves complicate Hill Russia inquiries
CNN
Mueller’s investigation, which has already led to some dust-ups with the Hill, threatens to limit the scope of the congressional Russia probes even further. And Democrats are increasingly coming around to the idea that Mueller may be their best shot at 
Unanswered questions in Robert Mueller’s Russia investigationABC News
Russia Tried To Infiltrate Trump Campaign, Mueller Documents ConfirmNPR
What’s next in Mueller’s Russia investigation?CBS News
Fox News –Bloomberg –Department of Justice
all 5,961 news articles »

Manafort’s Brooklyn Brownstone Goes From Eyesore to Evidence – New York Times

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New York Times
Manafort’s Brooklyn Brownstone Goes From Eyesore to Evidence
New York Times
On Monday, federal prosecutors linked the house to something more than a local annoyance: It was, they charged, a mechanism through which Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, laundered millions in unreported income from lobbying …
Did Manafort use laundered money to pay Gardens contractor?MyPalmBeachPost
Meet the blogger who helped indict Paul ManafortPoynter (blog)
‘We stayed in Paul Manafort’s Airbnb’BBC News
The Verge –Fast Company –Yahoo Finance –Department of Justice
all 78 news articles »

3:47 PM 11/1/2017 – Cambridge Analytica Is Hiring Up Staffers For Mexico’s Elections – BuzzFeed News 

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Saved Stories – Trump Investigations Saved Stories – Trump Investigations cambridge analytica – Google News: The Trump Campaign’s Data Firm Is Hiring Up Staffers For Mexico’s Elections – BuzzFeed News social media in trump campaign – Google News: Overnight Cybersecurity: Senators unveil election security bill | Social media companies decline to back ad … – … Continue reading “3:47 PM 11/1/2017 – Cambridge Analytica Is Hiring Up Staffers For Mexico’s Elections – BuzzFeed News”

Saved Stories – Cambridge Analytica: Trump, Assange, Bannon, Farage… bound together in an unholy alliance – The Guardian

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The Guardian
Trump, Assange, Bannon, Farage… bound together in an unholy alliance
The Guardian
Because that was the day that the dramatis personae of two separate Trump-Russia scandals smashed headlong into one another. A high-speed news car crash between Cambridge Analyticaand Wikileaks, the two organisations that arguably had the most …

 Saved Stories – Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica Social Media Posts in Trump and Brexit campaigns – Google News: You don’t need Brexit or Trump conspiracies to worry about Facebook – New Statesman

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Los Angeles Times
You don’t need Brexit or Trump conspiracies to worry about Facebook
New Statesman
An extra level of frisson has been added to the reports in recent days, with news that Cambridge Analytica approached Julian Assange – still hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London – about the emails hacked from the Hilary Clinton campaign which …
Security and disinformation in the U.S. 2016 election – Google BlogGoogle Blog
Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online: Working with – United States Senate Committee on the JudiciaryMeeting | Hearings & Meetings | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciaryall 883 news articles »

 Cambridge Analytica Social Media Posts in Trump and Brexit campaigns – Google News

Facebook, Google, Twitter: How tech giants are involved in the Russia investigation – Fox News

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Fox News
Facebook, Google, Twitter: How tech giants are involved in the Russia investigation
Fox News
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the social media platform turned over to Congress 3,000 political propaganda ads tied to Russian accounts which were used during the2016 election. Here’s a breakdown of the complicated relationship …
Capitol Hill Continues Investigation Into Russia’s Interference In 2016 ElectionWWNO
House Intelligence Committee Releases Incendiary Russian Social Media AdsNew York Times
Facebook to tell Congress Russian-linked content may have reached 126 million during 2016 electionABC News
CNET –The Guardian –The Independent –Google Blog
all 883 news articles »
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Fake news post says Mueller indicted 4 Democrats in Russia investigation – PolitiFact

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PolitiFact
Fake news post says Mueller indicted 4 Democrats in Russia investigation
PolitiFact
The announcement of indictments stemming from Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election sparked a fake news story that said a Democratic quartet was ensnared in the inquiry. “Breaking: Breitbart leaks names 
Sean Hannity Said ‘President Clinton’ Because on Manafort Monday, Even Republicans Can’t Believe Trump Is in ChargeNewsweek
Hillary Clinton Is Asked Who She’ll Dress up as for Halloween — Her Answer Is a Real DoozyIndependent Journal Reviewall 249 news articles »

Kremlin: Attempts to tie US investigations to Russia ‘baseless’ and ‘ludicrous’ – The Boston Globe

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Kremlin: Attempts to tie US investigations to Russia ‘baseless’ and ‘ludicrous’
The Boston Globe
Moscow has always denied playing any role in the 2016 presidential election and has portrayed the investigation into Russian interference as an attempt by President Trump’s opponents to cover up for the election defeat of Hillary Clinton. Kremlin and more »

McCain: ‘More shoes will drop’ in Mueller investigation – The Hill

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The Hill
McCain: ‘More shoes will drop’ in Mueller investigation
The Hill
is predicting that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 presidential electionwill ensnare more people, saying the “scandal is not over.” “I told you months ago that this was a centipede and shoes would drop, and I guarantee you and more »

UK investigates Brexit campaign funding amid speculation of Russian meddling – Reuters

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The Independent
UK investigates Brexit campaign funding amid speculation of Russian meddling
Reuters
… after Trump’s 2016 U.S. presidential election victory, denied the allegations. The Electoral Commission, which is already looking at whether Banks’ pro-Brexit Leave.EU group received any impermissible donations, said its new investigation would 
Arron Banks: Key Ukip donor faces investigation for allegedly breaking finance rules during Brexit referendumThe Independentall 40 news articles »

1. Trump Circles: Elections from mikenova (16 sites): Rudy Giuliani – Google News: “You Can’t Go Any Lower”: Inside the West Wing, Trump Is Apoplectic as Allies Fear Impeachment – Vanity Fair

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Vanity Fair
“You Can’t Go Any Lower”: Inside the West Wing, Trump Is Apoplectic as Allies Fear Impeachment
Vanity Fair
Stone’s choice for a special prosecutor: Rudy Giuliani law colleague Marc Mukasey or Fox News pundit Andrew Napolitano. “You would immediately have to inform Mueller, Comey, and [Deputy Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein that they are under federal …

and more »

 Rudy Giuliani – Google News

 1. Trump Circles: Elections from mikenova (16 sites)

trump as danger to National Security – Google News: The New York terror attack helps Trump’s counterterrorism narrative – Washington Examiner

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Washington Examiner
The New York terror attack helps Trump’s counterterrorism narrative
Washington Examiner
Ultimately, all that matters is that Trump knows voters identify him as tough on immigration for reasons of national identity, economics, and national security. And now that the attacker has been identified as a Muslim immigrant, Trump realizes that 
After the West Side Highway Jihad: What Does ‘Extreme Vetting’ Mean?National Reviewall 125 news articles »

 trump as danger to National Security – Google News

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Donald Trump – Google News: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spent $81 million on Facebook ads before last year’s election – Recode

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Recode
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spent $81 million on Facebook ads before last year’s election
Recode
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spent big on Facebook ads last year ahead of November’s presidential election. The two candidates and their campaigns spent a combined $81 million on ads, according to Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch, who …

and more »

 Donald Trump – Google News

Donald Trump | The Guardian: What is the green card law Trump wants to scrap after the New York attack?

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Less than 24 hours after a man drove a truck on to a bike path in New York City killing eight people, the president was blaming US immigration laws

Donald Trump reacted swiftly to the terrorist attack in New York, offering several tweets within less than 24 hours that blamed US immigration laws such as the “green card lottery” while calling for “extreme vetting” of those seeking to enter the country.

Related: New York truck attack: Trump would consider sending suspect to Guantánamo – live

Related: A one in a million chance at a better life: will the US green card lottery survive?

Continue reading…

 Donald Trump | The Guardian

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Livestream: House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigative Task Force Hearing with Social Media Companies 

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The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is holding a hearing titled “Russia Investigative Task Force Hearing with Social Media Companies.” Witnesses include:

Watch the livestream below:

 Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

cambridge analytica – Google News: The Trump Campaign’s Data Firm Is Hiring Up Staffers For Mexico’s Elections – BuzzFeed News

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BuzzFeed News
The Trump Campaign’s Data Firm Is Hiring Up Staffers For Mexico’s Elections
BuzzFeed News
Cambridge Analytica, the data company that claims at least partial credit for President Donald Trump’s 2016 win, is hiring staffers to work on campaigns throughout Mexico in 2018. Arielle Dale Karro, head of operations in Mexico at Cambridge Analytica, …

 cambridge analytica – Google News

Trump aide’s suspected middleman boasted about Moscow contacts — source – CNN

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CNN
Trump aide’s suspected middleman boasted about Moscow contacts — source
CNN
London (CNN) An academic suspected of being the link between a Trump campaign adviser and the Russian government told a business contact that Moscow had a trove of information about Hillary Clinton in April 2016, months before the information was …and more »

Eight questions Congress could ask Facebook – CNNMoney

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CNNMoney
Eight questions Congress could ask Facebook
CNNMoney
This week, almost a full year after the election of Donald Trump, Facebook, Twitter, and Google are testifying before House and Senate committees examining the role that social media — andRussian manipulation of it — played in the 2016 elections 
The media today: Social platforms grilled on RussiaColumbia Journalism Review
Overnight Cybersecurity: Senators unveil election security bill | Social media companies decline to back ad The Hill
Mark Warner on social media influence on 2016 electionsAugusta Free Press
MediaPost Communications –Talking New Media
all 99 news articles »
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Trump – Google News: Trump’s Official Portrait Resembles a Smiley Emoji – New York Times

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New York Times
Trump’s Official Portrait Resembles a Smiley Emoji
New York Times
It is unlike the portrait that had often been used in the past few months on Mr. Trump’s Twitter profile, showing the president with a fearsome “You’re fired!” look on his face, and unlike the one on his White House Twitter account, in which his hands 
White House releases official portraits of Trump, PenceCNN
The official portraits of Trump and Pence finally are in circulationWashington Postall 50 news articles »

 Trump – Google News

Trump – Google News: New York truck attack: Trump calls for end of green card lottery – BBC News

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BBC News
New York truck attack: Trump calls for end of green card lottery
BBC News
US President Donald Trump has called for the green card lottery to be scrapped, saying it allowed the New York truck attack suspect into the US. In a series of tweets he called for the immigration programme to be replaced with a merit-based system. Mr 
Trump blames Schumer, Democrats for immigration policies he says led to terror attackCNN
Trump faults Schumer, ‘diversity’ immigration in NYC attackABC News
After New York attack, Trump calls for ending ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program’USA TODAY
NBCNews.com –Washington Post –New York Times
all 122 news articles »

 Trump – Google News

The Brooklyn Blogger Who Helped Catch Paul Manafort – Vanity Fair

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Vanity Fair
The Brooklyn Blogger Who Helped Catch Paul Manafort
Vanity Fair
If Paul Manafort had not been such a crummy and absentee Brooklyn neighbor, he might not be in such hot water. He would not have crossed an urbane housewife-turned-neighborhood blogger who doesn’t consider herself a journalist but smelled something …
New documents outline why Manafort, Gates were feared as flight risksABC News
Paul Manafort May Have Used ‘bond007’ as His Online PasswordFortune
Manafort’s Role in Democracy’s Corruption Humiliates Us AllNBCNews.com
Business Insider –Bloomberg –The Week Magazine –Pardon Me For Asking – blogger
all 67 news articles »

US elections and russia – Google News: Cardin: Russia’s election meddling is ‘an act of war’ – Politico

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Politico
Cardin: Russia’s election meddling is ‘an act of war’
Politico
That Russia sought to interfere in last year’s presidential election, an allegation it denies, has been the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community dating back to last year. The FBI, CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence all and more »

 US elections and russia – Google News

Russian Intelligence services and organized crime – Google News: Russia Says It Won’t Extradite Suspect In Montenegro Alleged Coup Attempt – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

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RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Russia Says It Won’t Extradite Suspect In Montenegro Alleged Coup Attempt
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Prosecutors have argued during the trial that two Russian military intelligenceoperatives for the Kremlin, Shishmakov and Vladimir Popov, organized and coordinated the coup attempt from neighboring Serbia. In addition to the charges handed down to the and more »

 Russian Intelligence services and organized crime – Google News

November 1, 2017 

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

NEW YORK TERROR ATTACK

A man driving a truck hit pedestrians and cyclists in Manhattan yesterday killing eight and wounding eleven in what officials have described as a terrorist attack, the police have identified the attacker as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov. Benjamin Mueller, William K. Rashbaum and Al Baker report at the New York Times.

A video from the scene shows that the attacker emerged from the truck with what appeared to be handguns, and some witnesses said he shouted “Allahu akbar” meaning “God is great” in Arabic. Renae Merle, Devlin Barrett, Wesley Lowery, Rachel Siegel and Samantha Schmidt report at the Washington Post.

The police shot and injured the suspect as he left the vehicle, a senior law enforcement has said that a note claimed that the attack was done in the name of the Islamic State group. Shimon Prokupecz, Eric Levenson, Brynn Gingras and Steve Almasy report at CNN.

“We must not allow I.S.I.S. to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!” Trump tweeted after the attack using the acronym for the Islamic State group, adding in a later tweet that he had ordered Homeland Security “to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program.” Cristiano Lima reports at POLITICO.

The suspected attacker is an Uzbek immigrant who lived in Paterson and, according to a law enforcement official, had a green card. Corey Kilganion and Joseph Goldstein provide information about Saipov’s background at the New York Times.

The attack has brought a terrorist tactic that has been used in Europe to the U.S. and “vigilance and cooperation are the two indispensable tools in ensuring that the terrorist’s world remain abnormal,” the Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

We must acknowledge the tragic loss of life but also worry how our leaders respond because terrorism thrives on provoking an overreaction and a misstep could feed into narratives that undermine the U.S.’s security. Joshua Geltzer writes at Just Security.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

The plea deal submitted by former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos suggests that the Trump campaign pursued efforts to acquire hacked emails from Russian contacts in the spring of 2016 to harm presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, before the public were aware of the hacking of Democratic Party systems. Shane Harris reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Papadopoulos was dismissed by Trump as a “low level volunteer” however documents and interviews show that he was in regular contact with senior Trump campaign officials and there has been no indication that senior campaign officials told Papadopoulos directly to halt his efforts to set up a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin or to stop presenting himself as a Trump surrogate during meetings with foreign officials. Rosalind S. Helderman, Karen DeYoung and Tom Hamburger report at the Washington Post.

The London-based academic Joseph Mifsud has been suspected of being the link between Papadopoulos and the Russian government and told a business contact in April 2016 that Russia held information on Clinton. Nic Robertson and Hilary Clarke report at CNN.

The Trump campaign’s senior policy adviser Sam Clovis has been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 U.S. election, Clovis appointed Papadopoulos as a foreign policy adviser to the campaign in March 2016 and has been identified in the Papadopoulos plea as the “campaign supervisor.” Rebecca Ballhaus and Del Quentin Wilbur report at the Wall Street Journal.

“Dr. Clovis always vigorously opposed any Russian trip for Donald Trump or staff,” the lawyer for Clovis said yesterday, adding that her client did not dispute the fact that he was the campaign supervisor to Papadopoulos but that “if a volunteer made suggestions on any foreign policy matter, Dr. Clovis, a polite gentleman from Iowa, would have expressed courtesy and appreciation.” Sarah N. Lynch and Mark Hosenball report at Reuters.

The Trump campaign “voluntarily provided” Mueller with emails involving Papadopoulos, the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said yesterday, Reuters reporting.

Mueller’s team is set to interview Trump’s longtime aide and the current White House communications director Hope Hicks in mid-November, according to sources familiar with the matter, an administration official also said that several current White House officials are expected to be interviewed as early as this week. Annie Karni and Josh Dawsey report at POLITICO.

Several Trump allies have sought to persuade the president to take a tougher approach to Mueller by damaging the investigation’s credibility and cutting its funding, however Trump’s lawyers and advisers have insisted that this would not be an option and Trump has, so far, resisted calls to be more aggressive. Philip Rucker and Robert Costa report at the Washington Post.

Several Republican senators said yesterday that they would not cut funding to Mueller’s investigation amid calls from some Republicans for the investigation to be curtailed or redirected to ongoing investigations into Russian interference. Karoun Demirjian and Sean Sullivan report at the Washington Post.

Representatives of Facebook, Google and Twitter appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday where they were questioned about Russia-linked social media accounts, the social media companies publicly acknowledged their role in the Russia’s online campaign during the presidential election but were reluctant to offer concrete action on regulating political content on their platforms. Cecila Kang, Nicholas Fandos and Mike Isaac report at the New York Times.

Senators asked why social media companies had not done more to understand the extent of Russian use of their online platforms, including the buying of election ads bought using Russian rubles. Ali Breland reports at the Hill.

Facebook’s general counsel Colin Stretch described how a Russian troll farm focused on “fomenting discord about the validity of [Trump’s] election” after Nov. 8, agreeing with Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) assessment that during the election the focus was mostly on undermining Clinton and this shifted once Trump won the election. Nancy Scola and Ashley Gold report at POLITICO.

A bipartisan election cybersecurity bill was introduced yesterday amid evidence of Russian influence in the 2016 election, Joe Uchill reports at the Hill.

A feature on Andrew Weissmann, a key lawyer in Mueller’s team, is provided by Matt Flegenheimer at the New York Times.

The Papadopoulos guilty plea has made firing Mueller more difficult, and taking such action, as has been advised by some Trump allies, would spark a political crisis. Katie Bo Williams provides an analysis at the Hill.

The links between Trump’s foreign policy advisers and Russia have created issues for the president, Matthew Rosenberg, Sharon LaFraniere and Matt Apuzzo provide an overview of the advisers at the New York Times.

The attacks on Mueller by the president and his allies “could yet lead to a constitutional crisis” as they spread ridiculous conspiracy theories that undermine the investigation and the rule of law, removing Mueller would “send the message that Mr. Trump and his aides are accountable to no one.” The New York Times editorial board writes.

The five key points about the Russian online campaign to spread disinformation before and after the 2016 U.S. election are set out by Georgia Wells and Natalie Andrews at the Wall Street Journal.

While Putin’s online campaign may have had short-term success the Kremlin’s actions have prompted the U.S. government to investigate Russia’s attempts to manipulate U.S. politics, consequently sending a message to the world about Russia’s interference campaigns. However, the question now is whether Russia would respond by being more aggressive in its cyber-operations? David Ignatius writes at the Washington Post.

The State Department should considers its policy on Facebook, public diplomacy and accountability in light of the Russian interference campaign and other online propaganda campaigns across the world, the former deputy assistant secretary for digital strategy at the State Department Moira Whelan writes at Foreign Policy.

NORTH KOREA

The U.S. has been quietly pursuing direct diplomacy with North Korea through the so-called “New York channel,” a senior U.S. negotiator at the State Department, Joseph Yun, said yesterday, claiming that he has been in contact with diplomats at North Korea’s U.N. Mission. Arshad Mohammed and Matt Spetalnick reveal at Reuters.

A U.S. military exercise involving three aircraft carriers near the Korean Peninsula is scheduled to take place during Trump’s two-week trip to Asia starting at the end of this week, according to defense officials, the maneuvers would send a strong signal to North Korea amid heightened tensions. Jonathan Cheng and Nancy A. Youssef report at the Wall Street Journal.

South Korea would not “develop or possess nuclear weapons,” South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in told parliament today, saying that the joint agreement between the North and South on denuclearization also sets out that “North Korea’s nuclear state cannot be accepted or tolerated.” Adam Taylor reports at the Washington Post.

China and South Korea would work together using diplomatic means to work towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a statement from China’s foreign ministry said today, Reuters reporting.

Trump will not visit the demilitarized zone (D.M.Z.) between North and South Korea during his trip to Asia, according to a senior administration official who cited time constraints. Reuters reports.

The U.S. Treasury has pushed for countries in the Persian Gulf to take a tougher line against North Korea by taking measures to improve financial oversight and scaling back on the use of North Korean labor, which analysts say number between 5,000 and 10,000. Ian Talley and Nicolas Parasie report at the Wall Street Journal.

IRAN

“Today, the range of our missiles, as the policies of Iran’s supreme leader dictate, are limited to 2,000 kilometers,” the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (I.R.G.C.) Gen. Mohammed Ali Jafari said yesterday, possibly sending a message that Iran’s missile program is for defensive purposes in contrast to North Korea’s missile program which poses a threat to the U.S.. Jon Gambrell reports at the AP.

The 2,000 kilometer range “is enough for the Islamic Republic as most of the U.S. forces and most of their interests in the region are within this range,” Jafari also said yesterday, Reuters reporting.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to arrive in Tehran today for talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the Syrian war is set to feature prominently in discussions. Zein Basravi reports at Al Jazeera.

SYRIA

Russia will host a forum on Nov. 18 aimed at reaching a political settlement in Syria, the head of Russia’s delegation to the Syria talks in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana said yesterday, the AP reports.

Syria’s Kurds have been invited to the November forum, a senior Kurdish official said yesterday, adding that the Kurds are “studying the issue and our stance has been positive so far.” Ellen Francis reports at Reuters.

Turkey would not accept the inclusion of Syria’s Kurdish Y.P.G. militia in peace talks, a spokesperson for President Reçep Tayyip Erdoğan said today, Reuters reporting.

“We have approximately … I think it’s a little over 4,000 U.S. troops in Syria right now,” Army Maj. Gen. James Jarrard told reporters yesterday, and quickly retracted the figure as the Pentagon officially insists that 503 U.S. soldiers have been deployed to support efforts against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

Russia has been running the show at the Astana talks and they see a role for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the country, Imran Khan observes at Al Jazeera.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out four airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on October 30. Separately, partner forces conducted four strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

IRAQ

Iraqi federal forces prepared to take control of the semiautonomous Kurdistan region’s border crossings with Turkey and Syria yesterday, amid raised tensions between Iraq’s central government and Iraqi Kurdistan which have been high since September’s controversial referendum where Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence. The BBC reports.

The Iraqi army deployed troops to one of the main land crossings with Turkey taking the position which has been controlled by Kurds since the before the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Ahmed Rasheed, Ercan Gurses and Raya Jalabi report at Reuters.

A map showing the territory Iraqi Kurdistan has lost since the independence referendum is provided by Alia Chugtai at Al Jazeera.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov yesterday and, according to State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, they discussed the Islamic State group’s impending defeat in Syria, the threat posed by North Korea, Ukraine, and improving U.S.-Russia relations. Josh Delk reports at the Hill.

The U.S. will vote against the U.N. resolution condemning the U.S. embargo on Cuba, the State Department said yesterday, reversing the U.S. decision in 2016 to abstain from the vote. Mallory Shelbourne reports at the Hill.

The U.S. nuclear arsenal will cost over $1.2tn over the next 30 years, according to an independent report by the Congressional Budget Office. Julian Borger reports at the Guardian.

A complicated set of factors have contributed to the destabilization of countries in the Sahel region and the Trump administration has no strategy to deal with the problems blighting countries like Niger. Thomas L. Friedman writes at the New York Times.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

At least seven people were killed by a teenage suicide bomber in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul yesterday inside the heavily guarded diplomatic quarter, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. Craig Nelson, Ehsanullah Amiri and Habib Khan Totakhil report at the Wall Street Journal.

The Palestinian militant Hamas group has handed over administrative control of five border crossings in Gaza to the Palestinian Authority based in the West Bank as part of an Egypt-brokered deal agreed Oct. 12, marking a significant development since the factions split in 2007. Linah Alsaafin reports at Al Jazeera.

A military judge at Guantánamo yesterday scheduled a contempt hearing following the decision of three civilian defense lawyers to quit the U.S.S. Cole case. Carol Rosenberg reports at the Miami Herald.

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Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Today’s Headlines and Commentary 

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A driver killed eight people on Tuesday evening by driving a truck down a bike path in New York City, shouting “God is great” in Arabic before a police officer shot him, the New York Times reported. Twelve more pedestrians and cyclists were injured in the deadly rampage. New York’s mayor declared the incident a terrorist attack. Law enforcement officials are investigating the driver’s background, the Washington Post reported. Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor, said Sayfullo Saipov was “radicalized domestically” and that Saipov drew inspiration from the Islamic State group. Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, had previously come to the attention of federal authorities, according to the Times. President Donald Trump blamed the attack on immigration policies promoted by Democrats, the Times also reported.

Uzbekistan’s president promised to assist in investigating the attack, the Wall Street Journal reported. The attack has focused attention on Central Asia as a source of violent extremism, also according tothe Journal. Uzbek nationals have traveled in large numbers to fight for the Islamic State group in the Middle East. In 2015, federal prosecutors in New York charged a group of Uzbeks with plotting to join the Islamic State.

George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who pleaded guilty to deceiving the FBI on Monday, was in regular contact with senior campaign officials, the Post reported. Following a tweet from Trump that Papadopoulos was a “low level volunteer,” emails from the campaign showed the adviser repeatedly told senior Trump campaign officials about his contacts with Russian government representatives. Papadopoulos’ campaign supervisor, Sam Clovis, has testified before a grand jury in the special counsel investigation, Politico reported. Clovis—Trump’s nominee for the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist post—is also a “cooperative witness” in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s own Russia investigation. Special Counsel Robert Mueller will interview Hope Hicks, White House communications director, according to Politico.

The FBI is investigating Brexit proponent Nigel Farage as a “person of interest” in the Russia investigation, the Guardian reported. Farage’s connections to the Trump campaign and to Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, aroused the FBI’s interest. Farage denied that he had connections to Russia. Separately, Aaron Banks, a key financial backer of the Brexit campaign, denied that Russia funded the pro-Brexit camp, according to Reuters. Britain’s election commission is looking into whether Banks violated campaign finance laws during the 2016 referendum.

South Korea’s president said South Korea would never seek its own nuclear weapons, the Post reported. On Wednesday, Moon Jae-in rebuked some South Korean lawmakers who have proposed that the country develop its own nuclear program to counter the North Korean threat. As the crisis with North Korea continues, U.S. diplomats are pursuing direct diplomacy with Pyongyang through side channels at the U.N., Reuters reported. A U.S. negotiator confirmed that he has been in contact with North Korean diplomats at their U.N. mission. The talks have expanded from their narrow focus on political prisoner exchanges to include Pyongyang’s nuclear tests. To respond to North Korea’s provocations, the U.S. is considering scheduling military exercises with its three aircraft carriers now sailing in the western Pacific, the Journal reported. If conducted, the exercises would be the first in the area since 2007 to involve three U.S. carriers.

Iran’s supreme leader limited the range of its ballistic missiles to 2,000 kilometers, the AP reported on Tuesday. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps to restrict its missile ranges to only reach regional Middle East targets. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Iran on Wednesday to discuss the Iran nuclear deal and the Syrian civil war, Reuters reportedRussia will host talks next month aimed at reaching a political settlement in Syria between the Syrian government and armed opposition groups, according to the Post.

The chief prosecutor at the Guantanamo Bay military commissions stopped holding press conferences, abandoning a long-standing practice, the Miami Herald reported on Wednesday. A Pentagon spokesperson said the move was part of a shift in public affairs strategies for the military commissions.

A Navy report said that collisions between U.S. ships were “avoidable” and a result of human errors,the Times reported on Wednesday. Seventeen sailors died in crashes between Navy destroyers and commercial ships earlier this year. The report blamed the accidents on poor judgement from the commanding officers and the crews’ lack of preparation.

The Congressional Budget Office said a plan to modernize the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal would cost $1.2 trillion, the AP reported. The plan, developed under President Obama, would accumulate the costs over a 30-year period.

Hamas began transferring control of Gaza border crossings to the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday,Reuters reported. The move started the implementation of the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

John Yoo wrote at the New York Times that even though President Trump has the power to pardon Paul Manafort, he should not for the good of democracy.

Moira Whelan argued at Foreign Policy that the State Department should reconsider its promotion of Facebook given the platform’s use by anti-democratic forces.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

J. Dana Stuster updated the Middle East Ticker, covering the resignation of Iraqi Kurdistan’s president, the capture of a suspect in the Benghazi attacks, and Saudi Arabia’s pitch to investors for its economic reform plan.

Evelyn Douek analyzed the impact of Germany’s new law to regulate online hate crimes and fake news.

Stewart Baker shared the Cyberlaw Podcast, featuring an interview with Chris Painter, former lead cyber diplomat at the State Department.

Sarah Grant summarized Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling blocking the Trump administration’s order banning transgender military service members.

Garrett Hinck posted the video and testimony of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing with experts, including social media executives on extremism, Russian disinformation and the 2016 elections.

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared the National Security Law Podcast, featuring their discussion of the Mueller indictments, ACLU v. Mattis, the captured Benghazi suspect, and developments in the al-Nashiri case.

Shannon Togawa Mercer posted the government’s memo in the case against Paul Manafort Jr. and Richard Gates III asking the court to set conditions on their release, designate the case as complex and notify the defendants the government intended to use specific foreign bank records.

 

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

 Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

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Senate Intelligence Chairman Criticizes Media ‘Narrative’ About Russia Investigation – Voice of America

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Voice of America
Senate Intelligence Chairman Criticizes Media ‘Narrative’ About Russia Investigation
Voice of America
Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr is warning Americans and the media against trying to simplify the “narrative” surrounding Russian efforts during the 2016 election to the premise that foreign actors helped elect the president of the United States.and more »

Elections 2016 Investigation – Google News: UK investigates Brexit campaign funding amid speculation of Russian meddling – Reuters

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The Guardian
UK investigates Brexit campaign funding amid speculation of Russian meddling
Reuters
When asked about the investigation, Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament: “We take very seriously issues of Russian intervention, or Russian attempts to intervene, in electoral processes or in the democratic processes of any country.”.
Electoral Commission to investigate Arron Banks’ Brexit donationsThe Guardian
Tycoon who backed ‘leave’ campaign under investigation over Brexit donationsHindustan Times
UK Electoral Commission investigates ‘leave’ tycoon Arron Banks over Brexit donationsReuters UK
The Independent –POLITICO.eu –Fox News
all 37 news articles »

 Elections 2016 Investigation – Google News

12:38 PM 11/1/2017 – On the far west side of lower Manhattan… – Links and Articles 

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On the far west side of lower Manhattan The Far West Group – Google Search Wednesday November 1st, 2017 at 12:04 PM The Far West Group – Google News 1 Share Suspected terrorist truck attack kills eight on New York bike path Reuters–16 hours ago A sixth member of the group was among those hospitalized after the attack, … Tuesday’s assault, … Continue reading “12:38 PM 11/1/2017 – On the far west side of lower Manhattan… – Links and Articles”

Trump liar – Google News: Trump Calls Former Campaign Aide a Liar – NBC 7 San Diego

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NBC 7 San Diego
Trump Calls Former Campaign Aide a Liar
NBC 7 San Diego
President Donald Trump and his White House are working to distance him from former campaign adviser George Papadopolous, saying he only had a tiny role in the campaign. Papadopolous has pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI about his talks …

 Trump liar – Google News

trump and republican party – Google News: ‘Concerned’ conservatives, aiming to build a Trump resistance, call for GOP to protect Mueller – Washington Post

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Washington Post
‘Concerned’ conservatives, aiming to build a Trump resistance, call for GOP to protect Mueller
Washington Post
In February, with the shock of President Trump’s victory still fresh, a small group of libertarians and conservatives began meeting every two weeks to discuss their next moves. Evan McMullin, the “Never Trump” presidential candidate, was in the room 

 trump and republican party – Google News


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