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Judge in Manafort case says Mueller's aim is to hurt Trump

Judge in Manafort case says Mueller's aim is to hurt Trump | 05 May 2018 | A federal judge expressed deep skepticism Friday of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in the bank fraud case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, at one point saying he believes that Mueller's motivation is to oust President Donald Trump from office. Although Mueller's authority has been tested in court before, Friday's hearing was notable for District Judge T.S. Ellis's decision to wade into the divisive political debate around the investigation. "You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud," Ellis said to prosecutor Michael Dreeben, at times losing his temper. Ellis said prosecutors were interested in Manafort because of his potential to provide material that would lead to Trump's "prosecution or impeachment."

George Washington U. Students Petition to Get Rid of 'Offensive' Colonials Mascot

George Washington U. Students Petition to Get Rid of 'Offensive' Colonials Mascot | 04 May 2018 | More than 200 George Washington University students have signed a petition calling for the school to adopt a new mascot and nickname because the current moniker, Colonials, is "extremely offensive." "The historically, negatively-charged figure of Colonials has too deep a connection to colonization and glorifies the act of systemic oppression," the petition reads. The Colonials mascot was adopted in 1926 to honor the school's namesake, George Washington, and is intended as a reference to colonial America and the Continental Army.

2 F.B.I. Officials, Once Key Advisers to Comey, Leave the Bureau

2 F.B.I. Officials, Once Key Advisers to Comey, Leave the Bureau | 04 May 2018 | Two top F.B.I. aides who worked alongside the former director James B. Comey as he navigated one of the most politically tumultuous periods in the bureau’s history resigned on Friday. One of them, James A. Baker, was one of Mr. Comey's closest confidants. He served as the F.B.I.'s top lawyer until December when he was reassigned as the new director, Christopher A. Wray, began installing his own advisers. Mr. Baker had been investigated by the Justice Department on suspicion of sharing classified information with reporters...The other aide, Lisa Page, advised Mr. Comey while serving directly under his deputy, Andrew G. McCabe. She was assailed by conservatives after texts that she had exchanged with the agent overseeing the investigation into [alleged] links between President Trump's campaign and Russia were made public. In the messages, they expressed anti-Trump views but took aim at Hillary Clinton and other political figures as well. [But these agents were investigating Trump, not Clinton. Ergo, this little NYT 'add-on' regarding taking similar aim at 'Hillary Clinton and other public figures' isn't relevant.]

US 'freezes funding' for White Helmets as group's Douma chemical attack claim falls apart

US 'freezes funding' for White Helmets as group's Douma chemical attack claim falls apart [Yes!] | 04 May 2018 | As the reputation of the controversial terrorist-linked White Helmets continues to crumble, even the US State Department seems to be having second thoughts about supporting the group, reportedly placing a freeze on its funding. The State Department's support for the White Helmets is "under active review," according to a CBS News report. The group reportedly hasn't received funding in weeks, but neither has it received formal confirmation that Washington's financial assistance has come to a complete halt. This would mean a significant blow for the group, as the money accounts for about one-third of the White Helmets' overall funding. [Hopefully, the White Helmets will be completely and utterly destroyed. That will end the war crimes, terror attacks, and false flags perpetrated in Syria.]

Connecticut Court Reverses Murder Conviction of Michael Skakel

Connecticut Court Reverses Murder Conviction of Michael Skakel | 04 May 2018 | The Connecticut Supreme Court, in a surprising reversal of its own decision less than two years ago, ruled on Friday to vacate the conviction of Michael C. Skakel, who had been found guilty of bludgeoning his neighbor with a golf club in 1975. The ruling is not only the latest of the many twists in a legal battle that has been drawn out over decades, but could stand as the conclusion to the case. Mr. Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, had been convicted in 2002 of killing Martha Moxley, a 15-year-old in his Greenwich, Conn., neighborhood. Mr. Skakel, also 15 at the time of the killing, was not arrested until he was in his late 30s...One of Mr. Skakel's most vigorous defenders has been his cousin, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a former prosecutor and environmental lawyer who, in a book published two years ago, explored what he said was a botched police investigation and prosecutorial misbehavior and offered alternative theories about who had killed Ms. Moxley.

The Dangerous New Watering Down of 'Incitement'

The Dangerous New Watering Down of 'Incitement' | 03 May 2018 | In January 2017, Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire on a Quebec City mosque, killing half a dozen worshippers. Bissonnette held far-right, Islamophobic views. At trial, crown prosecutors presented evidence that he followed several right-wing and alt-right Twitter users, ranging from [Bret Baier to Richard Spencer]. But the Twitter account he visited the most was that of Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro. On this evidence, Shapiro now stands accused of "incitement" in a campaign launched by a singularly obsessed liberal millennial...I will refer to him solely as Snotrag. I'd be content to ignore Snotrag's campaign entirely, if it wasn't picking up steam among liberal journalists and celebrities (one even tweeted "#arrestbenshapiro," before deleting it).

US Green Berets covertly helping Saudi Arabia in Yemen - report

US Green Berets covertly helping Saudi Arabia in Yemen - report | 03 May 2018 | A team of US Army Green Berets have been covertly aiding Saudi Arabian forces in their fight against Yemeni Houthi rebels, according to New York Times sources. A team of around 12 Green Berets arrived at the Saudi border with Yemen last December, despite Washington officially remaining uninvolved in the conflict. The commandos are reportedly helping Saudi forces to "locate and destroy" ballistic missiles and launch sites, which are used by the Houthis to strike targets within Saudi Arabia. Sources also told the newspaper that the US troops are training their Saudi counterparts to secure the border with Yemen.

Israel's parliament approves bill allowing PM to declare war

Israel's parliament approves bill allowing PM to declare war | 03 May 2018 | The Israeli parliament has approved a law empowering the country's prime minister and defense minister to declare war without full Cabinet approval in "extreme circumstances." While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a presentation showcasing intelligence on Iran's nuclear program on live television, his coalition quietly pushed through a bill on Monday expanding his authority to order military operations. The measure was approved less than a day after warplanes, believed to be Israeli, carried out an airstrike Syrian military facility, killing 26 pro-government fighters, most of them [allegedly] Iranians.

NBC corrects Cohen story, removes details on wiretapping

NBC corrects Cohen story, removes details on wiretapping | 03 May 2018 | NBC News on Thursday corrected its report that federal agents had placed a wiretap on phone lines associated with President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen. The news outlet updated its initial report to reflect that Cohen's phones were subject to a "pen register," which allows investigators to create a log of phone calls associated with Cohen's number. Its original story, which reported the wiretap, cited two separate sources with knowledge of the proceedings. However, three senior U.S. officials later disputed the report, prompting the correction.

Feds tapped Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's phones

Feds tapped Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's phones --At least one phone call between a phone line associated with Cohen and the White House was intercepted, a source said. | 03 May 2018 | Federal investigators have wiretapped the phone lines of Michael Cohen, the longtime personal lawyer for President Donald Trump who is under investigation for a payment he made to an adult film 'star' who alleged she had an affair with Trump, according to two people with knowledge of the legal proceedings involving Cohen. It is not clear how long the wiretap has been authorized, but NBC News has learned it was in place in the weeks leading up to the raids on Cohen's offices, hotel room, and home in early April, according to one person with direct knowledge. At least one phone call between a phone line associated with Cohen and the White House was intercepted, the person said. Previously, federal prosecutors in New York have said in court filings that they have conducted covert searches on multiple e-mail accounts maintained by Cohen.

US troops to remain in South Korea even if peace treaty signed with North - Moon

US troops to remain in South Korea even if peace treaty signed with North - Moon | 02 May 2018 | South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday that US troops will remain on the peninsula even if a peace agreement with the North is reached, saying their presence has "nothing to do with signing peace treaties." "US troops stationed in South Korea are an issue regarding the alliance between South Korea and the United States. It has nothing to do with signing peace treaties," Moon's spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said at a press conference. The statement came in response to a Foreign Affairs magazine article written by presidential adviser, Moon Cung-in, in which he stated that it would be "difficult to justify [US forces] continuing presence in South Korea," if peace is concluded with the North. The spokesperson warned the adviser "not to cause any more confusion" with such comments.

Mueller told Trump legal team a presidential subpoena could be possible, ex-attorney says

Mueller told Trump legal team a presidential subpoena could be possible, ex-attorney says | 02 May 2018 | Special counsel Robert Mueller told President Trump's legal team that he could subpoena the president to appear before a grand jury if Trump refuses an interview with Mueller's team, Trump's former lead attorney told The Associated Press Tuesday night. John Dowd told the AP that Mueller raised the possibility of a subpoena during a meeting with Trump's legal team in March. According to accounts of the meeting first reported by The Washington Post and confirmed by Fox News, Dowd retorted: "This isn't some game. You are screwing with the work of the president of the United States."

Trump Adds Clinton Impeachment Lawyer, Bracing for a Fight on Multiple Fronts

Trump Adds Clinton Impeachment Lawyer, Bracing for a Fight on Multiple Fronts | 02 May 2018 | President Trump hired on Wednesday a Washington lawyer who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment, a sign that the White House sees no immediate end to its legal problems and is girding for a combative relationship with a new Congress after the midterm elections. The new lawyer, Emmet T. Flood, will replace Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer who persuaded Mr. Trump to cooperate with the special counsel for the first year of its investigation...Lawyers say the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is unlikely to conclude his work soon. Mr. Trump's advisers see a new peril on the horizon: If Democrats win control of the House, they would have the authority to issue subpoenas or even convene impeachment hearings.

US judge orders Iran to pay billions to families of 9/11 victims

US judge orders Iran to pay billions to families of 9/11 victims | 02 May 2018 | Tehran has been ordered by a US court to pay more than $6 billion to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, despite the fact that most of the plane hijackers were Saudi nationals, and no direct link was ever found to Iran. On Tuesday, a federal judge in New York found Iran, the country's central bank, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps liable for the deaths of more than 1,000 people in the September 11 attacks. As a consequence, District Judge George Daniels ordered Iran and its entities to pay over $6 billion in compensation to the victims' families...Tehran has yet to react to the latest ruling, but has previously dismissed such accusations as ridiculous, given the fact that none of the perpetrators were Iranian citizens, and no investigation ever found direct links to Iran.

6 officers injured after large explosion in North Haven, CT

6 officers injured after large explosion in North Haven, CT | 02 May 2018 | Quinnipiac Avenue in North Haven is closed at this time following an explosion at a home on Quinnipiac Avenue. According to the North Haven First Selectman Mike Freda, 6 officers were injured in the explosion. He said he know that at least 4 of the officers were North Haven officers. There is no word on what caused the explosion at the barn. Connecticut State Police are on the scene to assist North Haven Police.

Explosion rocks Connecticut neighborhood; multiple officers injured

Explosion rocks Connecticut neighborhood; multiple officers injured | 02 May 2018 | Authorities are investigating an explosion in North Haven, Connecticut, according to a law enforcement official. Multiple people were injured, according to CBS affiliate WFSB-TV. A large fire also broke out. The North Haven police department was investigating a domestic violence incident around 7 p.m. local time, according to a statement to CBS News. This led to a barricaded individual where SWAT was called in. There was a large explosion during the investigation that prompted street closures.

Kabul bombings: Journalists targeted in blast which killed 26

Kabul bombings: Journalists targeted in blast which killed 26 | 30 April 2018 | At least 26 people have been killed in two bombings in the Afghan capital Kabul, including several journalists documenting the scene. AFP chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, is among the victims. The first explosion was carried out by an attacker on a motorbike. A second followed about 15 minutes later after a crowd, including several reporters, had gathered at the scene. The Islamic State group (IS) said it had carried out the attack.

The Questions Mueller Wants to Ask Trump About [Alleged] Obstruction, and What They Mean

The Questions Mueller Wants to Ask Trump About [Alleged] Obstruction, and What They Mean --The questions show the special counsel's focus on [alleged] obstruction of justice and touch on some surprising other areas. | 30 April 2018 | The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently provided President Trump's lawyers a list of questions he wants answered in an interview. The New York Times obtained the list; here are the questions, along with the context and significance of each. The questions fall into categories based on four broad subjects. They are not quoted verbatim, and some were condensed.

Mueller Has Dozens of Inquiries for Trump in Broad Quest on [Alleged] Russia Ties and Obstruction

Mueller Has Dozens of Inquiries for Trump in Broad Quest on [Alleged] Russia Ties and Obstruction | 30 April 2018 | Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russia's [alleged] election interference, has at least four dozen questions on an exhaustive array of subjects he wants to ask President Trump to learn more about his ties to Russia and determine whether he obstructed the inquiry itself, according to a list of the questions obtained by The New York Times. The open-ended queries appear to be an attempt to penetrate the president's thinking, to get at the motivation behind some of his most combative Twitter posts and to examine his relationships with his family and his closest advisers. They deal chiefly with the president's high-profile firings of the F.B.I. director and his first national security adviser, his treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Nearly 200 caravan migrants to seek asylum, in direct challenge to Trump administration

Nearly 200 caravan migrants to seek asylum, in direct challenge to Trump administration | 01 May 2018 | Almost 200 migrants parked at the nation's busiest border crossing are planning to seek asylum in the U.S. following their dramatic journey in a caravan through Mexico, setting up a showdown with the Trump administration over immigration and asylum policy...The migrants' decision to seek asylum comes just one day after U.S. officials closed the border facility there because it was at capacity. White House officials have long said many claims for asylum are fraudulent, and that illegal immigrants can take advantage of the sometimes years-long asylum process by living in the U.S. while their claims are adjudicated.

CIA emails to journalists don't have to be released to public, judge rules

CIA emails to journalists don't have to be released to public, judge rules | 30 April 2018 | The CIA can selectively divulge classified information to selected reporters [aka their Operation Mockingbird Deep State dirt-bags] in emails yet withhold that information from other journalists or members of the public when they seek the same information under the Freedom of Information Act, a federal judge in New York has ruled. The decision appeared in the court record on Friday but became more widely disseminated Monday. The ruling comes amid vigorous national debate over leaks to the media and the use of anonymous sources in covering national security news, including an ongoing FBI investigation into [alleged] Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

White House Correspondents' Association: Michelle Wolf's routine 'not in the spirit' of our mission

White House Correspondents' Association: Michelle Wolf's routine 'not in the spirit' of our mission | 29 April 2018 | White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) President Margaret Talev on Sunday lamented that comedian [sic] Michelle Wolf's routine during the organization’s annual dinner was "not in the spirit" of its mission. Talev said in a statement late Sunday that she has heard from members of the association that Wolf's performance did not reflect well on the WHCA's efforts to celebrate journalism and the First Amendment. Wolf caused an uproar in Washington on Saturday after she delivered a searing 20-minute set at the annual gala that took aim at President Trump, Vice President Pence, Ivanka Trump, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and others. Some journalists joined conservative commentators in voicing that Wolf went too far, particularly in her jokes aimed at Sanders.

Second Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Dead After Questioning Parkland Shooting Official Narrative

Second Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Dead After Questioning Parkland Shooting Official Narrative | 29 April 2018 | Marshall Peterson, a Broward County Deputy Sheriff who dared to question the official narrative surrounding the Parkland shooting, has been found dead under suspicious circumstances. He was 53. A 28-year veteran of the Broward Sheriff's office, Deputy Peterson is the second Broward County Sheriff's Deputy to be found dead in sudden and unexpected circumstances in the month following the Parkland massacre. Deputy Jason Fitzsimon, 42, was found dead on his sofa on April 1. Deputy Peterson is the second Broward County deputy to be found dead within a month. They were both in the prime of their lives and they died from unspecified, non-job related causes. Unless you count "questioning the official narrative surrounding a highly publicized school shooting" to be a job related cause of death… On April 1, Jason Fitzsimon was found dead on his sofa. According to police, the 42-year-old had been in excellent health prior to his untimely death.

Russian foreign minister accuses America of trying to divide Syria - and says US-led missile strike 'aggravated the situation'

Russian foreign minister accuses America of trying to divide Syria - and says US-led missile strike 'aggravated the situation' --Russia insists the chemical attack was staged to give 'artificial pretext' for strikes --Iran, Turkey, and Russia are working on a rival pro-Assad plan for Syrian peace | 28 April 2018 | Russia's foreign minister claims the U.S. is trying to divide Syria and 'reformat' the Middle East, and airstrikes only inflamed tensions. Sergey Lavrov said the missile attack on three Syrian chemical weapons factories 'seriously aggravated the situation' Russia was trying to fix...Mr Lavrov said U.S. statements supporting the territorial integrity of Syria 'are only words that, apparently, cover plans for reformatting the Middle East and plans for dividing Syria into parts'. He met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday to discuss the Syrian situation. Russia, Iran and Turkey are the guarantor states in the 'Astana process' aimed at ending the violence in Syria.

North Korea nuclear test site to close in May, South Korea says

North Korea nuclear test site to close in May, South Korea says | 29 April 2018 | North Korea's nuclear test site will close in May, the South Korean president's office has said. A spokesman said the closure of the Punggye-ri site would be done in public and foreign experts from South Korea and the US would be invited to watch. On Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in agreed to work to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.

Trump welcomes historic North, South Korea meeting

Trump welcomes historic North, South Korea meeting | 27 April 2018 | U.S. President Donald Trump hailed the historic meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday, even while sounding a note of caution. Kim and Moon pledged to work toward the "complete decentralization of the Korean peninsula," and to seek to declare an official end to the 1950s Korean War and establish a permanent peace agreement. In a series of tweets, Trump appeared optimistic about the outcome of the summit. The U.S. president is planning his own meeting with Kim, expected in the coming weeks, in what would be the first ever meeting between sitting leaders of the two countries.

'No collusion': Redacted US House report on Russia released, officially clears Trump

'No collusion': Redacted US House report on Russia released, officially clears Trump | 27 April 2018 | The US House Intelligence Committee has released a redacted declassified version of a report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which officially clears President Trump of any collusion. "While the Committee found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government, the investigation did find poor judgment and ill-considered actions by the Trump and Clinton campaigns," it said. The 253-page document was produced based on a year-long investigation into the alleged Russian meddling. Representative Mike Conaway said the heavy redactions of the text were made on the insistence of the US intelligence community. [See: Redacted US House Report on Russian Active Measures.]

Judge tosses Manafort lawsuit challenging Mueller's authority

Judge tosses Manafort lawsuit challenging Mueller's authority | 27 April 2018 | A federal judge on Friday tossed out former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's lawsuit challenging the scope of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. In her decision, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote that a civil suit is not the way for Manafort to challenge actions by the prosecutors who are working for Mueller's office. "A civil case is not the appropriate vehicle for taking issue with what a prosecutor has done in the past or where he might be headed in the future," wrote Berman Jackson, who was appointed by President Obama.

U.S. appeals court allows Texas to implement voter ID law

U.S. appeals court allows Texas to implement voter ID law | 27 April 2018 | A U.S. appeals court on Friday allowed Texas to implement a law requiring photo identification at the ballot box, reversing a lower court decision that blocked the measure on the grounds it could be discriminatory against racial minorities. In a 2-1 decision, a panel from the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law, which was designed as a fix for previous voter ID legislation struck down for being discriminatory. The panel said the new legislation enacted last year had "improvements for disadvantaged minority voters," the latest chapter in a seven-year dispute over voter ID at the ballot box in Texas, the most-populous Republican-controlled state.

22 Afghan servicemen reportedly killed as Taliban offensive launched in Afghanistan

22 Afghan servicemen reportedly killed as Taliban offensive launched in Afghanistan | 27 April 2018 | A total of 22 Afghan police and soldiers have been killed in Taliban attacks, according to local media. It came just one day after the group announced its annual spring offensive, vowing to target "American invaders." Nine policemen were killed in one of the attacks, which occurred overnight on Wednesday in northern Faryab province, according to an official cited by 1TV. A separate overnight attack killed 13 soldiers in the Dasht-i-Archi district of Kunduz province. Shortly before, the Taliban announced the beginning of its annual 'Al Khandaq' campaign, declaring its main targets to be "American invaders and their intelligence agents."

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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