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'Organ traders, terrorists and looters': Evidence against Syrian White Helmets presented at UN

'Organ traders, terrorists and looters': Evidence against Syrian White Helmets presented at UN | 20 Dec 2018 | The 'White Helmets' are not a rescue group but an extension of jihadist militants, and should be designated a terrorist organization, Russia's envoy to the UN argued at the presentation of evidence into the group's wrongdoing. Praised in the West as humanitarian rescue volunteers, in reality the 'White Helmets' work with Islamist militants in Syria, harvest organs from the victims they pretend to be "rescuing," stage false chemical weapons and other attacks for cameras, and loot the bodies and homes of Syrians killed and injured in the war, according to Maxim Grigoriev, director of the Russia-based Foundation for the Study of Democracy...It was in the Douma suburb of Damascus that the White Helmets staged the "chemical attack" that served as the pretext for French, UK and US missile strikes against the Syrian government in April this year.

US says asylum-seekers must remain in Mexico

US says asylum-seekers must remain in Mexico | 20 Dec 2018 | US president Donald Trump on Thursday ordered that migrants applying for asylum in the US be returned to Mexico pending a hearing in court. The deal came two days after the US agreed to jointly invest with Mexico in Central America to attack the root causes of migration. "At 8am this morning, the US government communicated to the government of Mexico that the Department of Homeland Security intends to implement a section of its migration law which allows it to return foreign, non-Mexican citizens, to our country for them to wait their US migration process here," the Mexican government said.

Officials: Pentagon planning troop pullout from Afghanistan

Officials: Pentagon planning troop pullout from Afghanistan | 20 Dec 2018 | The Pentagon is developing plans to withdraw up to half of the 14,000 American troops serving in Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Thursday, marking a sharp change in the Trump administration's policy aimed at forcing the Taliban to the peace table after more than 17 years of war. One official said the troops could be out by summer, but no final decision has been made...U.S. troops stormed into Afghanistan in November 2001 in an invasion triggered by the Sept. 11 attacks. Since then, America has lost more than 2,400 soldiers and spent more than $900 billion in its longest war.

House approves spending bill with $5.7B for border wall

House approves spending bill with $5.7B for border wall | 20 Dec 2018 | The House of Representatives Thursday approved a bill that would fund most of the federal government through early February -- and provides $5.7 billion for President Trump's long-promised border wall, increasing the chances of a partial government shutdown later this week. Eight Republicans joined all 177 voting Democrats to oppose the measure, which passed 217-185. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is certain to fall short of the 60 votes needed for passage since the chamber's 49 Democrats are against funding the wall. That, in turn, makes it more likely that parts of the federal government, including nine of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, will cease operations at midnight Friday.

Trump has ordered about 7,000 troops to return from Afghanistan, roughly half of US forces stationed there

Trump has ordered about 7,000 troops to return from Afghanistan, roughly half of US forces stationed there | 20 Dec 2018 | The Trump administration will reportedly pull roughly half of all US troops out of Afghanistan -- likely one of the first steps in ending the 17-year-long war in the country. About 7,000 American troops will be brought home from the country in the coming months, The Wall Street Journal reported. The 14,000 troops currently in Afghanistan are split between counter-terrorism forces and soldiers that are training and 'advising' Afghan fighters.

Backed by conservatives, Trump vows to veto spending bill over lack of wall funding

Backed by conservatives, Trump vows to veto spending bill over lack of wall funding | 20 Dec 2018 | President Donald Trump vowed Thursday not to sign any year-end government funding bill that lacks money for a U.S.-Mexico border wall after angry backlash from conservatives on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, led by North Carolina Republican Mark Meadows. "I've made my position very clear: Any measure that funds the government must include border security. Has to. Not for political purposes, but for our country, for the safety of our community," Trump said during a White House event Thursday afternoon.

GoFundMe campaign for border wall aims for a billion (at least)

GoFundMe campaign for border wall aims for a billion (at least) | 20 Dec 2018 | President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to shut down the government over funding for his border wall. But as the question of money for his campaign proposal once again roils Congress, one man thinks he may have found a solution: crowd-funding. Brian Kolfage, a 37-year-old Florida resident who was severely wounded in the Iraq war, has started a GoFundMe campaign to complete Trump's signature pledge. The campaign has raised more than $7 million in the three days since it started, with an overall goal of $1 billion. The haul so far makes Kolfage’s effort one of the largest GoFundMe campaigns of the year, currently fourth on the site. [Update: Fund is currently at $11 million.]

Trump hits Graham over his criticism of Syria troop withdrawal

Trump hits Graham over his criticism of Syria troop withdrawal | 20 Dec 2018 | President Trump is hitting back at Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-Deep State-S.C.) over his opposition to plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria. "So hard to believe that Lindsey Graham would be against saving soldier lives & billions of $$$. Why are we fighting for our enemy, Syria, by staying & killing ISIS for them, Russia, Iran & other locals? Time to focus on our Country & bring our youth back home where they belong!" Trump tweeted Thursday. Trump on Wednesday declared victory over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the White House announced that it would begin withdrawing troops from Syria.

Trump says 'we have defeated ISIS' as US starts withdrawal from Syria

Trump says 'we have defeated ISIS' as US starts withdrawal from Syria | 20 Dec 2018 | President Donald Trump has tweeted that ISIS has been defeated, as the White House announced that US has started pulling out its troops from Syria. The US has begun the withdrawal of its troops from Syria, the White House said in a statement. However, it added that the move does not mean an end of the military campaign in the war-torn country but marks a "new phase" in the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS [I-CIA-SIS]). According to some reports, the withdrawal might primarily affect the US troops on the ground working together with an alliance of Arab and Kurdish militias, known as the Syrian Democratic [sic] Forces (SDF). The US has a total of 2,000 servicemen there, who are particularly involved in training the local militias.

Trump won't sign stopgap funding bill amid border wall showdown

Trump won't sign stopgap funding bill amid border wall showdown --Ryan said GOP leaders were going to try to add more on border security | 20 Dec 2018 | House Speaker Paul Ryan emerged from a last-minute White House meeting Thursday between President Donald Trump and House Republicans to say that the president told them he will refuse to sign a stopgap funding bill as it's currently written -- a measure that would avert a shutdown before a Friday midnight deadline. Ryan told reporters that he and other GOP leaders were going back to try to add more on border security to the legislation. Trump had called the meeting on short notice amid criticism that he was "softening" on a key campaign promise.

Defense Secretary James Mattis to retire at the end of February, Trump says

Defense Secretary James Mattis to retire at the end of February, Trump says | 20 Dec 2018 | President Trump said Thursday evening that Defense Secretary James Mattis will be retiring in February, in a shock announcement adding to the list of the president's outgoing Cabinet members after his second year in office. Mattis will step down "with distinction" after serving in his role for two years, the president said on Twitter. Following the announcement, the Pentagon released a copy of Mattis's signed resignation letter.

Complaints against Brett Kavanaugh dismissed by federal judicial council

Complaints against Brett Kavanaugh dismissed by federal judicial council | 18 Dec 2018 | A US judicial council on Tuesday dismissed 83 complaints that had been lodged against new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, arising largely from statements he made during his contentious September confirmation hearings. In a 10-page order, the judicial council of a Denver-based US appeals court said the complaints -- the first of which were referred to the court by Chief Justice John Roberts on October 10 -- could not be acted on because Kavanaugh, as a justice, is no longer covered by the judiciary's misconduct rules... A separate review of Kavanaugh's Senate testimony also dissolved.

Landmark criminal justice reform bill clears Senate

Landmark criminal justice reform bill clears Senate | 18 Dec 2018 | In one of this Congress's final acts, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the most significant change in a generation to prison sentencing laws late Tuesday evening, offering much-needed reforms to the nation's criminal justice system. The First Step Act expands job training and programs to help reduce recidivism rates among federal prisoners...The final tally for the Senate vote was 87-12. The measure heads to the House next where it will likely have the votes to pass, before heading to the president's desk to be signed into law.

US confirms pullout from INF treaty, Moscow will respond if missiles placed in Europe - deputy FM

US confirms pullout from INF treaty, Moscow will respond if missiles placed in Europe - deputy FM | 18 Dec 2018 | Washington has confirmed its [insane] decision to withdraw from the INF treaty is final, Russia's deputy foreign minister said, adding that Moscow will 'take measures' if American missiles that threaten its security are placed in Europe. "Washington publicly announced its plans to withdraw from the treaty (the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) already in October. Through the high-level bilateral channels it was confirmed to us that this decision was final and wasn't an attempt to initiate dialogue," Sergey Ryabkov told the Kommersant newspaper. The Deputy FM said that Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

Rep. Martha McSally appointed by Arizona governor to Senate seat held by John McCain

Rep. Martha McSally appointed by Arizona governor to Senate seat held by John McCain | 18 Dec 2018 | Republican Rep. Martha McSally, just weeks after losing one of the midterms' tightest and most contentious Senate races, was appointed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Tuesday to fill the state's other U.S. Senate seat. McSally will serve for at least the next two years in the seat that was held by longtime Arizona Sen. John McCain until his death in August. Ducey had appointed former Sen. Jon Kyl to the seat in September, but Kyl, after serving for several months, announced plans to resign at the end of the year. According to Ducey's office, Kyl's resignation will be effective Dec. 31.

Ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn's sentencing delayed by judge after dramatic hearing

Ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn's sentencing delayed by judge after dramatic hearing | 18 Dec 2018 | A federal judge on Tuesday delayed sentencing once again for former national security adviser Michael Flynn -- a surprise decision at a dramatic hearing where the judge tore into the defendant and even questioned whether Flynn committed treason before walking his comments back. The delay came after Flynn's attorneys initially declined an offer Tuesday from U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to delay the sentencing on charges of making false statements to the FBI, amid the judge's questions over Flynn’s cooperation in a separate case involving illegal lobbying by Flynn associates for Turkey. After Sullivan tore into the defendant and warned he couldn't guarantee that Flynn wouldn't get jail time, the defense asked for a sentencing delay. Sullivan suggested a conference hearing for Flynn on March 13.

Fukushima nuclear reactor room dripping with radiation UNSEALED 7 years after tsunami

Fukushima nuclear reactor room dripping with radiation UNSEALED 7 years after tsunami | 13 Dec 2018 | The control room of a nuclear reactor devastated by an earthquake and tsunami has been unsealed seven years after it suffered a triple meltdown. The room in the Fukushima nuclear disaster zone controlled the power plant's crippled third and fourth reactors. Shockingly, it has radiation levels more than 160 times higher than the Tokyo average. Stepping inside, the first journalists to enter since the 2011 meltdown[s] found it frozen in time.

What to expect if there's a partial government shutdown

What to expect if there's a partial government shutdown | 17 Dec 2018 | A possible partial government shutdown is only a handful of days away with President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats locked in a dispute over border security with no resolution in sight. Funding expires for a number of key government agencies on December 21 at midnight...If a shutdown takes place, it would be limited in scope. That's because Congress has already funded roughly 75% of the federal government through September 2019, including the Pentagon as well as the Departments of Health and Human Services and Labor.

Giuliani on whether Trump will sit down with Mueller: 'Good luck -- over my dead body'

Giuliani on whether Trump will sit down with Mueller: 'Good luck -- over my dead body' | 17 Dec 2018 | Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told "Fox News Sunday" that President Trump will sit down one-on-one with Special Counsel Robert Mueller "over my dead body" amid bombshell new revelations in the false statements case against ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, whom Giuliani said was "railroaded" and "framed." In a spirited back-and-forth with host Chris Wallace, Giuliani also reiterated his claim that Trump initially "didn't know about" the hush-money payments made to two women by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen that prosecutors have alleged constituted campaign finance violations. Giuliani said Trump eventually found out about the payments and reimbursed Cohen, adding that Cohen is a "complete, pathological liar" who defied basic principles of ethics by secretly tape-recording his own client for several hours.

Strasbourg Christmas market gunman shot dead

Strasbourg Christmas market gunman shot dead | 14 Dec 2018 | The man suspected of opening fire at a Christmas market has been shot dead, the French interior minister has said. Cherif Chekatt [allegedly] killed three people and injured 13 at a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday. Minister of the interior Christophe Castaner said the the 29-year-old was killed in the Neudorf-Meinau area of the city after a police operation was launched at about 9pm on Thursday. Three police officers had stumbled across a man [?] they had believed was Chekatt and when they went to arrest him he turned to fire on them, Mr Castaner said. The officers then shot and killed him.

Flynn responses in fateful White House interview documented in witness report released by Mueller

Flynn responses in fateful White House interview documented in witness report released by Mueller | 18 Dec 2018 | Then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn told FBI agents at the White House on January 24, 2017 "not really" when asked if he had sought to convince Russian ambassador not to escalate a brewing fight with the U.S. over sanctions imposed by the Obama administration, according to an explosive new FD-302 witness report released just hours before Flynn is set to be sentenced. Flynn issued other apparently equivocal responses to FBI agents' questions, and at various points suggested that such conversations might have happened or that he could not recall them if they did, according to the 302. The heavily redacted document contained few definitive statements from Flynn, who later pleaded guilty to making false statements about his contacts with Russia's ambassador, in connection with the White House meeting.

Two ex-associates of Michael Flynn charged with illegal lobbying for Turkey

Two ex-associates of Michael Flynn charged with illegal lobbying for Turkey | 17 Dec 2018 | Two ex-business associates of former national security adviser Michael Flynn have been charged over alleged illegal lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government in the United States and making false statements to the FBI, according to an indictment unsealed Monday. Bijan Rafiekian, also known as Bijan Kian, and Kamil Ekim Alptekin of Istanbul were charged after allegedly being involved in a conspiracy to "covertly influence U.S. politicians and public opinion" against a Turkish citizen living in the U.S. whose extradition had been requested by the Turkish government, according to the Justice Department. That Turkish citizen is Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused of directing a failed coup.

Six U.S. Airstrikes Over Somalia Kill 62

Six U.S. Airstrikes Over Somalia Kill 62 | 17 Dec 2018 | The U.S. military says it carried out six airstrikes in Somalia that killed a total of 62 al-Shabaab extremist rebels. In a statement Monday, the U.S. military's Africa Command said it carried out four strikes on Dec. 15 in which 34 people were killed and two further strikes two days later that killed a total of 28. All the attacks were in the Gandarshe area south of the capital, Mogadishu.

Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Is Fired for Refusing to Sign Pro-Israel Oath, Mandatory in Numerous States

Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Is Fired for Refusing to Sign Pro-Israel Oath, Mandatory in Numerous States | 17 Dec 2018 | A children's speech pathologist who has worked for the last nine years with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas, has been told that she can no longer work with the public school district, after she refused to sign an oath vowing that she "does not" and "will not" engage in a boycott of Israel or "otherwise tak[e] any action that is intended to inflict economic harm" on that foreign nation. A lawsuit on her behalf was filed early Monday morning in a federal court in the Western District of Texas, alleging a violation of her First Amendment right of free speech. The child language specialist, Bahia Amawi, is a U.S. citizen who received a master's degree in speech pathology in 1999 and, since then, has specialized in evaluations for young children with language difficulties.

Faith Goldy ordered to pay Bell Media more than $43,000 in legal fees

Faith Goldy ordered to pay Bell Media more than $43,000 in legal fees --Her lawsuit alleged Bell Media broke national broadcasting rules and breached her right to free expression by refusing to air her ad | 16 Dec 2018 | Faith Goldy, who ran as a Toronto mayoral candidate, has been ordered to pay more than $43,000 in legal fees to Bell Media after her lawsuit was dismissed by the Ontario Superior Court. Goldy had sued Bell over its refusal to air her campaign advertisements on a local television station, but the suit was tossed in October. In a decision on Wednesday, Justice Peter Cavanagh ordered Goldy to hand over $43,117.90 to cover Bell's legal fees. Goldy is a former journalist whose mayoral campaign included anti-immigrant policies.

Sandy Hook father sues authors who promote 'conspiracy' theory

Sandy Hook father sues authors who promote 'conspiracy' theory | 04 Dec 2018 | The father of a boy who was killed in the 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut has filed another defamation lawsuit against conspiracy theorists who accused him of being an actor. Lenny Pozner's 6-year-old son Noah was [allegedly] among 26 people shot to death in the school on Dec. 14, 2012. Pozner filed the suit last week in Wisconsin against [former Marine Corps officer and emeritus professor of the philosophy of science] James Fetzer, Ph.D., and Mike Palacek, who co-wrote a book, "Nobody Died at Sandy Hook." ...Fetzer, reached at his Wisconsin home, said he and Palacek will put up a vigorous defense. "Our evidence clearly shows this wasn't a massacre, it was a FEMA drill," Fetzer said. "If you believe otherwise, then you are being played."

Sandy Hook School dismissed Friday after threat on shooting anniversary

Sandy Hook School dismissed Friday after threat on shooting anniversary | 17 Dec 2018 | As Newtown solemnly remembered its deadly mass shooting six years ago, school officials were alerted Friday morning to a bomb threat at the new [$50 million, taxpayer-funded] Sandy Hook Elementary School. Superintendent Lorrie Rodrigue said a call came in about 9:20 a.m. to the main office saying a bomb had been placed in the school. She decided to send the children home for the day. Rodrigue said that the threat was taken seriously and that police were called in immediately.

Tennessee U.S. Rep.-elect Mark Green alleges vaccines may cause autism, questions CDC data

Tennessee U.S. Rep.-elect Mark Green alleges vaccines may cause autism, questions CDC data | 13 Dec 2018 | A soon-to-be congressman from Tennessee told constituents Tuesday he believed vaccines may be causing autism, questioning data from the Centers for Disease Control and other institutions disproving such a theory. Not only did Republican Mark Green, a Congressman-elect from Clarksville who is also a medical doctor, express hesitation about the CDC's stance on vaccines, he also said he believed the federal health agency has "fraudulently managed" the data. [Exactly!] His remarks came in response to an audience question at a town hall meeting in Franklin from a woman identifying herself as the parent of a young adult with autism.

Vital Lockerbie evidence 'was made AFTER the doomed flight crashed': Circuit board used to convict Libyan over 1988 bombing wasn't manufactured until 1991, documentary claims

Looks like oh-but-another CIA-induced airplane crash blamed on a country the Deep State doesn't like: Vital Lockerbie evidence 'was made AFTER the doomed flight crashed': Circuit board used to convict Libyan over 1988 bombing wasn't manufactured until 1991, documentary claims amid calls for a public inquiry --Circuit board fragment was from a type not patented until 1991 | 16 Dec 2018 | Evidence used in the trial of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing is unconnected to the case, it has been claimed. A circuit board used in the case against Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi was probably made after the atrocity, investigators say. The claims are backed by testimony from a British expert and by tests at a police forensics lab in Zurich. Documentary-maker Bill Cran and his lead investigator George Thomson, a former Scottish police officer, are re-examining the 1988 bombing and later court case for a forthcoming film...The British expert, who has asked not to be named but was interviewed for Cran's film, said the fragment contained traces of copper foil, while the older Mebo timers sold to Libya did not...The fragment, known as PT35b, entered the chain of evidence in October 1990, and later that month the CIA returned to Mebo and obtained circuit boards. Thomson said: 'Somehow, the Americans knew 16 months or so before the fragment was found to send a local agent to Mebo to secure a circuit board. You have to wonder whether the investigation was following a prepared script.' [As usual. Now let's do an actual investigation into the 9/11 inside job.  --LRP]

Thousands march in Brussels against U.N. migration pact

Thousands march in Brussels against U.N. migration pact | 16 Dec 2018 | Thousands of people marched in Brussels on Sunday against a U.N. pact aimed at fostering cooperation on migration, eclipsing a smaller demonstration in support of the deal, the signing of which brought down Belgium's government last week. Police said some 5,500 people marched in the bigger protest, organized by Flemish right-wing parties in the part of the capital where main European Union institutions are located.

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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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