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Chicago Police Believe Jussie Smollett Paid Men to Stage Attack - Report

Chicago Police Believe Jussie Smollett Paid Men to Stage Attack - Report | 16 Feb 2019 | Chicago police believe actor Jussie Smollett paid two Nigerian brothers to stage an assault on him last month, according to a Saturday report from CNN. Citing two sources close to the investigation, CNN reported that the brothers are "now cooperating fully with law enforcement." The men were released Friday after being arrested on Wednesday in connection with the case. The "Empire" actor told police that two men used racial and homophobic slurs and yelled, "this is MAGA country!" as they attacked him January 29. One of the men allegedly put a rope around his neck and poured a bleach-like chemical on the actor.

Mueller recommends Manafort serve at least 19 years in prison

Mueller recommends Manafort serve at least 19 years in prison | 15 Feb 2019 | Prosecutors working in special counsel Robert Mueller's office are recommending a federal judge in Virginia sentence President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort to at least 19 years in prison. Manafort was convicted on eight counts of bank and tax fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia last summer. Prosecutors have recommended that Manafort, 69, serve a sentence of 19.5 to more than 24 years in prison for the crimes. Mueller's office is also recommending a fine range of $50,000 to $24.4 million, a term of supervised release of up to five years, restitution in the amount of $24.8 million and forfeiture in the amount of $4.4 million.

BBC producer says hospital scenes after 2018 Douma 'chemical attack' were staged

BBC producer says hospital scenes after 2018 Douma 'chemical attack' were staged | 15 Feb 2019 | A BBC producer believes that scenes from a hospital in Syria's Douma, which ignited a media frenzy in 2018 after showing children allegedly suffering from chemicals, were staged...Mainstream media quickly picked up the horrific (but unverified) videos from a Douma hospital, where victims were treated after this "poison attack." That hospital scene was enough to assemble a UN emergency session and prompt the US-led 'coalition of the willing' to rain down dozens of missiles on Damascus and other locations. But Riam Dalati, a reputable BBC producer who has long reported from the Middle East, took the liberty of trying to sift through the fog of the Syrian war. He believes Assad forces did attack the town, but that the much-publicized hospital scenes were staged. Dalati tweeted Wednesday: "After almost 6 months of investigations, I can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged. No fatalities occurred in the hospital."

Judge issues gag order on Roger Stone, attorneys in Mueller case

Judge issues gag order on Roger Stone, attorneys in Mueller case | 15 Feb 2019 | A federal judge issued a gag order Friday in special counsel Robert Mueller's case against longtime Trump associate Roger Stone. In a four-page order, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson forbade attorneys for both Mueller and Stone from "making statements to the media or in public settings that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case." Berman also said Stone is not allowed to speak about the case in or around the courthouse. She has not imposed additional restrictions on Stone but left the option open in the future.

Trump Declares National Emergency to Build Border Wall

Trump Declares National Emergency to Build Border Wall | 15 Feb 2019 | President Trump declared a national emergency at the border on Friday to access billions of dollars to build a border wall that Congress refused to give him...In a televised announcement in the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump said he would sign the declaration to protect the country from the flow of drugs, criminals and illegal immigrants coming across the border from Mexico, which he characterized as a profound threat to national security. "We're going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border and we're going to do it one way or the other," he said. "It's an invasion," he added. "We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country."

Active Shooter at Henry Pratt Building in Aurora - Police

Breaking: Active Shooter at Henry Pratt Building in Aurora - Police --SWAT teams, ATF, FBI, 'dozens of police officers' are on the scene of an active shooting in Aurora --Line of emergency workers 'can be seen' --Four police officers have been shot (Media reports, wires) | 15 Feb 2019 | (Aurora, IL) Officers are responding to reports of an active shooter at the Henry Pratt building in Aurora, police confirmed by phone Friday afternoon. Police and SWAT teams were swarming the scene as of 2 p.m. Local schools are on soft lockdown, including West Aurora School District schools and Holy Angels Catholic School. Officials said, "No one will be allowed to leave or enter our buildings until the lockdown has been lifted." ABC is currently on the scene with a live chopper feed. ABC reported that shots could be heard from those on the ground.

Monsanto's Roundup raises cancer risk 41%, EPA-linked scientists find

Monsanto's Roundup raises cancer risk 41%, EPA-linked scientists find | 15 Feb 2019 | Monsanto's Roundup raises the risk of certain cancers in heavily-exposed individuals by an eye-popping 41 percent, according to a study by former EPA advisors that may influence a coming wave of legal actions against the company. Exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides like Roundup dramatically increases a person's risk of developing non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a new review of studies found, adding to the mounting pile of evidence against Monsanto's popular weed killer, now owned by Bayer. The meta-analysis, published in Mutation Research, analyzed the results of six earlier studies to find individuals with heavy exposure to the herbicide had a 41 percent higher risk of developing non-Hodgkins lymphoma than those not exposed.

William Barr confirmed by Senate for attorney general

William Barr confirmed by Senate for attorney general | 14 Feb 2019 | William Barr was confirmed Thursday by the Senate to serve as President Trump's next attorney general, sending him to lead a Justice Department whose past officials have come under sharp criticism from the president over the ongoing Russia investigation Barr will now oversee. Several Democrats joined nearly all the Republicans in confirming Barr, 68, a longtime lawyer who served as attorney general from 1991 to 1993 under the late President George H.W. Bush. He was confirmed 54-45.

FBI scrambled to respond to Hillary Clinton lawyer amid Weiner laptop review, newly released emails show

FBI scrambled to respond to Hillary Clinton lawyer amid Weiner laptop review, newly released emails show | 13 Feb 2019 | Newly released internal FBI emails showed the agency's highest-ranking officials scrambling to answer to Hillary Clinton's lawyer in the days prior to the 2016 presidential election, on the same day then-FBI Director James Comey sent a bombshell letter to Congress announcing a new review of hundreds of thousands of potentially classified emails found on former Rep. Anthony Weiner's laptop. The trove of documents turned over by the FBI, in response to a lawsuit by the transparency group Judicial Watch, also included discussions by former FBI lawyer Lisa Page concerning a potential quid pro quo between the State Department and the FBI -- in which the FBI would agree to effectively hide the fact that a Clinton email was classified in exchange for more legal attache positions that would benefit the FBI abroad, and allow them to send more agents to countries where the FBI's access is ordinarily restricted.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Caught in Major Lie: Claims 'Green New Deal' Document FROM HER OWN WEBSITE is a Fake

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Caught in Major Lie: Claims 'Green New Deal' Document FROM HER OWN WEBSITE is a Fake | 09 Feb 2019 | Last night Tucker Carlson invited Cornell University professor, green activist and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D - N.Y.) adviser Robert Hockett on his show to debate the Green New Deal proposed by Democrats on Thursday. Robert Hockett immediately told Tucker Carlson the document source he was reading from was doctored and not from Ocasio-Cortez's website...But it was a lie. And Ocasio-Cortez knew it was a lie. The actual document DID come straight off the AOC website. The document was created by Saikat Chakrabarti, her chief of staff! The metadata proves it.

1,159-page bipartisan border compromise completed, Dems worry Trump could blow up deal

1,159-page bipartisan border compromise completed, Dems worry Trump could blow up deal | 14 Feb 2019 | Congressional bargainers late Wednesday completed a 1,159-page border security compromise that gives President Trump less than a quarter of the $5.7 billion he wanted to build a wall with Mexico. Democrats say they are confident about having the votes to pass the bill -- but not everyone is at ease. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said there is still "worry" that Trump could try to blow up the deal at the last minute because "we have seen that before." With Trump's halfhearted signature widely expected but hardly guaranteed, congressional leaders planned votes Thursday on the sweeping package.

Judge rules Manafort intentionally lied multiple times to FBI, Mueller

Judge rules Manafort intentionally lied multiple times to FBI, Mueller | 13 Feb 2019 | A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort intentionally lied to the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller multiple times in the course of his cooperation with the government. Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled Wednesday evening that Manafort intentionally misled investigators on a range of subjects, including his contacts with a Russian business associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, and a separate Justice Department investigation being run out of another district.

Revealed: Justice Department officials held meetings about recruiting Mike Pence to help force Trump out of office using the 25th Amendment, says James Comey's fired deputy

Revealed: Justice Department officials held meetings about recruiting Mike Pence to help force Trump out of office using the 25th Amendment, says James Comey's fired deputy --Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, recounted a Justice Department plot to remove Donald Trump from office in a television interview --Pelley says McCabe told him about a plot to approach Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States, and ask him to invoke the 25th Amendment | 14 Feb 2019 | Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, recounted a Justice Department plot to remove Donald Trump from office in a television interview that will air Sunday. Previewing the next episode of '60 Minutes,' Scott Pelley, a correspondent for CBS, said Thursday that McCabe told him about a plan to approach Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States, and ask him to invoke the 25th Amendment. 'There were meetings at the Justice Department in which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment,' Pelley reported on CBS 'This Morning' on Thursday....McCabe is the first person to confirm that the 25th Amendment came up in the meetings. The ex-law enforcement official was later fired himself over conversations with the media that an inspector general deemed inappropriate.

McCabe Says Justice Officials Discussed Recruiting Cabinet Members to Push Trump Out of Office

McCabe Says Justice Officials Discussed Recruiting Cabinet Members to Push Trump Out of Office | 14 Feb 2019 | Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director, said in an interview aired on Thursday that top Justice Department officials were so alarmed by President Trump's decision in May 2017 to fire James B. Comey, the bureau's director, that they discussed whether to recruit cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office...As a clip from an interview with Scott Pelley ["60 Minutes"] was released, Mr. Pelley said on "CBS This Morning" that Mr. McCabe had confirmed a New York Times article that the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, had suggested wearing a wire in meetings with Mr. Trump and that Justice Department officials discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office. "There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment," Mr. Pelley said.

Coup d'etat: Ex-FBI deputy director confirms 25th Amendment plot, discussion with DOJ officials to oust President Trump

Coup d'etat: Ex-FBI deputy director confirms 25th Amendment plot, discussion with DOJ officials to oust President Trump | 14 Feb 2019 | Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, speaking out in a new book and TV interview, detailed the central role he played in the bureau's Russia probe and the eventual appointment of a special counsel -- while reportedly describing Justice Department meetings where officials discussed ousting President Trump. McCabe, who was fired from the bureau in March 2018 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions after it was determined he lied to investigators about a leak, spoke to "60 Minutes" ahead of the release of his new book, "The Threat." CBS News' Scott Pelley revealed parts of the interview Thursday morning.

Trillion-dollar-valued Amazon paid $0 in income taxes for 2018, claimed multi-million refund

Trillion-dollar-valued Amazon paid $0 in income taxes for 2018, claimed multi-million refund | 13 Feb 2019 | Trillion-dollar-company Amazon skated through 2018's tax filings without paying a cent for the second year in a row. The e-commerce behemoth, which made $11 billion last year, will pay no taxes at all, thanks to 2017's tax reform. Rather than pay the standard 21 percent corporate income tax rate, Amazon is actually claiming a tax rebate of $129 million, which works out to a logic-defying rate of -1 percent. Aside from the nebulous "tax credits," which the company does not have to spell out in its public filings, Amazon is also claiming a tax break for executive stock options, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy -- a longstanding loophole that permits profitable corporations to dodge federal and state income taxes on almost half their profits.

As US piles on sanctions, foreign investors pour more money into Russia

As US piles on sanctions, foreign investors pour more money into Russia | 13 Feb 2019 | Russian companies' stocks attracted the most foreign investment in 5 years, adding nearly $576 million in January, the Central Bank of Russia reported. Investors also actively poured money into Russian bonds despite US sanctions. The ruble-based Moscow stock exchange (MOEX) index has reached a new all-time high, surging 6.4 percent since the beginning of the year, the regulator said in its report on liquidity of the banking sector and the financial markets issued on Tuesday. The index hit several records in January, finishing the month at 2536.28 points, and later reached a new all-time high of 2551.97 points on February 6.

US Air Force officer Monica Witt defects to Iran with information 'seriously damaging' to national security, officials reveal

US Air Force officer Monica Witt defects to Iran with information 'seriously damaging' to national security, officials reveal --The former Air Force intelligence specialist remains at-large --Four alleged Iranian hackers are also charged | 13 Feb 2019 | A US Air Force officer has defected to Iran and shared information that could cause "serious damage" to America's national security, officials have revealed. The former Air Force intelligence specialist was charged with espionage and was accused of working for Iran, according to an unsealed federal indictment. The announcement arrived after Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers and other senior officials held a call with reporters to discuss what they called "a national security related action involving Iran". The officials discussed the unsealed indictment against Monica Witt, a former counterintelligence officer for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Democrats roll out Medicare buy-in proposal

Democrats roll out Medicare buy-in proposal | 13 Feb 2019 | Democrats rolled out a proposal Wednesday to allow some older Americans to buy Medicare coverage. The introduction comes amid an inter-party debate about the best path toward universal health care, with the left side of the caucus arguing for single-payer and Medicare for all. But supporters of the buy-in say it's a proposal with broader political support and is the obvious next step toward improving the Affordable Care Act. The bill would let people between the ages of 50 and 64 buy in to the Medicare program. Under currently law, only those 65 and older, with some exceptions, are eligible for Medicare.

Trump intends to sign border deal to avoid another shutdown

Trump intends to sign border deal to avoid another shutdown | 13 Feb 2019 | President Donald Trump intends to sign the border security deal to avoid another partial government shutdown, according to two sources who have spoken directly with the President. Trump said Tuesday that he was "not happy" with the tentative deal reached by congressional negotiators late Monday night that falls far short of his original demands. Congress faces a deadline to get a deal passed and signed by Trump before Friday.

Senate poised to confirm Trump's attorney general pick

Senate poised to confirm Trump's attorney general pick | 12 Feb 2019 | The Senate advanced President Trump's attorney general nominee on Tuesday, paving the way for his confirmation later this week. Senators voted 55-44 to end debate on William Barr's nomination, more than the simple majority needed for him to overcome the filibuster and ultimately be confirmed. The Senate is expected to take a final vote on Barr's nomination as late as Thursday, with Trump's pick on a glide path to confirmation. A vote could take place on Wednesday if senators agree to yield back time.

Senate has uncovered no direct evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia

Senate has uncovered no direct evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia | 12 Feb 2019 | After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee. "If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don't have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia," said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in an interview with CBS News last week.

Senate votes to extend key funding mechanism for parks

Senate votes to extend key funding mechanism for parks | 12 Feb 2019 | The Senate voted Tuesday to indefinitely extend the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a key funding mechanism for national and local parks. The bipartisan renewal of the LWCF, which expired in October when Congress couldn't come to an agreement on an extension, is the main pillar of a wide-ranging public lands bill the Senate voted to pass on Tuesday, 92-8. Conservation groups cheered the Senate's vote.

Lawmakers reach 'agreement in principle' in border security talks, with $1.3B for barrier

Lawmakers reach 'agreement in principle' in border security talks, with $1.3B for barrier | 11 Feb 2019 | Congressional negotiators revealed Monday evening that they've reached "an agreement in principle" on border security funding that includes more than $1.3 billion for physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. When asked if they had an agreement that President Trump would approve, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters: "We think so. We hope so." Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, declined to give details of the deal but said a final text could be released by Wednesday.

US-funded Ukrainian radio defends neo-Nazi group, deletes article when called out

US-funded Ukrainian radio defends neo-Nazi group, deletes article when called out | 06 Feb 2019 | Radio Svoboda, the Ukrainian outpost of the US-funded Radio Free Europe, has taken issue with an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz critical of local neo-Nazis, only to delete its opus after coming under criticism. Journalist Michael Colborne...himself says he was attacked while covering a gay rights march in Kiev last November. One group singled out by Colborne is C14, a neo-Nazi organization that began as an offshoot of the far-right 'Svoboda' (Freedom) party. Initially known as the National-Social party of Ukraine, Svoboda's politicians have described the party as "the last hope of the white race," approvingly quoted from 'Mein Kampf’ in council meetings, and organized militant summer camps for children -- training the young ones to play games, climb mountains, and shoot at Russians.

Border wall talks break down ahead of second possible government shutdown

Border wall talks break down ahead of second possible government shutdown | 10 Feb 2019 |With less than a week to go until another potential partial federal government shutdown begins on Friday, bipartisan compromise talks on funding for President Trump's proposed border wall have completely broken down, sources tell Fox News. The sudden development again raised the possibility that Trump will declare a national emergency to access previously appropriated funds to initiate construction on a border wall. The White House agreed to a temporary spending bill late last month to end a historic 35-day government shutdown, although Trump said at the time that the move was not a "concession" and that he would not relent on his demands for a wall.

Fugitive Venezuelan Colonel Is Shown Confessing to Ties to CIA and Coup Attempt

Fugitive Venezuelan Colonel Is Shown Confessing to Ties to CIA and Coup Attempt | 07 Feb 2019 | A fugitive Venezuelan colonel captured last month after slipping back into the country was shown on video Thursday confessing to ties with the Central Intelligence Agency and Colombian officials. Colonel Oswaldo Garcia Palomo, 54, who’d publicly professed plans for rebellion...described logistical support and freedom to enter and exit Colombia as he worked last year to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro's government. "We managed to get a very important group together," Garcia said. He added that he spoke with a CIA agent in Tampa, Florida, who told him the U.S. was considering military action in the first quarter of 2019. Garcia said he told the agent he and his group wanted to carry out a coup without U.S. help.

Venezuela says U.S.-owned air freight company, 21 Air LLC, sent plane from Miami to deliver weapons for use by enemies of Maduro

Venezuela says U.S.-owned air freight company, 21 Air LLC, sent plane from Miami to deliver weapons for use by enemies of Maduro | 07 Feb 2019 | Venezuelan authorities say a U.S.-owned air freight company delivered a crate of assault weapons earlier this week to the international airport in Valencia to be used in "terrorist actions" against the embattled government of Nicolás Maduro. An air freight company, 21 Air LLC, based in Greensboro, N.C., operates the Boeing 767 aircraft that the Venezuelans allege was used in the arms transfer. The flight originated in Miami on Feb 3. The Boeing 767 has made dozens of flights between Miami International Airport and destinations in Colombia and Venezuela since Jan. 11, a flight tracking service shows, often returning to Miami for only a few hours before flying again to South America...A senior Venezuelan security official, Bolivarian National Guard Gen. Endes Palencia Ortiz, who is the nation's vice minister of citizen security, said authorities found 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges, and 90 military-grade radio antennas, among other items.

John Dingell, longest-serving member of Congress, dies at 92

John Dingell, longest-serving member of Congress, dies at 92 | 07 Feb 2019 | John Dingell, the longest-serving member in the history of Congress, died Thursday at 92, Fox News has confirmed. Dingell served 21,572 days in Congress from December 1955 through January 2015. He succeeded his father in the House of Representatives. He is survived by his wife, Debbie, who currently holds his House seat and four children. A cause of death was not immediately known.

Whitaker to testify publicly Friday, Judiciary chairman says

Whitaker to testify publicly Friday, Judiciary chairman says | 07 Feb 2019 | Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will testify as planned before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said. "CONFIRMED: Acting Attorney General Whitaker will appear tomorrow morning at 9:30am," Nadler announced on Twitter Thursday evening. The development came shortly after Nadler sent a letter to Whitaker saying there would be "no need" for the committee to subpoena him if he appeared before the panel as scheduled and is prepared to respond to questions.

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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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