Friday, June 12, 2015

Record Number of Americans Renounced Their U.S. Citizenship in 2015: 1,336 Americans renounced their U.S. citizenship, according to a quarterly report by the Internal Revenue Service. | Hackers nabbed data on every federal employee, union claims

Record Number of Americans Renounced Their U.S. Citizenship in 20151,336 Americans renounced their U.S. citizenship, according to a quarterly report by the Internal Revenue Service.


Hackers nabbed data on every federal employee, union claims

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White hat hacker: Data breach more serious than gov't admits
A major cyberattack on U.S. federal personnel data was far graver than the Obama administration has acknowledged, with hackers obtaining information on every federal employee, the president of a government workers union claimed Thursday.
In a letter to the director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), said that based on the information provided by the OPM, the hack was much broader than previously thought.
“Based on the sketchy information OPM has provided, we believe that the Central Personnel Data File was the targeted database, and that the hackers are now in possession of all personnel data for every federal employee, every federal retiree, and up to one million former federal employees,” Cox said in the letter dated Thursday.
The OPM, which acts as the human resources department for the federal government and conducts more than 90 percent of federal background checks, said last week that it detected a “cyber-intrusion” into its systems in April, and that the information of 4 million current and former federal employees had been compromised, the largest data breach in federal government history.
Cox went on to say that the hackers have accessed a host of information that includes Social Security numbers, military records, addresses, birth dates, pay histories, health insurance and pension information.  The AFGE also believes that Social Security numbers were not encrypted, which Cox calls “a cybersecurity failure that is absolutely indefensible and outrageous.”
When asked for comment on the letter, a White House spokesperson told Fox News: "I’d note for you that OPM in its announcement of this incident noted that they would be reaching out to about four million current and former federal employees whose PII (personally identifiable information) may have been compromised, and that seems to be what the AFGE release is saying too."
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said on the Senate floor that the December hack was carried out by "the Chinese" without specifying whether he meant the Chinese government or individuals. Reid is one of eight lawmakers briefed on the most secret intelligence information.  
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., a fellow intelligence committee member, has also said the hack came from China, saying the breach was "yet another indication of a foreign power probing successfully and focusing on what appears to be data that would identify people with security clearances."
U.S. officials have declined to publicly blame China, which has denied involvement.
In the letter, Cox called for all federal employees to be given free credit monitoring for life and liability insurance “that covers the entirety of any loss attributable to the breach” and blasted the current system's ability to answer affected employees' questions.
“Federal employees who have been victimized by this breach deserve more than a difficult-to-navigate website and call center contractors who do not know answers to questions that go beyond a FAQ template,” Cox said.
The OPM has sought to downplay the damage, saying what was taken "could include" personnel file information such as Social Security numbers and birth dates.
A well-placed intelligence source told Fox News the breach involved an "advanced persistent threat" designed to harvest information covertly without crippling systems and that the attack bears similarities to those carried out by nation-states, not by criminal syndicates.
The Associated Press and Fox News' Catherine Herridge, Lesa Jansen and Matt Dean contributed to this report.
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Dozens of new Ebola cases reported in West Africa

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Story highlights

  • At least 45 new Ebola cases have been reported in West Africa this month
  • "The outbreak is not over and the response efforts must be sustained," a U.N. mission says
(CNN)It seemed like the number of people contracting Ebola in West Africa was on the decline. But now, officials say that trend has stalled, with dozens of new cases of the deadly virus reported so far this month.
Last week, there were 31 new cases of Ebola reported in a growing geographic area in Guinea and Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said. At the beginning of this week, 14 additional cases were reported.
The latest figures mark the second straight week that the number of Ebola cases in West Africa has increased, officials said.
Investigators are working to trace how the latest cases of the disease were contracted, the WHO said.
"The outbreak is not over and the response efforts must be sustained until we get to zero cases throughout the region and are able to stay at zero for several months," the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response said Thursday.
Last month, officials from the WHO declared Liberia free of the disease. But even as they trumpeted the news, officials warned that outbreaks in Guinea and Sierra Leone ran the risk of bringing the virus back to Liberia, where more than 4,000 people died after contracting Ebola.
CNN's Debra Goldschmidt and Azadeh Ansari contributed to this report.

The Bilderberg conference: world government or mythical secret clique? | News | DW.DE

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What was Jürgen Trittin's business in Chantilly, US in 2012? His fellow Green party members demanded of him at the time. The question itself revealed a certain amount of dissatisfaction, because the answer was well-known: the Green parliamentary party leader had attended the Bilderberg conference.
This was viewed as an affront to the party. A left-winger participating in a secret wheeling-and-dealing forum for the rich and powerful - it was unheard of. Trittin, casting around for an explanation, pointed out that green opinions had to be represented in particular where they were not yet getting the support of a majority.
Shrouded in mystery, elitist, secretive
Bundesparteitag Grüne
Trittin had some explaining to do after he returned from the summit
Bilderberg attendees subject themselves to specific rules of participation. The most important one is known as the "Chatham House Rule" (in place since 1927, established at the time by the Royal Institute of International Affairs) and obliges every conference attendee to observe absolute confidentiality with respect to conversation content and speakers' statements. Unsurprisingly, this meeting point of the power wielders draws criticism year after year (the 2015 conference starts on Thursday, 11 June, and ends on Sunday, 14 June), due to its lack of transparency.
Organizers and participants contend that these are rare occasions for global decisionmakers to speak freely, for the meeting - which does see journalists among the attendees time and again - does not allow any media reporting. It's a closed shop event.
There is little information on exactly what is happening at Bilderberg conferences - and it is unspectacular to boot. Participants give explanations and argue with each other, in 90-minute intervals. Two years back, in "The Grove," a luxury resort north of London, one attendee described the food as nothing special: typical buffet catering, with everyone having to pay for the accompanying wine from their own pockets.
Every conspiracy theorist's favorite
According to reports, riesling wine and roast beef provide the backdrop for nothing less than saving the world. According to the memoir of George McGhee, a former US ambassador to Germany, the Bilderberg round-table was instrumental in setting up the Rome treaties, a very early stage of today's European Union.
Etienne Davignon, Belgian entrepreneur and Bilderberg honorary chairman, even claims that the circle set the stage for the birth of the euro. And, time and again, questions emerge, seemingly out of nowhere: Who was behind the 1973 oil crisis, how did the German reunification come about? Conspiracy theorists have a field day.
Österreich Bilderberg-Konferenz 2015
No one gets in - unless they're allowed to
Since its inception, critics of the Bilderberg conference have offered a wide range of interpretations regarding the core of the event. According to media sociologist Rudolf Stumberger, the noble gathering amounts to an attempt at re-feudalization. Dutch political scientist Kees van der Pijl believes that interests represented at the conference have little to do with democracy.
However, in its seventh decade, the fascination of the secret Bilderberg circle appears to be unabated. "Fraternizing with some of the most influential people in the world," British actor Ian Richardson wrote in 2011, "serves as an extraordinary psychologicial aphrodisiac."
That must already have been the case at the time of the first meeting of this kind, in 1954. The venue for the premiere - which, henceforth, gave the conference its name - was the "Hotel de Bilderberg," located in Oosterbeek in the Netherlands. For the first 20 years, Prince Bernhard performed chairperson duties, until he had to step down as a result of his involvement in a corruption scandal surrounding arms manufacturer Lockheed. That was perfect fodder for the critics, who have always placed Bilderbergers under general suspicion, because of the alleged links between politics and business.
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Obama looks to save his legacy from the Supreme Court

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Washington (CNN)It's the constitutional law professor in the Oval Office versus the Supreme Court, again.
President Barack Obama's politicized, difficult relationship with the court's conservative wing is back in the spotlight, as his patience threatens to snap over the latest attempt to destabilize the health care law at the center of his political legacy.
Obama did not mention the nine justices who are currently deliberating the fate of the Affordable Care Act in an impassioned, campaign-style speech on his central domestic policy achievement Tuesday. But he didn't have to.
Three years after a divided Supreme Court saved Obamacare in a narrow 5-4 decision, its fate is again in the hands of the nine black-robed justices, as the sultry summer heat at the end of a long legal term begins to stifle Washington.
As in 2012, Obama seems to be building a political case with the public in the final days before the ruling is handed down -- a break with how his predecessors have handled delicate relations with the Court. In addition to Obama's speech earlier this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell went to Capitol Hill and warned lawmakers that it would be up to them to repair any damage that might happen if the court overturns Obamacare. Obama, meanwhile, will appear Thursday on the entertainment program Extra and be interviewed by a correspondent who says insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act was vital to his cancer treatments.
Obama's public advocacy for the law, and previous criticisms of the court, underlines how the survival of the law -- which helps define the political and philosophical contours of his presidency -- is deeply personal to the President.
But it also reflects the state of a nation split almost exactly down the middle between Republicans and Democrats, where everything becomes politicized sooner or later.
"You have a president who was a constitutional law professor and looks at the court as a political institution," said Jon Gould, an American University law professor. "He is expecting the court to act in that way, and is potentially trying to send a little bit of a message."

Obama sends a message to the court

Eric Segall, a Georgia State University law professor, thinks Obama isn't trying to sway the deliberations of the court -- which the president doesn't see himself having the power to do -- so much as start to make a case to Americans about who would be to blame if the law were gutted.
"I don't think it is unprecedented, but it is pretty rare ... for the American president to make a strong appeal to the American public before a case is decided," Segall said.
The court is expected to rule within weeks on the legality of federal subsidies that are a linchpin of the way Obamacare works. The decision could see the Affordable Care Act's very existence -- and the president's political legacy -- cast into serious doubt in states that rely on federal exchanges to sell insurance if the court rules that the government can't provide subsidies for these policies.
Obama on Tuesday had no problem taking direct aim at the political motives of those challenging the law -- and by implication members of the court who may side with them.
"There's something, I have to say, just deeply cynical about the ceaseless, endless, partisan attempts to roll back progress," Obama told a Washington conference on the Affordable Care Act.
Obama and SCOTUS healthcare action
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He went on to fire an implicit shot across the court's bow, warning that anyone responsible for felling the law through this legal maneuver would not just be depriving millions of people of long-sought health care, but inciting chaos and subverting the central ideals of America itself.
"It seems so cynical to want to take coverage away from millions of people, to take care away from the people who need it the most, to punish millions with higher costs of care and unravel what's been woven into the fabric of America," he said.
"That kind of cynicism flies in the face of our history. Our history is one of each generation striving to do better and to be better than the last."
The day before, at a press conference in Germany, Obama had called out the court directly.
"This should be an easy case," he said. "Frankly, it probably shouldn't even have been taken up."
Obama, who taught constitutional law before he went into politics, also sought to debunk the legal reasoning behind the case.
The Affordable Care Act statute refers to exchanges "established by the state," but the law's backers insist that the language does not prohibit subsidies being offered on federal exchanges that operate in 34 states.
"It's not something that should be done based on a twisted interpretation of four words in -- as we were reminded repeatedly -- a couple-thousand-page piece of legislation," Obama said Tuesday.

Angry conservative reaction to Obama's push

Conservatives have reacted angrily to Obama's gambit.
"Instead of bullying the Supreme Court, the President should spend his time preparing for the reality that the court may soon rule against his decision to illegally issue tax penalties and subsidies on Americans in two-thirds of the country," said Wyoming Sen. Tom Barrasso Monday.
Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network and a former law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, rejected Obama's argument that support for his health care legislation was a moral choice.
"There's nothing 'moral' about attempting to bully the Supreme Court by presenting a false choice between the rule of law and love for one's neighbor," she said Tuesday.
Obama's strategy of choosing to make such a public defense of Obamacare and to argue that the law was now "woven into the fabric of America" could be seen as an attempt to convince certain members of the court -- possibly Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is seen as a swing vote, and Chief Justice John Roberts, who cast the deciding vote that preserved Obamacare the last time it was before the court -- that gutting Obamacare could spark chaos, and so hurt the reputation of the court.
His administration's repeated statements that there is no Plan 'B' if the federal exchanges are ruled out could also fit an interpretation that he is trying to pressure the court to uphold the law.
Some analysts believe that Roberts's decision to find a legal way to uphold Obamcare in 2012 was partly motivated by a desire to protect the court he leads from the severe political blowback a rejection of the law could have set off.
But like most of the dealings behind the closed doors of the Supreme Court chambers, the way judges make their decisions is opaque to outsiders, and it is unclear how much they are influenced by outside political debate.
"It's really difficult to know. If you ever were to ask one of the Supreme Court justices whether this has any influence in any way, the answer is going to be no," said Gould.
"At the same time, we think we have circumstantial evidence that several justices take into account the political climate, the political consequences of their decisions."

A precedent for taking on the Supreme Court

This is not the first time Obama as taken on the Supreme Court in public.
Obama made a similarly robust public case the last time that Obamacare was on the line.
"I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress," Obama said a few months before the ruling was announced.

Iran Backs Taliban With Cash and Arms

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KABUL—When Abdullah, a Taliban commander in central Afghanistan, needs more rifles and ammunition, he turns to the same people who pay his $580-a-month salary: his Iranian sponsors.
“Iran supplies us with whatever we need,” he said.
Afghan and Western officials say Tehran has quietly increased its supply of weapons, ammunition and funding...

Dawn of the Drones | The National Interest

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We are living in a drone saturated world. In recent years, drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have proliferated rapidly around the globe in both military and civilian spheres. Today, eighty-seven countries are known to operate drones, including ten that possess armed drones. An additional twenty countries, at a minimum, have armed drone programs in development. As this technology continues to proliferate, simple weaponized drones will increasingly be within the reach of virtually any state, non-state actor, or individual. There has been significant discussion of the implications of the proliferation of high-end military-grade drones to date; however, the proliferation of cheap, commercial off-the-shelf drones and components is less well understood—and could potentially have a greater impact on national security.
While hobbyist drones have been on the market for some time, recent technological advances have moved the system’s capabilities well beyond the relatively crude models previously operated by joystick consoles and constrained by line-of-sight operating restrictions. Indeed, hobbyist drones—available for purchase for no more than a few thousand dollars—enable a number of high-end capabilities that were formerly the monopoly of major military powers.  Many hobbyist drones, including the best-selling DJI Phantom, are now equipped with GPS and waypoint navigation systems that enable autonomous flight. These systems can also be equipped with high-definition video cameras and infrared thermal cameras that, when combined with video downlinks, can provide real-time intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.
Already, non-state actors have used hobbyist drones for warfighting purposes. The Ukrainian military has made extensive use of hobbyist systems, including modified DJI Phantoms and other reconfigured hobbyist drones, in its conflict with the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, a rebel group backed by Russia. Reports indicate that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has also used hobbyist drones for surveillance purposes. Usage of these systems will almost certainly expand with falling prices and improved ease of use.
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With this continued proliferation will come increased prospects for the disruptive employment of hobbyist systems by both individuals and non-state actors. Most concerning is the potential that such systems could be weaponized. Though hobbyist drones have relatively short range and limited payload capacity, they have been successfully used to smuggle drug packages and could be modified to carry several kilograms of explosives, firearms, or other damaging objects instead. Indeed, hobbyist drones could be employed as airborne IEDs against patrolling military personnel, potentially requiring a paradigm shift in ground warfare for the United States. They could similarly be used in a terrorist attack against civilians or in precision strikes against high-profile individuals or landmarks. As the Wall Street Journal has reported, numerous terrorist plots involving drones have been detected in the United States, Germany, Spain, and Egypt, and more can be expected in the future.
This is particularly the case given the difficulty of monitoring and tracking hobbyist drone use. As a result of the construction material, small size, and flight altitude of most hobbyist drones, they are rarely visible on radar, and thus more challenging to defend against than larger, military-grade systems. For this reason, defenses against hobbyist drones often require visual or auditory identification or concerted signal-jamming to disrupt the operator’s communications link with the system and/or the system’s GPS. Such detection methods, however, require either a pre-existing knowledge or expectation of the system’s presence in a given area and thus are markedly less effective against unanticipated use.
As autonomy and multivehicle control become more mature, it is also possible that disruptive actors could deploy swarming attacks of expendable hobbyist drones against U.S. or allied military assets. While this approach would produce a large, easily detectable radar cross-section, it would additionally complicate targeting. In this way, swarms of UAVs could be used to temporarily deny the United States access to airspace within a given area of operations or to overwhelm U.S. air defense systems for ships and bases. Such a development could have significant consequences for U.S. and allied military operations as well as for the broader international security environment.
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Riyadh flays meddling in Badawi case

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday denounced the interference of some countries and organizations in its internal affairs and its judiciary, saying it is unacceptable.
An official source at the Foreign Ministry condemned statements by some countries and international organizations regarding the case of Saudi citizen Raef Badawi, although the judiciary or any official body in the Kingdom has not issued any statement on his case.
“The judiciary is independent in the Kingdom,” the source said, adding that Saudi Arabia will not accept any interference in its jurisdiction or internal affairs by any party.

Pentagon Puts Cost of US War Against IS at $2.7B

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FILE - A plume of smoke rises above a building after an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State group in Tikrit, Iraq, March 27, 2015.
FILE - A plume of smoke rises above a building after an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State group in Tikrit, Iraq, March 27, 2015.
The U.S. has spent more than $2.7 billion on the war against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria since bombings began last August, and the average daily cost is now more than $9 million, the Pentagon said Thursday.
Releasing a detailed breakdown of the costs for the first time, the Defense Department showed that the Air Force has borne two-thirds of the total spending, or more than $1.8 billion. The daily combat, reconnaissance and other flights eat up more than $5 million a day.
The data also provided a rare look into the often secret special operations costs, which totaled more than $200 million since August.
The release of the spending totals came as Congress debated and rejected legislation Thursday that would have banned spending on the combat operations until lawmakers passed a new war powers resolution.
Military operations' cost has grown since airstrikes began in Iraq in August and then expanded to Syria the following month. Most of the strikes have been in Iraq, as the U.S. and coalition strikes have tried to help Iraqi forces retake and hold key cities.
Other total costs include $438 million for the Navy, including fighters and other ship support; $274 million for the Army, which has trainers and special forces troops on the ground; $16 million for military pay; $646 million for munitions; and $21 million for intelligence and surveillance operations.
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Russian banker asks judge to reject charges that he's a spy

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By LARRY NEUMEISTER - Associated Press - Thursday, June 11, 2015
NEW YORK (AP) - A Russian citizen who worked in Manhattan as a banker asked a federal judge Thursday to toss out charges that he participated in a Cold War-style Russian spy ring.
Lawyers for Evgeny Buryakov filed papers in Manhattan federal court saying prosecutors have turned over an avalanche of video and audio recordings collected over a 2½-year period trying to build a case that should be disallowed.
The lawyers said the United States has never before prosecuted an individual working openly for a foreign state-owned agency on charges that he failed to notify the attorney general of his status as an agent of a foreign government.
They said U.S. laws make clear that someone like Buryakov, who is “officially sponsored” by a foreign government, does not need to separately register.
“There are potentially thousands of individuals in the United States like Mr. Buryakov: persons openly working in representative capacities for foreign government agencies and instrumentalities, but in non-consular, non-diplomatic posts,” the lawyers wrote. “The government could pick and choose whom to arrest and prosecute, based on arbitrary criteria such as nationality or country of origin.”
A spokeswoman for prosecutors declined to comment.
The government has given defense lawyers 5,000 hours of video and 1,500 hours of audio, the lawyers said.
Prosecutors have said that from 2012 through January, Buryakov teamed up with low-level diplomats to gather sensitive economic intelligence on potential U.S. sanctions against Russian banks and on efforts in the United States to develop alternative energy resources.
Buryakov pleaded not guilty after his January arrest to charges that he conspired to spy and acted as a spy. He has remained incarcerated.
Before the case was announced, Buryakov lived in the Bronx with his Russian wife and two children and worked at the Manhattan branch of a Russian bank. Buryakov arrived in the United States in 2010 and secured a work visa.

2015-06-10Thousands flee into Turkey from Syria as Kurds fight Islamic state

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Thousands flee into Turkey from Syria as Kurds fight Islamic stateThousands flee into Turkey from Syria as Kurds fight Islamic state Wednesday June 10 th , 2015  at  12:05 PM Reuters: World News 1 Share AKCAKALE, Turkey (Reuters) - Thousands of people crossed from Syria into Turkey on Wednesday to flee a battle pitting Is...
Thousands flee into Turkey from Syria as Kurds fight Islamic state Wednesday June 10th, 2015 at 12:05 PM Reuters: World News 1 Share AKCAKALE, Turkey (Reuters) - Thousands of people crossed from Syria...
» Former CIA Director: We're Not Doing Nearly Enough To Protect Against The EMP Threat 10/06/15 09:14 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks | » Pentagon: More labs got shipments of live anthrax samples - U.S. 10/06/15 09:14 from Mike Nova's Shared NewslinksObama vows to boost U.S. cyber defenses amid signs of China hacking Wednesday June 10 th , 2015  at  10:08 AM Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks Review   From The Major News Sources »   The evolving challenge of cybersecurity 10/06/15 09:16 from  Mike Nova's Shar...
Obama vows to boost U.S. cyber defenses amid signs of China hacking Wednesday June 10th, 2015 at 10:08 AM Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks Review   From The Major News Sources » The evolving challenge of cybersecuri...
CyberWar on U.S.cyberwar on us - Google Search Wednesday June 10 th , 2015  at  10:29 AM 1 Share North Korea threatens to wage ' cyber war ' against  US Newsweek - 1 hour ago North Korea yesterday issued a threat to America, promising to "wage a  cyber   war  against the  ...
cyberwar on us - Google Search Wednesday June 10th, 2015 at 10:29 AM 1 Share North Korea threatens to wage 'cyber war' against US Newsweek-1 hour ago North Korea yesterday issued a threat to America...

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2015-06-10TV5 Monde attack 'by Russia-based hackers' - BBC | "An investigation by

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TV5 Monde attack 'by Russia-based hackers' - BBC | "An investigation by the French news magazine L’Express has claimed French authorities now believed that the attack came through Brazil but originated in Russia. This was confimed by judicial sources talking to the French news agency, Agence France Presse. ... Although sent through computer addresses in Brazil, American cyber-security experts told L’Express that the codes used by the group were typed on a keyboard which corresponded with the Russian Cyrillic alphabet and always during office hours in Moscow. Relations between France and Russia have taken a sharp downward turn since President François Hollande’s decision last year to cancel the delivery of two large warships to Russia as part of western sanctions against Moscow." - TV5Monde hack: 'Jihadist' cyber attack on French TV station could have Russian link - Europe - World"An investigation by the French news magazine L’Express has claimed French authorities now believed that the attack came through Brazil but originated in Russia. This was confimed by judicial sources talking to the French news agency, Agence France Presse. ...
TV5 Monde attack 'by Russia-based hackers' - BBC | "An investigation by the French news magazine L’Express has claimed French authorities now believed that the attack came through Brazil but originated in Russia. This was confimed by judicial sources talking to the French news agency, Agence France Presse. ... Although sent through computer addresses in Brazil, American cyber-security experts told L’Express that the codes used by the group were typed on a keyboard which corresponded with the Russian Cyrillic alphabet and always during office hours in Moscow. Relations between France and Russia have taken a sharp downward turn since President François Hollande’s decision last year to cancel the delivery of two large warships to Russia as part of western sanctions against Moscow." - TV5Monde hack: 'Jihadist' cyber attack on French TV station could have Russian link - Europe - World
"An investigation by the French news magazine L’Express has claimed French authorities now believed that the attack came through Brazil but originated in Russia. This was confimed by judicial sources talking to the French new...
France Says Evidence Suggests Russians Posing as Islamists Hacked Broadcaster | Former US intel chief calls Iran nuclear deal “wishful thinking”France Says Evidence Suggests Russians Posing as Islamists Hacked Broadcaster Former US intel chief calls Iran nuclear deal “wishful thinking” Committee Convening Hearing on Iran’s Enduring Ballistic Missile Threat | House Committee on Foreign Affairs Wedne...
France Says Evidence Suggests Russians Posing as Islamists Hacked Broadcaster Former US intel chief calls Iran nuclear deal “wishful thinking” Committee Convening Hearing on Iran’s Enduring Ballistic Missile Thre...

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2015-06-11Middle East News

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Middle East News"Your new widget 1" Powered by RSS Feed Informer_______________________________________________ Archive
"Your new widget 1" Powered by RSS Feed Informer _________________________________________________ Archive
Obama’s Big Talk on ISIS and Putin Isn’t Matched By His Actions | US Orders More Troops to Iraq, but No Overhaul of Strategy | "While the pope has deplored the loss of life in Ukraine and called for all sides to respect the cease-fire, he has not publicly placed any blame on Russia in an apparent bid to not upset Vatican relations with the Orthodox Church and in hopes of engaging Russia’s help to confront the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Hackett, the U.S. ambassador, noted that Putin had spoken about the plight of Christians and that that was clearly an area of concern for the Vatican. “I’d like to see if he’s got a proposal,” he said of Putin." - Pope Urges Putin to Commit to 'Sincere, Great Effort' for Ukraine Peace | Can Pope Francis Work a Vladimir Putin Miracle? | Islamic State Sells Captured Teen Girls Like 'Packs Of Cigarettes' | IS growing in numbers, money | ‘Russian hackers’ cripple Bundestag computer network | The TimesObama’s Big Talk on ISIS and Putin Isn’t Matched By His Actions Obama’s cyber silence leaves US unprepared   by Margot Grubert US Orders More Troops to Iraq, but No Overhaul of Strategy "On Wednesday, the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Kenneth Hackett, sa...
Obama’s Big Talk on ISIS and Putin Isn’t Matched By His Actions | US Orders More Troops to Iraq, but No Overhaul of Strategy | "While the pope has deplored the loss of life in Ukraine and called for all sides to respect the cease-fire, he has not publicly placed any blame on Russia in an apparent bid to not upset Vatican relations with the Orthodox Church and in hopes of engaging Russia’s help to confront the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Hackett, the U.S. ambassador, noted that Putin had spoken about the plight of Christians and that that was clearly an area of concern for the Vatican. “I’d like to see if he’s got a proposal,” he said of Putin." - Pope Urges Putin to Commit to 'Sincere, Great Effort' for Ukraine Peace | Can Pope Francis Work a Vladimir Putin Miracle? | Islamic State Sells Captured Teen Girls Like 'Packs Of Cigarettes' | IS growing in numbers, money | ‘Russian hackers’ cripple Bundestag computer network | The Times
Obama’s Big Talk on ISIS and Putin Isn’t Matched By His Actions Obama’s cyber silence leaves US unprepared by Margot Grubert US Orders More Troops to Iraq, but No Overhaul of Strategy "On Wednesday, the U.S. am...
What is at stake in Ukraine if Russia continues its onslaughtWhat is at stake in Ukraine if Russia continues its onslaught Wednesday June 10 th , 2015  at  7:27 PM 1 Share A Ukrainian serviceman is seen at a checkpoint at the frontline with pro-Russian separatists in Novotoshkivske, eastern Ukraine, on June 8. (Gleb ...
What is at stake in Ukraine if Russia continues its onslaught Wednesday June 10th, 2015 at 7:27 PM 1 Share A Ukrainian serviceman is seen at a checkpoint at the frontline with pro-Russian sepa...

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2015-06-11"Simply put, we have been witnessing the revival of the slave trade

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"Simply put, we have been witnessing the revival of the slave trade in the 21st century." - Zainab Hawa Bangura: Opinion: Women were 'examined like cattle' | "We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah." - What jihadis plan for womenM.N. - My Opinion:  Mr. Obama effectively resigned his position as the Leader of the Free World. He speaks so so softly that it is almost inaudible and is mostly incoherent. He unfastened his big stick and placed it to rest on a couch in the Oval office, fo...
M.N. - My Opinion:  Mr. Obama effectively resigned his position as the Leader of the Free World. He speaks so so softly that it is almost inaudible and is mostly incoherent. He unfastened his big stick and placed it to rest o...

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2015-06-11Ukraine News: Equal rights for gays still distant dream in Ukraine

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Ukraine News: Equal rights for gays still distant dream in Ukraine | EU lawmakers slam Russia, demand sanctions maintained | IMF says still discussing next review with Ukraine | Bill Bradley: 5 Steps for Peace in UkraineNick Storchay, a eyewitness of the attack on on Kyiv gay pride, sits with broken nose. An eyewitness account of the attack on Kyiv gay pride Equal rights for gays still distant dream in Ukraine Right Sector, Putin take same view on gay rights EU lawmakers s...
Nick Storchay, a eyewitness of the attack on on Kyiv gay pride, sits with broken nose. An eyewitness account of the attack on Kyiv gay pride Equal rights for gays still distant dream in Ukraine Right Sector, Putin...
House Passes Defense Spending Bill | Pentagon 'lily pad' strategy could up troops in Iraq - CNNPolitics.com | Protests in Berlin over Saudi punishment of Badawi | Germany | DW.DEPentagon 'lily pad' strategy could up troops in Iraq - CNNPolitics.com U.S. considering more military bases in Iraq: top general Protests in Berlin over Saudi punishment of Badawi | Germany | DW.DE Tariq Aziz Family Says His Body Has Gone Missing in Iraq Ho...
Pentagon 'lily pad' strategy could up troops in Iraq - CNNPolitics.com U.S. considering more military bases in Iraq: top general Protests in Berlin over Saudi punishment of Badawi | Germany | DW.DE Tariq Aziz Fam...
The U.S. should send aid to democracy’s front lines in UkraineThe U.S. should send aid to democracy’s front lines in Ukraine Britain Surveillance Law Reform Urged in Government-Ordered Report Thursday June 11 th , 2015  at  6:26 PM 1 Share LONDON — Amid growing debate in Europe over electronic spying, an independent r...
The U.S. should send aid to democracy’s front lines in Ukraine Britain Surveillance Law Reform Urged in Government-Ordered Report Thursday June 11th, 2015 at 6:26 PM 1 Share LONDON — Amid gro...
"Obviously, the FBI preferred to keep legislators in the dark about its participation in Section 215. An ill-informed legislature is more prone to rely on fear-mongering and other baseless assertions. With nothing stating otherwise, the FBI is free to operate under the illusion that its use of the program is by-the-book and that the program itself is effective and useful. Horowitz is one of the few government officials willing to stand up to the FBI. Unfortunately, it hasn't resulted in better behavior by the agency. Apparently, the FBI feels it does best with minimal oversight and isn't inclined to let anyone -- not even its in-house inspector -- in on its domestic surveillance tactics." - FBI Successfully Stonewalls Inspector General Into Irrelevance By Withholding Timely Section 215 Documents - FBI News Review"Obviously, the FBI preferred to keep legislators in the dark about its participation in Section 215. An ill-informed legislature is more prone to rely on  fear-mongering  and other baseless assertions. With nothing stating otherwise, the FBI is free to ope...
"Obviously, the FBI preferred to keep legislators in the dark about its participation in Section 215. An ill-informed legislature is more prone to rely on fear-mongering and other baseless assertions. With nothing stating otherwise, the FBI is free to operate under the illusion that its use of the program is by-the-book and that the program itself is effective and useful. Horowitz is one of the few government officials willing to stand up to the FBI. Unfortunately, it hasn't resulted in better behavior by the agency. Apparently, the FBI feels it does best with minimal oversight and isn't inclined to let anyone -- not even its in-house inspector -- in on its domestic surveillance tactics." - FBI Successfully Stonewalls Inspector General Into Irrelevance By Withholding Timely Section 215 Documents - FBI News Review
"Obviously, the FBI preferred to keep legislators in the dark about its participation in Section 215. An ill-informed legislature is more prone to rely on  fear-mongering  and other baseless assertions. With nothing stating ...

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Defying Obama, Many in Congress Press to Arm Ukraine: The Senate

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Defying Obama, Many in Congress Press to Arm Ukraine: The Senate has included provisions in its military policy bill to arm Ukraine with antiarmor systems, mortars, grenade launchers and ammunition to aid in its fight against Russian-backed separatists. It would also prevent the administration from spending more than one half of $300 million in aid for Ukraine unless 20 percent is earmarked for offensive weapons. The House has passed a similar measure. So far, the Obama administration has refused to provide lethal aid, fearing that it would only escalate the bloodshed and give President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia a pretext for further incursions.Defying Obama, Many in Congress Press to Arm Ukraine Thursday June 11 th , 2015  at  10:35 PM 1 Share WASHINGTON — With the peace process stalled and violence escalating in  Ukraine , a bipartisan coalition in Congress is defying  President Obama  and Europ...
Defying Obama, Many in Congress Press to Arm Ukraine Thursday June 11th, 2015 at 10:35 PM 1 Share WASHINGTON — With the peace process stalled and violence escalating in Ukraine, a bipartisan coaliti...
The U.S. has spent more than $2.7 billion on the war against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria since bombings began last August, and the average daily cost is now more than $9 million, th...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday denounced the interference of some countries and organizations in its internal affairs and its judiciary, saying it is unacceptable.
World News Review - 8:55 PM 6/11/2015World News Review - 8:55 PM 6/11/2015 »   How China and Pakistan Are Beating India in the New Great Game 12/06/15 02:00 from  The National Interest Arif Rafiq Security, Asia, Middle East In South Asia and beyond, Islamabad and Beijing are giving New Delhi a...
World News Review - 8:55 PM 6/11/2015 » How China and Pakistan Are Beating India in the New Great Game 12/06/15 02:00 from The National Interest Arif Rafiq Security, Asia, Middle East In South Asia and beyond, Islamaba...
"Deploying American troops in Anbar Province may accomplish little in the long run, if past is prologue." - Sending More Troops to Iraq - NYT Editorial | Speaking to reporters aboard his plane during a trip to Italy, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, described a possible future campaign entailing the establishment of what he called “lily pads” — American military bases around the country from which trainers would work with Iraqi security forces and local tribesmen in the fight against the Islamic State. - U.S. Weighing More Military Bases in Iraq to Fight ISIS, Top General Says | OVERNIGHT CYBERSECURITY: Up to 14 million exposed in federal hackDuring the troop surge of 2007, which included roughly 30,000 troops, American commanders argued that empowering Sunni tribesmen, and beating back insurgent groups, would give politicians in Baghdad breathing room to govern more inclusively. But they have c...
During the troop surge of 2007, which included roughly 30,000 troops, American commanders argued that empowering Sunni tribesmen, and beating back insurgent groups, would give politicians in Baghdad breathing room to govern m...
ISIS presents a very formidable enemy, one that the international community must fight together.
» News: Women, Peace and Security agenda in the spotlight at NATO, 01-Jun.-2015 11/06/15 19:19 from Mike Nova's Shared NewslinksMike Nova's Shared NewsLinks Review   From The Major News Sources »   Analysts question whether Conservative government’s talk about joining NATO rapid reaction force is election posturing 11/06/15 19:20 from  Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks mikenova shared th...
Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks Review   From The Major News Sources » Analysts question whether Conservative government’s talk about joining NATO rapid reaction force is election posturing 11/06/15 19:20 from Mike Nova'...
Nato - Russia News: This chart should terrify Russia's neighborsThis chart should terrify Russia's neighbors Analysts question whether Conservative government’s talk about joining NATO rapid reaction force is election posturing Thursday June 11 th , 2015  at  7:20 PM Ottawa Citizen 1 Share Defence Minister Jason Kenney ...
This chart should terrify Russia's neighbors Analysts question whether Conservative government’s talk about joining NATO rapid reaction force is election posturing Thursday June 11th, 2015 at 7:20 PM Ottawa ...

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Record Number of Americans Renounced Their U.S. Citizenship in 2015 

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1,336 Americans renounced their U.S. citizenship, according to a quarterly report by the Internal Revenue Service.

Video: The Madness of King Obama 

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Presidency paved with lies and fraught with cowardice...

Isis’s deadliest atrocity: 600 bodies confirmed found following ‘worst massacre’ by jihadists 

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The bodies are all those of young air cadets.
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Political Watershed in Turkish Elections? 

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By Brett Daniel Shehadey
Special Correspondent for In Homeland Security
At first glance, it appears that the Turkish people (86 percent) have spoken in a recent national elections to preserve Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s larger dream of democracy and modernization.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogen failed to establish a majority through his AKP (Justice and Development Party) that would have solidified his power and that of his Islamic populism.

How should U.S. respond to Chinese hacking?

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Espionage by a foreign government falls into a different category than attempting to steal trade secrets

Second man arrested in connection with Boston terror case

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FBI says Nicholas Rovinski was plotting with two other men, including one killed last week in Boston, to attack police officers and others

Russia Threatens 'Consequences' If US Deploys Missiles

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Russia on Thursday warned the United States of consequences if it moves to deploy land-based missiles in Europe in contravention of a key Cold-War era arms control treaty.
       

Pentagon Planning for Potential Iraq Expansion

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The Pentagon is laying the groundwork for a greater presence in Iraq, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed, one day after announcing an increase in personnel in the al-Anbar province.
       

Top Chinese Officer Meets With SecDef Carter

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A top Chinese military officer met with US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter at the Pentagon on Thursday, but Beijing asked for limited media attention around the visit amid strains over the South China Sea.
       
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Man Found Dead in Queens Park Was Killed

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The death of a 23-year-old man found in a Queens park this week has been ruled a homicide, the police said on Thursday.
Passers-by found the man, Diego Piedrahita, lying face down in Forest Park shortly before 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the police said, in the area of Park Lane South and Woodhaven Boulevard.
Responding officers found him lying unconscious and unresponsive with severe trauma to his head. Emergency medical workers pronounced him dead on the scene shortly thereafter. A trail of blood led to Mr. Piedrahita’s body, and the police also recovered a blood-covered tree branch near his body.
The medical examiner ruled Mr. Piedrahita’s death a homicide, according to the police.
The police said an inquiry into his death was continuing.
Efforts to reach Mr. Piedrahita’s relatives on Thursday were unsuccessful.

lethal aid ukraine - Google Search

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Story image for lethal aid ukraine from International Business Times

US Senators And Ukraine Prime Minister Ask Obama For Lethal Aid ...

International Business Times-Jun 10, 2015
Congress wants Ukraine to receive lethal aid from the U.S. Pictured: Ukrainian soldiers stand guard near the Kramatorsk Airport in eastern ...

US Senators And Ukraine Prime Minister Ask Obama For Lethal Aid Again, But Pew Poll Says NATO Citizens Against It

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U.S. senators have once again called on Barack Obama to give weapons to Ukrainian troops fighting pro-Russian rebels in the contested region of eastern Ukraine. The request comes after Democrat whip Dick Durbin met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Tuesday and just a day after the White House again ruled out acting on a House resolution in favor of giving Ukraine $300 million of lethal aid.
"Ukraine is at a critical moment in its history," Durbin said. "As Russia continues its unprecedented aggression in the region, the United States should be doing more to ensure Ukraine can defend its borders."
Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014 and has continued to supply troops and weapons to pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, something Moscow denies it is doing, despite documented allegations by Western governments. The subject of lethal aid was publicly discussed in the days leading up to the signing of the Minsk II agreement in February this year, but the idea was rejected by Obama after discussions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Since the ceasefire went into effect, few days have passed without actual fighting, and in recent weeks fighting has intensified. On Tuesday, eight soldiers were killed -- seven by a single blast from a land mine.
The increase in fighting and deaths has persuaded Congress, which has long been a supporter of supplying weapons to Ukraine, that the country still needs more assistance. So far, the U.S. has given Ukraine around $200 million in nonlethal aid such as bulletproof vests, helmets, sleeping bags and military training. 
"At today’s meeting, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk made it clear that increased military aid, defensive weapons and economic support will help Ukraine in its struggle for freedom and sovereignty," said Durbin. "The United States must act swiftly to provide this assistance, and the Senate Ukraine Caucus stands ready to help."
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But polling says that a majority of citizens in NATO's biggest member nations agree with Obama. A recent Pew research poll, which asked respondents if they thought Ukraine should receive arms supplies, was taken in Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Poland, the United States and France. An average of 59 percent said they did not think Ukraine should get weapons. In the U.S., 46 percent of those polled said Ukraine should receive arms, whereas the more cautious Germans polled at just 19 percent in favor. 
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Defying Obama, Many in Congress Press to Arm Ukraine

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WASHINGTON — With the peace process stalled and violence escalating in Ukraine, a bipartisan coalition in Congress is defying President Obama and European allies by pressing the administration to provide weapons to the embattled nation.
The Senate has included provisions in its military policy bill to arm Ukraine with antiarmor systems, mortars, grenade launchers and ammunition to aid in its fight against Russian-backed separatists. It would also prevent the administration from spending more than one half of $300 million in aid for Ukraine unless 20 percent is earmarked for offensive weapons. The House has passed a similar measure.
So far, the Obama administration has refused to provide lethal aid, fearing that it would only escalate the bloodshed and give President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia a pretext for further incursions.
The push by lawmakers to arm Ukraine’s beleaguered armed forces threatens to open a rift between the United States and key allies, especially Germany and France, at a time when the Obama administration has been working to demonstrate unified support for extending European economic sanctions against Russia that are scheduled to expire at the end of July.
Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who has championed the effort to send arms to Ukraine for more than a year, dismissed the fears that it would worsen the conflict and unravel the international coalition.
Citing the attacks on Ukraine as “one of the most shameful and dishonorable acts I have seen in my life,” Mr. McCain said in an interview that the response so far to Russia’s aggression had been insufficient. “They are not asking for a single boot on the ground,” he said on the Senate floor Thursday, adding, “I am a bit taken aback by the vociferous opposition” to weapons help.
Earlier this week, the Ukrainian prime minister, Anseniy P. Yatsenyuk, met with lawmakers in Washington to make the case for military and financial aid, and was met with sympathy.
“There has been a strong bipartisan well of support for quite some time for providing lethal support,” said Representative Adam Schiff, Democrat of California. “We have offered Russia all kinds of exit ramps and they were clearly not interested in taking them.”
But in the latest sign of the reluctance by the White House, Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, gave a speech on Thursday in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, in which she excoriated Russia but did not mention sending offensive weapons as a possibility.
Instead, she focused on combating the Russian misinformation campaign, praising the Ukrainians for undertaking a government overhaul and warning only vaguely of a tougher stance by the United States.
In Kiev on Thursday, a Ukrainian military spokesman reported that three soldiers had been killed in attacks by Russian-backed separatists, and at least 13 were wounded in the latest fighting in Donetsk and Luhansk. Officials from the self-declared, pro-Russian separatist republics said that two of their soldiers had been killed and at least two more wounded in attacks by the Ukrainian military.
While the United States has been providing nonlethal assistance, and American military instructorshave begun training Ukrainian troops in western Ukraine, President Petro O. Poroshenko has also made clear he would welcome more help in the form of weapons, as he seeks to build up his country’s military to face down the threat from Russia.
“We have an effective form of cooperation, but not with lethal weapons, with the United States, Canada, U.K.,” Mr. Poroshenko said in an interview in his office last week. “We are very satisfied with the current level of cooperation but we would be happy if the level of this cooperation would be increased.”
The bipartisan pressure developing on Capitol Hill, however, comes at an awkward time. Mr. Putin in recent days has repeatedly blamed the Ukrainian government for continuing cease-fire violations,while calling on the United States and its European allies to pressure Kiev to fully put the peace accord in place.
That has set the stage for a pitched debate between lawmakers and the White House that could well undermine Mr. Obama’s repeated assertion that the United States sees no military solution to the conflict in Ukraine.
“I have never seen a more aggressive and emotional debate than I have on this question,” said Matthew Rojansky, the director of the Kennan Institute in Washington and expert on Russia and Ukraine. Mr. Rojansky said the debate is “reminiscent of that when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.”
Reflecting the view of many experts, Mr. Rojansky added, “There are valid arguments on both sides but you don’t get to walk this back. Once we have done this we become a belligerent party in a proxy war with Russia, the only country on earth that can destroy the United States. That’s why this is a big deal.”
In his confirmation hearing in March, Ashton B. Carter, the secretary of defense, told senators that he would consider increased military assistance to Ukraine, including the sale of lethal arms, reflecting the views of some other senior administration officials.
If Congress moves forward with restrictions on the money allocated for Ukraine, a standoff with the White House could also conceivably block much-needed nonlethal aid.
Lawmakers who oppose sending weapons to Ukraine note that Washington could never send enough hardware for Ukraine to defeat Russian-backed forces militarily. And it is not clear that the Ukrainian military is sufficiently trained to make proper use of American weapons without substantial assistance by American military personnel, or that the weapons would not end up in enemy hands.
There also are internal debates even within Ukraine over the wisdom of America stepping in and giving Mr. Putin a propaganda weapon.
“If you’re playing chess with Russia you have to think two moves ahead,” said Senator Angus King, independent of Maine, who is among those lawmakers skeptical of providing arms. “I am afraid this could provoke a major East-West confrontation.”
Julia Osmolovskaya, the managing partner of the Institute of Negotiation Skills, a mediation group in Kiev, said Ukrainians were divided over the potential benefits of receiving weapons from the United States and the inherent risk of stoking further violence, and also perplexed by Washington’s mixed messages.
“There is a bit of frustration, I’m afraid, in Ukrainian society,” Ms. Osmolovskaya said in an interview. “We have some support in the Congress for giving Ukraine more military assistance, then your president takes a more ambiguous position.”
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Defying Obama, Many in Congress Press to Arm Ukraine

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The Senate has included provisions in its military policy bill to arm Ukraine with antiarmor systems, mortars, grenade launchers and ammunition to aid in its fight against Russian-backed separatists.




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