Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Turkey arrests four ISIS operatives with drone Tuesday August 18th, 2015 at 6:44 PM

Turkey arrests four ISIS operatives with drone

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August 18, 2015, 6:23 PM (IDT)
In an anti-terror operation in the southeastern Syrian border town of Gaziantep, Turkish police Tuesday arrested four ISIS suspects riding in a car loaded with military weapons and a drone, presumably en route to Syria. Three of the detainees were foreigners. The car carried a drone plus apparatus, two night sights for long-barreled weapons, 352 ammunition clips for Kalashnikovs, two rifle scopes, 50 45mm bullets, 18 camouflage smocks and three bandoliers.

IRS Hack Job Compromises more than 300,000 Tax Records

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By Brett Daniel Shehadey
Special Correspondent for In Homeland Security
America is moving too fast in the technical space. It is at least moving faster than it is ready for. Whether it is governments, bureaucracies like the IRS or companies pushing the latest digital trends into the Internet of things, the result is often the same—a lack or lapse of security consciousness.

MI6 The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949

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Title:                      MI6 The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949
Author:                 Keith Jeffery
Jeffrey, Keith (2012). MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949. London: Bloomsbury Publishing
OCLC:                    768489395


  • This is a revised and updated version of the 2010 edition.
Date Posted:      August 18, 2015
Compiled and reviewed by Hayden B. Peake.[1]
In his foreword to MI6, the then chief of service (“C”), Sir John Sawers, writes that the book “is a landmark in the history of the service.” And indeed it is, by any measure. Although the service was officially recognized in 1994, only Alan Judd’s 1999 biography of Sir Mansfield Cumming was based on official MI6 files.[2] This is not to say that prior to 1994 the existence of MI6 was a well-kept secret. In 1992, publication of The Spy Who Saved The World[3] revealed MI6’s contribution to the work of Oleg Penkovsky in great detail while identifying the principle officers involved. The following year, British intelligence historian Nigel West unofficially surveyed the many MI6 officers who had published their memoirs.[4] What distinguishes Keith Jeffery’s book from these earlier works is its more broad timeframe and his unrestricted access to MI6 archives. MI6 confirms and corrects the record, although not the entire record.
As Jeffery makes clear in his preface, while his access was unlimited, what he could write about was not. The primary restrictions were the timeframe, 1909-1949, and the prohibition against identifying certain agents, officer, and operations. By stopping at 1949, the book could mention Kim Philby of the Cambridge Five only in connection with the Gouzenko case. Likewise, VENONA had to be excluded. With respect to naming individuals, Jeffery could not use names unless they had been officially released, even if the names appear in the public domain. Jeffery explains the reasoning with the comment that unofficial sources were often “unsubstantiated assertions in sensational and evanescent publications” or what he more colorfully terms the “sub-prime intelligence literature.” (p. xii)
These limitations aside, MI6 is an astonishing work of scholarship. It reveals the development of the service from its one-man origins, through WWI, the interwar period, and WWII. The latter brought great challenges, first with the abolition of the Z Organization—which controlled nonofficial cover officers—under Claude Dansey. Then came the formation of the SOE (Special Operations Executive), the work of the codebreakers at Bletchley Park, and the initial loss and subsequent rebuilding of British worldwide espionage capabilities. MI6 concludes with the transition from a wartime structure to its Cold War organization. About one third of the book concerns administration, and the balance covers operations.
Along the way some colorful Brits make an appearance. Examples include Sir Paul Dukes, who operated under the noses of the Bolsheviks in Russia, and Wilfred “Biffy’’ Dunderdale—fond of fast cars and a friend of lan Fleming—in France, whose fluent Russian aided in the debriefing of the first Soviet defector, Boris Bajanov, Then there was Haline Szymanska, the wife of a Polish military attaché and “friend” of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the German Abwehr chief. She served as an agent for the Poles and MI6, and Canaris arranged for her escape to Switzerland, though Jeffery does not mention the rumor that she was also his mistress. She also had links to Allen DuIles. When she informed him that the Germans were reading his cipher, he continued to use it until Claude Dansey, then the assistant to “C,” told the MI6 head of station to remind “the fool [Dulles]” of the fact. Subsequent communications were passed through British channels. (p. 511)
This is just a minute sampling of the hundreds of stories Jeffery tells in MI6. In this revised edition he has added details to the adventures of Sir Paul Dukes, SIS’s role in the Rudolf Hess defection, and on the agent NANNYGOAT’s links to a Romanian network. Finally, he describes in detail a case omitted entirely from the first edition—the Volkov case, which threatened to expose Philby and other Soviet penetrations of British intelligence.
MI6 is a most valuable addition to the literature of intelligence.
[1] Hayden B. Peake, “The Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf”, Intelligencer: Journal of U. S. Intelligence Studies (20, 3 Spring/Summer 2014, pp. 130-131). Hayden Peake is the Curator of the CIA’s Historical Intelligence Collection. He has served in the Directorate of Science and Technology and the Directorate of Operations. Most of these reviews appeared in recent unclassified editions of CIA’sStudies in Intelligence. These and many other reviews and articles may be found online athttp://www.cia.gov.
[2] Judd, Alan (1999)The Quest for C: Mansfield Cumming and the Founding of the Secret Service. London: HarperCollins Publishers
[3] Schecter, Jerrold L.(1992) and Peter S. Deriabin. The Spy Who Saved The World: How A Soviet Colonel Changed The Course of The Cold War. New York: C. Scribner’s Sons
[4] West, Nigel (1993), ed. The Faber Book of EspionageLondon: Faber and Faber

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The CIA's Coup Against Iran's Mohammad Mossadegh - Huffington Post

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The CIA's Coup Against Iran's Mohammad Mossadegh
Huffington Post
On August 16, 1953, the Shah formally dismissed Mossadegh and nominated the CIA's choice, General Fazlollah Zahedi, as Prime Minister. Soon, massive protests, engineered by the U.S., took place across the city to assist the coup. The coup not only ...

UN: Some sexual abuse charges against peacekeepers ignored

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The 12-year-old girl said she had been raped by a foreign soldier, one of many who had come to Central African Republic to calm sectarian violence. So the military commander brought her in front of a dozen of his soldiers and asked: Can you identify him?

ISIS Video Urges Turks to Revolt Against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan 

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A seven-minute video called President Recep Tayyip Erdogan an infidel for collaborating with Western powers in their attacks on the Islamic State.
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Page 2

US trains Afghan forces after NATO drawdown 

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From: AFP
Duration: 00:46

US troops provide training and tactical advice to the 201st Afghan army corps as they take on the Taliban on the battlefield.

Donald Trump tells a young boy he's Batman 

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From: itnnews
Duration: 01:20

Donald Trump has told a young boy that he's Batman. Could being a superhero help his chances of becoming the next President of the United States? Report by Asana Greenstreet.

Putin dives in mini-sub to shipwreck off Crimea 

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From: AFP
Duration: 00:33

Russian President Vladimir Putin burnished his action man image on Tuesday by diving down in a mini-submarine to explore a shipwreck off the coast of the Crimea peninsula that Moscow seized from Ukraine last year.

Islamic State jihadis 'behead top archaeologist in Palmyra'

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Isil jihadis behead antiquities scholar in ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, a government official has said

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Wyeth Art: FBI Offers Reward For Stolen Work

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Two paintings by early 20th century American NC Wyeth have been missing for two years when they were among six taken from a home.

Dutch government to face possible no confidence vote over Greece

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The government of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to face a call for a no-confidence vote from euro-sceptic, right-wing rival Geert Wilders, when parliament debates the latest bailout program for Greece on Wednesday.
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Police: Officer Shoots Man Who Approached Carrying Knife

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Police: Officer shoots man who approached carrying knife during domestic disturbance call

Man to Plead Guilty to Role in Cybercriminal Marketplace

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Florida man to plead guilty to role in cybercriminal marketplace shut down by US government

China Says It Has Arrested 15,000 People for Cybercrimes

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Chinese police arrest 15,000 for suspected cybercrimes as special operation gets underway

FBI Seeking Help to Find 2 of 6 Stolen N.C. Wyeth Paintings

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FBI seeking help to find 2 of 6 valuable N.C. Wyeth paintings nabbed in 2013

Russia to show mega H-bomb replica

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A copy of the world's biggest ever nuclear bomb - the Soviet-era "Tsar Bomba" - is to go on display in central Moscow.

'Nazi Horse' at German School Draws Fire

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The sculpture by one of Hitler’s favored artists has sparked a battle between the Bavarian school and local politicians, historians and Jewish leaders, who say the horse is an affront to Holocaust victims.

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Page 4

Libya Asks Arab Neighbors for Help in Fight Against Islamic State

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Libya’s internationally backed government called for fellow Arab states to directly arm its military, as it faces a renewed assault by Islamic State.

Ukrainian President to Meet EU Officials

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will travel to Brussels to meet senior EU officials before the end of the month, a European Commission spokeswoman said amid heightened violence in eastern Ukraine.

Bangladesh Police Arrest Three Men Tied to Blogger Deaths

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Bangladeshi police arrested three alleged Islamist militants in connection with fatal assaults on atheist bloggers that have stirred fears of mounting extremism in the Muslim-majority country.

Dangerous Sites Flout Rules in Chinese Port City

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The warehouse at the center of last week’s blast in the Chinese city of Tianjin wasn’t the only one located too close to residential areas.

Islamic State Ally Menaces Afghanistan

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An extremist group allied with Islamic State has emerged as a potent force on the battlefield in northern Afghanistan, threatening the country with more instability.

Photos of the Day: August 18

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In photos chosen Tuesday by Wall Street Journal editors, Vladimir Putin goes under the sea, a surfer returns to the waves after a shark attack, and migrants continue to swarm across the Mediterranean

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For Mexicans, Trump’s bid is getting scarier 

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MEXICO CITY — If Donald Trump were president, he would have Mexico pay to build a wall along its 2,000-mile border to keep itself out.He’d block the billions of dollars that Mexicans illegally in the United States send home to their families. And prevent their children born in America from automatically becoming U.S. citizens.Read full article >>

A flurry of diplomacy to end Syria's war raises hope, but even more doubt 

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BEIRUT — Concerns about President Bashar al-Assad’s growing vulnerability and gains by the extremist Islamic State group are generating a burst of diplomacy among world powers to end Syria’s civil war, analysts say.Read full article >>

Angry Chinese ask: Why did so many firefighters die in Tianjin explosion? 

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BEIJING — Last Wednesday night, 25 members of the fifth company of the Tianjin Port Group fire department rushed to the site of an explosion.They were mostly young men, some just new-in-town teenagers. Eleven hailed from the same county in Hebei province, at least two from the same small town.Read full article >>

Trump Border Plan Fuels Debate Among Rivals

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Some Republicans voice support for elements of the policy, but others say the proposals don't make any sense.

Clinton opposes oil drilling in Arctic

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Democratic candidate breaks ranks with Obama on environment

Teenager charged after pointing laser at police helicopter

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This teen picked on the wrong pilot when he shone a laser beam at a police helicopter in Canada

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Spanish chef gets crowdfunding to counter Donald Trump

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Spanish-born José Andrés faces lawsuit for cancelling restaurant venture in Trump-owned Washington hotel after businessman's "insulting comments" about Mexican immigrants

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Germany to expect 750000 refugees in 2015 - reports - BBC News

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BBC News

Germany to expect 750000 refugees in 2015 - reports
BBC News
The number of refugees seeking asylum in Germany could surge to 750,000 this year, according to reports citing official projections. The government in Berlin had earlier forecast that 450,000 asylum seekers could arrive in 2015, but is now set to ...
Germany may receive up to 750000 asylum seekers this year – papereuronews 
Germany, Sweden can't be left to shoulder refugee burden: UNHCR chiefThe Express Tribune
Germany may receive up to 750000 asylum seekers this yearSaudi Press Agency

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Mandela's Grandson Arrested for Alleged Rape in South Africa - New York Times

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Times LIVE

Mandela's Grandson Arrested for Alleged Rape in South Africa
New York Times
JOHANNESBURG — South African police say a man identified as one of Nelson Mandela's grandsons has been arrested for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl. Police spokeswoman Brig. Mashadi Selepe said Mbuso Mandela, 24, is in police custody and will ...
Grandson of Nelson Mandela charged with rapeNew York Daily News
Nelson Mandela's grandson in court charged with rapeThe Guardian
Nelson Mandela's Grandson Accused of Raping a 15-Year-Old Girl in Restaurant ...Inside Edition
International Business Times -NewsDay -360Nobs.com
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Germany Set to Raise Asylum-Seeker Forecast to 750,000

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The German government will sharply raise its forecast for the number of asylum-seekers expected to arrive this year to a record-breaking 750,000, coalition sources said on Tuesday. The increase, from a previous estimate of 450,000, is the latest sign of how a huge influx of migrants and refugees, many fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East, is straining the European Union's ability to cope. "The situation is extremely unsatisfying," Chancellor Angela Merkel...

Study: Andes Faces Water Woes

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Residents of the Central Andes mountains in Peru and Bolivia, already short of water, could see rainfall decline by up to 30 percent by the end of the century, a new Swiss study said. Even the next 20 years could see a noticeable drop in rainfall, with potentially dangerous effects on farmers and poor consumers, as drinking water could become more expensive in a region where life is already a struggle for many. University of Zurich scientists and South American researchers compared...

LA Hospital Prepares Navy Medical Staff for Combat Zone

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New research by the University of California Davis finds that university hospital trauma centers provide the best experience for military surgeons who will someday be working in a combat zone. The U.S. Navy is training select groups of its medical staff at one of the busiest emergency departments in the country. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.

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Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton have long, complicated friendship - CBS News

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CBS News

Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton have long, complicated friendship
CBS News
WASHINGTON -- Over the past quarter century or so, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Joe Biden have collaborated and competed, shared more than a dozen staffers, fought each other for a presidential nomination and then served together in the Cabinet of the ...
Hillary Clinton Can't Ignore Bernie SandersHuffington Post (blog)
For Clinton and Biden, a long and tangled friendshipOCRegister
Bernie Sanders: Democratic presidential candidate was less than impressed when ...The Independent
Ring of Fire -The Hill -Nashua Telegraph
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Hillary Clinton Accused Of 'Victim Blaming' During Tense Black Lives Matter ... - Daily Caller

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Hillary Clinton Accused Of 'Victim Blaming' During Tense Black Lives Matter ...
Daily Caller
Video from Hillary Clinton's meeting with Black Lives Matters activists last week in New Hampshire has been released, showing an at-times tense exchange in which the Democratic presidential candidate was accused of “victim blaming.” Clinton also ...
Footage shows Black Lives Matter activists confronting Hillary ClintonThe Guardian
Why Black Lives Matter Is So Focused on Bernie Sanders and How It's Paying OffSlate Magazine
#BlackLivesMatter Activists Confront Hillary Clinton on IncarcerationNBCNews.com 
BurlingtonFreePress.com-St. Louis American-
 The Hill (blog)
all 308
WDSU New Orleans-The Root
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The Most Important Story in the GOP Race Isn't About Donald Trump - New York Times

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New York Times

The Most Important Story in the GOP Race Isn't About Donald Trump
New York Times
Donald Trump is dominating the news media and the Internet. He is leading in the polls. But even as journalists scour those surveys for signs of whether his surge will last, an important story with the potential to decide the race is being overlooked ...
The Note: Donald Trump Is Still on Top (For Now)ABC News
Donald Trump solidifies his lead among Republicans in latest pollLos Angeles Times 
The GOP's deeply flawed fieldWashington Post
MSNBC-TheBlaze.com-CNN International
all 229 news articles »

Herzog to Abbas: Peace deal can be reached within two years - Jerusalem Post Israel News

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Jerusalem Post Israel News

Herzog to Abbas: Peace deal can be reached within two years
Jerusalem Post Israel News
“The recent terrorist attacks could lead to a third intifada, which we must prevent with all the tools we have,” opposition leader says in Ramallah. Isaac Herzog. Opposition leader Isaac Herzog meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in ...
The Post-Abbas Palestinian National StruggleISN
'Minor' Stabbings, Major ThreatsArutz Sheva
TERROR IN WAITING? List of possible Palestinian chiefs a terrorist who's whoBayoubuzz
The Times of Israel
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Cecil the lion killer's dentist office reopens - USA TODAY

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Cecil the lion killer's dentist office reopens
The dentist office of Dr. Walter Palmer, the hunter who was internationally shamed for killing a famed lion named Cecil, has opened its doors for the first time in about a month - without their lead dentist. Loading… Post to Facebook. Cecil the lion ...
Landowner appears in court over Cecil huntRTE.ie
Zimbabwe court charges game park owner over illegal hunt of Cecil the lionThe Star Online
I support hunting. So should you.Boston Globe
Albany Times Union
all 53 news articles »

Putin shows his love for stunts by riding to the bottom of the Black Sea to ... - Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Putin shows his love for stunts by riding to the bottom of the Black Sea to ...
Minneapolis Star Tribune
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken a small submersible craft down to the bottom of the Black Sea to see an ancient ship recently discovered off the coast of Crimea. Putin, who has a penchant for adventurous stunts, previously explored ...

and more »
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How to Trump jury duty, in 10 easy steps - Washington Post

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Washington Post

How to Trump jury duty, in 10 easy steps
Washington Post
Donald Trump isn't the first presidential candidate to get called for jury duty. He isn't even the first 2016 presidential candidate to get called for jury duty over the past year or so. (Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were ...
Poll: Trump retains big GOP lead, post-debateUSA TODAY
Donald Trump Leads in New Poll Despite Electability DoubtsTIME
US Poll: Trump Leading Republican Presidential CandidatesVoice of America
Huffington Post
New York Times -ABC News
all 315 
news articles »

European Union border agency: Number of migrants entering EU hits new monthly ... - Fox News

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Fox News

European Union border agency: Number of migrants entering EU hits new monthly ...
Fox News
A migrant child waits to try to board a dinghy with others to start their journey from the coastal town of Bodrum, Turkey, to the nearby Greek island of Kos, early Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. The migrants failed on this effort, returned ashore and were ...
EU Border Agency: Migrants Hit New Monthly Record in JulyNew York Times
Spike in Pakistani migrants hazarding perilous Aegean journey from Turkey to ...The Express Tribune
Nearly 21000 migrants hit Greek shores last weekGlobalPost
Journal of Turkish Weekly -Times of Oman
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Is Donald Trump sinking Scott Walker? - Christian Science Monitor

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Christian Science Monitor

Is Donald Trump sinking Scott Walker?
Christian Science Monitor
The rise of Donald Trump in the Republican presidential race has coincided with a fall for Scott Walker. Now, Governor Walker is shifting strongly to the right on immigration. By Peter Grier, Staff writer August 18, 2015. Save for later Saved. close ...
Hillary Clinton is still trying to get Spanish media to forget what she said ...Vox
Scott Walker: 'We Can Take on Any Fight'ABC News
Maybe Hillary Clinton just isn't a very good candidateWashington Post
Bloomberg -NPR -Press Examiner
all 1,523 news articles »

Russia's Stunt-Loving Putin Rides to Bottom of Black Sea - New York Times

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Russia's Stunt-Loving Putin Rides to Bottom of Black Sea
New York Times
MOSCOW — Another summer, another trip to the bottom of a sea for Russia's adventure-loving president. Vladimir Putin climbed into a three-seat submersible craft Tuesday to check out an ancient sunken ship found recently in the Black Sea off the coast ...
Stunt-loving Putin speaks to Russians from bottom of Black SeaMiami Herald
Russia masks unemployment with Soviet-era tacticsTelegraph.co.uk 
Crimea: Putin blames Kyiv for Ukraine violence, warns Tatars not to expect...euronews
UPI.com-Press Herald
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Marco Rubio's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (so far) - Washington Post

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Washington Post

Marco Rubio's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (so far)
Washington Post
Search Sen. Marco Rubio on Twitter right now, and this is the top news story: Rubio. It's from a left-leaning blog with a clear agenda to make the Florida senator and 2016 presidential candidate look bad, true. But it's a good metaphor for the kind of ...
Rubio calls for reformed economic policies in Iowa soapbox speechUSA TODAY
Marco Not-a-QB-oGawker

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Donald Trump says he’s Batman. Here are 15 reasons why he might just be right.

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OVER THE WEEKEND in Iowa, as you may well know, a “Batman” became a Bat-meme. The scene unfolded above the state fair, where the Des Moines airspace met the churn of The Donald’s hairspace.
Candidate Trump, as if channeling the wily senior politician opposite Robert Redford in “The Candidate” or Burt Lancaster’s eccentric oilman mogul in “Local Hero,” arrived from the skies like he was descending from Olympus. He landed among the fair and good people of Iowa in a Trump copter that, as The Post reported, kicked up an apt metaphor of a duststorm. Then, in canny (and canned) fashion, the leading GOP contender offered rides to some of the cheering children. One of these kids, 9-year-old William, was savvy enough (though we hope not staged enough) to be toting a GoPro camera.
“Mr. Trump?” inquired the lens-wielding William.
“Yes?” said The Helicopter Don.
“Are you Batman?”
“I am Batman.”
And with those words, and William’s subsequent Facebook clip, the Internet responded to that Bat-signal like japing crusaders with meme art and #BatTrump hashtags at the ready.
It’s tough to picture Trump trading his navy blazer for a purple-black cape, so the Internet spasmed with laughter, giddy over this political theater of the absurd. And yet — yes, and yet — is Donald Trump really so different from fellow moneyman Bruce Wayne?
To peer beneath their masks for a moment, here are 15 ways in which Trump and Wayne/Batman aren’t so different:
1. Both men were born in Gotham during the World War II era. (Wayne debuted in 1939; Trump in 1946.)
2. They both have been fond of the distinguishing article in their singular nickname (“The Bat-Man” or “The Donald”).
3. One is a 6-foot-2 American billionaire who likes to emblazon a civic phallic symbol with his name. The other is, well, a 6-foot-2 American billionaire who likes to emblazon pretty much anything big with his name.
4. They both have self-named structures in Midtown (Wayne Tower and Trump Tower) over 50 stories high, from which they can survey their city.
5. Each is forever on the lookout for a large spotlight.
6. Their highly intelligent fathers profoundly influenced what career each son chose.
7. Each man has Scottish ties. (Trump on his mother’s side; Batman co-creator Bill Finger has said that Bruce Wayne was partly named for Scotland’s Robert Bruce.)
8. Each man is rather fond of having an apprentice or young sidekick to mold and scold, to banter with and correct.
9. Each man has appeared in a narrative alongside a younger female named Holly Robinson.
10. Each has an uneasy relationship with what he views as an “alien” presence, whether that be an immigrant from Mexico or Krypton.
11. Each is eminently fond of private, sometimes custom helicopters, boats and planes.
12. Forbes has valued the fortune of each man at more than $4 billion. (In the case of Bruce Wayne: roughly $7 billion).
13. Both men have ties to people whose residence has been positively filled with cats (be it Selina Kyle or Chuck Blazer).
14. Batman and Trump have both had network series for which they have received Emmy nominations. And each has also appeared as an animated character.
15. Contrary to the perception of some, neither man actually possesses a single superpower.
Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.
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Scott Walker immigration flip shows how Trump is reshaping 2016 race - Christian Science Monitor

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Christian Science Monitor

Scott Walker immigration flip shows how Trump is reshaping 2016 race
Christian Science Monitor
The rise of Donald Trump in the Republican presidential race has coincided with a fall for Scott Walker. Now, Governor Walker is shifting strongly to the right on immigration. By Peter Grier, Staff writer August 18, 2015. Save for later Saved. close ...
Donald Trump says he's Batman. Here are 15 reasons why he might just be right.Washington Post
US Presidential Frontrunners Face Different ChallengesVoice of America
Hillary Clinton is still trying to get Spanish media to forget what she said ...Vox
Huffington Post -MSNBC -Madison.com
all 2,637 news articles »

Moscow-based Church of Scientology allegedly spied on visitors 

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Police sources say a raid on the Moscow headquarters of the Church of Scientology earlier this year revealed spy equipment installed in reconciliation rooms. A leak claims the recordings could allegedly be used to blackmail parishioners of the church.
Illegal audio and video recording equipment was planted in the headquarters of a religious organization situated on Taganskaya Street in downtown Moscow, says Russia’s Investigative Committee representative Yulia Ivanova.
“As part of criminal action a search was made in the premises occupied by the religious association. The search revealed special technical devices, used for surreptitious obtaining of information, being installed in the personal interview rooms,” Ivanova said, adding that investigation on the issue continues in order to determine who, if anybody, was at fault.
Initial reports about a search being made in the Church of Scientology headquarters in the center of the Russian capital emerged in late January.
LifeNews media outlet reports that a search warrant was issued after police received a tip that a variety of recording devices, including microphones and cameras, had been secretly installed in the Church of Scientology and routinely used by its members.
Technical devices have been allegedly detected in rooms where confidential conversations with people – so-called ‘auditing’ – took place, LifeNews reported. Aсcording to its police sources, Moscow’s Church of Scientology recorded interviews between visitors and auditors allegedly to later blackmail the former.
A police source told RIA Novosti that “most probably, the recordings were later analyzed to reveal a ‘touchy subject’ of wealthy visitors and to hold it against them. Possibly also to blackmail, which now is the subject of an investigation.”
Scientology, founded in 1952 by L. Ron Hubbard, is often accused by critics of being a cult and a commercial enterprise. Dubbed as one of the most controversial new religions of the 20th century, it teaches that people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature. According to Hubbard, “a civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology.”
The Church of Scientology previously came under the radar of Russian law enforcement authorities back in the 1990s, when intelligence agencies came across questionnaires that Hubbard’s followers distributed to potential members. A thorough analysis of the booklets showed that they met all the criteria for ‘hosting professional intelligence activities’, LifeNews reports.
People were not only asked about their marital status, religious beliefs, interests, income and hobbies, but for instance, if this or that person had previously served in the military, Scientologists found out the particular number of his unit and the exact whereabouts of the weapons storage sites.
“Signs of a destructive, totalitarian sect have been found in their activities,” a former employee of the department for combating organized crime in Moscow, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told LifeNews.
“This sect does not give one any freedom of choice. People are given no chance to leave. They are being kept on a short leash instead, constantly put under pressure. A person becomes dependent on the sect members by virtue of the information that he had given them,” the source added.
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U.S. military probe of Afghan shooting found Bales' camp had lax discipline

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The month before he killed 16 Afghan civilians in a shooting rampage, Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales bloodied the nose of an Afghan truck driver in an assault that was not reported to his camp commanders, according to a report released on Tuesday.


Islamic State militants behead archaeologist in Palmyra: Syrian official

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DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Islamic State (IS) militants beheaded an antiquities scholar in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and hung his body on a column in a main square of the historic site, Syria's antiquities chief said on Tuesday.

Rogelio Livieres Plano, Bishop Ousted by Pope Francis, Dies at 69 

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Bishop Livieres, a conservative clergyman in Paraguay, sheltered a priest accused of molestation and made him vicar general, responsible for handling accusations of sexual abuse.

Obama's Iran deal may well survive on Capitol Hill

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fiercely contested Iran nuclear deal will likely survive in Congress despite unified GOP opposition and some Democratic defections, the top Senate Republican says. That would mean a major foreign policy win for President Barack Obama....
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