Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Decisive Primaries Prompt Presidential Chatter on Capitol Hillby (Michael Bowman) Wednesday April 27th, 2016 at 7:20 PM

Decisive Primaries Prompt Presidential Chatter on Capitol Hill

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Democratic lawmakers have told VOA they are now assuming a presidential contest pitting Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump, while some Republicans still cling to hopes their party will nominate someone other than the New York businessman. The assessments came one day after Trump swept five primary contests and former secretary of state Clinton won four. Both front-runners dramatically expanded their respective delegate leads, although they did not clinch their party’s presidential...

Ahead of rare North Korea Congress, money trumps Party for most

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SEOUL (Reuters) - Kim Dan-bi's brother is the model of the establishment North Korean: an army veteran and member of the ruling Workers' Party, he is now a manager at a state enterprise.

A Warning About the Secret 9/11 Pages 

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The leaders of the commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks say Americans should be cautious in interpreting the pages, which could be released soon.

FBI admits to giving flawed testimony for decades - Boing Boing

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Boing Boing

FBI admits to giving flawed testimony for decades
Boing Boing
An "elite FBI forensic unit" admitted that for two decades, nearly every examiner "gave flawed testimony" (aka lied) about hair sample evidence in criminal trials. And geepers, they sure feel bad about all those people who were executed in prison ...

Trump outlines foreign policy strategy: America first

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Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump outlined his vision for the nation’s defense strategy Wednesday in his first major speech on the topic. The speech centered on the five main weaknesses he sees in President Barack Obama’s current foreign policy.

The CIA Illegally Let the Wrong People Do Intelligence Work, Declassified Report Finds - VICE

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The CIA Illegally Let the Wrong People Do Intelligence Work, Declassified Report Finds
The CIA violated federal laws and its own internal regulations by hiring independent contractors for a wide variety of intelligence and national security-related work that was supposed to be performed by government employees, according to a CIA Office ...

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Trump Promises To Rebuild the Military, Make Allies Pay More

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Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump outlined his “America first” foreign policy platform Wednesday, promising to build up the U.S. military, force allies to invest more in defense and emphasize stability over what he called nation-building overreach.

Report: Government Agencies Not Doing Enough To Protect IT Systems - NewsFactor Network

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NewsFactor Network

Report: Government Agencies Not Doing Enough To Protect IT Systems
NewsFactor Network
"How does the FBI get to decide whether or not their iPhone [zero]-day should be submitted to the multi-agency review?" Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist and a senior policy analyst with the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, asked ...
How The FBI Dodges Compliance With The 'Vulnerability Equities Process'Tom's Hardware

all 183 news articles »

Trump emphasizes 'America First' in rare foreign policy speech

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April 27, 2016, 9:59 PM (IDT)
Frontrunning US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump laid out the main points of his foreign policy in a 45-minute speech in Washington on Wednesday.
The main points were as follows:
A Trump administration will pursue a policy of “America First.” According to the candidate, US President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton concentrated on building up other countries while the US has deteriorated and lost the respect it deserves. He said "we're getting out of the nation-building business" but expressed readiness to help other nations if they contribute to the effort. The Republican frontrunner said Obama and Clinton focused on protecting other countries’ borders without protecting those of the US, calling their foreign policy “a complete and total disaster”  
Under a Trump administration, he said, every foreign policy step would be based on the interests of the US and the American people. The US has to conduct its foreign policy based on an understanding that other countries have to abide by Washington’s rules, and every country that seeks US military and economic assistance needs to cooperate, according to the candidate. He stated that the rebuilding of the US military’s strength would be a main part of his foreign policy.
Regarding ties with Moscow and Beijing, Trump said “I believe an easing of tensions...with Russia, from a position of strength only, is possible,” and that “China respects strength,” but the US has lost all respect by “letting them take advantage of us.”
The real estate mogul also slammed Obama and Clinton’s Middle East policy, accusing them of creating chaos that allowed Russia, Iran and ISIS to step into the void. He said Obama and Clinton transformed Iran into a “great power” in the Middle East and vowed that “Iran would not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.”
Trump cited Israel as an example of what he called the damage that Obama has caused to US foreign policy. He asserted Obama is not a friend of Israel and accused the president and Clinton of pushing regional allies such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt away from Washington.
Regarding the war on ISIS, Trump said “Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must as a nation must be more unpredictable.” He vowed to fight all terror organizations and radical Islam, and said NATO needs to be rebuilt so that it can conduct the war against ISIS and Islamic radicalism.     

The European Union always was a CIA project, as Brexiteers discover -

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The European Union always was a CIA project, as Brexiteers discover
The key CIA front was the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), chaired by Donovan. Another document shows that it provided 53.5 per cent of the European movement's funds in 1958. The board included Walter Bedell Smith and Allen Dulles, ... 

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White House blasts Cotton for failed amendment on Iran nuclear deal 

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After Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas failed Wednesday in a bid to restrict President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, the White House decided to give the lawmaker a kick in the pants for good measure.
Referring to Mr. Cotton's amendment to stop the U.S. from purchasing heavy water used ...

Ex-FBI Agent Accused of Lying in Bulger Case to Plead Guilty - ABC News

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WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

Ex-FBI Agent Accused of Lying in Bulger Case to Plead Guilty
ABC News
A former FBI agent charged with perjury for lying during his testimony in the trial of Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger intends to plead guilty, according to a motion filed in court Wednesday by his lawyer and federal prosecutors. Robert ...
Accused of perjury, Ex-FBI agent from RI reaches agreement with prosecutorsWPRI 12 Eyewitness News
Ex-FBI Agent Charged With Perjury Amid Bulger Trial To Plead GuiltyWBUR

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US using Israel's controversial 'roof knocking' tactic in Iraq

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"Roof knocking" is a controversial Israeli military practice used in the Gaza Strip. It works on a simple logic designed to minimize civilian casualties. Occupants of a building are given a warning a few minutes before a military strike.

David Johnson Named Associate Executive Assistant Director for the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch - Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) (blog)

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David Johnson Named Associate Executive Assistant Director for the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch
Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) (blog)
FBI Director James BComey has named David Johnson as the associate executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. In this role, he will support the FBI's cyber and criminal investigations, international operations ...

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FACT CHECK: Hillary Clinton Says She ‘Did Not Put Down Conditions’ to Support Obama in 2008 

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Hillary Clinton said that Bernie Sanders should follow the example she set in 2008 when she threw her support behind then-Sen. Barack Obama without putting down “conditions,” but a look back to 2008 shows that Clinton refused to step aside until Obama promised to help her with her campaign debt.
In her Monday interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Clinton said her decision to drop out of the race and tell her supporters to get behind Obama was not the result of negotiation.
“Let’s look at what happened in 2008, because that’s the closest example,” Clinton said. “We got to the end in June and I did not put down conditions. I didn’t say, ‘You know what, if Senator Obama does X, Y, and Z, maybe I’ll support him.’ I said, ‘I am supporting Senator Obama, because no matter what our differences might be, they pale in comparison to the differences between us and the Republicans.’”
“That is what I think one does,” Clinton concluded. “That is certainly what I did and I hope that we will see the same this year.”
Here’s video of the full remark:
Although Clinton said she threw her support behind Obama without preconditions, a stroll down memory lane indicates she strayed from the truth.
Reports from early June 2008 show that the Obama campaign’s willingness to assist Clinton with the massive campaign debt she had amassed was a major sticking point when it came to her political surrender.
Top Clinton adviser Harold Ickes told major campaign donors that Clinton “was unlikely to pull out of the race until the issue of her massive debts was resolved,” according to a June 3, 2008, report from the Daily Telegraph, which also indicated that negotiations were in progress.
“It’s not about the vice-presidency or any other position she might get,” a source close to a donor said. “It’s about the money—in particular the Clinton family money.”
“The Obama campaign might have to reach deeply into its well-stocked coffers in order to secure the full support of Mrs. Clinton and her husband Bill in the November general election,” wrote theTelegraph’s Toby Harnden.
The Clinton campaign was more than $22 million in debt at the time, and $12 million of that was money Clinton had loaned to the campaign herself.
Clinton dropped out of the race less than a week after the report, asking supporters to put their energy into getting Obama elected.
CNN reported weeks later that Obama reached out to his campaign donors asking them to help Clinton with her campaign debt. Obama said the same day that he, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Clinton would be “working closely together over the next couple of weeks to put together a plan” for them both to be involved in the campaign.
On the same day, Bill Clinton said in an official statement that he was “committed to doing whatever he can” for Obama.
The Clinton campaign did not return a request for comment.
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NSA surveillance has had chilling effect on Internet browsing: report 

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A "chilling effects" study published Tuesday in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal concludes that Internet users became less likely to browse Wikipedia for privacy-sensitive articles after the scope of the government's online surveillance was revealed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Jonathon Penney, a PhD candidate at Oxford, looked at statistics ...

Karachaevo-Cherkessia’s Leadership Sidelines a Popular Politician

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A large-scale scandal was unleashed in Karachaevo-Cherkessia, after the republican branch of the United Russia party refused to register a popular politician, Aliy Totorkulov, as a candidate in the party’s primaries. Totorkulov is the chairman of the Russian Congress of Peoples of the Caucasus and the founder of Elbrusoid, a foundation for the development of Karachaevo-Cherkessian youth. According to the politician, the governor of the republic, Rashid Temrezov, did not want him to run in the primaries of the United Russia party’s republican chapter, because he wanted a fully pliant figure in the Russian parliament rather than an independent candidate like Totorkulov (Kommersant, April 26).
United Russia is trying out the mechanism of primary elections as a way to select the strongest possible candidates. However, the party appears to be blocking popular candidates to protect the power of the existing clans. Since United Russia is the country’s ruling party, which receives the vast majority of votes and the support of President Vladimir Putin, nearly every politician who wants to make a career in the government or have an impact on the country’s politics by using the political machinery of the United Russia party for such goals. However, the swelling of the party’s ranks has led to numerous internal rifts; many divergent political forces are competing against each other within United Russia. The effect of the conflict inside United Russia is particularly profound in multiethnic republics like Karachaevo-Cherkessia.
Elections to the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, are scheduled to take place in September 2016. On May 22, United Russia is holding primaries across the country. The primary process is not limited to United Russia party members: civil activists and supporters of the party can also promote themselves as candidates. Totorkulov, who was not formally a member of United Russia, was one such candidate. The party chose to have relatively open primaries because its popularity is diminishing and is searching for “new blood,” including the search for popular public figures who were not members of United Russia but willing to run on its list. Still, the elites in Karachaevo-Cherkessia have been fighting hard to exclude politicians like Totorkulov, who was kept off the party’s list for alleged actions that “discredit United Russia and the political interests of the party” even though he was not a party member. Totorkulov is still planning to take part in the elections, but as an independent candidate or a member of a different party (, April 15).
Sulieta Kusova-Chukho, a well-known journalist in the northwestern Caucasus, noted with irony that it was quite hard to discredit the United Russia party more than the party itself had done. In order to undermine the party’s credibility further, “one would have to sneak into the ranks of the party as a terrorist or a cannibal,” he wrote (Kavkazskaya Politika, April 20).
United Russia’s reputation has, indeed, been significantly tarnished in the past several years. Arguably, the most damage to the party was done by civil activist and anti-corruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny, who exposed corruption inside United Russia and coined the name “Party of Swindlers and Thieves,” which stuck to United Russia for a while. However, since political power and information are monopolized in Russia, other parties find it hard to compete with the ruling party. Practically the entire government apparatus, at all levels, works in favor of the United Russia party. For example, in Moscow, the local administration puts up special “information boards” at every entrance of the apartment block, each featuring a United Russia candidate. These boards remain untouched because they are officially approved while the flyers of other parties are regularly removed by the janitors (, April 24). When relatively “soft” measures do not help, the government reverts to the overt persecution of the opposition, including Navalny’s Fund for Combatting Corruption (, April 20).
Meanwhile, the experts warn that the continuing economic decline in the country is likely to produce popular protests, and the government has to have some people to communicate with the protesters. The existing political institutions and political figures have become so detached from the actual life that they will be unlikely able to manage the upcoming crisis. The sense of an impending crisis in relations between the state and the population in Russia can be observed in the writings of analysts (Kavkazskaya Politika, April 20), as well as in the Russian government’s preparations for dispersing crowds of people protesting against economic hardship (Ekho Moskvy, April 23).
The disconnect between the government and the population is arguably the worst in the North Caucasus because Moscow handpicked the leaders of the region’s republics and excluded people from the political process for such a long time. This puts the North Caucasus regional authorities in a precarious state. Ironically, President Vladimir Putin recently called on United Russia to promote the inflow of “new blood” into the party to improve the party’s leadership positions (, April 20).
However, as the jockeying within the elite of Karachaevo-Cherkessia indicates, United Russia is highly resistant to change. Indeed, Russia’s ruling party is likely to remain immune to internal political changes because it is essentially the party of the bureaucracy—a reincarnation of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union that can be removed from power only through a large-scale political crisis.
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Lukashenka’s Report to the Nation: Rhetoric Versus Reality

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On April 21, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka delivered his annual “report to the Belarusian people and the National Assembly [parliament].” When speaking about the economy, Lukashenka did not use the words “crisis” or even “decline”; yet, he recognized the country’s inadequate labor productivity and competitiveness (, April 21). He also acknowledged that without foreign direct investments, which have already reached $1.5 billion so far in 2016, it would be impossible to return to growth. He paid particular attention to the upcoming resumption of the credit line by the International Monetary Fund IMF, which he called “not a panacea but an indicator of openness of our economy” (, April 21). He envisaged job cuts at major Belarusian industrial giants and urged the government to create 50,000 new jobs to employ those laid off. He acknowledged that the retirement age (see EDM, April 19) should have long been increased, but that the negative experience of pension reform in Russia and Ukraine convinced him that Minsk was right for not reforming the system haphazardly (, April 21).
For the umpteenth time, the Belarusian president stated that the all too routine zero-sum-game query—Are you with Russia or with the West?—is pointless. There is no way to choose. “Russia is our strategic partner… But the high-tech West is not indifferent to us either.” Lukashenka, however, observed that criticism of Belarus’s foreign policy most frequently emanates from Russia. On the contrary, “the European Union and the United States are advising us to conduct a dialogue with all international partners… I would like Russians, especially the country’s leaders, to understand: We are not going to be their bottle-washers. We are an independent sovereign state; with you we share a house, but in it we have a however small but separate apartment… And certain structures in Russia should stop talking about some soft Belarusization and turning away from them to some other side.”
The Belarusian president observed that Russia does not always abide by its obligations within the Union State. The Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MWTP) is a case in point. It produces tractor trailers for transporting Russian ballistic missiles. Russia has long declared its desire to buy the plant, but the sides have not agreed about the price. “I cannot understand why Premier [Dmitry] Medvedev would visit Kamaz [the truck factory in Naberezhnye Chelny, Russia] and suggest they set up the respective production line there since Belarusians decline selling their plant. What about our agreement not to open competing production lines? We also have interests in Russia. We buy from them 22 million tons of oil and 25 billion cubic meters of natural gas. So in exchange for the MWTP, why not you give us an oilfield so we could extract 10 million tons of oil from it?” (, April 21). Such trademark Lukashenka diatribes in regard to Russia have long become habitual.
Even more habitual are the refrains of criticism of his remarks. Thus, two doyens of domestic opposition-minded journalism, Alexander Klaskovsky and Valer Karbalevich, have likened Lukashenka’s speech—in its tenor and wording—to typical speeches made by Soviet leaders. In particular, they disparaged the Belarusian president for not recognizing the scale of the economic catastrophe when, in fact, the dollar value of monthly salaries has declined from more than $600 in 2014, to $307 on April 1, 2016. Instead, Klaskovsky and Karbalevich complained, Lukashenka glossed over the real problems (, April 24) and expressed no commitment to structural reforms. Furthermore, they argued, in his speech, Lukashenka did not abandon the failed idea of “brotherly” Eurasian integration, but maintained his Soviet-era leadership style (, April 21).
A peculiar contrast to these habitual refrains is an article by Igor Tyshkevich, a Belarusian journalist living and working in Ukraine. Published just a day before Lukashenka’s speech before the parliament, it points to Belarus’s success in three areas: foreign policy, government cadres, and economic reform (Hvylya, April 20). Whereas Ukraine’s experience, Tyshkevich claims, showed dangers of balancing along the Russia-EU axis, Belarus took precautions, including improvement in its relations with the US as well as cooperation with China. The “Polonez” multiple launch rocket system was developed apart from Russia and then tested in China. China and India also reportedly helped Belarus to squeeze out a Russian competitor from a diamond extraction business in Zimbabwe.
From 2013 to 2016, Belarus effectively conducted a cadre revolution, Tyshkevich wrote. The leadership of all the ministries, including the department chairs, has changed. Now, the average age of ministers and deputy ministers of justice, economy, industry, transport, natural resources and agriculture ranges from 46 to 49 years. The average age of the department chiefs in the ministry of finance is 39; and the first deputy minister of the economy is 34. Most of the new appointees are outsiders in the corridors of power; many used to do research and/or received all or part of their university-level education in the West, like First Deputy Prime Minister Vasily Matyushevsky, a graduate of the London Business School. Belarus is ahead of schedule in the EU’s MOST program, which provides internships in Europe for 1,500 government and business specialists from Belarus during 2016–2017 (, accessed April 27).
Finally, the government is clearly moving forward on promised reforms. Within just two months, Belarus has increased the retirement age, removed several price controls, and cut back on utility subsidies. In contrast, Ukrainian authorities have been arguing about these identical measures for the past two years. Moreover, Belarus’s leaders have been open about the fact that living standards in the country are expected to worsen at least for the next 1.5–2 years. Social guarantees in Belarus are also less generous than in Ukraine. The minimal duration of work required for a social pension is 20 years, and it does not include service in the army, years spent on a college education, or maternity and sick leaves (Hvylya, April 20).
It could be that out of a desire to teach an edifying lesson to Ukraine, Tyshkevich blew the Belarusian case out of proportion. But it actually does not seem likely. Many positive trends and developments in Belarus are indeed either not articulated or deliberately couched in general terms. After all, “Big Brother” (i.e. Russia) is watching. But if this is the case, it is actually worth learning more about, not shrugging off.
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Professor gets $715,000 DOD grant for Gulf War illness research

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A Peoria, Ill.-based medical school professor has received $715,000 from the U.S. Department of Defense to investigate what might have caused Gulf War illness.

Inside the Ring: Missile test surge 

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U.S. intelligence agencies that monitor foreign missile tests have been working overtime in the past several weeks keeping tabs on test firings by China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.
The surge in missile tests began April 12 in central China with Beijing's newest and longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile, the DF-41. ...

House adds protections for Stars and Stripes funding to defense budget

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The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday added a measure to its annual defense budget bill protecting Stars and Stripes funding amid a Pentagon review.

Names Of Russia's Elite Vanish From Public Property Records - RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

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Names Of Russia's Elite Vanish From Public Property Records
Billionaire Kirill Shamalov, who is widely reported to be Vladimir Putin's son-in-law, is one of a number of wealthy or influential Russians who seem to have had their names removed from property records. (file photo) ...

Progress Cited, Challenges Remain Against IS

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Islamic State is “clearly on the defensive and losing ground,” but remains a dangerous threat, says the United States and about two dozen other members of a counter-IS coalition that met Wednesday in Kuwait. In a joint statement, the Small Group of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL cited the extremist group’s recent attacks in countries including Belgium, France and Tunisia as evidence of its continued dangers. “We understand its lasting defeat will require a long, difficult effort,” said the group. The group, however, said Islamic State had been degraded in other significant ways. “It has been losing its leaders at a high rate and has lost large numbers of fighters,” it said. The U.S. interagency delegation was led by Brett McGurk, special envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. The Kuwait News Agency said he told the group that coalition airstrikes had been drying up Islamic State resources and had lowered “oil production by at least 30 percent.” A senior State Department official said the group discussed all aspects of the counter-IS campaign in Iraq and Syria. In recent weeks, Iraqi forces have made progress in regaining territory seized by Islamic State, but world powers have expressed concerns that political tensions in Baghdad could undermine progress. On Monday, thousands of Iraqi protesters took to the streets calling for reforms as a divided parliament debated a Cabinet reorganization. In its statement, the small group said it supports Baghdad’s “commitment to pursue reforms and comprehensive dialogue to achieve inclusiveness and national reconciliation.” In Syria, a fragile cease-fire is showing signs of fraying, partly due to the Russian-backed Syrian regime’s continued bombing of rebel targets. “We call for the end of indiscriminate bombing and actions deliberately intended to block humanitarian assistance, for which the Syrian regime bears the primary responsibility,” said the group.   The group last met for a ministerial-level meeting attended by Secretary of State John Kerry in February in Rome.  Its next meeting will be in Washington in July.

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Trump's new right-hand man has history of controversial clients and deals 

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Paul Manafort’s track record may create new headaches for a campaign that has been criticized for weak foreign policy credentials and controversial stances
For almost four decades, Donald Trump’s newly installed senior campaign adviser, Paul Manafort, has managed to juggle two different worlds: well-known during US election season as a shrewd and tough political operative, he also boasts a hefty résumé as a consultant to or lobbyist for controversial foreign leaders and oligarchs with unsavory reputations.
The controversial clients Manafort has represented have paid him and his firms millions of dollars and form a who’s who of authoritarian leaders and scandal-plagued businessmen in Ukraine, Russia, the Philippines and more. On some occasions, Manafort has become involved in business deals that have sparked litigation and allegations of impropriety.
Manafort’s past work in ​​Ukraine 'absolutely should cast a shadow on Trump’s campaign'
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Trump Pledges Better Relations With Russia - RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

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Trump Pledges Better Relations With Russia
WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has vowed to seek improved relations with Russia and China if he is elected to the White House, saying Washington and Moscow "should seek common ground ...
Trump vows to 'ease tensions' with Russia, China if elected presidentFRANCE 24

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120 Arrested in Record Gang Bust in New York

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More than 100 gang members have been arrested in New York, in what the authorities are calling the largest gang takedown in the city's history. "Today, we seek to eviscerate two violent street gangs that have allegedly wreaked havoc on the streets of the northern Bronx for years by committing countless acts of violence against rival gang members and innocents alike," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Wednesday. Two gangs, "2 Fly YGZ" and "The Big Money Bosses" have been "at war" with each other for nearly a decade, Bharara said. The 120 members and associates of the gangs were charged with racketeering, narcotics, and firearms offenses. The early morning raids involved hundreds of law enforcement officers from the New York Police Department and federal agencies, some using helicopters and armored vehicles to round up the suspects. Some material for this report came from AFP and Reuters.

Moscow Tries but Fails to Hide that Russia is Becoming Ever Less Russian, Experts Say 

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Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 27 – Although Moscow has stopped publishing data on the national composition of the population except in decennial censuses, more frequently issued data on population growth in federal subjects shows something the Kremlin is not anxious to acknowledge: Russia is becoming ever less Russian, the Guild of Inter-Ethnic Journalism says.

            On the basis of an analysis of population figures from Russia’s regions and republics, that country’s pre-eminent organization of journalists covering ethnic issues says that Russia’s population may again be growing albeit slowly but that it is quickly becoming ever more non-Russian (

            That is because the non-Russian republics are contributing to a significant portion of the overall increase in population while the Russian oblasts and krays continue in almost all cases to be at zero population growth or even in decline.

            For example, the Guild’s experts say, three republics in the Caucasus – Chechnya, Daghestan and Ingushetia “compensate for the continuing decline of population in the ‘Russian’ oblasts of central Russia, with the North Caucasus federal district as a whole increasing the population by 77,000, twice the decline of the Russian areas.

            Ferreting out data on changes in the ethnic composition of the Russian Federation has become more difficult in recent years, the experts continue, because “the nationality line has disappeared not only from the passports of the citizens of [Russia] but also from the data reports of Rosstat.” As a result, one can reach conclusions only by a comparative analysis.”

            Thus, “if one compares the ethnic composition of territories with decreasing and increasing population, then it is possible to suggest that the percent of representatives of Caucasian peoples in the European part of the country is growth while that of the Slavic peoples is decreasing.”

            The same pattern holds in other federal districts. In the Urals federal district, just two regions, the Khanty-Mansiisk and Yamalo-Nenets autonomous districts were responsible for 78.6 percent of the growth,” covering large losses in population in places like the overwhelmingly Russian Kurgan oblast.

            The two districts with growth have been drawing people from Central Asia and the Caucasus, “and the ethnic composition of these regions also is changing in the direction of the Turkic and Caucasus peoples.” The high birthrates found in each would not have happened without their arrival.

            In the Siberian federal district, the four national republics – Altay, Buryatia, Tuva and Khakasia – accounted for 55.6 percent of the 22,400 increase in the population, while the overwhelmingly Russian 90 and 93 percent respectively Kemerovo oblast and Altay kray “showed depopulation.”

            And in the Far Eastern federal district, the growth in population Moscow has trumpeted has depended almost exclusively on a national republic, Sakha.

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Trump Outlines Bold But Vague Foreign Policy Doctrine

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Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump outlined his foreign policy views Wednesday in a speech in Washington, the day after sweeping five primaries in the northeast U.S. that moved him much closer to his party’s presidential nomination. Trump’s speech was heavily critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy but noticeably thin on detail, as VOA National correspondent Jim Malone reports.

US military searches for Kabul Attack Network members - Long War Journal

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The Nation

US military searches for Kabul Attack Network members
Long War Journal
The US military made an unusual public plea for information yesterday in its hunt for eight members of a terrorist network which is plotting attacks in four provinces in eastern Afghanistan. The organization, known as the Kabul Attack Network, is...
With Kunduz in crosshairs again, Afghan forces draw on past mistakesReuters
Facilitating terrorism in KabulThe Nation 
Pakistan says has taken steps to root out militants in WaziristanReuters Canada

Pakistan Christian Post-Kashmir Images-Voice of America -Daily Mail
all 79 
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Suicide Bomber Wounds at Least Seven in Turkey

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A suicide attack wounded at least seven people in the northwestern Turkish city of Bursa, a popular tourist destination. Authorities said that a woman blew herself up near the main mosque of the city, killing herself. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Turkey has been hit by a series of suicide bombings this year, including two in Istanbul, the country’s largest city, which were claimed by Islamic State and two in the capital Ankara claimed by a Kurdish...

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Former NATO Ambassador Urges Alliance to Counter Russian Narrative 

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NATO should actively counter the Kremlin's claim that the Western military alliance is expanding with the aim of threatening Russia, says a former U.S. ambassador to NATO. Russia's new national security strategy, signed by President Vladimir Putin earlier this year, identifies NATO expansion as the number one threat to Russia. It says that the alliance, led by the United States, is intensifying military activities in NATO member countries and “moving military infrastructure closer...

Donald Trump delivers speech on foreign policy plans - YouTube

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Published on Apr 27, 2016
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump outlined his goals for an "America-first" foreign policy in a speech on Wednesday.

При взрыве в турецком городе Бурса ранены семь человек - BBC Russian

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При взрыве в турецком городе Бурса ранены семь человек
BBC Russian
По меньшей мере семь человек ранены в результате взрыва бомбы в городе Бурса на северо-западе Турции. Как сообщили турецкие официальные лица, бомбу у Большой мечети Бурсы взорвала женщина-смертница. На фотографиях с места трагедии виден оторванный торс ...
Посольство России выясняет, пострадали ли россияне при теракте в БурсеРИА Новости
В турецком городе Бурса возле Большой мечети подорвалась террористка-смертница
Смертница подорвала себя в четвертом по величине городе ТурцииРБК
Росбалт.RU -Московский комсомолец -Вести.Ru
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Сбой в системе: почему отложили первый запуск с космодрома Восточный - РБК

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Сбой в системе: почему отложили первый запуск с космодрома Восточный
В среду утром был запланирован запуск первой ракеты с космодрома Восточный. Однако торжественного старта не получилось: автоматика дала отбой пуска ракеты за две минуты до старта. В среду в 5:01 мск был запланирован запуск первой ракеты с космодрома Восточный (11:01 ...
Путин требует своевременно реагировать на сбои при космических запускахРИА Новости
Почему все чаще ракеты не взлетают, а спутники падаютГазета.Ru
«Союзу» дадут вторую попыткуКоммерсантъ
Росбалт.RU -НТВ.ru -Московский комсомолец
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FBI used controversial WH review to tell... - The Hill

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FBI used controversial WH review to tell...
The Hill
The review panel has been in the spotlight since the FBI announced that it had purchased a “tool” to gain access to the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farrok. The device had been the epicenter of a fierce legal fight between the FBI ...

White House again on lockdown after incident at fence

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The White House was on lockdown Wednesday morning for the second time in two days after someone threw objects over a fence on the property.
The Secret Service said a man "threw personal belongings over the north fence line of the White House complex" around 10:30 a.m.
"The individual was ...
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Editorials from around New York 

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Recent editorials of statewide and national interest from New York's newspapers:
The Niagara Gazette on questions being asked about the effectiveness and future of New York's new medical marijuana law.
April 23
In the wake of all the debate over New York's new medical marijuana law, serious concerns have been ...

Duncan Hunter: Coast Guard needs its own drones

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Homeland Security officials regularly refuse to send out drones when the Coast Guard requests help with drug interdiction or search-and-rescue operations near the U.S. coast, a top House Republican said in a letter this week demanding answers.

The Coast Guard does not have its own fleet of land-based unmanned ...

Islamic State suffering from money shortage, low morale, Pentagon says 

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The number of new recruits joining the ranks of the Islamic State has drastically dwindled in recent months due largely to the terror group's growing inability to pay fighters, a top Pentagon official said Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. Peter E. Gersten, the deputy commander of the U.S. Defense Department's anti-Islamic State ...

TSA employees tell House panel: Poor leadership, retaliation undermining security 

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Ahead of a busy summer travel season and amid a stepped-up security presence at U.S. airports in the wake of the Brussels attacks, employees of the Transportation Security Administration say poor leadership and retaliation against those who report problems are undermining security.
The TSA has struggled to revamp security efforts ...

APNewsBreak: Suit seeks records tied to Ike's anti-gay order

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A gay rights group sued the Justice Department on Wednesday for failing to produce hundreds of pages of documents related to a 1953 order signed by President Dwight Eisenhower that empowered federal agencies to investigate and fire employees thought to be gay.
The suit in U.S. District ...

Donald Trump outlines 'America first' foreign policy vision

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Businessman Donald Trump called for "a new foreign policy direction" for the United States Wednesday — as he sought to temper some of the looming doubts over his worldview as he moves closer to capturing the GOP presidential nomination.
Speaking at the Mayflower Hotel, blocks away from The White House, ...
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Trump: Obama’s Snubbed Israel and Treated Iran With ‘Tender Love and Care’ 

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Republican frontrunner Donald Trump attacked the Obama administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East on Wednesday, saying in a foreign policy address that the White House had “snubbed” Israel, while treating Iran “with tender love and care.”
“Israel, our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East, has been snubbed and criticized by an administration that lacks moral clarity,” Trump said in Washington, D.C. “Just a few days ago, Vice President Biden again criticized Israel, a force for justice and peace, for acting as an impatient peace area in the region. President Obama has not been a friend to Israel.”
Trump has been one of many GOP critics of the Iran nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration, telling AIPAC last month that his top priority was to dismantle the agreement.
“He’s treated Iran with tender love and care and made it a great power,” Trump said. “Iran has indeed become a great, great power in just a very short period of time, because of what we’ve done, all of the expense and all at the expense of Israel, our allies in the region and very importantly, the United States itself. We pick fights with our oldest friends, and now they’re starting to look elsewhere for help. Remember that. Not good.”
Although Trump previously spoke on Israel to AIPAC, this was billed as his first major foreign policy address. Trump, already the leader in delegates, pulled off a sweep of five primary states Tuesday evening to widen his lead in the GOP delegate count over opponents Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

US-Russia cooperation frays as Syria truce falls apart - Washington Post

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Washington Post

US-Russia cooperation frays as Syria truce falls apart
Washington Post
Barely two months after the United States and Russia joined together to forge a partial cease-fire in Syria, cooperation between them, including on a long-term political solution to that country's civil war, is rapidly eroding. Russia this week accused ...
Syria: Russia's continuing warBBC News
Russia restarts bombings targeting Syrian opposition, US officer saysFox News

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Former US House Speaker Hastert Sentenced

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Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been sentenced to 15 months in prison in a case involving hush money paid to one of at least four former students he allegedly sexually abused decades ago. Hastert must also undergo sex offender treatment, two years of supervised release after prison, and pay a $250,000 fine. Before sentencing, Chicago Federal Court Judge Thomas Thornton described Hastert as a "serial child molester." Hastert pled guilty last year to structuring bank transactions to circumvent rules governing large transfers of money. Hastert sought to pay $3.5 million to a man, now in his 50’s, to conceal that he sexually abused him while he coached wrestling at an Illinois high school. Hastert was not charged with sexual wrongdoing because the statute of limitations had run out. The abuse victim, identified only as Individual A, delivered an impact statement prior to Hastert’s sentencing. Holding back tears, he told the court he was “devastated after Hastert molested him. Hastert, 74, read a prepared statement before he was sentenced, telling the court he had "mistreated" some of his athletes when he coached wrestling from the 1960's through the early 1980's. The former lawmaker was once third in line to the U.S. presidency and the longest-serving Republican speaker in the country’s history.

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Trump Calls for New US Foreign Policy Direction

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U.S. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is calling for "a new foreign policy direction" for the country, calling the policies of President Barack Obama "a complete and total disaster." "It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy, it’s time to invite new voices and new visions into the fold—something we have to do,“ Trump said in foreign policy speech in Washington Wednesday. He criticized the current administration's decisions on Iraq, Egypt and Syria, saying "each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos" and give Islamic State "the space it needs to grow and prosper." "It all began with the dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a western democracy," Trump said. "We tore up what institutions they had and then we were surprise at what we had unleashed—civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans just killed, lives, lives, lives wasted, horribly wasted,” he said. Trump added five more primary wins Tuesday, sweeping a set of northeastern states to move closer to clinching his party's nomination for president. Trump won easily in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island with more than 55 percent of the vote in each state.

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That Cold War Movie

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Vladimir Putin's Russia is far too weak to fight a real Cold War with the West, so the Kremlin has decided to do the next best thing: make a reality show about a Cold War.

Turkey bombing in Bursa: Female suicide attacker attacks near city's Grand Mosque 

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At least one person was believed to be dead and seven injured in the blast

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