Saturday, May 7, 2016

FBI director encourages UR law grads to pursue public service - Richmond.com Saturday May 7th, 2016 at 6:27 PM

FBI director encourages UR law grads to pursue public service - Richmond.com

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Richmond.com

FBI director encourages UR law grads to pursue public service
Richmond.com
Focus on the answer, and let everything else melt away, FBI Director James B. “Jim” Comeyadvised the graduating class of the University of Richmond's T.C. Williams School of Law in a keynote speech delivered Saturday afternoon in the Robins Center.

Will Failure To Indict Hillary Clinton Lead To Her Replacement On Presidential Ticket? – OpEd - Eurasia Review

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Eurasia Review

Will Failure To Indict Hillary Clinton Lead To Her Replacement On Presidential Ticket? – OpEd
Eurasia Review
... refusal by “the Democrats that run the Justice Department” to indict Clinton may result in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) releasing more of the evidence against Clinton and in FBI agents and even FBI Director James BComey resigning in ...

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Romanian hacker who claims he breached Clinton server says he spoke with FBI at length - Fox News

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LawNewz

Romanian hacker who claims he breached Clinton server says he spoke with FBI at length
Fox News
EXCLUSIVE: The Romanian hacker who says he easily breached Hillary Clinton's personal email server also claimed, in a series of interviews with Fox News, that he spoke with the FBI at length on the plane when extradited from Romania to Virginia last ...
'Guccifer' Hacker Says He Spoke With FBI Agent at LengthLawNewz 
Romanian Hacker Claiming to Have Broken Into Clinton's Server Talks to FBISputnik International

Guccifer Allegations Could be Significant for Clinton FBI ProbeWashington Free Beacon

all 117 news articles »

Hacker Lexicon: Stingrays, the Spy Tool the Government Tried, and Failed, to Hide - WIRED

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WIRED

Hacker Lexicon: Stingrays, the Spy Tool the Government Tried, and Failed, to Hide
WIRED
Although use of the spy technology goes back at least 20 years—the FBI used a primitive version of a stingray to track former hacker Kevin Mitnick in 1994—their use of it has grown in the last decade as mobile phones and devices have become ...

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'Guccifer' Hacker Says He Spoke With FBI Agent at Length - LawNewz

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LawNewz

'Guccifer' Hacker Says He Spoke With FBI Agent at Length
LawNewz
Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 7.54.18 AM The Romanian hacker who goes by the moniker 'Guccifer' claims he had an 80-minute phone call with an FBI agent while he was being extradited from a Bucharest prison to the United States, according to a new report ...
Romanian hacker who claims he breached Clinton server says he spoke with FBI at lengthFox News 
Romanian Hacker Claiming to Have Broken Into Clinton's Server Talks to FBISputnik International

Guccifer Allegations Could be Significant for Clinton FBI ProbeWashington Free Beacon

all 119 news articles »

US takes tougher tone on Israeli settlements in new report

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The United States will endorse a tougher tone with Israel in an upcoming international report that takes the Jewish state to task over settlements, demolitions and property seizures on land the Palestinians claim for a future state, diplomats told The Associated Press.
     
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New details in FBI meth bust - kwwl.com

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kwwl.com

New details in FBI meth bust
kwwl.com
A large meth ring is taken down by the FBI and eight men are charged in the case. KWWL digging into the criminal complaint which led to raids in Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Denver, Dubuque and Marshalltown. The 39 page court document revealing wire taps, ...
UPDATED: FBI raids bust drug trafficking network in Eastern IowaKCRG

all 6 news articles »

FBI probing the way the city sells land to developers - Philly.com

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Philly.com

FBI probing the way the city sells land to developers
Philly.com
FBI spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski said she could not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation. Feibush and Zimolong declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for the Redevelopment Authority, Jamila Davis. The Feibush-Johnson civil trial is ...

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The War in Spain Has Ended Long Ago 

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As recently as twenty years ago—maybe even just fifteen years ago—you had to know about the Spanish Civil War. That is, you had to know about it if you wanted to be a political commentator, a public intellectual, a voice in the ideological battles of the American public square.
To be an intern or a cub writer at the Nation or the Weekly Standard, the New Republic or National Review, even the editorial pages at the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times, you had to be able to talk about Alger Hiss and the Pumpkin Papers. Sacco and Vanzetti. The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Maybe Big Bill Haywood and the Wobblies, too, but certainly the Rosenberg trial. And certainly the Spanish Civil War. You had to know about that 1930s struggle not just in the way a high school senior cramming for the AP history exam knows. You had to understand. You had to have a position.
Those days are gone, of course. The war in Spain has ended long ago / Aunt Rose, as Alan Ginsberg wrote in an elegy for one of the radical activists of his parents’ generation. Still, this spring, the widely published writer Adam Hochschild released Spain in Our Hearts, a study of the role of Americans in the Spanish Civil War, from 1936 to 1939. And the response, a pouring out of reviews, has been interesting to watch. Interesting, that is, if one remembers the time not so long ago that a position on the war in Spain served as a marker—a useful synecdoche—for much of one’s social philosophy and political worldview.
It’s true that many of the recent reviews read like the work of former AP history students, regurgitating the received opinions of their textbooks with no more pain or passion than they would show reviewing books on Free Silver or the Thirty Years War. For them, the Spanish Civil War is simply an old event of easy judgment. Nationalists bad, Republicans good, of course. The interventions of Germany and Italy bad but typical of fascists, the interventions of the Soviet Union semi-bad but typical of communists, and failure of the United States government to intervene maybe worst of all, because it reveals the hypocrisy of American rhetoric about support for democracy.
More interesting have been the reviews by the oldsters, the ones who remember the days when—even forty, fifty, sixty years after Generalissimo Franco’s victory ended the fighting—we took the Spanish Civil War as a living symbol for something important. The review in the New York Times, for example, was by Michael Kazin, co-editor of Dissent, an old leftist magazine whose very existence in these late days resounds like a call from a distant and dying trumpet. Bob Drogin, a longtime and old-fashioned newspaperman, reviewed the book for the Los Angeles Times, and “few distant conflicts are so burned into our culture and consciousness,” he notes. Which is perfectly true, if one is of an age. I suspect his younger colleagues at the Los Angeles Times lack a consciousness seared by the bombing of Guernica and the street fighting in Madrid.
In reviews such as Kazin’s, matching the line Hochschild himself takes in the book, we can discern something that might be called Orwell’s posthumous victory. As Spain in Our Hearts notes, nearly 40,000 foreigners dodged the international non-intervention regulations and journeyed to Spain to fight on the Republican side. Among them was George Orwell, who arrived in Spain at the end of December 1936 to join the mixed brigades of Stalinists, socialists, Trotskyites, and anarchists supporting the Spanish Republican forces. After being caught up in intra-left battles in Barcelona—and called a fascist by the Spanish communists, who would later try him in absentia for treason—he was wounded by a sniper’s bullet. Returning to England to recuperate in 1937, only seven months after he left, he wrote a book about the whole sad mess, published in 1938 as Homage to Catalonia.
The naiveté of leftist forces that Orwell chronicled quickly became the standard narrative about foreign fighters during the Spanish Republicans’ defeat in 1939. But before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there was still resistance to Orwell’s claim that the Russian-backed communists were determined to lose the war if winning came at the price of allowing non-Stalinist radicals to gain power in Spain. Nowadays, reviewers such as Kazin simply take it as read: The Soviets demanded control in return for material aid—a “devil’s bargain,” as Hochschild puts it—and their attempts to purge the ranks of Republican forces contributed greatly to Franco’s Nationalist victory
Naiveté was certainly a dominant feature of the 2,800 Americans who traveled to Spain to support the leftist government. Many of them formed the Lincoln Brigade, which later generations of American radicals would mythologize in story and song, and about 800 of them would die in the war. (The last surviving confirmed member of the brigade—a self-proclaimed “unreconstructed communist” named Delmer Berg—died this February at age 100.) Focusing on individual stories about those Americans, Hochschild uses Spain in Our Hearts to explore the inexperience and impracticality of those who felt that the Spanish struggle demanded their involvement.
“There seemed a moral clarity about the crisis in Spain,” Hochschild notes, but in history as it actually unfolds, many claims of moral clarity have a large share of moral myopia. Spain in Our Heartsrecounts the tale of Lois Orr, for example, who traveled to Spain with her husband Charles and in 1936 wrote home that they were “living the revolution,” in a world where “anything was possible, a new heaven and a new earth were being formed.” All this, while she spoke barely a word of Spanish and was living, not so much among the peasants and proletariat, but in a luxury apartment the Republicans had seized from the local German consul.
Spain in Our Hearts is a good read, as long as one understands that Adam Hochschild does not intend it to be a definitive or even well-balanced history of the kind he wrote in King Leopold’s Ghost, his powerful 1998 history of the vicious Belgian colonization of the African Congo. Hochschild is particularly good in his denunciations of the vile Torkild Rieber, the Norwegian American who headed up Texaco Oil and supported the Nazis and Fascists throughout the 1930s.
Still, who now remembers Torkild Rieber? Or the airlift of Nationalist Forces from Africa? Or the May Days of 1937, when Barcelona exploded in street battles between the various factions of the Republican Left? As recently as twenty years ago—maybe even just fifteen—you had to know this stuff if you wanted to be a commentator on the American public square.
And now you don’t. It was back in the 1960s that Alan Ginsberg wrote his chilling line, The war in Spain has ended long ago / Aunt Rose, and the poem is in many ways a cruel production. “To Aunt Rose” wryly dismisses the passion previous generations had invested in such symbolic history, mocks his aunt’s “tears of sexual frustration,” and generally predicts the success of a new leftism of sexuality over the old leftism of economics. The poem even brushes off the Holocaust as unliving history, lost in the unimportant past: Hitler is dead, Hitler is in Eternity, Ginsberg sneeringly tells his dying aunt. Hitler is with / Tamburlane and Emily Brontë.
The reaction to Adam Hochschild’s Spain in Our Hearts proves George Orwell’s victory. No one is left to defend the role of the Stalinists and the Comintern in Spain, and what remains of leftist nostalgia for the “moral clarity” of the civil war is all on the side of the anarchists, socialists, and Trotskyites. But what the reaction to Spain in Our Hearts proves even more is Alan Ginsberg’s victory, the final triumph of the New Left over the Old Left. The war in Spain has ended long ago, indeed.
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NYPD sergeant loses badge after refusing to speak to FBI - New York Post

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New York Post

NYPD sergeant loses badge after refusing to speak to FBI
New York Post
The sergeant who serves as the NYPD school liaison in south Brooklyn has been stripped of his gun and badge after refusing to speak to investigators from the FBI's corruption unit without a lawyer, sources told The Post. FBI agents showed up at Erez ... 

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Senate could vote next week to allow 9/11 lawsuits against Saudi Arabia

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The Senate could vote as soon as next week on legislation that would allow survivors of the 9/11 attacks and family members of people killed in the attacks to file damage suits against Saudi Arabia.
     

Behind the scenes of an intricate FBI sting - Philly.com

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Philly.com

Behind the scenes of an intricate FBI sting
Philly.com
The pay-to-play investigation that snared political power broker John H. Estey involved an elaborate FBI sting in which agents created a fake Florida recycling company and spent lavishly on lobbyists and campaign contributions to push the firm's agenda ...

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Spy agencies are pushed to reveal extent of US surveillance

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Even though the bulk collection of Americans' telephone records has ended, calls and emails are still being swept up by U.S. surveillance work targeting foreigners. Congress is making a renewed push to find out how many.
     

Gregg Jarrett: The real reason the FBI interviewed Hillary's closest aide - Fox News

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Fox News

Gregg Jarrett: The real reason the FBI interviewed Hillary's closest aide
Fox News
Fox News has confirmed that the FBI has interviewed Huma Abedin, top aide to Hillary Clinton, as part of its investigation into Clinton's use of a private email and whether classified information was willfully transmitted on her unsecured network. The ...
Hillary Clinton to be interviewed in FBI email investigationCBS News
CNN Reports FBI Has Found 'No Criminal Wrongdoing' in Hillary Clinton Email 'Investigation'Mediaite
Hillary Clinton Will Finally Be Questioned By The FBI Over Misuse Of Email ServerThe Inquisitr
The Hill (blog)- PoliticusUSA
all 439 
news articles »

Russia says truce in Syria's Aleppo extended for 3 days

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A fragile cease-fire in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo has been extended for 72 hours, Russia said, as the Islamic State group battled other militant factions near the city on Saturday.
     

Rosen: Obama Administration ‘Unquestionably’ Engaged in Deception to Sell Iran Nuclear Deal 

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Fox News correspondent James Rosen laid out a case that the Obama administration engaged in mass deception to enact and sell the Iran nuclear deal during an appearance on The O’Reilly FactorFriday.
Rhodes and host Bill O’Reilly discussed a lengthy New York Times profile of White House national security adviser Ben Rhodes published this week, in which Rhodes discussed the deception and outright lies peddled to the public for the advancement of the landmark nuclear agreement.
“What’s the headline?” O’Reilly asked of the Times story, which he said he had not read.
“Well, the question here raised is whether there was deception in the selling of the Iran deal to the American public as practiced by Ben Rhodes … and the answer is unquestionably there was,” Rosen said.
Pressed by O’Reilly to reveal what about the story proved Rhodes engaged in deceptive tactics, Rosen discussed in particular one section where author David Samuels wrote Rhodes and the administration willfully manufactured narratives to make the deal more palpable to the American people. This includes the fictional idea that talks with Iran were only happening because of the rise of so-called “moderates” in the Islamic Republic in 2013.
In reality, Obama had wanted to make a deal ever since taking office, regardless of who was in charge in Iran.
“I can attest directly that the Obama administration in the person of then-State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, of whom I am very fond, Bill, flat-out lied to me in February 2013,” Rosen said. “I asked, point blank, ‘Are there any direct talks going on between the U.S. and Iran of any kind?’ And she said no, at a point when those talks had been ongoing for eight months.”
Rosen added Rhodes had also lied about the deal’s substance, like when he told CNN last year the U.S. would have “anytime, anywhere” access to Iran’s nuclear facilities. Later on, he and Secretary of State John Kerry said that having such access was never sought in negotiations.
“There are numerous such instances of deception on the part of this administration,” Rosen said.
Rosen acknowledged spin-masters like Rhodes have been part of the White House scene since the 1960s, but he said the man had entered a “forbidden zone” with the presentation of “false narratives” to make the Iran deal a reality.
In the article, Rhodes also boasts about creating an “echo chamber” of experts he fed White House talking points, mocks reporters who know nothing and will write anything they’re given, and lays out the political operation for the U.S. to fully disengage from the Middle East.
The White House press corps was not as interested in the surprising revelations in the Rhodes profile. Given an opportunity to ask Obama about it personally at a press conference Friday, the media instead asked three questions about Donald Trump, one of which concerned his Cinco de Mayo tweet about tacos.
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China eyes post-mobile era, steps up on drones, VR, and more - VentureBeat

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VentureBeat

China eyes post-mobile era, steps up on drones, VR, and more
VentureBeat
At the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in Beijing this week, a Tesla executive declared China essential to the carmaker's plans for a global fleet of electric vehicles. ButChina's power isn't just about the size of its consumer market and its ...

13 members of Iran's elite force killed in Syria

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More than a dozen members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards were killed this week during an attack by militants in northern Syria in what shows Tehran's deep involvement in the Syrian civil war.
     
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Car slams into German outdoor cafe, killing 2, injuring 10

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Two people were killed and more than 10 hospitalized after an elderly man lost control of his car on Saturday and plowed into a crowded cafe patio in southern Germany.
     

2 alleged members of Russian mafia denied bail in Portugal

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A lawyer says two men arrested in Portugal on suspicion of forming part of a Russian mafia group that allegedly infiltrated a Portuguese soccer club to launder money have been denied bail and ordered to remain in preventive custody.
     

6 sentenced to death in Egypt for documents leak

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An Egyptian court Saturday handed down preliminary death sentences to six defendants on charges of leaking secret state documents to Qatar in a case involving deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
     

Veteran Saudi oil minister dismissed, indicating strengthening of king's son

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May 7, 2016, 8:22 PM (IDT)
Saudi Arabia's King Salman announced a series of changes in the Saudi government on Saturday in line with the country's "Vision 2030" economic and social reform plan announced at the end of April. Ali al-Naimi, who served since 1995 as oil minister, was replaced by Khalid al-Falih, chairman of state-run oil giant Aramco. The petroleum ministry was disbanded, and in its place the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources was established. Other changes were the appointment of a new health minister, the replacement of the governor of the central bank, and the establishment of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture instead of the water ministry.
DEBKAfile sources: These steps, especially in the oil field, indicate that the person behind them is Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, the king's son. These changes boost the 30-year-old prince's influence in the security, economic, military and oil fields.  

US, Russia aim to ‘decapitate’ Syrian military

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May 7, 2016, 8:47 PM (IDT)
The US, Russia and the Syrian rebels started discussions this weekend over the composition of a list of Syrian generals who will be removed over war crimes they committed during the country’s civil war,debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report exclusively. :

Russia: NATO Aims to 'Destabilize' Caucasus with Georgia Drills

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Russian foreign ministry on Friday accused NATO of seeking to destabilize the Caucasus region with upcoming joint exercises in Georgia, where US soldiers will train together with Georgian forces this month.
       
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Did Pakistan poison a senior CIA official? - Christian Science Monitor

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Fox News

Did Pakistan poison a senior CIA official?
Christian Science Monitor
Current and former US officials believe that CIA station chief, Mark Kelton, may have been poisoned by the Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) after the 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, the Washington Post reports. Following the US ...
Report: Pakistan may have poisoned CIA chief after Bin Laden raidFox News
CIA chief 'poisoned by Pakistan spies' after Osama bin Laden raidTelegraph.co.uk
After presiding over bin Laden raid, CIA chief in Pakistan came home suspecting he was poisoned by ISIWashington Post
International Business Times UK -Times of India -Asharq Alawsat
all 53 news articles »

US Race Relations Better, Still Need Work, Obama Tells Grads

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President Barack Obama delivered a rousing commencement speech Saturday at historically black Howard University, telling graduates that race relations have improved over the last three decades but that more work needs to be done. "America is by almost every measure better than it was when I graduated from college," Obama told the Class of 2016, in looking back to 1983. The nation's first African-American president, however, said racism and inequality persist as he noted disparities in unemployment, pay and the criminal justice system.   He also told the graduates in Washington that if they want to see change, they cannot "sleepwalk through life" but must actively participate in the democratic system. “In 2012, nearly two out of three Americans turned out [to vote]. And then in 2014, only two in five turned out to vote. You don’t think that made a difference in terms of the Congress I've got to deal with?” he asked. The president told young people they had no excuses not to vote. “You don’t have to risk your life to cast a ballot; other people already did that for you,” he said as he urged the 2,300 graduates to vote not just for president, but in every election.   Societal improvements The president said today's college graduates are better positioned than at any other time to address outstanding problems. “Since the year I graduated, the poverty rate is down. ... American cities have undergone a renaissance. There are more women in the workforce. They are earning more money.  The dropout rate by-African Americans was cut by almost 60 percent,” Obama said. The president was also awarded an honorary doctor of science degree during the commencement ceremony.   Yetunde Akinola, who graduated Saturday with a master's degree in psychology, said the ceremony held special significance. "The Class of 2016 celebrated with the FIRST African-American in his last term as our United States president," she said. "Howard University is known for many great achievements. However, this is one for the books!" Faculty member Adedoyin Kalejaiye of Howard's College of Medicine echoed those sentiments. "It was an immense honor to have President Obama as our commencement speaker. ... He serves as an example of how far our nation has come, and his words today pointed us towards areas where our continued pursuit of excellence can advance our communities even better," she said. Saturday's speech was the first of three commencement addresses the president has on his agenda. The president is scheduled to speak May 15 at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Then on June 2, he will addresse graduates at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. VOA's Jesusemen Oni contributed to this report.

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Министр обороны России принял участие в церемонии награждения финалистов песенного конкурса «Новая звезда-2016»

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В ходе своего выступления генерал армии Сергей Шойгу подчеркнул, что российское военное ведомство будет продолжать такие конкурсы устраивать встречи с известными музыкантами, поэтами, писателями и актерами.

Trump University fraud allegations raise questions over his suitability as US president

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Top Republicans shun Donald Trump:  the Bush family, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney all refuse to support presidential candidate 

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Cambodian-born US Diving Champ Hopes to Inspire Homeland

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Seventeen-year-old Jordan Pisey Windle has come a long way since he was orphaned as a baby in Cambodia's rural Prey Veng province. The eight-time junior national diving champion and five-time U.S. national champion is poised to make it to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. But first, he has to make another important journey — back to the country of his birth. A long road Jordan, at age 7, was discovered to have a natural talent at a summer camp at the Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. By age 12, he won the U.S. Junior National Championship, diving from a 10-meter platform. A short time later, he won gold at the Junior Pan American Championships in Arizona, followed by silver and bronze medals at the U.S. National Championships. Now ranked in the top five American divers, Jordan is focused on next month's qualifying trials for the 2016 Summer Games. "What we want to share with the people is that his success was really born in his birthplace, in his homeland in Cambodia," Jerry Windle, Jordan's adoptive father, told VOA Khmer. "We were able to let him develop that, by just giving him certain opportunities." Jerry Windle, an American who adopted Jordan as a single parent in June 2000, is now preparing to take his teenage son on his first trip back to Cambodia — along with Jerry's partner, Andrés Rodriguez. "I wanted to wait specifically until he is a teenager to make his first homecoming trip, so that he would be able to, from an emotional and intellectual perspective, embrace everything this trip means," Jerry Windle said. "I feel very honored to go back, because I haven't been back since I was adopted," Jordan told VOA Khmer, speaking by phone from California, where he was traveling with his dive team. He says he plans to meet Cambodian orphans like himself. "My message would be that I was the same as them — an orphan. Luckily, I got adopted, and I am doing really well in my life," he said. "But my message would be that, if you are given a chance — like a little chance, nothing major — you can work from that and achieve something great and show people that you can do well in life." Scheduled to meet King Norodom Sihamoni and Cambodian government officials during the visit, Jordan also plans to hold a diving exhibition to showcase his talent, hoping it will inspire Cambodian youth. While Jordan doesn't speak Khmer, his father says he was exposed to Khmer culture and history through art and storytelling as a child, and he studied the country's brutal Khmer Rouge era in school. Life with two fathers Born in Prey Veng province, Jordan was placed in an orphanage in Phnom Penh as an infant after his parents passed away. Jerry Windle, a former U.S. Navy officer who had served off Cambodia's coast, adopted the boy around age 2 — a process that took about five months. When they met, Jordan had a picture Windle had sent him hanging around his neck. The young orphan had affixed a picture of himself to the opposite side. "When the nanny handed me Jordan for the first time, Jordan had that photograph of us around his neck, and that was a very special connection that I had for the first time with him," Windle recalled. For Jordan, the experience of being brought up by two fathers has made him a champion of diversity. "I love my dads more than anything in the world, and I wouldn't be where I am today without them sacrificing so much," he said. "If you want to have a family, and if you are a little different, I don't think that changes anything as long as there are people supporting, caring and loving you." Rigorous training From Tim O'Brien to Evan Linette and Greg Louganis, Jordan has been trained by renowned divers. At the age of 12, he became the youngest diver ever to qualify for the U.S. Olympics trials. "Physiologically, his body shape and makeup is very optimal for diving," said Windle, who is quick to point out that it's not all about being fiercely competitive. "He really, really enjoys being around the water; swimming and playing in it," he added. "It became very natural for him to want to be able to flip and twist off the diving board." Out of the water, Jordan stays focused on his education, taking classes online with the International Connections Academy. He is expected to graduate from high school at the end of this year, and plans to attend college in early 2017. "He really is an American citizen today," said Windle, reflecting on everything that's brought the family this far. "But the truth is, he is a child of Cambodia, and Cambodia is his home country, and he embraces that." This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Khmer service.

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Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

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A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.

Republican Advisers Weigh Trump Foreign Policy Risks

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Donald Trump’s unorthodox foreign policy views could dramatically affect the United States’ standing around the world if he's elected president in the fall. But a group of former Republican administration officials and academics may have more impact. They are weighing the consequences of his policies for the Republican Party and whether they would join his administration. Some elements of the Republican foreign policy establishment pushed back against Trump’s views earlier in the campaign season and after his April foreign policy speech in Washington. Those concerns intensified after the unexpectedly quick resolution of the Republican nomination process, when Trump’s resounding win in the Indiana primary knocked Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich out of the race. Now the establishment must decide whether it will support a nominee whose foreign policy lacks definition and direction. “What is his foreign policy? Where will this guy go?” retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson pictured Republican policymakers asking. Wilkerson served as then-Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff during the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq war and has been highly critical of the Bush administration’s decision-making process in that war. He agrees with Trump’s assertion that the Iraq invasion was a disastrous mistake for the United States but worries about Trump’s decisiveness. “Will he be so inexperienced when he walks through that Oval Office door that the director of the CIA to the director of national intelligence to the secretary of state, you name it, secretary of defense will capture him and the next four years will be him bouncing off the walls trying to decide which one of the bureaucracies to support with his point of view?” he said. Building criticism Trump routinely cites his business experience as a skill set that can transfer into the realm of diplomatic negotiations and calls for an America-first approach to foreign relations. That approach could be attractive to Americans, according to a Pew Research poll released this week. It found 57 percent of Americans are wary of global involvement, saying the United States should deal with its own problems and let other countries deal with their problems as best as they can. “I do not believe there’s an analogy here between a business deal and a negotiation on behalf of a country where national security is at stake,” says Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration. “He has no appreciation whatsoever of the importance of allies and alliances — all he does is insult them all the time and say they’re not doing enough, and it worries many of the allies in Asia and the Middle East and Europe," he added. Over a hundred leading national security and foreign policy officials, many of whom held posts in previous Republican administrations, signed an open letter earlier in the campaign season saying they would be unable to support Trump as the nominee, calling “his vision of American influence and power in the world wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle.” “I don’t think he has a coherent foreign policy. It’s mostly slogans,” says Abrams. Trump’s campaign team reportedly reached out to a number of establishment foreign policy and national security experts in early April, with little success. But the now-settled reality of a Trump nomination may significantly alter those calculations. Abrams says the foreign policy advisers who end up joining the Trump campaign will have ways of justifying their decision. “They want jobs, they want access. In other cases, they are optimists and think the world will teach him lessons,” he said. “They think that no president can do whatever he wants to do. There’s the Pentagon, there’s Congress to deal with.” General election calculations Abrams says there will be two key decision points. “What if his campaign reaches out to you? And then the next test — well, what if he wins?” If Trump wins, the decision will get tougher. “Then you can say to yourself,” said Abrams, “ 'I need to do it for the country.' It isn’t anymore about helping him win the election; we only have one president at a time.” That argument will be especially attractive if Trump chooses centrist secretaries of state and defense who can appeal to specialists seeking to provide moderating influence on Trump’s views. Trump has shown signs of moderating his language to adapt to a general election strategy that will appeal to a broad array of American voters. If he can do the same with his views on foreign policy, he may be able to convince more members of the foreign policy establishment. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who has declined to endorse Trump, talked with the candidate after his foreign policy speech. The senator told reporters last week, “I think his campaign, like anybody who hasn’t been in the public arena before, is evolving.” The man who touts the art of the deal may then become the candidate for the art of the compromise.

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Yazidi Woman, Disfigured by Mine After Escaping IS, Awaits Aid

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When Lamiya Hachi Bashar escaped the house of an Islamic State fighter in Iraq in mid-April, she thought months of enslavement and IS terror were finally over. But on her way to freedom outside the Iraqi town of Hawija, Bashar, 18, lost her sight in a blast from a land mine explosion. Her face was severely disfigured. “Her right eye is pretty much gone, but her left eye can recover,” said Kurdish doctor Husain Bahrari, who treated her. “She also suffers from extensive facial laceration.” IS violence Bashar, one of thousands of Yazidis who have suffered under systematic violence by IS, is facing a bleak future. Her doctor told VOA that her complex injuries require treatment that is not available in Iraq. “There needs to be a plastic surgery quickly to avoid scars that are unrecoverable,” Bahrari said. “A young girl her age needs that.” But Bashar is waiting to get an entry visa to Germany and is facing uncertainty about who is going to pay for medical procedures, a German charity attempting to help her said. She's 'traumatized' “We are trying to get her to Germany, but the visa process is slow and we’re limited on resources,” said Mirza Dinnayi, head of the German-based Air Bridge Iraq. “The poor girl is traumatized and needs to resettle somewhere else. But this is not possible now.” When IS attacked Bashar’s village of Kojo in August 2014, she and 12 members of her family were taken prisoner. Around 5,000 Yazidi men and women were captured by the militants that summer. Some 2,000 of them managed to escape or were smuggled out of IS’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria, activists say. “I was kept in a prison with my family for one month before they took me and my two sisters along with hundreds of the girls to [IS capital] Raqqa,” Bashar told VOA. VOA could not independently verify Bashar’s story. While in IS captivity, Bashar said she was sold five times as a sex slave and faced mental and physical abuse. One IS leader in Mosul forced her into making suicide belts and preparing car bombs. Marriage refused “IS fighters were coming many times to take them,” she said. “He [one IS militant] asked me to marry him. ... I told him, ‘I won’t do this and I won’t help you.’ He hit me with hoses and floor squeegee handles. There was nothing left he didn’t use to beat me.” Bashar was later sold to an IS doctor in the Iraqi town of Hawija, where she met two other Yazidi girls, Almas, 8, and Katherine, 20. They were able to secretly contact their relatives, who arranged with a middleman to facilitate their escape. In mid-April, the girls started their dangerous journey to escape IS slavery to Iraqi Kurdistan. An Arab family also accompanied the girls, Bashar said. Their facilitator took the group out of the city in a car, Bashar said. Their guide told them to avoid land mines that IS placed to stop people from fleeing.   “Katherine stepped on a mine, and all I saw after that was a bright light in front of my eyes,” Bashar said. “I called Katherine and Almas but all I heard was an ‘ah’ from Katherine.” The girls died at the scene, their bodies left in a field. Bashar, who was injured, does not remember how she was rescued. Family members say her guide took her to the Kurdish Peshmerga. After initial limited medical treatments, Bashar is waiting at the home of relatives. The German group trying to help her said it could take six months before Bashar can get a resettlement visa. “To avoid further delays, we have applied for a three-month treatment visa, which I hope will be ready soon,” charity worker Dinnayi said. Future medical care When she is in Germany, there will be donation campaigns to get her the funds she needs for medical care. However, “I can’t say how long this will take,” Dinnayi said. The mayor of the Yazidi town of Sinjar, Mahma Khalil, said the Kurdistan region has done its best to help thousands of Yazidi victims but has limited resources. “We ask the U.N., humanitarian organizations and other countries to help them recover,” he said. Despite her trauma, Bashar remains optimistic and grateful. “I would rather stay here blind than being with them [IS] sighted,” she told VOA.

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Sadiq Khan’s victory as London Mayor alarms American right as US liberals say result will resonate far beyond City Hall

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IMF Sees 'Very Encouraging' Signs From Ukraine's New Government

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Early signs coming from Ukraine's new government are "very encouraging," a top International Monetary Fund official said on May 6.

Two Belarus Men Charged With Receiving $1.35 Million In Phishing Scheme

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Federal authorities in Pittsburgh say two men have been charged by authorities in Belarus with receiving $1.35 million stolen in a phishing scheme from the bank account of a Pennsylvania oil and gas drilling company.
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В Карачаево-Черкессии сгорела гостиница площадью 1,2 тыс "квадратов" - РИА Новости

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РИА Новости

В Карачаево-Черкессии сгорела гостиница площадью 1,2 тыс "квадратов"
РИА Новости
МОСКВА, 7 мая — РИА Новости. Пожар произошел в гостинице "Солнечная долина" в поселке Домбай Карачаево-Черкесской республики, площадь возгорания составила 1,2 тысячи квадратных метров, сообщается в субботу на сайте ГУМЧС РФ по региону. Пожар произошел в ночь на ...
В Домбае огонь уничтожил гостиницу "Солнечная долина"Российская Газета
Пожарные локализовали возгорание в гостинице "Солнечная долина" в ДомбаеИнтерфакс
Пожар уничтожил гостиницу «Солнечная долина» в ДомбаеФедеральное агентство новостей No.1
РБК -ТАСС -Вести.Ru -Газета.Ru
Все похожие статьи: 27 »

The day we discovered our parents were Russian spies

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For years Donald Heathfield, Tracey Foley and their two children lived the American dream. Then an FBI raid revealed the truth: they were agents of Putin’s Russia. Their sons tell their story
Tim Foley turned 20 on 27 June 2010. To celebrate, his parents took him and his younger brother Alex out for lunch at an Indian restaurant not far from their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Both brothers were born in Canada, but for the past decade the family had lived in the US. The boys’ father, Donald Heathfield, had studied in Paris and at Harvard, and now had a senior role at a consultancy firm based in Boston. Their mother, Tracey Foley, had spent many years focused on raising her children, before taking a job as a real estate agent. To those who knew them, they seemed a very ordinary American family, albeit with Canadian roots and a penchant for foreign travel. Both brothers were fascinated by Asia, a favoured holiday destination, and the parents encouraged their sons to be inquisitive about the world: Alex was only 16, but had just returned from a six-month student exchange in Singapore.
After a buffet lunch, the four returned home and opened a bottle of champagne to toast Tim reaching his third decade. The brothers were tired; they had thrown a small house party the night before to mark Alex’s return from Singapore, and Tim planned to go out later. After the champagne, he went upstairs to message his friends about the evening’s plans. There came a knock at the door, and Tim’s mother called up that his friends must have come early, as a surprise.
Not only were their parents indeed Russian spies, they were Russians. They were not Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley
They were promising, young, smart people. They were asked if they wanted to help their country and they said yes
I never had anything close to a suspicion. It seemed all my friends' parents led much more exciting lives
The family home had been bugged for years. The FBI knew the couple's real identities, even if their own children did not
I'm glad they had a cause they believed in, but I wish the world wouldn’t punish me for their choices
Continue reading...

NATO won't surrender if Russia nukes Warsaw – ex-US Supreme Commander - RT

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RT

NATO won't surrender if Russia nukes Warsaw – ex-US Supreme Commander
RT
There is hardly a risk that Russia is going to stage a surprise attack tomorrow, yet Russia has invested in “a whole new set of military hardware” and has an “absolutely new doctrine,” retired US General Wesley Clark told CNN Money's Cristina Alesci.

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Порошенко рассказал о финансировании «врагом» «пятой колонны» на Украине - РБК

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РБК

Порошенко рассказал о финансировании «врагом» «пятой колонны» на Украине
РБК
Президент Украины Петр Порошенко заявил о «финансировании врагом пятой колонны» на Украине. По его словам, Украина создала «самую патриотичную армию на континенте», и «враг» понял «бесперспективность прямой атаки». В субботу, 7 мая, во время церемонии открытия ...
Порошенко открыл памятник МазепеВзгляд
На открытии памятника Мазепе Порошенко говорил не о гетмане, а о "русском мире"Правда.Ру
Порошенко пообещал не допустить расшатывания ситуации на УкраинеForbes Россия
Радіо Свобода -НТВ.ru -РИА Новости -Московский комсомолец
Все похожие статьи: 190 »

Gaddafi loyalists join West in battle to push Islamic State from Libya 

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Iran Admits Heavy Casualties In Syria

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Tehran says several of its soldiers have been killed in fighting near Aleppo, in what could be one of Iran’s biggest losses in Syria since deploying forces to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
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Гройсман: на Украине создадут подразделение для борьбы с коррупцией в таможнях - ТАСС

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УНИАН

Гройсман: на Украине создадут подразделение для борьбы с коррупцией в таможнях
ТАСС
МОСКВА, 7 мая. /ТАСС/. Украинские власти намерены создать новый антикоррупционный орган для контроля за таможнями. Об этом написал премьер-министр Украины Владимир Гройсман в своем микроблоге в Тwitter. СПЕЦПРОЕКТ. Украина: хроника евразийского раскола.
Гройсман дал украинской таможне три месяца на наведение порядкаГазета.Ru
Гройсман дал таможенникам-мародерам три месяца на наведение порядкаФедеральное агентство новостей No.1
Гройсман создает подразделение по контролю за таможенниками: дал три месяца, чтобы навести порядокУНИАН
РИА Новости Украина -Бизнес-портал ДЕЛО -Зеркало недели -Интерфакс - Украина
Все похожие статьи: 39 »

Fragile Truce Extended in Syria’s Ravaged Aleppo

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A 72-hour cease-fire extension in Aleppo has provided some breathing space for residents in the battleground northern Syrian city. Displaced families returned home, schools reopened and vendors resumed some activities as the truce went into effect on Saturday (00:01 local time). The city had seen days of heavy fighting that killed nearly 300 civilians, including 57 children, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The United States welcomed the extension of the cessation of hostilities in Aleppo, but continues to seek broader results. State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the U.S. goal is to get to a point where “we no longer have to count the hours and that the cessation of hostilities is fully respected across Syria.” His statement Friday came after Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement confirming the extension of the cease-fire.   Earlier in the day, Kirby said the U.S. had not ruled out the prospect of working with Russia to broker more localized truces in Syria, if needed. The U.S. and Russia are co-chairs of a cease-fire task force. Russia has been using its leverage with the Assad regime and the U.S. has been using its influence with the opposition to try to curb the country’s unrest. Both countries announced localized truces for Latakia and the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, last week, in a bid to help keep a nationwide cessation of hostilities announced in February from completely unraveling.

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СМИ назвали имя нового посла США на Украине - Lenta.ru

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Lenta.ru

СМИ назвали имя нового посла США на Украине
Lenta.ru
Новым послом США на Украине станет Мари Йованович, до этого возглавлявшая американские дипмиссии в Киргизии и Армении. Об этом со ссылкой на источники во внешнеполитическом ведомстве сообщает украинская газета «День». По информации издания, одной из главных ... 
СМИ узнали имя нового посла США на УкраинеРБК

СМИ: новым послом США в Киеве станет женщинаРИА Новости
СМИ: Послом США на Украине станет женщинаВзгляд
Российская Газета-Газета.RuВести.Ru-Пронедра 
Все похожие статьи: 76 »

Margot Honecker, the 'Purple Witch' of East Germany, dies aged 89 

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2 NATO Service Members Killed in Afghanistan

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The NATO-led military coalition said two of its soldiers were killed Saturday in southern Afghanistan when two individuals wearing local forces uniforms opened fire at a military compound. A statement from the international Resolute Support mission in Kabul said its members returned fire and killed the shooters. It said Afghan and coalition officials had launched an investigation into the incident but gave no other details and did not reveal the nationalities of the slain soldiers. The NATO-led noncombat mission consists of around 13,000 soldiers, mostly Americans, and has been training Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, known as ANDSF, since January 2015. “We continue to train, advise and assist the ANDSF, and do not view this incident as representative of the positive relationship between our forces,” the statement said. Meanwhile, The Associated Press cited Romania's Defense Ministry as saying two of its soldiers had been killed and another injured while they were training Afghan soldiers near the southern city of Kandahar on Saturday morning. The injured man was in stable condition and was to be transferred to Germany for treatment, the ministry said, adding that Romania has 631 troops serving in Afghanistan.

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Palmyra concert 'like Nero fiddling as Rome burned'

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Russia Has Made a Questionably Sincere Offer to Help Put Out Canada's Forest Fires - VICE News

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Sputnik International

Russia Has Made a Questionably Sincere Offer to Help Put Out Canada's Forest Fires
VICE News
Puchkov said Russian air force is prepared to send Ilyushin Il-76 strategic transport planes — which the statement says can carry 42 tonnes of fire retardant material — as well as "Russianrescuers and specialists with necessary equipment to fight ...
Canada to Review Russia's Offer to Assist With Alberta WildfireSputnik International

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Moscow Increasingly Using Anti-Extremism Law Against Speech, Not Actions, SOVA Says

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Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 7 – The SOVA Center has documented what many have long suspected: the Russian authorities are increasingly using that country’s anti-extremism laws against the population but not in response to extremist actions but rather to limit Russians’ constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of speech.

            A recent report by the Moscow Center for Economic and Political Reforms (sova-center.ru/misuse/discussions/2016/05/d34471/) sparked significant discussion in the Russian capital because it pointed to an overall increase in the use of “anti-extremism” provisions of Russian law, SOVA says (sova-center.ru/racism-xenophobia/publications/2016/05/d34474/).

            But that earlier report does not provide more granular details on the exact content of these charges against speech, something that SOVA has done over the last several years and thus can provide a dis-aggregated account of what the authorities are doing in this area that did the Moscow Center report.

            There are four categories of “’crimes of an extremist character’” under Russian law: vandalism motivated by hatred, other uses of force motivated by hatred, participation in prohibited organizations and extremist communities, and public statements ranging from propagandizing terrorism to offending the feelings of religious believers.

            SOVA has published data for each of these for the years 2007 through 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available. Charges about crimes of the first kind rose of nine in 2007 to a high of 21 in 2011 and last year numbered 16. Charges involving the second rose from 108 in 2007 to 253 in 2011and last year stood at 60.

            Charges against the third category rose from 31 in 2007 to 56 in 2011 and after a brief decline rose again to 62 in 2015. But charges against hate speech have risen consistently from 44 in 2007 to 83 in 2011 to 233 in 2015. As a result total hate crime prosecutions rose from 192 in 2007 to a high of 482 in 2010 and last year stood at 371.

            “It is easy to see that the number of those convicted overall has been mixed,” with the numbers in the categories not rising or falling together, SOVA says. But there are “two simple trends: the growth and then the decline in the number of those convicted for hate crimes and the uninterrupted growth of the number convicted for statements,” especially last year.

                The declines in the number of sentences for hate crimes other than speech, the center says, “is in part explained by the decline of such force, but the rapid growth of the number of sentences for expressions cannot be explained in an analogous way by the stormy growth of the propaganda of terrorism, extremism, racial hostility and so on.”

            Instead, SOVA suggests, this reflects a shift in official attention away from actions to speech as a means of putting pressure on “this or that political and ideological trend.”  But a “no less important” factor may be that “in recent years,” the police have acquired the means to track the Internet and find doing so easier than investigating street crimes.


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· ·

Today's Headlines and Commentary 

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Yesterday, airstrikes struck a refugee camp in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, killing more than 30 people. The New York Times reports that “video images from the Kamuna camp in Idlib showed smoke billowing from rows of tattered and blackened tents as well as a pickup truck packed with wounded people moaning and crying. Women and children appeared to be among the victims.” TheWall Street Journal adds that, according to a witness, “the dead were ‘mostly in shreds, they can’t be considered bodies.’” The State Department has not confirmed who was responsible for the airstrike on the camp.
Russian and Syrian officials were quick to deny that their aircraft were responsible for the deadly assault on the refugee camp. But the denials come as “a coalition of rebels and militants, including Syria’s al Qaeda branch, seized a strategic village from pro-government forces near the contested city of Aleppo.” The Associated Press reports that “some 73 fighters - 43 on the opposition side and 30 pro-government troops - have died since Thursday afternoon in the battle for the village of Khan Touman. The advance signals a reemergence of a powerful, ultraconservative coalition on the opposition’s side in the Syria conflict.”
“The fate of Syria’s moderate rebels is critical to American efforts in the region. If rebels quit the fight or join forces with Islamist extremist groups fighting the regime, the U.S. will lose leverage to shape the war’s outcome - and potential allies against Islamic State.” Sam Dagher of the Wall Street Journalshares how Syrian rebels are torn between giving up or joining Islamic extremists.
Speaking of Syrian rebels, some lawmakers in Congress are urging President Obama not to supply shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to rebels fighting President Bashar al AssadThe Hill tells us that “Obama has long opposed sending the missiles - Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems, or MANPADS - to Syrian rebels. The fear is that the weapons could easily fall into the hands of terrorists and be used against civilian aircraft.”
Yesterday, the Pentagon spokesperson revealed that the Islamic State attack against Kurdish forces in northern Iraq that resulted in the death of U.S. Navy SEAL Charles Keating came as a surprise attack. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters that the incident may have turned out differently had the U.S. forces known of the impending assault. The Associated Press has more here.
Meanwhile, a new poll finds that Americans’ perceptions of the United States’ fight against the Islamic State are becoming more positive. However, a majority still views the effort as going badly. You can read more on the poll here from CNN.
Al Qaeda could be preparing to declare its own “Islamic State” in northern Syria. The Jabhat al Nusra group has quietly been gathering strength in the shadows of the international campaign against the Islamic State. Read more from Foreign Policy and the Independent.
Speaking of al Qaeda, a spokesman for the U.S.-NATO mission in Afghanistan said that al Qaeda is working more closely with the Afghan Taliban. The Associated Press writes that the two groups renewed relationship is “raising concerns that the militant group could bolster the fight against Afghan government forces.” During a video conference with Pentagon reporters, Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland, a spokesman for the U.S.-NATO mission, stated, “by themselves, we don’t think they pose a real threat, a real significant threat, to the government of Afghanistan. But because we think that al Qaeda is beginning to work more with Taliban, they can present a bit of an accelerant for the Taliban. They can provide capabilities and skills and those types of things.”
After the raid that resulted in Osama bin Laden’s death in 2011, the CIA’s top official in Pakistan was pulled out of the country due to health concerns and his strained relationship with Islamabad. However, according to some U.S. officials, the CIA station chief left Pakistan because he “was so violently ill that he was often doubled over in pain.” The Washington Post shares that the station chief and the Agency began to suspect that he was poisoned by the ISI. Check out that story here.
Over in Yemen, negotiations aimed at bringing an end to the 13 month devastating war entered their third week yesterday. The talks resumed on Wednesday following the three day interruption after the government delegation walked out to protest the rebels’ seizure of an army camp. However, Al Jazeera reports that despite entering the third week, there has yet to be a breakthrough, with delegations trading accusations of violating the ceasefire that took effect on April 11.” As negotiations continue, Reuters shares that “seven people were killed and more than 15 wounded by a bomb on Friday in the Yemeni city of Marib, east of the capital Sanaa.” However, there has been no claim of responsibility for that attack.
Israel’s military uncovered another tunnel burrowing from Gaza into Israel yesterday. The New York Times shares that “the Israeli effort to find tunnels from Gaza, which Hamas considers a strategic asset, had led to a flare-up in violence along the border for the first time since a ceasefire brokered by Egypt ended 50 days of fierce fighting in the summer of 2014.” Amid the resurgent violence, a Palestinian woman was killed by Israeli tank fire in the Gaza strip. Reuters tells us that “the woman was killed and another person was injured in the Khan Yunis area, southern Gaza, local medics said.”
Today, North Korea opened its first congress in 36 years. The New York Times reports that North Korean state news media “hailed the North’s ‘powerful nuclear deterrent’ as the biggest achievement of its leader, Kim Jong Un, who plans to use this rare political gathering to consolidate his power.” The Washington Post tells us that “the congress, which opened in Pyongyang, was an extravagant spectacle that lauded Kim’s leadership, showing huge pictures of the 33-year-old leader in a variety of military settings and featuring multiple rounds of choreographed cheering.” The Post also shares that Kim Jong Un boasted “unprecedented accomplishments” in nuclear missile tests this year as he convened over the congress. Not sure what a congress would look like in North Korea? The Timeswrites that “under North Korea’s one-party system, the congress is where the country’s most important elections and policy decisions take place, at least in theory.”
China is seeking global support for its South China Sea policies, but it's getting mixed results. The Associated Press reports that “China is seeing mixed results in its efforts to enlist friendly states in its push to exclude the U.S. and its allies from the festering South China Sea dispute, underscoring the limits of Chinese diplomacy despite its massive economic clout.” Last month, China won a major endorsement for its policies from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov when he said that actors outside of the region should not get involved in the South China Sea. But more recent nations supporting China drew strong criticism from Singapore accusing China of trying to split the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Yet, more criticism of China’s South China Sea plans “will rebound like a coiled spring.” So says China’s director-general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, Ouyan Yujing. According to Reuters, during a news briefing, Ouyang indicated that “of course we’re willing to take on board constructive comments and criticism by the relevant countries. But if they are aimed at putting pressure on China or blackening its name, then you can view it like a spring, which has an applied force and counterforce. The more the pressure, the greater the reaction.”
Meanwhile, U.S. ships have returned to the Philippines’ Subic Bay nearly 25 years after Filipino politicians fought to remove all U.S. forces stationed there. The Washington Post writes that this “means American and Chinese ships sailing in close proximity, deepening an already tense and dangerous standoff. For the Philippines, it raises questions about how the next administration should balance big powers while protecting Philippine sovereignty and fragile economic gains.”
In the Huffington PostScott Malcomson details how Russia and China are “cooperating to dismantle America’s dominance of the Internet.” As both countries look to assert their sovereignty over not only their citizens’ data, but also the information their citizens receive from abroad, the two partners are increasing their joint efforts to establish “complete national control of electronic media and the elimination of foreign influence from the national information space.”
NATO’s European missile defense system went live yesterday. The New York Times shares that “the decision by the United States and its allies in Eastern Europe to proceed with ballistic missile defense in the face of increasingly loud Russian criticism is an important stage in the alliance’s new stance toward Moscow.” Today, Poland is scheduled to break ground on its NATO missile defense base, and later this spring, NATO is set to hold major military exercises in Poland and the Baltics with significant U.S. participation.
The Daily Beast has the latest on the U.S. Navy sailor who was charged with espionageLt. Cmdr. Edward Lin did not provide any military to secrets to any foreign governments. Instead, he provided military secrets to an FBI informant posing as a Taiwanese official.
Speaking of spies and espionage, the Intercept reports that “foreign intelligence services had been extensively spying on the 2008 political campaigns.” In light of campaign season, read the rest of the story here.
Now onto the 2016 election cycle. Donald Trump became the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for President of the United States this week. Yesterday, the White House said that it expects Mr. Trump to receive classified intelligence briefings once he formally becomes the nominee in July, but also says that the president would leave it up to intelligence officials to decide what to share with Trump. More on that here.
Speaking of the Republican nominee-to-be, “alarmed by Donald J. Trump’s grip on the Republican presidential nomination, world leaders are wrestling with the possibility that, even if he loses the general election, his ascent reflects a strain of American public opinion that could profoundly reshape the way the United States addresses security alliances and trade.” The New York Times has more.
On the Democratic side, Politico tells us that “top aides to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have been interviewed by the FBI as part of an ongoing investigation into Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server when she was secretary of state.” Clinton herself has stated that she is willing to be interviewed by the Bureau but has not yet been approached for any questioning. However, amid the questioning, prosecutors and FBI agents have so far found little evidence that Mrs. Clinton broke any classification rules. The Washington Post writes that the officials “are still probing the case aggressively with an eye on interviewing Clinton herself.”
The hacker who exposed Hillary Clinton’s private email server made new claims earlier this week.The hacker known as “Guccifer” says that breaking into the server was easy. Kimberly Strassel, of the Wall Street Journal, says that if it was so easy, then it was easy for China to hack too.
Your recommended weekend long read: David Samuels of the New York Times Magazine profilesBen Rhodes, the man Samuels says “rewrote the rules of diplomacy for the digital age.”
Parting ShotMeet Syria’s monument men—the brave men and women, led by Chief of Antiquities Maamoun Abdulkarim, working to save Syria’s heritage from all sides in the civil war.
ICYMI: Yesterday, on Lawfare
Heather Brandon questioned if President Obama’s targeted killing policy will indicate what “areas of active hostilities” means.
Benjamin Wittes released the newest Rational Security, the “Never Say Never Trump Again” edition.
Laura Donohue commented on the public v. private collection debate and observed that in the end, it all comes down to power.
Bruce Ackerman highlighted some key points in Captain Nathan Smith’s lawsuit against President Obama’s war against the Islamic State.
Ben Wittes also provided an update on Twitter, ISIS, civil liability, and immunity.
Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us onTwitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.
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Afghans endure 'Jungle' squalor in hope of better life

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Young Afghans endure camp squalor in hope of reaching UK