Monday, October 17, 2016

Putin Doesn't Need a Trump Mole When He Has the Internet - New York Magazine

Putin Doesn't Need a Trump Mole When He Has the Internet - New York Magazine

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New York Magazine

Putin Doesn't Need a Trump Mole When He Has the Internet
New York Magazine
One of the 2016 campaign's weirdest and most argued-over subplots — Republican nominee Donald Trump's affection for Russian president Vladimir Putin, and Russia's apparent attempts to meddle with U.S. elections — took another fascinating turn ...
Dear Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, I Am Not Sidney BlumenthalNewsweek
Benghazi Biopsy: A Comprehensive Guide to One of America's Worst Political Outrages - NewsweekNewsweek
WikiLeaks - The Podesta EmailsWikiLeaks
Twitter
all 46 news articles »

U.S. Prosecutors Are Out to Crack Russias Crooked Money Machine - Daily Beast

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Daily Beast

U.S. Prosecutors Are Out to Crack Russias Crooked Money Machine
Daily Beast
Such proceedings are secret, but Pavlov, described by American officials as the lawyer for a notorious Russian mafia organization, was expected to face tough questioning about his role in what's alleged to be a far-reaching fraud and money laundering ...

The Donald and the Snitch - The Narco News Bulletin

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The Narco News Bulletin

The Donald and the Snitch
The Narco News Bulletin
One of Sater's FBI handlers, Leo Taddeo, whose specialty was US and Russian organized-crimesyndicates, told the judge at Sater's 2009 sentencing that “without his cooperation, it would have been a few more years [before] the FBI would have effectively ...

Before Donald Trump attacked foreigners, he helped sell them condos - Miami Herald

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Miami Herald

Before Donald Trump attacked foreigners, he helped sell them condos
Miami Herald
They include members of a Russian-American organized crime group, a Venezuelan oilman convicted in a bribery scheme and a Mexican banker accused of robbing investors of their life savings. Nothing Trump and his partners did was illegal, although they ...

and more »

Organized Crime — FBI

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Italian Organized Crime 

Since their appearance in the 1800s, the Italian criminal societies known as the Mafia have infiltrated the social and economic fabric of Italy and now impact the world. They are some of the most notorious and widespread of all criminal societies. There are several groups currently active in the U.S.: the Sicilian Mafia, the Camorra, the ’Ndrangheta, and the Sacra Corona Unita, or United Sacred Crown. We estimate the four groups have approximately 25,000 members total, with 250,000 affiliates in Canada, South America, Australia, and parts of Europe. They are also known to collaborate with other international organized crime groups from all over the world.
The Mafia has more than 3,000 members and affiliates in the U.S., scattered mostly throughout the major cities in the Northeast, the Midwest, California, and the South. Their largest presence centers around New York, southern New Jersey, and Philadelphia. The major threats to American society posed by these groups are drug trafficking—heroin, in particular—and money laundering. They also are involved in illegal gambling, political corruption, extortion, kidnapping, fraud, counterfeiting, infiltration of legitimate businesses, murders, bombings, and weapons trafficking. Industry experts in Italy estimate that their worldwide criminal activity is worth more than $100 billion annually. 
A Long History
These enterprises evolved over the course of 3,000 years during numerous periods of invasion and exploitation by numerous conquering armies in Italy. Over the millennia, Sicilians became more clannish and began to rely on familial ties for safety, protection, justice, and survival. An underground secret society formed initially as resistance fighters against the invaders and to exact frontier vigilante justice against oppression.
In Sicily, the word Mafia tends to mean “manly.” A member was known as a “man of honor,” respected and admired because he protected his family and friends and kept silent even unto death. Sicilians weren’t concerned if the group profited from its actions because it came at the expense of the oppressive authorities. These secret societies eventually grew into the Sicilian Mafia, and changed from a group of honorable Sicilian men to an organized criminal group in the 1920s.
Sicilian Mafia
Since the early 1900s, the Sicilian Mafia has evolved into an international organized crime group. Some experts estimate it is the second largest organization in Italy. Based in Sicily, this group specializes in heroin trafficking, political corruption, and military arms trafficking—and also is known to engage in arson, frauds, counterfeiting, and other racketeering crimes. With an estimated 2,500 Sicilian Mafia affiliates, it is the most powerful and most active Italian organized crime group in the U.S.
The Sicilian Mafia is infamous for its aggressive assaults on Italian law enforcement officials. In Sicily the term “excellent cadaver” is used to distinguish the assassination of prominent government officials from the common criminals and ordinary citizens killed by the Mafia. High-ranking victims include police commissioners, mayors, judges, police colonels and generals, and Parliament members.
Camorra (Neapolitan Mafia)
The Camorra first appeared in the mid-1800s in Naples, Italy, as a prison gang—the word “Camorra” means gang. Once released, members formed clans in cities and continued to grow in power. The Camorra has more than 100 clans and approximately 7,000 members, making it the largest of the Italian organized crime groups.
The Camorra made a fortune in reconstruction after an earthquake ravaged the Campania region in 1980. Now it specializes in cigarette smuggling and receives payoffs from other criminal groups for any cigarette traffic through Italy. The Camorra is also involved in money laundering, extortion, alien smuggling, robbery, blackmail, kidnapping, political corruption, and counterfeiting. It is believed that nearly 200 Camorra affiliates reside in the U.S. 
’Ndrangheta (Calabrian Mafia)
The word “’Ndrangheta” comes from Greek, meaning courage or loyalty. The ’Ndrangheta formed in the 1860s when a group of Sicilians was banished from the island by the Italian government. They settled in Calabria and formed small criminal groups.
There are about 160 ’Ndrangheta cells with roughly 6,000 members. Cells are loosely connected family groups based on blood relationships and marriages. They specialize in kidnapping and political corruption, but also engage in drug trafficking, murder, bombings, counterfeiting, gambling, frauds, thefts, labor racketeering, loansharking, and alien smuggling. In the U.S., there are an estimated 100-200 members and associates, primarily in New York and Florida. 
Sacra Corona Unita
Law enforcement became aware of the Sacra Corona Unita—translated to "United Sacred Crown"—in the late 1980s. Like other groups, it started as a prison gang. As its members were released, they settled in the Puglia region of Italy and continued to grow and form links with other Mafia groups.
The Sacra Corona Unita consists of about 50 clans with approximately 2,000 members and specializes in smuggling cigarettes, drugs, arms, and people. It is also involved in money laundering, extortion, and political corruption. The organization collects payoffs from other criminal groups for landing rights on the southeast coast of Italy, a natural gateway for smuggling to and from post-Communist countries like Croatia, Albania, and the former Yugoslavia.
Very few Sacra Corona Unita members have been identified in the U.S., although some individuals in Illinois, Florida, and New York have links to the organization.
La Cosa Nostra
La Cosa Nostra is the foremost organized criminal threat to American society. Translated into English it means “this thing of ours.” It is a nationwide alliance of criminals—linked by blood ties or through conspiracy—dedicated to pursuing crime and protecting its members. It also is called the Mafia, a term used to describe other organized crime groups.
The LCN, as it is known by the FBI, consists of different “families” or groups that are generally arranged geographically and engaged in significant and organized racketeering activity. It is involved in a broad spectrum of illegal activities: murder, extortion, drug trafficking, corruption of public officials, gambling, infiltration of legitimate businesses, labor racketeering, loan sharking, prostitution, pornography, tax-fraud schemes, and stock manipulation schemes. 
The LCN is most active in the New York metropolitan area, parts of New Jersey, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, and New England. It has members in other major cities and is involved in international crimes. Although the LCN has its roots in Italian organized crime, it has been a separate organization for many years. Today it cooperates in various criminal activities with different criminal groups that are headquartered in Italy.
The Italian American Working Group
Over the years, FBI investigations have revealed how organized criminal groups have proliferated and impacted much of the world. Partnerships with foreign law enforcement agencies are essential to combat global organized crime groups. Among the partnerships the FBI is involved with is the Italian American Working Group, which meets annually. The group addresses organized crime, cyber crime, money laundering, international terrorism, illegal immigration, cooperating witnesses, drug smuggling, art theft, extradition matters, and cigarette smuggling. The U.S. and Italy take turns hosting the meetings.
Labor Racketeering
Labor racketeering is the domination, manipulation, and control of a labor movement in order to affect related businesses and industries. FBI investigations over the years have clearly demonstrated that labor racketeering costs the American public millions of dollars each year through increased labor costs that are eventually passed on to consumers. This crime has become one of the LCN’s fundamental sources of profit, national power, and influence. 
Labor unions provide a rich source for organized criminal groups to exploit: their pension, welfare, and health funds. There are approximately 75,000 union locals in the U.S., and many of them maintain their own benefit funds. Labor racketeers attempt to control health, welfare, and pension plans by offering “sweetheart” contracts, peaceful labor relations, and relaxed work rules to companies, or by rigging union elections. Labor law violations occur primarily in large cities with both a strong industrial base and strong labor unions, like New York, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Philadelphia. These cities also have a large presence of organized crime figures.
The FBI works closely with the Office of Labor Racketeering in the Department of Labor and with the U.S. Attorneys’ offices in investigating violations of labor law. We also have several investigative techniques to root out labor law violations, including electronic surveillance, undercover operations, confidential sources, and victim interviews. Additionally, numerous criminal and civil statutes are at our disposal, primarily through the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Statute.
The civil provisions of the RICO statute, especially the consent decrees, have proven to be very powerful weapons against labor racketeering. They are often more productive because they attack the entire corrupt entity instead of imprisoning individuals, who can easily be replaced with other organized crime members or associates. Consent decrees are most effective when there is long-term, systemic corruption at virtually every level of a labor union by criminal organizations. A civil RICO complaint and subsequent consent decree can restore democracy to a corrupt union by imposing civil remedies designed to eliminate such corruption and deter its re-emergence.
Read the whole story
 
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Before Trump attacked foreigners, he helped sell them Florida condos

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Donald Trump built his presidential candidacy disparaging foreigners, describing Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” comparing Syrians refugees to a “Trojan horse” and promising to build a “great wall” on the southern border.
But in South Florida, Trump helped local developers sell condos to buyers from Latin America and Russia, including people allegedly involved in corruption and wrongdoing, as well as to dozens of anonymous offshore companies.
In 2004, Trump signed a licensing deal for an 813-unit condo project called Trump Towers in the city of Sunny Isles Beach. The Apprentice star’s gold-plated name was used to market the units to wealthy foreigners.
The Miami Herald found that at least 13 Trump Towers buyers have been the subject of government investigations, either personally or through their companies. They include members of a Russian-American organized crime group, a Venezuelan oilman convicted in a bribery scheme and a Mexican banker accused of robbing investors of their life savings.
Nothing Trump and his partners did was illegal, although they profited from a South Florida real estate market that regulators and former law enforcement officials believe is tainted by dirty cash. That’s because lobbying has left real estate unregulated compared to many other industries where money laundering abounds. The purchases highlighted by the Herald show how easily illicit funds from around the world can worm their way into local real estate.
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. Donald Trump
Now, Trump is running an “America first” presidential campaign fueled by voters feeling battered by the same global economy he fed off as a developer.
“It strikes me as hypocritical,” said Richard Gordon, who played a key role in designing anti-money-laundering rules for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank after the Sept. 11 attacks. “He’s repeatedly made comments about immigrants bringing crime to the U.S. … [But] his principles appear to be doing whatever he can for himself to make money.”
While Trump’s name adorns Trump Towers — signs plastered on the construction site described him as one of the project’s “visionaries” — the Trump Organization didn’t own or build the project, or an earlier Trump-branded development several blocks north called Trump Grande. Michael Dezer, the developer who first recognized the massive potential of Sunny Isles Beach, was the driving force behind the condos. His company handled sales.
Trump received a fee for each unit sold. Buyers around the world trusted his brand, hoping his credibility and status would rub off on them when they invested. Trump was especially attractive in Russia, where his purported business connections and frequent praise for Vladimir Putin have become a political flashpoint.
Ultimately, Trump helped transform Sunny Isles Beach — once a low-slung vacation spot north of Miami Beach popular for its kitschy motels — into an imposing, high-rise haven for rich Russians and Latin American millionaires.
As a businessman, real estate was Trump’s meal ticket. But it’s also an area where his financial interests could clash with U.S. policy, as the federal government cracks down on money laundering and tax evasion.
After the publication of the Panama Papers — an exposé of how the rich secretly move money through offshore shell companies, sometimes into Miami real estate — the Obama administration called for new regulations.
“Every law enforcement agency wants more tools to pursue shell companies,” said Brian Bruh, former director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen), a U.S Treasury Department agency. “Unfortunately, the United States is gaining a reputation as an easy place to launder money.”
Earlier this year, FinCen launched a temporary program to monitor shell companies buying pricey real estate in South Florida. The dragnet has contributed to a slowdown in luxury sales.
Should Trump win the election, the developer would be unlikely to support more enforcement, said Richard Painter, former chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush.
Fewer opaque shell companies mean fewer buyers for Trump-branded condos, posing a conflict of interest, Painter said.
“It’s going to have a financial impact on his businesses,” said Painter, who added Trump would face a similar conflict in deciding whether to continue sanctions imposed against Russia after its 2014intervention in the Ukrainian crisis.
The Trump campaign declined to comment for this story.

Mr. Worldwide

Trump’s popularity was at its peak when he agreed to participate in Trump Towers, a complex of three 45-story buildings with 813 total condos that opened from 2008 to 2010. His reality show was a hit, and his involvement boosted sales and raised prices.
“I think The Apprentice has changed a lot of things, “ Trump told the Herald in 2006. “My father wouldn’t believe this one. It really took the brand to a different level.”
While the campaign refused comment, Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s general counsel, did agree to an interview. He said the Trump Towers licensing agreement required the company to help prepare marketing and advertising materials, but not to engage in sales.
“The developer is the one that sells the units,” Garten said. “While we may assist in some of the marketing, it’s the developer running the show. …We didn’t enter into any contracts. We didn’t sell anyone any units. We’re the brand.”
And he said shady buyers are an industry-wide problem for luxury real estate, not one unique to Trump projects.
“It’s completely unfair and completely misleading to suggest that we had anything to do with these people,” Garten said. “It has nothing to do with the Trump name or brand. It has to do with the market.”

Federico Bonomi

Federico Bonomi is one of the owners of popular Argentine fashion brand Kosiuko. In 2006 and 2014, Argentine prosecutors called executives at Kosiuko and other clothing companies to testify over allegations their clothes were manufactured in sweatshop conditions. His company, which would not discuss the matter with the Herald, has not been charged, although several factory owners were brought to trial.
Regulators have worried about luxury real estate markets awash in dirty money for more than a decade.
The USA Patriot Act originally called for real estate professionals to screen clients for signs of money laundering and corruption — until lobbying won the industry an exemption from rules that apply to banks and other financial institutions. (Stockbrokers, mortgage lenders, check cashing stores, precious metal dealers and casinos are among the businesses required to report suspicious transactions.)
The issue came up again during the recession when international buyers took advantage of falling prices in Miami to scoop up condos, sometimes dozens at a time, with few questions asked. The wave of foreign cash spawned jobs and property tax revenues in South Florida, and cleared mountains of empty condos left by overbuilding.
Miami is literally the only refuge where wealthy South Americans can enjoy their success. I remember in the days of Trump Towers they would close on the apartment with us then immediately go buy a Ferrari. Gil Dezer, developer
But now that the economy has recovered, there’s another side to Miami’s latest real estate boom: Offshore investments are inflating housing prices beyond what most locals can afford. The region has become one of the nation’s least affordable places to live. An October analysis by Bloomberg found income inequality is greater in Miami than in any major U.S. city.

Out of the shadows

In order to reconcile Trump’s business career with his statements as a politician, the Herald examined property records at Trump Towers, where condos generally trade for between $600,000 and $3.2 million.
More than 60 percent of units are owned by corporations. These companies are called “shells” because they exist only to hold real estate. Shell companies have established legal uses such as liability protection. In addition, foreign nationals can lower their U.S. tax burden by owning real estate through offshore corporations. But corporate laws in many jurisdictions, both foreign and domestic, allow owners of these companies to stay hidden. Instead of listing their own names, buyers can put down lawyers, accountants, real estate agents and other fronts on corporate filings.
More than 170 Trump Towers units are owned by opaque offshore corporations or Delaware companies, structures designed to conceal their owners.
Dennis Fitzgerald, an attorney and former Drug Enforcement Administration agent, said shell companies can cloud the paper trail to a point where it can’t be followed. “It’s a stone wall in a lot of investigations,” he said.
There are ways to pierce the corporate veil, however.
The Herald combed through property records, corporate paperwork, mortgage documents and renovation permits. Behind the documents, it found bankers, businessmen and politicians from around the world, as well as people who’ve run afoul of the law. Those who’ve been formally investigated or convicted of crimes include:
▪ Anatoly Golubchik and Michael Sall, members of a Russian-American organized crime groupconvicted in the United States for their role in an illegal high-stakes sports betting ring. The gambling operation catered almost exclusively to “oligarchs” from the former Soviet Union, according to a federal indictment. An alleged leader of the operation was Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, a Russian businessman also accused of rigging events at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In court filings, prosecutors said two Trump Towers units owned by Golubchik and Sall were subject to forfeiture as “proceeds obtained … from racketeering activity.” The two homes are valued at $2.3 million and are still listed in the names of Golubchik and Sall. Efforts to reach them through their lawyers were unsuccessful.
▪ Rafael Olvera Amezcua, a Mexican financier investigated in his home country for allegedly defrauding investors. Mexican regulators seized his credit union, FICREA, two years ago, saying Olvera had purloined $184 million. He allegedly used the money to buy high-end real estate across the United States. His $1.8 million Trump Towers unit is currently registered in his son’s name. Olvera owns condos at other upscale buildings in South Florida, as well as suburban homes and a medical office building. In Mexico, a judge ordered Olvera’s detention last year, prompting the government to ask the United States for his extradition and Interpol to send out an alert for his arrest. But another judge issued a decision protecting Olvera, leaving the case in limbo. A bankruptcy trustee for the credit union is suing Olvera, his son and several associates in Miami-Dade County civil court. Olvera did not respond to a request for comment made through his attorney.
▪ Peter Kiritchenko, a Ukrainian businessman arrested on fraud charges in San Francisco in 1999. Prosecutors convinced Kiritchenko to testify against Pavel Lazarenko, Ukraine’s former prime minister. The government said the pair laundered hundreds of millions of dollars. Lazarenko was convicted of money laundering in the United States in 2004. Kiritchenko pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of stolen property, but said he had been an unwilling participant in the scheme. He and his daughter own two units at Trump Towers. Total value: $2.56 million. The Herald could not reach Kiritchenko.
▪ Roberto Rincon, a Venezuelan oil industry contractor who pleaded guilty earlier this year to tax evasion and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Rincon and a business partner were accused of paying millions of dollars in bribes to win $1 billion worth of contracts from Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA. He is believed to be cooperating with American prosecutors in a wide-ranging investigation into PDVSA. The Trump Towers unit is held by an anonymous shell company. But Rincon’s son signed a permit for an interior renovation — a public document in Miami-Dade County — and paid property taxes on the condo through a company that shares an address with his father’s oil equipment business in Houston. The unit was listed for sale at $3.1 million four days after Rincon’s guilty plea was announced. (A lawyer for Rincon said he does not own the property.)

Bernardo Nussbaum Ruf

Bernardo Nussbaum Ruf is an Ecuadorean media mogul. His company was the target of an anti-monopoly inquiry for its alleged control over many of the country’s radio frequencies. Nussbaum denied the allegations and no charges were brought.
Unlike banks, developers and property brokers have few obligations to scrutinize clients. Criminals know they can park cash in American real estate with little vetting, enabling corruption and lawbreaking around the world, according to former law enforcement officials.
People “looking to hide investments use real estate all the time,” said Michael Levine, a trial consultant who chased money launderers as a DEA supervisor. “A lot of the luxury development [from Miami to Palm Beach] has been drug money.”
State governments eager for incorporation fees are part of the problem.
Setting up a shell company in Delaware and a handful of other states often doesn’t require ID and “is easier than getting a library card, or a gym membership, or credit card,” said Shima Baughman, a law professor at the University of Utah who studies corporate rules.
The Herald was unable to uncover the names of the owners of nearly 80 shell companies that hold Trump Towers units, roughly 10 percent of the total.

Crackdown

The federal government has started chipping away at the real estate industry’s exemption from know-your-client rules that affect other industries.
In January, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network launched a monitoring program to detect money laundering in luxury Manhattan and Miami-Dade homes. It requires title insurers to report the real owners behind shell companies buying expensive residential properties. Officials later expandedthe operation to the Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and San Antonio areas, as well as Broward and Palm Beach counties.
One unit at Trump Towers shows how difficult it is to penetrate layers of corporate secrecy.

Moisés Alves de Oliveira Neto

Moisés Alves de Oliveira Neto is commercial director for Hospfar, a pharmaceutical company in Brazil. He and two other executives were charged in February with overbilling a regional government for medicines. A judge hearing the case blocked more than $3 million tied to the company at the time, alleging they were “illicitly indulging themselves in the public purse.” The case is ongoing. He did not return calls.
In 2011, a Slovenian luxury car dealer named Andrej Jersic sold his Trump Tower condo for nearly $1.6 million, a steep loss from the $2.1 million he had paid three years earlier.
The buyer was Rice Island Inc., an anonymous company headquartered in the Marshall Islands. The impoverished Pacific island nation boosts its economy by collecting fees on shell companies registered there. On its website, the Marshall Islands’ corporate registry division states: “There is no mandatory requirement to file the names of directors, officers or shareholders.”
In Florida public records, Rice Island lists an address on the 23rd floor of a Brickell office building. But that office doesn’t seem to exist. The leasing agent for 800 Brickell Ave. says the tower has only 15 floors.
Because there’s often no way to find the real owners of offshore companies, they are “the perfect vehicle for criminal activity,” said Kenneth Rijock, a former Miami attorney and convicted money launderer who is now a financial crimes consultant.
Jersic was later found guilty of tax evasion in Slovenia and sentenced to prison. He is appealing the decision.
Reached by email, Jersic said he had not committed any crimes. He believed the owner of Rice Island was Brazilian, but did not have more information.

Trump town

Sunny Isles Beach is Trump’s city: big, brash and expensive.
Last year, 29 percent of waterfront condo sales in Sunny Isles Beach were in Trump-branded buildings, according to Peter Zalewski of real estate website <a href="http://Cranespotters.com" rel="nofollow">Cranespotters.com</a>.
“The Sunny Isles brand, the vibe, the lifestyle: they all come from Trump,” Zalewski said.

Luiz Carlos Attie

Luiz Carlos Attie is the mayor of Cristalina in Brazil. Investigators examined his role in a scandal over missing city pension money that focused on his cousin, a manager of the pension fund. Attie was not charged. Court records show three open criminal investigations against Attie in Brazil, although details are scant and it’s not clear if they are connected to his cousin. One involves “damage of public patrimony,” a term for harming the public good. Another involves criminal complaints of slander. Investigators have not revealed the nature of their inquiry in a third case. His office did not return calls from the Herald.
The mix of owners at Trump Towers reflects South Florida’s status as a magnet for foreign flight capital.
Latin Americans own 41 percent of units, with the majority coming from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Venezuela. Nearly 20 percent belong to Americans, while Russians (7 percent) and Canadians (5 percent) are well-represented too.
The Herald used public records, news reports and social media to determine buyers’ home countries. It was unable to figure out the nationality of 22 percent of buyers.
It’s not clear exactly how much Trump made from sales at the Sunny Isles Beach towers. He has refused to release his taxes, saying he is under routine audit. Financial disclosure forms filed as part of his presidential bid show he still profits from his licensing deals with Michael Dezer.
(Miami’s biggest builder, Jorge Pérez, was also a partner until the financial crisis forced him to drop out.)
In 2014 and 2015, Trump reported receiving between $100,000 and $1 million in annual royalties from Dezer. Those fees come from a hotel at Trump Grande — a collection of three high rises farther north on the oceanfront strip — not the condos. Trump profited only from original condo sales, not resale transactions. Nine of the 13 transactions highlighted by the Herald were original sales.

Marcos Pereira Lombardi

Marcos Pereira Lombardi owns media outlets in Brazil, where he has been investigated for allegedly getting an insider deal on government land and fixing gasoline prices. Pereira says the investigations were without merit.
Gil Dezer now leads his father Michael’s company. The younger Dezer, who is backing Trump for president, said Trump and his team weighed in on lobby and unit designs, asking for higher ceilings and bigger doors.
But he said the Trump Organization never met with buyers before closing. And he added that his company wasn’t able to background buyers.
“There’s not much we can do with respect to background checks of our buyers,” wrote Dezer, who declined a phone interview, in an email. “All deposits come in by wire and we are not allowed todiscriminate on who we will accept or not accept in the building. Just imagine the problems and lawsuits if we started telling people they cannot purchase.”
(The Fair Housing Act prevents discrimination based on race, disability, religion, national origin and other factors.)
Dezer said foreign buyers often use opaque shell companies to protect their privacy, fearing kidnapping or extortion back home.
“Miami is literally the only refuge where wealthy South Americans can enjoy their success,” Dezer wrote. “I remember in the days of Trump Towers they would close on the apartment with us then immediately go buy a Ferrari.”

Tatiana Coelho de Andrade Xavier

Tatiana Coelho de Andrade Xavier has been investigated in Brazil for alleged customs fraud. Charged in the case was Marcio Silva Xavier, who had previously been sentenced as the result of a probe that targeted government corruption, fake billing and false pricing on customs documents involving the import of everything from cars to electronics. She could not be reached.
Sunny Isles Beach is also attractive for Russians, who have accounted for between 2 and 3 percent of international buyers in South Florida since 2011, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. Trump Towers boast more than double that percentage.
Trump’s brand was crucial for marketing the units in Russia, said George Baronov, a Russian-born realtor who worked as a lead broker on the project.
“The name brand set the standard for gold-living, for luxury,” Baronov said. “There’s a big trust factor with Russians. …They felt secure investing in the name.”
Trump Towers brokers attended real estate shows in Moscow and St. Petersburg. They traveled to Nice and Cannes, where wealthy Russians congregate.
“All the oligarchs love the French Riviera,” Baronov said.
Today, Sunny Isles Beach is sometimes called Little Moscow, with Russian restaurants, groceries and signs.
“In the Soviet Union, Miami Beach was a place of dreams,” said Ilia Shumanov, deputy director for the Russian chapter of Transparency International, an anti-corruption advocacy group. “It was heaven. People who have money, they want to spend it in this place.”

Mauro Luiz Soares Zamprogno

Mauro Luiz Soares Zamprogno was arrested in 2007 on allegations of corruption and money laundering. Brazilian prosecutors said employees of the state oil company, Petrobras, shared inside information with Zamprogno and associates so they could win contracts collectively valued at $32 million. Zamprogno was secretly taped by Brazilian federal police having a phone discussion with a Petrobras employee over the percentage breakdown of their alleged illicit gains. It’s not clear how the case was resolved. He could not be reached.
Transparency International monitors the outflow of capital from Russia to South Florida, particularly when it comes to people with political connections.
“It’s very easy to hide money in the U.S.,” Shumanov said. “You can be the owner of the property not in your name but as a shareholder of a shell company and nobody will know.”
As for Trump, Shumanov said Russians generally admire the New Yorker, especially after he hostedthe Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. (A Russian version of The Apprentice, called The Candidate, failed to catch on.)
Many Russians think of Trump as a “kindred spirit,” he said.
Also contributing to this report were: Miami Herald staff writers Kyra Gurney and Jim Wyss, El Nuevo Herald staff writer Antonio Delgado, McClatchy D.C. staff writers Kevin Hall and Tim Johnson, Süddeutsche Zeitung reporter Lena Kampf, Slovenian Business Daily Finance reporter Novica Mihajlovic, Vedomosti reporter Lily Dobrovolskaya and Julio Roa of <a href="http://Enlapolitika.com" rel="nofollow">Enlapolitika.com</a>.
Read the whole story
 
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The best answer to Russian aggression is containment

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Relations between the US and Russia have reached their lowest point in 30 years. Not since Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev began the effort to end the cold war have relations between the two been this bad.

Sample the FT’s top stories for a week

You select the topic, we deliver the news.
On October 7, the US intelligence chief General James Clapper announced that the Kremlin’s “senior-most officials” had authorised hacks into the emails of US individuals and institutions to interfere in the election process. This followed a decision by John Kerry, secretary of state, to end a bilateral effort to negotiate an end to the brutal fighting in Syria and his accusation that Russian military actions in Aleppo amounted to war crimes.
In turn, President Vladimir Putin ended participation in an agreement with the US to dispose ofweapons-grade plutonium. And then Moscow shipped nuclear-capable missile systems to Kaliningrad, sandwiched between Poland and the Baltic states, posing an immediate threat to America’s most exposed Nato allies.
This shows how badly relations have deteriorated since the illegal annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine in early 2014. So far, neither Washington nor its European allies have produced a coherent response to Russia’s increasingly dangerous behaviour.
Nato has taken some steps to bolster the defence of its allies in the east, and European members have begun to reverse the decade-long slide in defence spending and capabilities. The US and Canada joined the EU in imposing sanctions on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine and the downing of a Malaysian airliner in July 2014.
But none of this adds up to a coherent strategy. Too many, in Europe especially, believe that political and economic engagement, coupled with military forbearance, will eventually bring Moscow around to a more constructive attitude. While the attempt to integrate Russia into the western system was a worthwhile experiment, it failed. Integration is Mr Putin’s greatest fear, because it would undermine his control of the Russian system. Like his Soviet predecessors, he needs the antagonism of the west to protect his standing at home.
What, then, would be an effective response to Russia’s behaviour? The answer is a strategy of containment.
In 1946, the American diplomat George Kennan argued that containment was the necessary response to a Soviet system that was driving towards external expansion because of internal weaknesses. Bringing Moscow into the family of nations, as Franklin Roosevelt had attempted to do, was bound to fail. Outside pressure would lead to the internal change necessary to modify external Soviet behaviour, Kennan said.
During the cold war, the big question for the US and its allies was whether to oppose expansion whenever and wherever it occurred, or to isolate Moscow diplomatically and economically while bolstering the protection of American interests in Europe and Asia.
The debate is much the same today. Some maintain that we need to oppose Russia everywhere it manifests its power — in Ukraine, in Syria and in cyber space. Others that we need to strengthen Nato and exploit Russia’s deteriorating economy and lack of ideological appeal abroad.
Now, as then, containment must be a long-term strategy, best sustained by emphasising western strengths and Russian weaknesses. The core of our strength is western unity. That is why President Barack Obama and other Nato leaders were right to respond to the invasion of Ukraine by boosting the alliance’s defences. Russia’s greatest vulnerability is its economy, dependent as it is on resource extraction; a strong regime of sanctions will hurt Moscow.
We need to recognise Russia is an insecure power driven by internal weakness. Containment took 40 years to bring about a change in Soviet behaviour and ultimately the collapse of the USSR. Russia is far weaker now than the Soviet Union was then, but it will still take years to change the way it behaves. Like then, containment requires patience and firmness to succeed.

The writer is president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former US permanent representative to Nato
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· · ·

FBI Director Rejects Talk of Epidemic of Police Bias Against Blacks - Wall Street Journal

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Wall Street Journal

FBI Director Rejects Talk of Epidemic of Police Bias Against Blacks
Wall Street Journal
FBI Director James Comey gave an impassioned defense of police officers Sunday, saying most are overwhelmingly good people working during a “uniquely difficult time in American law enforcement.” Speaking at a conference of the International Association ...
FBI director: Stats don't back up claims about police shooting epidemicCNN
Comey: Lack of use of force data fuels unfortunate narrativeWashington Post
FBI Director Comey Rejects Talk of Epidemic of Police Violence Against BlacksABC News 
The Week Magazine-WOWT

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Koch brothers' network focusing on GOP Senate, not Trump

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FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa. (AP) -- To the Republicans in the red &quot;Can&apos;t Afford Katie&quot; T-shirts, it&apos;s as if Donald Trump doesn&apos;t even exist....

GOP strategists: Clinton is in good shape with 3 weeks left

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- With roughly three weeks to Election Day, Republican strategists nationwide publicly concede Hillary Clinton has a firm grip on the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House - and may be on her way to an even more decisive victory over Donald Trump....

The Origins of the Republican Civil War 

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Jacob Heilbrunn
Politics, Americas
Paul Ryan at CPAC 2016. Flickr/Gage Skidmore

The splits inside the conservative movement that Nicole Hemmer identifies between populists and elitists have only intensified in recent years.

Nicole Hemmer, Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), 368 pp., $34.95.
IN DECEMBER 1953, Henry Regnery convened a meeting in Room 2233 in New York City’s Lincoln Building. Regnery, a former Democrat and head of Regnery Publishing, had moved sharply to the Right after he became disillusioned with the New Deal. His guests included William F. Buckley Jr.; Frank Hanighen, a cofounder of Human Events; Raymond Moley, a former FDR adviser who wrote a book called After Seven Years that denounced the New Deal; and John Chamberlain, a lapsed liberal and an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal. Regnery had not called these men together merely to discuss current events. He wanted to reshape them. “The side we represent controls most of the wealth in this country,” he said. “The ideas and traditions we believe in are those which most Americans instinctively believe in also.” So why was liberalism in the ascendant? Regnery explained that media bias was the problem. Anywhere you looked, the Left controlled the commanding heights—television, newspapers and universities. It was imperative, Regnery said, to establish a “counterintelligence unit” that could fight back.
In her superb Messengers of the Right, Nicole Hemmer examines the origins of conservative media. Hemmer, who is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia, has performed extensive archival research to illuminate the furthest recesses of the Right, complementing earlier works like Geoffrey Kabaservice’s Rule and Ruin. She provides much new information and penetrating observations about figures such as Clarence Manion, William Rusher and Henry Regnery. Above all, she shows that there has been a remarkable consistency to the grievances and positions, which were often one and the same, of the conservative movement over the decades.
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Course Correction

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Dimitri K. Simes, Pratik Chougule, Paul J. Saunders
Global Governance, Americas
Sailors prepare an F/A-18E Super Hornet for flight operations on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. Flickr/U.S. Navy

America needs a foreign policy that abandons triumphalist clichés, flawed assumptions and predetermined conclusions in favor of facts and serious analysis.

WHOEVER WINS the presidential race in November will face an uncertain world. With a serious and purposeful strategy, the United States can bolster its global leadership role and advance its national-security interests. Continued weakness and recklessness, however, could worsen trouble in critical regions, from Europe to the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific. The United States may experience more devastating terrorist attacks and an accelerated geopolitical realignment against its interests. A nuclear calamity, widely considered unthinkable since the late 1980s, could again become a real possibility.
The next administration will need to start with a sober evaluation of the world as it is, rather than as the president and top officials wish it to be. U.S. leaders will need to define vital national interests, with a realistic hierarchy of international priorities. They will need to review the extent to which current policies, including alliances, serve U.S. interests. And they will need to establish clear objectives in relations with rival major powers China and Russia. Then, and only then, will the next president be able to design policies that further both immediate needs and enduring strategic objectives.
So far, the two presidential candidates have demonstrated contrasting foreign-policy approaches. Hillary Clinton has showcased her experience, but has shown little willingness to question the conventional wisdom. Donald Trump has offered bold approaches, but has not explained how his administration would implement them, or how they might fit into a coherent strategy.
Nevertheless, Trump’s shortcomings as a messenger do nothing to ameliorate the need for a reappraisal of U.S. foreign policy that abandons triumphalist clichés, flawed assumptions and predetermined conclusions in favor of facts and serious analysis.
An honest appraisal of the world as it is, and of U.S. interests, capabilities and options, starts with accepting that U.S. actions have exacerbated some of today’s most ominous threats. This doesn’t mean blaming America first; terrorists conduct terrorist attacks, China is asserting its power in East Asia, and Russia annexed Crimea. Yet in each case, U.S. actions have tended to turn troublesome possibilities into dangerous realities.

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Page 11

Analysis: Trump 'rigged' vote claim may leave lasting damage

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Donald Trump keeps peddling the notion the vote may be rigged. It's unclear whether he understands the potential damage of his words, or simply doesn't care.
     

How will the US military prepare for future conflicts?

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As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump light up cable news and engage in debates, national security and military experts for the presidential candidates are thinking about the conflicts to come.
     

Latin America will test the next president’s security goals

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There is a microcosm of the world’s security problems on the doorstep of the United States. Islamic State fighters. Ramped-up aggression from China and Russia. Floods of migrants and refugees fleeing conflict. Sophisticated criminal networks undermining peace and stability. These problems are typically spread across the planet. But they’re also exerting pressure on one region in particular: Latin America.
     

A slow loss against the Afghan Taliban

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Earlier this month, a small district center just south of this desolate U.S. base came under attack from Taliban militants who threatened to overrun the local police. Frantic calls arrived from Afghan officials: They needed air support.
     

Mosul offensive poses key test for U.S. strategy against Islamic State 

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Offensive culminates a two-year effort to build up a capable local force and set conditions for success in a huge, well-defended city.





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· · ·

Multifaceted security - Daily Times

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Daily Times

Multifaceted security
Daily Times
Problematising the concept of security has recently become a cottage industry for internationalrelations (IR) scholars and experts in public policy. While there is no dearth of literature onsecurity relationships between states, the concept itself ...

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Page 12

FBI Director James Comey Hosts Discussion at Chiefs of Police Conference in San Diego - NBC 7 San Diego

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NBC 7 San Diego

FBI Director James Comey Hosts Discussion at Chiefs of Police Conference in San Diego
NBC 7 San Diego
FBI Director James Comey is expected to host a discussion at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference (IACP) in San Diego. The conference, which started earlier this week, brings together federal, state, county, local and tribal law ...

FBI Director Rejects Talk of Epidemic of Police Bias Against Blacks - Wall Street Journal

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Wall Street Journal

FBI Director Rejects Talk of Epidemic of Police Bias Against Blacks
Wall Street Journal
FBI Director James Comey gave an impassioned defense of police officers Sunday, saying most are overwhelmingly good people in a “uniquely difficult time in American law enforcement.” Speaking at a conference of the International Association of Chiefs ...
FBI Director Comey Rejects Talk of Epidemic of Police Violence Against BlacksABC News
FBI director says lack of police use of force data fuels unfortunate narrativeLA Daily News

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Putin Dismisses U.S. Hacking Allegations As Campaign Rhetoric

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed new U.S. threats to retaliate against alleged Russian hackers, saying such statements only confirm that Washington uses cyberattacks for political purposes.

Putin Throws Out the Old Nuclear Rules, Rattling Washington - Foreign Policy (blog)

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Foreign Policy (blog)

Putin Throws Out the Old Nuclear Rules, Rattling Washington
Foreign Policy (blog)
The next U.S. president will inherit an increasingly fraught relationship with Russia in which Washington's attempts to deter Putin have mostly failed. Moscow's decision this month to pull out of a landmark agreement on disposing tons of weapons-grade ...
Xi, Putin 'bromance' becomes security bondThe Japan Times

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Hundreds gather in London as Russia's Patriarch Kirill consecrates Orthodox cathedral (VIDEO) - RT

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RT

Hundreds gather in London as Russia's Patriarch Kirill consecrates Orthodox cathedral (VIDEO)
RT
Hundreds of people including the Archbishop of Canterbury and Prince Michael of Kent gathered in London's Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God and All Saints to attend a historic service conducted by the head of Russia's Orthodox Church.
Head of Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill begins UK tripBBC News

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Святейший Патриарх Кирилл совершил освящение Успенского собора Сурожской епархии после реконструкции - Официальный портал Московской Патриархии

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Комсомольская правда

Святейший Патриарх Кирилл совершил освящение Успенского собора Сурожской епархии после реконструкции
Официальный портал Московской Патриархии
16 октября 2016 года Святейший Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл, находящийся с пастырским визитом в Сурожской епархии в связи с празднованием 300-летия присутствия Русской Православной Церкви на Британских островах, посетил Успенский собор в Лондоне. При входе ...
Британский визит Патриарха Кирилла не обошелся без сюрпризовВести.Ru
Патриарх Кирилл стал членом Королевского географического обществаРИА Новости
Зачем патриарх Кирилл пропел «Многая лета» английской королевеМосковский Комсомолец
Российская Газета
Все похожие статьи: 167 »
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Page 13

US, UK consider new sanctions against Syria, Russia - FRANCE 24

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FRANCE 24

US, UK consider new sanctions against Syria, Russia
FRANCE 24
But both men expressed some hope in the new diplomatic path Kerry forged a day earlier in Lausanne, Switzerland, even if France was less optimistic. Those talks involved Russia and Iran, Assad's two chief backers, in addition to Saudi Arabia, Iran ...
Hollande says France will not ease pressure on Russia over SyriaReuters
Russia's Putin says France 'not so involved' in efforts to end Syria warDeccan Chronicle
US, Britain consider sanctions against Syria, Russia over AleppoUSA TODAY
Sputnik International-Seymour Tribune
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US, UK Say Support Is Weak for Military Action Against Syria - New York Times

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Chicago Tribune

US, UK Say Support Is Weak for Military Action Against Syria
New York Times
LONDON — The United States and Britain on Sunday acknowledged the Western world's weak support for any military action against Syria's government as they sought ways to pressure President Bashar Assad and his chief backer, Russia, to halt a deadly ... 
U.S., Britain say support is weak for military action against SyriaChicago Tribune
US, Britain considering new sanctions on Russia, SyriaCBS News

US and UK Consider New Sanctions on Russia Over SyriaWall Street Journal 
PJ Media
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Trump's Kafkaesque bromance with Putin: Our view - USA TODAY

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USA TODAY

Trump's Kafkaesque bromance with Putin: Our view
USA TODAY
Conspicuously absent from the list: Russia and its remorselessly autocratic and self-aggrandizing leader, Vladimir Putin. For reasons that are mystifying to national security experts, fellow politicians and U.S. allies, Trump continues to defend both.
Another GOP ticket rift as Putin claims 'no intention' of swaying US electionsChristian Science Monitor
Clinton campaign hits Trump over Putin interviewThe Hill (blog)
Vladimir Putin has played Trump 'like a fiddle' says ex-CIA head backing Hillary ClintonDaily Mail

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Putin Again Dismisses US Hacking Claims

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is dismissing the latest U.S. claims that the Kremlin has directed cyberattacks against Washington, as well as scoffing at U.S. threats to retaliate for any Russian attempts to interfere in upcoming U.S. elections. Putin spoke Sunday in India at a televised news conference, calling the hacking allegations an effort to distract Americans from "lots of problems" facing their country. Putin's comments come less than two days after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden warned that "we are sending a message" to Putin.  He told NBC news on Friday that U.S. retaliation for Russian cyberattacks "will be at the time of our choosing, and under circumstances that will have the greatest impact." "You can expect anything from our American friends," Putin said Sunday.  He also claimed it is already widely known that "official bodies in the United States are spying and eavesdropping on everyone." Putin's latest comments also follow a joint U.S. statement October 7 in which the U.S. director of National Intelligence and the chief of the Department of Homeland Security formally accused Moscow of hacking U.S. political organizations.   Those accusations referenced hacking into internal email accounts at the Democratic National Committee, and further accused Moscow of orchestrating the release of information in the hacked accounts through the rogue anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. On Sunday, Putin said, "I would like to reassure everyone, including our U.S. partners and friends:  We do not intend to influence the U.S. election campaign." The Kremlin was first linked to U.S. political hacking in July, after the campaign staff of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused Moscow of hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee. Many Western analysts and pundits have since accused the Kremlin of favoring Republican candidate Donald Trump in the November elections, and point to Trump's repeated comments praising Putin and calling for closer bilateral ties.

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US election: Shaping a post-Obama world - Financial Times

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Financial Times

US election: Shaping a post-Obama world
Financial Times
On January 20, 2017, President Hillary Clinton or President Donald Trump will inherit Barack Obama's legacy, just as Mr Obama still uses George W Bush's tenure as a reference for his own. In broad strokes, Mr Obama's foreign policy has reflected a ...
Michelle Obama has dragged this US election out of the abyssgulfnews.com
Two Women Say Donald Trump Touched Them InappropriatelyNew York Times
First Lady Michelle Obama live in Manchester, New Hampshire | Hillary ClintonYouTube

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Steve Bannon's Vision for the Trump Coalition After Election Day - The New Yorker

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The New Yorker

Steve Bannon's Vision for the Trump Coalition After Election Day
The New Yorker
This week, Donald Trump's campaign took a new and even darker turn. As multiple women accused the Republican Presidential nominee of sexual harassment and sexual assault, Trumpgave speeches on Thursday and Friday that had two themes: he ...

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Page 14

New polls show tale of 2 races - Politico

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Politico

New polls show tale of 2 races
Politico
Two national polls released Sunday morning present diverging snapshots of where the presidential race stands: Hillary Clinton either has only a slight edge over Donald Trump — even after Trump's disastrous week — or she can start measuring the drapes ...
Clinton leads Trump, two new polls showCNN
Clinton Holds 11-Point National Lead Over Trump: NBC/WSJ PollNBCNews.com 
Polls Show Good News For Hillary ClintonHuffington Post
NJ.com-New York Magazine-CBS News-New York Times
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Syria conflict: West considers new sanctions over Aleppo - BBC News

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BBC News

Syria conflict: West considers new sanctions over Aleppo
BBC News
The US and UK have warned the Syrian and Russian governments that new economic sanctions could be imposed if the bombing of Aleppo continues. US Secretary of State John Kerry described the situation as "the largest of humanitarian disasters". He said ... 
US and UK Consider New Sanctions on Russia Over SyriaWall Street Journal
US, Britain consider sanctions against SyriaRussia over AleppoUSA TODAY
Russia says all participants in peace talks agreed Syria should decide its own futureCNBC
Chicago Tribune-NBCNews.com-CBS News
all 575 
news articles »

US, Britain considering new sanctions on Russia, Syria - CBS News

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CBS News

US, Britain considering new sanctions on RussiaSyria
CBS News
LONDON - With military options all but eliminated, the United States and Britain on Sunday said they were considering new sanctions to pressure the Syrian and Russian governments to halt an offensive against rebel-held parts of Aleppo, Syria's largest ...
US, Britain consider sanctions against SyriaRussia over AleppoUSA TODAY
US and Britain consider new economic sanctions on SyriaRussiaCNBC
Syria conflict: West considers new sanctions over AleppoBBC News
NBCNews.com -Voice of America -ABC News
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US and UK Consider New Sanctions on Russia Over Syria - Wall Street Journal

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Wall Street Journal

US and UK Consider New Sanctions on Russia Over Syria
Wall Street Journal
LONDON—U.S. and U.K. leaders on Sunday threatened Russia with sanctions and other measures to pressure it to change course on Syria, saying the onus is on Russia to help bring an end to violence in the more than five-year-long conflict there ...
US, Britain consider sanctions against SyriaRussia over AleppoUSA TODAY 
Syria conflict: West considers new sanctions over AleppoBBC News

Russia says all participants in peace talks agreed Syria should decide its own futureCNBC
Chicago Tribune-CBS News -Voice of America
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news articles »

Comey: Lack of use of force data fuels unfortunate narrative - The Seattle Times

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KSCJ

Comey: Lack of use of force data fuels unfortunate narrative
The Seattle Times
WASHINGTON (AP) — Dramatic videos of deadly law enforcement encounters and the absence of reliable data about how often police use force contribute to a regrettable narrative that “biased police are killing black men at epidemic rates,” FBI Director ...
FBI Director Comey Rejects Talk of Epidemic of Police Violence Against BlacksABC News
 

Other Views: Comey lied and email scandal died | Lubbock Online ...LubbockOnline.com
GUILTY AS SIN by Edward Klein - KSCJ 1360 - KSCJ.comKSCJ

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Report: IDF asks Russia to revise coordination in Syria - Arutz Sheva

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Arutz Sheva

Report: IDF asks Russia to revise coordination in Syria
Arutz Sheva
The IDF has approached the Russian Defense Ministry to request that new coordination procedures be developed now that Russia has stationed S-300 anti-aircraft missiles in Syria, Haaretz reported on Sunday. News of the IDF request first appeared in the ...

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Cyber attacks eat at heart of American Democracy - The News-Press

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The News-Press

Cyber attacks eat at heart of American Democracy
The News-Press
The stream of hacked WikiLeaks emails — the latest trove dumped Thursday — from inside Hillary Clinton's campaign opens up a troubling prospect far beyond their revelations about the differing public and private faces of the Democratic presidential ...

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What Can the Next President Do About Russia? - Wall Street Journal

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Wall Street Journal

What Can the Next President Do About Russia?
Wall Street Journal
Of the two great autocratic powers in Eurasia, Russia is emerging as a greater short-term threat than China. The Chinese hope to gradually dominate the waters off the Asian mainland without getting into a shooting war with the U.S. Yet while Beijing's ...
SELİN NASİ >Is a new Cold War brewing?Hurriyet Daily News

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FBI Director Comey Rejects Talk of Epidemic of Police Violence Against Blacks - ABC News

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FBI Director Comey Rejects Talk of Epidemic of Police Violence Against Blacks
ABC News
People who think police shootings are becoming a national epidemic "have no idea" what they're talking about because there currently is no federal data to indicate whether that's really the case, FBI Director James Comey said today. He made the stark ...
Comey: Lack of use of force data fuels unfortunate narrativeWashington Post
Other Views: Comey lied and email scandal died | Lubbock Online ...LubbockOnline.com 

all 12
 
FBI Director James Comey Wonders if Data Backs Narrative of 'Biased Police' Killing Blacks at DIsproportionate Ratesticklethewire.com

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FBI denies collusion over Hillary Clinton email classification - CBS News

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CBS News

FBI denies collusion over Hillary Clinton email classification
CBS News
The FBI denied Sunday that the agency ever engaged in a “quid pro quo” arrangement with Hillary Clinton's State Department over the classification of an email, following Rep. Jason Chaffetz's accusation of “potential criminality” in an interview with ...
Rep. Jason Chaffetz Hints At More Hearings On Clinton's Email ControversyNPR
New FBI files contain allegations of 'quid pro quo' in Clinton's emailsFox News

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Hillary Clinton Liked Covert Action if It Stayed Covert, Transcript Shows - New York Times

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New York Times

Hillary Clinton Liked Covert Action if It Stayed Covert, Transcript Shows
New York Times
Hillary Clinton longs for the days when Americans knew how to execute a covert action abroad and not spill the details to reporters. Addressing a Goldman Sachs event in 2013, in one of the speeches that WikiLeaks published on Saturday, Mrs. Clinton ...
Missing From Hacked Emails: Hillary Clinton HerselfWall Street Journal
Clinton's staff debated transparency in early days of campaign preparationsFox News
What Hillary Clinton's Hacked Goldman Sachs Speech Transcripts Tell UsNBCNews.com
USA TODAY -CNN -Los Angeles Times
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Containment of Russia is the answer

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Its greatest vulnerability is its economy, so strong sanctions will hurt, writes Ivo Daalder
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Page 16

Putin’s hope to ignite a Eurasia-style protest in the United States

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Putin’s hope to ignite a Eurasia-style protest in the United States 

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The Russian leader wants U.S. citizens to think their political system is as corrupt as his.





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Another GOP ticket rift as Putin claims 'no intention' of swaying US elections

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The disagreement came after the Republican running mates publicly contradicted each other concerning US policy on Russia's military activity in Syria.

Ripples From the ‘How Low Can They Go’ Campaign

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As the run for president veered to Donald J. Trump’s treatment of women, and whether Bill Clinton’s was worse, Americans collectively shook their heads.

As U.S. Watches Mexico, Traffickers Slip In From Canada

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Officials worry that the United States’ northern border, much of it remote, is vulnerable to exploitation by criminal enterprises and possible terrorists.

Hillary Clinton Was Open to Covert Action Abroad, Hacked Transcript Shows 

1 Share
She told a Goldman Sachs event in 2013 that she had no problem acting secretly inside Syria if that course provided the best chance of success.

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Page 17

What Can the Next President Do About Russia?

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Of the two great autocratic powers in Eurasia, Russia is emerging as a greater short-term threat than China. The Chinese hope to gradually dominate the waters off the Asian mainland without getting into a shooting war with the U.S. Yet while Beijing’s aggression is cool, Moscow’s is hot. When the current U.S. administration seems out of gas and a new one is not in place, there has never been a better opportunity for Russian President Vladimir Putin to veer toward brinkmanship.
Russia’s economic situation is much worse than China’s, and so the incentive of its leaders to dial up nationalism is that much greater. But the larger factor, one that Western elites have trouble understanding, cannot be quantified: A deeply embedded sense of historical insecurity makes Russian aggression crude, brazen, bloodthirsty and risk-prone. While the Chinese build runways on disputed islands and send fishing fleets into disputed waters, the Russians send thugs with ski masks into Ukraine and drop cluster bombs on unarmed civilians in Aleppo, Syria.
Not counting the cyber domain, where its interference in our politics is approaching an act of war, Russia is engaged in aggression in four theaters: the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea basin, Ukraine and Syria. Yet to Moscow this constitutes one theater—the Russian “near abroad” that includes the periphery of the old Soviet Union and its shadow zones of influence. Because Mr. Putin sees this as one fluid Eurasian theater, if the U.S. were to put pressure on him in Syria, say, he could easily respond in the Baltic states.
Such a reaction would be designed to split the Western alliance. Consider a scenario that came up during a war-game I participated in last winter in Washington: Russia could send only a few hundred uniformed troops a few miles inside one of the Baltic states and then stop.
It would be daring NATO to escalate by declaring an Article 5 violation—in which an attack on one ally is an attack on all. Mr. Putin knows that the NATO members in southern Europe, Greece, Bulgaria and Italy, might hesitate to support an intervention, even while Russian troops vastly outnumber NATO soldiers in the Baltic region. By the time NATO deployed sufficient strength, Russia could overrun one of the Baltic NATO members.
As for the role of Syria: In 2011 the U.S. might have had strategic opportunities there had the White House acted. A half-decade later, the opportunities have narrowed and the risks have intensified. One precedent that has been invoked is the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s, which helped lead to a Western military intervention. But then President Bill Clinton came up against a weak Russia, no competing outside powers and no indigenous fighters who were international terrorists.
The U.S. may be able to relieve the suffering in Aleppo, and military experts can advance that argument. But keep in mind there is a vast distance between making predatory aggression much harder for the Syrian regime in the northern part of the country (doable) and toppling that regime in Damascus (too ambitious at this point).
There is also a larger foreign-policy question that must be the first order of business for the new president: How does the U.S. build leverage on the ground, from the Baltic Sea to the Syrian desert, that puts America in a position where negotiations with Russia can make a strategic difference?
For without the proper geopolitical context, the secretary of state is a missionary, not a diplomat. Secretary of State John Kerry is a man who has a checklist of negotiations he wants to conduct rather than a checklist of American interests he wants to defend. He doesn’t seem to realize that interests come before values in foreign policy; only if the former are understood do the latter have weight.
For example, just as Western military intervention in Syria risks a Russian response in Europe, a robust movement of American forces permanently back to Europe may cause Mr. Putin to be more reasonable in Syria. This may offer a way out of the sterile Syria debate, in which all the options—from establishing safe zones to toppling Bashar Assad’s regime—are problematic and offer no end to the war. By seriously pressuring Russia in Eastern and Central Europe, the U.S. can create conditions for a meaningful negotiation whereby Moscow might have an incentive to shape the behavior of its Syrian client in a better direction.
Because the Syrian conflict is a regional war, the other powers—Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran—would have to be involved. Here, too, American diplomacy can be meaningful only if the U.S. can better reassure its Middle Eastern allies with, for example, a more-robust deployment of military assets, from special-forces trainers to warships in the Eastern Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. Even ending sequestration would help in this regard—anything that provides a better context for projecting power. Diplomacy is not a replacement for force, but its accompaniment. At root, this is what separates presidents like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan from Barack Obama.
In the cyber domain the U.S. has not sufficiently drawn red lines. What kind of Russian hacking will result in either a proportionate, or even disproportionate, punitive response? The Obama administration seems to be proceeding ad hoc, as it has done with Russia policy in general. The next administration, along with projecting military force throughout the Russian near abroad, will have to project force in cyberspace, too.
I am a realist—and realism dictates that Russia’s aggression in its near abroad has upset the balance of power and has for some time required a definitive response. The fact that President Obama has been wary of quagmires is merely a tactic. It does not give him an overarching philosophy or make him a realist. That is where the problem lies in Syria and elsewhere.
Mr. Kaplan is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and the author of “Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America’s Role in the World,” forthcoming in January from Random House.
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CIA director: U.S. faces ‘unprecedented’ cyber threats

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AUGUSTA — The U.S. now faces an “unprecedented range of threats” in the digital domain, the nation’s CIA director said.
Central Intelligence Director John Brennan outlined some of the threats during a recent talk at the Cyber Georgia conference at Augusta University, The Augusta Chronicle reported.
Georgia is home to a key facility in the U.S. military’s cyber security efforts. In 2013, military officials announced that the U.S. Army Cyber Command Headquarters will be at Fort Gordon in Augusta.
The Cyber Georgia conference, which brings together government, academic and industry experts to exchange ideas, is in its third year at Augusta University.
“I think this community represents the marriage of the private and public sector,” Brennan told reporters at the conference after his Thursday keynote address.
“We have Fort Gordon and Augusta University, which is really determined to bring together the representatives from the different sectors of society and recognize that cyber security affects us all,” he said. “It’s something that we really need to all work on.”
In fiscal year 2014, federal agencies were the target of more than 640,000 cyber-related incidents, Brennan said.
Forums such as the one in Augusta are examples of ways professionals can work together for solutions and recognize the problems the country faces, he added.
“We have been told to expect what’s been called a cyber tsunami,” Augusta University President Brooks Keel said, adding that “Augusta has got to be ready.”
Former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who also spoke at the event, said he used to speak about cyber security and get little response, but now it’s a topic no one can ignore.
“The No. 1 issue in every boardroom of American companies today is cyber security,” Chambliss said. “It’s that important and it’s reached that high a profile.”
National security officials began Georgia’s largest cyber summit Wednesday by finalizing a deal allowing soldiers at the National Security Agency’s Fort Gordon complex to obtain degrees at Augusta University, the Augusta newspaper reported.
The agreement signed by the university and NSA’s National Cryptologic School, scheduled to start this spring, will enable a pilot class of 25 military personnel at Augusta’s NSA intelligence-gathering facility the chance to earn bachelor’s degrees in one of four career tracks, such as political science and international relations.
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FBI director says lack of police use of force data fuels unfortunate narrative

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Obama meets with national security team on Syria, Islamic State - Reuters

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Reuters

Obama meets with national security team on Syria, Islamic State
Reuters
U.S. officials said they considered it unlikely that Obama would order U.S. air strikes on Syrian government targets, and they stressed that he might not make any decisions at the National Security Council meeting. A readout of the meeting released by ... 
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Russia Plans to Turn Cell Phone Towers Into Cruise Missile Jammers 

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Robert Beckhusen
Security, Europe

Communications network doubles as a defense grid. 

Here’s a nightmare scenario that keeps Russian generals up at night: American submarines and aircraft launching precision-guided cruise missiles by the hundreds. Within minutes, they slam into bases, communications nodes and the Kremlin’s own missile launchers.
Implausible as it may seem, Russia is freaked out enough about this possibility — in the event of a major war — that it’s taking steps to militarize its civilian communications infrastructure.
Specifically, the Russian military is buying up jamming devices which it plans to mount on cell phone towers. The idea behind it is simple — the Kremlin could switch on the jammers, known as Pole-21s, during a conflict and pray a U.S. missile blitzkrieg becomes a bit less accurate.
“At the present time, the tests of the item have been completed and the system has been acceptedinto the inventory,” a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman told the Izvestiya newspaper.
Izvestiya noted the system “is integrated with the transmission and reception antennas that are installed on cellular communications towers, which are merged into a single network, which covers entire regions like a dome that is impenetrable for satellite navigation signals.”
Russia mounting jammers on cell towers is unusual, but the underlying military logic is reasonable. As it stands, the United States possesses a large disparity in cruise missiles, drones and guidance systems, such as GPS. Russia has its own satellite navigation system known as GLONASS.
A word of caution — U.S. cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk contain electronics designed to specifically counteract GPS jamming devices. One device called the AGR allows “continued satellite track in the presence of high levels of hostile jamming,” manufacturer Raytheon notes.
But the Kremlin is betting on disrupting a missile’s receiver just enough to stop a direct hit. “The transmission of an elementary signal from a satellite lies at the foundation of all satellite navigation systems,” Russian military analyst Anton Lavrov told Izvestiya. “Therefore, the slightest deviation from the designated frequency even for milliseconds will result in a loss of accuracy.”
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Private prison industry fights Justice Department directive to end the use of contract facilities 

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One company filed a formal protest to a contract reduction, and legislators have asked the DOJ to pump the brakes.