Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Against all hope: In his final State of the Union address, President Obama seeks to stay relevant - LA Times | Balancing Terror and Reality in State of the Union Address - The New York Times | Majority of Americans Disapprove of Obama’s Job As President | Human Traffickers Found to Exploit U.S. Visas and Data-Sharing Failures - The New York Times | Reports: Russia Bombs U.S. Aid Offices, Schools, Hospitals in Syria - Washington Free Beacon | Suicide bomber kills 10 people, mainly Germans, in Istanbul | Reuters | India sentences crew of US-owned ship to 5 years in jail - The Washington Post


Balancing Terror and Reality in State of the Union Address - The New York Times

Against all hopeIn his final State of the Union address, President Obama seeks to stay relevant - LA Times

The State and its Disunion

The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let’s go together. 


WASHINGTON — When President Obama speaks to the nation in his final State of the Union address on Tuesday night, he will offer a familiar reassurance that the country is expending enormous effort to protect Americans against international terrorism.
Here is what he probably will not say, at least not this bluntly: Americans are more likely to die in a car crash, drown in a bathtub or be struck by lightning than be killed by a terrorist. The news media is complicit in inflating the sense of danger. The Islamic State does not pose an existential threat to the United States.
He will presumably not say this, either: Given how hard it is for intelligence and law enforcement agencies to detect people who have become radicalized, like those who opened fire at a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif., a certain number of relatively low-level terrorist attacks may be inevitable, and Americans may have to learn to adapt the way Israel has.
By all accounts, Mr. Obama is sympathetic to this view, which is shared by a number of counterterrorism veterans who contend that anxiety has warped the American public’s perspective. But it is also a politically untenable argument at a time when polls show greater fears about terrorism than at any point since the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001. As it is, critics contend that Mr. Obama does not take the threat seriously enough and has not done enough to guard the nation against attack.
Hoping to amplify the president's argument to the country, the White House has tried to make the State of the Union address more than just a speech in the House chamber. It's the launching pad for Snapchat messages, YouTube forums, and yes, even some good old-fashioned barnstorming.
The speech itself, aides say, will be built around one central theme of optimism, as the president seeks to highlight the progress he sees the nation having made since he first took office... 
It's not clear that the country shares the president's positive view of the state of the nation. A Fox News poll released last week found that 61% of Americans were not satisfied with how things were going in the country, the highest number in two years.
Hours before the final State of the Union address of President Obama’s career, a majority of Americans disapprove of the way the current commander-in-chief is handling his job.
According to an NBC News/Survey Monkey poll released Tuesday morning, 54 percent of U.S. adults disapprove of the way Obama is doing his job as president while 45 percent approve.
Furthermore, a plurality of Americans say they “strongly” disapprove of Obama’s handling of his job, with 42 percent of respondents saying so. Only 22 percent “somewhat” approve of the president and 23 percent “strongly” approve.
Obama’s approval ratings have appeared to decline as terrorism fears increased following the deadly Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, according to a review of weekly data collected by Gallup. Indeed, terrorism remains a top concern among Americans following the coordinated bombings and shootings in France and the Dec. 2 terror attack in San Bernardino, California.
When asked what issue matters most to them, respondents were most likely to list jobs and the economy (28 percent) and terrorism (23 percent) as top concerns.
...we will see that Obama is remembered as a trailblazer, but also one who underwhelmed and didn't meet expectations... Future scholars will marvel at how Obama was so controversial while not really doing many controversial things...
WASHINGTON — Human traffickers used fiancé and work visas to bring dozens of victims to the United States, exploiting a lack of data sharing between immigration offices within the Department of Homeland Security, according to the agency’s internal watchdog.
In a report released on Monday, investigators found that from 2005 to 2014, 17 of the 32 known traffickers they examined used the visas to bring in victims who were exploited for either forced labor or prostitution. In addition, the report found that 274 suspected traffickers successfully petitioned federal officials to bring 425 family members or fiancés into the United States.
The report, by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General, comes as Congress is beginning to examine the visa program after the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead and 22 wounded.
Tashfeen Malik, one of the attackers, was granted entry to the United States under a K-1 visa, also known as a fiancé visa. Her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, was an American-born citizen. Both died in a shootout with the police.

__________________________________________________


US

Fanning steps aside as acting Army Secretary as confirmation remains on hold - U.S. - Stripes
As U.S. Modernizes Nuclear Weapons, ‘Smaller’ Leaves Some Uneasy - The New York Times
What the End of the Case Against Steven Cohen Means - The New York Times
House passes sweeping FOIA reform legislation | TheHill
Tennessee Policemen Buy $160 Worth of Food for Elderly Man

Russia, Putin, Nato, wars

Интервью немецкому изданию Bild. Часть 1 • Президент России
Интервью немецкому изданию Bild. Часть 2 • Президент России
Sanctions impact on Russia to be longer term, U.S. says | Reuters
ВЕДОМОСТИ - Путин снова хочет начать с нуля
ВЕДОМОСТИ - Правительство готовится сократить расходы бюджета 2016 года на 10%
ВЕДОМОСТИ - Стоимость нефти Urals упала ниже $30 за баррель
Putin keeps close eye on US missile defense efforts - News - Stripes
Western defense: Russia to form 3 new army divisions in 2016 — RT News
Air Force General Says Russia Missile Defense ‘Very Serious’ - The New York Times
NATO cannot limit missile defenses to please Russia, U.S. says - Yahoo News
Reports: Russia Bombs U.S. Aid Offices, Schools, Hospitals in Syria - Washington Free Beacon
Putin: too early to speak about sheltering Assad in Russia - The Washington Post
ISIS Shifts to Libya
Carter Reaffirms Strategic Relationship in Meeting With Jordan’s King > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Article View
Despite Its Flaws, I Still Believe in NATO | Patrick Stephenson
Polish president to urge greater NATO presence in Central Europe - Radio Poland :: News from Poland
NATO Will Never Achieve Peace 'Through Superior Firepower' in Europe
Why Putin Loves Trump - The New York Times

Middle East and Asia

Iran Executed 1,084 People In 2015
Iran denies report nuclear reactor was dismantled, filled with concrete - Chicago Tribune
Suicide bomber kills 10 people, mainly Germans, in Istanbul | Reuters
Turkish government official says at least 9 victims of Istanbul suicide attack are Germans - The Washington Post
ISIS Attack on Baghdad Mall Kills 17 - The New York Times
How much ISIS cash did the US destroy? Nobody knows
German-Made Submarine Ceremoniously Received in Haifa As Part of Israel’s Second-Strike Deployment
Azeri oil disaster an open wound for survivors | Reuters
India sentences crew of US-owned ship to 5 years in jail - The Washington Post
British sailors given India jail time for weapons charges on anti-piracy mission - Telegraph

World

Top Suspect in Paris Attacks Had Traveled to Britain, Officials Say - The New York Times
Polish ex-leader Walesa denies he was communist spy, calls for debate | intelNews.org
Noos case: The eyes of a stubborn woman | In English | EL PAÍS
Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall announce engagement - BBC News

Accidents

Four teens charged in New York gang rape, fifth is sought | Reuters
Police: Ohio Man Mistakes Teen Son for Intruder, Kills Him - ABC News
Police: Ex-Boyfriend Fatally Stabs Woman, Her 2 Kids in Ohio - ABC News
2 adults, 2 kids killed in northeast Ohio house explosion - AP National News - Greeneville Sun

Cybersecurity

Loco Motives? Hacker Attacks Could Derail Train Cybersecurity, Researchers Say
"Cyber security isn't working - security breaches are inevitable"
Counter-Terrorism: The Quiet War In The Internet
Researchers: ISIS Now Has New a Secure Messaging App - Defense One
Israel cyber-security expertise lures growing share of investment - FT.com
Microsoft's Internet Explorer Goes Into Retirement - ABC News

Reviews

News Roundup and Notes: January 12, 2016 | Just Security
Today's Headlines and Commentary - Lawfare

________________________________________

Majority of Americans Disapprove of Obama’s Job As President

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Ahead of SOTU, low approval for president in final year
Barack Obama
Hours before the final State of the Union address of President Obama’s career, a majority of Americans disapprove of the way the current commander-in-chief is handling his job.
According to an NBC News/Survey Monkey poll released Tuesday morning, 54 percent of U.S. adults disapprove of the way Obama is doing his job as president while 45 percent approve.
Furthermore, a plurality of Americans say they “strongly” disapprove of Obama’s handling of his job, with 42 percent of respondents saying so. Only 22 percent “somewhat” approve of the president and 23 percent “strongly” approve.
Obama’s approval ratings have appeared to decline as terrorism fears increased following the deadly Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, according to a review of weekly data collected by Gallup. Indeed, terrorism remains a top concern among Americans following the coordinated bombings and shootings in France and the Dec. 2 terror attack in San Bernardino, California.
When asked what issue matters most to them, respondents were most likely to list jobs and the economy (28 percent) and terrorism (23 percent) as top concerns.
The poll, which was conducted between Jan. 4 and 10, comes just as Obama prepares to address the nation in his final State of the Union speech. Obama is expected to focus on his purported accomplishments during the speech, including the Iran nuclear deal and Obamacare, according to apreview released by the White House.
The preview does not make mention of international terrorism or the president’s campaign to fight ISIS, the terror group Obama once described as a “JV team” that now controls large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris and is also believed to have inspired the gun attack in San Bernardino.
Read the whole story

· · ·

In his final State of the Union address, President Obama seeks to stay relevant

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Speaking to Democratic donors recently in his hometown of Chicago, President Obama took some delight in recalling how long it had been since someone reminded him he was a "lame duck" president.
"We've been flapping our wings a lot," he said, noting a Pacific Rim trade agreement, a deal to rein inIran's nuclear program, positive economic trends and new actions on climate change.
In that spirit, White House officials have said for weeks that Obama's final State of the Union addressTuesday will be a "non-traditional speech." That's a well-worn line from second-term administrations entering their final year as they try to stay relevant in the national debate.
The relatively early date for the president's annual address to Congress is indicative of the need to avoid being overshadowed by the campaign to succeed Obama, with the Iowa caucuses less than three weeks away. But Obama and his team nonetheless see a rare opportunity for the president to not just be part of the 2016 debate, but to set its terms.

"This one moment where the country sort of acknowledges that the president gets an hour to assess the condition of the country and to offer up a prescription for confronting the challenges and capitalizing on the opportunities is as important as ever," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.
Hoping to amplify the president's argument to the country, the White House has tried to make the State of the Union address more than just a speech in the House chamber. It's the launching pad for Snapchat messages, YouTube forums, and yes, even some good old-fashioned barnstorming.
The speech itself, aides say, will be built around one central theme of optimism, as the president seeks to highlight the progress he sees the nation having made since he first took office at the height of the Great Recession, and what more can be done to leverage the strengths of the American people in the future.
"There is no country in the world that is better positioned to capitalize on the kind of opportunities we see, whether it relates to our national security or it relates to our economy, than the United States of America," Earnest said.
It's not clear that the country shares the president's positive view of the state of the nation. A Fox News poll released last week found that 61% of Americans were not satisfied with how things were going in the country, the highest number in two years. But Earnest attributed that in part to the "avalanche of negativity" from the Republicans looking to take his place.
"The willingness of those candidates to exploit people's fears and insecurities and anxieties has infected the political debate," he said.
Throughout the week, the White House will be working to remind Americans of what the president has accomplished since taking office, while pointing to 2016 as the year to "push a bunch of big pieces over the finish line in the next year," as one official, who was not authorized to speak publicly in advance of the president's speech, put it. That includes closing the military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, giving final approval to the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, and enacting reforms to the criminal justice system.
Those priorities ensure that even as the tumultuous presidential race dominates the nation's attention, the candidates will spend "a lot more time responding to us" than the other way around, as the official put it.
Whether it's to his party's political benefit or detriment is unclear. When Obama first addressed Congress in 2009, Democrats dominated both the House and what was briefly a 60-seat supermajority in the Senate. On Tuesday, he speaks to the largest Republican House majority in generations, one built largely through midterm election years when Obama's agenda was deeply unpopular.
But the story has been different in presidential election years, as Obama reminded lawmakers in his 2015 State of the Union address.
"I have no more campaigns to run," he said then, drawing some sarcastic cheers. "I know because I won both of them."
Follow @mikememoli and @cparsons on Twitter for more news out of Washington.
ALSO
Read the whole story

· · ·

Balancing Terror and Reality in State of the Union Address

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WASHINGTON — When President Obama speaks to the nation in his final State of the Union address on Tuesday night, he will offer a familiar reassurance that the country is expending enormous effort to protect Americans against international terrorism.
Here is what he probably will not say, at least not this bluntly: Americans are more likely to die in a car crash, drown in a bathtub or be struck by lightning than be killed by a terrorist. The news media is complicit in inflating the sense of danger. The Islamic State does not pose an existential threat to the United States.
He will presumably not say this, either: Given how hard it is for intelligence and law enforcement agencies to detect people who have become radicalized, like those who opened fire at a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif., a certain number of relatively low-level terrorist attacks may be inevitable, and Americans may have to learn to adapt the way Israel has.
By all accounts, Mr. Obama is sympathetic to this view, which is shared by a number of counterterrorism veterans who contend that anxiety has warped the American public’s perspective. But it is also a politically untenable argument at a time when polls show greater fears about terrorism than at any point since the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001. As it is, critics contend that Mr. Obama does not take the threat seriously enough and has not done enough to guard the nation against attack.
“Do we overemphasize terror? Yes,” said Juliette Kayyem, who served as an assistant Homeland Security secretary under Mr. Obama. “But there’s not much government can do about that. It’s a different kind of violence. It’s meant to elicit fear. So the fact that it does elicit fear is hard to refute.”
The effect on the public psyche is inherently more powerful than other dangers Americans accept every day. “Comparing it to shark attacks is apples and oranges,” she said, “and that’s the challenge for anyone trying to communicate risk.”
That dynamic frustrates Mr. Obama as he struggles to explain his approach to the threat. In a recent off-the-record meeting with columnists, he emphasized that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, did not threaten the United States in a fundamental way, according to people who were in the room.
As a result, he said, the danger does not merit an all-out military response involving American ground troops. He would send significant numbers of those forces to the Middle East, he added, only in the event of a terrorist attack in the United States so catastrophic that it all but paralyzed the country with fear.
The president is more careful about expressing such an analysis in public, acutely aware that his past comments have made him look as if he was underestimating the threat. When Mr. Obama at first called emerging groups like the Islamic State the “J.V. team” of terrorism, he looked as though he did not grasp its lethal reach after it seized parts of Iraq and Syria. When he more recently said the group had been “contained,” he looked as if he was out of touch, given the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino that followed.
His initial measured — some said passive — public response to those attacks further undermined public confidence, and even Democrats complained his strategy was inadequate. Polls afterward showed that most Americans disapproved of his handling of terrorism, once a political asset.
“While there are many things I disagree about the president’s approach, I understand that balance he’s trying to find,” said Frances Fragos Townsend, a counterterrorism adviser to President George W. Bush, “I just think he’s tilted too far in that direction.”
She continued: “He condescended about the fears — ‘you shouldn’t be afraid, you just don’t understand the strategy.’ That doesn’t work.”
Mr. Obama acknowledged to the columnists that he was slow to respond to public fears after the Paris and San Bernardino attacks. He said he might not have fully recognized the anxiety because he was overseas at first and in general does not watch much cable television — as much a jab at the news media as an admission on his part.
Here is a look back at some of the issues President Obama addressed in his annual speeches before a joint session of Congress and the actions, or inaction, that followed in those areas.
OPEN Interactive Graphic
He later tried to modify his public response with tougher language and more events to demonstrate resolve. He has tried to make a nuanced argument, but it has drawn scorn on the campaign trail among Republicans who portray him as woefully weak. While Republicans vowed to destroy the enemy, Mr. Obama argued against overreaction, as with Donald J. Trump’s proposal to temporarily bar the entry of foreign Muslims.
In an interview last month with NPR, Mr. Obama urged Americans “to keep things in perspective” about the Islamic State.
“This is not an organization that can destroy the United States,” he said. “This is not a huge industrial power that can pose great risks to us institutionally or in a systematic way. But they can hurt us, and they can hurt our people and our families. And so I understand why people are worried.”
In a New York Times-CBS News poll last month, 44 percent of respondents said they thought it was very likely that the United States would suffer a terrorist attack in the next few months, the highest figure since the weeks after Sept. 11. An additional 35 percent said it was somewhat likely. In the latest Gallup poll, 51 percent said they were worried that they or someone in their family would be a victim of terrorism, the highest proportion since just after Sept. 11.
Never mind that only a relative handful of people have been killed in terrorist attacks in the United States since Sept. 11. The annual risk of dying in a terrorist attack in the United States between 1970 and 2007 was one in 3.5 million, according to data presented by John Mueller, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who has written extensively on what he considers the exaggeration of the terrorist threat.
“He’s afraid if he pushes this very far it’s going to possibly blow up in his face,” Mr. Mueller said of Mr. Obama. “And it doesn’t seem to work. He has tried to say it’s not an existential threat, which is so banal it’s a no-brainer, and he can’t even get that to go down.”
Juan Carlos Zarate, another of Mr. Bush’s counterterrorism advisers, said that in some ways Mr. Obama “is right to not overplay the sense of threat” to avoid playing into the hands of the terrorists. But he added that Mr. Obama seemed to have retreated to a pre-Sept. 11 mind-set, and that waiting until a more devastating attack to make a more serious effort would be too late.
“We run the risk for ourselves and our allies that we’re not dealing aggressively enough from the outset with the adaptation of this group, which could become catastrophic,” Mr. Zarate said.
Ms. Kayyem has taken on this subject in a memoir, “Security Mom,” to be published in April. “As a society we’re irrational about it, but government has to accept that irrationality rather than fight it,” she said. “You’re not going to fight it.”
She noted that in military campaigns, Americans historically had accepted some losses. Terrorism, she said, does not work the same way. “When you’re talking about my three children, there’s no acceptable losses,” she said. “We don’t want to hear that you view it that way. That’s the challenge for the government.”
Read the whole story

· · · · · ·

Pathankot attack: India says talks only if Pakistan acts

Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks Review

From The Major News Sources

» Majority of Americans Disapprove of Obama’s Job As President
12/01/16 16:12 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story from Washington Free Beacon. Ahead of SOTU, low approval for president in final year BY: Morgan Chalfant Hours before the final State of the Union address of President Obama’s career, a majority of A...
» In his final State of the Union address, President Obama seeks to stay relevant
12/01/16 16:07 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . Speaking to Democratic donors recently in his hometown of Chicago, President Obama took some delight in recalling how long it had been since someone reminded him he was a "lame duck" president. "We've been fl...
» Balancing Terror and Reality in State of the Union Address
12/01/16 16:04 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . WASHINGTON — When President Obama speaks to the nation in his final State of the Union address on Tuesday night, he will offer a familiar reassurance that the country is expending enormous effort to pro...
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» 4,078,7314,078,7312016-01-11Today Was a Wild Day for the Oil Market - Bloomberg Business | Putin
12/01/16 05:51 from Mike Nova - Google+
4,078,731 4,078,731 2016-01-11 Today Was a Wild Day for the Oil Market - Bloomberg Business | Putin Is Waging a Relentless Cyberwar Against Ukraine Today Was a Wild Day for the Oil Market - Bloomberg Business First on CNN: US bombs 'mill...
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» 2016-01-10German Justice Minister: Cologne attacks planned in advance | News
10/01/16 20:30 from Mike Nova - Google+
2016-01-10 German Justice Minister: Cologne attacks planned in advance | News | DW.COM | 10.01.2016 German Justice Minister: Cologne attacks planned in advance | News | DW.COM | 10.01.2016 M.DW.COM - News - Cologne New Year's Eve complai...
» 4,073,5264,073,5262016-01-09Igor Sergun - News and Web Review
10/01/16 11:57 from Mike Nova - Google+
4,073,526 4,073,526 2016-01-09 Igor Sergun - News and Web Review The following is my version and my current understanding of these recent events, whatever they are worth.  Igor Sergun's death was a suicide, just like the previous death o...
» 4,070,0974,070,0972016-01-08Why NATO says it's time to stop hugging the Russian bear - CSMonitor
09/01/16 02:39 from Mike Nova - Google+
4,070,097 4,070,097 2016-01-08 Why NATO says it's time to stop hugging the Russian bear - CSMonitor.com Why NATO says it's time to stop hugging the Russian bear - CSMonitor.com Gunman citing Islamic State ambushes Philadelphia policeman ...
» 4,062,1424,062,1422016-01-07Attacker killed at Paris police station one year after Charlie
07/01/16 17:21 from Mike Nova - Google+
4,062,142 4,062,142 2016-01-07 Attacker killed at Paris police station one year after Charlie Hebdo massacre Pathankot attack: India says talks only if Pakistan acts Thursday January 7 th , 2016  at  12:16 PM BBC News - Home 1 Share Indi...
» Pathankot attack: India says talks only if Pakistan acts
07/01/16 12:16 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story from BBC News - Home. India has said that planned talks with Pakistan would go ahead only if Islamabad took action against militants that Delhi said were behind the deadly assault on the Pathankot air base. A f...
» Monkey Naruto Loses Selfie Copyright Bid
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mikenova shared this story . A monkey who took a selfie that went viral can’t be considered the copyright owner of the photo, a federal judge said Wednesday. U.S. District Judge William Orrick said that while copyright protection c...
» Attacker killed at Paris police station one year after Charlie Hebdo massacre
07/01/16 11:40 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . The Paris prosecutor's office announced Thursday that it was opening a terrorism investigation after police shot and killed a knife-wielding man outside a police station in northern Paris on the anniversary o...
» Talks uncertain as India says Pakistan must first hunt militants
07/01/16 11:24 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . By Krista Mahr and Douglas Busvine NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India called on Pakistan on Thursday to take "prompt and decisive" action against militants it blames for an attack on an air base, days before fraught...
» Truck bomb kills nearly 50 at Libyan police training center
07/01/16 11:18 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . By Ayman El-Sahli MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) - At least 47 people were killed on Thursday when Libya's worst bomb attack since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi hit a police training center as hundreds of recruits ga...
» Igor Sergun was killed - Google Search
05/01/16 06:46 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . Russia's top military spook dies unexpectedly CBS News - 16 hours ago MOSCOW - Russia's Defense Ministry says the head of the military's main intelligence service, Col.-Gen. Igor Sergun , has died at age 58. ...
» Начальник ГРУ России был убит? « Русский Еврей
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mikenova shared this story from Русский Еврей. Січень 5th, 2016 Российская газета “Ве&#...
» 4,053,8074,053,8072016-01-04Igor Sergun, the head of GRU (Russian Military Intelligence Service
05/01/16 03:02 from Mike Nova - Google+
4,053,807 4,053,807 2016-01-04 Igor Sergun, the head of GRU (Russian Military Intelligence Service) is suddenly dead at 58. The circumstances are unknown. Igor Sergun, the head of GRU (Russian Military Intelligence Service) is suddenly d...
» Начальник разведки России Игорь Сергун “внезапно” умер « Русский Еврей
04/01/16 10:07 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story from Русский Еврей. Січень 4th, 2016 В России внезапно умер ...
» начальник гру игорь сергун - Google Search
04/01/16 10:05 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . Умер начальник ГРУ Игорь Сергун РБ...
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» 2016-01-03US Survey: Nearly Half of Americans Are Angrier at Current Events
03/01/16 17:26 from Mike Nova - Google+
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» Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder From 9/11 Still Haunts
02/01/16 11:09 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . In the safety of her therapist’s office in late 2001, Dr. Margaret Dessau made a tape reliving what it was like to look out her living room window after she heard the boom of a hijacked plane eight bloc...
» The Lingering Mental Health Effects of 9/11
02/01/16 11:05 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story from World of Psychology. On this 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. in New York City and Washington, DC, we are reminded not only of the sacrifice of the hundreds of first-responders —...
» Russian espionage in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
02/01/16 10:53 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story from Wikipedia - Recent changes [en]. Doctrine [ edit ] The Foundations of Geopolitics , initially published in 1997 when Vladimir Putin became FSB chief, is a military training textbook which has influenced ke...
» Demographics of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
02/01/16 10:32 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story from Wikipedia - Recent changes [en]. Projections [ edit ] 2015 2050 White Americans 1 77.4% 70.8% Non-Hispanic Whites 61.8% 46.6% Black Americans 2 13.2% 14.4% Asian Americans 2 5.3% 7.7% Multiracial Americans...
» The American Middle Class Is Losing Ground
02/01/16 10:26 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
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» Who Won the Democratic Debate?
02/01/16 10:10 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story from The Atlantic. To understand the state of the Democratic presidential race, look no further than an exchange midway through Saturday night’s debate about American policy in Syria. The differences betw...
» Demographic Weapons in Syria and Beyond
02/01/16 10:04 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . In recent weeks, several leading Republican presidential candidates have argued in favor of selectively sealing U.S. borders to Syrians and others. That—and the discontinuation of any Syrian refugee res...
» 4. The Security Implications of Demographic Factors
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mikenova shared this story from [Untitled]. Demographics and the Nature of Future Conflict Current demographic trends will affect the nature and conduct of future armed conflicts by influencing the physical environment of future conflict...
» Plagiarist Fareed Zakaria Celebrates: White People are Dying and Trump Can't Save You!
02/01/16 09:12 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story from Breitbart News. Citing a study that shows Middle American whites are dying in increasing numbers, like a twisted and bitter eugenicist, serial-plagiarist Fareed Zakaria doesn’t even attempt to contai...
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02/01/16 09:02 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
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» 5 theories about why middle-aged, white Americans are dying at such high rates
02/01/16 08:59 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
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» The Dying of the Whites
02/01/16 08:53 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . STARTING around the turn of the millennium, the United States experienced the most alarming change in mortality rates since the AIDS epidemic. This shift was caused, not by some dreadful new disease, but by d...
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» Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century
02/01/16 08:24 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . Anne Case 1 and Angus Deaton 1 Author Affiliations Contributed by Angus Deaton, September 17, 2015 (sent for review August 22, 2015; reviewed by David Cutler, Jon Skinner, and David Weir) Significance Midlife...
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29/12/15 15:47 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . President Obama nearly won the solidly Republican Cuban-American vote in Florida and rolled up huge margins with every other Hispanic group in the state, according to an exit poll performed by a firm that als...
» Puerto Rico and presidential politics
29/12/15 15:47 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story . Why is Congress suddenly paying attention to Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt crisis? Well, let’s put it this way: If Florida didn’t have so many Puerto Rican voters, the federal government li...

Human Traffickers Found to Exploit U.S. Visas and Data-Sharing Failures

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WASHINGTON — Human traffickers used fiancé and work visas to bring dozens of victims to the United States, exploiting a lack of data sharing between immigration offices within the Department of Homeland Security, according to the agency’s internal watchdog.
In a report released on Monday, investigators found that from 2005 to 2014, 17 of the 32 known traffickers they examined used the visas to bring in victims who were exploited for either forced labor or prostitution. In addition, the report found that 274 suspected traffickers successfully petitioned federal officials to bring 425 family members or fiancés into the United States.
The report, by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General, comes as Congress is beginning to examine the visa program after the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead and 22 wounded.
Tashfeen Malik, one of the attackers, was granted entry to the United States under a K-1 visa, also known as a fiancé visa. Her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, was an American-born citizen. Both died in a shootout with the police.
The attack has added to fear that terrorist groups like the Islamic State could exploit gaps in the visa system.
Homeland Security auditors say human traffickers were able to exploit the work and fiancé visa system because the two agencies responsible for immigration enforcement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Citizenship and Immigration Services, did not always share data that was collected on human traffickers.
Auditors found that Citizenship and Immigration Services did not always collect the names and other information that the victims of human trafficking provided in their visa applications. In one case, auditors found that children who had been sold and brought to the United States and forced into involuntary servitude had identified the human trafficker by name, as well as other victims, to immigration officials, but the information was not entered into agency databases.
In addition, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office had problems with the quality of the data it maintained on people investigated, arrested or prosecuted for immigration law violations, the report found.
The report said that after more than a year, the agency was unable to provide auditors with a complete set of data containing basic information such as names and dates of birth for suspected traffickers. And each time the agency provided the data, the results varied widely, auditors said.
“Without concerted D.H.S. efforts to collect and share information, the risk exists that some human traffickers may remain unidentified and free to abuse other individuals,” the report said.
Homeland Security auditors also found that some victims of human trafficking had overstayed their visitor visas.
Visa overstays also have become a major focus of Congress. Nearly 20 years ago, Congress passed a law requiring the federal government to develop a system to track people who overstayed their visas.
Since then, the federal government has spent millions of dollars on the effort, yet officials can only roughly estimate the number of people in the country illegally after overstaying visas because the United States does not routinely collect biometric information — fingerprints, iris scans and photographs that can be used for facial recognition — of people leaving the country. Nearly three dozen countries, including many in Europe, Asia and Africa, collect such information.
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