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Spy agency NSA triples collection of U.S. phone records - official report

Spy agency NSA triples collection of U.S. phone records - official report | 10 May 2018 | The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said. The sharp increase from 151 million occurred during the second full year of a new surveillance system established at the spy agency after U.S. lawmakers passed a law in 2015 that sought pretended to limit its ability to collect such records in bulk. The spike in collection of call records coincided with an increase reported on Friday across other surveillance methods, raising questions from some privacy advocates who are concerned about potential government overreach and intrusion into the lives of U.S. citizens.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to meet in Singapore on 12 June

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to meet in Singapore on 12 June | 10 May 2018 | Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un will meet for their historic summit on 12 June, the President has confirmed. In a tweet, Mr Trump wrote: "The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace." Earlier in the week, the US President had ruled out meeting Mr Kim at the demilitarised zone which separates North and South Korea. He had said he favoured holding the meeting at the heavily fortified border, but Singapore was preferred by most of his advisers.

28 Israeli jets fired about 60 rockets in overnight strikes on Syria - Russian MoD

28 Israeli jets fired about 60 rockets in overnight strikes on Syria - Russian MoD | 10 May 2018 | Some 28 Israeli aircraft fired around 60 air-to-surface rockets in a massive overnight strike in Syria, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Syrian air-defense systems managed to intercept more than half of the missiles. A total of 70 projectiles, including 60 air-to-surface rockets and more than 10 surface-to-surface missiles, hit Iranian military targets and Syrian air-defense systems near Damascus and in the south of the country on Thursday morning, the Russian military said in a statement.

Giuliani resigns from law firm due to 'pressing demands' of Mueller probe

Giuliani resigns from law firm due to 'pressing demands' of Mueller probe | 10 May 2018 | Rudy Giuliani is leaving his job at a powerhouse law firm, citing the "pressing demands" of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election. Giuliani took a temporary leave of absence from the firm Greenberg Traurig when he joined President Trump's legal team last month. But in a statement on Thursday, the former New York City mayor said he intended to permanently resign from the firm. Richard Rosenbaum, the firm's executive chairman, said Giuliani's resignation went into effect on Wednesday.

Detained Americans released from North Korea arrive at Andrews Air Force Base

Detained Americans released from North Korea arrive at Andrews Air Force Base | 09 May 2018 | After more than a year in prison, the three Americans detained in North Korea arrived at Andrews Air Force Base to a welcoming party of the President and First Lady, Vice President Pence and his wife and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Their plane landed in Alaska just before 4 p.m. (PST) and landed just before midnight (PST) at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Shortly after they touched down on American soil in Alaska -- for a refueling stop Wednesday afternoon -- the State Department released a statement from the freed men.

Canadian zoo faces charges after taking bear out for ice cream at Dairy Queen

Canadian zoo faces charges after taking bear out for ice cream at Dairy Queen | 09 May 2018 | A private zoo in the Canadian province of Alberta is facing charges after a bear from the facility was taken through a drive-thru Dairy Queen in a pickup truck and hand-fed ice cream through the vehicle's window. News of the outing emerged earlier this year after Discovery Wildlife Park, located about 70 miles north of Calgary in the town of Innisfail, posted a video on social media showing a captive Kodiak bear sitting in the passenger seat of a truck. The video later showed the one-year-old bear, known as Berkley, leaning out of the truck's window, enthusiastically licking an ice cream cone held by the owner of a local Dairy Queen. Amid widespread criticism [?!], the video -- along with a second one showing Berkley licking frosting off an ice cream cake -- was taken down. At the time, the zoo said the drive-thru run had posed no danger to the public, as it had taken place before the Dairy Queen had opened for the day and that the bear had been secured by a chain throughout the entire outing. [Bears love ice cream - let them enjoy it!]

Trump: 3 American Detainees Held In North Korea Returning Home With Pompeo

Trump: 3 American Detainees Held In North Korea Returning Home With Pompeo | 09 May 2018 | Three American detainees who were being held in North Korea are now on their way home with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. A jet carrying the trio and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refueled in Japan this morning. After the plane left North Korea, President Donald Trump made the announcement Wednesday morning on Twitter. In another Tweet, Trump said Pompeo and his "guests" will be landing at Andrews Air Force Base at 2 a.m. Thursday.

Elite FBI hostage rescue team and Las Vegas police trained for high-rise active shooter incident using helicopter sniper prior to massacre

Elite FBI hostage rescue team and Las Vegas police trained for high-rise active shooter incident using helicopter sniper prior to massacre --FBI and policed trained in 2011 for nearly the exact same scenario which occurred during last year's 1 October massacre | 06 May 2018 | An elite FBI hostage rescue team and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department trained back in 2011 for a high-rise active shooter scenario much like the 1 October massacre in which a highly-trained FBI sniper made the proverbial kill shot by striking a rubber dummy that was placed inside a broken hotel window from a tactical helicopter that was hovering over the strip, according to a new report published by the Baltimore Post-Examiner. The rather unusual aerial training exercise was conducted in the Sahara Hotel after it closed before the property became the SLS Resort and almost mimicked the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Music Festival attack in which lone gunman Stephen Paddock allegedly fired into a crowd of country music concertgoers killing 58, and wounding over 500 others.

U.S. imposes fresh sanctions on Venezuela, Pence calls for more action

U.S. again angling for 'regime change': U.S. imposes fresh sanctions on Venezuela, Pence calls for more action | 07 May 2018 | The United States on Monday announced sanctions on three Venezuelans and 20 companies with ties to socialist President Nicolas Maduro for narcotics trafficking, with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence calling for more nations to increase pressure on Caracas. The new sanctions continue a pattern of stepped-up U.S. measures on individuals connected to Maduro...The individuals sanctioned on Monday are fairly low-profile and the move is unlikely to create major economic hardship. [If the U.S. actually wanted to put an end to 'narcotics trafficking,' it would start with the CIA's poppy fields and opi-m routes in Afghanistan.]

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo en route to North Korea

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo en route to North Korea | 08 May 2018 | US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is en route to North Korea, President Donald Trump said. "He will be there very shortly," Mr Trump told reporters at the White House. Mr Pompeo said he is hoping to finalise Mr Trump's planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as well as pressing for the release of US prisoners from the country. The senior US politician has meetings scheduled, the President revealed.

Highest level of sanctions on Iran after US leaving deal -Trump

Highest level of sanctions on Iran after US leaving deal -Trump | 08 May 2018 | President Donald Trump has promised the highest level of sanctions on Iran after announcing that US is leaving the nuclear deal. He promised Tehran "bigger problems than it has ever had before" if it develops nuclear weapons. Trump called the agreement a "decaying and rotten structure… defective at its core," which did little to limit Iran's nuclear enrichment and provided the government in Tehran with cash to fund its "malign behavior" across the Middle East. "Therefore, I am announcing today that the US will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal," Trump said...Powerful US sanctions against Iran will go into full effect, Trump said, and any country that aids Tehran's nuclear or missile programs will find itself sanctioned as well...Trump professed admiration for the Iranian people, history and culture, but denounced the "dictatorship" that has held the country "hostage" for almost 40 years - a reference to the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the US-backed monarchy.

Trump announces plans to pull out of Iran nuclear deal despite pleas from European leaders

Trump announces plans to pull out of Iran nuclear deal despite pleas from European leaders | 08 May 2018 | The United States "will withdraw" from the international nuclear deal with Iran and will reinstate economic sanctions against Tehran, President Trump announced Tuesday. Trump's decision, announced at the White House, follows the failure of last-ditch efforts by Britain, France and Germany to convince him that his concerns about "flaws" in the accord could be addressed without violating its terms or ending it altogether. "We cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement," Trump said in remarks at the White House.

Trump Withdraws U.S. From 'One-Sided' Iran Nuclear Deal

Breaking: Trump Withdraws U.S. From 'One-Sided' Iran Nuclear Deal | 08 May 2018 | President Trump declared on Tuesday that he was pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, unraveling the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor, Barack Obama, and isolating the United States among its Western allies. "This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made," Mr. Trump said at the White House in announcing his decision. Mr. Trump's announcement, while long anticipated and widely telegraphed, plunges America's relations with European allies into deep uncertainty. They have committed to staying in the deal, raising the prospect of a diplomatic and economic clash as the United States reimposes stringent sanctions on Iran. It also raises the prospect of increasing tensions with Russia and China, which also are parties to the agreement.

Hawaii volcano eruption: governor requests emergency federal assistance

Hawaii volcano eruption: governor requests emergency federal assistance | 08 May 2018 | Hawaii governor David Ige has told the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Authority (Fema) the state will need help to deal with an erupting volcano that has prompted evacuations and destroyed 26 homes so far. Ige commented on Monday, as he met people on Big Island who have left their homes near the Kilauea volcano. A dozen lava vents have opened in streets of the Puna district and 26 homes are among 35 structures that have been destroyed. Evacuated residents do not know how long they will be displaced.

US pressure on Iran has nothing to do with nuclear deal - Moscow

US pressure on Iran has nothing to do with nuclear deal - Moscow | 08 May 2017 | Increased US pressure on Iran is politically motivated and has nothing to do with the nuclear deal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has said. Donald Trump has promised to announce his decision on the future of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) accord on Tuesday ahead of the May 12 deadline. Trump has previously slammed JCPOA as "the worst deal ever" and threatened to quit the landmark agreement if it's not amended to also include Iran’s ballistic missile program and activities in the Middle East. Washington's calls to broaden the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal in order for it to include the country's ballistic missile program are unjustified, Ryabkov told in an interview with RBC.

Devin Nunes: AG Jeff Sessions should be held in contempt of Congress

Devin Nunes: AG Jeff Sessions should be held in contempt of Congress | 07 May 2017 | House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is going to push Congress to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress. The Californian Republican's committee has been looking into allegations that the Justice Department and the FBI abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in their scrutiny of the Trump campaign. "On Thursday we discovered that they are not going to comply with our subpoena," Nunes said on "Fox and Friends," adding, "The only thing left to do is we have to move quickly to hold the attorney general of the United States in contempt and that is what I will press for this week."

Nunes Doubles Down on Holding Sessions in Contempt for Documents

Nunes Doubles Down on Holding Sessions in Contempt for Documents | 08 May 2018 | The leader of the House Intelligence Committee is threatening to move quickly on a vote to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress if the Department of Justice doesn't turn over material related to the Russia investigation. Chairman Devin Nunes said it doesn't matter that Sessions recused himself from decisions regarding Russia's involvement in the 2016 election; he's the head of the Justice Department, so he would be the initial target of a contempt resolution. Nunes, a California Republican, first floated a possible contempt resolution over the weekend and on Monday doubled down on his sense of urgency. "We know they have a long history of stonewalling us, and we're well aware of it, that's why we need to move more quickly than usual," Nunes said in a brief interview.

Sessions unveils 'zero tolerance' policy at southern border

Sessions unveils 'zero tolerance' policy at southern border | 07 May 2018 | Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has enacted its previously announced "zero-tolerance" policy for individuals who cross the southern border illegally, warning that children who are apprehended may be separated from their family. "If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It's that simple," Sessions said during a press conference at the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego. Sessions announced the crackdown in a memo last month making prosecuting immigration violations a DOJ priority.

NY attorney general resigns after allegations of physical abuse

NY attorney general resigns after allegations of physical abuse | 07 May 2018 | New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned Monday night after a bombshell report detailing allegations from multiple women of physical abuse against him. Just hours after The New Yorker published the claims from four women who said Schneiderman physically abused them, the attorney general offered his resignation in a statement. The New Yorker published its report shortly before 7 p.m. in which four women, including two who spoke on the record, accused Schneiderman of physical abuse. Schneiderman offered his resignation, effective at close of business on Tuesday, almost exactly three hours later.

NY Gov calls for Schneiderman's resignation over assault allegations

NY Gov calls for Schneiderman's resignation over assault allegations | 07 May 2018 | New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for the resignation of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, following a report on allegations of assault by multiple women in The New Yorker on Monday evening. "No one is above the law, including New York's top legal officer," Cuomo said in a statement. "I will be asking an appropriate New York District Attorney to commence an immediate investigation, and proceed as the facts merit." "My personal opinion is that, given the damning pattern of facts and corroboration laid out in the article, I do not believe it is possible for Eric Schneiderman to continue to serve as Attorney General, and for the good of the office, he should resign," he added.

Gina Haspel, nominee to head CIA, sought to withdraw over questions about her role in agency interrogation program

Gina Haspel, nominee to head CIA, sought to withdraw over questions about her role in agency interrogation program | 06 May 2018 | Gina Haspel, President Trump's nominee to become the next CIA director, sought to withdraw her nomination Friday after some White House officials worried that her role in the interrogation of terrorist suspects could prevent her confirmation by the Senate, according to four senior U.S. officials. Haspel told the White House she was interested in stepping aside if it avoided the spectacle of a brutal confirmation hearing on Wednesday and potential damage to the CIA's reputation and her own, the officials said. She was summoned to the White House on Friday for a meeting on her history in the CIA's controversial interrogation program -- which employed techniques such as waterboarding that are widely seen as torture -- and signaled that she was going to withdraw her nomination.

Giuliani Says Trump Would Not Have to Comply With Mueller Subpoena

Giuliani Says Trump Would Not Have to Comply With Mueller Subpoena | 06 May 2018 | Rudolph W. Giuliani, reeling after a chaotic first week as President Trump's lawyer, on Sunday suggested the president might invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying in the special counsel's Russia investigation. Mr. Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor and New York City mayor hired by Mr. Trump to smooth communication between the White House and the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, instead painted Mr. Mueller as an out-of-control prosecutor bent on trapping Mr. Trump into committing perjury. The president, he said, could defy a subpoena to testify. "We don't have to," Mr. Giuliani said in a rambling, 22-minute interview on ABC's "This Week" program. "He's the president of the United States. We can assert the same privileges other presidents have." Mr. Giuliani, who met with the special counsel's office shortly after joining the legal team last month, said he and another lawyer, Jay Sekulow, agreed that the president should not speak to Mr. Mueller.

Hawaii's volcanic eruption has destroyed at least 21 homes, officials say

Hawaii's volcanic eruption has destroyed at least 21 homes, officials say | 06 May 2018 | Lava erupting from Hawaii's powerful Kilauea volcano has now destroyed at least 21 homes, more than double the previous figure, officials announced Sunday, citing grim findings from an aerial survey by the fire department. Scientists reported lava spewing more than 200 feet into the air. More than 1,700 people have evacuated, and some Hawaiians said they may have to stay away from their homes for a long time. Earlier in the day, officials had said the lava destroyed nine homes.

FBI agents were already at Luxor during the Las Vegas shooting

FBI agents were already at Luxor during the Las Vegas shooting --Two FBI agents were spotted entering the basement of the Luxor while the Las Vegas shooting was still active. What were these two agents doing there already? | 01 May 2018 | Two FBI agents were captured on video entering the basement of the Luxor during the 1 October massacre while the shooter was still active. what were these two FBI agents doing in the Luxor, and why did they enter the basement? At 1:39 into the following video, two FBI agents can be seen approaching the front desk before entering the basement in a fluid fashion.

Connecticut passes bill giving electoral votes to presidential candidate who wins popular vote

Connecticut passes bill giving electoral votes to presidential candidate who wins popular vote | 06 May 2018 | The Connecticut state Senate on Saturday voted in favor of a measure to give the state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote. The move puts the state in a position to become the 11th, in addition to Washington, D.C., to join an interstate compact to pool their electoral college votes for the candidate who wins the popular vote. The state Senate voted 21-14 in favor of the bill, with the support of three GOP lawmakers, The Guardian reported. The measure passed the state House on a 77-73 vote last month. Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy is expected to sign the legislation, according to the report.

LVMPD officer inside Paddock's room: 'We do not have a broken window'

LVMPD officer inside Paddock's room: 'We do not have a broken window' --Apparently, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and FBI have some explaining to do after officers who breached the gunman's room find no evidence of broken windows. | 02 May 2018 | Officer-worn body camera footage from the night of the 1 October massacre reveals no broken windows or curtains blowing in the wind inside Stephen Paddock's 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay hotel room suite, contradicting the official narrative. "We do not have a broken window," one of the officers named Cory clearly states after making entry into room 32-135. "Standby, we've got curtains open on a window that's not broken," another voice can be heard saying in the video as officers frantically pull back the curtains. "It's not, it’s not, it's not [broken] -- Corey it's not," one officer makes clear.

Judge in Manafort case says Mueller's aim is to hurt Trump

Judge in Manafort case says Mueller's aim is to hurt Trump | 05 May 2018 | A federal judge expressed deep skepticism Friday of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in the bank fraud case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, at one point saying he believes that Mueller's motivation is to oust President Donald Trump from office. Although Mueller's authority has been tested in court before, Friday's hearing was notable for District Judge T.S. Ellis's decision to wade into the divisive political debate around the investigation. "You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud," Ellis said to prosecutor Michael Dreeben, at times losing his temper. Ellis said prosecutors were interested in Manafort because of his potential to provide material that would lead to Trump's "prosecution or impeachment."

George Washington U. Students Petition to Get Rid of 'Offensive' Colonials Mascot

George Washington U. Students Petition to Get Rid of 'Offensive' Colonials Mascot | 04 May 2018 | More than 200 George Washington University students have signed a petition calling for the school to adopt a new mascot and nickname because the current moniker, Colonials, is "extremely offensive." "The historically, negatively-charged figure of Colonials has too deep a connection to colonization and glorifies the act of systemic oppression," the petition reads. The Colonials mascot was adopted in 1926 to honor the school's namesake, George Washington, and is intended as a reference to colonial America and the Continental Army.

2 F.B.I. Officials, Once Key Advisers to Comey, Leave the Bureau

2 F.B.I. Officials, Once Key Advisers to Comey, Leave the Bureau | 04 May 2018 | Two top F.B.I. aides who worked alongside the former director James B. Comey as he navigated one of the most politically tumultuous periods in the bureau’s history resigned on Friday. One of them, James A. Baker, was one of Mr. Comey's closest confidants. He served as the F.B.I.'s top lawyer until December when he was reassigned as the new director, Christopher A. Wray, began installing his own advisers. Mr. Baker had been investigated by the Justice Department on suspicion of sharing classified information with reporters...The other aide, Lisa Page, advised Mr. Comey while serving directly under his deputy, Andrew G. McCabe. She was assailed by conservatives after texts that she had exchanged with the agent overseeing the investigation into [alleged] links between President Trump's campaign and Russia were made public. In the messages, they expressed anti-Trump views but took aim at Hillary Clinton and other political figures as well. [But these agents were investigating Trump, not Clinton. Ergo, this little NYT 'add-on' regarding taking similar aim at 'Hillary Clinton and other public figures' isn't relevant.]

US 'freezes funding' for White Helmets as group's Douma chemical attack claim falls apart

US 'freezes funding' for White Helmets as group's Douma chemical attack claim falls apart [Yes!] | 04 May 2018 | As the reputation of the controversial terrorist-linked White Helmets continues to crumble, even the US State Department seems to be having second thoughts about supporting the group, reportedly placing a freeze on its funding. The State Department's support for the White Helmets is "under active review," according to a CBS News report. The group reportedly hasn't received funding in weeks, but neither has it received formal confirmation that Washington's financial assistance has come to a complete halt. This would mean a significant blow for the group, as the money accounts for about one-third of the White Helmets' overall funding. [Hopefully, the White Helmets will be completely and utterly destroyed. That will end the war crimes, terror attacks, and false flags perpetrated in Syria.]

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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