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Trump threatens aid cut to countries that do not stop MS-13 gang migrants

Trump threatens aid cut to countries that do not stop MS-13 gang migrants | 23 May 2018 | President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday he was working on a plan to reduce U.S. aid to countries he says are doing nothing to stop MS-13 gang members from crossing into the United States illegally. "We're looking at our whole aid structure. It's going to be changed very radically," Trump told a roundtable discussion about the threat posed by the violent gang. MS-13, or the Mara Salvatrucha gang, has 30,000 members worldwide and 10,000 in the United States, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Suicide blast kills at least 4, injures 15 in Baghdad

Suicide blast kills at least 4, injures 15 in Baghdad | 24 May 2018 | At least four people have been killed and 15 injured in a suicide attack in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, according to the local security services. The attack hit the Shula district in the northwest part of the city, a predominantly Shi'ite neighborhood. The bomber detonated an explosive vest after being approached by security forces near a local park, Iraq's National Security media center says. No group claimed responsibility for the blast in the immediate aftermath.

8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump's campaign

8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump's campaign | 23 May 2018 | Here are eight signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump for political reasons. Code name - The operation reportedly had at least one code name that was leaked to The New York Times: "Crossfire Hurricane." Wiretap fever - Secret surveillance was conducted on no fewer than seven Trump associates: chief strategist Stephen Bannon; lawyer Michael Cohen; national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner; campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and campaign foreign policy advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. The FBI reportedly applied for a secret warrant in June 2016 to monitor Manafort, Page, Papadopoulos and Flynn. If true, it means the FBI targeted Flynn six months before his much-debated conversation with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak...

NFL seeks to outlaw kneeling in new league policy

NFL seeks to outlaw kneeling in new league policy | 23 May 2018 |A new NFL policy announced Wednesday seeks to outlaw kneeling during performances of the national anthem at games, following a national controversy involving President Trump that overshadowed the last football season. Team owners voted at the league's spring meeting in Atlanta to allow the NFL commissioner to impose "appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem," the policy says, according to WSB-TV in Atlanta. If players disobey the policy, their teams will be fined... The new policy will also allow players to choose to remain in their locker rooms or other off-field locations until the anthem concludes.

US-led strike hits government targets in Syria - state media

US-led strike hits government targets in Syria - state media | 24 May 2018 | US-led coalition warplanes have bombed several Syrian army positions in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, state media outlet SANA reports, citing a military source. The attack took place shortly after midnight on Thursday. SANA reported that the US-led coalition aircraft inflicted limited material damage and no casualties. The airstrikes, which hit near the city of Al-Bukamal, were reportedly coordinated with anti-government militants. Earlier, Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, an ally of the Syrian forces in the fight with Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL [but still I-CIA-SIS]) said the coalition jets targeted two Syrian army outposts, including an energy installation near the Iraqi border.

EPA again bars reporters from water pollution event

EPA again bars reporters from water pollution event | 23 May 2018 | The Environmental Protection [sic] Agency (EPA) is barring reporters from attending the second day of an event on drinking water pollution. Journalists from The Associated Press, Politico and other outlets said EPA staff at the agency's Washington, D.C., headquarters blocked them from entering the National Leadership Summit on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on Wednesday. EPA communications staff had told news outlets in advance that the sessions would be closed to journalists. The decision to ban reporters follows a high-profile incident Tuesday in which an AP reporter, Ellen Knickmeyer, was allegedly shoved by an EPA guard when she tried to enter the event.

Russian diplomats must be allowed access to Yulia Skripal to know she's not held forcibly - embassy

Russian diplomats must be allowed access to Yulia Skripal to know she's not held forcibly - embassy | 23 May 2018 | Russia's Embassy urged London to give direct access to Yulia Skripal after the release of her first interview since the Salisbury attack, since there are doubts that she has been held against her will or forced to make statements. "We are glad to have seen Yulia Skripal alive and well," the Russian Embassy in the UK said in a statement. "However, the video shown only strengthens our concerns as to the conditions in which she is being held." ..."The UK is obliged to give us the opportunity to speak to Yulia directly in order to make sure that she is not held against her own will and is not speaking under pressure. So far, we have every reason to suspect the opposite," the statement reads.

Trump can't block people on Twitter, says federal judge

Trump can't block people on Twitter, says federal judge | 23 May 2018 | A federal judge in New York ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump is not allowed to block people from looking at his Twitter Inc. account because of views they have expressed. In a 75-page ruling, New York District Court Judge Naomi Buchwald handed a victory to the seven users and Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University that sued Trump and other administration officials. Buchwald said Trump and administration officials cannot block Twitter users because it would violate the First Amendment. But, Trump should still be able to mute them, the judge wrote. [Time for users to file a class-action lawsuit against Twitter and Jack Dorsey the dirt-bag for shadow-banning critics of the Deep State.]

House Republicans to call for second special counsel to investigate alleged FISA abuse, Hillary Clinton probe

House Republicans to call for second special counsel to investigate alleged FISA abuse, Hillary Clinton probe | 22 May 2018 | A group of congressional Republicans plans to introduce a resolution Tuesday calling for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate alleged misconduct at the FBI and Justice Department. The resolution is backed by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus as well as two of the group's co-founders -- Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla. Fox News has learned the 12-page resolution will ask a second special counsel to probe matters related to three topics: The ending of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's personal email server, the progress of the Trump-Russia investigation from its origins through the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel, and abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the warrant application process.

Venezuela expels top US diplomat for conspiring against government

Venezuela expels top US diplomat for conspiring against government | 22 May 2018 | The top US diplomat in Caracas, Venezuela and his deputy have been ordered to leave the country after allegedly conspiring against the government, President Nicolas Maduro announced. "I have declared him persona non grata and I announce the exit of the US chargé d'affaires in 48 hours," Maduro said on Tuesday, referring to Todd Robinson. His deputy, Brian Naranjo, was also expelled. The expulsion comes after Washington denounced Maduro's victory in Venezuela's elections on Sunday as a "sham." Maduro won 4 million votes more than the second-placed opposition candidate Henri Falcon, but the turnout was just over 46 percent.

Lava crosses Highway 137 and enters ocean

Lava crosses Highway 137 and enters ocean | 20 May 2018 | 9:00 a.m.: The Hawaii Volcano Observatory is reporting that the two lava flows entering the ocean near the 13-mile marker have caused sulfur dioxide levels to triple. Hawaii County Civil Defense officials are urging people in the area to take necessary action to avoid exposure. Northeast winds are pushing laze and SO2 southwest for the time being. The county Department of Water Supply said the lava flow that cut across Pohoiki Road also cut off the water system in the area... 7:00 a.m.: Quick-moving lava from Kilauea Volcano crossed Highway 137 and reached the ocean near the 13th mile marker in Lower Puna just before 11 p.m. Saturday, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said.

North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Viewing Areas Identified and Preparations for Closure Continue

North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Viewing Areas Identified and Preparations for Closure Continue | 22 May 2018 | Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates additional preparations for the announced closure of North Korea's Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site that could take place in the next few days, depending on weather. The most notable development is the near completion of a probable observation platform/viewing stand to allow journalists to safely view the explosive closure of the North and West Portals (a view of the South Portal from that position might be blocked by trees)...A separate, less elaborate observation position has been placed on a hillside directly across the valley from the South Portal, providing a clear view of that area, particularly after the recent clearing of some trees in that area as well.

Japan is poised to flood the Pacific with one million tons of radioactive water contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear plant

Japan is poised to flood the Pacific with one million tons of radioactive water contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear plant --Nearly 160 tons of radioactive water is produced at the abandoned plant per day --The Japanese government may decide to deposit the waste into the Pacific | 21 May 2018 | Japan is poised to flood the Pacific Ocean with one million tons of radioactive water contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear plant. Storage space at the abandoned facility is running dangerously low as officials race to secure the nearly 160 tons of radioactive water produced at the plant per day. As space for tanks dwindles the Japanese government and the plant's owner Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) may decide to dump treated water into the ocean...Currently the Tritium water produced at Fukushima is ten times the national standard for ocean dumping of treated waste.

EPA guards forcibly remove AP reporter from summit on contaminants

EPA guards forcibly remove AP reporter from summit on contaminants | 22 May 2018 | The Environmental Protection Agency reversed course Tuesday and allowed a reporter for The Associated Press to cover a meeting on water contaminants after she was earlier grabbed by the shoulders and shoved out of the building by a security guard. The AP journalist, Ellen Knickmeyer, said that Lincoln Ferguson, an adviser to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, called to apologize for how she was manhandled and that officials were looking into it. He invited her for the meeting's afternoon session. At least two other news organizations -- CNN and E&E News, which covers energy and environmental issues, had also been initially barred from the event.

The power went out at this Florida city. The 'zombie alert' came next.

The power went out at this Florida city. The 'zombie alert' came next. | 21 May 2018 | A power outage in a South Florida city sparked an alert that left residents wondering if they had awakened to the end of the world. "Power outage and zombie alert for the residents of Lake Worth and Terminus," the alert read. "There are now far less than 7,380 customers involved due to extreme zombie activity." The alert was sent at 1:45 a.m. Sunday and referenced the fictional town threatened by zombies in AMC's television series, "The Walking Dead." City officials confirmed the alert came from the city, but said the message was altered, WPBF reported.

Harvard University will hold first ever black only graduation ceremony

Harvard University will hold first ever black only graduation ceremony | 11 May 2018 | Harvard University will host a graduation ceremony exclusively for black students, organisers have announced. More than 170 students and 530 guests have signed up to attend the event, which will be held 23 May. All-black ceremonies have been held at other US universities, such as Stanford and Columbia, but this will be a historic first for Harvard.

Lawmakers seek registry for military water contamination cancers, illnesses

Lawmakers seek registry for military water contamination cancers, illnesses | 18 May 2018 | Lawmakers have introduced a bill to create a registry of military families experiencing cancers and other illnesses they think may be tied to base water contamination. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., introduced the "PFAS [per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances] Registry Act" in April. In April, Military Times reported that the Pentagon had released a study on all the bases that have water sources that tested positive for higher than recommended levels of PFOS and PFOA -- compounds tied to cancers and birth defects... The registry would be similar to one established to record service member exposure to burn pits. In February the Department of Labor found that exposure to the open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan had caused lung disease. [Thanks, Halliburton!]

Man struck by flying lava amid warning Hawaii volcano eruption could cover island in noxious plume

Man struck by flying lava amid warning Hawaii volcano eruption could cover island in noxious plume | 20 May 2018 | A man injured by flying lava as he sat on his third floor balcony has become the first casualty of the eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano. The unnamed man is in a serious condition after his leg was smashed by the volcanic debris, which can hit temperatures of over 1000 degrees Celsius at the point of eruption, in the town of Pahoa on Saturday... Lava spatters "can weigh as much as a refrigerator and even small pieces of spatter can kill," said Janet Snyder, a spokesperson for the Office of the Mayor, County of Hawaii. The incident came as lava streams threatened to cut off evacuation routes and authorities warned a noxious plume could cover the island as lava began to reach the sea.

Nicolas Maduro wins Venezuela presidential election

Nicolas Maduro wins Venezuela presidential election | 21 May 2018 | Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was re-elected to a second six-year term. Rival candidates have rejected the electoral process and called for new elections. The vote was marked by low turnout. Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) announced on Sunday the re-election of President Nicolas Maduro with 67.7 percent of the vote. His closest challenger, Henri Falcon, came in second with 21.2 percent, while Javier Bertucci was third with 10 percent. CNE President Tibisay Lucena announced the results with 92.6 percent reporting and said the turnout was 46.1 percent.

Experimental Ebola vaccine to be distributed in Congo

Experimental Ebola vaccine to be distributed in Congo | 21 May 2018 | Health authorities will begin distributing an experimental Ebola vaccine in Mbandaka, a major city in the Democratic Republic of Congo this week, to try to stop the spread of the deadly virus. The confirmation of the first case in Mbandaka, a city of 1.2 million people, has raised concerns that the virus could spread faster than expected. So far, 25 people have died in the outbreak, and of 45 suspected cases, 14 have been confirmed, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, will likely be distributed to some 8,000 to 10,000 people in its first phase, Peter Salama, deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response at the WHO, said Friday.

Ebola outbreak in DR Congo spreads to Mbandaka, a city of one million people

Ebola outbreak in DR Congo spreads to Mbandaka, a city of one million people | 17 May 2018 | The Ebola outbreak in DR Congo has spread from the countryside into a city, prompting fears that the disease will be increasingly hard to control. Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga confirmed a case in Mbandaka, a city of a million about 130km (80 miles) from where the first cases were confirmed. The city is a major transportation hub with routes to the capital Kinshasa. At least 44 people are thought to have been infected with ebola and 23 deaths are being investigated. [Now WHO can 'justify' the roll-out of its experimental vaccine - which will likely explode the outbreak. See how that works?]

Hawaii volcano poses a new threat: Acid from Kilauea's lava, called 'laze,' pouring into the ocean

Hawaii volcano poses a new threat: Acid from Kilauea's lava, called 'laze,' pouring into the ocean | 20 April 2018 | After destroying dozens of houses, lava from the Kilauea volcano has now reached the ocean, presenting a new health threat to Hawaii residents. Civil defense authorities on Hawaii posted a warning to stay clear of any lava stream that is flowing into the ocean. When the super hot lava hits the cooler sea water, it produces what is called "laze," hydrochloric acid steam that pours into the air along with fine particles of glass. A dispatch Sunday from Civil Defense said two lava flows have reached the ocean, including at least one near MacKenzie State Park.

DOJ asks watchdog to probe Trump campaign surveillance claims

DOJ asks watchdog to probe Trump campaign surveillance claims | 20 May 2018 | The Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked its inspector general to look into whether or not the FBI surveilled President Trump's campaign for "inappropriate purposes." "If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement... The DOJ announcement comes just hours after Trump tweeted that he planned to demand on Monday that the department look into whether federal agents spied on his campaign for "political purposes." The original probe into alleged FBI surveillance abuse was announced in late March, and was focused on whether the department abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) when it obtained a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign associate Carter Page. That investigation sprung from claims among some House Republicans that federal officials inappropriately used the so-called Steele Dossier to obtain a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

Trump demands DOJ probe claims of campaign surveillance

Trump demands DOJ probe claims of campaign surveillance | 20 May 2018 | President Trump on Sunday said he’ll ask the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate whether the FBI surveilled his campaign. "I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!" Trump tweeted. Trump has spent the last few days sounding the alarm on Twitter about claims that an FBI informant was embedded within his campaign.

Trump to 'demand' Justice probe whether FBI, Obama administration spied on campaign for political purposes

Trump to 'demand' Justice probe whether FBI, Obama administration spied on campaign for political purposes | 20 May 2018 | President Trump said Sunday that he will officially demand that the Justice Department investigate whether federal agents infiltrated or surveilled his 2016 presidential campaign for political purposes and whether the preceding Obama administration was behind such action. "I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes -- and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!" the president tweeted.

Guardian Response 18 exercise: Soldiers and their helicopters moved outside of radioactive plume, upwind and away from nuclear blast

Guardian Response 18 exercise: Soldiers and their helicopters moved outside of radioactive plume, upwind and away from nuclear blast | 23 April 2018 | (Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, IN) Smoking buildings lay ruined. Debris and clothing are scattered across the landscape. Vehicles, some tipped topsy-turvy, are strewn along roads and paths...Fortunately, this is only a training scenario as part of the U.S. Northern Command-hosted Guardian Response 18 exercise, which takes place here through April 30. Different Kind of Training: In the scenario, there's a blast and radioactive plume with a trail of damage. The soldiers and their helicopters are placed outside of that plume, upwind and away from a nuclear blast at a safe airfield. They provide external support for displaced civilians, aid the injured, assist medical sites on the ground and evacuate patients and casualties. The helicopters basically function as airborne emergency rooms capable of transporting six litter or six ambulatory patients or a mix of both.

Mandalay Bay surveillance and security expert tells 1 Oct. investigators a rooftop video camera was disabled on night of shooting

Mandalay Bay surveillance and security expert tells 1 Oct. investigators a rooftop video camera was disabled on night of shooting --A rather vital rooftop video camera went dark during the 1 October shooting | 17 May 2018 | A surveillance and security expert who has worked at Mandalay Bay for 14-years told investigators of the 1 October shooting that a rooftop security video camera an a camera in the mall area were disabled at the time of the shooting and that the timestamps may be up to 30-minutes off. The MGM employee showed up at work around 9 a.m. the morning after the massacre where he was tasked with checking the Pelco System video camera footage. "My first priority was checking [...] cameras," he stated to police.

DAPL-style protesters could face jail under new 'critical infrastructure' protection laws

DAPL-style protesters could face jail under new 'critical infrastructure' protection laws | 20 May 2018 | New laws introducing harsher penalties against protesters who target "critical infrastructure" such as oil and gas pipelines are now pending in half a dozen states in the US. The legislation is aimed at deterring protests similar to the one that delayed operations at the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota in 2016. Bills have been ushered through state legislatures in Minnesota and Louisiana, states that host parts of the Bakken system, a underground network of pipelines which includes the DAPL and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil system which links oil fields in North Dakota and the Mexican Gulf Coast. The laws ban protesters from trespassing into territories through which "critical" oil and gas pipelines run.

FBI Informant Who Monitored Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw CIA Spying Operation in 1980 Presidential Election

FBI Informant Who Monitored Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw CIA Spying Operation in 1980 Presidential Election | 19 May 2018 | ...Four decades ago, [CIA operative Stefan] Halper was responsible for a long-forgotten spying scandal involving the 1980 election, in which the Reagan campaign -- using CIA officials managed by Halper, reportedly under the direction of former CIA Director and then-Vice-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush -- got caught running a spying operation from inside the Carter administration. The plot involved CIA operatives passing classified information about Carter's foreign policy to Reagan campaign officials in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any foreign policy decisions that Carter was considering. Over the past several weeks, House Republicans have been claiming that the FBI during the 2016 election used an operative to spy on the Trump campaign, and they triggered outrage within the FBI by trying to learn his identity. On May 8, the Washington Post described the informant as "a top-secret intelligence source" and cited DOJ officials as arguing that disclosure of his name "could risk lives by potentially exposing the source, a U.S. citizen who has provided intelligence to the CIA and FBI." ...But now, as a result of some very odd choices by the nation's largest media outlets, everyone knows the name of the FBI’s informant: Stefan Halper.

Schumer: GOP efforts to identify FBI informant 'close to crossing a legal line'

Schumer: GOP efforts to identify FBI informant 'close to crossing a legal line' | 19 May 218 | Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday said Republican lawmakers' efforts to uncover the identity of an FBI informant in order to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation comes close to "crossing a legal line." Schumer was tweeting his support of a statement from the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, Mark Warner (Va.), who warned Republican lawmakers against exposing the identity of the informant who gave investigators information about possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Warner said in a separate Twitter thread on Friday, "It would be at best irresponsible, and at worst potentially illegal, for members of Congress to use their positions to learn the identity of an FBI source for the purpose of undermining the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in our election." [Oops! Looks like the train has already left the station...]

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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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