As I have said before, I don't always agree with articles I post. I do think it's important to know what others around the US and globe are saying. I believe the people who come here are smart enough to use discernment when reading news articles.
I search the news wires from all over, in hopes to find news that gives us a better understanding of the world we live in. Our MSM just spoon feeds us what they want us to know/think.
Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to come here and catch up.
If you find news stories that we have missed, feel free to add them to the current daily thread with links.
First Lady Melania Trump’s Be Best Initiative - One Year Anniversary Remember, anons: Be the Best You Can Be!
Fifth person implicated in NJ cash-for-votes scheme
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 400 points Tuesday as Wall Street worries that the U.S. and China will not be able to resolve their trade differences before China tariffs are increased
Washington recalls Yovanovitch as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine www.ukrinform.net/rubric-polytics/2694937-washington-recalls-yovanovitch-as-us-ambassador-to-ukraine.html U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will complete her diplomatic mission in Ukraine on May 20, Ukraine's Mirror Weekly newspaper has reported, citing U.S. diplomatic sources. "Marie Yovanovitch has immediately left for Washington for consultations. The ambassador should fly back to Ukraine next Saturday, on May 11. On May 20, as all embassy diplomats were informed today, Yovanovitch will return to Washington. Prior to the appointment of a new head of a diplomatic mission in Ukraine, these duties will be performed by the charge d'affaires whose candidacy has not yet been approved," the report reads. In 2016, Yovanovitch replaced Geoffrey Pyatt as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. In July, the U.S. Senate approved her candidacy, and on August 23, she arrived in Kyiv.
www.rt.com/news/458564-pakistan-facebook-polio-fake-news/ Pakistan calls on Facebook to block anti-vax propaganda amid ‘mass hysteria,’ spate of gun attacks As Pakistani healthcare workers fight to eradicate Polio in the country, mass hysteria has gripped many communities as fake news and malicious rumors are shared on social media, prompting calls for action by the tech giants. “The parental refusals due to propaganda on Facebook regarding the vaccine is emerging as the major obstacle in achieving complete eradication of the virus,” Babar Atta, who helps to oversee the Pakistan’s vaccination drive, said in a statement as cited by NDTV. Atta has requested that Facebook “block and/or manage the dissemination of such anti-vaccination propaganda.”
God Bless Txas www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/05/07/proposed-texas-bill-allows-state-to-punish-social-media-censorship/ Proposed Texas Bill Allows State to Punish Social Media Censorship A newly proposed Texas bill aims to prevent the social media Masters of the Universe including Facebook and Twitter from infringing on free speech. The Texas Tribune reports that a newly proposed bill before the Texas Senate aims to protect the free exchange of ideas on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Senate Bill 2373, proposed by State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) aims to hold social media websites accountable for the restriction of users speech based on personal opinions. Hughes stated that the bill would apply to social media sites which claim to support free speech and advertise their platform as unbiased but repeatedly censor users. The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate State Affairs Committee last week.
Poll: 90 Percent of Venezuelans Want Foreign Military to Oust Maduro www.breitbart.com/latin-america/2019/05/07/poll-90-percent-of-venezuelans-want-foreign-military-to-oust-maduro/ An overwhelming majority of Venezuelans would support a foreign military intervention to oust socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro and believe that the rogue regimes in Russia and Cuba have colonized their country, the national polling firm Meganálisis found in a survey published Monday. Asked if the federal legislature, the National Assembly, should authorize foreign military missions in the country, 89.5 percent of Venezuelans said yes. Another 91.2 percent said they did not believe it was possible for Venezuelans to remove Maduro without foreign military intervention. About 88 percent said they did not trust the nation’s armed forces. The demand for foreign intervention appears to be tied to the fact that Venezuelans believe their country is already under foreign control. Nearly nine out of ten people (87.9 percent) said that they agreed with the statement “Venezuela has been intervened and controlled by Cuba and Russia.” Those two nations are Maduro’s closest allies; Maduro’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza traveled to Moscow this weekend and stated that the regime is contemplating asking Russia to send more troops into the country to help repress protesters. media.8ch.net/file_store/a7ffaa416396219823d0e736d113d1c9ee5fb940489ab07adf291c5410857d5c.jpg
Pompeo canceled a visit to Germany to travel elsewhere because of "pressing issues,"
James Clapper admits FBI's actions 'meet the dictionary definition' of 'spying' Following revelations that the FBI sent an undercover agent to meet with George Papadopoulos in London in 2016, James Clapper was forced to backtrack on his prior comments and admit that this was “spying.” Earlier in April, Attorney General William Barr had told Congress that “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal”, and Clapper had immediately slammed the suggestion that the Trump campaign may have been spied on as “stunning and scary.” But last Friday, Clapper, who’d been the director of national intelligence under President Obama, conceded that what the FBI had been doing “meets the dictionary definition” of "spying." www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/james-clapper-admits-fbis-actions-meet-the-dictionary-definition-of-spying
End of summer?
Bill Barr Conducting His Own Private Probe of Russia Probe Christopher Wray just confirmed, delicately, that in addition to the second Inspector General investigation, Bill Barr is personally looking into how the Russia probe began. Wray: In addition to ongoing IG investigation "AG is seeking to understand better the circumstances at the department and the FBI relating to how this investigation started. And we're working to help him get that understanding. I think that's part of his job and part of my mine." talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/bill-barr-conducting-his-own-private-probe-of-russia-probe /video/1
Mark Meadows Verified account @repmarkmeadows 13m13 minutes ago The outrage machine against Bill Barr is short on facts, blatantly political, and riddled with hypocrisy. Let's face it: the collusion delusion, peddled by Democrats, fell flat. They got caught. And now their only recourse is to try and manufacture whatever controversy they can.
CIA alerts Arab activist to potential threat from Saudi Arabia The CIA alerted Norway that an Arab activist critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may face a potential threat from Saudi Arabia. İyad el-Baghdadi, who has asylum in Norway, was warned April 25 of the potential threat when Norwegian authorities came to his home and took him to a secure location, the Guardian reported Tuesday. El-Baghdadi was told the information was passed on to Norway by a foreign intelligence agency, which the Guardian confirmed was the CIA. “The way I understood it was, the Saudis have a crosshairs on me, but there is no idea of what they are going to do,” he said. El-Baghdadi rose to prominence during the Arab Spring with tweets critical of autocratic leaders. Norway granted him asylum in 2015 after he was arrested and expelled from the United Arab Emirates. The writer has since been critical of the crown prince. After the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year, El-Baghdadi said Mohammed would continue silencing his critics abroad if the West did not hold him accountable. The U.S. intelligence community has blamed Saudi Arabia for the murder of Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. “If they get away with kidnapping the next step will be assassinations in your capitals, and I’m not joking even a little bit,” he tweeted. www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/cia-alerts-arab-activist-to-potential-threat-from-saudi-arabia
Trump administration forces China to sell the Port of Long Beach The Trump Administration's Department of Homeland Security has forced China's state-owned Costco to sell the Port of Long Beach over security concerns. China's Costco Shipping Holdings, which bought out its 75 percent–owned Hong Kong–based Orient Overseas International (OOCL), was forced to sell its Port of Long Beach Container Terminal ownership to Macquarie Infrastructure Partners for $1.78 billion. The Obama administration had no problems with OOCL signing a 40-year lease with the City of Long Beach in 2012 for control of America's second largest and most automated container handling operation. The sweetheart deal was part of the "Middle Harbor Redevelopment Program" to fund a $1.5-billion expansion through 2020. But one of the first major actions of the Trump administration's Department of Homeland Security in March 2017 was issuing a "Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S." national security hold on Costco's acquisition of a former U.S. Navy port facility. www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/05/trump_administration_forces_china_to_sell_the_port_of_long_beach.html
Port Canaveral next? The Obama administration’s approval (with no national security review) of Port Canaveral’s secret no-bid lease to Gulftainer, a company tied to Iraqi WMDs, Russia, The Clinton Foundation, and Wahid Hamid, a Pakistani national personally close to Obama since his college days, suggests serious irregularities with the deal, which need to be investigated on an urgent basis.
Proof of the strategic brilliance of the Art of the Deal
Check this out. From The Hill & it's not even John Solomon! James Comey is in trouble and he knows it James Comey’s planet is getting noticeably warmer. Attorney General William Barr’s emissions are the suspected cause. Barr has made plain that he intends to examine carefully how and why Comey, as FBI director, decided that the bureau should investigate two presidential campaigns and if, in so doing, any rules or laws were broken. In light of this, the fired former FBI director apparently has decided that photos of him on Twitter standing amid tall trees and in the middle of empty country roads, acting all metaphysical, is no longer a sufficient strategy. No, Comey has realized, probably too late, that he has to try to counter, more directly, the narrative being set by the unsparing attorney general whose words in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week landed in the Trump-opposition world like holy water on Linda Blair. Shrieking heads haven’t stopped spinning since. thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/442278-james-comey-is-in-trouble-and-he-knows-it
Are they living in another dimension or something?
thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/442495-mcconnell-suggests-obama-emboldened-russias-election-interference McConnell suggests Obama 'emboldened' Russia's election interference Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared to blame the Obama administration on Tuesday for emboldening Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. "Maybe stronger leadership would have left the Kremlin less emboldened. Maybe tampering with our democracy wouldn't have seemed so very tempting. Instead the previous administration sent the Kremlin the signal they could get away with almost anything," McConnell said on the Senate floor. He added that, "so is it surprising that we got the brazen interference detailed in special counsel Mueller's report?" McConnell's comments were part of his speech on special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian election meddling in the 2016 election, which he summarized as "case closed."
Italian secret service agent with Presidency Council business card found dead in Paris hotel An Italian secret service operative was found dead in a Paris hotel on Sunday night with a business card from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers – the highest public office under the control of Italy’s prime minister. The agent was discovered lying in a pool of vomit with blood under his chin. The business card that was found on the deceased bore his name, Massimo I., and the employer’s name: ‘Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri’. Neither Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte nor any other public official in Italy has yet released a public statement on the incident. The local scientific police have determined that an investigation is needed to establish the cause of the man’s death, but embassy sources have already said that the agent died of “natural causes”, Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported. French police also found an encrypted security key in a safe, along with with a folder containing 85 tickets for €20 ($22.40), a USB key, an SD card, and an adaptor. The man had arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris from Rome on May 3, and was staying at a residential hotel in Montmartre. www.rt.com/newsline/458567-italian-agent-dead-paris/ Wondering if this had anything to do with the Italian participation into SPYING on candidates for POTUS… maybe not.
"Dystopian Approach": SEC Blesses MasterCard's Idea Of Cutting Off Customers With Right-Wing Views Blocking payments to individuals or groups by financial service firms impedes freedom of speech in a free society, journalist Ben Swann has told RT, following reports that MasterCard is allegedly on course to censor the far-right. The New York-based firm is reportedly being forced by left-leaning liberal activists to set up an internal “human rights committee” that would monitor payments to “white supremacist groups and anti-Islam activists.” “The problem is that everyone has their own views and, in a free society, the idea of a free society is that you are free to have your belief systems, as long as you’re not harming anyone else physically,” Swann told RT America. “But your belief system belongs to you and you have the right be wrong. White supremacists have the right to be wrong.” MasterCard is not the only holder of purse-strings that is mulling the selective banning of individuals from their services and funds. Patreon and PayPal have previously barred individuals from receiving payments using their platforms, due to their extreme views. But unlike crowdfunding platforms, being cut off from one of the leading American multinational financial services corporations will, most likely, have a much greater impact on the financial stability of an individual or a group, especially after the US Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly blessed MasterCard’s undertaking. By doing this, Swann believes the government granted “big corporations the ability to control what voices are heard.” The issue with such an approach, the investigative journalist argues, would lead to a wider crackdown on financial payments to anyone who the government would see as unfavorable. “The fact that the SEC has given a green light to this essentially says the SEC supports the idea of censoring these groups in order to freeze out essentially anyone you don’t agree with,” the journalist said. “It is such a dystopian 1984 world view and yet we’re living through it right now,” the journalist observed. www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-07/dystopian-approach-sec-blesses-mastercards-idea-cutting-customers-right-wing-views This can become a 2-edged sword…
Drug cartels worship ‘evil idols,' making them more dangerous, DEA says www.wsbtv.com/news/local/drug-cartels-worship-evil-idols-making-them-more-dangerous-dea-says/946859527 GEORGIA - Cartel traffickers preying on the American appetite for illegal drugs pray to their own set of saints. Infamous cartel bosses idolize sacred statues that are often seized during Georgia drug busts. One legendary DEA undercover agent calls them “the narco saints,” but are they making Georgia streets more dangerous? Content Continues Below The DEA says Atlanta is a major hub for heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine, among other illegal drugs. Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne investigates how drug lords are luring Georgia street soldiers with their own religion. “They think they’re invincible and they’re not afraid of death,” Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said. www.christianpost.com/news/mexico-drug-cartels-in-regions-steeped-in-witchcraft-demonic-influence.html Mexico Drug Cartels in Regions Steeped in Witchcraft, Demonic Influence "In addition to the almost 50,000 estimated to have died in Mexico's drug violence, another 10,000 have disappeared without a trace. Many of these, Elijah is convinced, are the victims of Satanic rituals that require human sacrifice. "There's lots of really gruesome stuff going on." Many of the murders and mutilations are so horrific and unwarranted, he said, there's no reasonable explanation other than to conclude they're inspired by the devil himself. "There's even a counterfeit Lord's Supper where instead of bread and wine, human flesh and blood are used." "Come visit McAllen, Texas, sometime and take a look at the witchcraft shops operating on Main Street. They must have plenty of customers and be making good money to be able to afford the rent on such prime locations." "On both sides of the border, so many people go to church on Sunday, then on Monday they go to a witch to get healed. They call them curanderas, faith healers. They don't find any power in the church, so they go to someone who does have power. The only problem is, it's Satanic power, and they get worse – they get demonized." The word EVIL occurs in no less than 93 Q posts. PRAY AGAINST THE EVIL, ANONS.
Drug smuggling SPIKES on New Mex border after DEM governor pulls Guard troops to spite POTUS Trump New Mexico citizens, you’ve got a problem in your governor’s residence, and it’s one that is putting all of you in danger. Literally. Irrational hatred of POTUS Donald Trump has led Gov. Michelle Grisham to make policy decisions that are not based on the best interests of her state and its residents, such as pulling 118 New Mexico National Guard troops off border security duty earlier this year. The decision, which she said was in response to the president’s alleged “charade of border fear-mongering,” has led to a massive spike in cartel drug smuggling into and through the state. For instance, a local sheriff (Otero County) said Monday that saw some $60,000 in deadly drug shipments in April, up from $3,500 in January. thenationalsentinel.com/2019/05/07/drug-smuggling-spikes-on-new-mex-border-after-dem-governor-pulls-guard-troops-to-spite-potus-trump/
No conditions for Japan-N. Korea summit, Abe tells POTUS The Yomiuri Shimbun Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told U.S. President Donald Trump during telephone talks on Monday night that he aims to realize a bilateral meeting with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un to resolve the issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea without setting any preconditions. The Japanese and U.S. leaders also agreed to cooperate with each other in analyzing details of projectiles recently launched by North Korea. After the telephone talks, Abe told reporters: “I myself must face Workers’ Party of Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un without setting any conditions. I’m determined to secure any opportunity.” So far, the prime minister has stated that a bilateral meeting with Kim “must be a meeting that can be conducive to resolving the abduction issue.” However, among member countries of six-party talks over North Korea’s nuclear issues, only Japan has not held a bilateral meeting with North Korea. Abe’s shift in stance seems to indicate a prioritization of realizing a bilateral meeting with Pyongyang. At a press conference on Tuesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said: “The prime minister has spoken of his determination more clearly to directly face Chairman Kim.” “To resolve the abduction issue, it’s important for Japan to take the initiative,” he added. In Monday’s telephone talks, the two leaders coordinated responses to North Korea’s launching on Saturday of several short-range projectiles from around Wonsan, a city on North Korea’s east coast. Abe and Trump reconfirmed that they will aim for a swift realization of an agreement in the U.S.-North Korea bilateral meeting in June last year, in which Pyongyang promised total denuclearization. Abe told reporters: “As to the response to North Korea, I share absolutely the same view as Mr. Trump in all respects.” If the projectiles launched by Pyongyang were ballistic missiles, the actions would violate U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions concerning North Korea. Both Japan and the United States will make detailed analyses of Pyongyang’s actions. In the telephone talks, Abe and Trump also discussed a new trade negotiation between Japan and the United States. They confirmed that the two countries will accelerate the trade talks so that the outcome will be beneficial for both sides. the-japan-news.com/news/article/0005722370
www.breitbart.com/europe/2019/05/07/crime-down-15-percent-under-salvini-interior-ministry/ Crime Down 15 Percent Under Salvini Interior Ministry Following criticism from his coalition partners, the Five Star Movement, that he should focus less on migrants and more on the Mafia, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini revealed that crime has reduced by 15 per cent between 2018 and 2019. The populist Lega leader, who heads the police as Interior Minister, revealed that according to police statistics, crime had decreased by 15 per cent with murders down by 12.2 per cent and attempted murders down 16.2 per cent, Il Giornale reports. Other crimes were down as well, come even more drastically such as sexual violence which had seen a 32.1 decrease and robberies which were down 20.9 per cent.
www.breitbart.com/immigration/2019/05/06/african-cardinal-mass-migration-is-sign-of-failure-of-leadership/ African Cardinal: Mass Migration Is a Sign of ‘Failure of Leadership’ “Authorities should make Nigeria home. Same should be applicable to other African countries,” said Cardinal John Onaiyekan, the archbishop of Abuja. “Nigerians and other Africans should travel out of their country freely with dignity and respect, and not otherwise.” “These days, you hear some young Nigerians insisting that the pastures are greener elsewhere even when it is obviously not,” Onaiyekan said. “If you live in a nation where your young people are telling you it is better living elsewhere, then it is a sign of failure of leadership of such a nation.”
Corruption is Driving the U.S. and Turkey Apart Turkey's plans to buy the S-400 missile defense system from Russia has sparked unprecedented tensions between Turkey and the U.S. Neither side will back off, and the prospect of an irreparable rupture in relations is looming. Yet the current crisis is not the source, but the result of the widening divergence between the two countries. Along with strategic disputes, Turkey's growing corruption is imperiling relations on an even larger scale. Corruption is omnipresent, but it didn’t start with Recip Tayyip Erdoğan, although Erdoğan has institutionalized corruption in Turkey by creating a hierarchical network encompassing many fields of economic activity. Over time, this network has begun to define how Turkey engages with other countries. Erdoğan's vast network emerged in 2013 when a well-documented investigation by the police exposed a gigantic bribery and money laundering ring involved in illegal gold transfers to Iran. The ring included ministers in Erdogan’s cabinet. Reza Zarrab, a Turkish businessman of Iranian descent, was arrested for being the ringleader. When the investigation focused on his own son, Erdoğan claimed that it was a coup against his government and started a crusade against the rule of law and the free media in order to protect himself and his family from facing trial. Zarrab was released after two months without any charges. In March 2016, Reza Zarrab was arrested in the U.S., this time for helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions. He pleaded guilty and implicated Erdoğan in the scheme. The deputy chief executive officer of Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank, was also found guilty on related charges of conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions law, raising expectations for sanctioning of a state-owned Turkish bank by the U.S. There are growing American concerns that Turkey is involved in a similar scheme to help Venezuela evade U.S. sanctions by importing gold. Lack of transparency in transactions raise suspicions that government officials in both countries benefit from the trade. Erdoğan did not seem eager to allay the U.S. concerns when he met with Maduro's vice president Tareck El Aissami, who was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act when he visited Turkey in 2017 and 2018. The U.S. is monitoring the trade between Turkey and Venezuela and can take action against Turkey if the violation of the sanctions is assessed. American efforts to isolate Iran and Venezuela are hindered by Turkey's trade relations with these countries. Even if the U.S. administration wishes to ignore violations of law by virtue of Turkey's geopolitical indispensability, it may not be able to prevent the Department of Treasury, Congress, and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies from taking action against Turkey. Turkey's unwillingness to cooperate against terrorism, and organized crime further complicates the relationship. In April, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated six members of the Rawi Network for playing a key role in ISIS money laundering. The designation also revealed how the network operated almost freely in Turkey. Turkey's reluctance to crack down on jihadist networks is a major concern for U.S. authorities. Suspicions over the Turkish government officials' profiting from the oil trade with ISIS earned significant media coverage in recent years. Opposition MPs in Turkey claimed that Erdoğan's son-in-law was involved in illegal oil trade with ISIS. www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/05/corruption_is_driving_the_us_and_turkey_apart.html
www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/05/06/pa-democrat-rep-brian-sims-offers-planned-parenthood-donation-dox-pro-life-teens/ PA Democrat Rep. Brian Sims Offers Planned Parenthood Donation for Identities of Pro-Life Teens Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Brian Sims posted a video to Facebook in which he is seen attempting to get the names and addresses of pro-life teens peacefully protesting at a Planned Parenthood facility. Sims, the first openly gay Pennsylvania lawmaker, posted the video of himself on Facebook on April 18 as he asked for help identifying the pro-life teens in exchange for his $100 donation to Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania: I’m here at Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, in Center City, Philadelphia and of course there’s a group of “Christians” out here shaming the girls and families coming here for medical treatment! So let’s make the most of it! I’ll donate $100 to Planned Parenthood if anyone who knows who these awful people are. Who’ll join me in that $100? — feeling furious at Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Anti-democratic EU: President Junker reveals Eurosceptics will be blocked from Commission jobs regardless of election results The EU will ensure that eurosceptic candidates are obstructed from securing top jobs in Brussels no matter that outcome of the European elections in May, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, has boasted. In an interview with Polish media Juncker shot down the notion that the increased support at the ballot box for national populist parties predicted in May would – in any way – affect the globalist European Union integration project. “In these elections, those who promote foolish nationalism will pay the price for it,” Junker threatened. “Nobody knows this, but last time I rejected the candidacies of six of the Commissioners presented to me by national governments,” the unelected bureaucrat gloated. “Do remember that governments merely propose commissioners. It is the president of the Commission who accepts them and allocates their responsibilities,” he ominously added. While he spoke with a journalist from Rzeczpospolita, Juncker sneered that regardless of whether Poland’s national populist ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party wins November’s national parliamentary election or if it’s beaten by an opposition coalition backed by globalists in Brussels, Poland would have to stay in the EU due to its financial dependence on the transnational institution. “Poles do not want to be cut off from all of this,” Junker arrogantly proclaimed, before adding that Western Europeans “should not think Poland is only in the bloc for money.” The unelected Luxembourgish politician went on to claim that Poland’s membership in the EU is essentially contingent upon its shared ‘common values’ with other countries inside the EU, smugly adding that money from Brussels ‘is not a gift, but a recognition of the magnitude of the reforms carried out’ since joining the bloc. In the same interview, Juncker spoke about the European Commission’s decision to pursue disciplinary sanctions against Poland due to the government’s purported repudiation of ‘democratic standards’ with reforms made to what the ruling PiS party considers a corrupt judicial system requiring additional accountability. “Rule of law is the cornerstone of the EU,” Juncker professed, arguing that while “certain countries [sometimes]allow themselves a degree of insubordination, depending on who happens to be in power and the stage of the political cycle they are in”, he was “confident that in a few years’ time, these issues won’t be troubling us anymore”. sauce: voiceofeurope.com/2019/05/anti-democratic-eu-president-junker-reveals-eurosceptics-will-be-blocked-from-commission-jobs-regardless-of-election-results/
Volkswagen unit Porsche to pay 535 million euro fine over diesel cheating BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German prosecutors imposed a 535 million euro ($598 million) fine on German luxury carmaker Porsche AG, a unit of Volkswagen, as punishment for lapses in supervisory duties which allowed the company to cheat diesel emissions tests. Prosecutors in the southern city of Stuttgart on Tuesday said that the company’s development department had neglected its legal obligations, which ultimately led to the sale of diesel cars that spewed excessive pollution levels. The fine against Porsche follows a 1 billion euro penalty for management lapses imposed against Volkswagen by prosecutors in Braunschweig, and a fine of 800 million euros against Audi by prosecutors in Munich, Germany last year. U.S. authorities disclosed Volkswagen’s systematic emissions cheating on Sept. 18, 2015, sparking the biggest business scandal in the company’s history which has cost Volkswagen Group 30 billion euros in penalties and fines. VW, Porsche and Audi all sold diesel engine cars which failed to conform to clean air rules and cheated emissions tests. German prosecutors have pursued individual engineers and took action against the companies for lack of oversight because managers failed to prevent heavily polluting cars from hitting European roads. Prosecutors said Porsche had not appealed the findings by the prosecutor. Porsche confirmed the fine and said that prosecutors’ proceedings against the company had come to an end. The fine does not hinder ongoing proceedings against individual people in relation to Porsche’s diesel manipulations, the prosecutors added. www.reuters.com/article/us-volkswagen-emissions-porsche/volkswagen-unit-porsche-to-pay-535-mln-euro-fine-over-diesel-cheating-idUSKCN1SD1BA
NEW YORK—Former self-help guru Keith Raniere goes on trial on May 7 on charges of running a secretive New York cult that recruited female “slaves” who were then starved, branded with his initials, and blackmailed into having sex with him. Federal prosecutors have charged Raniere, 58, with using his cultlike Nxivm group, which claimed to offer members unique insights into life, as a front for crimes including sex trafficking, child pornography, and sexual exploitation of a minor. Several of his alleged “slaves” are expected to testify at U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. While prosecutors have not said who will take the stand, former “Smallville” star Allison Mack and Seagram liquor heiress Clare Bronfman have already pleaded guilty to playing supporting roles in the scheme. Jurors have been warned to expect disturbing testimony and evidence during a trial that could run six weeks. Prosecutors intend to introduce explicit photographs of a 15-year-old girl alleged to have been one of Raniere’s victims, seized from his computer hard drive. Mack and Bronfman are among five co-defendants, all women accused of involvement in Nxivm, who pleaded guilty to various charges in March and April, leaving Raniere as the sole person to face trial. The television actress tearfully acknowledged in court that she had blackmailed two women into providing services for her and other Nxivm members. Bronfman, who provided key financial support for Nxivm, pleaded guilty in April and agreed to forfeit $6 million. Raniere has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Marc Agnifilo, one of Raniere’s lawyers, has said that his client’s sexual encounters with women in the organization were consensual and denied the child pornography and exploitation charges. The trial caps a bizarre saga for Raniere, who was arrested in March 2018 after fleeing to Mexico with Bronfman. Nxivm, which started under another name in 1998 and is pronounced “Nexium,” was based in Albany, New York, and at one time operated numerous centers across the United States, Canada, Central America, and Mexico. The organization marketed itself as a business “providing educational tools, coaching and trainings” that would allow “humanity to rise to its noble possibility,” according to court filings. In 2015, prosecutors say, Raniere established a sorority within Nxivm known as DOS, an acronym for a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “master of the obedient female companions.” The subgroup included “slaves” who were expected to bend their wills to “masters” in a pyramid-like structure, with slaves expected in turn to recruit their own subordinates and Raniere standing alone at the top. The slaves were required to submit “collateral” to win acceptance that could then be used as blackmail material: Nude photos, rights to their financial assets or damaging information about friends and relatives, prosecutors said. Several women were branded with Raniere’s initials, prosecutors said, and they were required to engage in sexual acts with him. He is also accused of having forced some women to maintain slim figures by following a dangerously restrictive diet. If convicted, Raniere faces up to life in prison. www.theepochtimes.com/accused-cult-founder-could-face-former-slaves-at-new-york-trial_2910063.html
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday broke ground for Al-Qadir University here which he said will create future leaders to counter Islamophobia and protect ideology of Pakistan. Addressing the ceremony, the prime minister said the university will teach the students the principles of State of Madina and Pakistan’s ideology as envisioned by Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam. He said the concept of establishment of a university in Sohawa is to provide equal quality education to the youth across the country. To be built at an area of 200 kanals, the institution will consist of a Sufi Academic Block with capacity of 800 students, Science Block for 700 students, hostel for 200 boys and girls, an auditorium and a library. The prime minister said it is a private university that will be run on donations by philanthropists contributing in national cause to broaden the educational base. He said 35 percent of the students will be given scholarships and get free education while rest 65 percent will fund their studies by themselves. He said besides teaching contemporary sciences like artificial intelligence and technology, the main focus of the university will be research on Sufism and its connection with Islam. “We have to groom our youth as leaders.We will create scholars who will respond to the anti-Islam tirade started after 9/11,” he said, adding that Chinese assistance will also be sought for teaching and research on technology-related subjects. The prime minister said the university has been named after Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani who happened to be a top Sufi and had also established link between Islam and spirituality. He said Sufism is a great science but contrary to western world, no university in Pakistan is holding research on the subject. He said the previous leaders had buried the ideology of Pakistan which was meant to make the country an Islamic welfare state. He said the nations ignoring their ideology cannot exist. “Nations face ups and downs but they should not give up their ideology,” he said, adding that Naya Pakistan will feature meritocracy, justice and education, minority rights on the pattern of State of Madina. He said what had been happening in Pakistan was never in accordance of an Islamic welfare state. He recalled that besides India’s role, the injustices to the people also contributed to the disintegration of the country……. dailytimes.com.pk/388886/govt-launches-varsity-to-teach-sufism-create-future-leaders/
NC woman allegedly trespasses at CIA, asks to speak to "Agent Penis"' A North Carolina woman is in custody after allegedly trespassing at CIA headquarters outside of Washington, D.C. four times since April 22, including one alleged incident where she asked to speak with “Agent Penis,” reports said. www.foxnews.com/us/north-carolina-woman-tresspasses-cia-agent-penis
Global: MilitaryInfo @global_Mil_Info #BREAKING: Europe ready to reimpose sanctions against #Iran if they breach the nuclear deal - French official. 10:24 AM - 7 May 2019
Microsoft and DARPA want to run the elections for every country in the world. apnews.com/7e78189c21ce4a7cb7cb73432705c3ca Microsoft offers software tools to secure elections Microsoft has announced an ambitious effort to make voting secure, verifiable and subject to reliable audits by registering ballots in encrypted form so they can be accurately and independently tracked long after they are cast. Two of the three top U.S elections vendors have expressed interest in potentially incorporating the open-source software into their voting systems. The software is being developed with Galois, an Oregon-based company separately creating a secure voting system prototype under contract with the Pentagon’s advanced research agency, DARPA. Dubbed “ElectionGuard,” it will be available this summer, Microsoft says, with early prototypes ready to pilot for next year’s U.S. general elections. CEO Satya Nadella announced the initiative Monday at a developer’s conference in Seattle, saying the software development kit would help “modernize all of the election infrastructure everywhere in the world.” Three little-known U.S. companies control about 90 percent of the market for election equipment, but have long faced criticism for poor security, antiquated technology and insufficient transparency around their proprietary, black-box voting systems. Open-source software is inherently more secure because the underlying code is easily scrutinized by outside experts but has been shunned by the dominant vendors whose customers — the nation’s 10,000 election jurisdictions — are mostly strapped for cash. None offered bids when Travis County, Texas, home to Austin, sought to build a system with the “end-to-end” verification attributes that ElectionGuard promises to deliver. Two of the leading vendors, Election Systems & Software of Omaha, Nebraska, and Hart InterCivic of Austin, Texas, both expressed interest in partnering with Microsoft for ElectionGuard. A spokeswoman for a third vendor, Dominion Voting Systems of Denver, said the company looks forward to “learning more” about the initiative. Anyone with an existing voting system or developing a new one will be able to incorporate ElectionGuard — at the state or local level in the U.S. or national level for jurisdictions abroad. “Once the barrier to entry is low enough, hopefully one of the vendors will go for it, and that will bring the rest of them in quickly enough,” said Dan Wallach, a Rice University computer scientist who assisted Travis County. “It can be used with a ballot-marking device. It can be used with an optical scanner, on hand-marked paper ballots,” said Josh Benaloh, a senior cryptographer at Microsoft Research and key contributor to the ElectionGuard project. Benaloh helped produce a National Academies of Science report last year that called for an urgent overhaul of the rickety U.S. election system, which Russian hackers infiltrated in 2016 in several states. That report called for all U.S. elections to be held on human-readable paper ballots by 2020. It also advocated a specific form of routine postelection audits to ensure accurate vote counts — a requirement that “end-to-end’ voting verification satisfies. Election integrity activist Susan Greenhalgh of the National Election Defense Coalition said she hoped it would encourage innovative thinking at the level elections are actually managed. “We can’t have faith-based voting anymore,” she said. “This is a great step forward in verifying election results.” ElectionGuard will let voters confirm that their votes are accurately recorded. Beyond that, the unique coded tracker it produces registers an encrypted version of the vote that keeps the ballot choice itself secret while ensuring votes are accurately counted. That enables reliable postelection audits and recounts.
Debris of crashed F-35 flight recorder found without storage medium TOKYO (Kyodo) – Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Tuesday that the debris of a flight data recorder from a crashed Japanese Air Self-Defense Force F-35A had been recovered from the Pacific seabed but the storage medium was missing. The U.S.-chartered deep sea search vessel Van Gogh had retrieved the heavily damaged flight recorder and a piece from the canopy since Friday, Iwaya told a press conference. The defense minister said the ASDF will continue its operation with U.S. military support to recover the debris of the cutting-edge single-seat stealth jet developed by U.S. defense company Lockheed Martin Corp. The aircraft's pilot remains missing. The F-35A went down April 9 off Aomori Prefecture in northeastern Japan during an ASDF night exercise, after taking off from Misawa Air Base in the prefecture. The search operation is being conducted by a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel, a deep-sea research ship owned by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and the Van Gogh. mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190507/p2g/00m/0na/078000c
Former Banker Extradited from Malaysia to United States to Face Charges in Multi-Billion Dollar Money Laundering and Bribery Scheme Relating to the 1MDB Fund Malaysian National to be Arraigned on FCPA and Money Laundering Conspiracy Charges in Relation to Three Bonds for 1Malaysian Development Berhad A Malaysian national, Ng Chong Hwa, 46, also known as “Roger Ng,” has been extradited from Malaysia to the United States to face charges of conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia’s investment development fund, conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to multiple government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, and conspiring to violate the FCPA by circumventing the internal accounting controls of a major New York-headquartered financial institution (Financial Institution). Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr., of the FBI’s New York Field Office and Acting Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Korner of the IRS Criminal Investigation (CI), Los Angeles Field Office announced the extradition. In a three-count indictment unsealed last year, Ng, of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was charged with crimes he allegedly committed while employed as a Managing Director at the Financial Institution, which underwrote more than $6 billion in bonds issued by 1MDB in three separate bond offerings in 2012 and 2013. Ng was arrested in Malaysia on Nov. 1, 2018, pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant issued at the request of the United States, later waived extradition to the United States, and is scheduled to make his first appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. As alleged in the indictment, between approximately 2009 and 2014, Ng conspired with others to launder billions of dollars misappropriated and fraudulently diverted from 1MDB, including funds 1MDB raised in 2012 and 2013 through three bond transactions 1MDB executed with the Financial Institution. As part of the scheme, Ng and others conspired to bribe government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to obtain and retain lucrative business for the Financial Institution, including the 2012 and 2013 bond deals. They further conspired to launder the proceeds of their criminal conduct through the U.S. financial system. Court filings further allege that Ng, Low Taek Jho, also known as “Jho Low,” and the co-conspirators used co-defendant Low’s close relationships with high-ranking government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to obtain and retain business for the Financial Institution through the promise and payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes. In the course of executing the scheme, Ng and others at the Financial Institution conspired to circumvent the Financial Institution’s internal accounting controls. Through its work for 1MDB during that time, the Financial Institution received approximately $600 million in fees and revenues along with increased reputational prestige. At the same time, Ng and other co-conspirators at the Financial Institution received large bonuses and enhanced their own reputations at the Financial Institution. In total, more than $2.7 billion was misappropriated from the 1MDB bond proceeds. Low remains at large. The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The investigation was jointly conducted by the FBI’s International Corruption Unit and IRS-CI. The government’s criminal case is being handled by the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) and Fraud Section and the Business and Securities Fraud Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. MLARS Trial Attorneys Jennifer E. Ambuehl, Woo S. Lee, Mary Ann McCarthy and Kyle Freeny, Fraud Section Trial Attorneys Katherine A. Nielsen and Nikhila Raj and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Alixandra E. Smith and Drew G. Rolle are prosecuting the case. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided critical assistance in this case. Additional Criminal Division Trial Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys within U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern District of New York and Central District of California have provided valuable assistance with various aspects of this investigation, including with civil and criminal forfeitures. www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-banker-extradited-malaysia-united-states-face-charges-multi-billion-dollar-money
ARIZONA’S DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SAFETY HAS A PATTERN OF SENDING SWAT TEAMS FOR ‘MEDICAL KIDNAPPING’ An Arizona judge’s order was all it took for a SWAT team to enter a private Chandler home in March, take a child and deliver that child into the custody of the Department of Child Safety (DCS). The raid is an example of something that has come to be known as “medical kidnapping,” which has raised eyebrows nationally but seems to be especially prevalent in Arizona. Medical kidnapping is the phenomenon of the state taking children away from their parents and putting them into foster care, “simply because the parents did not agree with a doctor regarding their prescribed medical treatment for the family,” according to the book, “Medical Kidnapping: A Threat to Every American Today.” Members of the group Arizona DCS Oversight Group (ADOG), a watchdog of Arizona’s DCS, say the SWAT team raid is one of many in which Arizona DCS “legally kidnaps,” or takes children for no good reason. Worse yet, federal funding streams may be motivating these child renditions. Medical Kidnapping The most notorious case of alleged medical kidnapping nationally involved Justina Pelletier, who had a rare mitochondrial disease. When doctors at one hospital determined it was psychosomatic, her parents tried to send her to a different hospital. The first hospital called in Massachusetts Department of Child Welfare case workers, and a judge’s order kept Pelletier away from her parents for 16 months. The most notorious case of medical kidnapping in Arizona was Melissa Diegel. Diegel was accused of something very similar to Munchhausen by proxy, a condition in which a caregiver makes up, or causes “an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child, an elderly adult, or a person who has a disability,” according to the University of Michigan School of Medicine. Except she didn’t have Munchausen, said Sherwyn. Diegel’s case was featured on the website Medical Kidnap (which tracks these kinds of cases nationally), as well as covered locally. Diegel told The Daily Caller that she has not seen her two children since 2016; she said she has spoken to numerous parents who have had their children taken in similar fashion by Arizona DCS. dailycaller.com/2019/05/06/arizonas-child-safety-department-medical-kidnapping/ Disturbing…