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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

CLG: Trump gave CIA power to authorize drone strikes - report




 News Updates from CLG
15 March 2017
 
Previous editions: Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed
 
Trump gave CIA power to authorize drone strikes - report | 14 March 2017 | President Donald Trump has reportedly given the Central Intelligence Agency the power to conduct drone strikes against suspected terrorists...Unnamed US officials claim that President Trump expanded the power to conduct drone strikes from the Pentagon exclusively to the CIA, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The move has not been confirmed by the Trump administration. Under the new authority, the CIA would not require permission from the Pentagon or even the White House before launching a drone strike for a targeted killing mission.
 
Pentagon wants to declare more parts of world as temporary battlefields | 13 March 2017 | Donald Trump's administration is considering a military proposal that would designate various undeclared battlefields worldwide to be "temporary areas of active hostility", the Guardian has learned. If approved, the Pentagon-proposed measure would give military commanders the same latitude to launch strikes, raids and campaigns against enemy forces for up to six months that they possess in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
 
SEAL Team 6 joins South Korea war drill for the first time | 13 March 2017 | US special forces -- including SEAL Team 6 -- will take part in a large war drill in South Korea as part of a plan to "decapitate" the leadership in Pyongyang, according to a report. The SEAL team will join the annual Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises between the two allies for the first time, along with the Army's Rangers, Delta Force and Green Berets, Yonhap News Agency of South Korea reported. South Korean defense officials have confirmed that thedrill will practice taking out the North Korean leadership, the Daily Star reported.
 
U.S. force in Syria to help anti-ISIS fighters with firepower | 10 March 2017 | A Kurdish-led force fighting the Islamic State group with the support of U.S. troops will close in on the extremists' de facto capital Raqqa within a few weeks, but the battle for the city will be difficult, a U.S. military official said Thursday. [Yes, it's 'difficult' as the US is simultaneously arming and funding ISIS] Air Force Col. John Dorrian said the U.S. force consisting of a couple of hundred Marines that arrived in the region south of the Syrian-Turkish border on Wednesday will not have any front-line roles, but will provide artillery fire to support the advance of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
 
Marines have arrived in Syria to fire artillery in the fight for Raqqa | 8 March 2017 | Marines from an amphibious task force have left their ships in the Middle East and deployed to Syria, establishing an outpost from which they can fire artillery guns in support of the fight to take back the city of Raqqa from the Islamic State, defense officials said. The deployment marks a new escalation in the U.S. war in Syria, and puts more conventional U.S. troops in the battle. Several hundred Special Operations troops have advised local forces there for months, but the Pentagon has mostly shied away from using conventional forces in Syria.
 
Gunmen attack military hospital in Afghan capital, kill 4 | 08 March 2017 | Gunmen stormed a military hospital in Afghanistan's capital on Wednesday, killing at least four people and wounding more than 60, setting off clashes with security forces that were still underway hours later. Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a Defense Ministry spokesman, said an unknown number of gunmen entered the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital after an explosion and gunfire. The 400-bed military hospital is located near two civilian hospitals in the Wazir Akbar Khan area of Kabul, which is also home to several embassies.
 
Putin aide: Clinton advisers met with Russian ambassador 'lots' of times | 12 March 2017 | People associated with Hillary Clinton's campaign also met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman. "Well, if you look at some people connected with Hillary Clinton during her campaign, you would probably see that [the Russian ambassador] had lots of meetings of that kind," Dmitry Peskov told CNN in an interview that aired Sunday. Peskov said that none of the meetings between campaigns and Kislyak were about the election.
 
On International Women's Day, Coup Leader of Nazi Ukraine Poroshenko Shuts Off Drinking Water Supply to Luganskn | 08 March 2017 | Ukraine has cut off the supply of drinking water to the territory of the Lugansk People's Republic from the Petrovskaya pumping station, reports the press service of the state-owned enterprise Luganskvoda. 'On March 6, 2017, at 12:00, the delivery of water from the Petrovskaya pumping station located on the territory of Ukraine, was stopped without a warning or explanation of the reason,' says the report. In this situation, the supply of water in the capital of the LPR will be carried out according to the schedule: the eastern quarters and a part of the center of Lugansk will receive water in the morning hours from 6:00 to 9:00, and in the evening from 18:00 to 22:00.
 
Brexit bill: Lords pass landmark legislation on leaving EU | 13 March 2017 | The House of Lords has passed the Brexit bill, paving the way for the government to trigger Article 50 so the UK can leave the EU. Peers backed down over the issues of EU residency rights and a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal after their objections were overturned by MPs. The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent and become law on Tuesday. The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg said this would leave Theresa May free to push the button on withdrawal talks.
 
Two arrested after Germany shuts down shopping mall over fears of terrorist attack | 11 March 2017 | A major shopping center in the western German city of Essen has been sealed off after police received warnings of a possible terror plot. Two people have been arrested in connection with the incident...Dozens of police surrounded the Limbecker Platz shopping mall in Essen on Saturday after receiving what they said was a credible evidence of a terror attack. Dozens of police surrounded the Limbecker Platz shopping mall in Essen on Saturday after receiving what they said was a credible evidence of a terror attack.
 
Second MACHETE attack in Dusseldorf hours after axe rampage at city station --An 80-year-old man has been attacked with a machete in Dusseldorf, just hours after a Kosovan went on a rampage with an axe in the German city's railway station. | 10 March 2017 | A manhunt has been launched for a man who is on the loose following the attack in a forest, according to reports. Teachers and pupils in a nearby school, Theodor-Fliedner-Gymnasium, have been told to stay inside. The victim has been rushed to hospital and police say the injuries are not life threatening. The incident comes just hours after seven people were left injured in Dusselford rail station after a man went on a rampage with an axe.
 
300 refugees subjects of US counterterrorism investigations | 08 March 2017 | Hundreds of refugees admitted to the US are involved in counterterrorism investigations, according to congressional sources. However, the FBI has yet to comment on the refugees' country of origin or any details of the investigations. An FBI probe of 1,000 counterterrorism investigations involves 300 refugees resettled in the US, Reuters reported Monday. This claim has already been used to defend an updated executive order blocking US entry from six Muslim-majority nations for 90 days and suspending the US visa program for 120 days.
 
'Troubled' White House intruder, 26, managed to get to outside Trump's residence before Secret Service apprehended him carrying two cans of MACE and a letter about 'Russian hackers' | 11 March 2017 | The White House intruder who entered the president's residence Friday had two cans of mace on him and told Secret Service he was a friend of Donald Trump, authorities have said. Jonathan Tuan-Anh Tran, 26, of Milpitas, California, has been identified as the suspect in the incident and made his first court appearance on Saturday, ABC News reported. He is accused of entering or remaining in restricted grounds while using or carrying a dangerous weapon. Secret Service previously reported seeing an individual scaling a fence at 11.38pm Friday night while Donald Trump was in the White House.
 
Intruder arrested on White House grounds - Secret Service | 11 March 2017 | An intruder carrying a backpack entered the White House grounds late Friday and was arrested at an entrance near the part of the building where the president resides, the U.S. Secret Service and CNN said on Saturday. President Donald Trump, who was in the White House at the time, was not in any danger from the security breach, CNN reported, citing an unnamed source. Neither the Secret Service nor the White House responded immediately to a request for further details.
 
CIA planned to hack cars and trucks to carry out undetectable assassinations claims WikiLeaks | 08 March 2017 | WikiLeaks has claimed the CIA planned to hack cars and trucks to carry out assassinations. The secretive organisation said the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency used the phone's geolocation software to tap into vehicle control systems in modern cars. The hacking organisation made the statement as it announced a huge release of confidential documents from the CIA as part of its mysterious Year Zeroseries, founder Julian Assange claimed. It claims the CIA has been carrying out a global covert hacking program that exploits US and European companies.
 
Next WikiLeaks worry: the release of the code | 8 March 2017 | The computer security world is bracing for the next bombshell from the massive Wikileaks document leak: disclosure of the actual computer code for the CIA's alleged cyberweapons.
 
Hundreds of Radioactive Boars in Fukushima Thwart Residents' Plans to Return Home | 09 March 2017 | They descend on towns and villages, plundering crops and rampaging through homes. They occasionally attack humans. But perhaps most dangerous of all, the marauders carry with them highly radioactive material. Hundreds of toxic wild boars have been roaming across northern Japan, where the meltdown[s] of the Fukushima nuclear plant six years ago forced thousands of residents to desert their homes, pets and livestock...According to tests conducted by the Japanese government, some of the boars have shown levels of radioactive element cesium-137 that are 300 times higher than safety standards.
 
First photos of radioactive wild boar roaming Fukushima's nuclear wastelands as they're culled for attacking people | 10 March 2017 | We've all heard the crazy stories about radioactive boar roaming the nuclear wastelands of Fukushima. But such an outlandish tale can't possibly be true, can it? No-one has ever seen pictures of these creatures--until now. These incredibly unusual photographs of the terrifying mammals were taken in the exclusion zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant, whose reactors went into meltdown after it was struck by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
 
Twitter is quietly hiding accounts behind a warning page - users are baffled --'Caution: This profile may include potentially sensitive content' | 09 March 2017 | A number of Twitter users are reporting that the site has started hiding their accounts behind a warning message. People visiting their pages are instead being shown a greyed-out version of their profile, with their pictures and tweets hidden from view. A message in the middle of the screen reads, "Caution: This profile may include potentially sensitive content. You're seeing this warning because they Tweet potentially sensitive images or language. Do you still want to view it?" A "Yes, view profile" button sits below. Many of the users affected by the barrier appear to be baffled as to why their profiles are being targeted by the site.
 
(Re)Secularizing the University -- By Michael Rectenwald | 14 March 2017 | I have unwittingly inserted myself into an ongoing and intensifying maelstrom in which speakers are now routinely prevented from speaking by "anti-fascist," black bloc activists, who overturn cars and set them on fire, pepper-spray speakers, and then, if speakers manage to reach the microphone, chant them down with collective hecklers' vetoes. At the same time, "social justice" activists and other students retreat to safe spaces--replete with crayons, coloring books and therapy pets. Such safe spaces are meant to protect students, not from the alarming violence of their compeers, but from the supposedly triggering, injurious expression of those protested... My search for plausible precursors to the privilege-checking and callout culture of social justice milieus led to post-1968 French feminists, who read Mao's Little Red Book and imbibed a Maoist ethos, incorporating ideological purging elements of the Cultural Revolution, such as "struggle sessions" and "autocritique," or self-criticism.
 
White House: Trump paid $38 million in income tax in 2005 | 14 March 2017 | The White House said Tuesday President Donald Trump earned more than 150 million in income and paid 38 million in taxes even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction in response to questions about the coming publication of his 2005 return. The 38 million was in addition to "paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes," a White House official said. Journalist David Cay Johnston published the return information ahead of an appearance on MSNBC.
 
Twitter Just SHREDDED Rachel Maddow Over Trump Tax Return 'Story' | 14 March 2017 | MSNBC's unapologetic liberal "journalist" Rachel Maddow lit the internet on fire Tuesday night when she teased via Twitter that she'd gotten her hands on President Donald Trump’s tax returns...If only it'd been true.
 
Trump releases 2005 tax info ahead of MSNBC report | 14 March 2017 | The White House says President Donald Trump made more than 150 million in income in 2005 and paid 38 million in income taxes that year. The acknowledgement came as MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said she has obtained part of Trump's 2005 tax forms, and prepared to discuss the document on her Tuesday night show...The White House pushed back pre-emptively Tuesday night, saying that publishing those returns would be illegal. "You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago," the White House said in a statement.
 
James Comey to reveal if FBI is investigating Trump-Russia ties | 14 March | FBI director James Comey is set to officially reveal if the bureau is investigating Donald Trump and his administration's [alleged] ties to Russia during the presidential election. Since Trump's inauguration in late January, Congress intelligence committees, in both the House and Senate, have announced investigations into Trump's [alleged] link to Russia. The FBI has continually skirted around the question if the bureau was also looking into the matter, but the matter will be made public after Comey speaks with two senators on Wednesday.
 
Dennis Kucinich: I'm no fan of Trump's but he's got a point about wiretapping | 10 March 2017 | President Trump's assertion that his phones at Trump Tower were tapped last year has been treated as hilarious--and in some circles as beyond contempt. But I can vouch for the fact that extracurricular surveillance does occur, regardless of whether it is officially approved. I was wiretapped in 2011 after taking a phone call in my congressional office from a foreign leader.
 
Graham ready to subpoena for Trump wiretap information | 8 March 2017 | Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday he is ready to subpoena the intelligence agencies for evidence that would prove President Donald Trump's claims that he was wiretapped last year by then-President Barack Obama. Asked by CNN if he would subpoena for any evidence, the South Carolina Republican said, "Yes. All I can say is that the country needs an answer to this. The current President has accused the former President of basically wiretapping his campaign," Graham said, one day after he joined Trump for a one-on-one lunch at the White House.
 
New York U.S. attorney Preet Bharara says Trump fired him | 11 March 2017 | New York-based U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Saturday that the Trump administration fired him after he refused to its request to resign along with 45 other U.S. attorneys across the nation. "Today, I was fired from my position as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York," he said in a statement.
 
Trump administration dismisses 46 US attorneys | 10 March 2017 | Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked for the resignation of 46 US attorneys, the Justice Department announced Friday. "As was the case in prior transitions, many of the United States attorneys nominated by the previous administration already have left the Department of Justice. The attorney general has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed US attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition," Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores said. Administrations have the right to replace and nominate US attorneys...In mid-March 2001, President [sic] George W. Bush's attorney general said he was transitioning most of the 93 US attorneys before June of that year.
 
Trump administration shifts from 'insurance for everybody' | 14 March 2017 | The White House shifted from President Trump's stated goal of providing "insurance for everybody" on Tuesday, instead promising that the House GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare offers "more people the option to get healthcare." The altered tone from Press Secretary Sean Spicer comes as the bill faces new scrutiny, including a report Monday from the independent Congressional Budget Office concluding that 24 million fewer people will have insurance by 2026 under the GOP plan. Spicer took issue with that analysis, in part by insisting that it failed to take into account separate actions Republicans say they plan to take after their initial bill.
 
Trump threatens GOP: Back health bill or get primaried | 10 March 2017 | President Trump has told Republican leaders that he's prepared to play hardball with congressional conservatives to pass the GOP healthcare bill, including by supporting the 2018 primary challengers of any Republican who votes against the bill. Sources told the Washington Examiner that Trump made that threat in a White House meeting on Tuesday with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and other members of the House GOP whip team that helps line up votes. Trump's threat is one that could resonate. Most of the Republicans who oppose the GOP's American Health Care Act represent ruby red districts that strongly support Trump and his agenda.
 
Trump claims ObamaCare was designed to 'explode' this year | 10 March 2017 | President Trump on Friday accused congressional Democrats and President Obama of conniving to make sure that ObamaCare would "explode" in 2017 - because Obama would be out of office by then. "We must act now to save Americans from the imploding ObamaCare disaster. Premiums have skyrocketed by double digits and triple digits in some cases...and [are] going up a lot higher," the president said.
 
G.O.P. Health Bill Clears 2 House Panels After Marathon Sessions | 09 March 2017 | The Republican drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act advanced on Thursday as two House committees approved broad legislation to undo the law and replace it with a more modest system of tax credits and a rollback of President Barack Obama's Medicaid expansion. The House Energy and Commerce Committee endorsed the legislation on a party-line vote of 31 to 23 after a session that lasted more than 27 hours. The House Way and Means Committee had approved the measure in a predawn session on Thursday. The House Budget Committee must give its approval to the measure next week before a final House vote that Speaker Paul D. Ryan plans for the week of March 20.
 
The House GOP's puzzling ObamaCare replacement | 10 March 2017 | On reading the House Republicans' new American Healthcare Act, it is difficult to understand what the proposal is designed to accomplish, either substantively or politically. On the one hand, it contains enough provisions with superficial resemblances to those in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that it seems sure to inflame the "Repeal Only" faction. Yet on the other hand, it fails to prevent millions of people from losing coverage; as soon as that becomes known, swing-district members will again be facing outrage in constituent meetings. 
 
Influential hospitals, doctor groups come out against House proposal | 8 March 2017 | A constellation of influential groups representing the nation's hospitals and physicians came out Wednesday against a House Republican proposal to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, marking the latest round of setbacks to the controversial plan. Seven groups representing the nation's hospitals, health systems and medical colleges collectively added their "significant concerns" to the growing opposition, focusing on the prospect of sharply lower numbers of insured Americans if the Republicans' plans were to become law. Separately, the American Medical Association rejected the bill for the same reason.
 
Q&A: The facts on the Republican health care bill | 8 March 2017 | House Republicans released their replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act on March 6. How does the GOP's American Health Care Act differ from the ACA? We look at the major provisions.
 
U.S. job growth rises briskly, wages continue to climb | 10 March 2017 | US jobless figures would give Fed chief Janet Yellen the green light to raise rates next week. US job growth increased more than expected in February and wages rose steadily, new figures show today. The figures could give the Federal Reserve the green light to raise interest rates next week despite slowing economic growth. Non-farm payrolls rose by 235,000 jobs last month as the construction sector recorded its largest gain in nearly 10 years due to unseasonably warm weather, the Labor Department said today. The economy created 9,000 more jobs in December and January than previously reported.
 
First lady Melania Trump touts equality at International Women's Day luncheon | 8 March 2017 | First lady Melania Trump spoke about equality, freedom and the responsibility women have to help each other achieve success at an invitation-only luncheon honoring International Women's Day Wednesday at the White House. "As an immigrant myself, having grown up in a communist society, I know all too well the value and importance of freedom and equal opportunity -- ideals which this great nation was founded and has continued to strive towards throughout its history," Trump said according to her prepared remarks obtained by CNN from Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, senior adviser and chief strategist to the first lady. The first lady spoke from a podium in the State Dining Room, focusing on atrocities women are confronted with around the world, including human trafficking.
 
Undocumented person deported five times killed a California woman | 7 March 2017 | An illegal Mexican immigrant with a long rap sheet who has been deported five times allegedly killed a Californian woman in a violent drunk driving crash. Estuardo Alvarado, 45, was arrested after slamming his car into the back of Sandra Duran's vehicle in North Hills, Los Angeles on February 19 after fleeing another crash he had just been involved in. The 42-year-old mother died at the scene of blunt force trauma.
 
Study: Hillary Clinton ran one of the worst campaigns in years | 11 March 2017 | A new study by the Wesleyan Media Project has found that the 2016 presidential campaign run by Hillary Clinton is without a doubt one of the worst-run political operations in years. Interestingly, the directors of the study dispute the argument that "advertising doesn't matter" in elections. Clinton's failure to advertise in certain key states, they argue, was the biggest reason for her defeat by Donald Trump. The study also backs the view thatClinton's focus on identity politics and emphasis on condemning her opposition contributed to a campaign message devoid of substance with no clear message on policy.
 
States of emergency are declared in FOUR Eastern states as dangerous nor'easter prepares to dump up to two feet of snow on the region after claiming two lives in the Midwest --Four states have been placed under a state of emergency: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland | 14 March 2017 | A state of emergency has been issued in four states across the northeast as Winter Storm Stella is set to slam the area with up to two feet of snow on Monday and Tuesday. State of emergencies in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland have all taken affect as of midnight on Monday and 50 million residents are being urged to prepare for the 'life-threatening' storm. The harsh winter weather has already claimed lives in Milwaukee after two elderly men on different sides of the city collapsed while shoveling snow on Monday.
 
Blizzard takes aim at northeastern U.S., flights canceled | 13 March 2017 | A fast-moving winter storm bringing up to two feet of snow was expected to hit the northeastern United States, forecasters warned on Monday, prompting airlines to cancel thousands of flights and some mayors to order schools to close on Tuesday. The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, with forecasts calling for up to 2 feet (60 cm) of snow by early Wednesday, with temperatures 15 to 30 degrees below normal for this time of year. Some 50 million people along the Eastern Seaboard were under storm or blizzard warnings and watches.
 
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