Sunday, December 11, 2016

CIA Concludes Russian Interference Aimed To Elect Trump

The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election specifically to help Donald Trump win the presidency, a U.S. official has confirmed to NPR.

"Before, there was confidence about the fact that Russia interfered," the official says. "But there was low confidence on what the direction and intentionality of the interference was. Now they [the CIA] have come to the conclusion that Russia was trying to tip the election to Trump."

The official adds: "The reason the assessment changed is that new information became available" since Oct. 7, when the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence released a joint statement accusing Russia of interfering with the American election process.
Obama Orders Sweeping Review Of International Hacking Tied To U.S. Elections
Obama Orders Sweeping Review Of International Hacking Tied To U.S. Elections

The Washington Post first reported the CIA's new assessment on Friday.

In addition to hacking into Democratic organizations, Russians hacked the Republican National Committee's computer systems, according to a separate report from The New York Times — but they did not release any information that might have been retrieved from Republican networks.

"Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials," the Post reports. "Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton's chances."

Citing anonymous officials briefed on the issue, the Post says the CIA shared its findings with senators in a closed-door briefing last week, saying it was now "quite clear" that Russia's goal was to tip the presidency in Trump's favor:

    " 'It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia's goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,' said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. 'That's the consensus view.' "

In a previous assessment, CIA officials had thought Russians intervened with the intention of undermining Americans' electoral system, Adam Entous, one of the Post story's reporters, tells NPR's Scott Simon. "donald trup"

On Friday evening, the Trump transition team fired back with a statement dismissing the report of the agency's conclusion.

"These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," the statement said. "The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It's now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again.' "

In fact, Trump's percentage of the electoral vote in the 2016 election ranks 46th among presidential election winners in U.S. history, according to

Trump's claim is a reference to the CIA's flawed intelligence on Iraq, in the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. The CIA and other spy agencies judged that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction — a judgment that proved to be false. While the leadership of the CIA has changed hands several times in the years since then, many intelligence officers and analysts who worked on the Iraq intelligence still serve at CIA and in other parts of the U.S. intelligence community.

But whether or not Trump's top officials acknowledge the report as a possible threat, the Post's Adam Entous points out Trump will soon be in command of the intelligence agencies.

"I'm sure they're going to declassify some elements of the report and I'm sure there will be leaks," he adds, but the Obama administration can't disclose the full details of the case, because it would be "compromising what's known as 'sources and methods,' which would then make it harder for the CIA and the NSA and other spy agencies to get more information in the future for donald trump 2016."

Earlier Friday, President Obama ordered the intelligence community to conduct a "full review" of "malicious cyber activity" timed to U.S. elections, as we previously reported:

    "In the 2016 election, U.S. intelligence officials charged that Russia had interfered. In early October, they released a strongly worded statement saying they were 'confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations.' The statement went on to say 'these thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.' "

The U.S. official says that "there is a determination to do something" before the Obama administration leaves power. "It's still being discussed exactly what to do. And as we've said before, some of it you may see and some of it you will not for donald trump ties."

Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says the response from President-elect Donald Trump is "very misguided."

"When you have strong evidence that a foreign power has interfered with the American election, with American institutions, then what you do is keep digging. You get all the facts out," Wyden says. "You respond to the American people with the kind of information that they have a right to know."

He also advocates releasing more information on the cyberattacks.

"I do believe there is important information that the American people have a right to know. It ought to be declassified promptly."

"It's very important that the American public knows what happened, not necessarily to re-litigate this election, but to look forward," says Sen. Angus King, an independent senator from Maine. "What worries me is the extent to which this is an ongoing pattern — which, by the way, is the Russians' pattern in other parts of the world.

"And is that going to be the case in our elections? Four years from now, are we going to have the Democrats, the Republicans, the independents and the Russians?" King asks. "I mean, this is very serious stuff." donald trump book, and you can check donald trump house & now you can also check
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Credit: the tow-way 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Judiciary panel sets 2 day hearing for AG nominee Sessions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times EST):
7:50 p.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold two days of confirmation hearings for Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions when Congress returns in January.

Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, says the hearings will be held Jan. 10-11. He says Sessions returned a committee questionnaire Friday, and members will have ample time to prepare for the hearing.

The timing of the hearing means Sessions could be confirmed as soon as President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated Jan. 20.

Democrats say they have concerns about the Alabama senator's views on civil liberties, voting rights and immigration and have asked for time to review his decades of work as a senator and federal prosecutor.

Sessions is a member of the Judiciary panel.


6:40 p.m.

CBS Sports says it will interview President-elect Donald Trump during Saturday's Army-Navy game in Baltimore.

Trump is attending the annual football game between the rival military academies.

CBS Sports says Trump will be interviewed by Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson during the third quarter of the game.

Transition officials said earlier this week that Trump will sit on Navy's side of the field for one half of the game, and on Army's side for the other.

President Barack Obama attended the game in 2011. President George W. Bush also attended the game while in office.


4:25 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says Rudy Giuliani is taking himself out of consideration for a position in his administration.

Giuliani, a loyal Trump supporter throughout the campaign, was an early front-runner to be secretary of state. But he faced questions about his overseas business ties and Trump began looking at other candidates, including Mitt Romney.

In a statement, Trump says Giuliani would have been an "outstanding" Cabinet secretary in several roles. He says he respects the former New York City mayor's decision to remain in the private sector.

Reince Priebus, Trump's incoming White House chief of staff, says Giuliani was vetted by the transition team for possible conflicts and "passed with flying colors."

Trump is yet to announce his pick to lead the State Department.


4:15 p.m.

Donald Trump has spoken with one of his sharper critics in the club of world leaders.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke with Trump by phone Friday. The Trump transition team describes the conversation as a "short congratulatory call." Sturgeon's office adds that she used the call to emphasize the "values Scotland and the United States share."

Trump owns two golf courses in Scotland. He has waged a headline-grabbing legal battle to block wind farms near one of the properties.

Sturgeon broke diplomatic protocol to publicly back Democrat Hillary Clinton.

After Trump's victory, she said she would not maintain "a diplomatic silence in the face of attitudes of racism, sexism, misogyny or intolerance of any kind."


3:30 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is imploring Louisiana Republicans to turn out in Saturday's final U.S. Senate election, urging them to back John Kennedy.

Trump says at a rally in Baton Rouge, "We need John in Washington." Kennedy is the state treasurer. He faces off Saturday against Democrat Foster Campbell for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. David Vitter.

Polls show Kennedy ahead in the race. Trump says Kennedy would be key to helping him enact his agenda.

Republicans will have a narrow 52-48 Senate majority next year if they hold onto the Louisiana seat.


2:45 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to pick Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn for an influential White House economic post.

That's according to two people informed of the decision.

The 56-year-old Cohn would lead the White House National Economic Council. The posting would require him to leave his $21 million a year job as president and chief operating officer at Goldman.

Trump repeatedly vilified the prestigious Wall Street bank on the campaign trail. Yet with the choice of Cohn, he's now named three of its alumni to key positions in his upcoming administration.

The people informed of the decision spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the expected move.

—By Ken Thomas and Julie Pace


2 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump's transition team is asking Energy Department employees detailed questions about the agency's operations and personnel, requesting a list of employees and contractors who attended international meetings on climate change over the past five years.

The questionnaire also seeks a list of all political appointees and senior executives and asks workers to offer their opinions on who "owns" the department's clean energy mission and other policy goals.

One Energy Department official, who asked not to be named, expressed concern about the 74 questions and said it appears Trump's transition team is targeting officials who have helped implement Obama administration policies on issues from the Iran nuclear deal to the operations of national energy labs.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the questionnaire, which was first reported by Bloomberg News.

—By Matthew Daly


1:55 p.m.

The U.N. special envoy to Syria says it makes sense that President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin would work together on Syria, because both have made fighting the Islamic State group a top priority.

Staffan de Mistura spoke to The Associated Press in an interview Friday at the U.N. He plans to meet next week with Trump's transition team.

De Mistura said, "We have heard from the Russians more than once, and from Putin himself, that the last thing he wants is to see the Daesh people returning to the Russian Federation, those who came from there and were trained to fight there." He was using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

But de Mistura cautions that defeating the group requires a politically inclusive solution for the broader crisis in Syria.


12:50 p.m.

A top aide to President-elect Donald Trump is confirming that former Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally is among those being considered for the job of secretary of state.

In an interview with Fox News, Kellyanne Conway said Mulally met with Trump on Thursday.

Mulally, a longtime Boeing Company executive, was hired as CEO of Ford in 2006. He is widely credited with the company's turnaround. Using a well-timed loan, he helped keep Ford out of bankruptcy during the recession and revitalized the company with new products and technology. He also ended the corporate infighting that had long plagued Ford.

Mulally, 70, retired from Ford in 2014. He now serves on the board of Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google.


11:20 a.m.

Washington state congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has emerged as President-elect Donald Trump's top contender to lead the Interior Department.

That's according to a person involved in the transition. Trump's been weighing others for the post, including Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, but is said to be interested in finding a place for McMorris Rodgers in the administration.

McMorris Rodgers is the only Republican woman with a leadership role on Capitol Hill. As interior secretary, she would oversee the nation's public lands.

The person involved in the transition was not authorized to discuss the internal deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

—By Julie Pace


10:54 a.m.

The Indiana union leader slammed by Donald Trump on Twitter says he's willing to work with the president-elect to protect manufacturing jobs.

United Steelworkers local president Chuck Jones got support Friday at a news conference with several Indiana union officials. Trump tweeted that Jones "has done a terrible job representing workers" at a Carrier Corp. furnace factory in Indianapolis.

That was after Jones said Trump inflated the number of jobs being saved in a Trump-brokered deal to stop some outsourcing to Mexico. Trump said 1,100 jobs were staying, while the deal only prevents about 800 layoffs. Some 550 layoffs are still expected.

Jones says he'd be glad to sit down with Trump if he's sincere about saving American jobs.


3:05 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is rallying supporters in Louisiana on Friday ahead of the state's Senate runoff election, aiming to pad the Republican majority he will inherit in the White House.

Trump is campaigning for Republican John Kennedy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and then making another stop on his "thank you" tour in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a state that helped him prevail against Democrat Hillary Clinton in last month's election.

Republicans will have a narrow 52-48 Senate majority next year if they maintain the Louisiana seat. Trump has backed Kennedy and Vice President-elect Mike Pence campaigned for him last week in New Orleans, saying a Kennedy win would "put an exclamation point at the end of a great American victory in 2016."

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Friday, December 9, 2016

‘Godspeed, John Glenn’: Public hails hero of space, politics

Tributes poured in for former astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn, who died Thursday at age 95. Politicians, astronauts, educators and others called him a hero, with many mentioning the phrase that first sent him into orbit: “Godspeed, John Glenn.”

"We have engaged the PPATK to investigate the flow of funds in this case," Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said at the Jakarta Police headquarters on Thursday.

Here’s a look of some of the reactions:


“When John Glenn blasted off from Cape Canaveral atop an Atlas rocket in 1962, he lifted the hopes of a nation. And when his Friendship 7 spacecraft splashed down a few hours later, the first American to orbit the Earth reminded us that with courage and a spirit of discovery there’s no limit to the heights we can reach together. … The last of America’s first astronauts has left us, but propelled by their example we know that our future here on Earth compels us to keep reaching for the heavens. On behalf of a grateful nation, Godspeed, John Glenn.” — President Barack Obama


“Today we lost a great pioneer of air and space in John Glenn. He was a hero and inspired generations of future explorers. He will be missed.” — President-elect Donald Trump, on Twitter


“By his inspirational leadership spearheading our space program, John helped push back the horizon of discovery.” — Former President George H.W. Bush, on Twitter


‘He excelled in every one of his roles_decorated Marine, pioneer astronaut, accomplished and admired senator, loving husband and father. He was brave, bright, determined, and profoundly humble.” Former President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton


“With the news today I’m saddened again to hear that we have lost the pioneer of space flight for the United States, second only to Yuri Gagarin, and he will always go down in history as certainly one of the most influential officers in the Marine Corps and of course as one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts.” — Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon


“Glenn’s extraordinary courage, intellect, patriotism and humanity were the hallmarks of a life of greatness. His missions have helped make possible everything our space program has since achieved and the human missions to an asteroid and Mars that we are striving toward now.” — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden


“The Corps lost a legend today. Col. John Glenn — an astronaut, a senator, a Marine — died at the age of 95. Semper Fi, Sir.” — U.S. Marine Corps, on Twitter


“On top of paving the way for the rest of us, he was also a first-class gentleman and an unabashed patriot.” — U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who also flew in space


“You look at John Glenn and his is really a life of service and we don’t see enough of that. He is an honest-to-God hero in all kinds of ways.” — Roger Launius, National Air and Space Museum associate director


“John Glenn is, and always will be, Ohio’s ultimate hometown hero, and his passing today is an occasion for all of us to grieve.” — Ohio Gov. John Kasich


“The Ohio State University community deeply mourns the loss of John Glenn, Ohio’s consummate public servant and a true American hero.” — Ohio State President Michael Drake


“What made John Glenn a great senator was the same quality that made him a great astronaut and an iconic American hero: He saw enormous untapped potential in the nation he loved and he had faith that America could overcome any challenge.” — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio


“John Glenn was an American hero. He flew 149 combat missions in two wars. He was the first American to orbit the Earth, and the longest-serving United States Senator in Ohio history.” — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio


“John Glenn’s enduring commitment to public service, devoted patriotism, and tremendous courage embody the very best of the American spirit.” — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.


“No one in this country epitomized the nobility and patriotism of public service more than Ohio’s John Glenn.” — Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper


“All of us in the commercial space industry seek to honor John Glenn by advancing further along the path he blazed for humanity in space.” — Eric Stallmer, president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation


“John Glenn understood that aviation isn’t about flying, it’s about freedom.” — Elaine Roberts, head of John Glenn Columbus International Airport

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Police, PPATK trace money in treason case

Jakarta Police have enlisted the help of the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) in their investigating of funds for alleged subversive activities following multiple arrests and the naming of eight suspects last Friday.

"We have engaged the PPATK to investigate the flow of funds in this case," Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said at the Jakarta Police headquarters on Thursday.

(Read also: Rachmawati says meetings, cash transfer not evidence of treason)

Argo added that police had obtained strong evidence regarding funds connected to treason.

However, police needed time to study the evidence before revealing the parties who had funded the treasonous activity as well as those who had received the money, he said.

Argo added that the persons who had orchestrated the treason had not transferred the funds to the recipients in one go.

The transfer had been carried out gradually, so police needed to investigate it carefully, he said, adding that police could not yet specify the amount of funds involved.

"There are a lot of fund transactions. This is not like an accounting balance sheet, where you can directly get the amount of the money," he said.

Police arrested 11 political activists, including Rachmawati Soekarnoputri, the daughter of the country’s first president Sukarno, senior politician Sri Bintang, artist Ratna Sarumpaet and musician-turned-politician Ahmad Dhani early on Friday morning, hours before hundreds of thousands of people staged a rally against Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama. (jun).

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

PIA plane crashes near Abbottabad, all passengers feared dead

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan International Airlines plane carrying 47 people crashed Wednesday on a domestic flight from Chitral to Islamabad, aviation authorities said.

All the passengers on board the passenger jet are feared dead. Military said  21 bodies were retrieved from the debris of the plane and being Shifted to Ayub Medical Complex, where a special cell has been set up. An aviation official said it was too early to say anything about the cause of the crash, but it probably occurred due to engine failure.

The Islamabad bound flight PK-661 took off at 3:30 pm from Chitral and went missing near Abbottabad before the pilots lost control over the aircraft and contact with control tower around 4:22 pm . A thick cloud of smoke was also seen billowing from the area where the aircraft came down.
Former famous Pakistani singer Junaid Jamshed and wife Nahya, were also among the passengers on the ill fated plane. According to family members, he was in Chitral on a preaching tour. 31 men, nine women and two children were on board the flight, including at least three foreigners, according to local media reports.
Civil and military rescue teams were dispatched to the scene of the crash. Five members of the crew were identified as Saleh Janjua, Aly Akram, Ahmed Janjua, Sadaf Farooq and Asma Adil.

PIA plane crashes near Abbottabad, all passengers feared dead

"We regret to inform that PIA’s ATR-42 aircraft operating as PK-661, carrying around 40 passengers  lost its contact with control tower on its way from Chitral to Islamabad a short while ago," PIA spokesman Danyal Gilani said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan have directed the concerned federal departments to immediately initiate rescue efforts and help provincial government, said a statement.

Pakistan´s last major air disaster was in 2015 when a Pakistani military helicopter crashed in a remote northern valley, killing eight people including the Norwegian, Philippine and Indonesian envoys and the wives of Malaysian and Indonesian envoys.

The deadliest crash was in 2010, when an Airbus 321 operated by private airline Airblue and flying from Karachi crashed into hills outside Islamabad while about to land, killing all 152 on board.

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Monday, December 5, 2016

No 10 slaps down Boris Johnson over excluding students from migration figures - Politics live

Ukip says many of its arguments have been vindicated by Casey report

Ukip is claiming that many of its arguments have been vindicated by the Casey report. This is from David Kurten, a member of the Welsh assembly and Ukip’s education spokesman.

Many of the report’s recommendations are things which Ukip has been saying for years. All schoolchildren should learn English, and have a proper understanding of British history and culture, whatever background they are from.

And this is from John Bickley, Ukip’s immigration spokesman.

Today, [Casey’s] damning report on integration has been released. It pulls no punches and is an excoriating critique of the Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrat parties’ support of mass immigration, multiculturalism and political correctness, which has led to whole towns having changed “out of all recognition” ...

For years Ukip has been the only political party willing to point out the failings of mass, uncontrolled immigration and multiculturalism. For this we have been accused of being racist by a cowardly Establishment. That won’t wash any longer. The main parties have singularly failed to address the impact of uncontrolled immigration on mainly working class communities and the British people have had enough.

Leaving the EU will be a major step in taking back control of our borders and immigration. However before that happens the government needs do the following with immediate effect: (i) significantly reduce immigration from non EU countries; (ii) ban the practising of sharia law (there is only one law and that is the law of the land); and (iii) force all public sector institutions to apply the law equally to all citizens and not give preferential treatment to ethnic minorities.

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Report of Tsai-Trump meeting called 'excessive speculation'

Taipei, Dec. 4 (CNA) Taiwan's Presidential Office has denied that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will meet U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in New York during an overseas trip next month, characterizing a report on the prospect of such a meeting as "excessive speculation."

The office was commenting on a media report that Tsai could stopover in New York in January on her way to Nicaragua for a state visit.

The report claimed on Sunday that efforts are being made to secure a meeting between Tsai and members of Trump's team in New York, including Reince Priebus, who is the president-elect's chief of staff.

It also said a meeting between Tsai and Trump would not be ruled out if possible.

In response, the Presidential Office called the report on arrangements for Tsai to meet with Trump or members of his team "excessive speculation."

The itinerary of state visits made by the president or vice president are always made public as soon as they are confirmed, the Presidential Office said.

The speculation came after Tsai and Trump conversed by phone on Dec. 2, the first publicly reported call between a U.S. president or president-elect and a Taiwanese leader since 1979, when Washington switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

Nicaragua is one of just 22 countries that maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan. China sees Taiwan as part of its territory and has vigorously obstructed any official contacts between Taiwan and other nations.


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