In Election, Let’s Pray to Do God’s Will

File Photo of West Side of U.S. Capitol at Inauguration Time With Large Flags Draped

“Scripture says, if #God is not the Architect, in vain do the builders labor.

Let’s #pray to do God’s Will.

In the upcoming #election, let’s pray to do God’s Will with how each of us casts a vote, as well as with our other democracy-related activities, such as conversations, bumper stickers, yard signs, online posts, volunteering activities and so forth. …”

NEWSLINK VIDEO: “U.S. Iran Policy: What Next?” – Heritage Foundation, David Albright, Nile Gardiner, Michael Doran, James Phillips

Iran Map

“The Trump Administration must decide by October 15 whether to certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement and whether the billions of dollars of sanctions relief granted under that deal advances the vital national interests of the United States. The Administration also will soon unveil the conclusions reached in its Iran policy review. What should the Administration do about the flawed nuclear agreement? More broadly, how should the United States respond to Iran’s hostile and aggressive foreign policy?”

NEWSLINK: “Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities; Left-wing nonprofit pays lucrative six-figure salaries to top management”

File Photo of Arms and Hands of Man in Business Suit Taking Cash from Envelope, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal, Alabama-based 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization that has gained prominence on the left for its “hate group” designations, pushes millions of dollars to offshore entities as part of its business dealings, records show.

Additionally, the nonprofit pays lucrative six-figure salaries to its top directors and key employees while spending little on legal services despite its stated intent of ‘fighting hate and bigotry’ using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy.’ … “

NEWSLINK: “Shelly Island: The new beach off North Carolina’s Outer Banks” – CBS

Western Atlantic Ocean Satellite Image, adapted from image at ods.mil

“There’s a new attraction for thousands of people enjoying the long holiday weekend on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Shelly Island is a destination you won’t find on a standard map. The giant barrier island suddenly formed in the Atlantic Ocean, almost overnight. …”

NEWSLINK: “Iceberg the Size of Delaware Will Break Off Antarctic Ice Shelf Any Day Now, Scientists Say” – Newsweek

Antarctica Aerial Image adapted from image at nasa.gov

“One of the largest icebergs ever recorded is about to break off an Antarctic ice shelf and float away. The separation of roughly 10 percent of the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf—equivalent in size to the state of Delaware—from the main body is imminent. …”

NEWSLINK: “Revealed: #Trump’s $110 billion weapons list for the #Saudis” – Defense News

Middle East Map

“The administration’s much touted $110 billion arms proposal to #SaudiArabia, previously slim on specifics, includes seven #THAAD #MissileDefense batteries, over 100,000 air-to-ground munitions and billions of dollars’ worth of new aircraft …. #Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia on May 20 drew headlines for what was billed as a $110 billion arms agreement. However, experts quickly pointed out that much of the deal was speculative, as any arms sale has to go through the process of being cleared by the State Department, then Congress, before going through an often lengthy negotiating period with industry. …”

NEWSLINK: “ISIL: Target Russia; Thousands of ISIL fighters are training in the mountains of Afghanistan, plotting an attack on the Kremlin” – Al Jazeera

Afghanistan and Environs Ethnic Map

“Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) have always considered ‘the West’ – and the United States in particular – the ultimate enemy. But following President Vladimir Putin’s policy of military involvement in Syria, Russiamay have taken its place as ISIL’s main target. Thousands of ISIL fighters from Syria, Iraq and elsewhere are regrouping in the virtually impregnable mountains of Afghanistan, plotting revenge against the Kremlin. …”

Click here for “ISIL: Target Russia; Thousands of ISIL fighters are training in the mountains of Afghanistan, plotting an attack on the Kremlin” – Al Jazeera





NEWSLINK & VIDEO: “Scott Dixon out of #Indianapolis500 following scary wreck” – ESPN ……. #INDY500

Race Car in Pits File Photo

“Indianapolis 500 pole sitter Scott Dixon went airborne after making contact with Jay Howard, sending Dixon’s car into the inside fence and retaining wall in Turn 2 and shredding it in the process at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. …”

NEWSLINK: “United Airlines flies woman to San Francisco instead of France” – Fox News

File Photo of Jets Waiting in Line at Airport, adapted from image at faa.gov

“United Airlines has found itself apologizing yet again, this time for sending a French woman on a 3,000-mile trip in the wrong direction. Lucie Bahetoukilae was recently scheduled to fly from Newark, N.J., to Paris, but instead found herself flying to San Francisco after she was inadvertently allowed to board the wrong plane …. According to Bahetoukilae, who speaks only French and allowed her niece to speak on her behalf, the airline changed the flight’s gate at the last minute, and failed to notify the passengers via email. Furthermore, Bahetoukilae claims the airline did not announce the gate change in French, despite the original flight being bound for Paris. … Bahetoukilae, not knowing any better, gave her ticket to the gate agent, who then scanned it and allowed Bahetoukilae to board. …”

NEWSLINK: “#Facebook’s Female Engineers Claim #Gender Bias; Analysis found female engineers received 35% more rejections of their code than men” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of Laptop Computer, Tablet, Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

“Last year, a longtime engineer at #Facebook Inc. gathered data that revealed a controversial finding: Code written by #women was rejected much more frequently than code written by their male colleagues, according to people familiar with the matter and screenshots of internal discussions viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

NEWSLINK: “#Putin Pushes #Syria Peacekeeper Plan With #Trump to Save Truce” – Bloomberg

Syria Map

“President Vladimir #Putin is pushing a plan with U.S. President Donald #Trump to create security zones and deploy peacekeepers in #Syria — possibly including #Russian forces — to enforce a faltering cease-fire as he tries to find a resolution to the more than six-year conflict. …”

NEWSLINK: “In Tense Encounter, #Merkel Tells #Putin #Sanctions Must Remain” – Bloomberg

EU Map

“German Chancellor Angela #Merkel told President Vladimir #Putin that #EU #sanctions will have to remain on #Russia as the two leaders clashed over #Ukraine, human rights and election meddling at a chilly encounter in the Black Sea city of Sochi.”

NEWSLINK: “Dozens Detained In Nationwide Anti-Putin Protests In Russia” – RFE/RL 4.29.17

Russian Map and Flag

“Police detained dozens of people in several Russian cities as demonstrators joined a protest campaign urging Vladimir Putin not to run in the country’s presidential election next year. The April 29 protests came just three days after authorities moved to ban the organization spearheading the demonstrations: Open Russia, which was set up by former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.”

NEWSLINK: “Russians, in peaceful protest, call for Putin to quit” – Reuters 4.29.17

File Photo of Kremlin Wall and Tower Near River

“Several hundred Russians lined up in central Moscow on Saturday under the gaze of riot police to hand over handwritten appeals for President Vladimir Putin to quit, as similar protests took place in other cities. Putin, who has dominated Russian politics for 17 years, has not said whether he will run in presidential elections in March 2018. But the 64-year-old politician, who enjoys high popularity ratings, is widely expected to do so. …”

NEWSLINK: “Russian police arrest dozens of anti-Putin protesters; More than 100 arrested in St Petersburg at demonstration against Vladimir Putin’s expected candidacy in 2018” – Al Jazeera 4.29.17

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Gesturing, with VOA Logo

“More than 100 activists were arrested in St Petersburg on Saturday as hundreds of Russians turned out to protest against President Vladimir Putin’s expected candidacy in elections next year. Demonstrators rallied across several cities under the slogan ‘We’re sick of him.’ The protests were called by the Open Russia movement founded by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky. …”

NEWSLINK: “#Russian authorities detain dozens at anti-#Putin rallies” – BBC 4.29.17

Russian Map and Flag

“Russian authorities have detained dozens of protesters at rallies demanding that President Vladimir Putin should not seek re-election next year. At least 30 people were reported to have been held in St Petersburg and more than 16 in the southern city of Kemerovo. Activists in some other cities were kept away from protests, reports said. President Putin has not confirmed that he will run in March 2018 but he is widely expected to do so. …”

NEWSLINK: “Russian Prosecutor Labels Khodorkovsky NGO ‘Undesirable’ Ahead Of Protest” – RFE/RL / Mike Eckel 4.26.17

Russian Map and Flag

“Russia’s top prosecutor has blacklisted a nongovernmental organization set up by former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky — a move that puts the group in legal jeopardy just days before a street protest it has been planning. …”

NEWSLINK: “#EU stands firms on #Crimea #sanctions against #Russia” – Deutsche Welle

Map of Ukraine and Environs, Including Russia

“… The #EuropeanUnion’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, told a news conference in the #Russian capital on Monday that the #EU could not pretend that #Moscow had not annexed #Ukraine’s #Crimea in 2014, and that the bloc’s sanctions over the issue would not be lifted. She insisted, however, that cooperation between the two sides was not “frozen,” but rather hampered by differences over issues such as #Ukraine and #Syria. Mogherini was speaking alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergey #Lavrov on her first official visit to Moscow in her current role as the EU’s top diplomat. …”

NEWSLINK: “U.S. general in #Afghanistan says there is no doubt #Russia is providing weapons to #Taliban” – Telegraph

Afghanistan and Environs Ethnic Map

“America’s top general in #Afghanistan has said there was no doubt that #Russia was providing weapons to the #Taliban. In the strongest statement yet over Russia’s apparent re-engagement in the Afghanistan war, Gen. John #Nicholson said he would “not refute” that #Moscow’s involvement included giving weapons to the Taliban.
He was speaking in Kabul alongside James #Mattis, the US defence secretary, who said that America needed to confront Russia over its actions in Afghanistan, where the Soviet Union fought and lost a bloody war in the 1980s.

NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Oil Cuts Won’t Be So Easy If OPEC Deal Is Extended; Rosneft and Lukoil plan higher spending and more drilling” – Bloomberg

Oil Wells and Sunset

“For #Russian #oil companies, the historic agreement to boost prices by cutting output in conjunction with [#OPEC] was an easy win. Extending the deal will be less straightforward. Cuts so far this year came alongside the traditional seasonal stagnation in Russian production, meaning the country made relatively few sacrifices in exchange for an increase in crude prices of more than 10 percent. For the powerful Russian oil bosses who plan to discuss the OPEC accord with Energy Minister Alexander Novak this week, a decision by the government to extend the cuts beyond June would stymie plans to boost output, creating many more headaches than the initial agreement. …”

NEWSLINK: “#Russian Military Planes Crowd the U.S. for a Fourth Day; U.S., Canadian fighters intercept long-range bombers” – Wall Street Journal 4.21.17

Russian TU-95 Bear Bomber File Photo

“#Russia flew long-range combat aircraft near American airspace for the fourth consecutive day, the Pentagon said Friday, marking the first such string of incursions since 2014, but prompting little concern from the White House. American and Canadian jet fighters intercepted a pair of Russian “Bear” long-range bombers in international airspace near #Alaska on Thursday, said … a spokesman for North American Aerospace Defense Command, or #Norad. …”

NEWSLINK: “#Beslan school siege: #Russia ‘failed’ in 2004 massacre” – BBC 4.13.17

Russian Map and Flag

“The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that #Russia failed to protect the hostages of the #Beslan school siege in which about 330 people died in 2004. … Chechen rebels took more than 1,000 hostages, mostly children. The operation by Russian forces to end it used disproportionate force, the court added. It also said that officials knew an attack was imminent but did not act. … Witnesses described the operation by Russian security forces as chaotic, saying that the troops used excessive force and heavy weapons. … the court said Russia had sufficient specific information that an attack was being planned in that area, but did not act. It criticised the authorities for being unable to prevent the militants from meeting and travelling on the day of the attack, and failing to increase security at the school or warn the public of the threat. …”

NEWSLINK: “Russia’s new Arctic Trefoil military base unveiled with virtual tour” – BBC

Arctic Map

“… The Arctic Trefoil permanent base is in Franz Josef Land, a huge ice-covered, desolate archipelago. The Russian military sees the resource-rich Arctic as a key strategic region. President Vladimir Putin visited the new base, on Alexandra Land, last month. It is built on stilts – to help withstand the extreme cold – and will house 150 personnel on 18-month tours of duty. Winter temperatures typically plunge to minus 40C. …”

NEWSLINK: “#Russian State TV Says #Trump Is More Dangerous Than Kim Jong-Un” – Bloomberg 4.17.17

File Photo of Kremlin Wall and Tower Near River

“#Russian state television has no doubt who is unpredictable enough to bring the world to war in the North Korean crisis … In the latest sign of the Kremlin’s abrupt about-face on its erstwhile American hero …. * * * Kiselyov and his colleagues on other channels also went after #Trump’s family, noting that Kim hadn’t given his four-year-old daughter an office in his residence, in contrast to Trump’s appointment of his 35-year-old daughter, Ivanka, to a White House role ….

NEWSLINK: “#Russian bombers again fly near #Alaska” – Fox News 4.19.17

Russian TU-95 Bear Bomber File Photo

“… For the second consecutive night, #Russia flew two long-range bombers off the coast of #Alaska on Tuesday, this time coming within 36 miles of the mainland while flying north of the #Aleutian Islands …. The two #nuclear-capable Tu-95 bombers were spotted by U.S. military radar at 5 p.m. local time. Unlike a similar incident Monday night, this time the U.S. Air Force did not scramble any fighter jets. Instead, it launched a single E-3 Sentry early warning aircraft, known as AWACS, to make sure there were only the two Russian bombers flying near Alaska, and not other aircraft flying underneath the large bombers. …”

NEWSLINK: “#Russia upset over being blocked from #Syria chemical weapons investigation” – Fox News

Syria Map

“#Russia has protested the U.S.’ refusal to allow its inspectors to participate in a formal investigation into a chemical weapons attack that struck the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhan in northern Idlib, #Syria, earlier this month.”

NEWSLINK: “#Russian Journalist, Putin Critic Dies After Severe Beating” – RFE/RL 4.19.17

Kremlin and St. Basil's at Night

“A prominent #Russian journalist known for articles criticizing the country’s government and President Vladimir #Putin has died in St. Petersburg after being beaten up, his lawyer was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying. Nikolai #Andrushchenko, a 73-year-old co-founder of the weekly newspaper Novy Peterburg, was found unconscious with what colleagues described as head trauma on March 9. …”

NEWSLINK: “Palm Sunday attacks: 44 dead, more than 100 injured in church bombings carried out by ISIL in Egypt” – Fox News

Egypt Map, adapted from image at export.gov

“… at least 44 people were killed and more than 100 more were injured in two Palm Sunday suicide attacks at Coptic Christian churches, each carried out by the ISIS terror group. Sunday’s first blast happened at St. George Church in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, where at least 27 people were killed and 78 others wounded, officials said.
Television footage showed the inside of the church, where a large number of people gathered around what appeared to be lifeless, bloody bodies covered with papers. A second explosion – which Egypt’s Interior Ministry says was caused by a suicide bomber who tried to storm St. Mark’s Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria — left at least 17 dead, and 48 injured. The attack came just after Pope Tawadros II — leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria — finished services, but aides told local media that he was unharmed. …”

HEALTHLINK: “When is the Pollen Count Low? Planning ahead will make the outdoors more enjoyable.” – Zyrtec

Pollen Grain Microscopic Image, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“On an average day, #pollen counts rise during the morning, peak about midday, and then gradually fall. So the lowest pollen counts are usually before dawn and in the late afternoon to early evening. But this is all relative — if the pollen count is very high, a moderate decrease later in the day may still leave a high concentration of pollen in the air.  Weather and environmental factors also heavily influence the pollen count throughout the day. Wind stirs up pollen into the air, keeping counts high, while rain dramatically lowers airborne pollen any time of day. And in urban areas, pollen counts tend to rise and fall later than they do in the suburbs. “

NEWSLINK: “U.S. airstrikes on Syria followed international condemnation of chemical attack” – Fox News

Eastern Mediterranean Satellite Photo

“President #Trump’s decision to rain Tomahawk missiles on #Syrian airfields in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack being pinned on Damascus followed near-unanimous international condemnation of the Syrian government. Just hours before the move, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Turkey and even China, whose president, Xi Jinping, was at Trump’s estate in Florida, all blasted the Syrian government over its suspected use of chemical weapons this week. …”

 

NEWSLINK: “U.S. missiles target #Syria airfield in response to chemical weapons attack” – Fox News

Syria Map

“The United States launched nearly five dozen cruise missiles at a #Syrian airfield early Friday in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians, the first direct assault on the Damascus government since the beginning of that country’s bloody civil war in 2011. ‘It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,’ President Donald #Trump said in a statement. ‘Tonight I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.’
Fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles targeted an airbase at Shayrat, located outside Homs. The missiles targeted the base’s airstrips, hangars, control tower and ammunition areas, officials said. …”

 

NEWSLINK: “Discovery! Atmosphere Spotted on Nearly Earth-Size Exoplanet in First” – SpaceCom

File Photo of Stars in Space, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“For the first time, scientists have detected an atmosphere around a planet beyond our solar system that’s just a little bit larger than Earth. The exoplanet GJ 1132b, which orbits the dwarf star GJ 1132, is located about 39 light-years away from Earth. It has a radius about 1.4 times that of Earth and is 1.6 times Earth’s mass, according to the new study. When the planet was first discovered, researchers called it a potential Venus twin because it’s a rocky world with a very high surface temperature — and now, they’ve found that the planet and Venus might have a thick atmosphere in common, too (although it would have a different composition). ”

NEWSLINK: “Neil Gorsuch the Law Clerk” – SCOTUS Blog

File Photo of Neil Gorsuch and U.S. Flag, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… White had retired from the court in the spring of 1993. According to some accounts at the time, White had not hired a full slate of law clerks for the term that would start in the fall of 1993 because he had an inclination to retire. It is unclear whether #Gorsuch was aware of this when White hired him.

Following a tradition among retired justices, who are assigned one law clerk, White agreed to share his clerk with an active justice. Gorsuch thus became a part-time member of Justice Anthony #Kennedy’s chambers.

The #SupremeCourt heard arguments in 99 cases during Gorsuch’s clerkship, issuing 93 full opinions.The most high-profile merits cases that term involved protest buffer zones around abortion clinics, the use of gender-based peremptory challenges in jury selection and whether a rap song incorporating parts of a Roy Orbison song constituted fair use under copyright law.

Whether Gorsuch played any significant role in advising Justice Kennedy on the term’s merits cases remains a private matter. And the amount of time he devoted to the needs of the newly retired Justice White isn’t widely known. …”

NEWSLINK: “BIO: Judge Neil Gorsuch” – Fox News

Supreme Court Facade with Parkland and Blossoming Trees, adapted from image at supremecourt.gov

“CURRENT POSITION: U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, from 2006-present

LEGAL EXPERIENCE:

  • Clerk for Judge David Sentelle of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1991-92.
  • Clerk for United States Supreme Court Justice Byron White and Justice Anthony Kennedy, 1993-94.
  • Attorney at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel in Washington, D.C., 1995-2005; partner.
  • Deputy associate attorney general, Department of Justice, 2005-06 …”

NEWSLINK: “#Iran, #Turkey leaders agree to defuse tensions” – Reuters/Daily Star (Lebanon)

Iran Map

“#Iranian President Hassan #Rouhani and #Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip #Erdogan agreed Wednesday to improve ties, including in the fight against terrorism, Iran’s state news agency IRNA said, following some angry exchanges between the regional rivals. Tehran and Ankara support opposite sides in the conflict in #Syria. Largely #Shiite Iran backs the government of President Bashar #Assad, while Turkey, which is majority #Sunni, has backed elements of the Syrian opposition. Last month Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu both accused Iran of trying to destabilize Syria and Iraq and of sectarianism, prompting Tehran to summon Ankara’s ambassador. …”

NEWSLINK: “#Syria conflict: All parties committed #warcrimes in #Aleppo – #UN” – BBC

Syria Map

“#UN #humanrights investigators say #Syrian civilians fell victim to #war crimes committed by all parties during the battle for #Aleppo last year. Daily air strikes by #Syria’s government and its ally #Russia claimed hundreds of lives, according to a new report. Government forces also dropped chlorine bombs, resulting in hundreds of civilian casualties, it alleges. Rebels are meanwhile accused of firing shells indiscriminately at government-held areas and of using human shields. The evacuation of the rebel enclave in eastern Aleppo in December, which brought the battle to an end, also amounted to forced displacement, the investigators say. …”

NEWSLINK: “Both sides of #Aleppo siege guilty of war crimes: #UN report” – Fox News

“Both #Syrian rebels and their enemies, the #Assad regime along with its #Russian allies, are guilty of committing #warcrimes in #Aleppo, #Syria, the #UN said Wednesday.
The U.N. Commission of Inquiry (UNCI) released an assessment of developments in the five-year war that occured between July and December of last year. …”

 

NEWSLINK: “Montenegro ‘to indict Russian spy behind coup plot'” – Daily Telegraph

Map of Europe Highlighting Montenegro

“#Montenegro is reportedly preparing to indict the #Russian #intelligence officer it accuses of masterminding a bloody coup plot to stop the Balkan nation joining #Nato. …”

NEWSLINK: “Russian-Backed Militants Open Fire On Civilian Ceasefire Monitors In Ukraine” – Daily Caller/Heritage Foundation

Map of Ukraine and Environs, Including Russia

Russian separatist militants opened fire Friday on a group of civilian peace monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in eastern Ukraine, sparking condemnation from the group’s chief monitor and the U.S. Militants from the Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) fired on the OSCE monitors as they were attempting to launch a drone in order to investigate the alleged shelling of the Donetsk water filtration station. After seizing the drone, one of the militants opened fire near the monitors. …

NEWSLINK: “Russians march to honor slain opposition leader and Putin critic Boris Nemtsov” – Los Angeles Times

Map of Russia with Russian Flag

Thousands of #Russians marched in Moscow on Sunday to mark the death of Boris #Nemtsov, an outspoken opposition leader who was gunned down two years ago. The protesters chanted ‘#Putin is a thief!’ and ‘Give Crimea back!’ and carried portraits of Nemtsov, who was one of the best known critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his policies.

NEWSLINK: “WH Spokesperson: FBI Said Stories on Trump-Russia Contact Is ‘BS’” – Breitbart

FBI Building file photo

… discussing investigations into Russia’s hacking during last year’s presidential election and disputed contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, ‘the FBI has already said this story is BS.’ … “

NEWSLINK: “Facing Russia and Terrorism, a NATO Outsider Urges EU to Step Up” – Bloomberg

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

“#Finland is urging #Europe to increase #NATO contributions and focus more on security as the continent grapples with political turmoil from all sides, including from within.

Once the U.K. has quit the European Union, the 27 nations left behind need to double down on the bloc’s founding principle and give the remaining 444 million citizens what they most crave: security, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said in an interview at his seaside residence in Helsinki on Friday. The 68-year-old is head of state of the nation that shares the EU’s longest border with #Russia, a country with which Finland has regular contact for security and practical reasons.”

 

NEWSLINK: “Thousands remember slain Russian politician” – Radio New Zealand

Kremlin Aerial View

“Thousands of people have marched in #Moscow to remember #Russian opposition leader, Boris #Nemtsov, who was shot dead outside the Kremlin in 2015. Mr Nemtsov, a reformer, democrat and former deputy PM, was a fierce critic of President Vladimir #Putin. Some marchers chanted ‘#Russia will be free!” and ‘#Putin is war!’ …”

 

NEWSLINK: “Republicans divided on Russia probe, calls for special prosecutor over AG Sessions” – Fox News

White House File Photo

“#Republicans are increasingly divided over the issue of whether members of Donald #Trump’s presidential campaign made illegal contact with #Russia and if a special prosecutor should be appointed over Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate such allegations. Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told “Fox News Sunday” that he has confidence in Sessions, a Trump campaign supporter and former AlabamPolia senator, and his judgment.”

NEWSLINK: “Kremlin denies Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador” – New York Post

Michael Flynn file photo

“Moscow on Monday backed national security adviser Mike Flynn, saying he never improperly discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador. ‘We have already said there have not been any such talks,” insisted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, when asked whether Flynn and envoy Sergey Kislyak talked about rolling back tough sanctions imposed by President Obama, once President Trump had assumed office, TASS reported.”

NEWSLINK: “Mike Flynn, #Russia, deportations and real fake news” – AEI

Michael Flynn file photo

“… What is illegal is leaking highly sensitive classified information about signals intelligence from spying on the Russian ambassador. And what also is illegal is the CIA spying, even incidentally, on Americans. This is not a maybe, or an if, or a sorta. It is ILLEGAL. The aforementioned nine officials should be found, prosecuted, and, if found guilty, imprisoned for leaking classified information. That they did so for political reasons is all the more despicable. …”

NEWSLINK: “#InternationalLaw and #Cyber Operations – Launch of the Tallinn Manual 2.0” – Atlantic Council

Binary Code with Stylized Eye

“… The first Tallinn Manual was the most comprehensive analysis of how existing international law applies to #cyber space, mostly focusing on cyber operations occurring during armed conflict. Four years after its publication, we have witnessed cyber rapidly moving to the forefront of national security agendas in response to the proliferation of cyberattacks against states, companies, and individuals alike. The Tallinn Manual 2.0, authored by nineteen respected international law experts across the globe, adds analysis of international law governing these more common forms of cyber incidents occurring during peace time. …”

 

NEWSLINK: “California crews rush to fix dam before new storms hit” – Reuters

U.S. Map

“Stormwaters receded on Monday behind the nation’s tallest dam, in Northern California, as engineers raced to drain the rain-swollen reservoir and shore up a crumbling overflow channel before new storms sweep the region later this week.

Authorities said they had averted the immediate danger of a catastrophic failure – one capable of unleashing a wall of water three stories tall on towns below.

But evacuation orders for some 188,000 residents remained in effect indefinitely, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said at a midday news conference. The risk to those living in the Feather River valley below the Lake Oroville Dam, 65 miles (105 km) north of Sacramento, was still being reviewed, he said. …”

 

NEWSLINK: “#Trump Pledges To Restore Peace Between #Ukraine And #Russia” – Daily Caller

Map of Ukraine and Environs, Including Russia

“… #Trump pledged to work with both #Russia and #Ukraine to restore peace on the border, in a Saturday interview with Fox News. Trump’s comments come amid intense fighting in eastern Ukraine between the military and Russian-backed separatists. Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, and is under international sanction by the U.S. and European Union. Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Crimea in August to reportedly ‘mull anti-terror measures.’ The uptick in violence may be Putin’s first test of Trump. Trump told Fox News, ‘we will work with Ukraine, Russia and all other parties involved to help them restore peace along the border.'”

 

NEWSLINK: “#Trump administration modifies sanctions against #Russian intelligence service”

U.S. Treasury Department North Facade and Statue of Alexander Hamilton

The #Trump administration on Thursday altered #sanctions against companies doing business with #Russia’s domestic intelligence agency. The Treasury Department said it will allow American companies to make limited transactions with the #FSB, the successor to the #KGB, if it needs them to get approval to import or distribute technology products in Russia. The exception will also apply to situations in which companies need to comply with rules administered by the FSB. The implications of the move were not immediately clear, but the U.S. has taken similar steps in the past to help businesses avoid unintended consequences on cross-border transactions.

 

NEWSLINK: “President Trump signs executive order defunding International Planned Parenthood” – Live Action News/Becky Yeh

Baby Sleeping on Mother's Stomach, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“On Monday … Trump signed an executive order reinstating the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits federal funding from going towards foreign nonprofit organizations that promote or commit abortions. … The policy … was implemented by … Reagan … [it] will effectively defund International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International. Trump … [also] has made promises to defund Planned Parenthood and make permanent the Hyde Amendment ….”

NEWSLINK: “#IslamicState increases #oil and #gas sales to #Assad, officials say” – Wall Street Journal/Fox News

Syria Map

“#IslamicState has ramped up sales of #oil and #gas to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-#Assad, U.S. and European officials said, providing vital fuel to the government in return for desperately needed cash. … helping sustain Islamic State amid unprecedented military pressure on the militant group in both #Syria and# Iraq. It is also helping the group despite the regime’s insistence that it is dedicated to eradicating the militant group with the help of its top allies Russia and Iran. … Oil and gas sales to Mr. Assad’s regime are now Islamic State’s largest source of funds, replacing revenue the group once collected from tolls on the transit of goods and taxes on wages ….”

EVENTLINK: “Understanding ISIS and its followers” – AEI Tuesday 11.24.17

Middle East Map

“In March 2015, The Atlantic magazine ran a cover story titled ‘What ISIS Really Wants.’ The author was Graeme Wood, journalist, correspondent for The Atlantic, and lecturer at Yale University. His reporting and research on ISIS has now become a book, ‘The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State’ (Random House, 2016), which examines the origins, plans, and followers of ISIS. In this Bradley Lecture, Mr. Wood will discuss his firsthand encounters with ISIS’s true believers …”

NEWSLINK: “Team #Trump: Flynn called #Russia ambassador, no sanction talk ‘plain and simple'” – Fox News

Kremlin, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“The Donald #Trump transition team has acknowledged that its incoming national security adviser has been in contact with #Russia’s ambassador but denies reports they were plotting over recently imposed #sanctions on Moscow. … a call on Dec. 29, the day President #Obama hit Russia for election-related #hacking … was about ‘logistics’ for a call between … #Putin and #Trump, who on Friday is sworn-in as president. …”

NEWSLINK: “Protests will aim to disrupt #Trump #inauguration: organizers” – Reuters

White House File Photo

“Thousands of demonstrators are expected to turn out in Washington next week for protests aiming to ‘shut down’ the #inauguration of Donald #Trump as the next U.S. president, organizers said ….  Protesters will attempt to close down 12 security checkpoints at the U.S. Capitol, where Trump will take the oath of office on Jan. 20, and along the 2.5-mile (4-km) parade route down Pennsylvania Avenue, according to leaders of a group called DisruptJ20. …”

[PDF] NEWSLINK: “International Trade and Finance: Overview and Issues for the 115th Congress” – Congressional Research Service/FAS

U.S. Capitol file photo

“During the 2016 presidential election campaign, U.S. trade policy and trade agreements received significant attention, particularly regarding the impact of trade agreements on the U.S. economy and workers. Among the more potentially prominent international trade and finance issues the 115th Congress may consider are …”

NEWSLINK Daily Signal: “Planned Parenthood Entities Spend Over $38 Million to Elect Democrats”

Hands of Man in Suit Taking Cash From Envelope

“In the past three election cycles, PlannedParenthood’s advocacy and political arms, employees, and their families have spent over $38 million to elect or defeat candidates for federal office who decide how much taxpayers subsidize the nation’s largest abortion provider.”

NEWSLINK CBS: “Baby born twice after life-saving surgery outside of womb”

Medical Symbol

“… At almost 24 weeks, Cass and his team made an incision in Boemer’s abdomen and pulled almost half of Lynlee’s body out of her mother’s uterus to remove the tumor – which was almost larger than the baby herself. Then came the challenge of putting Lynlee back in and closing the uterus. ….”

NEWSLINK LifeNews: “58,586,256 Abortions in America Since Roe v. Wade in 1973 [as of Jan. 2016]”

U.S. Map

“… since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized #abortion 43 years ago in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton , more than 58 million unborn children have lost their lives. Each one of those abortions is a tragedy, not just because an innocent child died, but because of the lasting impact the abortion itself had on the mothers of those children. …”

NEWSLINK Daily Telegraph: “Child rape victim comes forward for the first time in 40 years to call #Hillary #Clinton a ‘liar’ who defended her rapist by smearing her, blocking evidence and callously laughing that she knew he was guilty”

Hillary Rodham Clinton file photo, during raid on Bin Laden

“‘Hillary Clinton is not for women and children,’ says Kathy Shelton, 54, who was 12 years old when she was raped by Thomas Alfred Taylor in Arkansas … Clinton was the rapist’s defense lawyer, pleading him down to ‘unlawful fondling of a minor’ … The 41-year-old drifter served less than a year in prison … The plea came after Clinton was able to block the admission of forensic evidence that linked her client to the crime … Shelton says she’s furious that Clinton has been portraying herself as a lifelong advocate of women and girls on the campaign trail … Clinton accused Shelton of ‘seeking out older men’ in the case and demanded that she undergo a grueling court-ordered psychiatric examination … The presidential candidate later laughed while discussing aspects of the case in a recently-unearthed audiotaped interview from the 1980s … “

SCW NEWSLINK: Bloomberg: “Syria’s Civil War” [backgrounder with map of factions]

Syria Map

Russian support enabled the regime to regain momentum against the rebels, who are supported by the U.S. and Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia. Backed by Russian airstrikes, government troops fought to retake rebel-held areas of Aleppo, Syria’s commercial capital. Their campaign got an unexpected boost when Turkey’s government, suspicious of U.S. involvement in a failed coup in Istanbul in July, began to slow weapons shipments to Syria’s rebels while forging closer ties with Russia. In March, Russia announced that it would largely withdraw its forces from Syria. But it said it would still target terrorists. ….