Tag: Deep State / Government Corruption / Russian Collusion

News and Headlines. 3/26/2019

David Poulson,

News and Headlines. In The News, Tech Watch, Politics/Deep State/Government Corruption/Russian Collusion, World News, Commentary/Opinion.

In The News:


New York county to declare state of emergency over measles outbreak

While it is unclear how it will be enforced, the ban will last for the next 30 days, or until the minor is vaccinated, Fox 5 NY reported. Rockland County Executive Ed Day is scheduled to hold a press conference Tuesday to formally announce the declaration.

Earlier this month, a judge denied a request for 44 unvaccinated children in Rockland County to return to school after their parents sued the county’s health department over a policy enacted in December.

The parents had argued that Commissioner Patricia Schnabel Ruppert’s order to keep unvaccinated children in specific zip codes with vaccination rates of under 95 percent out of school violates religious objections to vaccinations.


PURDUE PHARMA, SACKLER FAMILY MEMBERS REACH $270 MILLION SETTLEMENT AFTER ACCUSATIONS OF CONTRIBUTING TO OPIOID CRISIS: REPORT

The lawsuit accused Purdue Pharma and some members of the Sackler family of contributing to the opioid crisis.

Report of a settlement came from a person familiar with the matter Tuesday, reported Reuters. The reported $270 million settlement compares with Purdue Pharma’s $35 billion OxyContin sales revenue stream between 1995 and 2015.

Purdue Pharma and members of the Sackler family face many lawsuits over their role in the opioid crisis, but this one is the first in recent history to bring about a settlement, according to Reuters.


JUSTICE DEPARTMENT LOOKS TO END OBAMACARE COMPLETELY

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor issued the ruling in December 2018, finding that the Obamacare individual mandate had been rendered unconstitutional due to the partial repeal Republicans passed in 2017.

The ruling has been appealed to higher courts, but the DOJ endorsement could cause the ACA to be treated as unconstitutional while the case moves through federal appeals process.

“The Department of Justice has determined that the district court’s judgement should be affirmed,” the department announced in a Monday letter.

“Individual Mandate can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress’s Tax Power and is still impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause — meaning the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional,” wrote Judge O’Connor in his opinion.


Ex-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos formally asks for presidential pardon, would ‘be honored to accept’

“My lawyers have formally asked for a pardon. If it’s granted, I would be honored to accept it,” Papadopoulos told Fox News on Tuesday.

According to the summary of Mueller’s report, released over the weekend by Attorney General Bill Barr, the special counsel found no evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russia, despite numerous offers.

Of the six Trump campaign associates indicted in Mueller’s sprawling investigation, five were charged with violating U.S.C. 1001—or making false statements.

They include: former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos; former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn; former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates; former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen; and former Trump adviser Roger Stone.


Jussie Smollett charges dropped, actor won’t be prosecuted on charges he faked attack

Jussie Smollett,
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, center, when he arrived at Leighton Criminal Court Building on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago.(AP Photo/Matt Marton)

Fox News has learned the judge granted a nolle pros, which essentially means that the case has been dropped and that he will no longer be prosecuted for the alleged crime.

It’s unclear at this time why the court decided not to proceed with prosecution, but the former “Empire” star is expected to give a statement after he leaves the courthouse later today.

His lawyer, Tina Glandian, entered the plea on Smollett’s behalf just hours after Judge Steven Watkins was assigned the case. The next court date was scheduled for April 17.

However, Smollett was brought in for an emergency court session in which the judge ruled the case against him would be dropped.


Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson ‘furious’ at Jussie Smollett charges being dropped, report says

After charges were dropped against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett for allegedly staging his own hate crime, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is reportedly “furious” with the outcome.

A rep for the Chicago Police told Fox News that Johnson and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will hold a joint press conference Tuesday afternoon about the case.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who recused herself from Smollett’s case, previously asked Johnson to let the FBI investigate Smollett’s alleged attack after the former chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama allegedly informed Foxx that Smollett’s family had concerns about the probe.

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham then alleged that Foxx had illegally interfered with their investigation into Smollett’s alleged crime.

Graham reportedly wrote to the Justice Department to investigate whether Foxx herself broke any laws related to the probe.


George Soros Spent $408k on Kim Foxx, Prosecutor in Jussie Smollett Case

As chicagoist.com reported in 2016, Alvarez received donations from the “old-boy” network, But Kim Foxx has also found two other sources of cash, in the form of twin $300,000 donations to a Super PAC supporting her called Illinois Safety & Justice.

The sole donors to the PAC are neoliberal superdonor and conservative-boogeyman George Soros and a “dark-money” group called Civic Participation Action Fund.

Foxx had formally recused herself from the case in February because she had spoken with Smollett’s family.

The Chicago Tribune later reported that Foxx had asked police to turn the case over to the FBI after an intervention by Tina Tchen, a former chief of staff for former First Lady Michelle Obama.

State campaign finance records show that Soros personally contributed a total of $333,000 to Foxx’s super PAC before the March 15, 2016 primary was over, and an additional $75,000 after she won.

The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that Soros is involved in 21 district attorney races across the country — and that is just the spending that is known.

He is also contributing money to non-profit organizations that are engaged in certain political activities but are not required to report donations.

Foxx’s office explained the decision to drop charges against Smollett by referring to his previous community service.


Arby’s manager kills man who spat on her, police say

Deionna Young, 25,
Deionna Young, 25, allegedly killed a man after getting into an altercation at an Arby’s restaurant. (Tulsa County Jail)

Police told Fox News that Desean Tallent, the deceased 25-year-old, threatened and spat on Young before leaving the store. They did not elaborate on what caused the dispute.

One hour later, they say, Tallent returned to the store and Young got in her car and followed him out of the parking lot.

Young, who reportedly was in possession of a .45 caliber handgun without a license, then shot at Tallent’s SUV one time and struck him in the torso, police said.

Tallent later crashed the car into the entrance of a Walmart and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Young reportedly went back to work.

$2M to victim of sex abuse by priest who made him confess

David Poulson,
FILE – In this Jan. 11, 2019 file photo, David Poulson, center, a Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys, is taken away from court after sentencing in Brookville, Pa.(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

The settlement with the Diocese of Erie was announced Tuesday by the victim’s attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.

The defrocked priest, David Poulson, was sentenced this year to 2 1/2 to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to the sexual assault of one boy and attempted sexual assault of another.

Poulson is one of a handful of priests criminally charged as a result of a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that detailed decades of abuse by 300 priests.

He was accused of abusing an altar boy more than 20 times in various rectories.


Missing California girl, 15, found dead had ‘traumatic’ injury, homicide investigation launched: police

Samantha Bustos
Samantha Bustos had suffered a “traumatic” injury to her body when she died, police said. (GoFundMe)

Samantha Bustos’ body was located early Monday morning near Dominguez Hill Industrial Park, three days after she was last seen alive, KTLA reported.

Investigators told the news station the teen was found face down and hidden in the bushes.

The homicide investigation was launched after officials discovered Bustos had suffered a “traumatic” injury to her upper torso prior to her death.

Bustos’ cousin Susan Lainez told KTLA the teen was with friends Friday afternoon in Compton, but never made it home. Bustos’ cellphone had been shut off by midnight Saturday after repeated calls went unanswered, Lainez said.


Judge dismisses defamation suit against Fox News, Jeanine Pirro

A New York judge sided with Fox News and its host Judge Jeanine Pirro Monday, dismissing a defamation case brought by a Black Lives Matter organizer who claimed the network and television host said he directed a protester to attack a police officer.

The lawsuit stemmed from of a 2017 television appearance where Ms. Pirro described a lawsuit brought by a police officer against DeRay Mckesson, a civil rights leader who appears at Black Lives Matter events, after a protester attacked and injured the officer.

Ms. Pirro said the officer “was injured at the direction of DeRay Mckesson.”


Computer outages across the country leave passengers stuck in airport hell

On Twitter, passengers stuck in line at JFK, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, and others vented … mostly at their airlines, who pointed it out it wasn’t their fault.

It turns out Sabre, which provides reservation, check-in, and other services to 225 airlines, was to blame.

Tech Watch:


Scientists plead to stop creation of killer robots: We’re at ‘the brink of a new arms race’

The letter, which has been signed by more than 70 health care professionals and was put together by the Future of Life Institute, states that lethal autonomous weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists and despots, lower the barrier to armed conflict and “become weapons of mass destruction enabling very few to kill very many.”

“Furthermore, autonomous weapons are morally abhorrent, as we should never cede the decision to take a human life to algorithms,” the letter continues.

“As healthcare professionals, we believe that breakthroughs in science have tremendous potential to benefit society and should not be used to automate harm.

We therefore call for an international ban on lethal autonomous weapons.”


Europe’s controversial new copyright law unsettles U.S. tech giants

Once the rules go into effect, Internet platforms will have to be much more active in policing content posted by ordinary users.

Advocates of the law say it is needed to rein in an anything-goes approach to intellectual property online. Critics say it will crimp expression on the Internet and could lead to censorship.

The new rules, approved in a 348-to-274 vote, would force Google News and other aggregators to pay publishers for certain types of links to their articles.

Services that offer users the chance to upload their own content, such as YouTube and Facebook, could be liable for videos that violate copyrights.

E.U. governments are expected to approve the rules next month, which would put them on course to go into effect in two years.

Although Tuesday’s changes are a wide-ranging overhaul of European copyright law — the first in two decades — two aspects received the most attention.


BBC blocks its content from Google Podcasts app, Assistant

The BBC was unhappy that Google had started directing searches for BBC podcasts to Google’s own podcast app, rather than any other podcast service, Kieran Clifton, director of the BBC’s distribution and business development, said Tuesday in a blog post.

Google’s decision “reduces people’s choice — an approach that the BBC is not comfortable with and has consistently expressed strong concerns about,” Clifton said.

“As a public service, we want our content and services to be available to as many people as possible and we make these available for free on a range of third-party apps.”

Politics/Deep State/Government Corruption/Russian Collusion:


House fails to override Trump veto of his border emergency

Lawmakers voted 248-181 in favor of overturning his veto, mostly along party lines, but that was 38 votes shy of the number needed for the required two-thirds majority.

The outcome, not a surprise, enabled Trump to move forward on an issue that was a hallmark of his 2016 presidential campaign and of his presidency.

Yet the vote also gave Democrats a way to refocus on policy differences with Trump, days after Attorney General William Barr gave the president a political boost by saying special counsel Robert Mueller had concluded that Trump had not colluded with Russia to influence his election.


Pentagon Authorizes $1 Billion for Border Wall Construction

The Pentagon sent a budget reprogramming notice to Congress detailing the reallocation of $1 billion toward the construction of 57 miles of the border, road improvements, and other measures.

The Pentagon authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to begin construction March 25.

According to the press release, the corps will build 18-foot high fencing in the Yuma and El Paso sections of the border.

El Paso has seen a 500 percent surge in illegal alien apprehensions this fiscal year.

Underscoring the scale of the surge, border patrol agents in El Paso caught more than 400 illegal aliens in the span of five minutes on March 19.


Rep. Dan Crenshaw: Adam Schiff Lied, ‘Knowingly Used his Position’ as Intel Chair to ‘Deceive the American People’

“Rep. Adam Schiff wants to talk transparency, so let’s see him present the evidence he has on Trump/Russia collusion,” Crenshaw said. “He can’t do it because he doesn’t have it.”

“He needs to admit that he lied and knowingly used his position on the Intel Committee to deceive the American people,” Crenshaw said.

Crenshaw stopped short of calling for Schiff to resign, but others have done so, including top Trump adviser KellyAnne Conway and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).


Russia probe flashback: 7 ways FBI actions raised bias questions

The conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation – and its determination that no evidence supports claims of Trump-Russia collusion – has spurred calls from President Trump’s allies to closely examine the probe’s origins at the FBI.

Trump, for his part, called to “look into” those who had created a “false narrative” sparking the investigation. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has already vowed to look into the FBI’s actions.

They’ll have plenty to sift through.

Here are just seven FBI actions and comments, covered in controversial text messages, that have raised questions about the impartiality of the probe.


McCabe-Page texts reveal high-level intel meeting after 2016 election

It is unclear whether the dinner meeting concerned the investigation and suspicions about Russians’ contacts with Trump advisers including incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn.

But two government sources told Fox News it was “irregular” for Clapper to be in direct contact with Strzok, who was at a much more junior level.

It is not clear from the text if Strzok also attended the dinner. A lawyer for Strzok declined to comment, but did not dispute the text referred to Strzok.

The McCabe-Page texts also show Flynn was on their radar at the time. On Nov. 17, 2016, Page sent McCabe a Washington Post article entitled, “Trump offers retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn the job of national security adviser, a person close to the transition says.”


HOUSE REPUBLICAN RELEASES GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS TRANSCRIPT

Papadopoulos was the spark for the FBI’s collusion investigation of the Trump campaign.

Collins, a Georgia Republican, released the 239-page transcript on the same day that Papadopoulos released his book, “Deep State Target.”

The release also follows two days after the Justice Department revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Papadopoulos was the FBI’s catalyst for Crossfire Hurricane, the counterintelligence investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian government.


James Freeman calls on Barack Obama to reveal what he knows about surveillance of the Trump campaign

President Trump claims vindication after special counsel Robert Mueller uncovers no evidence of collusion with Russia; reaction from James Freeman, Wall Street Journal associate editor.


McConnell backs effort to investigate alleged bias against Trump at DOJ

“I think it’s not inappropriate for the chairman of the Judiciary with jurisdiction over the Justice Department to investigate possible misbehavior,” McConnell said at a press conference.

“Certainly the House is not going to miss an opportunity in the coming months to look at what they perceive to be things that require oversight.”

McConnell said Graham “has raised a legitimate question.”

Graham, who is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Monday that he wants to look at whether law enforcement agencies influenced the 2016 election to stop then-candidate President Donald Trump’s election.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said he would be willing to work and coordinate with Graham.


Trump rips ‘Mainstream Media’: ‘They truly are the Enemy of the People’

The president resurrected his attacks on news outlets and journalists, calling them the “enemy of the people” and the “opposition party,” while accusing reporters of knowing that the Russia investigation would not turn up anything against him.

“The Mainstream Media is under fire and being scorned all over the World as being corrupt and FAKE. For two years they pushed the Russian Collusion Delusion when they always knew there was No Collusion,” he tweeted.

“They truly are the Enemy of the People and the Real Opposition Party!”


ILHAN OMAR FEUDS WITH NANCY PELOSI OVER ANTI-ISRAEL BDS MOVEMENT

Pelosi touted the House’s latest anti-resolution — which was prompted by a series of comments Omar made that were criticized as anti-Semitic — and took a clear position against the BDS movement in her speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual conference.

Omar condemned Pelosi’s comments.

“A condemnation for people who want to exercise their First Amendment rights is beneath any leader,” she told Newsweek. “I hope that we find a better use of language when we are trying to speak as members of Congress that are sworn to protect the Constitution.”


Every Democrat Who Voted Against the Born Alive Bill Received Money From Planned Parenthood

Of the 44 senators who voted against ending debate and proceeding to a vote on the Born Alive bill, 42 were Democrats – all of whom received funding from Planned Parenthood during their latest election cycle.

To assess the veracity of Jones’ claim, The Daily Caller compared the roll call vote to records held by the Federal Election Commission.

For each of the 42 Democrats who voted against the Born Alive bill, all received contributions from Planned Parenthood during their last election cycle.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund donated to 41 of the senators’ primary campaign committees, while for one senator – Maria Cantwell – it donated to a joint fundraising committee registered with Cantwell’s campaign.

World News:


Trump expands global gag rule that blocks US aid for abortion groups

The new policy was announced on Tuesday by secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who declared:

“This is decent. This is right. I am proud to serve in an administration that protects the least among us.”

The Trump administration has already expanded the reach of the funding ban which dates back to the Reagan administration, to apply to all US healthcare assistance, totalling about $6bn.

The extension of the policy announced by Pompeo would not only cut funding to foreign non governmental organisations directly involved in abortions or abortion rights advocacy, but also those who fund or support other groups which provide or discuss abortion.


Spain says American, Mexican, South Korean citizens carried out attack on North Korea embassy

A National Court judge lifted a secrecy order on Tuesday and announced that there was evidence of various crimes stemming from the embassy attack by a gang of 10 people, including trespassing, injuries, threats and burglary.

Adrian Hong Chang, a Mexican national and resident in the United States, was named as the leader of the criminal enterprise that managed to steal computers and documents from the embassy without being caught.

During the attack, the group allegedly shackled and gagged embassy workers for about four hours.

Only after one woman managed to escape and began screaming, someone called up the authorities.


Spain Arrests Violent North African Migrant Trafficking Ring

The National Police said Tuesday the busted cell operated from Ceuta, a tiny Spanish enclave in northern Africa.

The alleged traffickers charged between 1,500 and 4,000 euros ($1,700 to $4,500) for taking the Moroccan migrants across the Straits of Gibraltar in high-speed rubber boats.

According to police, a hitman threatened the migrants who dared to ask for a refund if they failed to complete the trip.

Commentary/Opinion:

Journalist: Accountability begins with us, I am ashamed of ‘fake news’ being spread

Award-winning journalist Lara Logan and Fox News contributor Sara Carter react to the media’s treatment of Trump during the Russia probe on ‘The Ingraham Angle.’

Tucker: Left cries ‘conspiracy’ over Mueller findings

Robert Mueller’s investigation did not find any evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.


Levin Scorches Dems Over Mueller Report: ‘This Country Doesn’t Belong’ to Schiff or Obama

“The Democratic Party is not a pro-America party. They act like a third-world party because they want to destroy this presidency.”

Levin said “it is time to focus on the Democrats in the House. It is time to focus on the media, the Hillary campaign, the DNC, Barack Obama — This was Barack Obama’s government that did all this when the Russians were interfering in our election.”

“They put spies in [Trump’s] campaign, they abused the FISA court system. This country doesn’t belong to Adam Schiff, and [Jerrold] Nadler and Pelosi.”

Levin said Democrats need to understand they control “one half of one third” of a
government that “belongs to [the people].”

Varney: It’s time for President Trump to counter punch

FBN’s Stuart Varney on President Trump taking on the media over their coverage of his presidency and the Mueller report.

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