Clinton Celebrates Election Victory Early

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven months after a federal judge ordered the State Department to begin releasing monthly batches of the detailed daily schedules showing meetings by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, the government told The Associated Press it won’t finish the job before Election Day.

The department has so far released about half of the schedules. Its lawyers said in a phone conference with the AP’s lawyers that the department now expects to releasepantsuit-report the last of the detailed schedules around Dec. 30, weeks before the next president is inaugurated.

The AP’s lawyers late Friday formally asked the State Department to hasten that effort so that the department could provide all Clinton’s minute-by-minute schedules by Oct. 15. The agency did not immediately respond.

The schedules drew new attention this week after the AP analyzed the ones released so far. The news agency found that more than half the people outside the government who met or spoke by telephone with Clinton while she was secretary of state had given money – either personally or through companies or groups – to the Clinton Foundation. The AP’s analysis focused on people with private interests and excluded her meetings or calls with U.S. federal employees or foreign government representatives.

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The AP’s reporting was based on official calendars covering Clinton’s entire term plus the more-detailed daily schedules covering roughly half her time as secretary of state. The AP first asked for Clinton’s calendars in 2010 and again in 2013. It then sued the State Department in federal court to obtain the detailed schedules, and the department so far has provided about half of them under court order.

Clinton has said the AP’s analysis was flawed because it did not account fully for all meetings and phone calls during her entire term as secretary. She also said the analysis should have included meetings with federal employees and foreign diplomats. The AP said it focused on her meetings with outsiders because those were more discretionary, as Clinton would normally meet with federal officials and foreign officials as part of her job.

Clinton said she met with people outside government regardless of whether they gave money or charitable commitments to her family’s charity.

“These are people I would be proud to meet with, as any secretary of state would have been proud to meet with, to hear about their work and their insights,” Clinton said this week on CNN.

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With the foundation drawing continued attention, Clinton promised Friday to put in place additional safeguards to prevent conflicts of interest with the charity should she win the White House.

The foundation issue, along with continued focus on her use of a private email server, has dogged Clinton politically throughout the week, drawing strong criticism from opponent Donald Trump.

 

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Former President Bill Clinton said last week that if she is elected president, the foundation will no longer accept foreign or corporate donations.

The State Department is now estimating there are about 2,700 pages of schedules left. Under its process, it is reviewing and censoring them page-by-page to remove personal details such as private phone numbers or email addresses. In some cases it has censored names of people who met privately with Clinton or the subjects they discussed.

A State Department spokeswoman, Elizabeth Trudeau, declined to discuss the ongoing case and noted the agency is struggling with thousands of public records requests….(read more)

Source: Associated Press


[VIDEO] State Department: Iranian Harassment of U.S. Ships ‘Unacceptable,’ Escalates Tensions 

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[VIDEO] Krauthammer: Trump’s Immigration Softening ‘Is Not Evolution – This Is a Complete Turnabout’

Discussing Donald Trump’s latest indications that he is softening on immigration, Bret Baier played a video of Ted Cruz questioning Trump’s integrity on the issue in a debate, and asked Charles Krauthammer about how Trump could be “evolving” on this core issue.

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“Well, you know, if this is evolution, this is like a platypus going to sleep and waking up as a pussycat. That has really never happened in the history of any of our species. This is not evolution — this is a complete turnabout. And the worst thing is not just that it’s a change of policy. It’s that — look at what happens to the underlying logic. The logic of the policy was — this was the tent-pole of his campaign — the politicians are idiots. The politicians are stupid. The politicians are sold-out. They don’t care about you. And what did he say? “We don’t have borders. We don’t have a country. They are all flocking in. They’re killers, they’re rapists, and the country is a divided crime scene,” as he said in his speech at the convention, as a result of this. And now he tells us, “Oh, the laws are wonderful as administered by Bush and Obama. I don’t want to change any of it. I’ll be a little more energetic.” That undermines everything he’s ever said. And you have to question, did he ever mean it? I believe the answer is probably no.”

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More at The Corner


SCMP: Special Police Units to Prevent Trouble When Hongkongers Vote

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South China Morning Post reports: Hong Kong police will hold unprecedented election security drills next week ahead of the Legislative Council polls, and mobilise all regional response teams set up after the 2014 Occupy protests to tackle social or political disturbances, the Post has learned.

“We will discuss tactics to be used during the elections. They need to update their knowledge about the latest equipment. So that everyone is on the same page about the operation. We learned a lesson from the Mong Kok riot. We want no blunders.”

Some 2,000 officers in five Regional Response Contingents drawn from the elite Police Tactical Unit and Emergency Units, among others, will be on standby for any mob violence on September 4, when more than 3.7 million eligible voters fan out across 595 polling stations to vote in the city’s most critical elections to date.

A senior police source told the Post that the risk level during the election period was “not very high”, based on initial assessments, but the force would not take any chances, especially given concerns about protest action by radical localists.

“The five regional teams will stand by during this period and will be deployed immediately in case of any trouble. They know their districts the best and have laid out clear manpower arrangements. A heavy police presence could put pressure on voters and impact the way they vote. So we have to be very careful.”

“Potential threats are there, especially with two returning officers receiving threatening letters just recently after disqualifying localist hopefuls,” the source said.

“The five regional teams will stand by during this period and will be deployed immediately in case of any trouble. They know their districts the best and have laid out clear manpower arrangements.” But the source also noted: “A heavy police presence could put pressure on voters and impact the way they vote. So we have to be very careful.”

The backlash so far has not been violent against the government’s recent decision to disqualify Legco candidates who advocate independence for Hong Kong, but some election officials responsible have received threats by mail.

The manpower arrangements were adopted as part of lessons learned during the 2014 civil disobedience campaign and the Mong Kok riot in February. The force established the response teams in the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon East and West, and New Territories North and South regions last year. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Liar Liar Speedo On Fire’: New York Post Cover for August 19, 2016

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‘WATERGATE’: New York Post Cover for August 18 2016: ‘Something’s Fishy with Lochte’s Rio ‘Mug’ Tale’

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BREAKING: American Swimmers Pulled Off Plane in Rio

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A judge had issued an order to seize passports as doubts emerged over reports United States swimmers had been robbed.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Two American swimmers were pulled off their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities, Olympic officials said Wednesday night, the latest indication that the police are skeptical of the swimmers’ claims that they were held up at gunpoint during the Rio Games.

“The idea that such prominent athletes could be robbed by officers during the Olympics was a huge embarrassment for Brazil, underscoring longstanding concerns about holding the Games in a crime-plagued city like Rio de Janeiro.”

“We can confirm that Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities,” a spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee said. “We are gathering further information.”

“We can confirm that Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities. We are gathering further information.”

— Spokesman for U.S. Olympic Committee

In a case that has grabbed headlines around the world, the gold medalist Ryan Lochte said that after leaving a party early Sunday, he and three other Olympic swimmers from the United States were robbed at gunpoint by men who identified themselves as police officers.

“We have seen media reports that two U.S. citizen athletes were detained. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”

— John Kirby, a State Department spokesman

The idea that such prominent athletes could be robbed by officers during the Olympics was a huge embarrassment for Brazil, underscoring longstanding concerns about holding the Games in a crime-plagued city like Rio de Janeiro.

But questions about the Americans’ testimony to the police are turning that embarrassment into anger, with many Brazilians wondering whether the athletes lied about the episode and smeared their country’s reputation.

American officials in Brazil and Washington were scrambling on Wednesday night to figure out what was occurring in Rio de Janeiro, according to senior American officials. Read the rest of this entry »


A Pleasant Weekend in the Hamptons, Interrupted

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The Klu Klux Klan is coming to the Hamptons.

Jamie Schram reports. The hate group — which says it has some 2,500 members on Long Island — is planning to disrupt a Black Lives Matter rally scheduled for noon Sunday at the traffic circle near Village Hall in Westhampton Beachaccording to Patch.com.

“I would like to invite them to the rally. I honestly don’t believe they’re going to show up. I hope they come out of hiding.”

— Gary Monker, the Exalted Cyclops Chief Officer of the KKK’s New York chapter

Gary Monker, the Exalted Cyclops Chief Officer of the KKK’s New York chapter, told Patch on Tuesday that Black Lives Matter and the Black Panthers group aren’t who they say they are.

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“As for drugs and rape, those are all separate issues in everyone’s community, including the white community so that’s irrelevant…Everything he’s saying is ignorant.”

— Gary Monker

“[They are] a contradiction,” Monker told Patch. “They always say they have peaceful protests but nothing is ever peaceful. They rape, pilfer, loot. They’re rioting and using this as an excuse to do wrong. It’s not right.”

[Read the full story here, at New York Post]

Black Lives Matter officials argued that their rallies are always peaceful.

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“[There has been] absolutely no violence. Where is he getting his information?,” Black Lives Matter organizer Vanessa Vascez-Corleone told Patch.

Vascez-Corleone said the KKK was welcome to show up — if they have the guts. Read the rest of this entry »


Powerful NSA Hacking Tools Have Been Revealed Online: ‘Keys to the Kingdom’

NSA headquarters. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Strings of code were released to the Internet by a group calling themselves ‘the Shadow Brokers’. They claim the code is a tool that can be used to hack into any computer. 

The cache mysteriously surfaced over the weekend and appears to be legitimate. 

Ellen Nakashima reports: Some of the most powerful espionage tools created by the National Security Agency’s elite group of hackers have been revealed in recent days, a development that could pose severe consequences for the spy agency’s operations and the security of government and corporate computers.

“Faking this information would be monumentally difficult, there is just such a sheer volume of meaningful stuff. Much of this code should never leave the NSA.”

— Nicholas Weaver, a computer security researcher at the University of California at Berkeley

A cache of hacking tools with code names such as Epicbanana, Buzzdirection and Egregiousblunder appeared mysteriously online over the weekend, setting the security world abuzz with speculation over whether the material was legitimate.

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The file appeared to be real, according to former NSA personnel who worked in the agency’s hacking division, known as Tailored Access Operations (TAO).

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

“Without a doubt, they’re the keys to the kingdom,” said one former TAO employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal operations. “The stuff you’re talking about would undermine the security of a lot of major government and corporate networks both here and abroad.”

Said a second former TAO hacker who saw the file: “From what I saw, there was no doubt in my mind that it was legitimate.”

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“Without a doubt, they’re the keys to the kingdom. The stuff you’re talking about would undermine the security of a lot of major government and corporate networks both here and abroad.”

Strings of code were released to the Internet by a group calling themselves “the Shadow Brokers”. They claim the code is a tool that can be used to hack into any computer.

The file contained 300 megabytes of information, including several “exploits,” or tools for taking control of firewalls in order to control a network, and a number of implants that might, for instance, exfiltrate or modify information.

The exploits are not run-of-the-mill tools to target everyday individuals. They are expensive software used to take over firewalls, such as Cisco and Fortinet, that are used “in the largest and most critical commercial, educational and government agencies around the world,” said Blake Darche, another former TAO operator and now head of security research at Area 1 Security.

The software apparently dates back to 2013 and appears to have been taken then, experts said, citing file creation dates, among other things.

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“The tools were posted by a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers using file-sharing sites such as BitTorrent and DropBox.”

“What’s clear is that these are highly sophisticated and authentic hacking tools,” said Oren Falkowitz, chief executive of Area 1 Security and another former TAO employee.

Several of the exploits were pieces of computer code that took advantage of “zero-day” or previously unknown flaws or vulnerabilities in firewalls, which appear to be unfixed to this day, said one of the former hackers.

The disclosure of the file means that at least one other party — possibly another country’s spy agency — has had access to the same hacking tools used by the NSA and could deploy them against organizations that are using vulnerable routers and firewalls. It might also see what the NSA is targeting and spying on. And now that the tools are public, as long as the flaws remain unpatched, other hackers can take advantage of them, too.

The judge says the government learned from its mistakes on 9/11. | AP Photo

“The disclosure of the file means that at least one other party — possibly another country’s spy agency — has had access to the same hacking tools used by the NSA and could deploy them against organizations that are using vulnerable routers and firewalls. It might also see what the NSA is targeting and spying on. And now that the tools are public, as long as the flaws remain unpatched, other hackers can take advantage of them, too.”

The NSA did not respond to requests for comment.

“Faking this information would be monumentally difficult, there is just such a sheer volume of meaningful stuff,” Nicholas Weaver, a computer security researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, said in an interview. “Much of this code should never leave the NSA.”

The tools were posted by a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers using file-sharing sites such as BitTorrent and DropBox. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] BIDENMAGEDDON: Joe Biden Exposes Military Aide with Nuclear Codes During Campaign Rally for Hillary

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[VIDEO] More Leaked DNC Data Coming 

Congressional Democrats are scrambling to assess the scope of an unprecedented leak that revealed the personal data of nearly 200 current and former House Democrats, and they are bracing for more leaked data. Iconic Security CEO Adam Ghetti joins Lunch Break and explains how the FBI deals with data breaches.

pelosi-incandescentspy-data-nsa-gop-nro Read the rest of this entry »


Media’s Victory Celebration Comes Early

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[VIDEO] BREAKING: Trump Tower Climber Grabbed by Police 

Trump Tower climber pulled into building by NYPD Emergency Service Unit officers. Cops grabbed a man who was scaling the side of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan this afternoon after an hours-long standoff.The climber, using a contraption made up of five suction cups, scaled the 68-story building for over two hours.


[VIDEO] LIVE: Man Climbing Trump Tower in New York with Suction Cups


Emperor Akihito of Japan Raises Possibility of Leaving Throne

Emperor Akihito, 82, spoke publicly for the first time about retiring, saying he feared it would become ‘more difficult’ to fulfill his duties.

Jonathan Noble reports: It has been something of an open secret in Japan that Emperor Akihito would like a privilege most people take for granted: At 82, he wants to retire. The question is whether the Japanese and their elected leaders will let him.

In an extraordinary televised address on Monday, the popular emperor spoke publicly about the issue for the first time. Though his words were characteristically vague — he discussed his age, his rigorous daily schedule and what he called his increasing physical limitations — the message was unmistakable.

“I am concerned that it will become more and more difficult for me to fulfill my duties as a symbolic emperor,” he said in a prerecorded address that lasted about 10 minutes and was broadcast on multiple Japanese television networks.

If Akihito steps down, the move could redefine Japan’s royal family, the world’s oldest hereditary monarchy. While the emperor now has only symbolic power, an abdication could also resurrect a contentious issue in Japan: the debate over allowing a woman to occupy the throne.

[Read the full story here, at The New York Times]

First reported in banner headlines by the Japanese news media in July, Akihito, who has been treated for cancer and heart problems, was said to want to retire and pass the title to his son Crown Prince Naruhito, 56. Prince Naruhito appears to share his father’s quiet temperament and wish to keep the monarchy apolitical.

But abdication is complicated because of Japanese law, which says an emperor serves until death. Parliament would have to change the law for Akihito to step down. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Japan’s Emperor Akihito to Make Rare Public Address

Japan’s Emperor Akihito is set to deliver his second ever televised address to the nation, after reports he wants to step down in coming years.

Japan’s Emperor Akihito is set to deliver his second ever televised address to the public.

Last month, Japanese media reported that the emperor wanted to step down in coming years, which would be unprecedented in modern Japan.

He is not expected to use the word “abdicate” because he is barred from political involvement.

The palace said on Friday he would be speaking about his “feelings regarding his duties as a symbol of the nation”.

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Five things about Japan’s emperor

People in Tokyo sum up Japan’s Emperor in one word

  • Has adopted a more modern style, making efforts to draw the imperial family closer to the people.
  • He married a commoner in 1959 – their love story captured the nation and was dubbed the “tennis court romance” as they met over the nets. Together he and Empress Michiko have three children.
  • Has sought to heal the scars of World War Two, saying last year: “Looking back at the past, together with deep remorse over the war, I pray that this tragedy of war will not be repeated and together with the people express my deep condolences for those who fell in battle and in the ravages of war.”
  • Acknowledged his Korean ancestry in the run-up to the 2002 World Cup, which Japan and South Korea jointly hosted. This surprised many in Japan given the country’s bitter colonial legacy on the Korean peninsula.
  • His passion is marine biology and he is an expert on the goby fish.

[Emperor Akihito’s reign in pictures]

There is no legal provision for abdication in Japanese law, which would mean a law change would be required.

[Read the full story here, at BBC News]

Under the constitution the emperor is not allowed to have political powers so a wish to abdicate could be seen as him interfering in politics.

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to issue a statement after the emperor’s speech.

A pre-recorded message from the 82-year-old emperor, who is revered in Japan, will be made public at 15:00 local time (06:00 GMT).

Public broadcaster NHK reported the emperor, who has had heart surgery and was treated for prostate cancer, would ask Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife to take over many of his public duties. Read the rest of this entry »


Senseless Knife Crime, Motive Unknown

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A man slashed a policewoman’s face with a machete and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ before her fellow officer gunned him down in a chilling ‘terror’ attack.

The attacker reportedly walked up to two policewomen at the entrance of the police station in the Belgian city of Charleroi just before 4pm, pulled a machete from his bag and hacked at the officer.

After slamming the machete into the face of one officer, he then turned to another and began swinging the massive blade at her.

Police stand as they secure the area around a police building in the southern Belgian city of Charleroi following a machete attack

A third female officer raced to the front desk and then blasted the attacker in the chest and leg – knocking him to the ground.

Emergency crews then raced to the scene and began treating the policewomen – one of who was left with massive, deep cuts to her face.

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Her colleague was only slightly injured but the attacker, who has not been named, died later in hospital. Read the rest of this entry »


Did an FBI Agent Help Convince ‘Draw Muhammad’ Jihadi Shooter to Attack? 

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‘Tear up Texas,’ the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday.

Katie Zavadski reports: Days before an ISIS sympathizer attacked a cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, he received a text from an undercover FBI agent.

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“It would certainly be inappropriate for an FBI undercover agent or cooperating witness to provoke or inspire or urge a person to commit an act of violence.”

“Tear up Texas,” the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday.

[Read the full text here, at The Daily Beast]

“U know what happened in Paris,” Simpson responded. “So that goes without saying… No need to be direct.”

 “I could imagine an undercover agent thinking it was just the hyperbolic rhetoric they are participating in, and it wasn’t an intent to go to texas and do harm.”

— Michael German, a former FBI agent now at the Brennan Center for Justice

That revelation comes amidst a national debate about the use of undercover officers and human sources in terrorism cases. Undercover sources are used in more than half of ISIS-related terror cases, according to statistics kept by the George Washington University Program on Extremism, and civil liberties advocates say some of those charged might not have escalated their behavior without those interventions.

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“The affidavit raises a lot more questions than it answers, and I would hope that overseers within congress and the Justice Department would want to take a hard look at the scope of this investigation.”

“It would certainly be inappropriate for an FBI undercover agent or cooperating witness to provoke or inspire or urge a person to commit an act of violence,” Michael German, a former FBI agent now at the Brennan Center for Justice, told The Daily Beast. “I could imagine an undercover agent thinking it was just the hyperbolic rhetoric they are participating in, and it wasn’t an intent to go to texas and do harm.”

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Beast]

“The affidavit raises a lot more questions than it answers, and I would hope that overseers within congress and the Justice Department would want to take a hard look at the scope of this investigation,” he added.

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The texts were included in the indictment, released Thursday of Erick Jamal Hendricks of Charlotte, North Carolina. He was charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. The 35-year-old tried to recruit other Americans to form an ISIS cell on secret compounds and introduced an undercover agent to one of the Draw Muhammad attackers, according to the FBI.

But Hendricks did more than make a connection. According to the court papers, he asked the undercover officer about the Draw Muhammad event’s security, size, and police presence, during the event, according to an affidavit filed in court.

Read the rest of this entry »


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