Funeral for the Obama Administration Begins

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[VIDEO] ‘You Guys Are Feeling the Heat!’: Anderson Cooper, Kellyanne Conway Battle Over CNN Intel Report

Josh Feldman reports: Kellyanne Conway and Anderson Cooper got into a massive heated back-and-forth tonight over CNN’s report last night on Trump being briefed about supposed “compromising” information against him.

Cooper expressed his frustration that Sean Spicer appeared to be conflating CNN’s report with BuzzFeed’s, which included a dossier on that alleged Russian disinformation, and he confronted Conway about that. Conway repeatedly insisted to Cooper that CNN’s “screaming headline” was wrong and that they linked to the BuzzFeed report online.

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While the interview was going on, Jim Sciutto tweeted this:

Cooper seemed utterly bewildered at Conway scolding CNN for its report, and when she said “I know CNN is feeling the heat today,” Cooper shot back, “I think you guys are feeling the heat.”

[Read the full story here, at Mediaite]

Cooper defended CNN’s reporting and asked Conway how she can dismiss it as inaccurate when she doesn’t know for certain that it’s false. He said, “CNN is not BuzzFeed, I just wish you guys would acknowledge [it].” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] CNN’s Dan Rather Moment?

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[VIDEO] ‘Florida Cow…’: Rogue Bovine Pedestrian Stops Traffic on Florida Turnpike 

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Cory Booker: The Arc of the Moral Universe isn’t Bendy Enough!

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BREAKING: United Arab Emirates Says 5 Diplomats Killed in Afghan Blast 

Afghan security forces inspect the site of two large bombings in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Two loud explosions have rocked the Afghan capital of Kabul, causing casualties. The target of the blasts was probably an area that includes government and lawmakers' offices. Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said that first, a suicide bomber carried out an attack, followed by a second explosion, caused by car bomb parked near the site. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates announced on Wednesday that five of its diplomats were killed in a bombing in southern Afghanistan the day before, one of the worst attacks to target the young nation’s diplomatic corps.

The federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula said it would immediately fly the nation’s flag at half-staff in honor of the dead from the attack Tuesday in Kandahar.

Meanwhile, the Taliban denied planting the bomb in the Kandahar attack, which also wounded the UAE ambassador to Afghanistan.

Afghan security forces inspect the site of two large bombings in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Two loud explosions have rocked the Afghan capital of Kabul, causing casualties. The target of the blasts was probably an area that includes government and lawmakers’ offices. Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said that first, a suicide bomber carried out an attack, followed by a second explosion, caused by car bomb parked near the site. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s prime minister and vice president, said on Twitter that “there is no human, moral or religious justification for the bombing and killing of people trying to help” others. Read the rest of this entry »


Jeff Sessions Confirmation Hearings Highlights

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[VIDEO] Warning, Graphic Video: Four Soldiers Killed in Truck Attack 

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Intelligence Leaders Confirm Russian Influence Op to Undermine Election

 writes: Russian intelligence agencies sought to influence the 2016 presidential election through coordinated cyber and propaganda activities, three U.S. intelligence leaders told a Senate hearing Thursday.

“This was a multifaceted campaign, so the hacking was only one part of it. It also entailed classical propaganda, disinformation, fake news.”

—  James Clapper, to the Senate Armed Services Committee

Additionally, Senate testimony revealed that the National Security Agency, the government’s key cyber intelligence and technical spying service, confirmed the Russian intelligence service’s covert cyber and propaganda effort to influence the election campaign.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper previewed a forthcoming government report, to be released as early as Monday, on the Russian intelligence operations that included intrusions into Democratic National Committee computers and the email account of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta.

The Russians then orchestrated the release of hacked internal information through three propaganda conduits in a coordinated campaign.

“Our assessment now is even more resolute than it was with that statement on the 7th of October. I don’t think we’ve ever encountered a more aggressive or direct effort to interfere in our election.”

“This was a multifaceted campaign, so the hacking was only one part of it,” Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It also entailed classical propaganda, disinformation, fake news.”

The forthcoming report will describe the full range of Russian intelligence activities during the campaign, Clapper said.

Clapper confirmed the details of the Oct. 7 statement issued jointly by his office and the Department of Homeland Security accusing Russia of interfering with the 2016 election. That statement identified three entities, the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, another site called DCLeaks.com, and a hacker code-named Guccifer 2.0, as the outlets for the hacked information.

General Keith Alexander (L), director of the National Security Agency (NSA) testifies at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington October 29, 2013. Top U.S. intelligence officials appeared at a congressional hearing on Tuesday amid a public uproar that has expanded from anger over the National Security Agency collecting the phone and email records of Americans to spying on European allies. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper watches on at right. REUTERS/Jason Reed

“There’s actually more than one motive, so that’ll be described in the report.”

“Our assessment now is even more resolute than it was with that statement on the 7th of October,” Clapper said. “I don’t think we’ve ever encountered a more aggressive or direct effort to interfere in our election.”

Asked if the earlier assessments about Moscow’s disinformation program had changed, Clapper stated: “No. In fact, if anything, what we’ve since learned just reinforces that statement the 7th of October.”

NSA Director Mike Rogers told the hearing that the report was “done essentially” by the CIA, FBI, and NSA.

The inclusion of NSA in the report is the first time NSA’s role in assessing the Russian cyber attacks was mentioned.

NSA’s capability to monitor foreign cyber intelligence operations is highly advanced. Documents disclosed by renegade NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the agency in the past has broken into foreign intelligence service networks and stolen information those services were gathering from spies—without being detected. Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE: At Least 5 Dead, 8 Hospitalized After Shooting at Ft. Lauderdale Airport 

Reports of shots fired at Fort Lauderdale airport

Five people are dead and a shooting suspect is in custody Friday after a lone gunman opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida without saying a word, witnesses and authorities say.

At 2:30 p.m. local time, the TSA said there was another active shooter at the airport and that all terminals were closed. Law enforcement officials would not confirm it.

The suspect in custody was identified as Esteban Santiago, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson told reporters. He said Santiago was carrying a military ID, but did not elaborate.

“The shooter was a passenger on a Canadian flight with a checked gun,”  Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca wrote on Facebook. “He claimed his bag and took the gun from baggage and went into the bathroom to load it. Came out shooting people in baggage claim.”

Santiago was taken into custody without incident and was unharmed, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.

“This scene is considered fluid and active,” Israel added.

Eight people were rushed to hospitals.

“It was very surreal,” John Schlicher, a witness, told Fox News. “He did not say a word.” He described the shooter as a slender man with dark hair, likely in his 30s, wearing a Star Wars T-shirt.

While speaking to Shepard Smith live on Fox News, Schlicher said he heard crews ordering passengers to take cover. He spoke over the phone while ducked down on the floor.

“He was shooting people that were down on the ground, too,” Schlicher said.

The gunman apparently got down on the ground and waited for police to arrive after he ran out of bullets, a witness told CBS News. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting; Victims, Lockdown Reported In Florida

There was an apparent shooting Friday at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport, according to various media reports and tweets from Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary.

“I’m at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Shots have been fired. Everyone is running,” Fleischer tweeted Friday afternoon. He later followed up, tweeting, “The police said there is one shooter and five victims.”

A public information officer confirmed to WPEC that there was “some type of shooting incident” at the airport.

Some 73,000 people travel through the airport every day, according to Broward County.

Other people claiming they were at the airport tweeted about a shooting as well….(read more)

Source: ibtimes.com

Gunman Opens Fire at Fort Lauderdale Airport, Killing 1

A gunman opened fire Friday afternoon at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida, shooting at least nine people and killing one of them, Broward County officials said.

A gunman was in custody, local law enforcement sources told NBC News.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the shooting occurred inside an airport terminal. Passengers and workers were evacuated onto a tarmac.  Read the rest of this entry »


From Morocco to Cuba: Documenting the World’s Endangered Cinemas

When I go to the cinema lately, I’ll admit, it does feel nostalgic, almost as if I’m doing something like they did “in the old days”– and my local cinema isn’t even a charming independent one. Should we blame it on Netflix? From our smartphones to internet-abled TV, today we have more entertainment options at our fingertips all the time, than ever before. Netflix has over 85 million members and operates in more than 190 countries worldwide. You’d like to think that cinemas will never disappear, but are you sure they really won’t?

If it did happen, at least German-born photographer Stephan Zaubitzer will have documented most of what we lost. In an ongoing archive of photographs, Stephan has been taking pictures of cinemas in city centers around the world, endlessly fascinated by their dark interiors and outlandish architecture that always stands out from their urban surroundings.

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It all started in Morocco in 2003 when his flight was delayed in Burkina Faso and so he went out into the city to explore and began photographing the city’s movie theatres. The rest is history– and a lot of its fascinating old cinemas….(read more)


Read the rest of this entry »


Washington Post Is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia Threat While Public Is Deceived

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In the current D.C. climate on Russia, all relevant journalistic incentives encourage and reward false news.


Drudge Trolls Outgoing POTUS

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How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story on Russian Hacking of The Power Grid

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Fake News: This narrative was false and as the chronology below will show, illustrates how effectively false and misleading news can ricochet through the global news echo chamber through the pages of top tier newspapers that fail to properly verify their facts.

kayleyKalev Leetaru writes: On Friday the Washington Post sparked a wave of fear when it ran the breathless headline “Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, U.S. officials say.” The lead sentence offered “A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials” and continued “While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations of the utility, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a security matter, the penetration of the nation’s electrical grid is significant because it represents a potentially serious vulnerability.”

“From Russian hackers burrowed deep within the US electrical grid, ready to plunge the nation into darkness at the flip of a switch, an hour and a half later the story suddenly became that a single non-grid laptop had a piece of malware on it and that the laptop was not connected to the utility grid in any way.”

Yet, it turns out this narrative was false and as the chronology below will show, illustrates how effectively false and misleading news can ricochet through the global news echo chamber through the pages of top tier newspapers that fail to properly verify their facts.

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“Only after numerous outlets called out the Post’s changes did the newspaper finally append an editorial note at the very bottom of the article more than half a day later saying ‘An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electric grid. Authorities say there is no indication of that so far. The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid.’”

The original article was posted online on the Washington Post’s website at 7:55PM EST. Using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, we can see that sometime between 9:24PM and 10:06PM the Post updated the article to indicate that multiple computer systems at the utility had been breached (“computers” plural), but that further data was still being collected: “Officials said that it is unclear when the code entered the Vermont utility’s computers, and that an investigation will attempt to determine the timing and nature of the intrusion.” Several paragraphs of additional material were added between 8PM and 10PM, claiming and contextualizing the breach as part of a broader campaign of Russian hacking against the US, including the DNC and Podesta email breaches.

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“Just as with the Santa Claus and the dying child story, the Post story went viral and was widely reshared, leading to embarrassing situations like CNBC tweeting out the story and then having to go back and retract the story.”

Despite the article ballooning from 8 to 18 paragraphs, the publication date of the article remained unchanged and no editorial note was appended, meaning that a reader being forwarded a link to the article would have no way of knowing the article they were seeing was in any way changed from the original version published 2 hours prior.

Yet, as the Post’s story ricocheted through the politically charged environment, other media outlets and technology experts began questioning the Post’s claims and the utility company itself finally issued a formal statement at 9:37PM EST, just an hour and a half after the Post’s publication, pushing back on the Post’s claims: “We detected the malware in a single Burlington Electric Department laptop not connected to our organization’s grid systems. We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding.”

“Particularly fascinating that the original Post story mentioned that there were only two major power utilities in Vermont and that Burlington Electric was one of them, meaning it would have been easy to call both companies for comment.”

From Russian hackers burrowed deep within the US electrical grid, ready to plunge the nation into darkness at the flip of a switch, an hour and a half later the story suddenly became that a single non-grid laptop had a piece of malware on it and that the laptop was not connected to the utility grid in any way.

[Read the full report here, at Forbes.com]

However, it was not until almost a full hour after the utility’s official press release (at around 10:30PM EST) that the Post finally updated its article, changing the headline to the more muted “Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say” and changed the body of the article to note “Burlington Electric said in a statement that the company detected a malware code used in the Grizzly Steppe operation in a laptop that was not connected to the organization’s grid systems. The firm said it took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alert federal authorities.” Yet, other parts of the article, including a later sentence claiming that multiple computers at the utility had been breached, remained intact.

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“One driving force of fake news is that as much of 60% of the links shared on social media are shared based on the title alone, with the sharer not actually reading the article itself. Thus, the title assigned to an article becomes the story itself and the Post’s incorrect title meant that the story that spread virally through the national echo chamber was that the Russians had hacked into the US power grid.”

The following morning, nearly 11 hours after changing the headline and rewriting the article to indicate that the grid itself was never breached and the “hack” was only an isolated laptop with malware, the Post still had not appended any kind of editorial note to indicate that it had significantly changed the focus of the article.

This is significant, as one driving force of fake news is that as much of 60% of the links shared on social media are shared based on the title alone, with the sharer not actually reading the article itself. Thus, the title assigned to an article becomes the story itself and the Post’s incorrect title meant that the story that spread virally through the national echo chamber was that the Russians had hacked into the US power grid.

[Read the full story here, at Forbes.com]

Only after numerous outlets called out the Post’s changes did the newspaper finally append an editorial note at the very bottom of the article more than half a day later saying “An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electric grid. Authorities say there is no indication of that so far. The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid.”

Yet, even this correction is not a true reflection of public facts as known. The utility indicated only that a laptop was found to contain malware that has previously been associated with Russian hackers. Read the rest of this entry »


‘PLOT AGAINST MARIAH’: New York Post Cover for January 2, 2017 

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Source: New York Post


BREAKING: Santa Claus Costume-Wearing Attackers; ‘Many Wounded’ in Istanbul’s Reina Nightclub

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Footage appears to show a number of ambulances and police vehicles outside the Reina nightclub, in the Besiktas area of the city.

NTV says two attackers were involved, with CNN Turk reported they were dressed in Santa costumes.

Istanbul had been on high alert for any terror attacks, with some 17,000 police officers on duty in the city…

Developing..

Source: BBC News

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Around 50 people injured

Around 50 people have been injured according to the latest reports.

Armed police are on the scene at the Reina club.  Read the rest of this entry »


Vladimir Putin Mocks Outgoing U.S. President, Calls Obama a ‘Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins’

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Vladimir Putin said he would work with Donald Trump not Barack Obama on Friday as he mocked the expulsion of his own alleged spies and Kremlin underlings launched abuse at the president.

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his rival Barack Obama up to ridicule on Friday by declining to engage in tit-for-tat expulsions – and instead inviting U.S. diplomats’ children to the Kremlin to party.

The Russian strongman’s actions were accompanied by a fusillade of abuse aimed at Obama from Moscow underlings, who called him a ‘political corpse’ and said his administration was made up of  ‘angry and shallow-brained losers’.

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Putin had been expected to mirror Obama’s decision to expel 35 intelligence agents with Cold War style revenge expulsions.

His foreign minister had called for the measure, but instead Putin – who met the makers of a Russian TV drama about Vikings and posed with a large sword – said he was waiting to deal with Donald Trump. Read the rest of this entry »