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NRA sues New York governor, regulator for 'blacklisting campaign'

NRA sues New York governor, regulator for 'blacklisting campaign' | 11 May 2018 | The National Rifle Association on Friday sued New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state's financial regulator for engaging in what it said was a "blacklisting campaign" aimed at swaying banks and insurers to stop doing business with the gun advocacy group, according to a complaint. Cuomo and the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) aimed to deprive the NRA of its right to "speak freely about gun-related issues and defend the Second Amendment," the group said in the suit, referring to part of the U.S. Constitution that protects the right of Americans to bear arms.

Israeli-made weapons among arms handed over by militants in Damascus

Israeli-made weapons among arms handed over by militants in Damascus | 12 May 2018 | Israeli-made landmines were found in a large trove of medium and heavy weapons handed over by rebels in southern Damascus, Syria's state media reported. Damascus has repeatedly accused Tel Aviv of aiding militants...As part of the deal with the Syrian authorities, militants are leaving behind medium and heavy weapons. Ahead of the evacuation in the towns of Yelda, Babila and Beit Sahem, militants relinquished hundreds of weapons and munitions, including mortar launchers, machine guns, rocket and mortar shells, gunpowder, precursors for home-made explosives, as well as Israeli-made landmines, SANA, which posted a video of the armaments, reported.

Trump administration set to tighten oversight of student, exchange visas

Trump administration set to tighten oversight of student, exchange visas | 11 May 2018 | The Trump administration announced Friday that it will tighten the rules on enforcing visa overstays as part of an attempt to further crack down on unlawful immigration. A press release from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states that the agency will change the policy for calculating the length of a visa overstay, which previously was counted in days starting from when the violation was first reported. Under the new policy, USCIS will instead count each day since a visa holder's status lapses when determining how long someone has been "unlawfully present" in the U.S.

US to help N Korea's economy if it abandons nuclear weapons

US to help N Korea's economy if it abandons nuclear weapons | 11 May 2018 | The US will assist North Korea with its economy if Pyongyang gets rid of its nuclear weapons, its secretary of state has said. "If North Korea takes bold action to quickly denuclearise, the United States is prepared to work with North Korea to achieve prosperity on par with our South Korean friends," said Mike Pompeo. Mr Pompeo said there would need to be "complete" and "robust verification" of denuclearisation, suggesting it would involve inspections to ensure the North's compliance.

Connecticut school calls police after a student made a gun out of LEGOS and pointed it at classmates

Connecticut school calls police after a student made a gun out of LEGOS and pointed it at classmates | 11 May 2018 | A Connecticut school called the cops on a student who built a gun out of Legos and pointed it at other classmates. Police were called to Jepsen Magnet School in New Haven this week because an unidentified child was pointing the gun made out of colorful toy blocks at other students. Very few details have been released by the school which serves students from pre-K to eighth grade.

'Get your guns if you try to impeach President Trump' - Southern Maryland sign causes controversy

'Get your guns if you try to impeach President Trump' - Southern Maryland sign causes controversy | 08 May 2018 | A roadside sign in Southern Maryland challenging "liberals" to "get their guns" if they try to impeach President Donald Trump has drawn widespread attention, but the Calvert County Sheriff's Office said the sign won't stay up for long. The sign, which reads "Hey liberals, better get your guns if you try to impeach Trump. From all of your deplorables in Calvert County," was erected near the intersection of Route 4, or Solomons Island Road, and Bowie Shop Road near Huntingtown in Calvert County, and has likely been there for a couple of weeks, according to Captain Dave Payne.

Erupting Hawaii volcano could next spew 10-ton boulders from its summit, scientists say

Erupting Hawaii volcano could next spew 10-ton boulders from its summit, scientists say | 10 May 2018 | The ongoing surge in volcanic activity on Hawaii’s Big Island soon could cause a massive explosion from the volcano's summit, scientists and Hawaii officials warned Wednesday. Kilauea, the longest-erupting volcano on the planet, has displaced some 1,700 people and destroyed 36 structures since a shifting flow of underground magma last week burst through the surface in a residential neighborhood about 40 miles from the top of the volcano, unleashing torrents of molten rock and toxic gases. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said Wednesday that the movement of magma from the summit...has caused the lava lake at the top of the volcano to drop in elevation. When that lava lake meets the ground water level -- which they think is most likely to happen sometime in the next few weeks -- it could lead to a series of powerful steam explosions that could shower the surrounding area in 10-ton molten rocks and spew ash as far as 20 miles downwind, the scientists said during a conference call with reporters.

FBI Secretly Planted Spy in Trump Campaign

FBI Secretly Planted Spy in Trump Campaign --Did the FBI engage in outright spying against the 2016 Trump campaign? | 10 May 2018 | The Department of Justice lost its latest battle with Congress Thursday when it allowed House Intelligence Committee members to view classified documents about a top-secret intelligence source that was part of the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign. Even without official confirmation of that source's name, the news so far holds some stunning implications. Among them is that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation outright hid critical information from a congressional investigation...Thanks to the Washington Post's unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know [Intelligence Chairman] Devin Nunes's request deals with a "top secret intelligence source" of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. When government agencies refer to sources, they mean people who appear to be average citizens but use their profession or contacts to spy for the agency. Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.

Pentagon delivers new guidelines on transferring detainees to Guantanamo

Pentagon delivers new guidelines on transferring detainees to Guantánamo | 02 May 2018 | Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has given the White House its new policy guidance on transferring detainees to the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, a critical report intended to outline whether the Pentagon backs promises President Donald Trump made on the campaign trail to fill the prison with "bad dudes." "This policy provides our warfighters guidance on nominating detainees for transfer to Guantánamo detention should that person present a continuing, significant threat to the security of the United States," Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Sarah Higgins said. The report was not made public.

Fermi 2 Nuclear Plant in Michigan Back Online After Repairs

Fermi 2 Nuclear Plant in Michigan Back Online After Repairs | 08 May 2018 | (Frenchtown Township, MI) A nuclear power plant in southeastern Michigan is back online after being shut down for a series of repairs. DTE Energy spokesman Stephen Tait tells the Monroe News that Fermi 2 in Monroe County was restarted on Sunday. The plant was offline initially beginning in mid-April following the malfunction of a transformer. The utility had completed its investigation into the transformer malfunction but it stayed offline after an inspection found an issue with a valve on the reactor recirculation system.

First Ebola death, 11 additional cases confirmed in Congo

First Ebola death, 11 additional cases confirmed in Congo | 10 May 2018 | One death of Ebola hemorrhagic fever and 11 new cases have been confirmed in the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Minister of Health Dr. Oly Ilunga said Thursday in Kinshasa. Ebola virus disease...is caused by one of five Ebola viruses. The World Health Organization reported Thursday that 27 total cases of fever with hemorrhagic symptoms were recorded in the Bikoro region between April 4 and May 5, including 17 deaths. Of these total cases, two tested positive for Ebola virus disease, according to the WHO.

Spy agency NSA triples collection of U.S. phone records - official report

Spy agency NSA triples collection of U.S. phone records - official report | 10 May 2018 | The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said. The sharp increase from 151 million occurred during the second full year of a new surveillance system established at the spy agency after U.S. lawmakers passed a law in 2015 that sought pretended to limit its ability to collect such records in bulk. The spike in collection of call records coincided with an increase reported on Friday across other surveillance methods, raising questions from some privacy advocates who are concerned about potential government overreach and intrusion into the lives of U.S. citizens.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to meet in Singapore on 12 June

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to meet in Singapore on 12 June | 10 May 2018 | Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un will meet for their historic summit on 12 June, the President has confirmed. In a tweet, Mr Trump wrote: "The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace." Earlier in the week, the US President had ruled out meeting Mr Kim at the demilitarised zone which separates North and South Korea. He had said he favoured holding the meeting at the heavily fortified border, but Singapore was preferred by most of his advisers.

28 Israeli jets fired about 60 rockets in overnight strikes on Syria - Russian MoD

28 Israeli jets fired about 60 rockets in overnight strikes on Syria - Russian MoD | 10 May 2018 | Some 28 Israeli aircraft fired around 60 air-to-surface rockets in a massive overnight strike in Syria, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Syrian air-defense systems managed to intercept more than half of the missiles. A total of 70 projectiles, including 60 air-to-surface rockets and more than 10 surface-to-surface missiles, hit Iranian military targets and Syrian air-defense systems near Damascus and in the south of the country on Thursday morning, the Russian military said in a statement.

Giuliani resigns from law firm due to 'pressing demands' of Mueller probe

Giuliani resigns from law firm due to 'pressing demands' of Mueller probe | 10 May 2018 | Rudy Giuliani is leaving his job at a powerhouse law firm, citing the "pressing demands" of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election. Giuliani took a temporary leave of absence from the firm Greenberg Traurig when he joined President Trump's legal team last month. But in a statement on Thursday, the former New York City mayor said he intended to permanently resign from the firm. Richard Rosenbaum, the firm's executive chairman, said Giuliani's resignation went into effect on Wednesday.

Detained Americans released from North Korea arrive at Andrews Air Force Base

Detained Americans released from North Korea arrive at Andrews Air Force Base | 09 May 2018 | After more than a year in prison, the three Americans detained in North Korea arrived at Andrews Air Force Base to a welcoming party of the President and First Lady, Vice President Pence and his wife and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Their plane landed in Alaska just before 4 p.m. (PST) and landed just before midnight (PST) at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Shortly after they touched down on American soil in Alaska -- for a refueling stop Wednesday afternoon -- the State Department released a statement from the freed men.

Canadian zoo faces charges after taking bear out for ice cream at Dairy Queen

Canadian zoo faces charges after taking bear out for ice cream at Dairy Queen | 09 May 2018 | A private zoo in the Canadian province of Alberta is facing charges after a bear from the facility was taken through a drive-thru Dairy Queen in a pickup truck and hand-fed ice cream through the vehicle's window. News of the outing emerged earlier this year after Discovery Wildlife Park, located about 70 miles north of Calgary in the town of Innisfail, posted a video on social media showing a captive Kodiak bear sitting in the passenger seat of a truck. The video later showed the one-year-old bear, known as Berkley, leaning out of the truck's window, enthusiastically licking an ice cream cone held by the owner of a local Dairy Queen. Amid widespread criticism [?!], the video -- along with a second one showing Berkley licking frosting off an ice cream cake -- was taken down. At the time, the zoo said the drive-thru run had posed no danger to the public, as it had taken place before the Dairy Queen had opened for the day and that the bear had been secured by a chain throughout the entire outing. [Bears love ice cream - let them enjoy it!]

Trump: 3 American Detainees Held In North Korea Returning Home With Pompeo

Trump: 3 American Detainees Held In North Korea Returning Home With Pompeo | 09 May 2018 | Three American detainees who were being held in North Korea are now on their way home with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. A jet carrying the trio and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refueled in Japan this morning. After the plane left North Korea, President Donald Trump made the announcement Wednesday morning on Twitter. In another Tweet, Trump said Pompeo and his "guests" will be landing at Andrews Air Force Base at 2 a.m. Thursday.

Elite FBI hostage rescue team and Las Vegas police trained for high-rise active shooter incident using helicopter sniper prior to massacre

Elite FBI hostage rescue team and Las Vegas police trained for high-rise active shooter incident using helicopter sniper prior to massacre --FBI and policed trained in 2011 for nearly the exact same scenario which occurred during last year's 1 October massacre | 06 May 2018 | An elite FBI hostage rescue team and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department trained back in 2011 for a high-rise active shooter scenario much like the 1 October massacre in which a highly-trained FBI sniper made the proverbial kill shot by striking a rubber dummy that was placed inside a broken hotel window from a tactical helicopter that was hovering over the strip, according to a new report published by the Baltimore Post-Examiner. The rather unusual aerial training exercise was conducted in the Sahara Hotel after it closed before the property became the SLS Resort and almost mimicked the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Music Festival attack in which lone gunman Stephen Paddock allegedly fired into a crowd of country music concertgoers killing 58, and wounding over 500 others.

U.S. imposes fresh sanctions on Venezuela, Pence calls for more action

U.S. again angling for 'regime change': U.S. imposes fresh sanctions on Venezuela, Pence calls for more action | 07 May 2018 | The United States on Monday announced sanctions on three Venezuelans and 20 companies with ties to socialist President Nicolas Maduro for narcotics trafficking, with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence calling for more nations to increase pressure on Caracas. The new sanctions continue a pattern of stepped-up U.S. measures on individuals connected to Maduro...The individuals sanctioned on Monday are fairly low-profile and the move is unlikely to create major economic hardship. [If the U.S. actually wanted to put an end to 'narcotics trafficking,' it would start with the CIA's poppy fields and opi-m routes in Afghanistan.]

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo en route to North Korea

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo en route to North Korea | 08 May 2018 | US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is en route to North Korea, President Donald Trump said. "He will be there very shortly," Mr Trump told reporters at the White House. Mr Pompeo said he is hoping to finalise Mr Trump's planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as well as pressing for the release of US prisoners from the country. The senior US politician has meetings scheduled, the President revealed.

Highest level of sanctions on Iran after US leaving deal -Trump

Highest level of sanctions on Iran after US leaving deal -Trump | 08 May 2018 | President Donald Trump has promised the highest level of sanctions on Iran after announcing that US is leaving the nuclear deal. He promised Tehran "bigger problems than it has ever had before" if it develops nuclear weapons. Trump called the agreement a "decaying and rotten structure… defective at its core," which did little to limit Iran's nuclear enrichment and provided the government in Tehran with cash to fund its "malign behavior" across the Middle East. "Therefore, I am announcing today that the US will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal," Trump said...Powerful US sanctions against Iran will go into full effect, Trump said, and any country that aids Tehran's nuclear or missile programs will find itself sanctioned as well...Trump professed admiration for the Iranian people, history and culture, but denounced the "dictatorship" that has held the country "hostage" for almost 40 years - a reference to the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the US-backed monarchy.

Trump announces plans to pull out of Iran nuclear deal despite pleas from European leaders

Trump announces plans to pull out of Iran nuclear deal despite pleas from European leaders | 08 May 2018 | The United States "will withdraw" from the international nuclear deal with Iran and will reinstate economic sanctions against Tehran, President Trump announced Tuesday. Trump's decision, announced at the White House, follows the failure of last-ditch efforts by Britain, France and Germany to convince him that his concerns about "flaws" in the accord could be addressed without violating its terms or ending it altogether. "We cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement," Trump said in remarks at the White House.

Trump Withdraws U.S. From 'One-Sided' Iran Nuclear Deal

Breaking: Trump Withdraws U.S. From 'One-Sided' Iran Nuclear Deal | 08 May 2018 | President Trump declared on Tuesday that he was pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, unraveling the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor, Barack Obama, and isolating the United States among its Western allies. "This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made," Mr. Trump said at the White House in announcing his decision. Mr. Trump's announcement, while long anticipated and widely telegraphed, plunges America's relations with European allies into deep uncertainty. They have committed to staying in the deal, raising the prospect of a diplomatic and economic clash as the United States reimposes stringent sanctions on Iran. It also raises the prospect of increasing tensions with Russia and China, which also are parties to the agreement.

Hawaii volcano eruption: governor requests emergency federal assistance

Hawaii volcano eruption: governor requests emergency federal assistance | 08 May 2018 | Hawaii governor David Ige has told the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Authority (Fema) the state will need help to deal with an erupting volcano that has prompted evacuations and destroyed 26 homes so far. Ige commented on Monday, as he met people on Big Island who have left their homes near the Kilauea volcano. A dozen lava vents have opened in streets of the Puna district and 26 homes are among 35 structures that have been destroyed. Evacuated residents do not know how long they will be displaced.

US pressure on Iran has nothing to do with nuclear deal - Moscow

US pressure on Iran has nothing to do with nuclear deal - Moscow | 08 May 2017 | Increased US pressure on Iran is politically motivated and has nothing to do with the nuclear deal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has said. Donald Trump has promised to announce his decision on the future of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) accord on Tuesday ahead of the May 12 deadline. Trump has previously slammed JCPOA as "the worst deal ever" and threatened to quit the landmark agreement if it's not amended to also include Iran’s ballistic missile program and activities in the Middle East. Washington's calls to broaden the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal in order for it to include the country's ballistic missile program are unjustified, Ryabkov told in an interview with RBC.

Devin Nunes: AG Jeff Sessions should be held in contempt of Congress

Devin Nunes: AG Jeff Sessions should be held in contempt of Congress | 07 May 2017 | House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is going to push Congress to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress. The Californian Republican's committee has been looking into allegations that the Justice Department and the FBI abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in their scrutiny of the Trump campaign. "On Thursday we discovered that they are not going to comply with our subpoena," Nunes said on "Fox and Friends," adding, "The only thing left to do is we have to move quickly to hold the attorney general of the United States in contempt and that is what I will press for this week."

Nunes Doubles Down on Holding Sessions in Contempt for Documents

Nunes Doubles Down on Holding Sessions in Contempt for Documents | 08 May 2018 | The leader of the House Intelligence Committee is threatening to move quickly on a vote to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress if the Department of Justice doesn't turn over material related to the Russia investigation. Chairman Devin Nunes said it doesn't matter that Sessions recused himself from decisions regarding Russia's involvement in the 2016 election; he's the head of the Justice Department, so he would be the initial target of a contempt resolution. Nunes, a California Republican, first floated a possible contempt resolution over the weekend and on Monday doubled down on his sense of urgency. "We know they have a long history of stonewalling us, and we're well aware of it, that's why we need to move more quickly than usual," Nunes said in a brief interview.

Sessions unveils 'zero tolerance' policy at southern border

Sessions unveils 'zero tolerance' policy at southern border | 07 May 2018 | Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has enacted its previously announced "zero-tolerance" policy for individuals who cross the southern border illegally, warning that children who are apprehended may be separated from their family. "If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It's that simple," Sessions said during a press conference at the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego. Sessions announced the crackdown in a memo last month making prosecuting immigration violations a DOJ priority.

NY attorney general resigns after allegations of physical abuse

NY attorney general resigns after allegations of physical abuse | 07 May 2018 | New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned Monday night after a bombshell report detailing allegations from multiple women of physical abuse against him. Just hours after The New Yorker published the claims from four women who said Schneiderman physically abused them, the attorney general offered his resignation in a statement. The New Yorker published its report shortly before 7 p.m. in which four women, including two who spoke on the record, accused Schneiderman of physical abuse. Schneiderman offered his resignation, effective at close of business on Tuesday, almost exactly three hours later.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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