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Chuck Grassley Demands More Transparency from Robert Mueller as Pressure Grows

December 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Adam Shaw

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) increased the pressure on FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller Thursday, calling on him to be more transparent amid questions over anti-Trump text messages from a top FBI investigator.

“I’ve got some advice for Mueller, but I’ve still got confidence in the work he’s doing, because I know him as an individual,” Grassley told reporters, according to Bloomberg News. “But he could help himself a lot by being more transparent.”

Grassley is the latest Republican to pile more pressure on Mueller amid a growing controversy over instances of bias in the FBI and the Department of Justice. That controversy has centered around text messages sent in 2016 between top investigator Peter Strzok and fellow official Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was having an affair.

“I cannot believe Donald Trump is likely to be an actual, serious candidate for president,” Page texted Strzok in March 2016. In another, she describes Trump as a “loathsome human being.”

In August, Strzok texted Page, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in [Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s] office that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

Strzok, who was also a key investigator on the Hillary Clinton email probe, was dismissed from Mueller’s Russia “dream team” after Mueller was informed about the messages. But the existence of the messages, particularly considering Strzok’s important role in both probes, has raised suspicions about impartiality.

“We are now beginning to better understand the magnitude of this insider bias on [FBI Special Counsel Robert] Mueller’s team,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday.

Strzok reportedly interviewed top Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills and was behind the softening of the language used by then-FBI Director James Comey to describe Clinton’s handling of classified information — from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.”

On Thursday, Grassley noted that, while Mueller demoted Strzok months ago, “it’s just coming out now.”

“When you have conflict of interest, there’s going to be less embarrassment if you tell people right away, and there’s no reason for his investigation to be questioned except by the secrecy he maintains,” Grassley said, according to Bloomberg.

While he conceded that Mueller could not be too public about what he is investigating, he said that the lack of transparency over personnel has created problems “for a guy that has great prestige and integrity in this town.”

UN to Vote on Resolution Rejecting US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

December 18, 2017 Leave a comment

US vice president will visit Jerusalem on Wednesday, wading into controversial issue.

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(MEE) — The UN Security Council will vote on Monday on a draft resolution calling for the withdrawal of Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, diplomats said, a move likely to face a Washington veto.

The one-page Egyptian-drafted text, seen by Reuters, does not specifically mention the United States or its president. Diplomats say it has broad support among the 15-member council, and while it is unlikely to be adopted, the vote will further isolate Trump on the issue.

Israel seized control of the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and sees the whole of Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The Palestinians view the east as the capital of their future independent state.

Trump abruptly reversed decades of US policy this month when he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, generating outrage from Palestinians and many Muslims worldwide. Trump also plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Jerusalem on Wednesday, wading into the crisis over one of the most controversial issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has praised Trump’s decision as “the just and right thing to do”.

The US mission to the United Nations was not immediately available to comment on Sunday.

Arab Foreign Ministers

To pass, a resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the United States, France, Britain, Russia or China.

Arab foreign ministers agreed to seek a UN Security Council resolution on the issue. The draft UN text expresses “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem”.

It “affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

The draft also calls upon all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

Israel considers the city its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there.

“No vote or debate will change the clear reality that Jerusalem” is the capital of Israel, Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement on Saturday.

The draft council resolution “demands that all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognise any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions”.

A UN Security Council resolution adopted in December 2016 “underlines that it will not recognise any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”

That resolution was approved with 14 votes in favor and an abstention by former US President Barack Obama’s administration, which defied heavy pressure from longtime ally Israel and Trump, who was then president-elect, for Washington to wield its veto.

By MEE and agencies / Republished with permission / Middle East Eye / Report a typo

This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.

California Health Officials Release Guidelines To Avoid Cellphone Radiation

December 18, 2017 Leave a comment

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — California health officials have a new message for cellphone users.

For the first time ever, the California Department of Public Health has released guidelines about harmful cellphone radiation and how you can avoid it.

Dr. Karen Smith with the California Department Of Public Health said, “We recognize that there are a lot of people in the general public that have some concerns about their cellphones and whether using a cellphone is safe.”

Smith said, “When you sleep, you keep the cellphone at least arm’s length away from your body. And also, not carrying your cellphone in your pocket, having it either in your purse or not carrying it with you.”

Read Also: Cellphone Radiation Exposure Fact Sheet Draft Released By California

The research suggests cellphones could increase our risk for brain cancer and tumors, low sperm count, headaches, as well as impaired memory, hearing, and sleep.

Dr. Joel Moskowitz at UC Berkeley said, “Currently we’re not doing a good job in regulating radiation from these devices. In fact, we’re doing an abysmal job.”

Moskowitz says this is a long-time coming.

He’s partially responsible for bringing this information to light. He sued the Department of Public Health for refusing to release information about the dangers of cellphone radiation back in 2009.

This spring he won that case.

“People are being injured and harmed by the delay in having this information accessible to them,” Moskowitz said.

So does the release mean that the state believes cellphones are dangerous?

“Not at all,” said Dr. Karen Smith. “Our position is that the science is evolving.”

The state said one of the main reasons they’ve decided to release these guidelines now, is that there are new numbers out showing that cellphone use is higher than ever, with 95 percent of Americans using them on a regular basis.

Assange: Deep State Still Intent on Removing Trump From Office

December 18, 2017 Leave a comment

And installing Mike Pence as president

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says the deep state is still intent on removing Donald Trump from office and installing Mike Pence as president.

“Trump’s political capital has been openly looted for months now by GOP, CIA, Netanyahu, Goldman Sachs, etc. Game is clearly to extract as many unpopular positions as possible (e.g tax cuts for the super rich), push the resulting political corpse to Mueller & install Mike Pence,” tweeted Assange.

Assange’s gloomy prediction is contradicted to some extent by Pat Buchanan, who believes that recent revelations about the partisan corruption within both the Russia and Hillary Clinton email investigations have put the establishment on the back foot, giving Trump a chance to re-assert himself.

“Trump is not Nixon, who, like Charles I, accepted his fate and let the executioner’s sword fall with dignity,” writes Buchanan. “If Trump goes, one imagines, he will not go quietly.”

“In the words of the great Jerry Lee Lewis, there’s gonna be a “whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.”

Over the course of this week it was revealed that FBI agent Peter Strzok spoke of an “insurance policy” months before the election in case Trump won, which pundits agree was almost certainly to sabotage his administration with claims of Russian collusion.

Strzok was also instrumental in protecting Hillary Clinton from being indicted as a result of her email scandal, changing the the first draft of FBI Director Comey’s statement that described Clinton as “grossly negligent,” to the far weaker “extremely careless”.

As we document in the video below, more than a year after Trump was elected, the political class is still determined to remove him from office.

If the hysteria surrounding the ‘Russian collusion’ investigation fails, an effort will be launched to exploit the ferocity of outrage surrounding the #MeToo movement, with numerous women waiting in the wings to claim (almost certainly on fraudulent grounds) that Trump sexually assaulted them.

Facebook Admits Social Media Harmful to Mental Health

December 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Public starting to view social media like cigarettes

Citing internal and academic research, Facebook admitted its users will feel worse about themselves after spending only 10 minutes absorbing content on the site.

In a company blog post on Friday, Facebook cited studies from the University of Michigan and UC San Diego that revealed how social media negatively impacts the mental health of users.

According to Facebook:

In general, when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information — reading but not interacting with people — they report feeling worse afterward.

In one experiment, University of Michigan students randomly assigned to read Facebook for 10 minutes were in a worse mood at the end of the day than students assigned to post or talk to friends on Facebook.

A study from UC San Diego and Yale found that people who clicked on about four times as many links as the average person, or who liked twice as many posts, reported worse mental health than average in a survey. 

That said, the admission was part of a half-assed attempt at damage control by Facebook, which claimed “it really comes down to how you use the technology.”

Facebook is facing renewed criticism after a recent spat of ex-employees admitted social media was causing severe psychological damage to society, leading to a massive rift in real-life relationships.

“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created [including the hearts, likes, and thumbs up of various social media channels] are destroying how society works,” said former Facebook vice president Chamath Palihapitiya. “…There’s no civil discourse, no cooperation; [only] misinformation, mistruth.”

“And it’s not an American problem–this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”

In short, the more “connected” people are on social media, the more disconnected they are in real life, and some analysts even suggest this is contributing to low birth rates in the West when combined with the “soy boy” epidemic and third-wave feminism.

Fortunately, there’s a brewing backlash against dopamine addiction and smartphone dependency, especially amongst Generation Z youths.

“Almost two-thirds of schoolchildren would not mind if social media had never been invented, research suggests,” BBC reported. “A survey of almost 5,000 students, mainly aged between 14 and 16, found a growing backlash against social media – with even more pupils (71%) admitting to taking digital detoxes to escape it.”

Some girls found fears of being offline were replaced by feelings of relief.”

Putin Thanks Trump For CIA Tip-Off Which Helped Russia Prevent Terror Attack

December 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Data provided by US was enough to track down and detain members of the extremist cell, says Putin

 

 

The Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked his US counterpart Donald Trump for help in preventing a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg. Data provided by the CIA enabled Russian security services to find and detain terrorists.

The Russian leader expressed his gratitude in a telephone call, adding that the Russian security services would also always share information with their US colleagues, were they to obtain data on any planned attacks on US soil.

Putin also asked Trump to convey his compliments to the CIA director, Mike Pompeo, as well as to the operatives that gathered the information about the terrorists. He said that the data provided by the US was enough to track down and detain the members of the extremist cell.

Earlier, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested the members of a terrorist cell linked to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. The extremists were planning a series of attacks on public places, including a suicide bombing and an explosion in Kazan’s Cathedral in the center of the city.

During the raid, conducted overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, the FSB seized a large amount of explosives, weapons and ammunition and dismantled a bomb-making workshop. The members of the cell that coordinated their plans with IS masterminds abroad were plotting an attack on the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg – one of the most iconic landmarks of the city.

Earlier this week, FSB head Aleksandr Bortnikov reported foiling a terrorist plot which would have involved bombings during the New Year celebrations and the upcoming presidential election campaign. The schemes also involved a cell with links to IS.

Kansas Democrat Accused Of Sexual Harassment Drops Out Of US House Race

December 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Another victim of the #MeToo movement, this time it’s a woman

Democrat Andrea Ramsey of Kansas has dropped out of her congressional race after sexual harassment accusations surfaced surrounding her staff and co-workers.

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