Sunday, April 2, 2017

FBI plans to create special unit to co-ordinate Russia probe Sunday April 2nd, 2017 at 5:12 PM

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News Reviews and Opinions: » US Marine arrested in San Bernardino County double homicide - U.S. 01/04/17 21:49
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FBI plans to create special unit to co-ordinate Russia probe
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FBI plans to create special unit to co-ordinate Russia probe

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The FBI is planning to create a special section based at its Washington headquarters to co-ordinate its investigation of Russian activities designed to influence the 2016 presidential election, according to a person familiar with the plan. 
Sample the FT’s top stories for a week
You select the topic, we deliver the news.
The move, a sign of how seriously the bureau is taking allegations of Russian meddling in American politics, is also aimed at giving FBI director James Comey greater visibility into the investigation’s granular details. “It’s meant to surge resources,” said one FBI agent. 
Creation of the temporary unit mirrors the bureau’s approach to other sensitive investigations, including the WikiLeaks disclosure of classified US government documents and Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. 
The FBI generally prefers to run investigations from one of its 56 field offices, but the high-profile nature of the sprawling Russia inquiry is seen as requiring a central manager, according to current and former officials. 
“It’s getting unwieldy,” said one person briefed on the plan. “It’s too big and it’s on the front page of the newspaper every day.” 
An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment. 
Related article
‘No information’ supporting claims Obama ordered wiretap, director tells Congress
The bureau is expected to recall from the field an FBI counter-intelligence specialist to oversee the squad, which is to begin work next month. If the new team — with about 20 dedicated agents drawn from across the country — operates as similar units have in the past, its chief would brief Mr Comey on a weekly basis while providing daily updates for deputy director Andrew McCabe.
“We did it quite regularly,” said Robert Anderson of Navigant, a business consulting group, who was a former executive assistant director of the FBI. “Any time there’s a big case, a giant case, it becomes a huge resource drain across the organisation.”
Russian activities under investigation include alleged hacking into Democratic computer networks and reported contacts between Russians and representatives of the Trump campaign. Michael Flynn, the president’s national security adviser, was fired in February after allegedly lying to vice-president Mike Pence about conversations he had last year with Sergei Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the US. 
“The FBI, as part of our counter-intelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any co-ordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts,” Mr Comey told the House Intelligence Committee earlier this month. 
FBI investigators also will evaluate the potential for criminal charges in the Russia matter. But some investigators are pessimistic about the likelihood of making a case, given the difficulty of obtaining evidence from Russia. 
It’s getting unwieldy. It’s too big and it’s on the front page of the newspaper every day
“Unlike the CIA, we have to bring things that go, potentially, in front of a jury,” said one agent. “We have to certify evidence. A place like Russia is such a black hole. It’s so hard to prove you’re bringing evidence that hasn’t been tampered with.” 
As the FBI probe proceeds, both the Senate and House intelligence committees are pursuing their own Russia-related investigations. Republican Senator Richard Burr, who chairs the Senate panel, said on Wednesday that the committee was “looking anywhere intelligence suggests that there might have been any type of relationship of effort to influence US elections”. 
In an appearance on Wednesday night before an industry group, Mr Comey declined to discuss the investigation. But he said the FBI would follow the facts without regard for potential political consequences. “We’re not on anybody’s side, ever,” he said. “We’re not considering whose ox will be gored. We just don’t care.”
Follow David J Lynch on Twitter: @davidjlynch
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Gay Men Are Being Rounded Up And...

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Gay Men Are Being Rounded Up And Killed In Chechnya: Report

Huffington Post - ‎1 hour ago‎
A Chechen spokesman denied the report, saying, “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don't exist.” By Nina Golgowski. Yelena Afonina via Getty Images. Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic, is seen being sworn into office in 2016 ...

Authorities Reportedly Detaining and Killing Gay Men in Chechnya

Slate Magazine (blog) - ‎18 hours ago‎
It has been a rumor for weeks but now a leading Russian opposition newspaper has actually confirmed the news and written about it, declaring that authorities in Chechnya are rounding up and killing gay men. More than 100 gay men have been detained “in ...

Report: Chechnya police arrest 100 alleged gays, 3 killed

Washington Post - ‎9 hours ago‎
MOSCOW — A respected Russian newspaper says it has uncovered information that police in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya have rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three have been killed.

Gay Men Reportedly Being Arrested, Killed in Russian Republic of Chechnya

<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> - ‎2 hours ago‎
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov (pictured) denies the accounts and claims there are no gay people in Chechnya. By Trudy Ring. April 02 2017 2:21 PM EDT. Share on Twitter · Share on Facebook. Authorities in the Russian-controlled republic of Chechnya ...

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Fire hits Dubai high-rise complex near world's tallest tower

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- An inferno burned early Sunday in a high-rise tower complex being built alongside Dubai&apos;s largest mall, its thick black smoke shrouding the world&apos;s tallest building nearby in this desert metropolis where skyscraper blazes remain a worry....

CNN's YouTube Videos: Schiff: Trump trying to distract from Russia 

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From: CNN
Duration: 02:26

Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) discusses the classified documents he reviewed at the White House, purported to be the same ones shown to House Intel Chair Devin Nunes. He adds that anything President Trump labels as "fake" should be met with skepticism.

 CNN's YouTube Videos

Middle East News: Bob Dylan finally accepts Nobel prize

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Bob Dylan accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature at a private ceremony in Stockholm on April 1. The ceremony was attended by 12 academy members.

 Middle East News

Stars and Stripes: Israel PM warns enemies at missile defense ceremony

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David's Sling, meant to counter medium-range missiles possessed by Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, officially became operational at the ceremony, the military said.

 Stars and Stripes
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Page 2

trump and russia - Google News: NYT's Maggie Haberman on Trump's Russia denials: 'He is punching at ghosts and hitting himself in the face' - Raw Story

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Raw Story

NYT's Maggie Haberman on Trump's Russia denials: 'He is punching at ghosts and hitting himself in the face'
Raw Story
New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman asserted on Sunday that President DonaldTrump should blame himself for sabotaging his own agenda. On CNN's Inside Politics, host John King wondered if Trump was damaging his own “ability to get stuff ...

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 trump and russia - Google News

World: Israel PM warns enemies at missile defense ceremony

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is warning Israel’s enemies not to test the Jewish state at a ceremony inaugurating a joint U.S.-Israeli missile interceptor.


CNN's YouTube Videos: Tapper: Can anyone tell Trump when he's making a mis... 

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From: CNN
Duration: 01:39

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross discusses President Trump's executive order signing on trade with CNN's Jake Tapper.

 CNN's YouTube Videos

Putin Trump - Google News: Putin seeking meeting with Trump - Washington Examiner

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Washington Examiner

Putin seeking meeting with Trump
Washington Examiner
Russian President Vladimir Putin extended an invitation to meet with President Trump on Sunday through a spokesman who emphasized the need to build a relationship between the two nations.Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told ABC's This Week with ...
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 Putin Trump - Google News

Putin personal dictatorship - Google News: JARED KUSHNER tries to save the country, world, universe -- NEW WAVE of Kennedys make a mark in politics ... - Politico

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JARED KUSHNER tries to save the country, world, universe -- NEW WAVE of Kennedys make a mark in politics ...
MICHAEL CROWLEY on Egypt -- “Trump to welcome Egypt's brutal dictator”: “Egypt's military ruler Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was never invited to the Obama White House, where he was viewed as a brutal tyrant with little regard for human rights and democracy ...

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Trump's and Putin's connections with organized crime - Google News: Report: Trump Planned to Meet with Putin Ally - Daily Beast

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Daily Beast

Report: Trump Planned to Meet with Putin Ally
Daily Beast
A national security official reportedly found out that Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of the Bank of Russia who is close with Putin, was suspected of leading an “organized crime and money-laundering ring” in Spain, according to Yahoo News.

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 Trump's and Putin's connections with organized crime - Google News
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Putin and the Mob - Google News: Report: Trump Planned to Meet with Putin Ally - Daily Beast

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Daily Beast

Report: Trump Planned to Meet with Putin Ally
Daily Beast
President Donald Trump had planned to meet with a Russian bank executive and Vladimir Putinally in February, but the White House abruptly canceled the rendezvous after learning of his suspected mob ties, according to a report from Yahoo News.

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 Putin and the Mob - Google News

Trump, Putin and organized crime - Google News: Report: Trump Planned to Meet with Putin Ally - Daily Beast

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Daily Beast

Report: Trump Planned to Meet with Putin Ally
Daily Beast
A national security official reportedly found out that Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of the Bank of Russia who is close with Putin, was suspected of leading an “organized crime and money-laundering ring” in Spain, according to Yahoo News.

and more »

 Trump, Putin and organized crime - Google News

Russia - Google News: Schiff: Trump trying to shift attention from Russia probe - USA TODAY

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Schiff: Trump trying to shift attention from Russia probe
WASHINGTON — The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee said Sunday that President Trump's claims about illegal wiretapping and news leaks are an attempt to distract people from the overall investigation into possible collusion between the ...
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 Russia - Google News

DEBKAFile: Medium-range missile interceptor David’s Sling goes operational

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April 2, 2017, 5:42 PM (IDT)
David’s Sling, jointly developed by Israel and the US to counter medium-range missiles, was ceremonially declared operational Sunday. It rounds off Israel’s three-tier missile defense system that includes the Arrow, designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles in the stratosphere, and the short-range Iron Dome interceptor.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hailed this “important milestone” in defense cooperation between Israel and the United States. He also warned Israel’s enemies not to test the Jewish state. “Those who threaten our existence are putting their own lives at risk,” he said,
US Vice Admiral James Syring noted the "incredible team work and effort," put into the development of David's Sling by both countries. This is an impressive day in what has already been an impressive year for Israeli missile defense," Syring said. "Israel's defense systems have never been stronger and are poised to defend Israeli citizens against the myriad threats they face across the region."


fbi - Google News: FBI agent recognized after 25 years of service - SFGate

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FBI agent recognized after 25 years of service
"Director Hoover structured the FBI so that any person, any agent in the FBI could always be available and qualified to run not only a field office but the entire FBI." The office in Elkins was closed more than 20 years ago. "As retired agents, we're ...

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 fbi - Google News

deutschewelleenglish's YouTube Videos: Accidental blast injures 18 in France | DW English 

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From: deutschewelleenglish
Duration: 01:16

An explosion rocked a busy carnival in a northeastern suburb of Paris, injuring more than a dozen people, some seriously. The accident is believed to have been accidental. An investigation is continuing. For more, go to

 deutschewelleenglish's YouTube Videos
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Page 4

FoxNewsChannel's YouTube Videos: Gingrich on why he supports Flynn's request for immunity 

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From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 08:04

Former House speaker weighs in on 'Sunday Morning Futures'

 FoxNewsChannel's YouTube Videos

Puerto Rico News - Selected Feeds Review: Moscow police detains up to 30 anti-corruption protesters

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Police in Moscow detained more than 20 anti-corruption protesters who took to the streets on Sunday in a follow-up of last week's large-scale demonstrations in the Russian capital, according to a Reuters witness.

 Puerto Rico News - Selected Feeds Review

SvobodaRadio's YouTube Videos: Новые задержания в центре Москвы 

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From: SvobodaRadio
Duration: 04:34

В центре Москвы задержаны более 30 участников так называемой "прогулки оппозиции" - еженедельной акции гражданских активистов, которые по воскресеньям собирались на Триумфальной и шли по тротуарам до Красной площади. 26 марта по всей России прошли антикоррупционные митинги. Вскоре после этого в социальных сетях появилась информация о проведении 2 апреля новой акции протеста. Мероприятие не было согласовано, его организаторы неизвестны.
Ссылка на источник -

 SvobodaRadio's YouTube Videos

Putin and Putinism - News Review: Путин пошутил про горячих финских парней - Вести.Ru

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Путин пошутил про горячих финских парней
Читать по губам американскому тележурналисту Путин предложил, когда тот дважды спросил, влияла ли Россия на американские выборы, причем дело происходило на международном форуме по Арктике, но модератор извернулся: как же сотрудничать по Арктике, когда отношения ...

и другие »

 Putin and Putinism - News Review

Russia - Google News: McCain: Nunes 'killed' bipartisan Russia investigation - Politico

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McCain: Nunes 'killed' bipartisan Russia investigation
Sen. John McCain blamed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes on Sunday for destroying the bipartisan nature of the committee's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Nunes (R-Calif.) has been under fire for briefing ...
McCain: Nunes 'killed' opportunity for bipartisan investigation into Russian interferenceThe Hill

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 Russia - Google News

Russia News Review: Газета.Ru - Хроника дня: Иванов вступился за "Платон" 

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Спецпредставитель президента России по вопросам природоохранной деятельности, экологии и транспорта Сергей Иванов выступил в поддержку системы "Платон", передает корреспондент "Газеты.Ru". "Я за ...

 Газета.Ru - Хроника дня

 Russia News Review
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Page 5

путин – Новости Google: Владимир Путин обвинил Запад в попытках оказать давление на внутриполитическую жизнь в России - Первый канал

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Первый канал

Владимир Путин обвинил Запад в попытках оказать давление на внутриполитическую жизнь в России
Первый канал
На пленарном заседании Арктического форума была затронута тема митингов, прошедших в России в прошлое воскресенье. «На этой неделе мы слышали не только из Вашингтона, но также и из Брюсселя, из Европейского союза, что вы должны освободить протестующих, вы должны ...

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 путин – Новости Google

World Press: Will EU take the lead on two-state solution?

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The European Union is developing a new Middle East policy, which will not depend on the Trump administration.

 World Press

Top Stories - Google News: Texas, Louisiana brace for possible flooding and tornadoes - Tribune-Review

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Texas, Louisiana brace for possible flooding and tornadoes
DALLAS — A storm system rumbling eastward through Texas toward the lower Mississippi Valley could pelt the region with large hail and cause flash-flooding and spawn tornadoes. A Texas state trooper reported seeing a tornado touchdown early Sunday ...
Houma-Thibodaux under flash flood watch through Monday afternoonDaily Comet

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 Top Stories - Google News

NYC to close notorious Rikers jail complex - USA TODAY

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NYC to close notorious Rikers jail complex
It is one of those places that people know only as a horrific legend, unless they have a reason to be there. After 85 years, Rikers Island — and its stories of abuse, murder, inedible food and unafraid rats — is on its way to being no more. New York ...
Closing Rikers Island Is a Moral ImperativeNew York Times
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Most -- if not all -- of the occupants in the Texas bus crash were wearing seat belts: NTSB - ABC News

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Most -- if not all -- of the occupants in the Texas bus crash were wearing seat belts: NTSB
ABC News
Most -- if not all -- of the occupants of a bus transporting churchgoers from a retreat in Texas were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash, according to the NTSB. While the driver and front-seat passenger were equipped with standard three ...

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Bill O'Reilly Thrives at Fox News, Even as Harassment Settlements Add Up - New York Times

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New York Times

Bill O'Reilly Thrives at Fox News, Even as Harassment Settlements Add Up
New York Times
About $13 million has been paid out over the years to address complaints from women about Mr. O'Reilly's behavior. He denies the claims have merit. By EMILY STEEL and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT APRIL 1, 2017. Continue reading the main story Share This ...
O'Reilly, Fox settled multiple harassment complaints since 2002Washington Post
The Dichotomy of Fox News: Ratings Soar Along With Scandals, SettlementsVariety
Settlements of more sexual harassment claims against Bill O'Reilly are reportedLos Angeles Times
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all 63 news articles »
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Page 6

Women Got $13 Million in Payouts for Not Pursuing O'Reilly Sexual Harassment Claims: Report - LawNewz

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Women Got $13 Million in Payouts for Not Pursuing O'Reilly Sexual Harassment Claims: Report
In January, Law Newz discovered that former Fox News anchor Juliet Huddy settled her sexual harassment allegation against host Bill O'Reilly and a network co-president. Now it turns out there were more. Five women have gotten payouts from either O ...

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Trump's Washington means civil war — for both parties - Washington Post

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Washington Post

Trump's Washington means civil war — for both parties
Washington Post
On Saturday, an aide to President Trump took to Twitter to denounce a renegade House Republican and encouraged other Republicans to defeat the wayward lawmaker in a GOP primary next year. On Monday, liberal advocacy groups plan to deliver a ...
Sunday shows preview: McConnell, Schumer face off ahead of Gorsuch fightThe Hill
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Report: Chechnya police arrest 100 alleged gays, 3 killed - Washington Post

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Washington Post

Report: Chechnya police arrest 100 alleged gays, 3 killed
Washington Post
MOSCOW — A respected Russian newspaper says it has uncovered information that police in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya have rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three have been killed.
Chechen police 'have rounded up more than 100 suspected gay men'The Guardian

all 20 news articles »

Possible tornado kills 2 in Louisiana - USA TODAY

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Possible tornado kills 2 in Louisiana
A violent weather system killed two people in a small Louisiana town Sunday and threatened to spread heavy rains, damaging winds and possibly tornadoes across much of the Southeast deep into Monday, authorities said. The St. Martin Parish Sheriff's ...
Texas, Louisiana brace for possible flooding and tornadoesTribune-Review
Two people killed in Louisiana mobile home hit by possible tornadoReuters
Storms to impact LA, MS through MondayWDSU New Orleans
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Thunderstorms, flash flooding headed to New Orleans area, according to National Weather Service -

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Thunderstorms, flash flooding headed to New Orleans area, according to National Weather Service
Severe weather, including thunderstorms and a flash flood risk, is expected to start Sunday afternoon (April 2) in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas, according to the National Weather Service. Damaging wind gusts, large hail and tornadoes are ...
Another round of storms moves in Monday
Marginal to slight risk of severe weather Monday evening, nightWCTV
Severe thunderstorms likely across South Arkansas on Sunday afternoonMagnoliareporter
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'Press 3' for election interference, Russian ministry voicemail jokes

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'Press 3' for election interference, Russian ministry voicemail jokes

Proposed embassy voicemail is for anyone seeking Russian hackers or election meddling


A link has been sent to your friend's email address.


A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
A 2000 file picture taken on October 3, 2000, shows Russia's Foreign Ministry building (back) with one of Kremlin towers (front) rising in central Moscow.(Photo: Alexander Nemenov, AFP/Getty Images)
In a cheeky bout of April Fools' Day fun, the Russian foreign ministry has posted a proposed voicemail message for its embassy answering machines to help callers seeking Russian hackers or requesting interference in elections.
The "pilot" audio was posted Saturday on the foreign ministry's Facebook page among legitimate posts about bilateral discussions with Kyrgyzstan and daily briefings.
The post is billed as an answering machine message, in Russian and English, being tried out for Russian embassies and consulates.
“To arrange a call from a Russian diplomat to your political opponent, press 1,” the recording begins. Press 2 “to use the services of Russian hackers,” and 3 “to request election interference.”
This file photo from February 14, 2014, shows a plaque at the embassy of the Russian Federation in Paris. (Photo: Alain Jocard, AFP/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, telling an interviewer this week, "Read my lips — no."
The Associated Press says an unidentified duty officer at the ministry confirms the foreign ministry post is an official joke.
And he was serious.
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Mike Flynn could finally end Donald Trump's lucky streak

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Donald Trump is lot like a cockroach – and not just because he’s generally chock-full of horse excrement. You can step on the guy all you want, but he always seems to scuttle away completely unscathed. And he’s survived more nuclear fallouts in the past 70 days than any other so-called politician would ever hope to see in ten lifetimes.   
Cabinet resignations, court defeats, legislative setbacks, thousands of lawsuitsallegations of rape, mass protests and the lowest approval rating for a generation are just a “no, never mind” to him. Up until recently, it seemed like Trump’s ego, shameless ambitions and grip on power simply could not be killed.
But Michael Flynn might just be the industrial-grade pesticide the world has been desperately praying for.

The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

  • 1/8 Trump and the media

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer takes questions during the daily press briefing
    Getty Images
  • 2/8 Trump and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    Union leaders applaud US President Donald Trump for signing an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington DC
  • 3/8 Trump and the Mexico wall

    People protest against US President Donald Trump's inauguration next to a fake wall with a Mexican national flag and a dummy representing him in Mexico City
    Getty Images
  • 4/8 Trump and the Mexico wall

    A US Border Patrol vehicle sits waiting for illegal immigrants at a fence opening near the US-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas. The number of incoming immigrants has surged ahead of the upcoming Presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, who has pledged to build a wall along the US-Mexico border
    Getty Images
  • 5/8 Trump and abortion

    US President Donald Trump signs an executive order as Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on in the Oval Office of the White House
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  • 6/8 Trump and the Dakota Access pipeline

    Opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines hold a rally as they protest US President Donald Trump's executive orders advancing their construction, at Columbus Circle in New York. US President Donald Trump signed executive orders reviving the construction of two controversial oil pipelines, but said the projects would be subject to renegotiation
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  • 7/8 Trump and the Dakota Access pipeline

    US actress and political activist Jane Fonda attends a rally with opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines as they protest US President Donald Trump's executive orders advancing their construction, at Columbus Circle in New York
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  • 8/8 Trump and 'Obamacare'

    Nancy Pelosi who is the minority leader of the House of Representatives speaks beside House Democrats at an event to protect the Affordable Care Act in Los Angeles, California. The Republican-led US Senate has launched their much-anticipated effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act by passing a budget blueprint which would allow them to begin rolling back the health care reforms
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Even if you’re unfamiliar with the name, you’ll have caught bits and pieces of his backstory. Flynn was a three-star army general turned ardent Trump warhawk. The two sparked quite a bromance over the course of 2016, and so it was hardly surprising when Trump named Flynn America’s top national security advisor after The Donald was sworn into office.
Within 24 hours of that appointment, Trump fed his friend to the crocodiles and kicked him out of the White House after it leaked Flynn had some alleged dodgy dealings with the Kremlin. Apparently Flynn met with a Russian ambassador to chat about the possibility of removing US sanctions after Trump came to power, and then lied to everybody about it.
Bad call. Critics scoffed at the early face plant, but everybody seemed to move on just fine.
But fast forward two months, and Russia has become Washington’s favourite buzzword. A few days ago, FBI Director James Comey announced that he was finally going to take action, and that he was formally investigating the Trump administration to see if the President’s team may have actually been working alongside Russia to cheat Hillary Clinton out of last year’s election.
And guess which disgraced former general with a huge chip on his shoulder immediately stepped out of the shadows offering to dish the dirt?
Trump walks out of an executive-order signing ceremony without signing the executive orders
That’s right. Michael Flynn and his new, aggressively anti-Trump lawyer have volunteered to tell members of congress and the FBI everything there is to say about America’s greasy new president and his supposed links with Moscow – but only under the sole condition that Flynn is guaranteed total immunity from being prosecuted for what it is he has to say.
Senate insiders have already dismissed Flynn’s immunity offer as “wildly preliminary”, but members of the House Intelligence Committee sound quite keen. And unless this is all just some sort of pathetic Hail Mary to get his job back, Donald Trump should be pretty damn worried about this guy.
After all, as Michael Flynn himself so gingerly pointed out while campaigning for Trump in last year’s election: “When you are given immunity, that means you’ve probably committed a crime.”
We could speculate forever-and-a-day about what sort of crime that may have been, and where the big man with the little hands ultimately fits into all this. But the fact that wild speculation is even on the table speaks volumes as to just how far we as a society have fallen. 
Donald Trump has completely and utterly desecrated the integrity of his office. He bathed the American people in snake oil in a desperate bid to reach what he perceived to be the top, and he stepped on a whole lot of friends along the way.
Well, Mr President, karma sure is a bitch – because it looks like Michael Flynn might have been the wrong friend to step on.
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Trump’s new Russia expert wrote a psychological profile of Vladimir Putin — and it should scare Trump

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, November 2016. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
MR. PUTIN: Operative in the Kremlin
By Fiona Hill and Clifford G. Gaddy
Brookings Institution Press. 533 pp. $32
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Remember the unverified “dossier” assembled by a shadowy foreign intelligence veteran who alleged all manner of nefarious, kinky and compromising ties between Donald Trump and Russia? Well, now the Trump team has its own dossier on Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s better sourced, convincingly written, damning in its conclusions — and its author is scheduled to start working at the White House on Monday.
Fiona Hill, the incoming senior director for Russia and Europe on President Trump’s National Security Council staff, is the co-author of “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin,” essentially a 500-page pscyhological profile of the Russian leader, from his early KGB years through his rise and rule at the Kremlin. It’s hard to know who really runs U.S. foreign policy these days, but to the extent that Hill can influence the Trump administration’s views on Russia, this book suggests a more clear-eyed, realpolitik perspective on Putin’s intentions and capabilities, with low expectations for the rapprochement Trump imagined during the 2016 campaign. In this telling, Putin sees the United States as a malicious, incompetent and disrespectful power, an obstacle in his relentless effort to restore and expand the might of the Russian state.
His own might, too, of course. The greatness of Mother Russia is his goal, but the power of Vladi­mir Putin is his means.
None(Brookings Institution Press)
First published in 2013 and updated in 2015, the book breaks down Putin’s overlapping personas, showing how they shape his dominance at home and rivalries abroad. Hill and co-author Clifford G. Gaddy of the Brookings Institution list six identities that they think make up Putin’s “mental outlook, his worldview” — the Statist, the History Man, the Survivalist, the Outsider, the Free Marketeer and the Case Officer.
The last identity is especially relevant, because underlying everything in this book is a vision of Putin as manipulator — he is “a master at manipulating information, suppressing information, and creating pseudo-information” — and as extortionist, deploying blackmail against opponents, allies and (take note here, President Trump) foreign leaders. “As he can fully trust only himself,” Hill and Gaddy write, “Putin applies extortionary methods to everyone else — basically mutually assured incrimination to ensure loyalty.”
When the authors call Putin a “statist,” they do not imply an ideological vision of a command economy; they see no ideology in him at all. Putin regards Russia’s post-Soviet stumbles of the 1990s — beholden to the West, rudderless at home — as an unforgivable humiliation he must avenge. He declared himself a “servant of the state” in a 5,000-word manifesto he issued shortly before first reaching the presidency. “Putin pledged to rebuild the Russian state, protect Russia’s sovereignty, preserve domestic stability and unity, and ensure national security,” Hill and Gaddy recount. He did not, they note archly, explain how he would do so.
The tools at his disposal include deft historical symbolism — Putin the History Man is an avid reader of Russia’s trials and glories, and he appreciates “useful history” that reinforces the centrality of the state. The story of his own family helps. Putin stresses his deep roots, back to the early 17th century, in the Ryazan province southeast of Moscow. Putin the Survivalist notes how his parents made it through the siege of Leningrad, although his older brother did not. “This personal story of death and survival,” the authors write, “fits neatly into the general context of Russia’s national historical narrative. . . . Every survived calamity reaffirms the special status of Russia in history.”
Those who ignore history may be condemned to repeat it, but those who know it well are inclined to exploit it.
Even those political leaders most embedded in the machinery of governing and influence portray themselves as outsiders, but Putin’s outsiderness is instructive. He is of relatively humble origins. He was rarely at the center of things early in his professional life, missing the ferment of the Gorbachev years while serving in Dresden with the KGB, and then spending much of the 1990s as a top municipal official in St. Petersburg. This created a gap in his cultural knowledge and political references. The 1970s and 1990s are his touchstones, but “the pluralistic, creative part of the late 1980s, the Gorbachev era of optimism, is the missing link,” the authors assess. He relishes inappropriate humor (testicle-related jokes, in particular, are a Putin specialty) and likes to make a show of dressing down subordinates or oligarchs. “The public loves to see him admonishing figures they do not like in the same language that they would use if they had the opportunity,” the authors note, in one of the book’s many Trumpian echoes.
“The Outsider is pragmatic. He has no vested interests in policies or in ideologies,” Hill and Gaddy emphasize. “In a system so burdened by ideology, only an outsider could clearly see the flaws of the system.”
Putin is a Free Marketeer in sort of an “Art of the Deal” sense. “Capitalism, in Putin’s understanding, is not production, management, and marketing. It is wheeling and dealing. It is not about workers and customers. It is about personal connections with regulators. It is finding and using loopholes in the law.” For Putin, the economy is a “battlefield,” the authors write, and both as deputy mayor of St. Petersburg and later at the Kremlin, Putin “used methods of coercion” that relied on deep knowledge of the personal foibles and financial misdeeds of his opponents. Whether it was local politicians, foreign business leaders, or, say, former Ukrainian president Viktor Yunakovych, “the focus was on finding and using leverage.”
Here is the Case Officer. Because of his 15 years in the KGB, Putin is skilled in “studying the mind of the targets, finding their vulnerabilities, and figuring out how to use them.” This is how he has managed Russia’s oligarchs, the authors say, using their wealth — and their desire for more — against them.
“Money is ever-present in the system, but it is not money that guarantees loyalty or holds the top level together,” Hill and Gaddy explain. “Instead, it is the fact that the money derives from activity that is or could be found to be illegal. Participants in the system are not bought off in the classic sense of that term. They are compromised; they are made vulnerable to threats. . . . Corrupt, even illegal, activity will be kept secret as long as the individual continues to play the game.” And the referee and star player is Putin himself. This is not an old-boy network, but a “one-boy network.”
There are gaps in this book. Cyber warfare makes but a fleeting appearance, while the death of Putin critics in, shall we say, suspicious circumstances is not a focus, either. And the authors fall in love with their profile approach a bit too much. They’re convinced for instance, that a 1970s American management book is central to Putin’s worldview because he cited it in his dissertation, and contort themselves to make the case. (Maybe he just wasn’t that into it.) Even so, I suspect “Mr. Putin” offers American leaders a better sense of the man than one gets from looking into his eyes and seeking his soul, or from offering his government a misspelled reset button.
It is not clear, though, that he has a good sense of the West, or of the United States in particular. This country is an abstraction for him; he knows few Americans, and those he knows, such as George W. Bush and Obama, he does not like. (Henry Kissinger is Putin’s favorite American, regarding him “literally the German in the White House,” the authors mention.) Instead, Putin views the United States through the insult of NATO expansion, the shame of the Kosovo intervention and the insidious support for pro-democracy nongovernmental organizations that only undercut Russian unity. He believes all local protesters are driven by “fringe minorities and professional oppositionists, or by foreign funding and intervention.”
Does he believe that or, like other leaders we know, is he simply deligitimizing legitimate protests? And here the authors offer an unnerving interpretation. “Putin has spent a great deal of time in his professional life bending the truth, manipulating facts, and playing with fictions,” they write. “He is also, we conclude, not always able to distinguish one from the other.”
Meet the new boss, Fiona Hill. Maybe not so different from the other boss you’ve studied so closely. When you’re ready, I know just the next book for you to write.
Follow Carlos Lozada on Twitter or read more from his book review archive, including:
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Putting Trump on the couch

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Several months ago I wrote a piece asking whether impeachment is in the future for U.S President Donald Trump. I began by comparing his behaviour to someone with a narcissistic personality disorder: fragile self-esteem, inflated sense of self, deep need for admiration and lack of empathy for others.
I was criticized by several Canadian Trump supporters. They complained I didn’t have the medical qualifications to make such a finding. One asked pointedly, “Who the hell are you to analyse Donald Trump?”
So I’ve found someone who has the qualifications to assess Trump’s mental state. He is one of more than 40,000 U.S. mental health professionals who have signed an online petition saying Trump “manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of president of the United States.”
Dr. Justin Frank practises psychoanalysis and is a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He has written two bestselling books, Bush on the Couch and Obama on the Couch. Both delve inside the minds of presidents using applied psychology.
In recent media interviews, Frank revealed some preliminary observations about Trump’s psyche: He’s too impulsive to think clearly; he’s unable to reason and unable to engage in complex discussions; he may have a form of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); he’s a person who has a short attention span who doesn’t like to read, is impatient at meetings and has a pressing need to be heard.
Delving deeper, Frank says Trump has a serious impulse problem. He cannot contain his anxiety for long. Whenever he experiences anxiety, he has to get it out immediately. He doesn’t take the time to convert it into constructive thought.
Trump’s unnerving tweets are often a means of dumping his anxiety, usually on others. In the process he undermines his own ability to see and understand the bigger picture.
Trump’s questionable claim that Barack Obama, while president, had Trump’s Trump Tower offices wire-tapped is a classic example of both distraction and anxiety-dumping. Like successful dictators, Trump evacuates his fears onto the rest of the population.
Binging on Fox News and far-right Breitbart News makes Trump less anxious. They’re places where he finds agreement and support. Tweeting out his early morning angst is also cathartic for Trump.
Frank reminds us people with ADHD also tend to lie to themselves. So this behaviour leaves Trump with a dangerously narrow and distorted view of what’s really going on in the world.
Don’t expect this impulse disorder to change without treatment. “If he were my patient, I would insist he be hospitalized before attempting psychoanalytic treatment. A working therapeutic treatment requires the patient to have control over his impulses.”
Of the people around Trump, Frank thinks his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner are the two most calming influences. Others fall into two categories: those who abide his behaviour because they’re afraid of being fired, and those who use Trump’s anxieties and fears to further their own agendas.
Trump’s chief political adviser Steve Bannon, former chairperson of Breitbart News Network, has been channelling his alt-right ideology through Trump since early 2016. Bannon is one of the most powerful people in the White House because of his ability to manipulate Trump’s narcissistic personality for his own ends.
Asked why Trump has been so successful in reaching the American people, Frank says they hear in him a genuine sense of loss, injury and being ignored. This is traceable to his upbringing by narcissistic parents who sent a boy seeking attention to a military school.
Regardless of the psychological source, these are the same feelings — loss, injury and being ignored — with which many Americans are trying to cope.
In addition, Trump offers them simplistic solutions — the fantasy of “making America great again.” It’s a rallying cry that signifies loss and injury, righting wrongs and giving voice to those who have long felt ignored by the establishment.
And it’s all about Trump — how he’s going to make America great again. It’s an attempt to resurrect a less complex, more promising and white-male-dominated past — one that’s never coming back.
No one knows where all this will take America and the rest of the world. Maybe it’s better that Trump lets off steam with his finger on the tweet button rather than on that other button. Maybe it’s better that Trump has no real core ideology. No thought-out mission. No Hitler’s Mein Kamfp. No Stalin’s Five Year Plan.
Yes, he has a series of shallow, populist policies he’s in a great rush to implement. But already it’s clear that “draining the swamp” and getting things done in Washington are vastly more complex and demanding than Trump or his closest advisers imagined.
Trump’s lack of government or military experience is evident everywhere. His signature immigration policy is stalled in the courts. His attempt to change health care faced resistance from his own party.
Maybe the checks and balances around Trump will limit his future impact. Maybe he will begin with a bang and end with a whimper — an ineffective one-term president whose following melts away in disappointment and disgust.
Or maybe his tendency to double-down when challenged will bring us to and beyond the brink of nuclear war.
Both extremes still seem possible.
Frank’s initial psychoanalysis of Trump’s behaviour is revealing. But for me, the bigger need is to understand the society that elected Trump.
R. Michael Warren is a former corporate director, Ontario deputy minister, TTC chief general manager and Canada Post CEO.
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Trump tells NBC to stop covering Russia story - The Hill

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The Hill

Trump tells NBC to stop covering Russia story
The Hill
President Trump on Saturday called for NBC News to devote more attention to his unproven claims that President Obama spied on him and stop covering the investigations into Russia's interference in the election. “When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and ...
Trump Tweets at 'Sleepy Eyes' Chuck Todd on Russia StoryNewsmax
Trump hawks vague TV news report as gospel in Russia-ties scandalNew York Daily News
Trump calls "Fake Trump/Russia story" a "total scam" as investigations ramp upCBS News
Voice of America -Newsweek -Breitbart News -Washington Examiner
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US Marine arrested in San Bernardino County double homicide - U.S.

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An active duty Marine with ties to Sacramento was arrested Thursday for allegedly killing two women in their San Bernardino County home.
Social media accounts under the name of 22-year-old Rafael Ari Aikens indicate he attended local high schools in the Sacramento area. Several of the friends on his Facebook page list home cities as Sacramento and Folsom.

Aikens was arrested by authorities Thursday in his assigned housing unit at the U.S. Marine Corps base known as Twentynine Palms. The arrest came after investigators determined he was a person of interest in a March 24 double homicide case.
The two women were found dead in a home located in the San Bernardino city of Twentynine Palms after deputies received a 911 call just past midnight. They were identified as Twentynine Palms residents Renee Metcalf, 62, and her 32-year-old daughter Christy McKissic, said Cindy Bachman, a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman
Both women suffered from multiple gunshot wounds. An unharmed 10-year-old girl was also found inside the home, which is roughly 10 miles from the military base.
Aikens was an active duty U.S. Marine who enlisted in December 2014 and was deployed to the Middle East from April 2015 to September 2016, according to 1st Lt. Matthew Gregory, a spokesman with the 1st Marine Division. Aikens worked as a machine gunner during his tour abroad. His end of enlistment was slated for December 2018.
Aikens is being held at the San Bernardino County West Valley Detention Center with bail set at $2 million. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.
©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)
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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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Stars and Stripes: US Marine arrested in San Bernardino County double homicide

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An active duty Marine with ties to Sacramento was arrested Thursday for allegedly killing two women in their San Bernardino County home.

 Stars and Stripes
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Page 8

Call the Russian Embassy; press 3 for 'election interference'

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mikenova shared this story from  World.

An April Fools' Day special from Moscow.

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Syrian Army Foils Attack by Nusra Front in Lattakia Countryside - Al-Manar TV

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Al-Manar TV

Syrian Army Foils Attack by Nusra Front in Lattakia Countryside
Al-Manar TV
SANA news agency reported that an army unit engaged in fierce clashes with a terrorist group affiliated to Nusra Front after it had infiltrated into the surroundings of the military posts on the axis of the villages of Fulla, al-Shahra and al-Shammas ...

Opinion: Yemen's shameful war - Deutsche Welle

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Deutsche Welle

Opinion: Yemen's shameful war
Deutsche Welle
They would otherwise not be able to reach their targets in Yemen. Britain and the US are selling weapons, including internationally outlawed cluster bombs. Since the beginning of the attacks, they've delivered some 5 billion dollars' (47 billion euros ...
Trump signals deeper US involvement in YemenThe Hill
US increases assault on YemenLiberation
Al Houthis abduct 7 international aid workers in
The National -Press TV
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Trump Needs a Brain - New York Times

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New York Times

Trump Needs a Brain
New York Times
THE series of columns I've been writing lately, floating implausible proposals for an ideologically unstable age, has been a useful way of avoiding the depressing subject of the Trumpadministration's first 100 days — because really, in the face of ...

Стали известны подробности драки Януковича с Путиным и Медведевым - GORDONUA.COM

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Стали известны подробности драки Януковича с Путиным и Медведевым
В ходе затянувшегося за полночь ужина Янукович пытался украсть меховые шапки Путинаи Медведева, в которых они накануне были в Арктике. Заметив пропажу, Медведев стал возмущаться, после чего Янукович набросился на него с кулаками, сообщает источник издания. После того ...

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Chechen Authorities Arresting and Killing Gay Men, Russian Paper Says 

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More than 100 gay men had been detained, the newspaper said. It said it had the names of three murder victims, and that it suspected many others had died in extrajudicial killings.
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Page 9

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode April 1, 2017

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From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 25:04

On this edition for Saturday, April 1, key members of the Trump administration make financial disclosures and Venezuela undergoes a constitutional crisis. Also, a closer look at the long-divided island of Cyprus and National Geographic addresses climate change. Hari Sreenivasan anchors from New York.

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