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Gender: Female
Home country: UK
Current location: UK
Member since: Wed Jul 23, 2014, 04:16 PM
Number of posts: 1,427

Journal Archives

Boris Johnson says Libyan city has bright future 'once they clear the dead bodies'

Foreign Secretary shocks Tory activists with risque joke about tourism potential in former Islamic State stronghold

Boris Johnson has prompted outrage after he said a Libyan city could be transformed into the new Dubai once "they clear the dead bodies" away.

The Foreign Secretary’s off-colour comment drew gasps and shocked laughter from the audience at a global trade fringe event at the Conservative conference.

Theresa May was urged to sack him for his latest gaffe, which critics said proved that Mr Johnson - arguably the UK's top diplomat - was not fit to represent Britain on the world stage.

"There's a group of UK business people actually, I don't know whether you will have come across this, wonderful guys, who want to invest in Sirte on the coast, near where Gaddafi was actually captured and executed, as some of you may have seen.

“They have a got brilliant vision to turn Sirte, with the help of the municipality of Sirte, into the next Dubai.

The only thing they’ve got to do is clear the dead bodies.”


Our bargain basement Trump strikes again - I'm hoping this will finish him off.

British courts may unlock secrets of how Trump campaign profiled US voters

'Legal mechanism may help academic expose how Big Data firms like Cambridge Analytica and Facebook get their information'

A US professor is trying to reclaim his personal data from the controversial analytics firm that helped Donald Trump to power. In what legal experts say may be a “watershed” case, a US citizen is using British laws to try to discover how he was profiled and potentially targeted by the Trump campaign.

David Carroll, an associate professor at Parsons School of Design in New York, has discovered a transatlantic legal mechanism that he hopes will give him access to information being sought by both the FBI and the Senate intelligence committee. In recent weeks, investigators looking at how people acting on behalf of Russia targeted American voters have focused on Trump’s data operation. But although the FBI obtained a court order against Facebook to make it disclose evidence, the exact way in which US citizens were profiled and targeted remains largely unknown.

“In the US election, the FBI has been trying to get information from the top down but this doesn’t help with regard to the French election or Brexit,” Dehaye said. “And we know we just cannot trust Facebook, even with good intent, to run our elections fairly. There are a few huge companies amassing vast amounts of data on vast amounts of people and there’s no democratic oversight.”

Pasquale said news that Facebook information had been used by Russian agents to target US citizens may prove to be a tipping point. “It shows this information has now been weaponised by a state actor. What we’re seeing is really a failure of the first order. Mark Zuckerberg wrote this 6,000-word letter about creating a global political community and yet we now know that Facebook was a platform for a devastating attack on the most robust democracy in the world.”


US Bombardier ruling: Theresa May 'bitterly disappointed' at Trump administration tariff decision

Source: Independent

Prime Minister Theresa May is "bitterly disappointed'' by a US Department of Commerce decision to impose a tariff of nearly 220 per cent on a new model of passenger jet manufactured by Bombardier, one of Northern Ireland's biggest employers, Downing Street said.

The comment came after Ms May was accused of being "asleep at the wheel" as unions warned that thousands of jobs could be put at risk by the US move.

Canadian multinational Bombardier employs around 4,200 people in Belfast and thousands more jobs in Northern Ireland are supported through the manufacturer's supply chain, according to trade unionists.

Ms May had lobbied US President Donald Trump over the dispute, which was sparked by complaints from rival Boeing that Bombardier received unfair state subsidies from the UK and Canada, allowing the sale of airliners at below cost price in America.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/us-bombardier-ruling-northern-ireland-jobs-theresa-may-trump-tariff-commerce-a7969256.html

All that schmoozing for nowt.

A taste of things to come as the BREXIT nightmare continues.


This is an informative read:

It was Trump's undying need to get into the NFL that drove the billionaire to buy his way into the upstart league in the '80s, the author said. But the big league wasn't a fan.

"They just saw him as this scumbag huckster," Pearlman told Newsweek. "He was this New York, fast-talking, kind of con-man."

In the course of Trump's NFL pursuit, he made a fair number of enemies at the USFL and helped shuttle the league to an early grave. He convinced other USFL owners to challenge the NFL directly in the fall, and then led the charge on an anti-trust lawsuit against the football giant that netted a massive...three dollars. The USFL was dead by '85.

His goal was to have an NFL franchise. He tried buying the Baltimore Colts a couple years earlier, didn’t get them. He wanted an NFL franchise and he saw this as a way to do it. He talked all happy-happy about the USFL and spring football until he got the team. And as soon as he got the team he was angling in every way possible to move them to fall to take on the NFL, so his team, somehow, would be absorbed by the NFL.

His entire goal was to get him an NFL team. He didn’t care how he got it. It wasn’t like, “Oh, I really hope I can lead you guys to a merger.” He didn’t give a shit about the other owners. Like, at all. Did not care. No interest, whatsoever. His goal was to get in the NFL. If it took a merger, so be it. If it took the entire USFL collapsing and he gets an [NFL] team, that’s fine too.


Trump Versus his State Department



Lauren Werner 🗽‏ @LaurenWern 7m7 minutes ago
Trump calling Russian meddling a "hoax" put State Department spox Heather Nauert in an awkward situation:

Regarding Trump's dig at the UK police

Trump's swipe at The Metropolitan Police has caused a bit of a stir. Some wondered if he'd been formally briefed and then leaked the fact that the terrorists were on a watch list - however British authorities have described Trump's claim as 'speculation' so probably not.

The alternative (in my opinion stronger) theory is that Trump picked up some crap on Fox and spewed it out on Twitter.


Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 7h7 hours ago
Another attack in London by a loser terrorist.These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!


Yashar Ali 🐘‏Verified account
Trump tweeted about Scotland Yard at 642 am. At 619 am on Fox/Friends @kilmeade talked about Scotland Yard having terrorists on their radar.

The Curious Link Between Trumps Moscow Tower Deal and a Ukraine Peace Plan

A pair of Trump associates, Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, appear to be gaining significance in the Trump-Russia investigation. News broke this week that during the presidential campaign the two sought a deal for the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow. And, as reported earlier this year, the pair pushed a Kremlin-backed proposal for the US to lift sanctions on Russia—part of a proposed “peace deal” between Ukraine and Russia that Cohen and Sater brought to Trump’s then national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Congressional investigators are now interested in how the Moscow tower proposal and the so-called peace deal may connect. “That is a question members will be exploring, certainly,” says an official close to the Senate Intelligence Committee. One thread running through both deals is Russia’s desire for relief from US sanctions, which the Trump presidential campaign repeatedly signaled it was interested in accommodating. How that might shed further light on the deals is a “very interesting line of inquiry,” the official adds.

Cohen claims that he pulled the plug on the Moscow tower deal in late 2015. But after Trump took office, Cohen and Sater went on to push a “peace plan” under which the US would unwind economic sanctions in exchange for the withdrawal of pro-Russian troops from Ukraine and an agreement to hold a referendum on the fate of Crimea, the Ukrainian territory Russia seized in 2014. Cohen hand-delivered the proposal to Flynn, who was soon forced to resign over matters including his lying about having discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador to the US.

The peace plan came from Andriy Artemenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker known for his pro-Kremlin views, who told the Times that senior aides to Putin encouraged him to push the plan. Artemenko said he contacted Sater through an unnamed “mutual friend,” who worked with Cohen to get the plan to Flynn. It is not clear if Trump himself reviewed the plan, though around the same time the president reportedly asked the State Department to look into the possibility of unilaterally rescinding sanctions on Russia.

I was wondering how that weird 'peace plan' thing fitted in. 🤔


Manafort's plan to 'greatly benefit the Putin Government'


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse. Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP. Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009, according to one person familiar with the work.

"We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success," Manafort wrote in the 2005 memo to Deripaska. The effort, Manafort wrote, "will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government."


Trump warns House GOP members of electoral 'bloodbath' if repeal and replace fails

President Donald Trump warned House Republicans Tuesday if they can't get pass health care legislation after seven years of promises it could be a "bloodbath" in the 2018 midterm election, according to one member present in the meeting.

Trump vowed to throw his full support behind the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act during a meeting with House GOP leadership, saying he is "proud" to support a GOP-authored plan to replace Obamacare and told members behind closed doors that he would support it "100%," according to sources in the room.
But he warned lawmakers of the high-stakes nature of the effort, citing a potential electoral "bloodbath," a member present said.
"He said he hopes members understand that," the source said.


ETA: To those more expert than me on the subject, is this a case of 'damned if they do, damned if they don't' ?

Lobbyist advised Trump campaign while promoting Russian pipeline

A Republican lobbyist was earning hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote one of Vladimir Putin’s top geopolitical priorities at the same time he was helping to shape Donald Trump’s first major foreign policy speech.

This spring, Burt helped shape Trump’s first major foreign policy address, according to Burt and other sources. Burt recommended that Trump take a more “realist,” less interventionist approach to world affairs, as first reported by Reuters. Trump’s April 27 speech sounded those themes and called for greater cooperation with Russia.

“I believe an easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia — from a position of strength — is possible,” Trump said in the speech. “Common sense says this cycle of hostility must end. Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out.” The Russian ambassador to the United States broke the diplomatic norm against attending campaign events to sit in the front row.

In addition to helping shape Trump’s speech, Burt attended two dinners this summer hosted by Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who had been named chairman of Trump’s national security committee. Burt was invited to discuss issues of national security and foreign policy, and wrote white papers for Sessions on the same subjects, according to Burt and another person with knowledge of the situation.


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