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Member since: Tue Feb 16, 2016, 03:01 PM
Number of posts: 8,541

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C.I.A. Arms for Syrian Rebels Supplied Black Market, Officials Say

Source: NYT

AMMAN, Jordan — Weapons shipped into Jordan by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia intended for Syrian rebels have been systematically stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market, according to American and Jordanian officials.

Some of the stolen weapons were used in a shooting in November that killed two Americans and three others at a police training facility in Amman, F.B.I. officials believe after months of investigating the attack, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The existence of the weapons theft, which ended only months ago after complaints by the American and Saudi governments, is being reported for the first time after a joint investigation by The New York Times and Al Jazeera. The theft, involving millions of dollars of weapons, highlights the messy, unplanned consequences of programs to arm and train rebels — the kind of program the C.I.A. and Pentagon have conducted for decades — even after the Obama administration had hoped to keep the training program in Jordan under tight control.

The Jordanian officers who were part of the scheme reaped a windfall from the weapons sales, using the money to buy expensive SUVs, iPhones and other luxury items, Jordanian officials said.

Read more: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/06/27/world/middleeast/cia-arms-for-syrian-rebels-supplied-black-market-officials-say.html

Why are we supplying Kalashnikovs and not American made arms?

The theft and resale of the arms — including Kalashnikov assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades — have led to a flood of new weapons available on the black arms market

Dolly Parton Is Proud of Her Gay Fans and Hillary Clinton

"Dolly Parton is in the middle of her biggest North American tour in 25 years, with dates in more than 60 cities. But she expects to be even busier during the next year. Ms. Parton, 70, one of country music’s most enduring entertainers, is developing a TV series based on her life, releasing two albums — including this summer’s “Pure & Simple,” with new, original songs — and celebrating 50 years of marriage with her husband, Carl Dean.

Ms. Parton, who will play Forest Hills Stadium in Queens on Saturday and the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., on Sunday, spoke by phone from a tour stop in Cincinnati, weighing in on the presidential election and a recent country music scandal. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

How do you feel about a female presidential nominee?

Well, I think that that would be wonderful. Hillary might make as good a president as anybody ever has. I think no matter if it’s Hillary or Donald Trump, we’re gonna be plagued with PMS either way — presidential mood swings! But I personally think a woman would do a great job. I think Hillary’s very qualified. So if she gets it, I’ll certainly be behind her.

How do you feel when people come to your shows dressed as you?

I think it’s fun! You know, we usually have boys all dressed like me, and so when I do “Jolene” and I see a bunch of drag queens out there, I start singing [to the tune of the “Jolene” chorus] “drag queen, drag queen, drag queen! Please don’t take my man!” [Laughing] I have a huge gay following, and I’m proud of them. Sometimes some of them look more like me than I do.


I find her interviews highly entertaining!

Shuttered prison being prepared for Democratic convention

Source: AP

A shuttered Philadelphia prison that was built 120 years ago and once used inmates as test subjects for biochemical research is being readied in case space is needed to hold protesters arrested during the Democratic National Convention.

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected at the July 25-28 convention.

Officials with the city's prison system tell the Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/28OO965 ) Holmesburg Prison can be used if needed for mass arrests. The prison was closed in 1995.

Inmates would be kept in the prison's recently renovated gymnasium. Cell blocks would not be used.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/4691b2f210004ef2b38606570c630b2d/shuttered-prison-being-prepared-democratic-convention

Edit: After a tiny bit of digging I found this article.

Haunted ruins of the tortured: The ghostly remains of U.S. prison where disabled citizens and inmates were experimented on by the government-


Why is this prison still standing? It should have been bulldozed over a long time ago.

The should find somewhere else to do this.

EU referendum: Why is there no exit poll?

Source: Independent

The exit polls at general elections, which are run for the BBC, ITV and Sky by Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University, have built up a reputation for getting the result right over many election cycles.

The polls work by asking people how they voted at sampling points across the country, and comparing that with surveys at the same places in the previous election. The changes can then be projected to build up a national picture. Last year, the exit poll announced when the polls closed at 10pm put the Conservatives on 316 seats and Labour on 239: the Tories ended up winning 15 more and Labour seven fewer.

However, there will be no exit poll published at 10pm when voting in the EU referendum closes because the broadcasters have no way of knowing how accurate it would be.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-exit-poll-who-has-won-remain-leave-brexit-live-updates-a7094886.html

Hillary Clinton’s Speech: What You Missed

"Hillary Clinton planned on Tuesday to disparage the economic record and policy acumen of Donald J. Trump in a speech, suggesting his ideas were ill-considered and scrutinizing his own checkered business history.

Some of the highlights,"


Hillary Clinton to add Jacob Leibenluft, Obama's long-time economic adviser, to campaign team

"Jacob Leibenluft, deputy director of the National Economic Council, will become a senior policy adviser as Clinton prepares to fill out her economic agenda for the general election.

On Tuesday, she plans to deliver a speech in Columbus, Ohio, that will contrast her proposals to lift middle-class incomes with Donald Trump's business record, which she will argue is characterized by self-interest at the expense of others.

Leibenluft has served on Obama's economic team from the beginning of the president's first term. Among his areas of focus have been policies on job training, apprenticeships and the minimum wage"


Wall Street cash or Elizabeth Warren: Hillary's choice

"Wall Street has an unambiguous message for Hillary Clinton: Don't pick Elizabeth Warren as your vice president if you want to keep getting our money.

That warning came through very clearly in over a dozen interviews I did over the last week with some of the largest Democratic donors on Wall Street who have helped fund Clinton's campaigns over the years as well as funneled cash to Bill Clinton's political career in the 1990s.

"If Clinton picked Warren, her whole base on Wall Street would leave her," one top Democratic donor who has helped raise millions for Clinton told me. "They would literally just say, 'We have no qualms with you moving left, we understand all the things you've had to do because of Bernie Sanders, but if you are going there with Warren, we just can't trust you, you've killed it.'"

The arguments of course are mostly self-serving. The financial services industry loathes Warren, who more than anyone in the last 80 years has channeled the rage against Wall Street that began with the Great Depression and continues to course through the nation following the 2008 financial crisis. Warren wants to break up the nation's largest banks. She created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The mere mention of her name draws groans from bankers.

But there is at least a bit of substance to their arguments. Bankers believe Clinton, should she win, will have an opportunity to make deals with Republicans in Congress to pass major infrastructure spending coupled with international tax reform during her first months in office. And they think Warren in the VP's office would make cutting any such deals harder.

"Clinton is going to face a divided government unless there is a total tsunami," said one moderate Washington Democrat with close ties to the banking industry. "What you want in a vice president is someone who can negotiate for you on the Hill, someone like Joe Biden. And that is not a Warren strength."


At this point I don't think Hillary needs to make an announcement just yet.

Supreme Court rules for police in search case

Source: AP

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that evidence of a crime may be used against a defendant even if the police did something wrong or illegal in obtaining it.

The justices voted 5-3 to reinstate the drug-related convictions of a Utah man.

The ruling comes in a case in which a police detective illegally stopped defendant Joseph Edward Strieff on the streets of South Salt Lake City, Utah. A name check revealed an outstanding warrant for Strieff.

Strieff was placed under arrest and searched. He was carrying methamphetamine.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/1ef09db1314f4d749a574b3dcb3e5871

The most important part.

"The Supreme Court ruled Monday that evidence of a crime may be used against a defendant even if the police did something wrong or illegal in obtaining it."

Crazy stuff!

FBI Arrests 3 High-Ranking New York City Police Officers

Source: ABC

Authorities say the FBI has arrested four people, including three high-ranking New York Police Department officers, in connection with New York City's ongoing corruption probe.

Police Commissioner William Bratton and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara plan to detail the case at a midday press conference Monday.

A businessman who contributed heavily to Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign already has pleaded guilty in the case

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/fbi-arrests-high-ranking-york-city-police-officers-39986127

It's not looking good for Bill.

NASA Unveils Plans for Electric-Powered Plane

Source: NYT

A new experimental airplane being built by NASA could help push electric-powered aviation from a technical curiosity and pipe dream into something that might become commercially viable for small aircraft.

At a conference on Friday of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Washington, Charles F. Bolden Jr., the NASA administrator, announced plans for an all-electric airplane designated as X-57, part of the agency’s efforts to make aviation more efficient and less of a polluter.

For the X-57, the NASA researchers are designing narrower wings that are efficient during cruise flight, powered by two 60-kilowatt electric motors at the wingtips that spin five-foot-wide propellers.

For takeoff and landing, 12 smaller 9-kilowatt motors powering two-foot-wide propellers will kick in to blow extra air over the skinny wings to generate the necessary lift. In flight, the smaller propellers are folded away

Read more: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/06/18/science/nasa-electric-plane-x57.html

It should be noted that the plane is not a new design. It will be based on an Italian made Tecnam P2006T.

That said, the propulsion system definitely is intriguing. Especially the the dual stage motor setup.
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