POMPEO MET WITH KIM JONG UN OVER EASTER WEEKEND
The Washington Post reports, “CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a top-secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend as an envoy for President Trump to meet with that country’s leader, Kim Jong Un”. The Washington Post adds, “The clandestine mission, which has not previously been reported, came soon after Pompeo was nominated to be secretary of state.” The Washington Post notes, “Speaking at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Tuesday, Trump appeared to allude to the extraordinary face-to-face meeting between Kim and Pompeo when he said the United States has had direct talks with North Korea ‘at very high levels.’ The president didn’t elaborate.” The Washington Post adds, “His meeting with Kim marks the highest-level meeting between the two countries since 2000, when then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with Kim Jong Il, the current leader’s late father, to discuss strategic issues. Then-Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. visited the country in 2014 to secure the release of two American captives and met with a lower-level intelligence official.” The Washington Post notes, “The CIA declined to comment. The White House declined to comment as well”. The Washington Post reports, “Trump later said that five locations are under consideration to host the summit and that a decision would come soon. None of the locations was in the United States, Trump said later,” so if it is Karlovy Vary, you can thank his Russian friends.
From The Washington Post.
REPORTS SAY MATTIS WANTED CONGRESS TO APPROVE STRIKES ON SYRIA
The New York Times reports, “Defense Secretary Jim Mattis urged President Trump to get congressional approval before the United States launched airstrikes against Syria last week, but was overruled by Mr. Trump, who wanted a rapid and dramatic response, military and administration officials said. Mr. Trump, the officials said, wanted to be seen as backing up a series of bellicose tweets with action, but was warned that an overly aggressive response risked igniting a wider war with Russia.” The New York Times notes, “Mr. Mattis is widely viewed by global leaders as the strongest and perhaps most credible voice on foreign policy in an administration that has been rocked by firings and resignations among senior presidential advisers.” And because hello look at who the fake Russian bullshit president is and all the Lubyanka diarrhea that comes spraying out of his mouth.
From The New York Times.
JUDGE DENIES COHEN EFFORT TO HALT READING OF SEIZED MATERIALS
The Hill reports Judge Kimba “Wood on Monday denied Cohen’s attempt to stop prosecutors from reviewing the materials that the FBI seized in the raid”. The Hill recalls, “Cohen had asked the court to issue a temporary injunction to block federal investigators from reviewing the materials, documents which he argues contain information protected by the attorney-client privilege. Attorney Joanna Hendon, appearing on behalf of Trump, argued no one other than the president should determine what’s privileged material.” The Hill notes, “Wood did allow the filter team to run an initial mechanical search on the material to get an estimate of how many documents might be privileged”. That’s right, a machine is more privileged than our fake Russian bullshit president.
From The Hill.
JUDGE IN COHEN CASE SHOOTS DOWN CNN REQUEST FOR AUDIO
The Hill reports, “The federal district judge handling the case against President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, on Tuesday denied a request from CNN reporters asking the court to record its proceedings in the case and make the audio available to the public.” The Hill adds, “Judge Kimba Wood, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, said doing so would violate a standing order the court issued in 2015 prohibiting audio and video feed of court proceedings from being broadcasted, televised or photographed.”
From The Hill.
TRUMP CAMPAIGN PAYING ENFORCER’S LEGAL BILLS
NBC News reports, “Donald Trump’s campaign paid more than $66,000 to the law firm that represents Keith Schiller, his former longtime bodyguard, newly filed campaign records show. Schiller, who left a White House job in September, testified to the House Intelligence Committee in November that someone made an offer to send five women to Trump’s hotel room in Moscow in the lead-up to the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.” NBC News adds, “Stuart Sears, a lawyer for Schiller, said he could not comment on whether the Trump campaign’s payment was related to Schiller’s legal fees. Federal election law allows the use of campaign money for legal fees, but only if the fees are related to a matter connected to the campaign, legal experts say.” NBC News adds, “Schiller has been questioned about matters that occurred in 2013, well before Trump declared his candidacy”.
From NBC News.
NIKKI HALEY LASHES BACK: I DON’T GET CONFUSED
The Guardian reports, “Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, hit back at claims by others in Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday that she had prematurely announced a new round of sanctions against Russia. Tensions within the Trump administration spilled into public view as confusion reigned over the president’s plans, less than two days after Haley declared the US would impose fresh sanctions against Russian companies”. The Guardian adds, “The White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters on Tuesday that a final determination had not been made on whether to levy any further sanctions against Russia, while adding that Haley had gotten ‘ahead of the curve’ in previewing the policy. ‘She’s doing a great job, she’s a very effective ambassador,’ Kudlow said. ‘There might have been some momentary confusion about that.’” The Guardian notes, “Haley fired back hours later, telling Fox News: ‘With all due respect, I don’t get confused.’ Kudlow later told the New York Times he had apologized to Haley and was ‘totally wrong’ for suggesting she was confused.” Damn, Russia must be thrilled watching this internal fighting on this level over this topic.
From The Guardian.
FEUDS AS FUEL: COMEY FEUD CONTINUES
Bloomberg reports, “President Donald Trump’s comments that ousted FBI Director James Comey belongs in jail are ‘dangerous’ and threaten a ‘tin-pot dictatorship,’ the former lawman said in an interview Tuesday with NPR.” Bloomberg recalls, “Comey’s comments kept alive a feud between the two that has seen Comey liken Trump to a Mafia boss and call him ‘morally unfit’ for the presidency in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC News. Trump in turn lashed out at the former FBI chief as politically motivated and calling him ‘Slippery James Comey’ and the worst director in the agency’s history.”
MCCONNELL + RYAN ARE HAVING A GRAND OL’ PARTY
NBC News reports, “The effort to pass legislation to protect Robert Mueller’s job as special counsel appeared to hit a dead end Tuesday as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would not allow the bill to come to the floor for a full Senate vote. ‘I’m the one who decides what we take to the floor. That’s my responsibility as majority leader. We’ll not be having this on the floor of the Senate,’ the Kentucky Republican said in an interview on Fox News.” Death cult over country! NBC News adds, “Earlier in the day, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said again that legislation to protect Mueller’s position was ‘unnecessary’ because, based on ‘the kinds of conversations we have had,’ he believes that the president will not take steps to dismiss the special counsel. ‘It would be not in the president’s interest to do such a thing and I think he knows that,’ he said at a news conference.” Horrifyingly, ABC News adds, “Others said it’s simply not good politics to try and tell Trump what to do, likening the legislation to ‘poking the bear.’”
DEATH CULT GOP EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR COMEY MEMOS
POLITICO reports, “Three powerful Republican lawmakers have agreed to extend their deadline for the Justice Department to fork over copies of former FBI Director James Comey’s memos documenting his interactions with President Donald Trump. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy demanded Friday that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein produce the documents by Monday afternoon.” That did not happen, so now they are still trying to look tough while also saving face. POLITICO notes, “But a Gowdy aide said Rosenstein contacted them and asked for a few more days to consider their request, and the chairmen agreed.”
ON THE RECORD: AMERICA’S OTHER ARYAN PRINCESS ON RUSSIAN HACKING
Fortune reports, “Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen promised that the federal government would do all it could to prevent Russians from hacking future elections, but stopped short of guaranteeing that those measures would be effective.” Nielsen was speaking “at the annual RSA cybersecurity conference in San Francisco”. Reassuring!
SALIVATE WHILST AWAITING THE BIG HANNITY REVEAL
The Atlantic reports, “Though Hannity says he was never actually Cohen’s client, he does appear to have used the legal services of other well-connected Trump-world lawyers in a different matter a year ago. On May 25, 2017, KFAQ, a radio station based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, received a cease-and-desist letter signed by two lawyers for Hannity: Victoria Toensing and Jay Alan Sekulow. Toensing’s signature sits above her name and that of her husband Joseph E. diGenova, the members of diGenova and Toensing LLP, who are identified as ‘Counsel for Sean Hannity,’ according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Atlantic. Sekulow is also identified in the letter page as a ‘Counsel for Sean Hannity.’” The Atlantic recalls, “Sekulow is now the only known personal attorney for President Trump working full-time on the response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry. Sekulow recently announced that diGenova and Toensing had been hired to join him, before reversing course.” The Atlantic notes, “The letter to the radio station was sent before Sekulow joined Trump’s team.” Of note, “The letter was sent in response to accusations against Hannity made by the controversial conservative activist Debbie Schlussel. During an appearance on the Pat Campbell show on KFAQ last April, Schlussel said Hannity had been ‘creepy’ towards her and had invited her to his hotel room. Hannity responded at the time by calling the allegations ‘100 percent false and a complete fabrication,’ and said that he had hired lawyers to plan a response.” Of course this is conflict of interest city as, “Sekulow, diGenova, and Toensing have frequently appeared on Hannity’s program; diGenova appeared on the show as recently as Monday night,” after Hannity was revealed in court to be Michael Cohen’s third mystery client.
From The Atlantic.
CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA HAS YOUR SEX COMPASS
CBS News reports, “a former Cambridge Analytica employee,” Brittany Kaiser who testified before “Parliament on Tuesday to face questions” from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee “revealed that ‘many’ more Facebook users may have been duped into providing data to analytics firms than previously disclosed.” CBS News adds, “Kaiser told British lawmakers in written testimony that it wasn’t just one app that harvested the data eventually handed over to her former company, but in fact ‘a wide range of surveys which were done by CA or its partners,’” which makes much more sense anyways. CBS News reports, “Kaiser said Tuesday that, given Cambridge Analytica’s use of at least two other separate personality quiz apps, ‘it can be inferred or implied that there were many additional individuals as opposed to just the ones through Aleksandr Kogan’s test (This Is Your Digital Life) whose (data) may have been compromised.’” Business Insider adds, “She highlighted one quiz called ‘Sex Compass,’ though she did not provide further details.”
CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA’S ALEXANDER NIX PULLS OUT OF HEARING
CBS News reports, “The chairman of a British Parliamentary committee investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica’s alleged misuse of user data said Tuesday that the suspended CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, had pulled out of testifying before the committee on Wednesday.” Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, “said his committee would consider a formal summons for Nix to appear.” CBS News notes, “no alternative date had been set for Nix to appear as yet, but that members would decide how to proceed over the course of the week.”
From CBS News.
US TECH COMPANIES VOW NOT TO HELP GOVERNMENT LAUNCH ATTACKS
Reuters reports, “Microsoft, Facebook and more than 30 other global technology companies on Tuesday announced a joint pledge not to assist any government in offensive cyber attacks. The Cybersecurity Tech Accord, which vows to protect all customers from attacks regardless of geopolitical or criminal motive, follows a year that witnessed an unprecedented level of destructive cyber attacks, including the global WannaCry worm and the devastating NotPetya attack.” Reuters adds, “The accord also promised to establish new formal and informal partnerships within the industry and with security researchers to share threats and coordinate vulnerability disclosures.” Reuters notes, “In addition to Microsoft and Facebook, 32 other companies signed the pledge, including Cisco, Juniper Networks, Oracle, Nokia, SAP, Dell and cyber security firms Symantec, FireEye and Trend Micro,” adding, “Major U.S. technology companies Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Twitter also did not sign the pledge.”
RUSSIAN REGULATORS LAUNCH ATTACKS ON FARABOOK
The Moscow Times reports, “Russian regulators have reminded Facebook that the social network could face bans this year if it fails to comply with the country’s local data storage legislation. Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor has had Facebook in its crosshairs since last year for failing to comply with a 2015 law requiring tech firms to store Russian citizens’ personal data on local servers.” The Moscow Times notes, “A day after Roskomnadzor began blocking the popular Telegram messaging service, the regulator’s head Alexander Zharov told the pro-Kremlin Izvestia daily that Facebook could be next.”
From The Moscow Times.
RUSSIA’S TELEGRAM SHUTDOWN REALLY WASN’T ABOUT THE APP AT ALL
Ars Technica reports, “Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media—moved to enforce a new Russian federal law blocking the use of Telegram, the encrypted chat and social networking application that has become the favored tool of Russia’s political opposition and journalists. The censorship began with Roskomnadzor instructing Internet service providers to block requests to Internet Protocol addresses of Telegram’s servers.” Ars Technica adds, “But as users flocked to virtual private networks and proxy services to reach Telegram from their mobile devices and computers—or resorted to building their own—government censors added large swaths of IP addresses to the block list. And according to multiple sources within Russia, ISPs there are now blocking large chunks of IP addresses associated with cloud services from Amazon and Google.” Ars Technica notes, “More than 800,000 Amazon IP addresses were being blocked by early evening in Moscow, and a block of more than 1 million Google addresses (184.108.40.206/12) was added shortly afterward, according to a report from the Meduza Project.” Ars Technica reports, “As of midnight Moscow time, more than 15 million IP addresses were being actively blocked by ISPs, based on tracking by a Russian hosting service provider posted on a domain registered to Russia’s Foundation for Assistance for Internet Technologies and Infrastructure Development.”
From Ars Technica.
VEB BANK PUTS RUSAL PROJECT FINANCING ON STAND BY
Reuters reports, “Russia’s state development bank VEB has put financing for the construction of Rusal’s Taishet aluminium smelter on stand-by but has not suspended the deal, VEB Chairman Sergey Gorkov told reporters on Tuesday.” Gorkov met with princeling Jared in December of 2016, recall, and Rusal is Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum firm.
RUSSIA EXTENDS US OVERFLIGHTS AGREEMENT FOR SIX MONTHS
Reuters reports, “Russia agreed to extend by six months overflight approvals for U.S. airlines, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday, hours before an agreement on overflights was due to expire.”
LITHUANIA PASSES RUSSIA DIPLOMATIC NOTE ABOUT BORDER VIOLATION
The Baltic Times reports, “Lithuania has handed a diplomatic note to the Russian Embassy over a violation of the state border by the country’s boder guards.” The Baltic Times adds, “Russia was urged to provide explanations over the Monday’s incident when a Russian patrol border guard vessel had entered Lithuania’s territory for around two minutes.” The Baltic Times reports, “On Tuesday, Lithuania’s border guards said that an object had entered Lithuania’s waters for about 40 meters around 500 m from the coast in the Curonian Lagoon at 4:31 p.m. The vessel was identified as a hovercraft of Russian border guards. According to preliminary information, the foreign vehicle breached Lithuania’s border while making a turn. The Lithuanian State Border Guard Service opened a pre-trial investigation into the breach.”
From The Baltic Times.
VENEZUELA ARRESTS TWO CHEVRON EXECUTIVES
Reuters reports, “Chevron Corp (CVX.N) said on Tuesday two of its executives were arrested in Venezuela, a rare move likely to spook foreign energy firms still operating in the OPEC nation stricken by hyperinflation, shortages and crime. Venezuelan Sebin intelligence agents burst into the Petropiar joint venture’s office in the coastal city of Puerto La Cruz on Monday and arrested the two Venezuelan employees for alleged wrongdoing”. Reuters adds, “One of the detainees, Carlos Algarra, is a Venezuelan chemical engineer and expert in oil upgrading whom Chevron had brought in from its Argentina operations. The other, Rene Vasquez, is a procurement adviser, according to his LinkedIn profile. The U.S. major confirmed the arrests, which are believed to be the first to affect a foreign oil company’s direct employees.”
AN UPDATE ON THE DETENTION OF OLEG DERIPASKA’S ESCORT IN THAILAND
The AP reports, “A Russian sex guru and his followers, one of whom claims to have evidence of Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, were acquitted Tuesday of violating labor laws in Thailand but still face other charges that could land them in prison for more than 10 years. Alexander Kirillov and follower Anastasia Vashukevich, a model and escort, told reporters they placed the blame for their continued detention on U.S. officials, to whom they previously appealed for help and political asylum.” The AP notes, “They also said they feared for their personal safety, especially if deported to Russia.”
From the AP.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SUPPORT SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA
The Washington Post reports, “Nearly 7 in 10 Americans support tougher U.S. sanctions against Russia, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that also finds roughly half the public saying President Trump has done ‘too little’ to criticize Russia for alleged violations of international law.” Unfortunately the American people do not understand that Russia only respects strength as, “52 percent of adults say Trump should invite Vladimir Putin to the White House in an effort to improve U.S.-Russia relations, while 42 percent say Trump should not do so, because it would grant Putin legitimacy.” Horror.
From The Washington Post.
TRUMP FILES FOR AN EXTENSION ON TAX DAY
The New York Times reports, “For decades, presidents have publicly released their tax returns each year — an act of transparency and a way to connect and commiserate with Americans on Tax Day. On Tuesday, President Trump did not even file his taxes.” The New York Times adds, “White House officials said Mr. Trump, who has steadfastly refused to make any of his previous tax returns public, requested a six-month extension because of the complexity of preparing his 2017 returns. He plans to file by mid-October”. Also on Tuesday, there was “a systemwide crash of the Internal Revenue Service computers, which prevented taxpayers and preparers from filing returns online.”
From The New York Times.
KUSHNER + VORNADO HAVE WORST YEAR AT 666
Bloomberg reports, “A Manhattan office tower co-owned by Kushner Cos. and Vornado Realty Trust had its worst year since the two firms became partners in the building in 2011.” Sad! Bloomberg adds, “The property, 666 Fifth Ave., lost $25 million in 2017, after accounting for debt payments, as net income fell and interest on loans increased, records filed to investors show. That compares with a loss of $14.5 million in the previous calendar year.”
IF YOU ACT LIKE YOU COME FROM A MOB FAMILY, HELPS TO BE FROM ONE
Talking Points Memo reports Michael “Cohen’s uncle, Morton Levine, owned and ran a Brooklyn social club, El Caribe, which was a well-known meeting spot for members of Italian and Russian organized crime families in the 1970s and 1980s. (Levine, a medical doctor has never been charged with a crime.)” Talking Points Memo, citing an old AP report, adds, “From the 70s through the 90s at least, the bosses of the Russian mafia in the U.S. literally ran their crime organization out of the El Caribe. So Michael Cohen’s uncle Morton Levine’s social club was the headquarters of Russian organized crime in the U.S.” Also unearthed is the fact that, “According to Levine, who is apparently still alive, all his nieces and nephews owned shares of the El Caribe and still do. Levine told the AP that Michael Cohen owned his stake in the club until Donald Trump was elected President when he ‘gave up his stake.’”
From Talking Points Memo.
COHEN’S TIES TO THE CHICAGO CAB INDUSTRY RUN DEEP
The Chicago Sun-Times reports, “Cohen’s father-in-law has given at least $20 million in loans to Yasya Shtayner”. The Chicago Sun-Times recalls, “Her family owns Chicago Medallion Management Corp., which manages 368 taxicabs, including 22 owned by Cohen. Shtayner and her husband Semyon Shtayner — Chicago Medallion Management’s corporate secretary — were identified in a warrant the FBI used to raid Cohen’s law office and home, looking for documents relating to his business interests as well as his $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her from discussing her alleged dalliance with Trump, according to a CNN report.” The Chicago Sun-Times reports, “Shtayner has received eight loans from Cohen’s father-in-law, Fima Shusterman, according to documents filed with the Cook County recorder of deeds. Early in March, the records show Shusterman made four loans worth a total of at least $8 million — possibly as much as $16 million — to Yasya Shtayner and two companies she owns, including 2737 W. Fulton LLC, named after the address where Chicago Medallion Management operates. Last Aug 21, Shusterman gave Shtayner four loans totaling at least $12 million and possibly as much as $24 million. As collateral, Shtayner used three luxury high-rise condos on Chicago’s Near North Side and properties in the 2700 block of West Fulton.” The Chicago Sun-Times notes, “Shusterman has a condo in the Trump World Tower near the United Nations in New York. He and Shtayner also owns condos in another Trump development in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, outside Miami.”
From The Chicago Sun-Times.
THUG LIFE: STORMY RELEASES SKETCH OF MAN WHO THREATENED HER
The AP reports, “Stormy Daniels injected fresh mystery into the sensational story of the president, the fixer and the porn star on Tuesday, releasing an artist’s sketch of the man she says threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot to stay quiet about her sexual tryst with Donald Trump.” The AP adds, “the adult film actress appeared on ABC’s ‘The View’ to unveil an image of the man she says menaced her and her young daughter and warned her in 2011 to keep quiet about a 2006 encounter with Trump. Upping the stakes, her attorney, Michael Avenatti, pledged a $100,000 reward for information leading to the man’s identification.” The AP notes, “Recalling the alleged threat, Daniels said she and her daughter were approached in a parking lot by a man who said: ‘Oh it’s a beautiful little girl, would be a shame if something happened to her mom. Forget about this story, leave Mr. Trump alone.’” The AP adds, “Building suspense, Avenatti recently tweeted a photo he said showed Daniels sitting with a sketch artist. He set up a suitably pugnacious email address to receive information from tipsters — email@example.com — and said later Tuesday that he had already received hundreds of tips.”
From the AP.
THUG LIFE: SINCLAIR BROS DONATE TO GIANFORTE
The Guardian reports, “One of the brothers who control Sinclair Broadcasting has donated more than $10,000 to Greg Gianforte, the Republican congressman who assaulted a journalist and then lied to police about it. Robert E Smith, whose company is the biggest owner of television stations in the US, last month gave a maximum $5,400 campaign contribution to Greg Gianforte, the congressman for Montana, according to a federal filing. He did the same last year.” The Guardian adds, “Smith stated when donating to Gianforte last month that he was self-employed and worked in real estate, an apparent reference to a commercial property firm he founded. His connection to Sinclair was not noted. He did not respond to an email seeking comment.” The Guardian notes, “Smith has been a director of Sinclair Broadcast Group since 1986, according to the company. He owns 19% of the company, according to a regulatory filing last year, while his brothers David, Duncan and Frederick together own another 55%. Frederick Smith, a vice-president at Sinclair, donated $1,000 to Gianforte the day after the assault.”
From The Guardian.
RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA PUSHES BACK AGAINST SANCTIONS
Russian state-run Sputnik reports, “Russia has all it possibly needs to survive any sanctions the US might want to slap on it for failing to toe Washington’s line.” Looks as if Russia is preparing itself to go the mega-isolationist route in order for the elite to hold onto their riches. Russian state-run Sputnik adds, “The Kremlin and the Russian government are working on protective measures to minimize the impact of potential new sanctions by the US and its allies, RBC reported. The scenarios of anticipated sanctions could include a ban on buying Russian sovereign debt, a potential disconnection of Russia from SWIFT’s interbank cash transfer services and restrictive measures against Sberbank and VTB Bank”. Don’t worry Russian people, you’re future is bright under Putin so long as you close your eyes and ears and numb yourselves to the pain forever! As TRUMPISTAN WATCH has noted, the nuclear option does not involve the military, but rather, “Moscow believes that sanctions on sovereign debt and Russia’s removal from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system would be the toughest possible measures that the United States could take”. Russian state-run Sputnik adds, “As a safeguard, the Russian authorities are mulling the establishment of a special bank that will be used for acquiring Russian state debt and the adoption of measures that will enable confidentiality with regard to names of debt holders”. Furthermore, “The Kremlin is concerned that Russia’s disconnection from the SWIFT system could lead to the collapse of the national banking system and suspension of external transactions, particularly with regard to gas deliveries, another government source noted. Under such a scenario, Moscow has considered engaging the so-called bridge financing companies, which would facilitate external transactions”.
INVESTORS WANT TO PURGE “OLIGARCH RISK” FROM PORTFOLIOS
Reuters reports, “‘Who’s next?’ investors in Russia are asking as they scramble to clear their portfolios of ‘oligarch risk’ – holdings in companies that may be next in line for U.S. sanctions after metals company Rusal was targeted last week. The threat of more sanctions had already made investors wary of Russian companies”. Reuters notes, “A list of 210 wealthy Russians named by the U.S. Treasury in January is widely seen as the place to look for clues. It contained 96 oligarchs, including Vladimir Potanin, co-owner of Norilsk Nickel, metals magnates Alisher Usmanov and Alexei Mordashov and CEOs of two big state-run banks.”
SYRIAN AIR DEFENSES APPEAR TO BE SHIT
Business Insider reports, “Photos of the missile strike launched by the US, the UK, and France on targets in Syria on Friday night appear to show the Syrian defenses firing blindly in a wild and most likely failed attempt to intercept the missiles.” Business Insider recalls, “Before the strike — launched in response to what the US and its allies say was a chemical attack orchestrated by the Syrian government on Syrian civilians — Russia had threatened to shoot down US missiles heading for Syria and then attack the platforms that launched them.” Business Insider adds, “cruise missiles poured in from ships, submarines, and jets in an attack that the Pentagon says succeeded in that each hit,” but, “Russia and Syria begged to differ, saying missile defenses took out 71 of the 105 missiles fired.” Satellite imagery of the aftermath and photos taken at the time appear to support the Pentagon version of events, however.
From Business Insider.
AND NOW A MOMENT WITH THE MOTHER FLAK
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with “Matthew Hiltzik, a former Democratic operative,” who, “birthed two of the most powerful – and now departing – voices in the president’s orbit.” As The Hollywood Reporter notes, “Until November 2016, the 22-person Hiltzik Strategies was best known for having represented such news-magnet stars as Katie Couric, Justin Bieber and Glenn Beck. Then Trump happened, and suddenly two of Hiltzik’s PR proteges, Hope Hicks and Josh Raffel, became key White House confidants of the president and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, respectively.” The Hollywood Reporter adds, “At the PR firm, Raffel and Hicks got an early education in managing crises, chaos and big personalities, having worked on accounts including Ryan Kavanaugh’s beleaguered Relativity (Hicks) and a hacked Sony Pictures (Raffel). With Hicks, in particular, Hiltzik says, ‘she always embraced the chance to learn and, over time, she demonstrated that she had the necessary skill and perspective to navigate more challenging circumstances.’” The Hollywood Reporter notes, “To get through crises, Hiltzik employees are taught to look at situations as moments in time, allowing them to laser in on the issue and keep calm. The latter likely helped Hicks and Raffel (a Hillary Clinton supporter) digest situations that ensnared them with a president known for compulsive decisions. There’s also a trial-by-fire philosophy at Hiltzik, which is how Hicks came to lead PR on Ivanka’s brand while still in her mid-20s.” The Hollywood Reporter concludes, “Asked whether either might return to Hiltzik Strategies, he laughs. ‘I probably can’t afford them.’” Haha, see all this human garbage will fold right back into American society because we turned our country into a dumpster fire.
From The Hollywood Reporter.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
IN MEMORIAM: FORMER FIRST LADY BARBARA BUSH
POLITICO reports, “Barbara Pierce Bush, one of only two women in American history to be the wife of one U.S. president and the mother of another, died Tuesday.” POLITICO adds, “While in Washington, she was known for her efforts on behalf of literacy,” and, “Unlike Nancy Reagan, she made a point to call attention to the AIDS epidemic by visiting Grandma’s House, a home for infants with AIDS. Her embrace of babies with AIDS was considered groundbreaking.”
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