Hallandale Beach commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub faces a formal reprimand for “hateful” comments after claiming the Senate’s new Muslim representative might “blow up Capitol Hill” and refusing to back down.
Calls for the South Florida beach-side city commissioner’s resignation began pouring in after the comment posted on Facebook went viral. There, Lima-Taub wrote that she “proudly” signed a petition to remove Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib from Congress.
“A Hamas-loving anti-Semite has NO place in government! She is a danger and [I] would not put it past her to become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill,” the post stated.
The message was eventually deleted, but not before the screenshots were taken and started making the rounds on social media.
Seemingly unperturbed by the public outcry, including condemnations by several fellow commissioners, she doubled down in the following comments.
Speaking to NBC Miami by phone, Lima-Taub – who was born in Israel – added a few more smears: “I urge anyone that was offended by it, especially some of the self-righteous colleagues that I have, to research and Google BDS [movement calling for boycott of Israel], Google Hamas, Google Hezbollah.”
Yet, the outbursts have not been well-received by numerous sides, including local politicians. Fellow commissioner Michele Lazarow told reporters Wednesday that she plans to sponsor an official resolution condemning the “hateful and bigoted” remarks. The public censure will come before the commission as early as January 23.
Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Sabrina Javellana also chimed in calling the remarks “evidently racist,” going as far as to call for her resignation.
Senator Tlaib herself responded to the comments on her Twitter account, sneaking in a jab against President Trump in the process.
This sort of hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric doesn’t happen in a vacuum – this President embraced it and Republicans have happily gone along with it.https://t.co/3THoHQmRVy
“This sort of hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric doesn’t happen in a vacuum – this President embraced it and Republicans have happily gone along with it,” the tweet reads.
This is not the firebrand commissioner’s first time facing backlash over a public comment. Last October, Lima-Taub displayed her disinclination for the art of subtlety when she compared Hallandale Beach mayor Keith London to both Hitler and Fidel Castro at a commission meeting.
FBI and DOJ officials were warned in 2016 that the infamous anti-Trump Steele dossier was likely biased, but they ignored the warning and used the document to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on a Trump campaign official.
Justice Department official Bruce Ohr briefed the then-deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, a top DOJ official, and a lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch about his concerns surrounding the objectivity of the Steele dossier, according to transcripts of a closed-door meeting between Ohr and congressional investigators, which were first published this week by the Epoch Times.
Two of the people Ohr warned about the document are now part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. One of them, Andrew Weissmann, is now Mueller’s top deputy.
Ohr also discussed this information with FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok who has since been fired in relation to anti-Trump texts exchanged between himself and Page. It is not new information that Ohr made these warnings to officials in 2016, but it is the first time transcripts of exactly what he said have been made public.
According to the transcripts, Ohr told the FBI and DOJ officials that Steele’s dossier, which contained salacious allegations about Trump and his alleged activities in Russia, was essentially opposition research linked to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and that it therefore might be biased. In relaying this information, Ohr told the officials that while he thought Steele believed the information in the dossier was true, that the British ex-spy was also “desperate” to ensure Trump was not elected.
“I don’t know if I used the term opposition research, but certainly that was my—what I tried to convey to them. I told them this is the information I had gotten from Chris Steele,” Ohr said. “At some point, and I don’t remember exactly when…I told them that Chris Steele was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected.”
Ohr also told congressional investigators that he had conveyed to officials that his wife, Nellie Ohr, was employed by Fusion GPS, the PR firm which had produced the dossier, and that she worked on compiling the research. He also told them he had known Steele for years and that Fusion GPS had links to the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
A portion of the transcripts confirmed by Fox News, show that when Ohr — who worked as a key conduit between Steele and the FBI — provided the bureau with Steele’s information, he also told them he did not know how reliable it was and that they should “be aware” that it was coming from people who were “related to” the Clinton campaign. He said he didn’t know at the time that the DNC had actually hired Fusion GPS, but he was aware that they were “somehow working” or “associated” with Clinton’s campaign.
Ohr’s testimony also appears to contradict a memo from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee which said that Republicans had “overstated” the significance of his interactions with Steele and misled regarding the timeframe of his communications with FBI officials. The Democratic memo says Ohr told the FBI about his contacts with Steele in November 2016, but in Ohr’s testimony to congress, he said he met with them in August 2016, before the FISA warrant on Page was obtained.
In light of Bruce Ohr’s testimony, every #Mueller case should be tossed and every conviction or plea dismissed w/prejudice.
This is the most egregious betrayal of the rule of law I’ve ever seen.
A frame job from start to finish because the wrong person won an election.
The transcripts also revealed that the FBI tried to re-engage with Steele six months after he was dropped as a source for leaking information to the media and that Ohr still served as a conduit between Steele and the FBI long after his dismissal.
Asked by investigators why he worked as a go-between between the FBI and Steele when he knew Steele’s information might be unreliable, Ohr said he thought the information “might be important” and he believed the FBI could look into it and decide if it was “useful or credible.” Ohr admitted that passing such information to FBI officials like Strzok and Page, who were later exposed for their anti-Trump bias, might be “troubling” to people.
Despite being aware of these links and the obvious possibility for bias in the Steele dossier, however, officials used the document weeks later as a major piece of evidence to secure a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page. This suggests that the FBI and DOJ officials possibly misled federal judges when obtaining that warrant.
Last year, a redacted version of the FISA warrant was released which showed no mention of connections between the Steele dossier and Clinton or the DNC. Steele was presented as a reliable source who had simply been hired by a US law firm to research Trump’s Russia connections.
No MSM coverage of Bruce Ohr’s hearing transcript. Why would that be?……….
The 6-ton armored vehicle has become a star of Vladimir Putin’s trips abroad, and during a visit to Serbia President Aleksandr Vucic was invited to ride in the Russian president’s motorcade.
In feverish anticipation of Putin’s arrival on Thursday, most leading local outlets published separate profiles of the $150,000 Aurus Senat limousine which made its public debut during the Russian leader’s inauguration in May last year.
And as the presidential plane touched down in Belgrade to be greeted by Vucic and his ministers, the 6.6 meter-long car was waiting next to the runway.
Putin personally welcomed Vucic, who speaks fluent Russian, inside the leather interior, and the two presidents rode in the cortege to lay flowers at a World War II memorial in central Belgrade.
The Aurus featured during Putin’s summit with Donald Trump in Helsinki in July last year, and made the Russian president stand out during the last G20 in Buenos Aires.
An open-top version is set to debut during the Victory Day parade in Red Square in May, while Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev recently swapped his Range Rover for an Aurus.
The company behind the $190 million project to develop a homemade ultra-luxury vehicle announced in December that it was taking pre-orders on the vehicles, which will be delivered from next year. It says that it eventually plans to make 5,000 Aurus limos and premium vans a year.
A trove of unprotected data including FBI investigations into corporations like AT&T, Goldman Sachs, and Lehman Brothers, along with personal information, has been exposed in a data leak by the Oklahoma Securities Commission.
Three terabytes of data – millions of files – were left on a server with no password protection, freely available to anyone who stumbled across them, according to cybersecurity researchers Greg Pollock and Chris Vickery at cybersecurity firm UpGuard.
New report this morning from my team within @UpGuard. The Oklahoma Department of Securities exposed an rsync host to the public internet with no username or password required to download. Mountains of broker PII and investigation files. https://t.co/BwnaImRdtv
The files belonged to the Oklahoma Securities Commission, the government agency that regulates all financial securities business in the state. Among them were FBI files dating back seven years, covering cases open since the 1980s.
These documents included spreadsheets, interviews with witnesses, bank records, and emails and letters from agents, witnesses, and subjects. Major companies involved with these cases included AT&T, Goldman Sachs, and Lehman Brothers.
Personal information on around ten thousand brokers was also exposed, including their social security numbers. Life insurance information, including names of AIDS patient and T cell counts was also revealed.
“It represents a compromise of the entire integrity of the Oklahoma department of securities’ network,” UpGuard’s head of research Chris Vickery told Forbes. “It affects an entire state level agency… It’s massively noteworthy.”
Hackers interested in the files could have acquired them with minimal effort. The server they were stored on was not password protected, and could have been identified with readily available software that scans the internet for such servers. Within the server, the UpGuard team found further vulnerabilities. Passwords for agency computers were stored there, and encrypted files were stored in the same folders as unencrypted versions.
Once the breach was discovered, the data was transferred to a secure server. But, UpGuard cannot tell who may have accessed it in the interim. Vickery told Forbes that the commission’s response was “irresponsible,” as the OSC seemed uninterested in checking what had been done with the data.
The Oklahoma Securities Commission is not the only government department to be caught with its pants down in recent years. A database of information on 191 million voters in all 50 states was left open to the public on an unconfigured server in 2015. In a similar case in 2011, the Texas Comptroller’s Office admitted that it had inadvertently stored 3.5 million Texans’ personal information on a publicly accessible state server.
The corporate world is also rife with similar stories. Last April, data from 48 million social media users was left in an unsecured Amazon server by LocalBlox, a data analytics company. In December, Level One Robotics, a company that provides robots for the auto industry, left data on an unsecure server. Auto giants Volkswagen, Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, General Motors and Tesla all had confidential data exposed in the leak.
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Bad news for superhero fans: Batman will never be prime minister of the UK, according to a strange subtitle seen on BBC screens during Michael Gove’s speech in the House of Commons. Social media users, however, remain hopeful.
“No way can this country ever allow Batman to be our Prime Minister,” the BBC subtitles erroneously quoted Environment Secretary Michael Gove telling parliament on Wednesday.
The bizarre statement was seemingly made during a debate on a motion of no confidence against the government. Gove was attacking Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the time, and said the UK cannot allow “that man” to become prime minister, which the subtitle writer misheard as ‘Batman,” an easy mistake.
The amusing mix-up was shared widely on social media where it was met with laughter and countless memes in support of the Dark Knight taking over from Prime Minister Theresa May. #BatmanForPM began to trend as the joke gathered momentum and a number of people voiced their support for the superhero over May or Corbyn.
Some went so far as to suggest Corbyn is in fact Batman, while one person suggested the subtitle was actually accurate, as Corbyn is more like Batman than the “jokers” in government.
Gove can rest easy, for now at least. May survived the no confidence motion by 19 votes, meaning Batman won’t be making the move from Gotham City to Downing Street just yet.
Twitter is exploding with mockery after a game which involves children aged “6 and up” ‘defusing’ a toy bomb got taken off the shelves at major retailers, following complaints by ‘offended’ parents.
Armed with only a pair of green plastic wire-cutters, Yulu’s ‘Cut the Wire’ is designed to let kids “be a hero,” and fulfil every child’s dream of defusing an explosive device and avoiding a (simulated) fiery death.
But it seems that many parents see the game less as spy-simulation family fun, and more as a bleak reminder of the tragedy and danger of a world engulfed by political turmoil and terrorism. They were particularly concerned with an image on the box which depicts smiling children against a background of engulfing flames.
Well, I ordered mine. I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss out on having a steady reminder of when the world was so messed up that bomb defusing became a game. @yulutoyshttps://t.co/paFYqLgN2u
In a statement to the New York Times on Monday, the company’s president apologized for the “concern” around the game, and said they would no longer be shipping the product to North America. However, the game remains available on the company’s Amazon page.
Twitter users highlighted the hypocrisy of targeting ‘Cut the Wire’ when toy guns, knives and even one game about designing pandemic viruses are still for sale.
Yulu’s other hit game, ‘Watermelon Smash’, encourages kids to break hard-shelled fruit over their heads, which, while not usually as fatal as an explosion, is probably ill advised.
Others saw the game in an explicitly positive light, reminding the concerned parents that bomb defusal may very well be an important skill for kids to learn in today’s day and age.
So apparently people are outraged about this bomb defusing game called Cut the Wire. I saw it at Wal-Mart: 1. I wasn’t outraged 2. Wouldn’t it be good if every kid knew how to defuse a bomb?
Things could certainly be worse after all: at least the game has children learning to defuse rather than construct explosives.
Parents aren’t the only ones sensitive about the game. The Tampa police department failed to appreciate it last week, when a deputy mailed the toy-bomb in question to a colleague at the police station with a handwritten note that read “boom.” The building was evacuated and the deputy resigned shortly afterwards.
The terrorist attack in Syria’s Manbij killed 20 people, including 5 US soldiers, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, adding he believes the attack won’t make US President Donald Trump to cancel the withdrawal of troops.
Speaking on live TV amid a visit of the Croatian president to Turkey, Erdogan said that the Wednesday suicide attack in Kurdish-controlled Manbij was directed at Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from the war-torn country.
LIVE — Erdoğan: The attack in Manbij might have been meant to affect Trump’s decision to pull out from Syria. But as I saw Mr. Trump’s decisiveness, I don’t think a backward step would follow such a terror attack. Otherwise, it would mean a victory for Daesh pic.twitter.com/sErlWZLwh5
But the Turkish leader said he believes Trump won’t reverse his decision to withdraw.
“The attack in Manbij might have been meant to affect Trump’s decision to pull out from Syria,” he said. “But as I saw Mr. Trump’s decisiveness, I don’t think a backward step would follow such a terror attack.”
Erdogan’s comments come after a suicide bombing killed at least twenty people in the Kurdish-controlled northern Syrian city of Manbij on Wednesday. Several of those dead are American soldiers. While the US-led coalition in Syria confirmed that US troops were killed, it did not say how many.
Erdogan said that five of the victims were American.
“The information I have is news pointing toward that there are five US soldiers and 20 died in total,” the Turkish leader stated.
Following the attack, US Vice President Mike Pence said that the withdrawal of the roughly 2,000 US troops in northern Syria will go ahead as planned, but US forces will remain in the region to ensure that “ISIS does not rear its ugly head again.”
With the US extricating itself from Syria, Turkey is poised to move in and fight the jihadists. Manbij, however, is controlled by Kurdish fighters, considered by Ankara to be terrorists. As such, the US has sought to protect its Kurdish allies, who will be at the mercy of Turkish forces once the US leaves.
President Trump warned Erdogan that he would “devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds,” in a tweet posted Sunday night. Trump did not elaborate further, but urged Erdogan to create a 20-mile exclusion zone around Kurdish positions to guarantee the Kurds’ safety.
Meanwhile, Kurdish forces reportedly withdrew some troops from Manbij at the beginning of this month, having invited Syrian government forces to take their place. While Damascus posted videos of the supposed withdrawal on its Facebook page, and earlier claimed that Syrian Army troops were entering Manbij, Erdogan called the developments a “psyop” and denied that the Syrian troops were there. If the Kurds left, Erdogan said, there would be “no job left” for the Turkish military.
Turkish-backed militias in Syria are also reportedly awaiting orders from Ankara to move against the Kurds, but with US forces still in place, no fighting has happened yet.
With no set date for a US withdrawal, National Security Adviser John Bolton has said that it would only occur after the US had drawn up a contingency plan with its allies in the region to protect Kurdish fighters. Likewise, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “ensuring that the Turks don’t slaughter the Kurds” was “still part of the American mission” in Syria.
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Foreign troop numbers in Iraq fell by a quarter during 2018, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has said. “In January 2018 there had been almost 11,000 foreign fighters, about 70 percent of them are American, the others are from other countries,” according to Abdul Mahdi. “In December, the numbers have been reduced to almost 8,000, and the American troops are around 6,000… maybe I am wrong by some hundreds.” The PM said that more than 12 months after the government declared victory over Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in Iraq, the drawdown was accelerating, AFP reported on Wednesday. “In recent months, the decrease has sped up and in the last two months there was a drop of 1,000 forces,” he said.
Arsenal and Nigeria legend Nwankwo Kanu has reacted angrily after his medals were taken during a raid on his apartment in Lagos, Nigeria.
The 42-year-old retired striker is embroiled in a legal battle over his hotel, The Hardley Apartments in Lagos, after Kanu allegedly failed to pay a bank loan in 2015, with the hotel being placed under seal as a result.
Kanu’s hotel underwent illegal renovations, according to the Premium Time and, as a result, a number of Kanu’s possessions, including his medals and trophies won during his football career, were taken.
Kanu told the Nigerian Daily Post: “They broke into my hotel without permission from the court. This is an injustice to me for a country I gave my best.
“It is quite unfortunate that a legendary star, who gave his best to the country, would be treated like this.”
Kanu enjoyed a glittering career as a player, winning one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Cup, three FA Cups and an Olympic Gold Medal.
He was also an integral part of Arsenal’s “Invincibles” squad that went through the 2003-2004 season undefeated.
The US will begin its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia on February 2, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Andrea Thompson told NATO officials in Brussels.
Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the treaty – originally signed by the United States and Russia in 1987 – comes after negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, fell through on Tuesday. Thompson claimed that Russia is in breach of the treaty, and that Moscow’s 9M729 missile system violates the terms of the agreement.
Under the agreement, signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, land-launched nuclear missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 km are banned. Washington claims, without evidence, that the 9M729 has a range greater than 500 km and is therefore in violation of the treaty.
The Russian delegation at Geneva accused the US of “exacerbating the situation,” and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters that “Russia is strictly complying with the INF Treaty.”
Russia “has no interest in a new arms race” with the US, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview published on Wednesday, but warned the Trump administration against withdrawing from the treaty, saying “such a course will have the gravest consequences.”
Trump first threatened to pull out of the landmark agreement last October, telling reporters “we’ll have to develop those weapons.” Reacting to Trump’s announcement, Gorbachev issued a warning similar to Putin’s, calling Trump’s planned withdrawal a “dire threat to peace.”
It turns out that US-Russia meet in Geneva on #INF treaty was totally pro forma exercise. Its failure is the last nail in the treaty’s coffin. Formal funeral will come soon. Bad news for NewSTART when it expires in 2 yrs time. #OutofArmsControl
US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said on Wednesday that Russia will have six months after the US withdrawal to prove compliance with the treaty, if Moscow wishes to preserve the agreement.
The INF treaty was penned at a time when the United States and Soviet Union were the world’s chief nuclear competitors. Visiting Moscow in October, Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton revealed that Washington feels hamstrung by the treaty, because it applies only to Europe and does not restrict rising powers like China.
“There’s a new strategic reality out there,” Bolton told reporters, describing the INF as a Cold War relic, a “bilateral treaty in a multipolar ballistic missile world,” that does not apply to countries like China, Iran or North Korea.
Russia has suggested that rather than dropping the agreement, both sides could negotiate expanding it to include China, Iran, North Korea and other states thought to possess short- and intermediate-range missiles.
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