Study Finds Young People No Longer Like Getting News From Facebook

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Once again, a research study has found that young people are disillusioned with Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network is massive and ubiquitous, but for the second time in 2018, data suggests younger audiences prefer other websites and apps, specifically for following the daily news cycle.

The newest numbers come from a study by the Reuters Institute. The organization’s latest Digital News Report found that younger audiences like getting their news from Facebook significantly less than they did just a couple of years ago. Instead, they prefer instant messaging services like WhatsApp.

The institute surveyed around 74,000 people in 37 different media markets, according to Reuters. It was discovered that in the U.S., there is a decrease in young users using Facebook for news with a 14 percentage point difference from 2016.

The full report can be found here.

Instead, those same users preferred WhatsApp, a separate messaging service Facebook owns. Rather than sharing and discussing news items on Facebook, users are talking to their friends about it privately. That approach lessens the possibility of having hostile interactions with people in the comments section underneath a controversial news story.

Young people do not like using Facebook for news anymore. The Facebook logo is displayed at the 2018 CeBIT technology trade fair on June 12, 2018 in Hanover, Germany. Photo: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Facebook has also garnered a reputation as a repository for fake or misleading news in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The site has taken some measures to curb the spread of fake news, but users are abandoning it anyway. Facebook also announced exclusive, funded news shows from the likes of ABC and CNN earlier this year.

The findings fit into other recent studies about Facebook. The Pew Research Center announced last month that American teenagers prefer apps like Instagram and Snapchat over Facebook for their general social media needs.

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Justice Department looking into possible leaks from former Senate aide

A mysterious move by the Senate Wednesday night is part of a Justice Department inquiry into a former Senate Intelligence Committee aide who may have leaked classified information.

The Senate unanimously approved a resolution allowing the committee to provide records to the Justice Department in response to a request related to the investigation. The aide’s identity and the lawmaker for whom he or she worked is not clear.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, requested unanimous consent to approve the resolution at approximately 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, as the Senate was poised to adjourn for the day.

"I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to consideration of S. Res. 536, submitted earlier today," Portman read off a slip of paper.

A legislative clerk on the dais then read the following: "A resolution to authorize document production by the Select Committee on Intelligence."

Portman, who is not a member of the intelligence committee, then made the standard request heard multiple times each day on the Senate floor: "I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate."

No one objected, meaning the Senate approved the resolution.

The Senate often conducts business and approves measures via "unanimous consent." That means no member objects to approving a given matter. Such issues are typically cleared with all 100 senators in advance. However, many aides and senior sources were unaware that the resolution was coming to the floor.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and ranking member Mark Warner, D-Va., issued a joint statement Wednesday:

"As noted in the Senate Resolution, the Department of Justice has sought the assistance of the Committee in a pending investigation. The Committee is cooperating with the Department on this matter. Any questions about the investigation should be directed to the Department of Justice."

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined to comment or elaborate on the resolution when asked.

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Russian Parliament Invites Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg To Speak

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has had to venture out of Facebook’s California home base multiple times in recent months to explain himself to world government authorities. However, his most recent invitation from a world government is perhaps the most fascinating, even if the likelihood of Zuckerberg’s acceptance is low.

Speaker Valentina Matvienko vowed to try to summon Zuckerberg to speak in front of Russia’s Federation Council, according to the Moscow Times. The Federation Council is the upper house of Russia’s parliament made up of 170 senators.

One senator harkened back to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s call to “digitize” Russia’s economy. Anton Belyakov thinks it might be a good idea to hear from the Facebook CEO, given not only his technical expertise but his recent testimonies in front of American and European governments.

“After all, he spoke about information security, not giving access to personal data, preventing the dissemination of harmful content,” Belyakov said, according to the Moscow Times.

Russia, of course, has come up quite a bit in the recent discourse around Facebook and the site’s role in American politics. Russian ads appeared on users’ news feeds in 2016 ahead of President Donald Trump’s electoral victory. Online interference is central to the theory that Russia colluded with Trump to deliver the presidency to him.

Mark Zuckerberg was invited to speak to Russian Parliament. Zuckerberg delivers his speech during the VivaTech (Viva Technology) trade fair in Paris, on May 24, 2018. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

Zuckerberg said in March he felt Russian forces were trying to do the same thing to upcoming U.S. midterm elections this fall.

Not everyone in Russian parliament is on board with bringing Zuckerberg in, per the Moscow Times. A Crimean senator reportedly called Zuckerberg a “Russophobe,” which Matvienko brushed off. The speaker emphasized a need for dialogue with Zuckerberg regardless of his views.

“We have to meet with Russophobes too,” Matvienko said, per the Times.

At this point, the likelihood of Zuckerberg actually accepting such an invitation seems fairly low. He did not win many points with politicians in either U.S. Congress or European Parliament in recent testimonies, thanks to vague and unsatisfying answers to tough questions about the safety of Facebook user data.

That, combined with his seemingly less-than-amicable relationship to Russia, make it tough to believe this testimony will happen. Engadget also pointed out that Zuckerberg has repeatedly turned down a similar offer from U.K. Parliament.

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North Korea was no-show for summit planning meeting in Singapore last week, White House reveals

Trump: Canceled summit is tremendous setback for North Korea

North Korea didn’t show up to recent meetings to prepare for the now-cancelled summit between dictator Kim Jong Un and President Trump, the White House revealed Thursday.

The summit, from which the U.S. withdrew Thursday morning, was scheduled to take place June 12 in Singapore.

How to get Trump, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un back to the nego

North Korean leadership didn’t show up to a recent planning meeting by Trump administration officials in Singapore, a senior White House official said, adding that the U.S. made several attempts to communicate with North Korea ahead of what would have been an historic meeting but leadership from the communist nation never responded.

North Korea’s statement to the U.S. Wednesday night — in which the country threatened to pull out of the summit and called Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy" — was the first communication the U.S. has heard from the North in a week, the White House said.

"Based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting," Trump stated in a letter to Kim released on Thursday.

However, Trump left open the possibility of rescheduling the summit, saying that "hopefully everything is going to work out well with North Korea. A lot of things can happen, including the fact — it’s possible the existing summit could take place, or a summit at a later date.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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Trump’s ICE Is Increasingly Arresting Immigrants Without Criminal Convictions

Olivier Douliery / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is arresting more immigrants, and increasingly they have not been convicted of crimes, according to data released on Thursday by the agency.

About two-thirds of those arrested by ICE from October 2017 to the end of March had no criminal convictions — up from 21 percent during the same period the year before and only 13 percent the year before that. ICE officials noted that some of the arrested immigrants had been charged with a crime but not convicted.

The new figures, which reflect the first two quarters of the 2018 fiscal year, demonstrate that ICE is carrying out the crackdown on unauthorized immigrants that President Donald Trump promised. That means ICE officers are picking up more people with clean records, even if they were previously allowed to remain in the country.

“If somebody has violated our immigration laws, they are priorities now,” Corey Price, the assistant director for enforcement at ICE, told reporters on a conference call, adding that in the final years of Barack Obama’s administration, the agency’s “scope was significantly narrowed.”

Immigrants in the U.S. without authorization or those who violate the terms of their visa are subject to deportation, regardless of whether they have a criminal record. (It is a civil violation, not a criminal one, to be in the U.S. without authorization.)

ICE arrested nearly 80,000 people from October to the end of March, compared with about 63,000 in the same period the year before. By comparison, the agency arrested about 54,000 people in the first half of the 2016 fiscal year, when Obama’s priority enforcement policies and instructed agents to focus on undocumented immigrants with criminal histories.

While ICE’s arrests were up, deportations were slightly down ― from about 126,000 in the first half of the 2017 fiscal year to about 117,000 in the same period in fiscal year 2018. For both periods, about 54 percent of those removed were convicted criminals.

While most deportations originated with arrests by Customs and Border Patrol, ICE’s share rose for the most recent period; ICE arrested 39 percent of the people deported, up 10 percentage points from the previous year.

Trump vowed as a candidate to take constraints off ICE and allow agents to have more discretion on whom to arrest. The president and his administration have taken steps to remove protections that allow more than 1 million people to stay in the U.S. ― which could expose more immigrants to risk of deportation.

He typically frames his immigration comments around crime. During a meeting at the White House with leaders from California on Wednesday, after a question about MS-13, a gang started in the U.S. by Salvadoran immigrants, he praised his administration for “taking people out of the country.”

“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,” Trump said. “These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.”

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Hawaii volcano’s next eruption could spew lethal gas and boulders big as fridges

HILO, Hawaii – Residents near one of the world’s most active volcanos were warned Thursday of rising levels of toxic gas, as concerns on the ground grew that Kilauea could blow at any minute.

A wind change could bring even more sulfur dioxide gas to the southeast section of the Big Island.

“Due to decreasing tradewinds, residents are advised to monitor their sensitivity to increased levels of (sulfur dioxide),” a text alert message sent Thursday said.

If inhaled in large quantities, the wafting gas can be fatal.

The new warning comes as Hawaii Gov. David Ige says mass evacuations may occur as more cracks, or fissures, are detected.

Kilauea has destroyed 36 structures — including 26 homes — since May 3, when it began releasing lava from vents about 25 miles east of the summit crater. Fifteen of the vents are now spread through the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods.

About 2,000 people have been evacuated from the neighborhoods, where scorching lava has oozed from the ground.

The volcano, which has been spitting and sputtering lava for a week, has also imperiled a geothermal energy plant, the Puna Geothermal Venture plant. Ige said crews at the plant near the lava outbreak accelerated the removal of stored flammable fuel with safety in mind.

Barbara Lozano, who lives within a mile of the plant, said she would have thought twice about buying her property if she had known the risks.

"Why did they let us buy residential property, knowing it was a dangerous situation? Why did they let people build all around it?”

“Why did they let us buy residential property, knowing it was a dangerous situation? Why did they let people build all around it?” she asked worriedly.

Coffee farmer Palikapu Dedman, 71, has dedicated half his life to battling the plant that sits on the long slopes of Kilauea. He and other native Hawaiians say the plant desecrates traditional beliefs and angers Pele, the goddess of fire, who lives at the summit crater.

Now that the plant is threatened by Kilauea, Dedman says he feels vindicated.

"You really can’t hurt Pele,” he said. “It’s just reinforcement of my beliefs — she’s present! And the plant could get covered by lava tomorrow.”

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) warned that the growing instability in the area could mean other areas of the island also could be at risk.

Ige told CNN that it’s been tough for residents.

“There’s a sense that it’s Mother Nature,” he said. “The lava flow is unpredictable. It’s hard to determine which direction it will go. It starts and stops on a whim. That’s the uncertainty that residents are faced with.”

Geologists warned Wednesday that Kilauea could soon experience explosive eruptions from its summit, and launch “ballistic” rocks and ash into the air.

The next explosion could hurl ash and boulders the size of refrigerators miles into the air, shutting down airline traffic and endangering lives in all directions.

“If it goes up, it will come down,” said Charles Mandeville, volcano hazards coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey. “You don’t want to be underneath anything that weighs 10 tons when it’s coming out at 120 mph.”

The added threat of an explosive eruption could ground planes at one of the Big Island’s two major airports and pose other dangers. The national park around the volcano announced that it would close because of the risks.

“We know the volcano is capable of doing this,” said Mandeville, citing similar explosions at Kilauea in 1925, 1790 and four other times in the last few thousand years. “We know it is a distinct possibility.”

The threat of explosive activity will rise as lava drains from the summit of Kilauea and explosions will be possible in the coming weeks if the lava dips below the groundwater table, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

If lava drops below the groundwater level, it can heat up the water and create steam.

The steam would then build in pressure as rocks fall and form a dam within the volcano’s walls, and ”cause steam-driven explosions” with “very little warning,” according to the HVO.

The volcano then could eject “ballistic rocks” of lava up to several feet in diameter, the USGS said. It also may send pebbles shooting into the air several miles away.

A similar 1924 explosion threw pulverized rock, ash and steam as high as 5.4 miles into the sky, for a couple of weeks. If another blast happens, the danger zone could extend about three miles around the summit, land all inside the national park, Mandeville said.

Fox News’ Frank Miles and Stephen Sorace, and The Associated Press, contributed to this report.

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Feds surveilled, but didn’t record, Michael Cohen’s phone calls, sources say

Neil Cavuto Common Sense on Trump, Cohen Statements

Fox News has learned that federal investigators kept a register of phone calls made by President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, but those calls were not recorded, contrary to an earlier report by NBC News.

Sources with knowledge of the proceedings told Fox News that investigators used a pen register, or dialed number recorder (DNR), on at least one of Cohen’s phones. A pen register records all numbers dialed from a given phone number, as well as the length of each call.

The National Security Agency (NSA) gathers similar information, which is sometimes referred to as metadata.

Further, in an April 13 court filing, prosecutors revealed they had, "already obtained search warrants … covert until this point … on multiple different email accounts maintained by Cohen."

"We already have considerable amounts of information about Mr. Cohen’s activities," Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas McKay said during the hearing in reference to warrants obtained in the course of the investigation.

Earlier Thursday, NBC reported that Cohen’s conversations had been recorded in the weeks leading up to FBI raids on his home, office and hotel room last month. The report also claimed that investigators recorded at least one call made to the White House from a number associated with Cohen.

Correction: Earlier today NBC News, and this reporter, said that Michael Cohen’s phone lines were wiretapped. 3 Senior U.S. Officials now dispute that, saying the monitoring was limited to a log of calls (pen register) not a wiretap of Cohen’s lines. We will continue to report.

— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) May 3, 2018

NBC later added an editor’s note to the online version of its report saying that "three senior U.S. officials" had disputed the original wiretap report.

At Thursday’s briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders referred questions about the report to Trump’s outside counsel. “I can’t verify the validity of that report,” she said.

The FBI and U.S. attorney’s office had no comment when reached by Fox News.

A spokesperson for the Trump Organization, where Cohen used to work, said in a statement: “Mr. Cohen has not worked for the company for more than a year. In any event, we have no knowledge of any nonpublic investigative actions with respect to Mr. Cohen.”

The erroneous NBC report added to widespread speculation about what exactly the feds were able to seize in their April raid. Cohen’s lawyers and Trump’s team have been battling in court over access to those materials.

NBC also reported that New York city’s onetime mayor, Rudy Giuliani, who recently joined Trump’s legal team, learned that Trump had made a post-raid call to Cohen. Giuliani reportedly told Trump not to call again out of concern that the conversation could be recorded.

Cohen is being investigated in a grand jury probe of his personal and business dealings, which include a $130,000 payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York says that Cohen has been under investigation for months, and that it was behind the raid.

Giuliani, meanwhile, revealed on Fox News’ "Hannity" on Wednesday night that Trump reimbursed Cohen for that payment – despite Trump’s past comments denying knowledge of it – but said the president thought it was just for unspecified "expenses" at the time.

Giuliani also has blasted the separate probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 elections by a special counsel, calling Thursday for it to be shut down.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.

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Comey plays defense on FBI memo release, denies being a leaker

James Comey on Clinton probe, Russia investigation

Former FBI Director James Comey, in an interview with Fox News, on Thursday defended sharing his memos about conversations with President Trump, while denying it was a “leak.”

“That memo was unclassified then,” Comey told anchor Bret Baier during an appearance on “Special Report.” “It’s still unclassified. It’s in my book. The FBI cleared that book before it could be published.”

Comey admitted during Senate testimony last June that he shared his memos documenting meetings with Trump with his friend, Columbia University law professor Daniel Richman, who leaked the contents to the media.

“I didn’t consider it part of an FBI file… It was my personal aid to memoir,” Comey said.

During Thursday’s interview, Comey claimed he doidn’t consider what he did a leak, though he admitted he sent Richman a copy of the two-page unclassified memo and “asked him to get the substance of it out to the media.”

“The reason I’m smiling, Bret,” Comey said. “I don’t consider what I shared Mr. Richman a leak.”

Comey also defended why he didn’t reveal hiring Richman as a special government employee for the FBI to work on special projects, saying “it wasn’t relevant.”

Earlier Thursday, Trump accused Comey of being a “liar and a leaker” who is “guilty of crimes.”

“He leaked classified information to get a special counsel and leaked the memos which are classified – the memos were about me and he didn’t write those memos accurately. He wrote a lot of phony stuff,” Trump said Thursday on “Fox & Friends.” “He is guilty of crimes.”

Comey responded by calling that a “that’s a false statement” and saying Trump is “just wrong.”

“Facts really do matter, which is why I’m on the show to answer your questions,” he said.

Comey also denied knowing who was behind the leak about the infamous anti-Trump dossier that was later revealed to have been used to obtain a surveillance warrant for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

“I don’t know who leaked it,” he said. “I had no part in leaking any of it.”

Comey is doing television interviews to promote his new book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” where he blasts the president for everything from his integrity to his height, skin and hair.

During an interview on Fox News on Thursday, Trump suggested the Department of Justice hasn’t adequately scrutinized Comey and others amid the focus on the Russia probe. Comey was fired last year by President Trump.

"Our Justice Department should be looking at that kind of stuff, not the nonsense of collusion with Russia,” Trump said. “There is no collusion with me and Russia, and everyone knows that.”

Trump on Thursday specifically slammed the memos that Comey leaked to a friend to spur a special counsel appointment.

He said they included classified information, and challenged their accuracy.

Richman told Fox News that Comey had given him four memos, and this week told Fox News that he is now representing Comey as his attorney.

Fox News reported this week that during Comey’s time at the FBI, Richman was a “special government employee” on an unpaid basis. Sources familiar with Richman’s FBI work said Comey assigned him to "special projects."

"Comey did an illegal act," Trump said Thursday.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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Justice Department Sends Confidential Comey Memos to Congress

(WASHINGTON) — After months of resisting, the Justice Department has provided Congress with copies of several memos written by former FBI Director James Comey.

The move comes as House Republicans have escalated criticism of the department, threatening to subpoena the documents and questioning officials. In a letter sent to three Republican House committee chairmen Thursday evening, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote that the department is sending a classified version of the memos and an unclassified version. The department released Boyd’s letter publicly but did not release the memos.

Justice officials had allowed some lawmakers to view the memos but had never provided copies to Congress. Boyd wrote that the department had also provided the memos to several Senate committees.

Comey is on a publicity tour to promote his new book, “A Higher Loyalty.” He revealed last year that he had written the memos after conversations with President Donald Trump, who later fired him.

In a Senate hearing in June, he told Congress that “I knew there might come a day when I would need a record of what had happened, not just to defend myself, but to defend the FBI and our integrity as an institution and the independence of our investigative function.”

Details from some memos were made public in media accounts in the days after he was fired. At the Senate hearing, Comey detailed his conversations with Trump.

According to Comey, one memo recounts a February request from Trump, during a private meeting in the Oval Office, that Comey end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Boyd wrote in the letter that the department “consulted the relevant parties” and concluded that releasing the memos would not adversely affect any ongoing investigations. Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating potential ties between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign as well as possible obstruction of justice by the president.

He said the decision to allow the release of the memos “does not alter the department’s traditional obligation to protect from public disclosure witness statements and other documents obtained during an ongoing investigation.”

Comey said in an interview Thursday with CNN that he’s “fine” with the Justice Department turning his memos over to Congress.

“I think what folks will see if they get to see the memos is I’ve been consistent since the very beginning right after my encounters with President Trump and I’m consistent in the book and tried to be transparent in the book as well,” he said.

Last week, the GOP chairmen of three House committees demanded the memos by Monday. The Justice Department asked for more time, and the lawmakers agreed.

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Comey attacks Trump’s integrity, questions his marriage in new book

Bret Baier to interview James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey describes President Trump as "untethered to truth" and "ego-driven" in his forthcoming book "A Higher Loyalty," according to excerpts obtained by The Associated Press and other news outlets Thursday.

In the book, which hits shelves April 17, Comey goes so far as to question the strength of Trump’s marriage to his wife, Melania, after revealing that Trump asked him to investigate salacious allegations about his actions with Russian prostitutes.

"It bothered [President Trump] if there was ‘even a one percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true," Comey writes, according to the New York Post. Later on, Comey muses: "In what kind of marriage, to what kind of man, does a spouse conclude there is only a 99 percent chance her husband didn’t do that?"

The claim was repeated in a dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and published by BuzzFeed News in January 2017, shortly before Trump’s inauguration.

That’s not the only personal jab at Trump: The 6-foot-8 Comey describes the president as shorter than he expected with a "too long" tie and "bright white half-moons" under his eyes that he suggests came from tanning goggles. He also says he made a conscious effort to check the president’s hand size — briefly a subject of mockery among Trump’s Republican rivals on the campaign trail — saying it was "smaller than mine, but did not seem unusually so."

The book adheres closely to Comey’s public testimony and written statements about his contacts with the president during the early days of the administration and his growing concern about the president’s integrity, the excerpts suggest.

Comey’s account lands at a particularly sensitive moment for Trump and the White House. Officials there describe Trump as enraged over a recent FBI raid of his personal lawyer’s home and office, raising the prospect that he could fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, or try to shut down the probe on his own. The Republican National Committee is poised to lead the pushback effort against Comey, who is set to do a series of interviews to promote the book, by launching a website and supplying surrogates with talking points that question the former director’s credibility.

Trump has said he fired Comey because of his handling of the FBI’s investigation into his Clinton’s email practices. Trump used the investigation as a cudgel in the campaign and repeatedly said Clinton should be jailed for using a personal email system while serving as secretary of state. Democrats, on the other hand, have accused Comey of politicizing the investigation, and Clinton herself has said it hurt her election prospects.

Comey writes that he regrets his approach and some of the wording he used in his July 2016 press conference in which he announced the decision not to prosecute Clinton. But he says he believes he did the right thing by going before the cameras and making his statement, noting that the Justice Department had done so in other high profile cases, the excerpts show.

Every person on the investigative team, Comey writes, found that there was no prosecutable case against Clinton and that the FBI didn’t find that she lied under its questioning.

He also reveals for the first time that the U.S. government had unverified classified information that he believes could have been used to cast doubt on Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s independence in the Clinton probe, according to the excerpts. While Comey does not outline the details of the information — and says he didn’t see indications of Lynch inappropriately influencing the investigation — he says it worried him that the material could be used to attack the integrity of the probe and the FBI’s independence.

Comey’s book will be heavily scrutinized by the president’s legal team looking for any inconsistencies between it and his public testimony, under oath, before Congress. They will be looking to impeach Comey’s credibility as a key witness in Mueller’s obstruction investigation, which the president has cast as a political motivated witch hunt.

He provides new details of his firing. He writes that then-Homeland Security secretary John Kelly — now Trump’s chief of staff — offered to quit out of a sense of disgust as to how Comey was dismissed, as well as his first encounter with Trump, a January 2017 briefing at Trump Tower in New York City. Kelly has been increasingly marginalized in the White House and the president has mused to confidantes about firing the chief of staff.

Comey also writes extensively about his first meeting with Trump after his election. Others in the meeting included Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Michael Flynn, who would become national security adviser, and incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer. Comey was also joined by NSA Director Mike Rogers, CIA Director John Brennan and DNI Director James Clapper.

After Clapper briefed the team on the intelligence community’s findings of Russian election interference, Comey said he was taken aback by what the Trump team didn’t ask.

"They were about to lead a country that had been attacked by a foreign adversary, yet they had no questions about what the future Russian threat might be," Comey writes. Instead, he writes, they launched into a strategy session about how to "spin what we’d just told them" for the public.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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What to believe, and not believe, about Russia’s claims on the Sergei Skripal nerve agent poisoning

Alexander Yakovenko, Russia’s ambassador to London, laid out Moscow’s position on the Salisbury nerve agent attack on Thursday.

Needless to say, it is the diametric opposite of the British government’s account.

So what to believe? To help navigate the cacophony of claim and counter claim surrounding the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, we look at Mr Yakovenko’s key claims – and how they stand up to scrutiny.

Claim: ‘We never had Novichok’

This one is difficult to believe.

At least three former Soviet scientists have described working on the Foliant program – the codename given to the covert project to develop the Novichok family of nerve agents – in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 1992, a…

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Spring breaker, 17, vanishes in Gulf of Mexico

An Alabama family is remaining optimistic after their teenage son disappeared in a riptide while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico during a spring break vacation.

Jevon Lemke, 17, was pulled underwater on Sunday around 2 p.m. off the coast of Fort Morgan near Gulf Shores, Fox 10 reported. His body hasn’t been recovered.

Search and recovery operations were reportedly paused due to rough waters, but resumed on Monday. The Fort Morgan Fire Department and other agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, have been searching for the teen.

Fire Chief Glenn Stevens said that Lemke was one of many people who were caught in rough waters on Sunday, noting that a record-setting 11 different "swimmer in distress" calls came in.

SPRING BREAKERS NOT CONCERNED BY POTENTIAL DANGER OF BALCONY PARTYING, INVESTIGATION FINDS

Lemke’s family had traveled to Alabama from Reedsville, Wisconsin for spring break. The teen’s father, Chris, along with his wife, Carrie, are planning to stay in the south until Jevon’s body is found.

"We plan to stay until there’s no hope in finding Jevon," Chris told Fox 10. "I hope that happens… I don’t want to be greedy, I don’t want to take away from people, but I just want to find my son. That’s all."

The couple told the station that when Jevon was pulled under, he was actually trying to save them as "they were in distress when he went under."

"Selfless… He was selfless. He didn’t think about himself first – it was others. Always," the couple said, adding Jevon was "a good kid" who was in the process of applying to colleges.

The family asks that anyone in the area to "just keep watching for [Jevon]."

"If you’re a fisherman or anything just keep watching for him. I know he’s probably not alive. But I want to take him back to Wisconsin. That’s all that I ask," Chris said. "If you have a plane – please if you’re going over just check for me. That’s all we ask."

Rescue efforts will resume once the waters calm down, according to Fox 10.

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John Bolton to replace H.R. McMaster as White House national security adviser, Trump says

President Trump announced Thursday that Ambassador John Bolton will replace Gen. H.R. McMaster as his National Security Adviser effective April 9.

“I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9,” Trump tweeted.

The president’s announcement comes after months of speculation over whether McMaster would resign, or be fired from his post.

But on Thursday evening, a White House official said that the president and McMaster “mutually agreed” that he would resign from his post. The two have been discussing this for some time, the official said, noting that the timeline was expedited as they both felt it was important to have a new team in place, instead of constant speculation.

A White House official said the decision was not related to any one moment or incident, but rather the result of ongoing conversations between the two.

Bolton has served as a Fox News contributor.

“After thirty-four years of service to our nation, I am requesting retirement from the U.S. Army effective this summer after which I will leave public service. Throughout my career it has been my greatest privilege top serve alongside extraordinary servicemembers and dedicated civilians,” McMaster said in a statement.

He added: “I am thankful to President Donald J. Trump for the opportunity to serve him and our nation as national security adviser. I am grateful for the friendship and support of the members of the National Security Council who worked together to provide the President with the best options to protect and advance our national interests.”

McMaster said he was “especially proud” to have served with National Security Council staff, who he said “established a strong foundation for protecting the American people, promoting American prosperity, achieving peace through strength, and advancing American influence.

“I know that these patriots will continue to serve our President and our nation with distinction,” McMaster said.

White House chief of staff John Kelly said McMaster is “a fine American and Military officer.”

“He has served with distinction and honor throughout his career in the U.S> Army and as the National Security Advisor,” Kelly said Thursday. “He brought and maintained discipline and energy to our vital interagency processes. He helped develop options for the president and ensured that those options were presented fully and fairly. A true solider-scholar, his impact on his country and this government will be felt for years to come.”

Bolton, who served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006 and as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security from 2001 to 2005, will take over for McMaster next month.

A White House official said Bolton is one of the strongest voices and experts on the full range of national security issues and challenges facing the U.S.

McMaster’s retirement comes just one week after the president fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Twitter, and after other high profile administration departures. Earlier this month, Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn resigned.

Fox News’ Kristin Brown contributed to this report.

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At Least 4 Dead After Pedestrian Bridge Collapses at Florida International University

At least four people were killed after a newly-installed pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University in the Miami area on Thursday, trapping multiple cars underneath, officials said.

There were at least nine people taken to hospitals as more than 100 firefighters scoured the scene of the bridge collapse for any “viable victims,” a Miami-Dade County fire and rescue official said during a press conference Thursday. Eight vehicles were were trapped under the bridge when it collapsed.

Here’s what we know about the FIU bridge collapse:

What happened?

The new 950-ton bridge to Sweetwater, which was installed at FIU on Saturday, collapsed Thursday afternoon onto Southwest Eighth Street — killing at least four people and injured at least 9, according to the Associated Press.

Two people are in critical condition and the other eight victims transported to Kendall Regional Medical Center were being treated for various injuries including “bruises and abrasions to broken bones,” Dr. Mark McKenney said Thursday at the press conference, according to the AP.

Video posted on social media showed the collapsed bridge with vehicles stuck underneath it.

In a statement, FIU officials said they were involved in ongoing rescue efforts. “We are shocked and saddened about the tragic events unfolding at the FIU-Sweetwater pedestrian bridge,” a statement said.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that he was on the way to FIU to be briefed by local law enforcement and university officials. In an earlier tweet, Scott said he had spoked to Miami Dade County Police Chief Juan Perez about the bridge collapse and that he will continue to communicate with authorities.

What caused the bridge to collapse?

It was not immediately clear what caused the deadly bridge collapse.

The Miami Herald reports that the 174-foot-long bridge was installed with the intention of giving pedestrian access from FIU’s campus to its newer dorms and off-campus housing.

According to the Herald, the bridge was not open to the public yet and was scheduled to be finished in 2019. The Associated Press reports that the support towers of the $14.2 million bridge were built at each end while the main part of the span was built by the side of the road before it was positioned over the seven-lane highway.

Munilla Construction, one of the companies that worked on the bridge, called the accident a “catastrophic collapse” and promised to conduct “a full investigation to determine exactly what went wrong.”

“MCM is a family business and we are all devastated and doing everything we can to assist,” the company said in a tweet.

How did officials respond?

President Donald Trump said Thursday evening he was monitoring the “heartbreaking” situation unfolding in Florida.

Florida’s lawmakers also expressed sympathy for the victims of the collapse and called for an investigation into what led to the incident.

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, whose district touches the area affected by the bridge collapse, said he also spoke with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao about the upcoming investigation.

“I am shocked and horrified by the FIU Pedestrian Bridge collapse. I am praying for the victims and families of this tragedy,” he said in his statement.

As first responders continued to search for victims on Thursday evening, officials vowed to investigate the situation. Scott clarified that the bridge was a FIU project, not a Florida Department of Transportation project, and that investigations would take place on the local, state and federal levels.

“There will clearly be investigations to find out exactly what happened and why this happened,” he said during a news conference Thursday evening. “We will hold anybody accountable if anybody has done anything wrong.”

Before its collapse, the bridge had been a source of pride for local officials and the university. FIU President Mark Rosenberg reflected on the project and said he hoped the bridge could still be a way to “galvanize the community” in hope.

“I want you all to know that this bridge, five days ago we were celebrating, that it was in the process of being erected. This bridge was about collaboration, was about hope, was about opportunity, was about determination,” Rosenberg said at the news conference. “This bridge was about strength and unity. About being good neighbors with the city of Sweetwater.”

In fact, the bridge project was meant to address concerns about pedestrians unsafely crossing the busy highway.

“This bridge was going to provide a safe transportation for pedestrians to cross between the university and the City of Sweetwater,” said Orlando Lopez, mayor of Sweetwater.

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Trump agrees to meet with Kim Jong Un in what would be first meeting between U.S. president and North Koreans

President Trump has accepted an extraordinary invitation by North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un to meet this spring, a senior South Korean official announced at the White House on Thursday, signaling a potential diplomatic breakthrough in long-stalled efforts to end the nuclear impasse on the Korean peninsula.

Any face-to-face meeting, if it takes place, would be historic — the first ever between the leaders of two longtime adversaries that fought one bitter war and have repeatedly threatened to fight another. Leaders of the two nations have never even shared a phone call.

Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s national security director, said in an unusual news conference on the White House lawn that the North Korean ruler had expressed "his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible" and that Trump had agreed to do so May.

Kim has not left North Korea since taking power in 2011, and only a few foreign leaders have visited the country, which has struggled under multiple United Nations and other sanctions for its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Chung made the announcement after briefing Trump’s top national security aides, including national security advisor H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

Chung said he was delivering a message to the White House that the North Korean ruler had given him and Suh Hoon, chief of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, this week in Pyongyang, the North’s capital. White House aides denied reports that he had delivered a letter.

The South Korean official said that Kim had agreed to "refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests" and that the North Koreans understood that the U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises that are scheduled for this spring "must continue."

In the past, North Korea has relentlessly denounced those military exercises as a provocation and a pretext for a U.S. invasion, and responded with ballistic missile tests and other threats. The Pentagon had delayed this spring’s planned exercises so they wouldn’t coincide with last month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Chung praised Trump’s "leadership," saying the president’s "maximum-pressure policy, together with international solidarity, brought us to this juncture."

South Korea, the U.S. and their allies "remain fully and resolutely committed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," he said, adding that they would "not repeat the mistakes of the past."

Several White House officials stood on the edge of the scrum of reporters as Chung spoke for 2½ minutes by the White House driveway, illuminated by television lights on a bitterly cold winter night. Neither he nor the group of White House aides answered questions as they walked back into the West Wing after the brief announcement.

It was difficult to recall another announcement of such potential significance being made at the White House — but on the lawn — and by a foreign official, not one of the president’s aides.

"Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!," he wrote.

The U.S. and its allies have tried since the early 1990s to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, but every set of negotiations ultimately failed. The chances for success this time appear at least as daunting.

North Korea has successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile in September that appears capable of reaching the continental United States, and U.S. officials say it is fast closing in on the ability to put a nuclear warhead on it.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Trump "will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined. We look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain."

The South Koreans said that during their meetings on Monday and Tuesday, Kim had offered to freeze further nuclear or ballistic missile tests while talks proceed, and to denuclearize if he was convinced his country faced no military threat and his dynastic government was secure.

Talks also could buy Kim time, with the potential of alleviating punishing economic sanctions that have cut deeply into the country’s foreign reserves, while nothing in place truly curtails his nuclear ambitions.

Another issue is how well prepared Trump could really become ahead of a meeting with Kim. The stakes may be higher than in any of his other meetings with world leaders, and Trump has never been keen to learn the details of vexing issues.

Some members of the administration urged caution, saying that multiple diplomatic attempts to curb North Korea’s nuclear program since the early 1990s all have failed, and that Kim’s government may be seeking to get out of onerous sanctions or buy time to make a more advanced warhead.

Saying the Trump administration had to be "very clear-eyed," he said the first step would be "to have some kind of talks about talks" to set the parameters of any negotiations.

4:14 p.m.: This article was updated with details from the announcement at the White House.

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Georgia lawmakers yank tax break for Delta after airline cuts ties with NRA

The potential Delta tax breaks in Georgia an example of crony capitalism?

Georgia lawmakers voted to nix a tax benefit for Atlanta-based Delta as part of a broader tax package approved Thursday, following the airline’s decision to sever ties with the National Rifle Association.

The bill — which includes a sweeping income tax cut — cleared the state House on an overwhelming 135-24 vote, after being approved in the state Senate on a 44-10 vote. It now heads to the governor’s desk.

The final version dropped an earlier amendment that would have renewed a jet fuel tax exemption worth $50 million that was taken off the books in 2015.

“Businesses have every legal right to make their own decisions, but the Republican majority in our state legislature also has every right to govern guided by our principles,” Lieutenant Gov. Casey Cagle, who very publicly threatened to pull the airline tax break earlier this week, said in a statement.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, serving his last year in office, said he plans to sign the tax package, though he initially pushed for the airline tax break.

Georgia Lt. Gov. threatens Delta for cutting off the NRA

Deal said he would still pursue a jet fuel tax exemption separately.

The rejection of the tax break for now, though, marked a swift rebuke from state lawmakers, who had been weighing the restoration of the benefit until this week. It was originally pitched as an “airline tax break,” rather than one that would only benefit Delta.

But in the wake of the Atlanta-based airline’s decision to end its relationship with the NRA, Cagle, who is running to succeed Deal in November, warned that he would block any legislation that could prove to be beneficial to them.

“I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with the @NRA,” Cagle, who heads the Georgia State Senate, tweeted on Monday. “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”

Last weekend, Delta, which employees 33,000 Georgians, announced its decision to cut ties with the gun rights group, after the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting on Feb. 14 that left 17 dead. Delta announced that it would end NRA’s contract for “discounted rates through our group travel program.”

“Delta’s decision reflects the airline’s neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings,” read the statement posted to the Delta News Hub. “Out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides, Delta has taken action to refrain from entering this debate and focus on its business. Delta continues to support the 2nd Amendment.”

Delta tweeted last Saturday that they “will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website.”

Delta added: “Delta supports all of its customers but will not support organizations on any side of any highly charged political issue that divides our nation.”

Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo both have invited Delta to move its headquarters to their states in the midst of the company’s disagreement with the legislature.

United Airlines also notified the NRA that it would no longer offer a discounted rate for the NRA’s annual meeting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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North Korea spy chief, accused in deadly attacks on South Korea, to lead Olympic delegation at closing ceremony

North Korea hard-line general to attend Olympics finale

A former North Korean intelligence chief, believed to be the mastermind behind a deadly attack on South Korea, will lead the Hermit Kingdom’s high-level delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics’ closing ceremony — acting the part of diplomat in the same country he spent his life trying to topple.

Kim Yong Chol will join an eight-member delegation to South Korea for a visit expected to last three days, South Korea’s Unification Ministry announced Thursday. Kim, the vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee, and other high-level North Korean officials are set to arrive Sunday for the closing ceremony, where President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, will be leading the U.S. delegation.

Kim’s visit to the South is sure to stir up controversy after he was accused of carrying out atrocities against South Koreans during his time as the head of North Korean military intelligence.

Kim Yong Chol will be leading the North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics’ closing ceremony.

Kim, 72, is believed to have plotted the attack on Cheonan, a South Korean warship, and shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in 2010 that left 46 sailors dead. He’s also accused of planting landmines across the Demilitarized Zone, according to Yonhap News Agency. Two South Korean soldiers have been severely wounded by landmines — though North Korea vehemently denied any involvement.

During Kim’s time in the intelligence agency, which is called the Reconnaissance General Bureau, North Korea was suspected of carrying out the 2014 cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. The department is tasked with carrying out cyber warfare and intelligence operations against other countries.

The North Korean general is also blacklisted under the unilateral sanctions in South Korea and the U.S. The South’s Unification Ministry said Thursday the blacklist status shouldn’t be an issue because the sanctions don’t include a travel ban.

Kim Yong Chol is accused of carrying out several attacks on South Korea, including one that killed 46 sailors.

It’s unclear if Trump will meet with Kim when they cross paths at the closing ceremony.

Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, and other North Korean officials attended the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang for a three-day visit. She became the first member of the Kim family to travel to South Korea.

Kim Yong Chol is currently the vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee.

That visit racked up a $223,237 bill spent on housing the delegation in a five-star hotel, food and transportation, Reuters reported.

In comparison, the Hermit Kingdom spent about $50,000 to train and prepare 22 North Korean Olympics athletes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Evidence Linking Alleged Florida Shooter To White Supremacist Group Is Really Thin

WASHINGTON ― Law enforcement officials in Florida have reportedly not yet found ties between the Parkland school shooting suspect and the white supremacist paramilitary group Republic of Florida, despite claims from the group’s leader. Those claims were widely circulated by news outlets on Thursday.

As of Thursday evening, it was seemingly too soon to say what might have motivated Nikolas Cruz, 19, to allegedly shoot at least 17 people to death at his former high school. It was likewise too soon to say whether Cruz held any white supremacist views. So far, though, the evidence linking him to this specific white supremacist group is thin. (We will update this story if that changes.)

Jordan Jereb, an ROF leader, told the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday that Cruz participated in training exercises with the group, but that the group hadn’t ordered Cruz to carry out the school shooting. Multiple media outlets, including HuffPost, picked up the ADL’s report and repeated the claim that Cruz was an ROF member. In several reports, Jereb, an obscure white nationalist figure, was the sole source.

“We are still doing some work, but we have no known ties between the ROF, Jordan Jereb or the Broward shooter,” a Leon County Sheriff’s Office spokesman told the Tallahassee Democrat. The sheriff’s office has arrested Jereb at least four times since January 2014 and has been monitoring ROF’s membership, The Associated Press reported.

By Thursday evening, Jereb appeared to be backing down from his claim.

“There was a misunderstanding because we have MULTIPLE people named Nicholas in ROF,” a user named @JordanJereb posted on Gab, a social media platform popular among fascists and racists. “Are you really going to blame ME for the lying jew media? We know they are liars. Fuck em,” the user wrote. (HuffPost messaged the user, who had posted about ROF months before Wednesday’s shooting, but was not immediately able to confirm his identity.)

HuffPost has not found evidence that Cruz was affiliated with ROF — or that he had even interacted with anyone in the group. Jereb did not respond to repeated requests for proof of Cruz’s involvement with ROF. Cruz’s Facebook and Instagram were taken down after the shooting. On one of his since-deleted Instagram profiles, Cruz wore a “Make America Great Again” hat and shared pictures of an assortment of guns and knives.

The FBI and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the shooting, declined to comment.

The existing reporting on the supposed ties between Jereb and Cruz is inconsistent. Jereb told the Miami Herald he has never personally met Cruz. But ABC reported that three former classmates of Cruz identified him as part of the ROF. The former classmates claimed that Cruz was “often seen with Jereb.” Jereb’s last address listed in public records is in Tallahassee, 430 miles from where the shooting took place. ABC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on how it verified the identities of Cruz’s former classmates.

A spokesman for the ADL, which first reported the supposed tie between the ROF and Cruz, told HuffPost on Thursday that “it is for law enforcement to 100% confirm that he was a part of this group.”

“Given what we found today and the timing of the case, there is no doubt the information raises a red flag and should be investigated further,” the spokesman said.

As reports of Cruz’s supposed link to ROF appeared in the media, members of an “alt-right” white supremacist forum claimed the entire story was an attention-grab by Jereb, or possibly a hoax aimed at tricking media outlets into pushing a false narrative.

Jereb already comes across as a caricature of a Florida white nationalist, and he has been seeking attention for his views for years. “Jereb was a weird character even in the extremist underworld to which he so badly wanted to belong,” the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, wrote in 2014. Most white supremacists avoid the SPLC, but Jereb “wanted desperately to be mentioned in these pages,” the group wrote. “He flooded us with pleas for attention.”

The SPLC has not been able to confirm any ties between Cruz and ROF, Heidi Beirich, the director of the group’s intelligence project, told HuffPost. “It may seem odd that Jereb would bring attention to his group by claiming a connection to Cruz, but Jereb has always been somewhat of a publicity seeker,” Beirich said.

In 2016, Jereb was arrested for allegedly threatening a high-ranking staffer of Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R). The Tallahassee Democrat reported at the time that Jereb was “known to ride a bike through neighborhoods wearing para-military garb. He has filmed numerous run-ins with law enforcement.”

On Thursday afternoon, members of The Right Stuff, a white supremacist forum, claimed that the story of Cruz being tied to ROF was false. “Started out as an inside joke until Jordan Jereb literally told the media that it was true and that he was affiliated with a school shooter,” a TRS user posting under the name “Jordan Fash” wrote.

Fash posted screenshots of an ABC reporter messaging a user named “Ethan” on Instagram asking for information about Cruz. Ethan told the reporter that Cruz was an ROF member. “It was common knowledge he did rallies with ROF, I frequently saw him conversing with Jordan Jereb in person,” the user said.

The ABC reporter declined to comment. ABC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on how it reported its story.

It didn’t take long for other far-right extremists to latch onto a possible reporting flub as a way to attack the entirety of the mainstream media. Cameron Padgett, the campus fixer for Richard Spencer’s college speaking engagements, tweeted that the media “will do anything to smear white people.”

In his quotes to the media, Jereb elevated anti-feminist and anti-Semitic views, and claimed that Cruz “probably used that training [with ROF] to do what he did”— an apparent effort to raise the profile of ROF, a fringe white supremacist group.

There tends to be an information vacuum after a mass shooting, and trolls and propagandists often take advantage of the confusion in order to promote their own interests. After the shooting at a Texas church last year, right-wing conspiracy theorists were quick to claim that their political enemies — everyone from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to anti-fascist protesters — were somehow connected to the shooter. Trolls will also routinely claim that Sam Hyde, a real-life comedian, is behind a mass shooting before the real shooter has been identified. In the immediate aftermath of a shooting, it’s easy for false information to spread rapidly.

In 1999, Bill White, a former leader of the National Socialist Movement, injected himself into the conversation surrounding the Columbine High School massacre by suggesting that shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold might have visited White’s extremist website before the rampage. White, who identified as an anarchist at the time, managed to garner national attention for his obscure website, which urged kids to build bombs, blow up schools and slaughter football players.

Ashley Feinberg contributed reporting.

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Family Health Care and Aesthetic Clinic

Medical services for humans begin at birth. Vaccinations are important for babies who grow until early teens taking vaccines as medical practitioner advises. Vaccines are immunity against diseases prone to strike children and adults. Vaccines for adults curb new sickness e.g. Hepatitis. Thus, medical services are general home services important for children, male and female adults, and elders. There is medical and aesthetic clinic that takes care of medical emergencies and keeping up with the body beautiful.

In the old times, medical help was limited and therefore there were different treatment centers for different purposes. Paediatricians, gynecologists, general physicians, and dermatologists give medical help to people in need. How good it would be today that all of the medical requirements are available at one place and with special care. There are many clinics and one is Curamed medical and aesthetic clinic.

Medical care is obtainable at Curamed from minor to major health conditions. Minor illness could be home wounds, homesickness, and disorders of any kind. Major health problems could be life-threatening. There is urgent medical help for important cases. Medical examination and check-ups at Curamed help patients get better early and soon.

Aesthetic cares are important for a beautiful world around us. We feel happy in a beautiful world. Aesthetic care helps people keeping up with beauty, health, and well-being. Different skin ailments such as wrinkles, acne, scars, acne, oily and dull skins exist in people who look ahead for treatment at an aesthetic clinic. Scars, dullness, and dark areas around eyes intercepts with the body beautiful. These are giving away their existence by specialized medical treatment at the clinic.

Curamed is treating people of all ages to good health. An appointment is required to be booked prior to meeting a professional for consultations. Details to book an appointment and contacts are on the clinic’s website.

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I Am Moving into My New Condo Soon

My friend sent me the link for a website about the New Futura condo development. This was no surprise because she had been trying to get me to move for a couple of years now. While I was not thrilled with where I was living, I did not want to move somewhere else that made me feel the same way. The only way I was going to move would be if I got very happy to be coming home. So far, I had not found a place that called to me like that.

All of that changed when I looked at the website link that she had emailed to me. I always humored her when she sent me a link, and I would be quite witty in my reply back on why I could definitely not move to where ever she wanted me at that particular moment. However, that did not happen this time. Read More

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Regulators Bullish On Cryptocurrency, Yet Experts Predict Years Of Uncertainty

The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on Tuesday to address the voracious growth of cryptocurrency markets. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Christopher Giancarlo offered a bullish perspective on blockchain-based assets. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton delivered a resounding warning to blockchain startups when he said: “I believe every ICO I’ve seen is a security.” Regulators urged congress to create new federal policies.

When Virginia Senator Mark Warner optimistically compared bitcoin adoption to cell phones, the bitcoin community rejoiced. “It was clear from today’s hearing that they also understand, as Senator Warner suggested, that it may be as transformational as mobile telephony, that Americans have a right to own and use cryptocurrencies and tokens,” Jerry Brito, executive director of the nonprofit Coin Center, told International Business Times in an email.

However, most cryptocurrency experts predict months of regulatory uncertainty, followed by years of confusion as congress hammers out new laws.

I was an early investor in cell phones back in the '80s, and I believe #blockchain has the potential to be just as transformational as cell phones. As our government begins to look at #crypto, I don't think you can separate #cryptocurrencies from the technology they're based on. pic.twitter.com/EneUMfcgJ3

— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) February 6, 2018

Partisan gridlock continues to plague congress. Disagreements over financial policies currently threaten to cripple the federal government. Perianne Boring, the founder of a Washington, DC-based blockchain industry trade association called the Chamber of Digital Commerce, estimates it will take years for congress to shape a regulatory infrastructure for the cryptocurrency market.

“The feds and the states are literally suing each other over who has jurisdiction over what,” Boring told IBT. “Even on the strictly federal level you have a patchwork of regulatory bodies that look at this through their own lenses…for example FINCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network), which said it views bitcoin as a digital currency, and the IRS, which views it as property. Both part of the same Treasury Department.”

The plethora of applicable laws are cumbersome for businesses and confusing for individual users. Boring would prefer a cohesive federal solution. “A big part of what we’re doing is helping build a regulatory framework that helps promote innovation but also addresses consumer protection issues, protecting the retail investor,” she said. The CDC’s Token Alliance, which includes more than 160 blockchain experts, plans to publish a “best practices” guide to help businesses self-regulate and build trust. This falls in line with CFTC commissioner Brian Quintenz’s advice to “self-regulate” while lawmakers sort this out.

Self-regulation is necessary in the meantime, but hardly enough. Business Insider reported the initial coin offering boom raked in $5.6 billion in 2017. Many of these projects are considered “scams” by both regulators and bitcoin veterans. Cryptocurrency newbies are often swindled by questionable investment schemes wrapped in high-tech buzzwords. Boring believes education, plus cooperation between regulators and technologists, is key.

Blockchain Education Day session #2 smart contracts briefing on Capitol Hill featuring @circlepay @SymbiontIO @Microsoft @NLawGlobal pic.twitter.com/i75u9y090j

— Perianne Boring (@PerianneDC) July 11, 2017

Some of token sale projects self-regulate by limiting access to wealthy investors. Many cryptocurrency veterans worry this contradicts bitcoin’s decentralization ethos and threatens to simply recreate elitist economic structures. Broader education could help curb such wealth inequality. “If we are able to overcome this education gap, then we’ll see more people being able to use blockchain-based assets,” Boring said. “It’s hard to say how we should regulate this technology, or definitively what it is, because it is still so young. Just look at the maturation over the past three years.”

According to CoinMarketCap, bitcoin sold for roughly $222.53 on Feb. 9, 2015, yet now costs closer to $8,246.62. The community grew to include millions of users around the world, some of which see bitcoin as a global store of value or a conduit for censorship resistant commerce across borders. Meanwhile, OnChainFX estimates the value of ether tokens grew 18,837 percent over the past two years. Now Canada is exploring Ethereum’s potential for recording government contracts. Russia is tinkering with an Ethereum-based voting platform. Cryptocurrency is more than just money. Unlike paper bills, software is programmable.

This complexity makes harmonious regulation tricky at best. States such as Tennessee, Florida, Arizona and Nebraska have all taken disparate, albeit relatively welcoming, legal approaches to smart contracts. “Blockchain technology can take on this chameleon effect,” Boring said. “We shouldn’t apply laws that were written in the ‘30s or the ‘70s and expect that to work in the 21st century…It’s going to be quite a while until the industry is ready for retail consumers.”

Despite the hard road ahead, cryptocurrency experts are generally optimistic about the approach outlined in Tuesday’s congressional hearing. “It’s always exciting to have regulators come out with a positive outlook on this technology,” Elizabeth Rossiello, founder and CEO of the Nairobi-based blockchain startup BitPesa, told IBT. “It influences regulators around the world…I was recently at Davos [ World Economic Forum ] introducing regulators from my [African] jurisdictions to other regulators, sharing the progress that has been made.”

Incredible to meet @UNCTADKituyi and share @BitPesa's success in Africa with Kenyan Minister of ICT @mucheru and Energy @ketercharles at the Global Blockchain Business Council @GBBCouncil meeting in @Davos. Important discussions on power of transparent regulation for innovation! pic.twitter.com/3RGg2dku9U

— Elizabeth Rossiello (@e_rossiello) January 24, 2018

The World Bank ran a blockchain-pilot program for Kenyan bonds in 2017, while Japan and Singapore passed crypto-friendly legislation. The United Kingdom’s central bank is also busy exploring cryptocurrency’s potential use cases. American lawmakers may be late to the game, yet have so much to gain from the blockchain industry. “We’re seeing, one by one, the map turn green,” Rossiello said. “It takes some time for regulators.”

For now, cryptocurrency is still extremely risky. Regardless, incumbent tech companies keep flocking to the cryptocurrency boom. Telegram, makers of the messaging app with 180 million users, is planning a $2 billion ICO this year. Many experts are cautious about such ventures. All cryptocurrencies are not created equal. It takes a high level of technical expertise to find the rare, promising initiatives. “We are still in the very early days of the industry. Buyers beware,” Boring said. “If you don’t understand what you are buying, you should not buy it.”

Editor’s note: This is not investment advice. Any following statements are not legal pronouncements or endorsements regarding any specific technology. This article is merely an illustrative reflection of the opinions expressed by interviewed experts.

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Putin rips U.S. list targeting Russia’s elite as ‘unfriendly act’

The Trump administration has provided the Treasury Department with a list of about 210 Russians deemed close enough to Russian President Vladimir Putin to be targets for new sanctions.

The list, released late Monday night, fulfills a congressional demand that Washington punish the Kremlin for interference in the 2016 U.S. election. President Trump reluctantly signed the bill in August.

The White House stopped short of recommending that the Treasury Department place those named under sanctions at this point. However, it places those named under risk of future targeting.

Putin’s entire administration is on it, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, who recently issued an order to ban the satirical movie "The Death of Stalin" from Russian theaters, also made the list. Senior political figures named include Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika.

And then there are the 96 names of Russia’s richest "oligarchs," wealthy business leaders, bankers and state oil and gas company chiefs, many of whom are in Putin’s closest circles. Yuri Milner, a Silicon Valley investor, is named.

The unusual scope and breadth of the list show that the Trump administration is sticking to a policy that is anti-globalization and putting America first, said Fyodor Lukyanov, a Moscow-based foreign affairs analyst and editor of Russia in Global Affairs magazine.

If the Obama White House tried to move the Russian elite into a globalized world, the Trump administration is sending a signal with this list of doing the opposite, Lukyanov said.

Putin, at a summit in Moscow for Syria, said sarcastically it was "a pity" his name wasn’t on the list. He went on to call the list an "unfriendly act," which essentially put "all 146 million Russians on the list."

"The list shows that all Russian establishment, be it political or business … they are all potential targets," Lukyanov said. "It’s not about politics. That’s about business, and the business is about America’s interest first, whether it’s corporate or state interests."

"The United States has crudely violated all possible principles of international relations, making cooperation with Russia in various areas virtually impossible," Russian media quoted Franz Klintsevich, the deputy head of Russia’s Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security, as saying.

As for his inclusion on the list, "I am pretty much indifferent," Peskov said, adding that the entire administration’s last names were included on the list. "It’s also worth noting that all these people are effectively being called enemies of the United States."

2:15 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Vladimir Putin describing the the list as an "unfriendly act."

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Lawmakers scramble on immigration as government shutdown paused

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday sought a way forward on an immigration deal including protection for “Dreamer” immigrants and border security before federal funding runs out again next month.

On Monday, the Republican-led Congress passed a measure signed into law by President Donald Trump to fund the federal government through Feb. 8 following a three-day shutdown. But they will have to return to thorny budget issues that have now become intertwined with contentious immigration policy.

“We don’t have a lot of time in which to get it done,” Republican U.S. Senator Mike Rounds told MSNBC.

Trump himself has vacillated on immigration between tough rhetoric demanding a U.S. border wall and a softer tone urging a “bill of love” for Dreamers, prompting Democrats and some Republicans to call him an unreliable negotiating partner.

“Nobody knows for sure that the Republicans & Democrats will be able to reach a deal on DACA by February 8, but everyone will be trying,” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter, referring to when government funding would next run out.

“The Dems have just learned that a Shutdown is not the answer!” Trump added, after calling for “a big additional focus put on Military Strength and Border Security.”

As federal employees returned to work on Tuesday they faced a new furlough in 17 days if lawmakers and Trump do not find another short-term fix or a longer term budget.

A funding bill easily passed after Senate Democratic leaders accepted a pledge by Republicans to hold a debate later over the fate of the Dreamers and related immigration issues.

Many Republicans have said they want to help Dreamer immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

Trump canceled former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that shielded them from deportation. Without congressional action, the program will end in March.

Rounds, along with U.S. Senator Angus King, an independent often aligned with Democrats, said any immigration solution was likely to focus on Dreamers and extra border security.

“We can’t try to do comprehensive immigration in three weeks,” King told MSNBC, adding on CNN that lawmakers were likely to pass another stopgap bill to fund the government.

Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney, however, indicated the White House might be looking for a bigger deal.

“We want a large agreement. We want a big deal that solves the reason that we have a DACA problem in the first place,” Mulvaney said on CNN.

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Health Benefits of Choosing a Chiropractor in Salinas

How can you make a well informed decision when choosing a Salinas Chiropractor? It can be difficult unless you have a reference from family or friends. Before getting into that, however, it’s important to discuss the health benefits of having chiropractic work done in the first place!

Such appointments are known to improve and even restore the health of some individuals. Injuries can worsen over time and some to the point where a complete recovery becomes impossible. This is obviously something that should be avoided at all costs. Some cases, involving chronic pain, can also benefit from short term relief (as well as avoiding long term damage).

Beyond the health benefits, however, there are several other considerations that need to take place. For example, will the chiropractor take your insurance? This is crucial as, otherwise, the bills can tally up fairly quickly. Read More

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How To Find The Latest News

There are a lot of places you can look for the latest news. You need to know where these places are if you want to find news that is up to date and actually true. Here’s more information on finding the news you’re looking for.

The news that you’re going to find when you look online may or may not be the truth. When you are looking for news sites, make sure you stick with the top ones. And, when you read a story, make sure you find reference materials elsewhere that back up what you read. Some news stories will have links in them to where they got the information so you can look into that if need be. Either way, there are a lot of websites for local, national, and international news so use a search engine site to find the news sites that are out there.

If you’re going to get the local paper, you may be able to find it by going to a local gas station, grocery store, or anywhere that sells the paper. Some places have machines outside of them that sell it for a couple of quarters. You may also be able to call the company that makes the newspapers to sign up for a subscription that will be cheaper than if you were to buy the paper a day at a time. There are not as many paper publications out there due to the internet, but big and small cities sometimes still have their own newspapers they put out.

Finding the latest news is not that hard, especially now that the internet is so easy for everyone to access. You can find many website out there with news on them. You can also find local publications like newspapers that cover where you live if you’d like to go that route.

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