10:21 AM 12/6/2017 – Israel’s Super Secret Nuclear Weapons Program: Everything You Need to Know

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Israel Has a Submarine That Could Destroy Entire Nations (Armed with Nuclear Weapons)
In Defense of Rosensteins and Wrays Responses to Trump
German Foreign Minister Unironically Calls for Solution to the Jerusalem Problem
Doctors identify brain abnormalities in Cuba attack patients
Tillerson touts good opportunity for Mideast peace despite criticism of U.S. policy shift on Jerusalem
The Early Edition: December 6, 2017
Time names the #metoo movement as 2017 Person of the Year
Silence Breakers named Time magazine’s Person of the Year
‘War Cry’ enters New Brooklyn comics with a bang
Cuomo attacks GOP for tax bill that ‘cripples’ high-tax states
22 Russian athletes appeal to have Olympic bans lifted
Sleeping straphanger ripped off for phone, license, and charge cards
Thief robs Downtown hotel, but drops stolen cash trying to outrun cops
Dastardly duo jumps a man, steals his cash, and cuts him when he resists
Reefer badness: Two men busted for smoking marijuana on the street
Assassins killed Panama Papers journalist with text message bomb
God’s Plan for Mike Pence – The Atlantic
Mueller Said to Have Subpoenaed Deutsche Bank: DealBook Briefing – New York Times
Border arrests drop, deportations soar in Trump’s first year – SFGate
New York Times forced to heavily amend another supposed KT McFarland ‘scoop’ – Washington Examiner
Russia Banned From 2018 Winter Olympics, Some Athletes to Compete Under Neutral Flag – Sports Illustrated
Donald Trump Jr. asked Russian lawyer for info on Clinton Foundation – NBCNews.com
Trump Asks Judge to Dismiss Accuser’s Defamation Case – Bloomberg
UK authorities say they’ve foiled plot to assassinate Theresa May: reports – The Hill

 

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Israel’s Super Secret Nuclear Weapons Program: Everything You Need to Know

Kyle Mizokami

Security,

Israel does not confirm nor deny having nuclear weapons. Experts generally assess the country as currently having approximately eighty nuclear weapons, fewer than countries such as France, China and the UK.

Israels first land-based nuclear weapons were based on Jericho I missiles developed in cooperation with France. Jericho I is believed to have been retired, replaced by Jericho II and -III ballistic missiles. Jericho II has a range of 932 miles, while Jericho III, designed to hold Iran and other distant states at risk, has a range of at least 3,106 miles. The total number of Israeli ballistic missiles is unknown, but estimated by experts to number at least two dozen.

In a private email leaked to the public in September of 2016, former secretary of state and retired U.S. Army general Colin Powell alluded to Israel having an arsenal of 200 nuclear weapons. While this number appears to be an exaggeration, there is no doubt that Israel does have a small but powerful nuclear stockpile, spread out among its armed forces. Israeli nuclear weapons guard against everything from defeat in conventional warfare to serving to deter hostile states from launching nuclear, chemical and biological warfare attacks against the tiny country. Regardless, the goal is the same: to prevent the destruction of the Jewish state.

Recommended: Uzi: The Israeli Machine Gun That Conquered the World

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Israel Has a Submarine That Could Destroy Entire Nations (Armed with Nuclear Weapons)

Kyle Mizokami

Security,

And this is everything we think we know about it.

Whatever the missile, a 932-mile range gives it the abilityjust barelyto strike the Iranian capital of Tehran, as well as the holy city of Qom and the northern city of Tabriz, from a position off the coast of Syria. (Irans pursuit of nuclear arms is likely the main and enduring driver of Israels second strike capability.) That isnt an ideal firing position, and its been seventeen years since the missiles first flight, so its also reasonable to assume that the weapons range has been extended to the point where it can launch against Tehran and even more Iranian cities from a relatively safe location.

Israels submarine corps is a tiny force with a big open secret: in all likelihood, it is armed with nuclear weapons. The five Dolphin-class submarines represent an ace in the hole for Israel, the ultimate guarantor of the countrys security, ensuring that if attacked with nukes, the tiny nation can strike back in kind.

Israels first nuclear weapons were completed by the early 1970s, and deployed among both free-fall aircraft bombs and Jericho ballistic missiles. The 1991 Persian Gulf War, which saw Iraqi Scuds and Al Hussein ballistic missiles raining down on Israeli cities, led Tel Aviv to conclude that the country needed a true nuclear triad of air-, land- and sea-based nukes to give the countrys nuclear deterrent maximum flexibilityand survivability.

Recommended: Uzi: The Israeli Machine Gun That Conquered the World

Recommended: The M4: The Gun U.S. Army Loves to Go to War With

Recommended: Why Glock Dominates the Handgun Market (And Better than Sig Sauer and Beretta)

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In Defense of Rosensteins and Wrays Responses to Trump

wrote Monday morning about costs within the Justice Department when its leaders stay silent in the face of the Presidents caustic attacks on the departments independence and integrity. I mentioned in particular the silence of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and FBI Director Christopher Wray. I concluded:

I suspect that these men tell themselves a story that crossing the president in public would result in their firing but not stop Trump, and that the nation is better off if they stay silent and do their jobs. Perhaps so. That calculus, and that decision, are intensely personal and contextual.

But in performing this calculus, the leaders of the Justice Department should candidly consider the large costs of their silence. When they do not speak out against the presidents attacks on their institutions and the rule of law, they signal to their employees and the world that they are indefeasibly beholden to the president, or that they do not care. The failure to protect and defend the department engenders anger, suffering, and resentment by the men and women they are charged with leading. It also contributes to a sense of delegitimization within the department, and thus stokes the morale crisis. These are not consequences that any leader should ever tolerate.

Since I wrote these words, Wray and Rosenstein spoke in ways that are widely seen as a response to the President and a defense of the Justice Department and FBI workforces. On Monday, Wray sent an emailto FBI employees in which he stated that he was inspired by example after example of professionalism and dedication to justice demonstrated around the bureau. It is truly an honor to represent you. Wray urged the FBI to continue to keep focused on our critical mission, and concluded: Keep calm and tackle hard. And yesterday, Rosenstein stated in remarks at a Criminal Division ceremony that: In this department, Justice is our name. And justice is our mission. Justice is not just about winning a particular case, or sending a particular person to prison. It is about a fair and impartial process.

Neither Wray nor Rosenstein mentioned Trump by name. But both statements were rightly interpreted as responses to Trumps attacks. I assume they were interpreted this way within the DOJ and the FBI as well.

Are these responses adequate? Susan probably represents many in thinking not. She says:

In worst days post-Snowden, Gen. Alexander’s full-throated defense and support of NSA rank and file was so critical to morale. Hard to see how gestures like this from Wray are sufficient. https://twitter.com/jacklgoldsmith/status/938016100670955520 

I disagree, or at least think the matter is more complex. As NSA director, Gen. Keith Alexanders full-throated defense and support of NSA rank and file was in response to a body blow to the agency due to the Snowden revelations, and perhaps a response as well to the too-tepid initial support of the agency offered by President Obama. But Alexanders situation was much different, as was his President, and he never openly disagreed with Obama by nameat least not that I recall.

Rosenstein and Wray are engaged in a much more difficult and delicate balancing act. They are dealing with a President who is attacking the integrity of the Justice Department and the FBI in a truly unprecedented fashion at a time when many of the Presidents associates, and probably the President himself, are under investigation by the Justice Department and FBI. And indeed, the Presidents attacks on the department and FBI are probably designed to discredit that investigation. Against this background, Rosenstein and Wray face at least three important challenges.

First, they have to defend the Justice Department and FBI in a way that maintains their personal credibility with the President. This is an admittedly slight consideration. Taken alone, it might not count for much, and one might think that the two men should simply stand on principle, stand up to the President openly and be fired. But there are at least two other considerations that cut the other way.

The second consideration is the impact on the Justice Department if Trump cans Rosenstein and especially Wray. If these men more openly defied the President and he fired them, it is hard to see how the department and FBI, or the Trump investigation, would strengthened. The more likely consequence would be that the Justice Department and FBI would be thrown into further disarray than they already have been due to the many unfortunate events of the last year, ranging from Comeys firing to Rosensteins uneven performance to Sessions utter failure to stand up for the Justice Departments integritydisarray all exacerbated a great deal, of course, by the Presidents destructive tactics. One might even think that Trump would benefit from such a course of action and would look for an excuse to fire one or both. (I acknowledge that it is a hard question when to stand on principle and when notBen and Ihave debated this question in an analogous context.)

I am largely persuaded by this second consideration, but the difficulty of Rosensteins and Wrays predicament comes into yet clearer focus when one considers that the Mueller investigation is now under relentless attack for being biased, out of control and vindictive. I cannot yet assess the reality of these charges. Even the appearance of bias here is deadly because, as I once wrote in an analogous context, Muellers work will be judged not just through the legal lens, but also through the political lens, and its success will stand in part on political factors. In this light, it is important to remember that Rosenstein and Wray are deeply responsible for the Mueller investigation. Rosenstein appointed Mueller and, under the pertinent regulations, retains significant authority over Muellers investigation. Wray is leading the FBI, which is obviously heavily involved in the investigation. For legal and political reasons, they thus must be scrupulous in not being, or appearing, biased against the President.

Rosenstein and Wray thus find themselves in a wholly unprecedented situation and very awkward position. For reasons I outlined Monday, they must defend their workforce from the Presidents unprecedented attacks. But they must do so in ways that do not compromise the Mueller investigation or their role in it. The President deepens their dilemma every time he attacks the Justice Department and the FBI. Indeed, Trump certainly senses this, even if he does not fully understand ithis attacks on law enforcement invariably help him by making Muellers and Rosensteins and Wrays jobs in connection with the investigation harder and more political.

Against this background, the general statements by the two men in the past two daysstatements which were formally neutral even as they unambiguously underscored the integrity of the Justice Department and FBI in ways that were widely seen as responses to Trumpis about the most that we, or their workforces, can reasonably expect.

German Foreign Minister Unironically Calls for Solution to the Jerusalem Problem

German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel does not support President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to the Washington Post. “We all know the far-reaching impact this move would have,” he said in an interview. “Germany’s position on this issue remains unchanged: A solution to the Jerusalem problem can only be found through direct negotiations between both parties. Everything which worsens the crisis is counterproductive.”

Leaving aside Gabriel’s conventional pro-Palestinian policy analysis, maybe he could have chosen his words more carefully?

And maybe European governments might want to sit this one out? The Washington Post goes on to say that word of President Trump’s announcement “dominated European news coverage Wednesday, especially in countries such as Germany, France, and Britain where anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise in recent yearspartially due to an escalation of tensions between Israel and Palestinians.”

That’s one way of looking at it, we suppose. Reporters never waste an opportunity to blame Israel for Europe’s troubles. Another way of looking at it is that rising European anti-Semitism has coincided with rising European Islamism, rising European secularism hostile to Jewish particularity and ritual, and rising European nationalism of the kind that led to the murder of six million European Jews less than a century ago. The Boycott Divest Sanctions movement, the spearhead of global efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel, is also strong on the continent, where goods made in Jewish communities in the West Bank are required to carry a warning label. Little surprise that Jews are leaving places like France in record numbers.

Jewish migration from Germany is relatively stable, but that may be because there are so few Jews left in Germany to begin with. Still, Josef Schuster, president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, told Bild last July that “In some districts in major cities, I’d advise people not to identify themselves as Jews.”

Minister Gabriel might want to advise his government to spend less time on a “Jerusalem problem” that exists mainly in the heads of diplomats, and more time on an anti-Semitism problem that affects the lives of German Jews every day. Just a thought.

The post German Foreign Minister Unironically Calls for ‘Solution to the Jerusalem Problem’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Doctors identify brain abnormalities in Cuba attack patients

Doctors treating the U.S. Embassy victims of mysterious, invisible attacks in Cuba have discovered brain abnormalities as they search for clues to explain the hearing, vision, balance and memory damage, The Associated Press has learned.

Tillerson touts good opportunity for Mideast peace despite criticism of U.S. policy shift on Jerusalem

The secretary of state said at NATO headquarters that President Trump remains very committed to the Middle East peace process.

The Early Edition: December 6, 2017

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

ISRAEL-PALESTINE

President Trump plans to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, marking a seismic change in U.S. policy and amid warnings from Middle East leaders, who have highlighted the potential for violence and the threat the decision could pose to Israel-Palestine peace efforts. Mark Landler and David M. Halbfinger report at the New York Times.

Trump’s speech announcing the policy change will be delivered at midday today, the president informed his counterparts in the Middle East of his decision yesterday and, according to an adviser to the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, Abbas told Trump that he would not “accept” the policy change and warned him that he was “playing into the hands of extremism.” David Nakamura, Loveday Morris and Anne Gearan report at the Washington Post.

A timetable for the U.S. Embassy relocation is not expected to be set out in the speech and the president is expected to sign a waiver delaying the move, however Trump informed the Palestinian and Jordanian leaders yesterday of his plans to relocate the mission, which has been met with calls for protests by the rival Palestinian factions – Abbas’s Fatah party and the Islamist Hamas group. Sam Fleming, Erika Solomon and Ilan Ben Zion report at the Financial Times.

The embassy relocation will be delayed to address logistical and security challenges, administration officials said yesterday, adding that the delay would allow them to identify and construct a new facility in Jerusalem. Trump is also expected to say that the specific boundaries of Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations, Felicia Schwartz, Dion Nissenbaum and Rory Jones report at the Wall Street Journal.

Trump administration officials described the forthcoming policy decision as a “recognition of reality” that Jerusalem has long been the seat of the Israeli government, with one senior administration official saying that it “seems clear now that the physical location of the American embassy is not material to a peace deal” as the location of the mission has not changed the dynamics of the peace negotiations over the past two decades.  Jeremy Diamond and Nicole Gaouette report at CNN.

“Such a dangerous step is likely to inflame the passions of Muslims and the world due to the great status of Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted the Saudi King Salman as telling to Trump during a phone call yesterday, Trump also spoke the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Netanyahu who avoided directly mentioning the change in U.S. policy during a speech in Jerusalem, Julian Borger and Peter Beaumont report at the Guardian.

The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would be the “kiss of death to the two state solution” and a declaration of war in the Middle East, the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic representative to the U.K., Manuel Hassassian, said today, Reuters reports.

The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem warned U.S. government employees and family members from traveling in Jerusalem’s Old City and the West Bank, and advised U.S. citizens to consider their own safety when traveling. Felicia Schwartz reports at the Wall Street Journal.

No country currently has an embassy in Jerusalem and leaders across the world have expressed concern about the Trump administration’s plan. Al Jazeera provides a breakdown of the various reactions.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called on the U.S. to bring forward its proposals on the Middle East peace process “as a matter of priority” in light of the U.S. policy announcement, Johnson made the comments yesterday alongside the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and said that the U.K. would have to “wait and see” what Trump says in his speech today. The AP reports.

The repercussions of Trump’s announcement, and what to look for in the speech, are examined by Adam Taylor at the Washington Post, noting that a decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital but not to move the embassy would have subtly different implications than a decision to relocate the embassy and recognize Jerusalem.

The recognition of Jerusalem is a sensitive issue steeped in historical and religious divisions, the policy change may have potentially serious ramifications for the region, and Trump’s decision has reportedly surprised Arab leaders amid a changing dynamic in the Middle East – with some arguing that the announcement would undermine the developing relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel in their rivalry against Iran. Ishaan Tharoor provides an analysis at the Washington Post.

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital without advancing peace talks raises tensions rather than improving chances of making a deal between Israel and Palestine, and the move demonstrates how Trump has been pandering to his base at the expense of diplomacy and peace. The New York Times editorial board writes.

The U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem at this point would “unnecessarily put lives at risk,” incite violence from the Hamas terrorist group, and draw the ire of Sunni Arab states at the time when Israel needs their cooperation to counter Iran. Eliora Katz offers the Zionist case against the decision at the Wall Street Journal.

Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital would be a “catastrophe,” creating “enormous and new insoluble problems without addressing the real issues that beset the city,” Nicholas Blincoe writes at the Guardian.

Jerusalem is “unmistakably Israel’s capital” and U.S. recognition of this fact would be a “great American moment,” even if it results in violence. Shmuel Rosner writes at the New York Times.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Special counsel Robert Mueller issued a subpoena to Deutsche Bank requesting documents and data about people and entities affiliated with Donald Trump, according to an individual briefed on the matter, however Ty Cobb, the White House chief lawyer handling the Russia investigation, said that the reports about the subpoena were “false.” Jenny Strasburg reports at the Wall Street Journal.

“No subpoena has been issued or received. We have confirmed this with the bank and other sources,” Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow said yesterday, a spokesperson for Mueller declined to comment on the matter. Arno Schuetze and Karen Freifeld report at Reuters.

Donald Trump Jr. is scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee today in a closed-door session, he will be questioned on financial relationships with Russia and his meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 at Trump Tower. Katie Bo Williams and Olivia Beavers report at the Hill.

Trump Jr. asked Veselnitskaya whether she had evidence of illegal donations to the Clinton Foundation at their June meeting, Veselnitskaya said in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, she also contended that she did not work for the Russian government and was not carrying messages from government officials. Ken Dilanian and Natasha Lebedeva report at NBC News.

The British publicist Rob Goldstone who arranged the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting will testify before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, perhaps as earlier as next week, according to sources familiar with the matter. Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju report at CNN.

The confirmation of K.T. McFarland as the U.S. ambassador to Singapore has been “frozen” following questions about her knowledge of Trump campaign aide Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in late December 2016, McFarland submitted written responses in July to questions posed by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) about the transition period and Russian contacts and denied knowledge of Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak. Byron Tau reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Justice Department prosecutor and key member of Mueller’s team, Andrew Weissmann, said he was “so proud and in awe” of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates on the day she was fired by Trump for refusing to defend the travel ban, providing ammunition to conservatives who contend that Mueller’s investigation has been compromised by partisan prosecutors. Jonathan Easley reports at the Hill.

Democrats have been engaged in efforts to defend Mueller following attacks from Trump allies and the revelation that Weissmann showed apparent anti-Trump sentiments, with lawmakers pushing for two bills seeking to protect Mueller from being fired. Elana Schor and Kyle Cheney report at POLITICO.

The claim that Vice President Mike Pence has been completely unaware of Russia connections has been tested by court filings unsealed last week in relation to former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Elizabeth Landers, Kevin Liptak and Jeff Zeleny explain at CNN.

The anti-Trump bias of top F.B.I. official and Mueller team member Peter Strzok warrants a review but does not undermine the Mueller investigation, Bradley P. Moss writes at POLITICO Magazine.

YEMEN

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have set up checkpoints across the capital of Sana’a and consolidated their control yesterday, having killed the former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday, the Houthi gains and Saleh’s death marking a possible turning point in the conflict which has seen Iran backing the Houthis and a Saudi-led military coalition intervening to try and reinstate the internationally-recognized president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Mohammed al-Kibs and Margherita Stancati report at the Wall Street Journal.

The Saudi-led coalition carried out 25 air strikes on Houthi targets overnight as the Houthis tightened their grip on Sana’a, the BBC reports.

Saleh’s son Ahmed Ali Saleh said he would “confront the enemies of the homeland and humanity” in a statement yesterday railing against the Houthis and their Iranian backers, Ahmed Ali’s intervention signaling that he may be the Saleh family’s last chance to win back influence in the conflict. Sami Aboudi and Noah Browning report at Reuters.

Saleh’s nephew and senior military commander Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh was also killed this week, a statement from Saleh’s party said yesterday. Reuters reports.

The Defense Secretary Jim Mattis noted yesterday that the humanitarian situation in Yemen is likely to get worse following the death of Saleh, Idrees Ali reporting at Reuters.

NORTH KOREA

The U.S. military flew a B-1B bomber over South Korea in an apparent show of force as part of U.S.-South Korea largescale joint military exercises that began on Monday, the BBC reports.

China’s foreign ministry called for restraint after the B-1B bomber flew over South Korea, Reutersreporting.

North Korea has not demonstrated its “reentry capability,” “remote targeting, or the miniaturization required to do this,” South Korea’s foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha said today, doubting North Korea’s nuclear capability but acknowledging that they have developed their program at “a pace that’s far faster than many of us have expected.” Mick Krever reports at CNN.

Russia is “ready to deploy” its channels for conducting dialogue with North Korea, the R.I.A. news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov as saying yesterday. Vladimir Soldatkin reporting at Reuters.

South Korea will develop a weaponized drone unit for reconnaissance missions and to monitor North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile sites, a South Korean official confirmed yesterday. Bryan Harris reports at the Financial Times.

The U.S. cannot rely on Chinese President Xi Jinping to help resolve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Xi has used the crisis to undermine American credibility by tolerating North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons. Daniel Nidess writes at the Wall Street Journal.

TILLERSON IN EUROPE

The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Brussels yesterday and received chilly reception from European diplomats, the E.U.’s foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini welcomed Tillerson in a matter-of-fact tone, warned the Trump administration about the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and reinforced Europe’s support for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Gardiner Harris reports at the New York Times.

Tillerson and Mogherini discussed joint efforts under the Iran nuclear agreement to “hold Iran fully compliant with the terms of that deal and fully enforce that agreement,” Tillerson said in a statement yesterday, making the comments ahead of Congress’s forthcoming decision whether to re-apply sanctions on Iran. Al Jazeera reports.

“While we don’t have any wins on the board yet, I can tell you we’re in a much better position to advance America’s interests around the world than we were 10 months ago,” Tillerson told senior U.S. diplomats and embassy staff in Brussels yesterday, he also sought to reassure European foreign ministers that the U.S. remains committed to transatlantic ties. Robin Emmott reports at Reuters.

Tillerson called on European allies to help with efforts to curb Iran’s expansionism and its missile program, Mogherini said that the E.U. would be willing to work with the U.S. but that it would be dependent on Washington abiding by the provisions of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Laurence Norman and Julian E. Barnes report at the Wall Street Journal.

Tillerson’s encounter in Europe was awkward, demonstrating how Trump has become a destabilizing for E.U. policymakers and amid speculation over the future of Tillerson’s position. David M. Herzenhorn writes at POLITICO.

SYRIA

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a bomb attack that killed eight and injured 16 others in the Syrian city of Homs yesterday, Reuters reporting.

Russian long-range bombers struck Islamic State group target in Syria’s Deir al-Zour province, Russian news agency quoted the defense ministry as saying yesterday, Reuters reporting.

Fewer than 3,000 Islamic State militants remain in Iraq and Syria, the spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition fighting the terrorist group, Col. Ryan Dillon, said yesterday. Ahmed Aboulenein reports at Reuters.

The major combat against Islamic State group is practically over, however Syria and Iraq are braced for a wave of terrorist violence, which explains the lack of a celebration over the gains against the extremist group. Tamer El-Ghobashy, Mustafa Salim and Louisa Loveluck observe at the Washington Post.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 33 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq between December 1 and December 3. [Central Command]

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

Al-Qaeda’s “No. 2 leader” Omar bin Khatab was killed in a joint U.S.-Afghan operation, along with several other al-Qaeda operatives, the U.S. military command in Afghanistan confirmed yesterday. Sayed Salahuddin and Dan Lamothe report at the Washington Post.

Kirstjen M. Nielsen was confirmed to lead the Department of Homeland Security (D.H.S.) yesterday, Nielsen was the deputy to John Kelly – now the White House chief of staff – when he led the D.H.S., Nick Miroff reports at the Washington Post.

The meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (G.C.C.) ended abruptly yesterday, raising the possibility that the G.C.C. is “effectively dead,” Al Jazeera explains, also referring to comments calling for the G.C.C. to be restructured.

An Islamist plot to kill the British Prime Minister Theresa May was foiled by MI5 and the British police and the two suspects will appear in court today on charges of terrorism offences.  David Bond reports at the Financial Times.

Read on Just Security »

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‘War Cry’ enters New Brooklyn comics with a bang

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Cuomo attacks GOP for tax bill that ‘cripples’ high-tax states

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22 Russian athletes appeal to have Olympic bans lifted

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Sleeping straphanger ripped off for phone, license, and charge cards

See this story at BrooklynPaper.com.

By Julianne McShane

Brooklyn Paper

68th Precinct

Bay Ridge—Dyker Heights

Nodded, and robbed

A punk stole a man’s iPhone 7, driver’s license, and debit and credit cards when he was sleeping on the N train between the Bay Parkway and Eighth Avenue stops on Dec. 3.

The man told police that he got on the train at Stillwell Avenue at 3 am, and missed his stop at Bay Parkway because he fell asleep. He woke up at Eighth Avenue by 4 am, when he realized his phone — along with the accompanying wallet case and the aforementioned cards — was missing.

Cash grabber

A lout stole a little more than $700 from a Ridge man’s purloined debit card at an ATM on 18th Avenue at some point after Nov. 13.

The thief snagged the cash at the corner of 65th Street, according to a police report.

Stroller heist

A lowlife stole $300 in cash plus a woman’s debit card, two credit cards, and driver’s license from her child’s stroller after she left it briefly to drop off her child at daycare on Ridge Boulevard on Nov. 30. The theft occurred at some point in the 10-minute window between 7:40 and 7:50 am, when the woman briefly abandoned her childless stroller when she left it on the sidewalk at 71st street, according to the report.

Out of order

A no-goodnik stole a little more than $1,000 via money order after a Ridge man mailed it to his landlord from his Fourth Avenue home at some point after June 5.

The man mailed the money from his home between 72nd and 73rd streets after 10 am on the June day, he reported to police on Dec. 1. But a lout cashed the money order soon after he mailed it, he said.

Left it, lost it

A miscreant stole from a man’s wallet, citizenship card, two credit cards, and one debit card from his unlocked car parked on 14th Avenue at some point between Nov. 26 and 29.

The man parked the car at 81st Street at 4 pm on the 26th and returned at noon on the 29th to find the items gone, according to the report.

— Julianne McShane

Comment on this story.

Thief robs Downtown hotel, but drops stolen cash trying to outrun cops

See this story at BrooklynPaper.com.

By Colin Mixson

Brooklyn Paper

84th Precinct

Brooklyn Heights–DUMBO–Boerum Hill–Downtown

Checking out

A thief robbed a Duffield Street hotel at gunpoint on Dec. 4, taking cash.

An employee told police that the suspect waltzed into the hotel between Willoughby and Fulton streets at 4:15 am, holding what looked like a gun inside his pocket and snarling, “Give me the money, or I’ll shoot.”

The thief fled with two cash registers containing $1,500, but cops were quick on the scene and a foot chase ensued along Prince Street that resulted in the perp making his escape, but leaving his ill-gotten gains for cops to recover, according to police.

Code breaker

Some goon stole a man’s phone on Pacific Street on Dec. 01, after the crook forced the victim into giving up his passcode.

The victim, 15, told police he was between Third and Fourth avenues at 4:31 pm, when the suspect snatched his phone and barked, “Enter your passcode, or I will f— you up.”

The teen duly complied, and the brute absconded with his $900 iPhone 8, cops said.

Teen terrorized

Two thieves robbed a 15-year-old boy on Livingston Street on Dec. 1.

The victim told police he was strolling with a friend near Flatbush Avenue at 3:45 pm, when some goon pressed an unknown object against his back, while an accomplice went through his pockets, pulling out his debit card and smart phone.

The crooks fled with their ill-gotten stuff, and a police search came up short, cops said.

Rough commute

Some crook beat and robbed a straphanger waiting at the DeKalb Avenue subway station on Dec. 1.

The victim told police he was standing on the Manhattan-bound platform at the station near Flatbush Avenue Extension at 3:20, when the crook snatched the phone from his hand and gave him a shove, before fleeing into the station with three other men.

Beats

Cops arrested a man who stole someone’s headphones inside a Main Street building on Dec. 1, before threatening with a pair of scissors.

The victim told police he forgot his headphones in the building between Water and Front streets at 8:30 am, and returned to find them in the suspect’s possession.

The 29-year-old suspect allegedly refused to hand the $300 headphones back, and at one point brandished a pair of scissors, shouting, “Come in and get them,” according to police.

Cops busted the suspect on robbery charges later that day, and recovered the victim’s valuables from the suspect’s backpack, according to police.

—Colin Mixson

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Dastardly duo jumps a man, steals his cash, and cuts him when he resists

See this story at BrooklynPaper.com.

By Julianne Cuba

Brooklyn Paper

88th Precinct

Fort Greene–Clinton Hill

Street stabbing

A pair of louts stabbed a guy and stole his cash on Myrtle Avenue on Nov. 28, police said. The 63-year-old victim told police he was walking near Washington Park at about 10:30 am when the two nogoodniks came up to him, and the first put his hand on his shoulder and then removed $152 in cash from his pocket, according to authorities. The second malefactor then tried to knife him when he told the baddies he had no more money, but he put up his hand to block the blade and wound up getting cut, officials said. The ruffians then threw him to the ground, and he hit his head, police said.

Phantom pilferer

A jerk broke into a woman’s Saint James Place home on Nov. 30 and stole her jewelry and electronics, police said.

Some baddie broke into the apartment through the front door between Greene and Gates avenue sometime between 3:30 and 5:30 and swiped a Macbook Pro, diamond earrings, $100 bills, gold rings, and a speaker worth a total of $3,050, according to authorities.

Bye bye bike!

Some weasel stole a woman’s keys and the CitiBike she was using on Willoughby Street on Nov. 24, police said. The woman told police she dropped her keys somewhere with the key ring attached and used it to access the bike for unlimited usage near Hall Street at about 4 pm, when she later got an email that she was still getting charged for someone using the bike, officials said.

In the blink of an eye

A goniff swiped a woman’s wallet from her purse as she was on a G train near Lafayette Avenue on Nov. 28, police said. The scofflaw must have reached inside the 39-year-old woman’s purse and grabbed her wallet aboard the Church Avenue-bound green bullet after she got on at the Classon Avenue station, police said. The woman hopped off near Fulton Street when she realized her bag was opened and her wallet with her driver’s license, five credit cards, BJ’s card, and Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association card worth a total of $45 was missing, officials said.

Dropped and gone

Some sneak stole a woman’s wallet at a DeKalb Avenue hospital on Nov. 29, police said. The 27-year-old said she dropped her wallet in the medical center near Willoughby Street at about 2 pm, with her Dominican Republic identification card, United States resident card, and two credit cards inside, and later got a call from one of the credit card companies that some baddie was charging them, according to authorities.

— Julianne Cuba

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Reefer badness: Two men busted for smoking marijuana on the street

See this story at BrooklynPaper.com.

By Colin Mixson

Brooklyn Paper

Reefer madness

Patrolmen at the 78th Precinct busted two men for allegedly smoking pot on separate occasions late last month.

One officer was near Prospect Place and Carlton Avenue at 1 am on Nov. 20, when he spotted a man smoking a joint on the street, cops said.

Police pinched another alleged pot smoker on Wykoff Street between Nevins Street and Third Avenue at 9:25 am on Nov. 25, after a patrolmen spotted him with a joint in his hand, according to police

Both men were arrested and charged with criminal possession of marijuana, cops said.

Teen terror

Cops busted a 16-year-old boy suspected of stealing a man’s phone inside a Hanson Place shopping center on Nov. 22, and then threatening to shoot him when he demanded its return.

The victim, 60, told police he stopped inside the mall between Hanson Place and Atlantic Avenue to charge his cell at 3:50 am, when the suspect approached him and started up a conversation.

As the pair spoke, the alleged crook slyly unplugged the man’s phone from the charger and slid it into his pocket, but he wasn’t slick enough and the older fellow called him out on it, cops said.

Not willing to hand over his illicit catch, the suspect reached into his waistband and the told victim he’d shoot him, according to police.

He didn’t get far after that, and New York’s Finest booked him that night on a robbery charge, cops said.

Pie guys

Police arrested two men, ages 45 and 53, accused of busting into a Fifth Avenue pizza joint on Nov. 22.

The suspects allegedly made numerous attempts to force their way into the pie spot between 10th and 11th streets at around 3:45 am, before finally breaking open the front door and letting themselves inside, cops said.

The pair hung around for a few minutes, but didn’t take anything and soon fled, according to police.

Someone from the restaurant reported the break in at around 2 pm, and investigators made short work of tracking down the suspects, who were arrested on attempted burglary charges later that day, cops said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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Assassins killed Panama Papers journalist with text message bomb

Daphne Caruana Galizia’s car exploded last month as she was driving near her home in Malta.

God’s Plan for Mike Pence – The Atlantic


The Atlantic
God’s Plan for Mike Pence
The Atlantic
Subscribe to The Atlantic’s Politics & Policy Daily, a roundup of ideas and events in American politics. No man can serve two masters, the Bible teaches, but Mike Pence is giving it his all. It’s a sweltering September afternoon in Anderson, Indiana 
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Mueller Said to Have Subpoenaed Deutsche Bank: DealBook Briefing – New York Times


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New York Times
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Subpoena For Deutsche Bank May Put Mueller On Collision Course With TrumpNPR
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Mueller probe’s expenses totaled $6.7M in early monthsThe Hill
ABC NewsHuffPostMother JonesUSA TODAY
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Trump-Russia probe: Mueller ‘demands Deutsche Bank data’BBC News
Mueller Spent More Than $3.2 Million Through September on Russia ProbeBloomberg
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Border arrests drop, deportations soar in Trump’s first year – SFGate


SFGate
New York Times forced to heavily amend another supposed KT McFarland ‘scoop’ – Washington Examiner


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The New York Times got ahead of itself again with yet another supposedly hot scoop involving former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland, the Russians and the 2016 presidential election. The story, now titled McFarland’s Testimony About 
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Russia Banned From 2018 Winter Olympics, Some Athletes to Compete Under Neutral Flag – Sports Illustrated


Sports Illustrated
Russia Banned From 2018 Winter Olympics, Some Athletes to Compete Under Neutral Flag
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The Russian Olympic Committee has been suspended from the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, after the International Olympic Committee examined the findings of a 16-month investigation into Russia’s doping and cheating at the 2014 Winter Games 
Russia banned from 2018 Olympics for widespread doping programWashington Post
Russia banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChangYahoo Sports
Russia’s Olympic team barred from 2018 Winter GamesLos Angeles Times
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Donald Trump Jr. asked Russian lawyer for info on Clinton Foundation – NBCNews.com


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Trump Asks Judge to Dismiss Accuser’s Defamation Case – Bloomberg


Bloomberg
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Summer Zervos, right, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” arrives with lawyer Gloria Allred at the New York County Criminal Court on Dec. 5, 2017, in New York. Photographer: KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images. As the rest of the U.S. wrestles with 
Trump lawyer pushes to dismiss ‘Apprentice’ suit over groping claimsPolitico
Lawyers: Trump Too Busy to Face Woman’s Defamation LawsuitU.S. News & World Report
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UK authorities say they’ve foiled plot to assassinate Theresa May: reports – The Hill


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Islamic terror plot to assassinate British PM Theresa May thwarted, report saysFox News
Plot to kill British premier May foiled: Sky NewsReuters
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