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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

12 things we can definitively say the Russia investigation has uncovered so far – The Washington Post

tacoma train derailment – Google Search
2017 Washington train derailment – Wikipedia
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fbi – Google News: Las Vegas shooting: FBI official says info on motive may take until next October to release – Fox News
Today’s Headlines and Commentary
Today’s Headlines and Commentary
The Early Edition: December 22, 2017
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Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Today’s Headlines and Commentary
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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
12 things we can definitively say the Russia investigation has uncovered so far – The Washington Post

mikenova shared this story .

Here’s one big thing we don’t know: whether any of this implicates the president or his campaign. It might. Or it might not. And we may never uncover a smoking gun, legal experts say.

“I think it’s unlikely to be the kind of case where there’s one event or one development that is so significant that it blows the story out of the water,” said Jens David Ohlin, vice dean of Cornell Law School. “It’s a slow accumulation of dozens of different events, conversations and moments that are pieced together. And then, when you look at the whole story, you say: ‘Hey, wait a minute. Something is going on here.’ ”

tacoma train derailment – Google Search

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Story image for tacoma train derailment from The News Tribune

‘Bodies laying everywhere’: 911 calls capture chaos, tragedy after …

The News Tribune14 hours ago
State transportation officials said Thursday they won’t restart passenger service along the route where the train derailed until advanced safety systems are in place. Footage from the train’s inward- and outward-facing cameras show the train’s engineer was not using a cellphone before the crash, according …
Amtrak train’s crew noted high speed just before crash, NTSB says
<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>18 hours ago
The Deadly Curve Where Amtrak Train Derailed Was Deemed Too …
Highly CitedWall Street Journal18 hours ago
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The Curve Where an Amtrak Train Derailed Wasn’t Supposed to …

TIME12 hours ago
The Curve Where an Amtrak Train Derailed Wasn’t Supposed to Exist – But It Cost Too Much to Fix … On Monday, an Amtrak train traveling from Seattle to Portland derailed near Tacoma while reportedly traveling too fast around a curve sharp enough to require a 30-miles-per-hour speed limit, killing three …
2017 Washington train derailment – Wikipedia

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On December 18, 2017, Amtrak Cascades passenger train 501 derailed near DuPont, Washington, United States. It was the inaugural southbound revenue service run on the Point Defiance Bypass, a new passenger rail route south of Tacoma, Washington. The bypass was intended to reduce congestion and separate passenger and freight traffic, and was designed for faster speeds and shorter travel times (saving ten minutes from Seattle to Portland) than the previous route used by Cascades.[1]

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fbi – Google News: Las Vegas shooting: FBI official says info on motive may take until next October to release – Fox News

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Fox News
Las Vegas shooting: FBI official says info on motive may take until next October to release
Fox News
That burning question has not been answered, but Rouse said evidence still suggests Paddock was the only person involved in the attack and that he has not been linked with any affiliations or ideologies. The FBI previously denied claims by the Islamic

and more »

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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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On Friday, the U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea designed to significantly cut off fuel supplies and order North Koreans working abroad to return home within two years, the New York Times . The sanctions, which received unanimous support from the 15 countries on the Security Council, limit exports of oil to their current level. The sanctions also require countries to expel North Korean workers, which are a source of hard currency. China and Russia joined the vote, despite charges by the United States that Russia has provided new links to the outside world for North Korea, including internet connections. The resolution provides the third package of sanctions this year; it was proposed in response to North Koreas test of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Nov. 30.

Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Thursday ahead of the holidays, saying that the United States was on a path to achieving a lasting victory for freedom and security in Afghanistan the Wall Street Journal. In an address to more than 500 American troops later in the day, Pence relayed a message from President Donald Trump: Tell them I love them. Pence became the highest-ranking official in the Trump administration to travel to Afghanistan, where Gen. John Nicholson, the commanding general of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has called the now 16-year-old fight against the Taliban a stalemate. Nicholson said additional troops and new authorities from Trump have given commanders more autonomy to prosecute the fight.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied the Trump administrations motion for a delay in implementing a district court order to accept transgender recruits into the military, The Hill . The ruling by Judges Diana Gribbon Motz, Albert Diaz, and Pamela Harris keeps in place Jan. 1 the deadline for the Pentagon to begin accepting in transgender recruits, and may lead to an appeal to the Supreme Court. Trump announced the ban in July on Twitter and confirmed it in a proclamation the next month.

Trump  that he plans to sign a $4 billion dollar missile defense bill later today. the Hill, the spending measure allocates approximately $4.6 billion for missile defense programs and repairs, as well as repairs for the Navy destroyers damaged in recent collisions.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe faced intense questioning in closed sessions of the House intelligence, judiciary, and oversight committees this week over about his interactions with former FBI Director James Comey during the FBIs Russia investigation and the Clinton email probe, CNN . McCabe, in 16 hours of testimony across two sessions, told lawmakers that Comey informed him of his conversations with Trump soon after they happened, suggesting that McCabe might have corroborated Comeys claim that Trump asked him for loyalty. The testimony comes amid increasing calls for Christopher Wray, Comeys successor as FBI director, to fire McCabe.

FBI General Counsel James Baker will be reassigned within the FBI in the coming months, the Post . Baker is one of the longest-serving national security officials in the federal government and has played a key role in the Bureaus handling of seminal cases and policy discussions. He told colleagues in an email on Wednesday that his duties were changing. In recent months, Baker has been part of an interagency dispute which ultimately led to a leak probe, though the probe did not play a role in Bakers reassignment. The move comes as FBI Director Christopher Wray assembles his team of advisers.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into the Human Rights Accountability Initiative, a foundation that seeks to help Americans adopt Russian orphans and members of which met with senior Trump campaign officials Bloomberg. The foundation, which was financed with $500,000 from wealthy Russian benefactors, served as a lobbying vehicle against certain sanctions against Russia. One of the foundations representatives, Rinat Akhmetshin, joined Natalia Veselnitskaya for a meeting a Trump Tower with Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort in June 2016.

National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen, who will retire this month after five years at the center, voiced concern in his final briefing to reporters about access to guns and the resulting frustration of efforts to prevent mass casualty attacks, the Post . We find ourselves in a more dangerous situation because our population of violent extremists has no difficulty gaining access to weapons that are quite lethal, he said. Rasmussen is among the few high-ranking officials from the Obama administration that remained in place for the first year of the Trump administration, having held senior positions under both Democratic and Republican presidents at  the National Security Council, NCTC, and the State Department during his 27-year career.

The Journal  the untold story behind Nigerias effort to rescue over 200 schoolgirls that Boko Haram kidnapped in 2014, launching a social media movement centered around the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

China has asked the Security Council to postpone a decision on blacklisting 10 ships that the United States claims have violated sanctions against North Korea, the Journal . A special committee of the Security Council was poised Thursday to block the vessels from entering the ports of U.N. members, but China formally requested that the decision be delayed until Dec. 28, so it could have more time to study the list of ships. This marks the second time China has asked for a such a deferral.

The Senate approved four new assistant secretaries for the Defense Department late Wednesday, including the chief of Asian and Pacific Affairs, the Hill . The Senate confirmed by a voice vote Thomas Harker as assistant secretary of the Navy for financial management; Bruce Jette as assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, technology; and logistics; John Roth as assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial management; and Randall Schriver as assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

J. Dana Stuster  the Middle East Ticker.

Paul Rosenzweig  Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon.

Matthew Kahn  the U.S. District Court for D.C.s denial for a stay in the transgender servicemember litigation.

Jack Goldsmith  why it was necessary for the United States to attribute the WannaCry cyber attack to North Korea without a credible deterrence strategy.

Sasha Romanosky  how the federal government should handle private sector attribution of cyber attacks.

 the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and  for additional commentary on these issues.  to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our  to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our .

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

mikenova shared this story from Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices.

On Thursday, The U.N. General Assembly voted 128-9 to condemn President Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the New York Times . The vote, which included 35 abstentions, is a stinging rebuke of Trumps decision. U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement after the vote that the United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for an attack in the General Assembly. We will remember it when called upon to again to make the largest contribution to the United Nations. The vote went against the United States despite President Trumps threats to cut billions of dollars in aid to countries who voted for it. Well be watching those votes. Let them vote against us; well save a lot. We dont care, Trump said during a cabinet meeting ahead of the emergency session. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed the Trump administrations rhetoric, calling the U.N. a house of lies ahead of todays vote, Reuters . The decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital has caused daily protests by Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, with eight killed so far.

The Pentagon has issued new policy guidance to military recruiters for how to enlist transgender recruits into the armed forces, intensifying the fight over Trumps ban on military service by transgender people the Post. Lawyers challenging Trumps ban have since included the new policy guidance in their filings on appeal. The guidance states that the government will comply with federal court orders directing the military to begin accepting transgender recruits as of Jan. 1 of next year. The court order also raises the possibility that a handful of transgender individuals who were denied their commissions after graduating from the military academies may be able to receive them.

Senior national security officials are embracing a proposal to send an American citizen who has been detained in Iraq since mid-September to Saudi Arabia,  the Times. The man, who is believed to be a low-level Islamic State fighter, was born in the United States to visiting Saudi parents. The Trump administration has struggled to come up with a plan to deal with the detainee, whose name it refuses to release, since he was captured. The pressure to resolve his fate has increased with the filing of a habeas corpus suit by the American Civil Liberties Union. The government initially wanted to prosecute him in a civilian court, but the FBI could not produce sufficient evidence against him.

Defense Secretary James Mattis will become the first Pentagon chief to visit Guantanamo since 2002, as he travels there to offer holiday greetings to troops today, ABC News . He will not be touring the detention facilities or discussing detainee options, but his visit comes amid uncertainty over the administrations policy on continued use of the nearly 16-year-old military detention facility.

The Pentagon confirmed for the first time that multiple ground operations involving U.S. troops have taken place in Yemen, noting that the Islamic States presence there has doubled NBC News. The statement by U.S. Central Command in explained that U.S. forces have conducted more than 120 strikes in 2017. Before the announcement, knowledge of counterterrorism operations in Yemen under the Trump administration was sporadic, with the administration acknowledging very few operations, such as the January raid that left Navy SEAL William Owens dead.

South Korean soldiers fired 20 machine gun rounds as warning shots against North Korean soldiers apparently pursuing a defecting comrade who made it across the DMZ into South Korean territory, CBS News . South Korean officials reported hearing gunfire after the warning shots were fired, but it is unclear whether the shots were retaliatory. Neither side reported casualties. The escape by the purportedly 19-year-old soldier marks the fourth such defection this year.

Josh Rogin of the Post  the Trump administrations approval of the first ever U.S. commercial sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine, in what amounts to a clear break with from the de facto ban on arms sales dating back to the Obama administration. The move was heavily supported by senior Trump national security officials, but may complicate Trumps ambition to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The State Department approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. Congress authorized such sales with the Ukraine Freedom Support Act in 2014.

The Trump administration  five new names to the list of Russian nationals sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act, which targets officials engaged in corruption. The list includes Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been accused of human rights abuses in tamping down on Chechen extremists. BBC  that the Kremlin has called the sanctions illegal and unfriendly, with Kadyrov saying he is proud that he is out of favor with the special services of the USA.

Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, issued a warning to President Trump to not interfere with the special counsels critical investigation and called on fellow senators to protect the probe, The Hill . Warner said he believed it was up to both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to make clear that any attempt to remove Special Counsel Robert Mueller would be a gross abuse of power and a flagrant violation of Executive branch responsibilities and authorities, adding that any interference would cause a constitutional crisis. The remarks come amid speculation that Trump may remove Mueller, speculation that Trump has dismissed.

The Associated Press  that a decision to place Dan Meyer, the director of the Intelligence Community Whistleblowing and Source Protection program, on administrative leave has alarmed whistleblower groups and members of Congress. Intelligence officials have refused to answer why Meyer was put on leave, insisting that they support whistleblower programs. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has begun an investigation, sending a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats about allegations that intelligence officials are taking steps to hamper the program, and calling on the acting inspector general for the intelligence community, Wayne Stone, to ensure the contents of Meyers office are secured.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Philip Bobbitt  why China would want to offer extended deterrence to North Korea.

Bob Bauer  the presidents removal power in response to Josh Blackmans posts on Congresss impeachment power and obstruction of justice charges against the president.

Scott Anderson  his post on the Lawfare@FP feed examining the ambiguity in Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital.

Susan Landau  the use of threat modeling in the context of Apples encryption policy and the FBIs need to access phones.

Vanessa Sauter  the Lawfare postcast, featuring Christine Fair on terrorism in Bangladesh.

 the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and  for additional commentary on these issues.  to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our  to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our .

 

The Early Edition: December 22, 2017

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Heres todays news.

ISRAEL-PALESTINE

The U.N. General Assembly yesterday voted 128 to 9 in favor of a resolution calling on the U.S. to withdraw its Dec. 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital, the non-binding vote was largely symbolic but demonstrated the weight of the international consensus against the shift in U.S. policy, and many U.N. Security Council resolutions over the decades have warned that the boundaries of Jerusalem constitute a final status issue to be decided in negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Rick Gladstone and Mark Landler report at the New York Times.

The General Assembly vote followed Mondays failed attempt to adopt a similar resolution at the U.N. Security Council due to the U.S.s use of its veto power. The Assembly vote demanded that all States comply with Security Council resolutions on the status of Jerusalem, that any unilateral decisions on the status of Jerusalem would be null and void, and that all States should refrain from moving their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem, the U.N. News Centre reports.

The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said during the debate preceding the vote, adding that the U.S. would still move its embassy to Jerusalem. Farnaz Fassihi reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The General Assemblys overwhelming vote was in spite of U.S. threats to cut aid to countries that supported the resolution, some of the 35 countries that abstained offered explanations distancing themselves from Trumps Dec. 6 decision. Carol Morello and Ruth Eglash report at the Washington Post.

Many of the U.S.s Western and Arab allies voted in favor of the measure, including Egypt, Jordan and Iraq who receive significant U.S. financial and military assistance, and Haley said that the U.S. would remember this vote when it is called upon to once again make the worlds largest contribution to the United Nations. Michelle Nichols reports at Reuters.

Israel completely rejects this preposterous resolution, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement yesterday, on the other hand, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas praised the vote, saying that it demonstrated the international communitys support for the Palestinian cause and that no decisions made by any side could change the reality, that Jerusalem is an occupied territory under international law. Rory Jones reports at the Wall Street Journal.

A breakdown of how each country voted is provided at Al Jazeera.

Palestinians will no longer accept any plan from the United States, Abbas reiterated today, referring to the U.S.s role as a mediator in the Israel-Palestine peace process. The BBC reports.

The Iranian Foreign Minister welcomed the vote in the face of the Trump regimes thuggish intimidation, in a message posted on Twitter, Reuters reports.

The Turkish President Reçep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday that he expects the Trump administration to rescind its Jerusalem decision without delay, Reuters reports.

The presidents foreign policy team has been empowered to explore various options going forward; however, no decisions have been made, the State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said yesterday in response to the General Assembly vote. Max Greenwood reports at the Hill.

The Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak led a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinians today, noting that he had visited the White House recently and that Trump is a good acquaintance, but that he would not pawn the sanctity of Islam. The AP reports.

A reevaluation of the U.S. role as the single largest donor to the U.N. is long overdue, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a message posted on Twitter yesterday, stating that the U.N. has tended to be a forum for anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. Brett Samuels reports at the Hill.

The U.S. threat to cut aid may have resulted in the increase in the number of abstentions, according to some analysts, however others have said that the threat did not bear much weight. An analysis of the U.S. warning to cut aid is provided at Al Jazeera.

NORTH KOREA

The U.S. circulated a draft resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea to the U.N. Security Council yesterday, the proposal would limit North Koreas fuel imports, tighten shipping restrictions, and call for the return of North Korean citizens earning income abroad within 12 months. Rick Gladstone reports at the New York Times.

The Security Council is set to vote on the draft U.S. resolution today, according to the U.S. the sanctions would ban over 90 percent of North Koreas exports reported in 2016 and the cutoff in work permits would eventually cost the regime around $500m a year. Edith M. Lederer reports at the AP.

China has formally requested a postponement on a U.N. Security Council decision to blacklist 10 ships that the U.S. has claimed have violated international sanctions against North Korea, calling for the decision to be delayed until Dec. 28 while it examines the proposed list. Michael R. Gordon reports at the Wall Street Journal.

North Koreas nuclear weapons and missile program stopped being funny in 2017, Adam Taylor and Tim Meko explain at Washington Post why weapons testing by the Pyongyang regime over the past year has increased talk of a conflict.

AFGHANISTAN

Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan yesterday, he said that the Trump administration believes we are now on the path to achieve a lasting victory for freedom and security in Afghanistan. Gordon Lubold reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Were here to see this through, Pence said, his visit coming after Trump announced a new strategy for Afghanistan in August that focuses on a fight to win rather than a time-based approach. Ken Thomas reports at the AP.

Pence did not say whether more troops would be needed in Afghanistan, noting that the decision would be needed to be taken by Trump, he also said that he had pushed Afghan leaders to enact political reforms in the country. Jeff Mason reports at Reuters.

A suicide car bombing killed four policemen in Afghanistans Kandahar province today and a bombing in Herat province killed four civilians last night. The Islamic State group have claimed responsibility for the Herat attack but there has been no claim of responsibility for the attack in Kandahar, the AP reports.

SYRIA

Russia is failing to genuinely de-conflict airspace in Syria, the chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said yesterday, making the comments after the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that it was unclear why Russia was violating the agreement separating Russian and U.S.-led coalition forces operating in Syria. Ryan Browne reports at CNN.

The U.S. presence in Syria must end, the Russian President Vladimir Putins envoy for Syria said yesterday, speaking at a new round of Russia, Iran and Turkey-brokered Syrian peace talks being held in Kazakhstans capital of Astana. Reuters reports.

The U.S. expects Russia to maintain a fairly significant presence in Syria despite an announcement that they are going to withdraw, the U.S. special envoy to the coalition against the Islamic State, Brett McGurk, told reporters today. Reuters reports.

Russia is set to host a Syrian congress of national dialogue on Jan. 29-30, according to the Russian news reports. The AP reports.

Chinas repression of its Uighur Muslim minority motivated thousands of Uighurs to travel to Syria to fight with a Uighur Islamist militant group and alongside al-Qaeda, the return of the militants to China may present a security challenge as the war in Syria de-escalates. Gerry Smith reveals at the AP.

The perception that the war in Syria is winding down has come as the Syrian government has achieved a series of battleground victories with the help of Russia and Iran; however, the reality is much more complicated, the violence is likely to continue, and there is the potential for new conflicts to emerge. Zeina Karam provides an analysis at the AP.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 19 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq between December 15 and December 17. [Central Command]

YEMEN

The U.S. welcomed the decision by the Saudi-led coalition to keep Yemens Hodeidah port open for a month to allow for the flow of humanitarian aid, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Tim Lenderking said in a briefing yesterday. Separately, comments by the White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested that the U.S. believes Iran bears the ultimate responsibility for the Dec. 19 missile launch by Yemens Houthi rebels on the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Reuters reports.

There is no military solution to end the war in Yemen and aggressive diplomacy offers the best way to end the crisis, Lenderking also said yesterday, adding that there is room for Houthis in a political settlement but not while they continue to launch rockets on a regular basis, especially against Saudi Arabia. Al Jazeera reports.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

The F.B.I. Deputy Director Andrew McCabe appeared before the House Intelligence Committee this week in a closed-door session, McCabe discussed his conversations with the former F.B.I. Director James Comey about the F.B.I.s Russia investigation and its investigation into Hillary Clintons use of a private email server, according to sources with knowledge of the testimony. McCabes questioning comes amid increased scrutiny of the F.B.I. and criticism of the agency from Republicans, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb report at CNN.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into the foundation that purportedly helped Americans adopt Russian children, representatives of the foundation met with Trump campaign officials and the foundation has been alleged to be a front for Russian government interests. Stephanie Baker and Irina Reznik report at Bloomberg.

The intelligence communitys assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election was relevant to the Justice Departments decision to designate the Russian-backed Russia Today (R.T.) channel as a foreign agent, a Justice Department official said yesterday. Josh Gerstein reports at POLITICO.

Mueller faces four threats from Trump and his allies: curbing his investigation, issuing pardons to those involved, a smear campaign, and firing. Richard W. Painter and Norman L. Eisen write at the New York Times, argue that peaceful force must be deployed to maintain the integrity of Muellers investigation.

UKRAINE

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to work together to create the conditions for Russian ceasefire observers return to eastern Ukraine, the two leaders spoke by phone yesterday and spoke about the situation which started in 2014 following a Russia-backed insurgency. Reuters reports.

The Trump administrations recent decision authorizing the sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine is a welcome reversal of Obama-era policy, Ukraine needs support in the face of Russian aggression and a strong U.S. push back in Ukraine will do more to impress Mr. Putin than all of Mr. Trumps rhetoric about desiring good relations. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited the Guantánamo Bay naval base yesterday, he did not discuss the future of the detention facility on the base and said: I am confident that were doing the right thing here. Robert Burns reports at the AP.

Justice Department prosecutors have started to interview F.B.I. agents about their investigation into the Uranium One deal, the deal was made during the Obama administration while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, however the F.B.I. investigation about the sale of U.S. uranium mining facilities to a Russian state company ended with no charges being filed. Tom Winter, Pete Wiliams and Ken Dilanian report at NBC News.

The British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called for an improvement in relations with Russia during his visit to Moscow today, ahead of the meeting the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Britain of making aggressive and insulting statements about Russias role in Syria and Ukraine and its alleged campaign of cyber interference. The BBC reports.

Mattis has managed to be by the presidents side and seemingly not be damaged by his proximity to power, however the situation may not last and Mattis faces a difficult task in the next year with regard to the threat posed by North Korea. David Ignatius writes at the Washington Post.

The substance of Trumps national security strategy (N.S.S.) report released this week contained many elements that reflect longstanding U.S. principles, however, there is a significant disconnect between the document and the presidents unpredictable comments and actions, the New York Times editorial board writes.

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Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Today’s Headlines and Commentary

mikenova shared this story from 1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites).

On Thursday, The U.N. General Assembly voted 128-9 to condemn President Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the New York Times . The vote, which included 35 abstentions, is a stinging rebuke of Trumps decision. U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement after the vote that the United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for an attack in the General Assembly. We will remember it when called upon to again to make the largest contribution to the United Nations. The vote went against the United States despite President Trumps threats to cut billions of dollars in aid to countries who voted for it. Well be watching those votes. Let them vote against us; well save a lot. We dont care, Trump said during a cabinet meeting ahead of the emergency session. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed the Trump administrations rhetoric, calling the U.N. a house of lies ahead of todays vote, Reuters . The decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital has caused daily protests by Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, with eight killed so far.

The Pentagon has issued new policy guidance to military recruiters for how to enlist transgender recruits into the armed forces, intensifying the fight over Trumps ban on military service by transgender people the Post. Lawyers challenging Trumps ban have since included the new policy guidance in their filings on appeal. The guidance states that the government will comply with federal court orders directing the military to begin accepting transgender recruits as of Jan. 1 of next year. The court order also raises the possibility that a handful of transgender individuals who were denied their commissions after graduating from the military academies may be able to receive them.

Senior national security officials are embracing a proposal to send an American citizen who has been detained in Iraq since mid-September to Saudi Arabia,  the Times. The man, who is believed to be a low-level Islamic State fighter, was born in the United States to visiting Saudi parents. The Trump administration has struggled to come up with a plan to deal with the detainee, whose name it refuses to release, since he was captured. The pressure to resolve his fate has increased with the filing of a habeas corpus suit by the American Civil Liberties Union. The government initially wanted to prosecute him in a civilian court, but the FBI could not produce sufficient evidence against him.

Defense Secretary James Mattis will become the first Pentagon chief to visit Guantanamo since 2002, as he travels there to offer holiday greetings to troops today, ABC News . He will not be touring the detention facilities or discussing detainee options, but his visit comes amid uncertainty over the administrations policy on continued use of the nearly 16-year-old military detention facility.

The Pentagon confirmed for the first time that multiple ground operations involving U.S. troops have taken place in Yemen, noting that the Islamic States presence there has doubled NBC News. The statement by U.S. Central Command in explained that U.S. forces have conducted more than 120 strikes in 2017. Before the announcement, knowledge of counterterrorism operations in Yemen under the Trump administration was sporadic, with the administration acknowledging very few operations, such as the January raid that left Navy SEAL William Owens dead.

South Korean soldiers fired 20 machine gun rounds as warning shots against North Korean soldiers apparently pursuing a defecting comrade who made it across the DMZ into South Korean territory, CBS News . South Korean officials reported hearing gunfire after the warning shots were fired, but it is unclear whether the shots were retaliatory. Neither side reported casualties. The escape by the purportedly 19-year-old soldier marks the fourth such defection this year.

Josh Rogin of the Post  the Trump administrations approval of the first ever U.S. commercial sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine, in what amounts to a clear break with from the de facto ban on arms sales dating back to the Obama administration. The move was heavily supported by senior Trump national security officials, but may complicate Trumps ambition to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The State Department approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. Congress authorized such sales with the Ukraine Freedom Support Act in 2014.

The Trump administration  five new names to the list of Russian nationals sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act, which targets officials engaged in corruption. The list includes Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been accused of human rights abuses in tamping down on Chechen extremists. BBC  that the Kremlin has called the sanctions illegal and unfriendly, with Kadyrov saying he is proud that he is out of favor with the special services of the USA.

Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, issued a warning to President Trump to not interfere with the special counsels critical investigation and called on fellow senators to protect the probe, The Hill . Warner said he believed it was up to both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to make clear that any attempt to remove Special Counsel Robert Mueller would be a gross abuse of power and a flagrant violation of Executive branch responsibilities and authorities, adding that any interference would cause a constitutional crisis. The remarks come amid speculation that Trump may remove Mueller, speculation that Trump has dismissed.

The Associated Press  that a decision to place Dan Meyer, the director of the Intelligence Community Whistleblowing and Source Protection program, on administrative leave has alarmed whistleblower groups and members of Congress. Intelligence officials have refused to answer why Meyer was put on leave, insisting that they support whistleblower programs. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has begun an investigation, sending a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats about allegations that intelligence officials are taking steps to hamper the program, and calling on the acting inspector general for the intelligence community, Wayne Stone, to ensure the contents of Meyers office are secured.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Philip Bobbitt  why China would want to offer extended deterrence to North Korea.

Bob Bauer  the presidents removal power in response to Josh Blackmans posts on Congresss impeachment power and obstruction of justice charges against the president.

Scott Anderson  his post on the Lawfare@FP feed examining the ambiguity in Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital.

Susan Landau  the use of threat modeling in the context of Apples encryption policy and the FBIs need to access phones.

Vanessa Sauter  the Lawfare postcast, featuring Christine Fair on terrorism in Bangladesh.

 the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and  for additional commentary on these issues.  to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our  to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our .

 

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Flickr Hive Mind is a data mining tool for the Flickr database of photography. Flickr Hive Mind is a search engine as well as an experiment in the power of Folksonomies. All thumbnail images come directly from Flickr, none are stored on Flickr Hive Mind. These photos are bound by the copyright and license of their owners, the thumbnail links take to you to the photos (as well as their copyright and license details) within Flickr. Because some other search engines (Google, etc.) index parts of Flickr Hive Mind, you may have been led here from one of them. Welcome to Flickr Hive Mind, almost certainly the best search engine for photography on the web. If you are a Flickr user and use Flickr Stats you may have seen people being led to your photos via Flickr Hive Mind (as a Referrer). Flickr requires that I inform you that Flickr Hive Mind uses the Flickr API, but is neither endorsed nor certified by them. There are literally hundreds of other web tools built around the Flickr API, see Flickr Bits for a bunch of examples. If you are unhappy with your photos’ presence on this site, you can (a) make your photos private for yourself, friends, and family. These settings will be instantly honored by Flickr Hive Mind and all other API-driven applications. (b) Hide your photos globally from text and tag searches on 3rd party sites that use the Flickr API, via your preference settings on Flickr. See the privacy tab at:https://flickr.com/account/. To also remove yourself from searches for specific user names, you will need to set your Flickr profile to be hidden from searches. Flickr has finally created a single page with all these settings, this is much easier to do now and is the preferred method – it will shut down all API driven sites. Google has a bad habit of keeping out-of-date links and thumbnails in their search results, I can try to help you remove them. (c) Finally, you can Banish Yourself From Flickr Hive Mind. To banish yourself from Flickr Hive Mind, you must first authenticate to Flickr, which lets Flickr Hive Mind identify who you are. This is necessary to make sure you are the user in question, and also because people use such crazy characters in their Flickr user names. You can revoke access when finished. Once logged in, come back to this area and there will be a link to banish you. If there are any problems email me at nosflickrhivemind … at … fiveprime … dot … org. (a few people with weird characters in their user names may have had problems)
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