Flynn Departure Leaves Trump National Security Team in Turmoilby Shannon Pettypiece ,Margaret Talev, and Jennifer Jacobs
Retired Army General Kellogg named acting security adviser
Resignation comes as U.S. confronting security challenges
White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned Monday amid a snowballing controversy over whether he lied about his contacts with a Russian official, throwing President Donald Trump’s security team into turmoil just weeks into his term.
Flynn’s resignation came as Trump struggles to cement his national security apparatus as the president and his cabinet officials are preparing for a series of meetings and summits with foreign leaders in the coming months, starting this week in Europe.
Retired Army Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, who had been Flynn’s chief of staff, was named acting national security adviser, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement announcing the resignation.
Trump, GOP lawmakers eye ‘illegal’ leaks in wake of Flynn resignation
Lawmakers question why Flynn info was leaked to media
In the wake of Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser, President Trump and Republican allies on Capitol Hill are turning their attention to the potentially “illegal” leaks that revealed Flynn’s politically fatal discussions with a Russian diplomat and other sensitive details from inside the administration.
Fox News first reported Monday night that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., wants the FBI to conduct an assessment of recent media leaks. The president, after accepting Flynn’s resignation overnight, tweeted Tuesday morning that, “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?”
Flynn echoed that point. Asked Tuesday morning whether the leaks were targeted, coordinated and possibly a violation of the law, Flynn told Fox News: “Yes, yes and yes.”
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that the most significant question posed by the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn is why intelligence officials eavesdropped on his calls with the Russian ambassador and later leaked information on those calls to the press.
“I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is conducting a review of Russian activities to influence the election. “The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.”
Flynn resigned Monday night, days after The Washington Post reported that intelligence officials had recorded Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. before Trump took office. Those recordings, The Post reported, appeared to contradict Flynn’s own claims that he had not discussed easing U.S. sanctions on Russia
Russian spy ship off East Coast of US, officials say
A Russian spy ship was spotted patrolling off the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday morning, the first such patrol since President Trump took office, two U.S. officials told Fox News.
The Russian spy ship was 70 miles off the coast of Delaware, heading north at 10 knots, according to one official. That location means the ship is in international waters. The U.S. territory line is 12 nautical miles.
It was not immediately clear where the Russian spy ship is headed.
The ship, the SSV-175 Viktor Leonov, last sailed near the U.S. in April 2015, an official said. The ship is capable of intercepting communications or signals, known as SIGINT, as well as measuring U.S. Navy sonar capability, a separate official said.
Russia secretly deploys cruise missile violating arms treaty
Russia has deployed a new cruise missile despite complaints by US officials that it violates an arms-control treaty banning ground-based American and Russian intermediate-range missiles, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
The US concluded in 2014 that Russia had violated the 1987 treaty banning ground-launched intermediate range missiles by testing the experimental new cruise missile, Reuters reported.
US officials have now concluded the SSC-8 missile is operational and has been secretly deployed, the Times reported.
The deployment presents a major challenge for President Trump, who has vowed to improve relations with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and to pursue future arms accords.
IMAGE CREDITS: AIRMAN MAGAZINE / FLICKR.
A spokesman for the US Central Command (CENTCOM) told Foreign Policy that 5,265 armor-piercing DU rounds were used in November 2015, during two air raids against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) oil tanker convoys in the Deir ez-Zor and Hasakah provinces in eastern Syria.
A-10 ground attack aircraft fired the projectiles from their 30mm rotating cannons, destroying about 350 tanker trucks, according to CENTCOM spokesman Major Josh Jacques.
Moroccan man, 33, is arrested in Gran Canaria on suspicion of planning a terror attack after ‘posing with his wife and young son with ISIS badge’
- The 33-year-old Moroccan had been under surveillance for the past five years
- Spanish police arrested him over fears he was about to launch a terror attack
- Police admitted the suspect is believed to represent a significant threat
- The man was arrested in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria by anti-terror officers
Police in the Canary Islands have arrested a 33-year-old Moroccan whose hatred for the west was so great that he was prepared to ‘execute a terrorist attack with great repercussions’.
The man, said to be a ‘violent jihadist supporter’, had been under constant watch since 2012 because of his potentially dangerous profile.
But as part of the fight against terrorism, officers said they could no longer allow him to walk free because of the threat he represented.
Two thirds of Germans want Merkel ousted as Chancellor as she suffers another hammer blow in the polls
- Sixty-four percent of citizens have said they want a new face in the hotseat
- Only eight% believe Angela Merkel is definitely the right person for the job
- Polls have swung away from Merkel Since SPD chose Martin Schulz as candidate
- Most recent gauge of public opinion was conducted and published by YouGov
Sixty-four percent of citizens want a new face in the hotseat when the nation heads to the polling stations for September’s election, according to the most recent gauge of public opinion.
YouGov’s figures revealed that only eight percent of Germans think Merkel should definitely keep the title she has held for the past 12 years.
IMAGE CREDITS: SIMON DAWSON / JEAN CATUFFE VIA GETTYS.
On Nov. 15, 2016, Market Watch reported George Soros’ hedge fund, Soros Fund Management LLC, invested in Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google.
On Feb. 16, 2012, Forbes reported that Soros had been trading in Google prior to 2007, but had completely sold out in the second quarter of 2011, at $550 a share.
Then, in the fourth quarter 2011, Soros bought his largest share in Google to date, purchasing 258,900 shares at about $592 per share for a total investment of $154 million. Soros’ investment in Google in 2011 was made by Soros’ predecessor Quantum Fund, then the best-performing hedge fund in history that in 2011 was closed to the public, focusing only on managing assets held by Soros and his family
The special prosecution said it would also seek an arrest warrants for Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS> President Park Sang-jin. It did not elaborate or say what charges it planned to bring against the two executives.
Chinese weapons reaching ‘near-parity’ with West: study
China is beginning to export its own weapon designs, including armed drones, worldwide and is reaching “near-parity” with the West in terms of military technology, according to a report on Tuesday.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies said that China’s official defence budget of $145 billion (137 billion euros) last year was 1.8 times higher than those of South Korea and Japan combined.
It also accounted for more than a third of Asia’s total military spending in 2016, the IISS annual Military Balance report said, adding that spending in Asia grew by five to six percentage points a year between 2012 and 2016.
Total global military spending instead fell by 0.4 percent in real terms in 2016 compared to 2015, largely due to reductions in the Middle East.
“China’s military progress highlights that Western dominance in the field of advanced weapons systems can no longer be taken for granted,” IISS director John Chipman said at a presentation in London.
Greece considers ditching the Euro in favour of the US dollar in devastating move which would ‘freak out’ Germany and humiliate Brussels
- Donald Trump’s pic for EU ambassador Ted Balloch made the comments on TV
- He told a Greek broadcaster the country’s officials were looking into EU options
- Greece’s spiraling financial crisis has led to EU bosses threatening expulsion
- If the country does drop out of the union it will be seen as a blow by Germany
Greece is said to be considering ditching the Euro in favour of the US dollar in a devastating move which would humiliate Brussels.
Donald Trump‘s pick for EU ambassador Ted Malloch claimed senior Greek economists are looking into taking on the American banknotes if the country turns its back on the European currency.
BREAKING NEWS: Kim Jong-Un’s playboy half-brother ‘is killed by two female assassins with poisoned needles at an airport in Malaysia’
- Kim Jong-nam died on way to hospital ‘after being poisoned in Kuala Lumpa’
- The 45-year-old was killed by two female assassins, reports in Malaysia claim
- There are reports he was the target of assassination attempts in the past
- Kim was overlooked for succession to dictator by former leader Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-nam, the oldest son of former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, died on his way to hospital after collapsing at Kuala Lumpur airport.
The 45-year-old was poisoned by two female assassins believed to be North Korean operatives who are still at large, according to television reports in Malaysia.
US blacklists Venezuela’s vice president as drug trafficker
The United States blacklisted Venezuela’s Vice President Tareck El Aissami for drug trafficking, the first crackdown by the Trump administration against a top official in President Nicolas Maduro’s government for money laundering and the drug trade.
The U.S. Department of Treasury said it designated El Aissami for sanctions under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. His associate, Samark Jose Lopez Bello, was targeted for providing material assistance and financial support for El Aissami’s activities, Treasury said in a statement.
Syrian forces used chemical weapons in final push for Aleppo: HRW
United Nations (United States) (AFP) – Syrian government forces carried out at least eight chemical attacks during the final weeks of the battle for Aleppo, killing nine people, among them four children, and injuring hundreds more, Human Rights Watch said Monday.
The rights group said it interviewed witnesses, collected photos and reviewed video footage indicating that chlorine bombs were dropped from government helicopters during the offensive from November 17 to December 13.
Around 200 people were injured by the toxic gases used on opposition-controlled areas of the northern city, according to HRW.
One of the deadliest bombings hit the neighborhood of Sakhur on November 20, killing six members of the same family including four children whose lifeless bodies were shown on a video taken by the Shabha press agency.
The UK’s spending on defence has dipped below the Nato target of 2 per cent of national spending, according to a new report.
Military spending was 1.98 per cent of GDP in 2016, as a result of the British economy growing faster than the defence budget, said the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
However, the Ministry of Defence has rejected the claims, branding the figure “wrong”, pointing to official Nato statistics which put the UK’s defence spending for 2016 at 2.21 per cent.
According to a report from the Bulgarian ministry of defence, “tactical manoeuvring, air defence, repelling asymmetric attacks from an enemy above water, delivery of cargo by helicopter, and other manoeuvres” were carried out.
Russian defence minister Sergey Shoigu claimed Moscow was monitoring the Sea Shield drills.
He said: “At present, we are watching and monitoring everything that is happening there.
Germany’s AfD votes to expel lawmaker who criticised Holocaust memorial
The AfD, which has lawmakers in 10 of Germany’s 16 regional parliaments, is expected to become the third-largest party in the Bundestag federal lower house after an election on Sept. 24.
Some senior AfD members say speeches like the one by Bjoern Hoecke, the party leader in the eastern state of Thuringia, damage its image and dent its chances in the election.
(South Front) Moscow has deployed another military police battalion to Syria.
The battalion was sent from the Russian republic of Ingushetia in order to boost security of military personnel during operations in the war-torn country, according to Ingushetia leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov said on Monday.
According to Yevkurov, servicemen will focus on protecting personnel of the Russian air group and the Center for Syrian reconciliation.
US taking fresh look at moving F-16 production to India:Lockheed
In Memory of John J. Marini