“Next customers: Flynn and Jr.” – Google News: Saudis’ nuclear endeavors benefit from US loopholes – Daily Sabah | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions

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Saudis’ nuclear endeavors benefit from US loopholes  Daily Sabah

In February 2019, the House Oversight Committee released a report, prepared for Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, revealing efforts within the White House to…

“Next customers: Flynn and Jr.” – Google News


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Trump claims ‘major consideration’ given to declaring Antifa a terrorist organization

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WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) — As Antifa activists faced off with white nationalists at dueling rallies in Portland, Oregon Saturday, President Donald Trump announced his administration is considering formally labeling the far-left group a domestic terrorist organization, but some experts are skeptical such a designation would be legal or particularly helpful to law enforcement.

“Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an ‘ORGANIZATION OF TERROR,’” Trump tweeted Saturday morning, stating the Portland protests were “being watched very closely.”

PPB and Mayor Ted Wheeler hold press conference after demonstrations

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Portland Police Bureau and Mayor Ted Wheeler held a press conference after dueling demonstrations took place in Portland on Aug. 17, 2019. KATU video{ }

Thousands of law enforcement officers from more than a dozen local, state, and federal agencies worked to keep the far-left and far-right demonstrators separated Saturday. They were mostly successful, though the situation did devolve into a civil disturbance later in the afternoon.

Police said 13 people were arrested during the protests, though they did not identify which side the suspects were on, and a half dozen people were treated for minor injuries. Antifa and the far-right Proud Boys both declared victory when it was all over, with organizer Joe Biggs citing Trump’s tweet as proof the event successfully called attention to Antifa violence.

It was not the first time the president has raised the issue. Last month, Trump claimed officials were considering whether to declare “the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats” a terrorist organization.

“Would make it easier for police to do their job!” Trump tweeted.

Trump’s tweets join a growing chorus of Republicans fighting for Antifa to be treated as a terrorist organization. Last month, Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Bill Cassidy, R-La., introduced a resolution calling for “the groups and organizations across the country who act under the banner of Antifa to be designated as domestic terrorist organizations.” The resolution also calls for the federal government to step up efforts to combat “all forms of domestic terrorism.”

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., made a similar demand in a letter to Attorney General William Barr after journalist Andy Ngo was attacked by masked protesters during an Antifa demonstration in Portland in June. He claimed designating Antifa a domestic terrorist organization would send a clear message that political violence is unacceptable and reassure journalists that their rights will be protected.

“Antifa’s use of violence as a means of furthering its political agenda represents a significant threat to public safety as well as the First Amendment rights of Americans everywhere,” Fitzpatrick wrote.

Terrorism experts find the push to designate Antifa a domestic terrorist organization puzzling, in part because no such formal designation exists under current law.

“I don’t know what they’re talking about,” said David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University.

When law enforcement designates a group an international terrorist organization, it can prosecute those who provide material support for that group, establish probable cause for surveillance, and pursue sanctions against financial institutions that do business with the organization.

“Under law, there really is no domestic terror statute,” said John Cohen, a former counterterrorism coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security who served under Republican and Democratic administrations. “While the federal government can designate certain international groups as terrorist organizations, there really isn’t a statutory mechanism to designate a domestic organization as a terror group in a way that would aid the prosecutorial process.”

The vast difference in the authority law enforcement is empowered with to investigate domestic terrorism in comparison to international terrorism has been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks as authorities grapple with the growing threat of white nationalist violence. The man suspected of opening fire in an El Paso Walmart earlier this month was allegedly driven by anti-immigrant hatred.

Some law enforcement officials and experts argue domestic extremists should be subject to the same scrutiny as supporters of international terrorist groups. Others warn such powers could be abused by the government to imprison those engaged in speech those in power disagree with.

“If it’s a domestic organization, those organizations have a right to free speech and free association,” Schanzer said. “Al Qaeda doesn’t have those rights.”

In an August 1 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., acknowledged the FBI has no official list of domestic terrorist organizations, but he argued a category of “Anti-1st Amendment Extremists” that “properly encompasses Antifa’s political goals” should be added to the bureau’s public list of ideologies that often lead to domestic terrorism.

Antifa—short for anti-fascist—groups have been operating in the U.S. for years, but they made national headlines around the time of President Trump’s inauguration, when masked protesters destroyed property, scuffled with police, and set a limousine on fire in Washington, D.C. There have been several public confrontations between masked Antifa activists and Trump supporters, right-wing ideologues, and white supremacists across the country since then.

Antifa demonstrators have repeatedly clashed with far-right protesters in Portland over the last three years, including the June event where Ngo was attacked, which was billed as a “Community Self-Defense” rally against the Proud Boys and other far-right groups.

“They were beating me and all this time I could see the steps of the Justice Center,” Ngo told Sinclair Broadcast Group after the incident, during which he suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage. His attackers have not been identified, but Portland officials say the investigation is ongoing.

In addition to the assault on Ngo, Cruz and Cassidy’s resolution cites several incidents where “left-wing activists” have threatened, stalked, and doxxed Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees and offices. An armed self-described Antifa member also set fire to a vehicle outside an ICE detention center in Tacoma, Washington last month before being killed by police.

Critics have complained local police in Portland and elsewhere have allowed Antifa activists to act with impunity, excusing their behavior because the people they are fighting are worse or because their masks make them difficult to identify. Last year, some House Republicans sought unsuccessfully to make it a federal crime for someone wearing a disguise to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate a person exercising their constitutional rights.

Former Antifa protester Gabriel Nadales told Sinclair last month that he supported the group as a teenager but now believes it is “just a violent organization filled with a bunch of thugs that need to be put in jail.”

“I left Antifa because I felt like I couldn’t have an original opinion. Anytime I would question some of the members about some of the things that we did, they would tell me to shut up or get out. So I did,” said Nadales, who is now a conservative activist.

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Antifa member-turned-conservative activist{ }Gabriel Nadales explains why he left the group. (SBG)

If Antifa or anyone else engages in violence, they should expect to be targeted by law enforcement, Cohen said, and it fair to question whether their disruptive and sometimes violent tactics are the best way to combat violent white nationalist extremism. He does not see that as fitting a traditional definition of terrorist activity, though.

“If Antifa was going out and beating up white people because they believed all white people were fascist, that would be one thing, but Antifa members are creating counter-protests and using violence to combat public displays or activities by white supremacists,” Cohen said.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Addicott, director of the Warrior Defense Project at St. Mary’s University School of Law, said many Antifa activities are peaceful and protected by the First Amendment, but others do engage in violence against those who disagree with them. Arresting those who do break the law at a given public event may be a less problematic solution than declaring them all to be terrorists.

“Labeling them as a terror group would have far-reaching legal implications, to include the Material Support Act for those that would provide support to Antifa,” Addicott said.

A further complication in the case of Antifa, Schanzer noted, is that it is more of an idea than an organization. There are some local groups that use the name, like Rose City Antifa in Portland, but there is no central leadership or command structure.

“The administration ran into this when they were considering whether to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization,” he said. There are many groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood around the world, some of which are legitimate political parties.

Wray made a similar point at a Senate hearing last month in response to a question from Cruz about Antifa violence, stating that Antifa is an ideology rather than an organization and the FBI does not investigate ideologies. When an ideology fuels violent criminal activity, the FBI can and does act.

“We have quite a number, though, I should tell you, of properly predicated investigations of what we categorize as ‘anarchist extremists,’ people who are trying to commit violent, criminal activity that violates federal law, and some of those people do subscribe to what we would describe as to what we would refer to as kind of an Antifa-like ideology,” Wray said.

If designating Antifa a terrorist organization is not a viable legal option, Republicans have sought other aggressive steps from law enforcement as well.

In a letter to Barr and Wray last month, Cruz argued the FBI and DOJ should “open an organized crime investigation” into Antifa and apply the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to prosecute individual members even if they have not engaged in specific criminal acts. Cruz also demanded a federal investigation of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for “official policies violating Oregonians’ civil rights,” equating his refusal to shut down left-wing protests to officials implicitly accepting violence by the Ku Klux Klan.

“Our Republic depends on free and open participation in the political process. These acts of brazen political violence and intimidation strike at the heart of that process. Given your commitment to the rule of law, I hope you will respond to Antifa’s organized criminal activity, and Mayor Ted Wheeler’s refusal to protect Portland’s citizens from that activity, with all speed and vigilance,” Cruz wrote.

Experts at the Heritage Foundation have also made a case for cracking down on Antifa using organized crime statutes.

“RICO makes it illegal for a person to participate in the affairs of an enterprise that engages in ‘racketeering activities.’ Racketeering activities include crimes like arson, robbery, fraud and money laundering,” Christina Eastman and GianCarlo Canaparo wrote in a FoxNews op-ed last month.

At a time when white supremacists are growing more violent, vandalizing places of worship, and plotting mass shootings, Cohen suggested a debate about Antifa is a distraction from more urgent threats. He argued the government’s time and resources might be better spent empowering law enforcement to go after organizations and individuals planning violent attacks, improving mental health services, and passing a national red flag law to keep firearms out of the hands of high-risk individuals.

“I’m not saying Antifa should be able to do what they do,” Cohen stressed. He added there are already plenty of laws against the activities engaged in by some protesters that lawmakers say they are concerned about, and those laws should be enforced.

“If you destroy property, you should be arrested,” he said. “If you confront a public display of ideological belief, no matter how repugnant, if you use violence to combat that display, you should be arrested.”

If political leaders are agitating for those laws to be enforced consistently, that is one thing. If they are suggesting Antifa should be treated differently than neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, or other domestic extremists, Schanzer said that is wrong and likely unconstitutional.

“Any entity that both advocates for imminent violence in a way that violates the First Amendment standard or is planning, plotting, conspiring to engage in violence, we have a set of legal tools to address that conduct. That applies to Antifa and it applies to white supremacist organizations,” he said.


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August 19, 2019 | FBI Reform

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6:15 PM 8/19/2019 – Investigate Aida Díaz and PR Teachers Union for their roles in July events and their very likely connections with the Leftist agitators and manipulators, and for her hypothetical ties with the Venezuelan and Cuban Intelligence Services. There is a sufficient basis for these concerns. “Díaz is a “woman of valor” whose fight against Keleher and Rosselló proved her leadership qualities”…

The president of Puerto Rico’s teachers’ union has announced she will step down from her position after 17 years, after news reports highlighted her husband’s education contracts.

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Questions About Education Contracts Shake Up Puerto Rico Yet Again – Education Week
 

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Questions About Education Contracts Shake Up Puerto Rico Yet Again  Education WeekThe president of Puerto Rico’s teachers’ union said her decision to step down was not connected to questions about her husband’s contracts with the U.S. …

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Questions About Education Contracts Shake Up Puerto Rico Yet Again  Education WeekThe president of Puerto Rico’s teachers’ union said her decision to step down was not connected to questions about her husband’s contracts with the U.S. …

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« A Big Charter School Struggle Has Been Galvanized by a Democratic Governor | Main

Questions About Education Contracts Shake Up Puerto Rico Yet Again

The president of Puerto Rico’s teachers’ union has announced she will step down from her position after 17 years, after news reports highlighted her husband’s education contracts.

Aida Díaz, the president of the Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico (AMPR), said she had already planned to resign before questions surfaced in the Puerto Rican press about her husband Eusebio Rodríguez Oquendo’s contracts with the U.S. territory’s Department of Education. Díaz denied that her husband’s work represented a conflict of interest for her and her union leadership.

Questions about the Puerto Rico Department of Education’s contracts have dominated recent stories about the island’s school system, which educates roughly 300,000 students and is one of the largest districts in the U.S.

In an interview with Education Week on Monday, Díaz said that an independent process determined who would be awarded these contracts, which her husband first received in 2010 for after-school programs and has had renewed since.

“There is no intervention, nothing that I could do to make the Department of Education approve those proposals,” she said. Díaz also said she never spoke with her husband about these contracts or helped him draw them up: “They’re saying it’s a conflict, and I don’t see a conflict.”


See Our In-Depth Coverage: Putting Puerto Rico’s Schools Back on Track


She also expressed the fear that after massive political protests forced former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to step down recently, political forces in Puerto Rico would seek to take revenge on his opponents. (Díaz was a critic of Rosselló’s education policies.) But she also highlighted dissent within the teacher community over her work at AMPR—Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, a vocal educator advocacy group who opposed Keleher’s work, criticized Diaz’s leadership of the union over the weekend.

Although she said she planned to step down soon from AMPR even before the recent news reports, she also cited concern for her husband after the stories as a factor in her decision.

Keleher and Díaz had high-profile disagreements about several issues, perhaps most prominently Keleher’s decision to close hundreds of public schools in the summer of 2018 due in large part to declining enrollment. They also clashed over the government’s decision to expand school choice on the island, including a new law passed by the legislature (also in 2018) that among several major changes allowed the opening of charter schools in Puerto Rico for the first time. At one point, Díaz’s union went to court unsuccessfully to try to block the new law.

In October 2017 shortly after Hurricane Maria, we highlighted Díaz’s efforts to locate and support teachers in the storm’s immediate aftermath. “They are cleaning the schools. They are cutting trees,” she said of teachers’ efforts to get schools up and running again. “They are doing anything just to reopen those schools. No matter what they have in their private lives, they are doing whatever they can.”

Díaz said one of AMPR’s biggest successes was to ensure schools reopened after the hurricane, as well as the union’s work to shore up the “morale of the teachers.” She also expressed gratitude for teachers on the U.S. mainland who provided assistance to Puerto Rico’s schools after the storm. “We have continued helping the students,” she said.

Improving low teacher pay, Díaz said, remains one of the biggest challenges for the union going forward. She wasn’t clear on when she will officially step down, saying it could come in the next few weeks or months.

Díaz is a “woman of valor” whose fight against Keleher and Rosselló proved her leadership qualities, AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement. (AMPR is an AFT affiliate.)

“I witnessed Díaz, AMPR and Puerto Rico’s loving, compassionate and dedicated teachers, work to reopen schools that had been devastated by the hurricane; for many schools, this was only possible because teachers cleaned and repaired them with their bare hands,” Weingarten said.

Video: AMPR President Aida Díaz speaks with Education Week in October 2017 about teachers’ initial efforts to recover from Hurricane Maria. 

5:08 PM 8/19/2019 – Where is the beef? Where is the beef? | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions
 

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“2016 Presidential Election Investigation” – Google News: Twitter blocks 200,000 accounts allegedly used by China to spread disinformation in Hong Kong – MarketWatch

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Twitter blocks 200,000 accounts allegedly used by China to spread disinformation in Hong Kong  MarketWatch

WASHINGTON — Twitter said Monday it has suspended more than 200,000 accounts that it believes were part of a Chinese government influence campaign …

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Questions About Education Contracts Shake Up Puerto Rico Yet Again – Education Week

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Questions About Education Contracts Shake Up Puerto Rico Yet Again  Education Week

The president of Puerto Rico’s teachers’ union said her decision to step down was not connected to questions about her husband’s contracts with the U.S. …


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Questions About Education Contracts Shake Up Puerto Rico Yet Again – Politics K-12 – Education Week

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Questions About Education Contracts Shake Up Puerto Rico Yet Again

The president of Puerto Rico’s teachers’ union has announced she will step down from her position after 17 years, after news reports highlighted her husband’s education contracts. 

Aida Díaz, the president of the Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico (AMPR), said she had already planned to resign before questions surfaced in the Puerto Rican press about her husband Eusebio Rodríguez Oquendo’s contracts with the U.S. territory’s Department of Education. Díaz denied that her husband’s work represented a conflict of interest for her and her union leadership.

Questions about the Puerto Rico Department of Education’s contracts have dominated recent stories about the island’s school system, which educates roughly 300,000 students and is one of the largest districts in the U.S.

In an interview with Education Week on Monday, Díaz said that an independent process determined who would be awarded these contracts, which her husband first received in 2010 for after-school programs and has had renewed since. 

“There is no intervention, nothing that I could do to make the Department of Education approve those proposals,” she said. Díaz also said she never spoke with her husband about these contracts or helped him draw them up: “They’re saying it’s a conflict, and I don’t see a conflict.” 


See Our In-Depth Coverage: Putting Puerto Rico’s Schools Back on Track


She also expressed the fear that after massive political protests forced former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to step down recently, political forces in Puerto Rico would seek to take revenge on his opponents. (Díaz was a critic of Rosselló’s education policies.) But she also highlighted dissent within the teacher community over her work at AMPR—Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, a vocal educator advocacy group who opposed Keleher’s work, criticized Diaz’s leadership of the union over the weekend. 

Although she said she planned to step down soon from AMPR even before the recent news reports, she also cited concern for her husband after the stories as a factor in her decision. 

Keleher and Díaz had high-profile disagreements about several issues, perhaps most prominently Keleher’s decision to close hundreds of public schools in the summer of 2018 due in large part to declining enrollment. They also clashed over the government’s decision to expand school choice on the island, including a new law passed by the legislature (also in 2018) that among several major changes allowed the opening of charter schools in Puerto Rico for the first time. At one point, Díaz’s union went to court unsuccessfully to try to block the new law. 

In October 2017 shortly after Hurricane Maria, we highlighted Díaz’s efforts to locate and support teachers in the storm’s immediate aftermath. “They are cleaning the schools. They are cutting trees,” she said of teachers’ efforts to get schools up and running again. “They are doing anything just to reopen those schools. No matter what they have in their private lives, they are doing whatever they can.”

Díaz said one of AMPR’s biggest successes was to ensure schools reopened after the hurricane, as well as the union’s work to shore up the “morale of the teachers.” She also expressed gratitude for teachers on the U.S. mainland who provided assistance to Puerto Rico’s schools after the storm. “We have continued helping the students,” she said.

Improving low teacher pay, Díaz said, remains one of the biggest challenges for the union going forward. She wasn’t clear on when she will officially step down, saying it could come in the next few weeks or months. 

Díaz is a “woman of valor” whose fight against Keleher and Rosselló proved her leadership qualities, AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement. (AMPR is an AFT affiliate.) 

“I witnessed Díaz, AMPR and Puerto Rico’s loving, compassionate and dedicated teachers, work to reopen schools that had been devastated by the hurricane; for many schools, this was only possible because teachers cleaned and repaired them with their bare hands,” Weingarten said. 

Video: AMPR President Aida Díaz speaks with Education Week in October 2017 about teachers’ initial efforts to recover from Hurricane Maria. 


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5:08 PM 8/19/2019 – Where is the beef? Where is the beef? | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions

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5:08 PM 8/19/2019 – Where is the beef? | Where is the beef?

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ | Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ – on RSS DogMichael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ – In Brief | Trump Investigations News In Brief –  http://feed.informer.com/share/CGD4YTZW07 | Trump Investigations News – Page Link – News In Brief | Tweets | Videos | Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ – Page

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4:46 PM 8/19/2019 – “The Trump-Maduro Revenge Hypothesis”: The Signs Of Things To Come? Maduro did it, a la Montezuma! Investigate “Douglas Leff”! FBI: The Grand Army of MAMABICHOS!!! | Trump and Trumpism – Review Of News And Opinions
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Maduro did it, a la Montezuma! Investigate “Douglas Leff”! FBI: The Grand Army of MAMABICHOS!!!
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