Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry subpoenaed by Democratic House leaders for 'key documents' in impeachment inquiry

Democratic House committee leaders have issued a subpoena to Donald Trump's Energy Secretary Perry for "key documents" as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Read the rest

Judge okays $1 million bond for Giuliani associates Parnas and Fruman, related marijuana scheme revealed

A judge today approved a $1 million bond in property and business for two associates of President Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, along with mandatory home confinement and GPS monitoring. Read the rest

Apple removes Hong Kong protest app

An app used by Hong Kong protestors to track security forces there disappeared Wednesday from Apple's app store. Apple says it's being used by criminals to attack police, but given that it very publicly reviewed and approved the app just days ago, the true reason seems obvious: the Chinese government ordered it gone to stymie ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations in the autonomous city-state.

The U.S. tech giant had come under fire from China over the app, with the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper calling the app “poisonous” and decrying what it said was Apple’s complicity in helping the Hong Kong protesters.

Apple rejected the crowdsourcing app, HKmap.live, earlier this month but then reversed course last week.

Apple said in a statement that it had began an immediate investigation after “many concerned customers in Hong Kong” contacted the company about the app and Apple found it had endangered law enforcement and residents.

Apple joins a growing list of prominent American companies, including Activision-Blizzard and the NBA, to kowtow to the Chinese government. This year, reports Nikkei, China overtook the U.S. as the world's largest market for consumer goods. Read the rest

Fox News reduced to segments quoting anti-Clinton Twitter bot named Hugh Janus

Natalie Martinez offers some good advice, which will not be taken, to Fox News: "Maybe read the screen name aloud before you broadcast it to the world."

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The 'unmatched wisdom' of US foreign policy conducted via Twitter

I am unsure which Marvel Universe we are living in. Read the rest

Trump gives Turkey blessing to attack Kurds, U.S. allies in war on ISIS

In a late-night press release, the White House announced that Turkey "will soon be moving forward" with an invasion of northern Syria—areas currently occupied by Kurds.

Mr. Trump’s decision goes against the recommendations of top officials in the Pentagon and the State Department who have sought to keep a small troop presence in northeast Syria to continue operations against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and to act as a critical counterweight to Iran and Russia. Administration officials said that Mr. Trump spoke directly with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on the issue on Sunday. And the officials indicated that the 100 to 150 United States military personnel deployed to that area would be pulled back in advance of any Turkish operation but that they would not be completely withdrawn from Syria.

The Kurds were key allies in the war on ISIS, and Trump is fully aware that withdrawing U.S. support for them could mean ethnic cleansing by the Turks, because he's boasted of stopping it in the past by not withdrawing.

On Monday a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - who occupy former IS territory in north-eastern Syria - strongly condemned the US move.

"There were assurances from the United States of America that it would not allow any Turkish military operations against the region," Kino Gabriel told Arabic TV station al-Hadath.

He added: "The (US) statement was a surprise and we can say that it is a stab in the back for the SDF."

Erdogan told Trump to do it, so he did it. Read the rest

Second whistleblower comes forward

It appears the rumored second whistleblower in President Trump's Ukrainian scandal has come forward.

ABC:

Mark Zaid, the attorney representing the whistleblower who sounded the alarm on President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine and triggered an impeachment inquiry, tells ABC News that he is now representing a second whistleblower who has spoken with the inspector general.

Zaid tells ABC News' Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that the second person -- also described as an intelligence official -- has first-hand knowledge of some of the allegations outlined in the original complaint and has been interviewed by the head of the intelligence community's internal watchdog office, Michael Atkinson.

The existence of a second whistleblower -- particularly one who can speak directly about events involving the president related to conversations involving Ukraine -- could undercut Trump's repeated insistence that the original complaint, released on Sept. 26, was "totally inaccurate."

Read the rest

Bernie Sanders discharged from hospital after heart surgery

Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been discharged from the hospital. Read the rest

Top CIA lawyer made criminal referral to Justice on whistleblower's Trump-Ukraine complaint

Weeks before the Trump Ukraine whistleblower's complaint was made public, a top CIA lawyer made what she said was a criminal referral to the Justice Department on the whistleblower's claim Trump abused the powers of the presidency in pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders 'up and about' after heart surgery

Today's Bernie Sanders health update is good. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders had artery blockage, stents inserted, off the campaign trail for now

Senator Bernie Sanders is off the campaign trail "until further notice" after physicians discovered a blockage in one of his arteries and inserted two stents. He had experienced "chest discomfort" last night. From CNN:

"Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits," (said senior adviser Jeff Weaver.) "He will be resting up over the next few days. We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates..."

Sanders, who is 78 years old, felt the "discomfort" during a campaign event. Despite his age, he has been one of the most active campaigners in the 2020 Democratic primary field.

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Trump suggested shooting migrants in the legs

A forthcoming book by two New York Times journalists reveals that Donald Trump suggested shooting migrants in the legs, to slow them down. The remark was uttered in a White House meeting, and was only the most blantantly sadistic of the various stupid and deranged suggestions they claim he made.

The book - called Border Wars: Inside Trump's Assault on Immigration, by reporters Michael Shear and Julie Davis, and based on interviews with more than a dozen unnamed officials - was published by the New York Times. It chronicles a week in March 2019 when Mr Trump reportedly tried to halt all southern migration to the US.

According to an excerpt, the president privately suggested to aides that soldiers shoot migrants in the legs, but he was told it would be illegal.

Another: a border moat containing snakes and alligators. Read the rest

UK Prime Minister proposes one last Brexit deal to Europe

Parliament repetedly shot down former Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan, fatally compromised by its complicated arrangements for keeping Ireland free of border controls. Parliament also has passed a law forcing current Prime Minister Boris Johnson to do whatever it takes to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which most experts believe would be economically catastrophic. Which leaves us with the freshly-announced Boris Brexit Deal, whose parameters are being revealed today. Chief among them, though, is an eventual border between the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic -- the unacceptable outcome that years of negotiation sought to avoid in the first place.

And would that be acceptable to the Irish government and the EU?

At first sight, no. Infrastructure on the Irish border even after an effective transition period of four years is a red line for Ireland, which is concerned it would destabilise border communities that have flourished economically and socially since peace 21 years ago.

The European Union is taking the offer under considrration, but it's an offer they have to refuse.

From the very start of this process, Brussels and Dublin have insisted that there must be no new border checks with Northern Ireland.

Read the rest

Trump White House changed top-secret system to heighten secrecy

Trump White House changed security on the National Security Council's top-secret codeword system in early 2018, two former administration officials tell Politico, in an apparent effort to increase secrecy around Trump calls with foreign leaders. Read the rest

Professional audiobook narrator reads the whistleblower complaint

Saskia Maarleveld is an audiobook narrator and voiceover actress. If you listen to audiobooks, her voice will sound familiar. Read the rest

How Trump ended up dropping Russian 4chan conspiracies in that Ukraine call

Man, 2019 is weird. Read the rest

These GOP senators have not (will not?) read whistleblower complaint on Trump

We already know most Republicans in the Senate are Trump ride-or-die toadies who would eat their own children if it made Orange Hitler smile. Well, today, on the day an anonymous whistleblower's complaint threatens to topple the presidency, is just like any other day on the GOP side of the Senate. Read the rest

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