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  • Jack 3:11 am on December 14, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: f-35, kris osborn, , , warrior maven   

    F-35 Upgrades 

    The Pentagon is upgrading mission systems avionics as part of a tech refresh effort for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that improves memory, weapons delivery, storage, processing speed, display video and aircraft parametric data, industry developers said.

    Faster processors improve F-35 delivery of weapons enabled by the latest 3F software drop, such as the AIM-9X air-to-air missile. Also, improved radar warning receiver technology will more quickly identify enemy aircraft and integrate with the aircraft’s mission data files, or threat library.

    The new avionics are intended to enhance the F-35’s sensor fusion so that information from disparate sensor systems can be combined on a single screen for pilots to lower the cognitive burden and quicken the decision-making process. New modules for mission systems will integrate into the F-35s Distributed Aperture System sensors and Electro-optical Targeting System.

    — To Read Warrior’s Report on How the F-35 DAS Can Perform Ballistic Missile Defense CLICK HERE —

    Earlier this year, F-35 maker Lockheed Martin awarded a contract to Harris Corporation to provide the computing infrastructure for new panoramic cockpit displays, advanced memory systems and navigation technology, Brad Truesdell, senior director of aviation systems at Harris, told Warrior.

    The new hardware and software technology, to be operational on the F-35 by 2021, includes seven racks per aircraft consisting of 1,500 module components, including new antennas and weapons release systems.

    — To Read Warrior’s Blockbuster F-35 Weapons and Operations Special – CLICK HERE —

    Some of the components include an Advanced Memory System (AMS) engineered to improve data storage and generate higher resolution imagery to help pilots with navigational and targeting information.

    “Instead of having to measure something in megabits or megabytes, we are now talking about terabytes,” Truesdell said.

    The upgrades include a portable memory device which can quickly be transferred from a ground station to the F-35 cockpit.

    3F Software Operational

    The Air Force is now in the process of operationalizing the F-35’s latest “3F” software iteration, a development which integrates additional technology and equips the stealth aircraft with a wider range of weapons such as the Small Diameter Bomb and AIM-9X, service leaders said.

    After experiencing some challenges during developmental testing, the 3F software drop is now improved and sharpened up for delivery, senior Air Force officials said.

    Many of the JSF’s combat capabilities are woven into the F-35s combat capabilities are woven into developmental software increments or “drops,” each designed to advance the platform’s technical abilities. There are more than 10 million individual lines of code in the JSF system.

    — For Scout Warrior’s Special F-35 Pilot Intv. Report “Flying the F-35” – CLICK HERE —

    Block 3F increases the weapons delivery capacity of the JSF as well, giving it the ability to drop a Small Diameter Bomb, 500-pound JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) and AIM-9X short-range air-to-air missile, service officials explained.

    4th Software Drop

    The 3F software drop is preceded by earlier increments, each one bringing new technical integration to the aircraft.

    Block 2B built upon the enhanced simulated weapons, datalink capabilities and early fused sensor integration of the earlier Block 2A software drop. Block 2B enables the JSF to provide basic close-air support and fire an AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile), JDAM or GBU-12 (laser-guided aerial bomb), JSF program officials said.

    Following Block 2B, Block 3i increases the combat capability even further, and Block 3F brings a vastly increased ability to suppress enemy air defenses.

    Called 3F, the service is already working on a 4th drop to be ready by 2020 or 2021. Following the drop of 3F, the aircraft will incorporate new software drops in two-year increments in order to stay ahead of the threat.

    The first portion of Block 4 software funding, roughly $12 million, arrived in the 2014 budget, Air Force officials said.

    Block 4 will include some unique partner weapons including British weapons, Turkish weapons and some of the other European country’s weapons that they want to get on their own plane, service officials explained.

    Block 4 will also increase the weapons envelope for the US variant of the fighter jet.  A big part of the developmental calculus for Block 4 is to work on the kinds of enemy air defense systems and weaponry the aircraft may face from the 2020’s through the 2040’s and beyond.

    In terms of weapons, Block 4 will eventually enable the F-35 to fire cutting edge weapons systems such as the Small Diameter Bomb II and GBU-54 – both air-dropped bombs able to destroy targets on-the-move.

    The Small Diameter Bomb II uses a technology called a tri-mode seeker, drawing from infrared, millimeter wave and laser-guidance. The combination of these sensors allows the weapon to track and eliminate moving targets in all kinds of weather conditions.

    — To Read Warrior’s Report on Upcoming F-35 Tests Firing the Small Diameter Bomb II CLICK HERE —



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  • Jack 3:39 am on December 13, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: ap, , , ukraine politics   

    Little Hope 

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — An anti-corruption agency established in Ukraine two years ago was expected to be the driving force that would uproot the endemic graft that depleted the nation’s resources and worried its Western allies.

    But the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine instead has come under fire from allies of President Petro Poroshenko who are trying to curtail its operations and authority. NABU chief Artem Sytnik told The Associated Press in a weekend interview that fear is behind the recent attempts by political and business elites to weaken the agency that was supposed to be a visible symbol of reform in Ukraine.

    “The old and new elites are quite scared” after realizing “there are no untouchables anymore,” Sytnik said. Last month, the Security Service of Ukraine and the prosecutor general’s office derailed a sting operation by undercover NABU agents to catch a State Migration Service official suspected of issuing passports and residence permits for bribes. The agencies accused NABU of illegal eavesdropping and released the names of its agents, blowing their covers.

    Poroshenko’s faction and its allies in parliament also have submitted a bill that would allow lawmakers to fire the anti-corruption agency’s director with a simple majority vote. Under current law, NABU’s chief can only be fired for a criminal conviction, a provision that was intended to ensure independence.

    “Those attacks are directly linked to the fact that we investigate an increasing number of criminal cases involving people who are in control of the media, material or administrative resources, which they turn against us,” Sytnik said.

    Since its creation in 2015, NABU has investigated 461 cases involving business executives, government officials and judges accused of involvement in corrupt schemes. Sytnik thinks the current campaign against his agency results from a probe that targeted the son of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov for alleged involvement in a scheme to embezzle 14 million hryvnias (about $520,000) allocated for purchasing police rucksacks.

    Avakov has insisted his son was innocent and alleged that NABU of falling under political influence. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde expressed concern about the recent developments “that could roll back progress that has been made in setting up independent institutions to tackle high-level corruption, including the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.”

    “Fighting corruption is a key demand of the Ukrainian society, is crucial to achieving stronger and equitable growth, and is part of the government’s commitment under the program with the IMF,” Lagarde said in a statement last week.

    She urged the Ukrainian government and parliament to safeguard NABU’s independence and to move quickly to set up an independent anti-corruption court “to credibly adjudicate high-level corruption cases.”

    IMF made the establishment of a court where corruption cases could be prosecuted a condition for releasing further installments of a $17.5-billion aid package as Ukraine grapples with the separatist conflict in the east.

    In what was seen as another attempt to block anti-corruption efforts, lawmakers from Poroshenko’s faction and their allies voted Thursday to dismiss the chairman of the anti-corruption committee in parliament.

    “The former and present corrupt elite have colluded,” the ousted committee head, Yegor Sobolev, said. “Their plan is to break the independence of anti-corruption bodies, replace them with fake ones and stop the process of cleaning the government,” he added.

    Popular anger over corruption was a factor in months of protests that drove Ukraine’s former Russia-leaning president from office in February 2014. Poroshenko’s failure to oversee progress has caused growing impatience and triggered calls for his impeachment led by Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgia president turned Ukrainian opposition leader.

    After leading several rallies in Kiev, Saakashvili was arrested Friday on allegations that he colluded with Ukrainian businessmen tied to Russia to topple the president. Saakashvili scoffed at the charges, alleging they resulted from longtime hostility between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    “The detention of Saakashvili shows how far Poroshenko is ready to go to muzzle his opponents and those who expose corruption,” Sobolev said. Thousands of Saakashvili’s supporters marched across the Ukrainian capital Sunday, demanding his release and calling for Poroshenko to be impeached.

    “Poroshenko is continuing the worst traditions of the old nomenklatura,” said Vitaly Shabunin, the head of watchdog group the Center for Fighting Corruption. “The same old elites, the same people have taken different political slogans, but their way of thinking and their goals have remained the same.”


  • Jack 3:38 am on December 12, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: andrew bridgen, camilla tominey, eu crime, , eu fraud, , ,   

    EU Fraud 

    A PRO-Brexit MP has claimed that a recent raid on the European Court of Auditors – the watchdog of EU finances – suggests “something is rotten in the state of Brussels”.

    The European Anti-Fraud Office raided the Luxembourg premises of the ECA last month – although neither body will confirm the incident.

    The raid, which has gone largely unnoticed amid reports of the Brexit negotiations, is understood to be related to an ongoing investigation into the expenses claims of a Belgian official.

    It forms one of around 220 open investigations by the fraud office into the misuse of EU funds.

    The ECA has failed to sign off the EU’s accounts since 1994, claiming they are “materially affected by error”.

    Brexiteer Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “When the EU is having to continually investigate itself it suggests all is not well in Jean-Claude Juncker’s federalised fantasy land.

    “Thank goodness we’re leaving this busted flush of a bloc behind.”

    The fraud office courted controversy when it refused requests to release a report relating to the 2015 VW “dieselgate” scandal.

    VW had received a £350million loan from the EU’s bank to develop emission-reducing efficiencies, but was found to have cheated.

    It later emerged the EU knew about the scandal but kept silent until US regulators acted.


    See Also:

    (1) EU faces being DESTROYED by forcing Eastern states to take in refugees, Czech leader warns

    (2) PM will confront Boris over Brexit before Christmas

  • Jack 3:49 am on December 11, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , jerusalem, , , , , ,   


    The Palestinians declared a three-day-long “rage” spree over US President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Thus far, however, it seems that the real anger is showing up in the international media, not on the Palestinian street.

    Question: How many foreign journalists does it take to cover the Palestinian reaction to Trump’s announcement? Answer: As many as the Israel-Palestinian-conflict-obsessed-West can manage to send.

    The massive presence of the international media in Jerusalem and the West Bank has taken even the Palestinians by surprise. Since Trump’s announcement on December 6, dozens of additional journalists and camera crews have converged on Israel to cover “the big story.”

    The American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, once a favorite haunt of international reporters, is once again packed with journalists from around the world.

    Some of these reporters, including those working for American networks, have been flown in from their working posts in London, Paris, Cairo and New York to cover what many of them are already calling the “New Palestinian Intifada.” But is it really a new intifada, or is it simply wishful thinking on the part of the swarm of Palestinian and foreign reporters?

    In the past few days, we have seen wild exaggeration in the media as to what is really happening in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. What is evident, however, is that the number of journalists and photographers covering the protests in the city has thus far exceeded the number of Palestinian protesters.

    Let us start with Friday, December 8, the final day of the announced Palestinian “rage.” The Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other Palestinian groups told us to expect mass rallies and protests after Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. So did the reporters.

    By early morning, at least six television production trucks were stationed in the small parking lot outside the Damascus Gate, the main entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. The trucks belonged to various television stations were presumably brought there to film live broadcasts of the anticipated mass protests. Another 70-80 journalists and photographers were waiting, some impatiently, for the Muslim worshippers to finish their prayers and start their protests against President Trump’s announcement.

    What we got in the end was a small and peaceful protest of some 40 Palestinians, who chanted slogans against Israel, the US and Arab leaders — including Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who was dubbed a “traitor” and “Israeli spy.”

    Bjorn Stritzel, an honest and brave German journalist, tweeted from the scene: “More journalists than protesters after Friday prayers.”

    The media frenzy was echoed by several other reporters. “Three days of ‘rage’ have passed since Trump’s Jerusalem declaration and Armageddon hasn’t arrived,” remarked journalist Oren Kessler. “One is loath to make predictions of continued calm in the region, but thus far the doomsday prophecies have not materialized.”

    French journalist Piotr Smolar, who also waited for the “big” protest, wrote: “Dozens and dozens of journalists at Damascus gate, where nothing has happened until now.”

    Joe Dyke, a reporter with Agence France Press (AFP), tweeted this photo showing more journalists than protesters at Damascus Gate. He wrote: “Small Palestinian protest at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem broken up by the Israeli police. They seemed to object to a picture of Trump as a toilet.”

    Dyke later reported that he had “just walked through Jerusalem’s Old City and the situation is very calm. More police on streets but no issues as yet. Tourists milling about.”

    The following day, Saturday December 9, we witnessed a repetition of the same scenario in Jerusalem. The city was relatively quiet, but the presence of journalists and photographers loomed large. At noon, a small group of Palestinians (25-30) staged a protest on the main business thoroughfare of east Jerusalem, Salah Eddin Street, while chanting slogans against Israel and the US.

    Here is how the journalist Seth Frantzman of The Jerusalem Post, who was at the scene, described the situation: “There are more people with cameras here than anyone clashing (with police) at the moment.”

    Frantzman later had this to say about the “clash”: “There are as many media and onlookers taking photos here as there are youth and police waiting for the clashes.”

    There are nearly 300,000 Arabs living in Jerusalem, and the truth is that the vast majority did not take part in any of the small protests, which were staged deliberately as a show for the dozens of journalists who converged on the city. In fact, there were more protesters on the streets of Berlin, Cairo, Valencia (Spain) and Istanbul than in Jerusalem itself. With the exception of the two incidents at Damascus Gate and Salah Eddin Street, the remaining 28 Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem were mostly quiet, with nothing dramatic happening.

    The bored journalists were forced to don their helmets and bullet-proof vests and head to the West Bank, in the hope of capturing scenes of the “New Intifada.” What they found in the West Bank, however, was not unusual: minor “clashes” between stone throwers and Israeli soldiers occur almost every day.

    Protests against Israel and the US are not uncommon on the streets of Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. But for the “war correspondents,” there is nothing more exciting than standing behind burning tires and stone throwers and reporting from the heart of the “clashes.” Such scenes make the journalists look as if they are in the middle of a battlefield and are risking their lives to bring the story home to their viewers. They might even receive an award for their “courageous” reporting from danger zones!

    That is what happens when you are afraid to go to Yemen, Libya, Syria or Iraq to cover the real bloodshed.

    Let us be frank. The large number of journalists dispatched to Israel expected — even hoped — that Trump’s announcement would trigger a new Palestinian intifada.

    This way, the media could blame Trump for “igniting violence,” instigating instability and “derailing” the peace process. It is all about media-based Trump-hatred. Of course, it is also about media-based Israel-hatred, searching for any excuse to blame the Jews for the “suffering” of the Palestinians. The journalists, however, will not let those pesky facts get in their way; they continue to report as if Jerusalem is engulfed in flames. The reality on the ground, though, is far from that.

    No peace process is about to be “derailed,” for the simple reason that there was not one on the first place — and there has not been one for years. Why? Mostly thanks to Palestinian rejectionism, indoctrination and incitement. The protests and violence we are witnessing in parts of Jerusalem and the West Bank constitute daily life here. It is not as if the Palestinians have not been carrying out terror attacks against Israel all these years. And it is not as if the Palestinians used to love Israel — or even recognized its right to exist — until Trump made his announcement last week.

    Newsflash for the journalists: There’s nothing new on the Palestinian street. Palestinian threats of violence and walking out of any “peace process” is old, old news. Jerusalem is not on fire. Jerusalem is tense, and has long been so, because the Palestinians have not yet managed to come to terms with Israel’s right to exist. That is the real story. The Palestinians rage and rage and rage for only one reason: because Israel exists. Put that in a story and publish it.

    Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.


    See Also:

    (1) Why Did Islamic State Kill So Many Sufis in Sinai?

    (2) Israeli defense chief calls for Arab boycott after protests

    (3) The Mullahs Overplay the Military Card

    (4) Why Radical Islam Is the Baby Boomers’ Fault

  • Jack 3:48 am on December 11, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , oscars, valerie richardson,   

    Fiction Award? 

    Al Gore’s sequel to “An Inconvenient Truth” has ended up on the shortlist for Oscar consideration despite questions about its credibility raised by challenges to some of its climate-change claims.

    “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” was among the 15 films included by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on its list of those still in the hunt for 2017 Best Documentary, which will be pared down to five finalists when the nominees are announced Jan. 23.

    “We are humbled to be on the Oscars shortlist for Best Documentary Feature. Our message is more important than ever,” said the film’s Twitter account after the list was released Thursday.

    The Oscar buzz comes despite pushback from skeptics, led by University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologist Roy Spencer, a former NASA scientist who accused Mr. Gore of attributing natural phenomena to human-caused climate change.

    In September, Mr. Spencer published an 84-page e-book, “An Inconvenient Deception,” which blasted the film as “bursting with bad science, bad policy, and some outright falsehoods.”

    “An Inconvenient Truth” was similarly rebuked by skeptics — Danish academic Bjorn Lomborg challenged it in a book and film called “Cool It”—but the movie earned $24 million at the box office, making it the 11th-highest grossing documentary of all time, according to Box Office Mojo.

    “An Inconvenient Truth” also won the 2007 Academy Awards for Best Documentary and Best Original Song, and helped bring Mr. Gore the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on human-caused climate change.

    The sequel wasn’t exactly a bomb but fell short of expectations, earning $3.5 million since its July release despite endorsements from celebrities like Paul McCartney and Bono while registering a tepid 49 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

    Critics were kinder, giving the sequel a 78 percent rating, but even those who liked the movie were less than effusive in their praise, using accolades such as “workmanlike” and “a hugely effective lecture.”

    “Would I still recommend ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’? Sure, although I doubt there is much one could glean from this movie that couldn’t be obtained by rewatching ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’” said Salon reviewer Matthew Rosza.

    Mr. Spencer’s e-book, now in its second edition, wound up becoming a surprise Amazon bestseller in the categories of climatology, science and math, and environmental science.

    One hotly contested scene shows Mr. Gore walking in ankle-deep water in the streets of Miami Beach, which he blames on sea-level rise due to climate change but which Mr. Spencer describes as a “natural rise [that is] magnified because buildings and streets were constructed on reclaimed swampland that has been sinking.”

    Mr. Gore also says in footage featured in the trailer that he was proven correct when he predicted in “An Inconvenient Truth” that the 9/11 Memorial in New York City would be underwater, which Mr. Lomborg disputed.

    “Then viewers are shown footage of Manhattan taking on water in 2012 after superstorm Sandy, apparently vindicating Mr. Gore’s claims,” said Mr. Lomborg in a June 27 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. “Never mind that what he actually predicted was flooding caused by melting ice in Greenland.”

    The skeptics’ website Climate Depot challenged more than a dozen of the film’s assertions in an extensive fact-check, while climate blogger Joanne Nova accused Mr. Gore of relying on “cherry-picked extremes.”

    Mr. Gore, the former Democratic vice president, has not responded publicly to the criticism.

    Other documentaries on the academy’s 15-film shortlist include “Jane,” about wildlife biologist Jane Goodall; “Icarus,” which explores secret Russian doping, and “Last Men in Aleppo,” about rescue workers in the Syrian civil war.


  • Jack 1:05 pm on December 10, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , dan de luce, , , elizabeth shackelford, foreign policy, , rex tillerson, state department exodus, ,   

    Career Shattered? 

    An award-winning U.S. diplomat who was seen as a rising star at the State Department has issued a scathing resignation letter, accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Donald Trump administration of undercutting the State Department and damaging America’s influence in the world.

    Elizabeth Shackelford, who most recently served as a political officer based in Nairobi for the U.S. mission to Somalia, wrote to Tillerson that she reluctantly had decided to quit because the administration had abandoned human rights as a priority and shown disdain for the State Department’s diplomatic work, according to her letter, obtained by Foreign Policy.

    “I have deep respect for the career Foreign and Civil Service staff who, despite the stinging disrespect this Administration has shown our profession, continue the struggle to keep our foreign policy on the positive trajectory necessary to avert global disaster in increasingly dangerous times,” Shackelford wrote in her Nov. 7 letter, which is published below. One phrase was redacted on Shackelford’s request.

    “With each passing day, however, this task grows more futile, driving the Department’s experienced and talented staff away in ever greater numbers,” she wrote.

    Her former colleagues said her departure — and the sentiments expressed in her letter — reflect a wider exodus of midcareer diplomats who have lost confidence in Tillerson’s management and the Trump administration’s approach toward diplomacy.

    “She’s emblematic of what we’re losing across the board,” said one of Shackelford’s former State Department colleagues. “She is the best among us. We should not be losing the best among us. And that should concern people that we are,” the former colleague said.

    In her letter, Shackelford said she was leaving with a “heavy heart” as she recognized the potential of the State Department’s mission. She said she was “shocked” when Tillerson appeared to cast doubt on the importance of human rights in remarks to department employees on May 3.

    The State Department’s role in internal government debates also had “diminished,” she wrote, with the White House handing over authority to the Pentagon to shape the country’s foreign policy. Meanwhile, unfilled vacancies and proposed budget and staffing cuts had left the department adrift, with weakened influence inside the administration and on the ground, she wrote.

    “The cost of this is visible every day in Mission Somalia, my current post, where State’s diplomatic influence, on the country and within our own interagency, is waning,” she wrote.

    In the closing paragraph of her letter, Shackelford called on Tillerson “to stem the bleeding by showing leadership and a commitment to our people, our mission, and our mandate as the foreign policy arm of the United States.

    “If you are unable to do so effectively within this Administration, I would humbly recommend you follow me out the door.”

    Shackelford was singled out as an especially promising diplomat and was selected for future senior leadership roles, which a veteran foreign service officer said was exceptional at her age.

    When asked about the criticisms in the letter, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said: “We are not able to comment on the career choices of each person at the Department.”

    “However, I can say that the Secretary has made clear that his objective is to make the State Department more efficient, more effective, and for staff to have a much more rewarding and satisfying career,” she added.

    Tillerson has faced a wave of criticism from lawmakers and former senior diplomats about what they say is the dismantling of the State Department amid a hemorrhaging of top talent, a hiring freeze, and plummeting morale. He has firmly rejected the criticism, insisting the media mischaracterizes the rate of those leaving the department and that his plan to “redesign” the State Department is employee-driven and prioritizes the staff’s well-being.

    “What it’s done,” Tillerson said of the hiring freeze on Friday, “was just a little bit of a blunt instrument to have everyone be a little more disciplined about filling their positions.”

    But even his harshest critics say much of the blame for the troubled state of the foreign service rests with the president, who has shown an impatience with diplomacy and has often sidelined Tillerson.

    Shackelford’s sentiments also reflect a long-held but growing concern among diplomats and experts that U.S. policy is increasingly dominated and shaped by the military, particularly in Africa. The Pentagon has expanded its footprint and operations on the continent with additional funding while the State Department and USAID face steep budget cuts and a dearth of ambassadors or top appointees in Washington.

    Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a retired career diplomat and former assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said the U.S. military has a vital role to play in Africa and elsewhere but said the pendulum was swinging too far away from diplomacy. “You can’t just do military. You have to have the complement of diplomatic and development working alongside the military colleagues,” she told FP.

    Somalia reflects a balance that clearly favors the military, as the State Department lacks the manpower and resources of its Pentagon counterparts. In recent months, the U.S. military has expanded its role with hundreds of troops and more strikes against al-Shabab militants, while diplomatic efforts have ebbed following the departure of U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz in October.

    The staff at the U.S. mission have repeatedly asked Washington for permission to meet Somali political leaders at Villa Somalia, the presidential residence, but the State Department has rejected the request on security grounds. U.S. military officers are able to meet Somali officials at the presidential palace, and other foreign diplomatic missions regularly visit the building for talks.

    Friday was Shackelford’s last day as a foreign service officer after nearly eight years in the State Department.

    Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, the 38-year-old Shackelford graduated first in her class at the University of Pittsburgh Law School. She worked at a law firm, then the consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton on foreign aid projects before joining the foreign service in 2010.

    Shackelford distinguished herself in South Sudan for overseeing the evacuation of 1,000 Americans and other foreign nationals when violence erupted in Juba in December 2013. For her leadership skills and crisis planning in the evacuation effort, she received a department-wide Barbara M. Watson award for consular excellence.

    During her stint in South Sudan, Shackelford worked to document and focus attention on human rights abuses, according to those she worked with and a personal statement she submitted as part of an employee evaluation. She cultivated contacts with South Sudanese civil society organizations and met with victims and witnesses of atrocities committed in the country’s conflict. Convinced that there could be no lasting peace without coming to terms with crimes committed on both sides, she co-wrote a dissenting cable backed by some of her fellow diplomats making that argument.

    “Her view was if we don’t deal with accountability now, whatever peace that’s achieved is going to be temporary,” said another former colleague, who worked with her in Juba. “She made it her mission to get human rights material out the door.”

    Shackelford is not alone in accusing the Trump administration of backsliding on America’s support for human rights and democracy over the past ten months. Republican Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote a letter to the president on Friday accusing his administration of failing to assert America’s commitment to human rights.

    The lawmakers wrote that “for much of the past year, our national voice on international human rights issues has been largely silent.”

    But Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday that in a recent tour of Africa, he repeatedly raised human rights concerns with governments in Ethiopia and Sudan, saying it was a crucial element in the fight against terrorist threats.

    “The United States continues to emphasize respect for human rights as a fundamental part of our counterterrorism strategy,” Sullivan told lawmakers.

    Six months ago, when Shackelford began considering leaving the foreign service, her mentors and colleagues encouraged her to stay the course, telling her she had a promising career ahead of her and that the difficulties would pass, she told FP.

    But in a sign of plunging morale in the foreign service, when she spoke to those same colleagues two months ago about resigning, she got a much different response.

    “It had completely changed to a person,” she said. “Nobody tried to talk me out of it. Everybody said, ‘Yep, I get it.’”


    See Also:

    (1) Media Close 2017 Proving Trump 100 Percent Correct About Fake News

    (2) Nikki Haley Backs Trump’s Jerusalem Move in Face of Hostile UN: ‘Change is Hard’

    (3) Trump Demands Border Wall, Immigration Cuts at Swearing In of Pro-Amnesty DHS Secretary

  • Jack 3:06 am on December 9, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Massive Coverup 

    Here’s something you don’t hear every day — but an inspector general who was actually appointed by Barack Obama told Tucker Carlson of Fox News that there was “strategic coordination” taking place among the State Department, Campaign Team Hillary Clinton, certain key legal minds and politicos on Capitol Hill, regarding the behind-scenes talk of The Emails.

    Yes, those emails — the ones that were marked classified and top secret and that were found on Clinton’s private and unsecured email system.

    Thud. That’s the sound of Democrats’ jaws dropping.

    From the mouth of former Inspector General Charles McCullough III, as reported by Mediaite: “I’m well aware there was a strategic coordination between the campaign, the State Department, certain officials at the State Department, certain law firms in town and people on Capitol Hill.”


    About, for instance, what he told Carlson on Fox was a “deliberate effort” to mislead the public about Clinton’s emails. And who was driving that effort?

    In McCullough’s view — the Obama administration and Team Clinton.

    This isn’t exactly shocking to political watchers. After all, conservatives in particular watched with dismay as the FBI’s James Comey came out and on one hand, announced Clinton’s email server was dangerously improper and on the other, that he recommended no charges against her.

    But in the face of Clinton’s complete skirt of accountability on the private email server she was allowed to operate in her New York home — a private server that compromised State Department communications, and therefore, the safety and security of the American citizenry — it’s double face-slapping to hear McCullough speak of the politicizing of the whole investigation.

    McCullough, for instance, claimed he faced “personal backlash” while investigating the emails on the 2016 campaign trail — and that when he told then-DNI head James Clapper that he found Clinton’s email correspondences “extremely reckless,” nothing but coverup ensued.

    He said a “deliberate effort” went forth to mislead the American people about the seriousness of the email scandal and that he personally faced “nothing but contention” for his attempt to sift through the emails and discern the true level of compromise to national security.

    “[I was] chided [for] not considering the political consequences,” he said, Mediaite noted. “I’m an inspector general. That’s my job — to not consider the political consequences. … As an IG, you’re not a D, you’re not an R. You’re an I — you’re an IG. Those are the letters that matter to you.”

    And when McCullough tried further to bring forth his findings into the light?

    He said he was dismissed “as a shill of the right,” his character, “attacked” and sullied.

    That’s got Team Democrat written all over it — Team Clinton, for sure. Attack the messenger — distract from the scandal. America’s politically savvy already knew this was taking place over the investigation of Clinton’s emails. But McCullough’s statements on Fox underscore and confirm. The coverup was massive, the behind-door whispers and strategizing, extensive. And what’s clear is that Clinton will never face accountability, in this lifetime at least, for the compromises to America’s security she shoulder-shrugged with her private email server.


    See Also:

    (1) Justice Dept. lawyer who met with dubious Trump dossier author to be hauled before Congress

    (2) House committee presses FBI chief on political bias within agency

    (3) TIME Holds Bill Clinton Accountable as it Honors Victims of Sexual Assault

  • Jack 3:23 am on December 8, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bruce g. ohr, , , , , , , , , , ,   


    EXCLUSIVE: A senior Justice Department official was demoted this week amid an ongoing investigation into his contacts with the opposition research firm responsible for the anti-Trump “dossier,” the department confirmed to Fox News.

    Until Wednesday morning, Bruce G. Ohr held two titles at DOJ: associate deputy attorney general, a post that placed him four doors down from his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; and director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a program described by the department as “the centerpiece of the attorney general’s drug strategy.”

    Ohr will retain his OCDETF title but has been stripped of his higher post and ousted from his office on the fourth floor of “Main Justice.”

    Initially senior department officials could not provide the reason for Ohr’s demotion, but Fox News has learned that evidence collected by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., indicates that Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the “dossier.”

    Later, a Justice Department official told Fox News, “It is unusual for anyone to wear two hats as he has done recently. This person is going to go back to a single focus—director of our organized crime and drug enforcement unit. As you know, combatting transnational criminal organizations and drug trafficking is a top priority for the Attorney General.”

    Additionally, House investigators have determined that Ohr met shortly after the election with Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS – the opposition research firm that hired Steele to compile the dossier with funds supplied by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. By that point, according to published reports, the dossier had been in the hands of the FBI, which exists under the aegis of DOJ, for some five months, and the surveillance on Page had been commenced more than two months prior.

    Glenn Simpson met with a top DOJ official after the election, Fox News has learned.

    Former FBI Director James Comey, testifying before the House in March, described the dossier as a compendium of “salacious and unverified” allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump and his associates. The Nunes panel has spent much of this year investigating whether DOJ, under then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, used the dossier to justify a foreign surveillance warrant against Carter Page, an advisor to the Trump campaign.

    The contacts between Ohr and Steele, and between Ohr and Simpson, have not been publicly disclosed nor shared with HPSCI staff.

    The panel has issued numerous subpoenas for documents and witnesses related to the dossier but claims DOJ and FBI have “stonewalled,” an assertion that House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., seconded in a rare public statement in October.

    While the agencies say they have cooperated extensively with Nunes and his team, including the provision of several hundred pages of classified documents relating to the dossier, it was only last weekend that DOJ and FBI agreed to make available to the committee for questioning Peter Strzok, the high-ranking FBI official who was disciplined in July for having sent-anti-Trump texts to a colleague while playing a decisive role in last year’s investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s private server.

    Strzok was removed from the staff of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and demoted to a position on the FBI’s human resources division. The agencies’ decision to make Strzok available to House investigators came on the same day the New York Times and Washington Post disclosed the existence of the anti-Trump text messages, and Fox News disclosed that Strzok’s conduct in the Clinton case was under review by the FBI’s Office of Inspector General.

    The demotion of Ohr thus marked the second time within a matter of months that the Justice Department and the FBI have disciplined for misconduct a senior official connected in some form or fashion to the Trump-Russia case.

    According to congressional sources, Simpson and Ohr met sometime around Thanksgiving last year, when President-elect Trump was in the process of selecting his Cabinet, and discussed over coffee the anti-Trump dossier, the Russia investigation, and what Simpson considered the distressing development of Trump’s victory.

    How exactly Simpson and Ohr came to know each other is still being investigated but initial evidence collected by the House intelligence committee suggests that the two were placed in touch by Steele, a former FBI informant whose contacts with Ohr are said by senior DOJ officials to date back to 2006.

    Nunes, who has instructed HPSCI staff to draft contempt-of-Congress citations against Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray – preparatory to a House vote on whether the citations should be enforced – issued a fresh subpoena on Thursday specifically covering Ohr and his files.


    See Also:

    (1) House Judiciary Republicans Call on FBI to Explain ‘Special’ Status for Clinton Email Probe

    (2) FBI agent Peter Strzok’s anti-Trump texts demanded by Senate

    (2) DOJ Reviewing More Than 10,000 Text Messages Between Anti-Trump Mueller Investigators: Report

    (3) Ex-CIA: Trump should just pardon ‘everyone’

    (4) ‘Resistmas’: the Hillary Christmas tree topper

    (5) Jerry Seinfeld Endorses Roy Moore?

    (6) Team Obama attempted ‘stealth coup’ by undermining Trump

  • Jack 3:23 am on December 8, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: chris pleasance, , , , ,   

    Strategic Leak? 

    The White House has discussed using experimental microwave missiles against North Korea to disable Kim Jong-un‘s nukes, it has been reported.

    In the event of a war with the dictator the Air Force could use CHAMP weapons to fry the electronics controlling Kim’s latest rockets, stopping them from being launched.

    The use of such weapons, which are not yet operational, was discussed at a White House meeting on North Korea back in August, according to NBC news.

    CHAMP stands for counter-electronics high-power advanced microwave project and was started by the Air Force Research Laboratory back in 2009.

    In 2012 one of the weapons was tested in Utah against electronic equipment that was set up to mirror the capabilities of Iran and North Korea.

    The weapon managed to wipe out everything inside the first building it targeted, including the camera recording the test, before going on to target five more buildings then crashing itself at a pre-determined site.

    This is the only test of a microwave weapon to have been declassified.

    Other tests are believed to have taken place since then to improve the weapon, including mounting it on a missile that is harder to detect and upping the power.

    A 2016 Air Force Research Laboratory document, seen by NBC, says the low-flying missile is ‘capable of flying into a contested area and disabling an adversary’s electronic systems.’

    The news comes days after Kim tested North Korea’s latest ICBM, the Hwasong-15, which is likely capable of ranging all of mainland America.

    North Korea claims the missile is capable of carrying a ‘super heavy nuclear warhead’ and can bring it down to Earth intact, though has not shown evidence of this.

    That test has been followed by the largest joint air drills ever conducted by the US and South Korean air forces in a show of power to Kim Jong-un.

    China has announced it held its own drills involving reconnaissance planes, fighter jets, and an early warning and control aircraft.

    Beijing said the drill was designed as a show of force to Washington and Seoul, though did not not say exactly when or where the exercise took place.


  • Jack 3:25 am on December 7, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: aboriginal customs, ashley martin, , , , , rcmp training, standing on blankets   

    Blanket Stuff 

    RCMP cadets at Depot Division in Regina will soon have a better understanding of Indigenous history in Canada.

    Troop 10 will be the first, starting Tuesday afternoon, after a group of about 25 RCMP officers and staff spent Monday learning how to lead the “blanket exercise,” which compacts 500 years of history into a one-hour session.

    The hope is that cadets will gain “a sensitivity to what has transpired in the past,” said RCMP curriculum designer Nathalie Fehr, “and that they understand that they have a responsibility to work with all communities to problem-solve and … help people.”

    Sara Anderson, from the Ottawa-based charitable organization KAIROS Canada, led Monday’s exercise.

    Standing on blankets that represented the northern part of Turtle Island — now known as Canada — the participants read from scripts, telling the story of Canada’s Indigenous history from pre-colonization to the present.

    Putting a long and often traumatic history into words, the goal is that future RCMP officers will be able to better relate to community members.

    Tara McMillan started her career with the RCMP 16 years ago, as a dispatcher in the Northwest Territories.

    In that work, she often heard the negative aspects of Indigenous people’s lives —alcoholism, drug abuse and violence.

    “If that’s all you’re hearing, then you become hardened to them and to what they say and to their experiences,” said McMillan, who now works in cadet services at Depot.

    “I think that this will help (RCMP officers) to maybe get a different perspective as to where these people have come from, how their land’s been taken away, how they’ve gone through the residential schools,” added McMillan.

    “All of that history I think will allow them to be more empathetic as they go out into the workforce and work with the people on a daily basis.”

    Two years ago, RCMP then-commissioner Bob Paulson admitted “there are racists in my force.”

    There have been cases across the country of RCMP members racially profiling citizens.

    Various former Mounties also say they experienced racism from colleagues.

    A lawyer representing Colten Boushie’s family alleges the RCMP was racist in dealing with the family after his shooting death.

    “Unfortunately we do hear stories and I’d say it’s not just from police forces, it’s from all sectors of society,” said Anderson. “Everyone can have very negative and racist stereotypes against Indigenous peoples and against other minorities.”

    Having worked with RCMP members in the past, Anderson has heard that the blanket exercise has changed the way members work with Indigenous people.

    “When they next encountered an Indigenous person while they were in uniform, their assessment of the threat level was definitely changed,” she said.

    The blanket exercise will be tied to the cadets’ module on missing persons investigations.

    Throughout the blanket exercise, which was held in the Aboriginal Cadet Heritage Room, participants heard that, prior to colonization, First Nations people fished, hunted and farmed. They each had a language and laws, and made treaties to resolve conflicts.

    Participants read first-person perspectives, as well as a series of facts, such as:

    The last member of the Beothuk, the original First Nations inhabitants of Newfoundland, died in St. John’s in 1829.

    The 1783 creation of the U.S./Canada border divided existing communities.

    The 1876 Indian Act banned traditional ceremonies like smudging and potlatch.

    First Nations people lost their status if they went to university, became teachers, doctors, lawyers or soldiers.

    Inuit people today are 186 times more likely to get tuberculosis than most other Canadians.

    Canada voted against the United Nations’ Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was enacted in 2007. It only approved the declaration in 2016.

    The RCMP has been part of the problem. One Inuit man told how the RCMP shot his sled dogs, which prevented him from hunting.

    The RCMP “often” helped remove children from their homes to attend residential schools, where thousands of children died and many experienced physical and sexual abuse.

    Throughout the workshop, as the story of colonization went on, the blankets got smaller and smaller, to the point that the participants ended up on squares no bigger than their feet.

    This represents reserve lands, which comprise less than 0.5 per cent of Canada; 70 per cent of land that was set aside in more than 300 treaties has been lost or taken away.

    KAIROS Canada developed the blanket exercise in 1997, a response to the federal government’s 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.


  • Jack 3:25 am on December 7, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , goreway station partnership, hydro ripoff, ontario crime, , , ,   

    Brampton Mess 

    A Brampton power plant “gamed” Ontario’s electricity system to get at least $89 million in payments it was not entitled to over a three-year period ending in 2012, says an explosive new report that warns it could happen again.

    The Ontario Energy Board found the Goreway Station Partnership “repeatedly exploited defects” in the system by which the provincial Independent Electricity System Operator pays suppliers for power.

    “Goreway routinely submitted what were obviously inappropriate expenses to be reimbursed by the IESO and ultimately borne by Ontario ratepayers,” the energy board concludes in a 55-page report first revealed by CBC Radio.

    Goreway has been fined $10 million and repaid a “substantial portion” of the inappropriate payments received — but the report does not specify how much and says that information will remain confidential at Goreway’s request.

    The rules by which suppliers are reimbursed for expenses are complex and create “opportunities for exploitation,” the report notes.

    While the IESO — which is in charge of arranging Ontario’s daily electricity supply from all suppliers to the system, from gas-fired plants to hydroelectric dams and nuclear plants — is working on the problem, the report adds “that solution is many years away.”

    Along with the payback amount from Goreway, names of personnel involved in the management and operation of the power plant have also been redacted from the report.

    Lawyers for Goreway disputed elements of the investigation by the energy board’s market surveillance panel (MSP) in a letter dated August 1.

    “Although Goreway does not agree with many of the draft report’s findings and conclusions, including that Goreway engaged in gaming or that it deliberatedly misled the IESO, Goreway takes the MSP’s position on these issues seriously,” wrote lawyer George Vegh of McCarthy Tetrault.

    “Goreway has implemented initiatives designed to ensure that compliance is a central operating principle at Goreway, that a culture of compliance is supported throughout the organization.”

    The measures include the appointment of a chief compliance officer who reports to Goreway’s board of directors.

    Energy Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment Tuesday morning.

    The energy board report was quietly posted on the agency’s website November 2.


  • Jack 3:25 am on December 6, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: baltimore ravens, baltimore sun, colin kaepernick, , football, jeff barker, player demonstrations   

    A Paradox 

    It seems paradoxical: The Ravens, who have sold out every home game since they arrived in Baltimore in 1996, are advertising tickets for Sunday’s contest at M&T Bank Stadium.

    But this is where the Ravens find themselves in 2017: Contemplating the prospect of empty seats, and appealing to fans to “Win Together. Purchase your tickets today!” even as the team is contending for what would be its first playoff berth since 2014.

    Thousands of fans are trying to resell their tickets to the sold-out game Sunday against the Detroit Lions at 71,000-seat M&T Bank Stadium via Ticketmaster, the team’s official resale outlet, or StubHub. Seats were available this week in almost every section; an $80 ticket for an upper end zone seat could be had for as little as $29.

    Every week, some ticket holders must miss the game. But the NFL is laboring across the board this season to maintain its fan base and minimize no-shows. It’s not just the Ravens. Television ratings are down league-wide and empty seats can be seen at many games.

    The league faces troubles on multiple fronts this year from politics to health and the game itself. There’s fan anger, stoked by President Donald Trump, over the decision of some players to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial inequity and police brutality; injuries to star players such as Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers; fresh concerns about the long-term effects of hits and concussions on players’ brains; and inconsistent play.

    “The Ravens are finding themselves in the same situation as a lot of NFL teams this year,” said T.J. Brightman, president of A. Bright Idea, a public relations and marketing firm with offices in Bel Air and California. “There is a disengagement by fans across the country stemming from the daily and weekly stories the NFL league office confronts.”

    The Ravens, who seem unable to mount a threatening offense, exemplify the challenge on the field. The team ranks 31st of 32 NFL teams in total offense (although, true-to-form, the defense is among the league’s best; the team is the first since the 2003 Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots to record three shutouts in a season).

  • Jack 2:57 am on December 5, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bc casino's, bc crime, , , david eby, , , ,   


    Attorney General David Eby says he was stunned by internal briefings about the alleged reach of transnational organized crime groups into B.C. casinos.

    In a speech Friday at an anti-corruption conference in Vancouver, Eby said he could not reveal details of his concerns because of the continuing police investigations. But he gave new indications of how serious he believes the situation is.

    Eby also announced that the first recommendations by Peter German, Eby’s independent reviewer into allegations of money laundering in B.C. casinos, will be released on Tuesday.

    In his speech, Eby said he will never forget the first briefing he received from members of B.C.’s gaming enforcement branch when he became attorney general last summer.

    “One of the members of the public service said, ‘Get ready. I think we are going to blow your mind.’ While I cannot share all of the details, I can advise you that the briefing outlined for me allegations of serious, large-scale, transnational laundering of the proceeds of crime in British Columbia casinos,” Eby said. “And I was advised that the particular style of money laundering in B.C. related to B.C. casinos is being called, quote, ‘the Vancouver model’ in at least one international intelligence community.”

    Eby suggested that a “lax attitude” towards regulation of B.C. casinos, during a period when the previous government had enjoyed “massive increases in provincial gambling revenue,” seems to have contributed to the problems today in B.C.’s gambling system.

    Eby pointed specifically to a decision by the B.C. Liberal government to cancel funding of a police unit that tackled illegal gambling, after the unit identified concerns with organized crime influence in B.C. casinos and proposed changes “to improve the ability of the existing policing team in identifying and prosecuting offenders.”

    “There were countless red flags from regulators,” in recent years, Eby said. “And it is important to note that this same period was a period of exceptional growth in the province’s gaming revenues.”

    Eby also noted that The Vancouver Sun has obtained internal documents regarding investigations in B.C. casinos, and his government believes that whistleblowers who share such information must be protected. New legislation to protect whistleblowers will be introduced in 2018, he said.

    “The public is no longer in the dark about what is going on,” Eby said. “And they shouldn’t be. And there is more to come.”

    Eby added that allegations of transnational money laundering linked to casinos go deeper than that: “I have reason to believe that these matters might be linked to other areas of B.C.’s economy.”

    Eby also said that he believes B.C.’s property ownership system — in which true owners of property can hide behind opaque legal mechanisms — could be attracting foreign criminals and corrupt officials seeking to hide wealth in the province. Eby said Finance Minister Carole James is working on reforms to pull back legal veils that cover true ownership of property and corporations.

    Eby pointed to a 2016 study by Transparency International that showed real estate buyers in B.C. are using shell companies, trusts and nominee buyers to hide their beneficial interest in property.

    In examining Vancouver’s 100 most valuable homes, the report found that 46 per cent — amounting to more than
 $1 billion in assets — have opaque ownership. Of the 100 properties, 29 are held through shell companies, at least 11 are owned through nominees (listed as students or housewives on land titles), and at least six are disclosed as being held in trust for anonymous beneficiaries, the report said.

    Eby said B.C.’s landownership system could be connected to Metro Vancouver’s skyrocketing home prices. Top economists have “made inescapable arguments that taxable incomes reported to Revenue Canada have no connection to real estate values in Metro Vancouver until you get out to the distant suburbs of Vancouver,” Eby said.

    Eby said that James “is doing the policy work required to reform our land and corporate registries to increase transparency.”

    In a panel discussion on corruption in Canada, several lawyers discussed Eby’s views on B.C. casinos and real estate.

    “I heard something that sounds like a commitment to reform beneficial ownership transparency,” said lawyer Paul Lalonde, a Transparency International board member. “We are very encouraged by what we heard.”

    Corruption is a systemic issue, the experts agreed, and it is a problem that, in Canada, has only been studied deeply in Quebec. A report found that organized crime reached deep into public works contracting in that province. But serious corruption exists across Canada, and concerning indications are growing in B.C., panelists agreed.


  • Jack 11:52 am on December 4, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: barnini chakraborty, , , , , , sanctuary cities, todd rokita, , , ,   


    EXCLUSIVE – A Republican congressman plans to introduce a bill Monday that would threaten huge fines and prison time for elected officials accused of sheltering illegal immigrant criminals from deportation, in the wake of the not-guilty verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial.

    Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita’s bill is one of the most aggressive pieces of legislation to date aimed at sanctuary city policies, going beyond the Justice Department’s threat to cut off grants to those jurisdictions.

    “Politicians don’t get to pick and choose what laws to comply with,” Rokita told Fox News. “Americans are dying because politicians sworn to uphold the law refuse to do so.”

    His “Stopping Lawless Actions of Politicians (SLAP) Act” would hold state and local lawmakers criminally responsible for refusing to comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts. The Republican’s bill would subject violators to a $1 million fine and up to five years in prison if they are convicted.

    “It’s time the federal government gets serious about enforcing immigration laws and holding politicians accountable who conspire to break them,” said Rokita.

    Rokita also supported “Kate’s Law” – legislation that would boost penalties for illegal immigrants who were previously deported and that was named after Steinle.

    On Thursday, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an illegal immigrant who already had been deported back to Mexico five times, was acquitted in the 2015 murder of Steinle on a San Francisco pier.

    Zarate’s attorneys argued Zarate had found a gun that accidentally discharged, and the bullet ricocheted off the ground before hitting Steinle. Prosecutors argued Zarate intentionally shot 32-year-old Steinle.

    The killing revived a national debate over sanctuary city policies, as some lawmakers as well as Steinle’s family faulted San Francisco for releasing the suspect from a local jail without notifying federal immigration officials.

    President Trump, who frequently cited Steinle’s case on the campaign trail, called the not-guilty verdict “disgraceful” and a “complete travesty of justice.”
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions took direct aim at the city, saying San Francisco’s “decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.”

    In an interview prior to Thursday’s verdict, Steinle’s family said they wanted the case out of the national spotlight. “We just want to get this over with and move on with our lives, and think about Kate on our terms,” Jim Steinle, Kate’s father, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Following the verdict, he said his family was shocked Zarate was convicted only of firearm possession.

    On Friday, the DOJ released an amended arrest warrant for Zarate for a supervised release violation.

    Rokita’s bill follows a similar attempt in Texas to punish local officials who ignore federal requests to hold and then potentially turn over suspects for possible deportation. That law is the subject of a federal court challenge.


    See Also:

    (1) Bureau of Land Management Agent Promoted After His Gun Stolen, Used to Kill Kate Steinle

    (2) CNN’s Self-Congratulation After Trump’s Attack Only Illustrates His Point

  • Jack 3:32 am on December 1, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: gdls canada, general dynamics, , norman de bono, stryker combat vehicle, weapons upgrade   


    Made-in-London military armour is getting a lot more firepower.

    Some Stryker light armoured vehicles, a mainstay of the U.S. army, are being equipped with a 30-millimetre cannon and anti-tank missiles as the army beefs up its ground forces in Europe.

    Called “upgunning” in military parlance, the changes aim to boost the vehicles’ “lethality” as they face a growing role in Europe, said Col. Glenn Dean, project manager for the Stryker combat team.

    “This need became increasingly evident to the army given increased aggression in that region against a backdrop of limited U.S. armoured forces remaining in Europe,” Dean said by email, adding the new Strykers will be know as “Dragoons.”

    The 2nd Calvary Regiment and its 81 Strykers will offer direct fire support to infantry, he added.

    The new 30 mm cannon can be fired from within the vehicle using a remote weapons station and will first deploy with the European-based 2nd Cavalry on Stryker infantry carrier vehicles.

    From the time the program, known as the Stryker lethality program, was funded to first prototype delivery was only 15 months, Dean said.

    “Not only does this provide improved firepower, it also enhances vehicle survivability by providing standoff against potential threat weapons,” he said.

    As to why this is happening, military publications point to a “fast-changing global threat scenario, which includes the emergence of Russian aggression and accelerated Chinese military modernization — along with rapid global proliferation of attack drones and longer-range precision-guided weapons,” said an article on the website nationalinterest.org.

    The 30 mm cannon can be used to counter unmanned military drones, a growing threat in battle. It will feature “airburst” technology, meaning its rounds can detonate near a target and cause damage.

    “The new weapons are designed to support infantry units on the move in major combat, assist ground formations in armoured warfare, identify and destroy ground and air threats from greater standoff ranges and better enable the army to succeed,” said an article on Scout Warrior, a military news website.

    Stryker armoured vehicles are born in London, before being sent to other General Dynamics plants in the U.S. for final assembly of several variants, from troop carriers and ambulances to mobile gun systems.

    The program will see some work land in London, with suspensions for the armour being done here. It is not known yet whether GDLS will hire more workers as a result of the U.S. army program, said Doug Wilson-Hodge, spokesperson for GDLS Canada on Oxford Street.

    As for where other work will be done, the Dragoon infantry carrier vehicle is assembled by General Dynamics Land Systems in Anniston, Ala., with the turret supplied by Kongsberg Defence in Johnstown, Pa. Work on other variants will be done at GDLS plants in Mesa, Ariz., and Lima, Ohio.

    The program was approved in 2015 and the U.S. military has been testing and evaluating equipped Stryker prototypes in Maryland since January, with field and final testing set to begin in January.

    The army aims to see the entire 81-vehicle brigade deployed in Poland and Germany next year.

    “Army weapons developers are looking to harvest key insights from the current effort and are already looking far beyond equipping Stryker units in Europe toward a larger-scale, fleet-wide upgrade,” nationalinterest.org reported.


  • Jack 3:11 am on November 27, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bernard darby, , giving thanks, holocaust, holocaust survivor, us veterans,   

    Giving Back 

    At 83 years old, I am one of the few remaining Holocaust survivors – thanks to the American troops who rescued me in what seems like a lifetime ago.

    Since World War II, I’ve felt a deep connection to American troops for saving my life – a feeling that resurfaces every year on Veterans Day and throughout the holiday giving season.

    And so this year I’m saying “thank you” to the American soldiers of the 1940s by donating $1 million to organizations serving wounded American veterans today.

    My donation to the Wounded Warrior Project and the Services for Armed Forces program of the American Red Cross is my way of giving back, thanking previous generations of warriors for helping me. I hope this inspires others to give back as well.

    Even though more than 70 years have passed since my rescue, it’s not too late to give back. That’s a lesson I hope the next generation recognizes, because it’s all too easy to let procrastination give way to inaction. But action is what brings hope to those who need it.

    As a child, I spent most of World War II hiding from Nazi invaders in my native France, where my parents moved after fleeing the pogroms in Poland. Unfortunately, with the German invasion in 1940, we were again at risk. On July 16, 1942, the French police led a big roundup of Jews in Paris. More than 13,000 Jews were detained before being deported to Nazi death camps.

    The police came to our apartment at 6 a.m. My parents managed to take me to my aunt’s home. She was married to a French soldier and was protected.

    A few hours later, my mother was arrested as she and my brother were trying to get information about my father, who was hiding in a nearby grocery store. A concierge had pointed them out to the police. They ran, but my mother was not fast enough. She was detained and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. She perished there – probably within three weeks.

    I was 7, and for the next two years I lived on borrowed time, shielded by other families on the outskirts of Paris. The same was true for my future wife, who was also a child in hiding. If the war had continued much longer, we would not have survived.

    I vividly remember the arrival of the hundreds of thousands of American troops who landed in Normandy to liberate us in June 1944. They were our saviors, doling out packets of sweets to half-starved, war-weary children who had almost given up hope for freedom.

    The gratitude I feel to these men is beyond words. They freed our country and they saved our lives. Without American troops, my family and I simply would not have existed. I think of that every time I look at our family photos.

    Since the end of the war, life has been good to me. I’ve had a successful career as co-owner of one of Europe’s largest home appliance retailers, working alongside my brothers. I’ve also enjoyed raising my family, celebrating extended family gatherings of 20 people.

    My wife and I have a deep sense of gratitude for America. So in the early 1990s, freshly retired, we bought a home in South Florida. I travel with my wife each winter from our home in Paris to the warmth of Miami Beach. We still appreciate our second home there, where we now spend almost a third of our time.

    I have met many American people who I am lucky enough to call my friends. First, Americans saved us. Then decades later, they welcomed us.

    But as I watched news stories this fall of hurricanes, flooding and wildfires striking America, inflicting suffering among civilians and veterans alike, I realized that I still had an important task left to complete in my life. I had not yet given back to the American soldiers who saved my life nearly three-quarters of a century ago.

    That is why I want to help modern American veterans today. They pursue the tradition of the young men who landed on the shores of Normandy in June 1944 and who I will never forget. In giving this donation, I want to thank Americans with all my heart for coming to rescue us in our hour of need.

    But I also want to make a public stand in support of America. I hope that my donation can trigger a movement and lead others to take action. My story shows it’s never too late to give back, especially for a cause that’s close to your heart. If it wasn’t too late for this octogenarian, it’s not too late for you.


  • Jack 2:54 pm on November 26, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: alicia powe, , gender discrimination, gender indoctrination, gender politics, , , , us education, us values,   

    Angry Parents 

    WASHINGTON – Americans are fed up with public school curricula that incorporate gender ideology in the name of civil rights and are fighting legal battles across the country to end the indoctrination.

    Parents in Portland, Oregon, filed a federal lawsuit to reverse a Dallas School District policy allowing a biological female to use the bathroom and locker room for males.

    Allowing the 16-year old transgender female, Elliot Yoder, to use the boys’ facilities violates the civil rights of the majority of students who are not transgender, the lawsuit argues.

    Two years ago, Yoder requested to change her clothes before gym class in the boys’ locker room because other students noticed when she left to change in the gender-neutral facility, which was inconveniently located two floors away.

    The Dallas district accommodated her request, igniting parents to protest at a school board meeting.

    The attorney representing the parents, Herb Grey, argues boys are embarrassed to get undressed in front of biological females and that it is unfair to make the majority of students feel uncomfortable to satisfy the demands of a small minority.

    See what American education has become, in “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”

    “The key to this whole thing is not just the privacy and the rights of just one student,” Grey explained. “It’s the rights of all the students and their parents, and you can’t interpret federal law and state law and impose it on everyone else and say you’re accommodating everyone — because you’re not accommodating everyone.”

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon and the group Basic Rights held a news conference Thursday, condemning the parents’ lawsuit.

    “The case targets transgender youth for simply existing and seeking an education,” said Mat dos Santos, legal director for ACLU Oregon. “This lawsuit is senseless and cruel, but it is not a meaningful threat to the right of transgender students in Oregon.”

    The Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown are named in the lawsuit because the state guidelines issued in 2016 specify which districts are required to do to accommodate transgender students.

    The guidelines are not the law but were implemented after the Obama administration issued a guidance memorandum reinterpreting Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend to transgender students.

    That guidance later was reversed by the Trump administration.

    The lawsuit also names the Department of Education and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

    Meanwhile, students in grades K-5 in Seattle will be assigned books and short lessons that teach the new gender ideology according to updated state health education requirements.

    “For kindergarten, there’s a book called ‘Introducing Teddy.’ In it, a bear named Thomas is sad and finally tells a friend, ‘I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy.’ Thomas asks to be called Tilly instead. The friend, Errol, says that he doesn’t care and that ‘what matters is that you are my friend,’” reports public radio station KNKX.

    Numerous court opinions on transgender rights have interpreted Title IX protections as extending to transgender students.

    The Portland lawsuit is similar to a suit filed in Palatine, Illinois, in which U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffery Gilbert sided against children and parents demanding their children’s privacy.

    Gilbert ruled last October that high school students “do not have a constitutional right not to share restrooms or locker rooms with transgender students whose sex assigned at birth is different than theirs.”

    See what American education has become, in “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”


  • Jack 4:59 am on November 25, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: blm, , daily caller, david krayden, , , , toronto education, toronto police, toronto politics   


    The Toronto branch of Black Lives Matter (BLM) is claiming victory now that uniformed police offices are no longer welcome at the city’s schools. As CBC News reports, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) supported a resolution Wednesday night to end the School Resource Officer (SRO) program that was enacted to protect children from gang violence.

    BLM has agitated against the program from its beginning almost a decade ago, claiming the police are intimidating black and other minority kids.

    Members of BLM attended the school board meeting and cheered when its members voted to can the program. Rodney Diverlus, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, was ecstatic about the decision.

    “This has been a 10-year battle with a number of organizations that extend way beyond even the beginning of BLM Toronto. The community was not consulted when this program was created,” he told CBC. “I think there’s a relief … there’s a sense of justice, there’s a sense that we’ve been heard.”The TDSB claims it is only responding to “marginalized voices” with the decision.

    In a statement, TDSB chair Robin Pilkey said, “Over recent months, we have listened to marginalized voices that have not always been heard. We have heard loud and clear that the SRO program is not welcome by a significant number of our students and that’s why we’ve made the difficult decision to end the program at the TDSB.”

    However, according to its own report, 57 percent of respondents supported the presence of police at city schools, with only 10 percent opposing.

    Those numbers are outraging some, including the Toronto police who wonder what the school board’s agenda is. “How do they reconcile that?” Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack asked, suggesting the survey numbers demonstrated that public opinion was directly behind the police,

    ”I think they’ll live to regret that decision,” he told CBC News.

    Toronto police began to patrol city schools in 2008 after a Grade 9 student was killed as a result of gang violence the previous year.


  • Jack 3:20 am on November 24, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , ,   


    As part of its ambitious national housing strategy, the Liberal government is vowing to enshrine the right to adequate housing as a fundamental human right in Canadian law, a symbolic move that has practical considerations.

    For years there has been an international push to do just that, and Canada is already a signatory to the UN-backed International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which recognizes housing as a right.

    “Housing rights are human rights and everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home… and one person on the streets in Canada is too many,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday in announcing the long-awaited, roughly $40-billion plan to help fund the construction of more social housing, repair old units and deliver up to $2,500 a year in rent support for vulnerable families.

    Trudeau defends timing of housing funding

    Don Iveson, Edmonton’s mayor, and the current chair of the Big City Mayor’s caucus, championed the announcement Wednesday, in part because of its commitment to protect housing as a human right.

    ‘A fundamental need’

    “Access to adequate housing is not just something that our citizens simply want or desire, but it is a fundamental need — a human right, even — and I believe that this announcement is the start of treating it as such.”

    But just because housing could soon become a “right” — albeit not one embedded in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms — the government is not expected to supply a house to every man, woman and child within its borders.

    “While most governments are involved to some degree in housing construction, the right to adequate housing clearly does not oblige the government to construct a nation’s entire housing stock,” the UN suggested in its recent report on the issue.

    “Rather, the right to adequate housing covers measures that are needed to prevent homelessness, prohibit forced evictions, address discrimination, focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized groups, ensure security of tenure to all, and guarantee that everyone’s housing is adequate.”

    In addition to Wednesday’s announced plan, the government is preparing a separate Indigenous housing strategy — to be released at an unspecified later date — that it says will be tailored to the unique needs of the many inadequately housed Indigenous communities where market-based solutions are often unfeasible.

    Enshrines a public sector role

    Importantly, a recognition that housing is a human right triggers some expectations under international law and demands the government act to address persistent problems. It is also a tacit admission that charities alone cannot solve the problem and that the public sector should take the lead coordinating solutions.

    The federal government has revealed the details of its ten-year, multibillion-dollar national housing strategy

    Guy Caron, the NDP’s parliamentary leader, said he hopes the Liberal government’s pledge is more than simply semantics. “It’s one thing to actually say that housing is a right, it’s another one to actually ensure that it’s legislated properly.”

    The government has tried to counter such skepticism by promising to soon introduce legislation in Parliament that will commit this government, and all future governments, to maintaining a national housing plan, and producing yearly reports on progress towards reducing homelessness.

    This is an effort to ensure action in this area is not limited to the Trudeau government alone. The Liberals are also appointing a federal housing advocate, which they say will ensure accountability and transparency of future leaders.

    Liberal plan checks the boxes: expert

    When the Ontario Human Rights Commission studied this very issue, they found, while most housing advocates welcomed a pledge to protect housing as a right, they were more interested in practical measures that might be made towards making it a right, such as:

    • Governments setting reasonable targets to get more people into homes (the Liberal plan promises 530,000 households will find more secure housing when the strategy is fully implemented).
    • Allocating sufficient funds.
    • Improving rental housing options.
    • Adopting measures to address discrimination.

    Singh reacts to Liberals housing strategy

    Farha said the pledge to reduce chronic shelter usage by half by the year 2026 is “too timid,” and Canada could have set a more ambitious target.
    Detroit Water Shutoffs

    Leilani Farha, a United Nations human rights expert, and the executive director of Canada Without Poverty, left, said the Liberal government’s housing strategy checks many of the boxes a ‘human rights approach’ to housing demands. (Paul Sancya/AP Photo)

     Leilani Farha, the executive director of Canada Without Poverty and a UN rapporteur, said the Liberal plan checks many of the boxes used to define a “human rights approach” to housing, among them legal recognition of the right to housing, a commitment to equality, measurable goals and timelines, and a comprehensive plan and accountability measures.

    Historic step

    “This housing strategy, I can’t say it’s leading in the world, and there’s some real weaknesses that need to be addressed, but it’s a solid rights-based strategy,” she said.

    Farha said the pledge to reduce chronic shelter usage by half by the year 2026 is “too timid,” and Canada could have set a more ambitious target.


    Leilani Farha, a United Nations human rights expert, and the executive director of Canada Without Poverty, left, said the Liberal government’s housing strategy checks many of the boxes a ‘human rights approach’ to housing demands. (Paul Sancya/AP Photo)

    “It’s historic to have adopted a housing strategy at all, but to have added to that all these strong human rights recognitions … for me it’s a really big step that this government, and all governments of Canada, have really resisted in the past. They’ve been repeatedly told, since 1993, by the UN that they need a housing strategy. So, it’s been a long time coming.”

    Importantly, the Liberals consulted widely with the homeless, and those who live in insecure housing, before unveiling their plan, Farha said.

    She said that sort of outreach is what led to the creation of the $2,500 housing benefit, which ties housing assistance to a person rather than a unit, meaning it can be used by those who move around for school or work.

    “It has to be people-centred and that’s not just a throwaway tokenism … It means every step of the way people who are affected have to be involved in a meaningful way in the process and in the rollout. And they’ve done that.”


    See Also:

    (1) Passive income changes could net feds $6 billion, PBO says (Ed: The changes are NOT passive. Somebody is getting screwed.)

  • Jack 4:07 am on November 22, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , defectors complain, , katherine lam,   

    Pig Sty 

    Female North Korean soldiers are often raped, stop menstruating because of the tough environment and are forced to reuse sanitary pads during their army service, a North Korean defector who dealt with years of hellish service in the regime’s army revealed Monday.

    Lee So Yeon, who defected to South Korea through China, told the BBC about the 10 years she spent in the North Korean army, a period which began when she was 17. She said she served in the army between 1992 and 2001 and was never raped herself, but many of her comrades suffered sexual abuse.

    “The company commander would stay in his room at the unit after hours and rape the female soldiers under his command. This would happen over and over without an end,” Lee told the BBC.

    Lee, now 41, said she “enjoyed her life in the army,” but the rigorous training schedules and lack of food were hard on women’s bodies.

    Female North Korean soldiers march during a military parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang October 10, 2010. Secretive North Korea's leader-in-waiting, the youngest son of ailing ruler Kim Jong-il, took centre stage during a massive military parade on Sunday, appearing live for the first time in public.      REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic  (NORTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY ANNIVERSARY IMAGES OF THE DAY) - GM1E6AA104D01

    North Korea’s female soldiers are often raped, according to a defector.  (Reuters)

    “After six months to a year of service, we wouldn’t menstruate anymore because of malnutrition and the stressful environment,” she told the BBC. “The female soldiers were saying that they are glad that they are not having periods. They were saying that they were glad because the situation is so bad if they were having periods too that would have been worse.”


    Lee said female soldiers were forced to reuse sanitary pads. Juliette Morillot, author of “North Korea in 100 Question,” also told the BBC women still used “traditional white cotton pads” that had to be washed when men weren’t around. Morillot, who visited North Korea and spoke to female soldiers, said women missed their period for years while in the army.

    “One of the girls I spoke with, who was 20, told me she trained so much that she had skipped her periods for two years,” Morillot said.

    Lee has recalled being engulfed in the odor from her own sweat because her army bunk was made of rice hull.

    “As a woman, one of the toughest things is that we can’t shower properly,” she said, adding there wasn’t hot water and frogs and snakes ran through the shower hose — which came from a mountain stream.


    Lee voluntarily joined the army in her teens, but under Kim Jong Un’s regime, North Korean women are now required to serve at least seven years in the army, starting at 18 years old, according to the BBC. The mandate, implemented two years ago, is expected to increase the number of women between 18 and 25 in the military. Exceptions are held for “gifted people” who possess special talents, including those who excel in sports and music.

    Lee decided to defect in 2008 and made two attempts. She was caught the first time and sent to a prison camp for a year. She successfully escaped the second time by swimming across the Tumen River.


    Life in the world’s fourth largest army came under focus after a North Korean soldier defected to South Korea by dashing across the Joint Security Area at the Demilitarized Zone last week. His comrades fired more than 40 rounds at him, striking him at least five times. It’s still unclear why the soldier defected, but doctors treating him in South Korea said they removed dozens of parasites from his body. Some presumed roundworms were as long as 11 inches.

    Choi Min-Ho, a professor at Seoul National University College of Medicine, told Reuters the soldier’s condition wasn’t “surprising at all considering the north’s hygiene and parasite problems.”

    South Korean army soldiers talks with a medical doctor as he prepares to treat an unidentified injured person, unseen, believed to be a North Korean soldier, at a hospital in Suwon, South Korea, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. North Korean soldiers shot at and wounded a fellow soldier who was crossing a jointly controlled area at the heavily guarded border to defect to South Korea on Monday, the South's military said. (Lee Jung-son/Newsis via AP)

    Doctors in South Korea treat the North Korean soldier who dashed across the JSA at the DMZ.  (Reuters)

    “Although we do not have solid figures showing health conditions of North Korea, medical experts assume that parasite infection problems and serious health issues have been prevalent in the country,” Choi said.

    North Korean farmers reportedly use human feces, called “night soil,” as fertilizer after a decrease in chemical fertilizer production. North Koreans also view it as the “best fertilizer” in the country despite causing parasite and worms problems.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

    Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam


  • Jack 3:07 pm on November 21, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: della reese, dr. charle drake, touched by an angel, university hospital   

    Della Reese: RIP 

    An American singer and television star who owed a second chance at life to a London surgeon has died.

    Della Reese, the actress and gospel-influenced singer who in middle age found her greatest fame as Tess, the wise angel in the long-running television drama “Touched by an Angel,” has died at age 86.

    A family representative released a statement Monday that Reese died peacefully Sunday evening in California. No cause of death or additional details were provided.

    Before “Touched by an Angel” debuted in 1994, Reese was mainly known as a singer, although she had co-starred on “Chico and the Man,” “Charlie and Company” and “The Royal Family” and hosted her own talk show, “Della.”

    She appeared on numerous shows such as “Night Court,” ”L.A. Law” and ”Designing Women,“ but wrote in her 1997 autobiography that she had difficulty being typecast until she landed her “Touched by an Angel” role.

    In 1979, Reese collapsed on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show from a potentially fatal brain aneurysm.

    Her medical advisers felt the best place for her was in the hands of Charles Drake, a London doctor who had pioneered life-saving brain aneurysm surgery at University Hospital. Drake operated on her for five hours.

    The success of the procedure prompted Reese to perform a benefit concert for the hospital a year later. Reese credited Drake with saving her life and eyesight.

    Drake, chief of neurosurgery at University Hospital and the department of clinical neurological sciences at the University of Western Ontario, died Sept. 15, 1998.



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