• Obama hopes to stoke optimism in farewell union address

    11/Jan/2016 // 157 Viewers

     

    WASHINGTON (AFP) - Barack Obama will use his final State of the Union address Tuesday, one of the last grandstand occasions of his presidency, to define his legacy and make the case for optimism amid an angst-ridden election race.

    Seven years ago, a youthful President Obama's first address to Congress surprised some with gloomy talk of shaken confidence, a weakened economy and uncertain times ahead.

    His farewell State of the Union address may surprise for its optimism.

    Senior White House officials promise an unorthodox speech. Obama will ditch the traditional hour-long laundry list of the year's legislative priorities and instead look beyond his presidency.

    For a president who has leaned heavily -- critics say too heavily -- on dazzling rhetorical skills to push his agenda, it will be one of the last chances to define his presidency before a national audience.

    Around 30 million viewers are expected to watch live, an audience that may only be matched during the Democratic nominating convention later this year, when he passes the torch to the next presidential hopeful.

    To reach the broadest audience, Obama's aides will amplify his message across print, television and innovative digital platforms like Medium and Genius.

    Obama will list his administration?s achievements, from healthcare reform to gay rights to a nuclear deal with Iran to a pending trans-Pacific trade deal.

    But he will also stress the distance traveled since the throes of the Great Recession and speak to a present he will portray as rich in promise.

    "It's about the power of possibility," said a senior White House official. "It's looking beyond his time in office," in an attempt to "elevate the country."

    The speech, under construction since the autumn, will also challenge Americans to address unfinished business, from dealing with racial tensions to gun violence to drug abuse.

    White House officials admit it is a risky strategy.

    For a president with a year left in the Oval Office, misjudging the nation's mood could make him look cripplingly out of touch.

    The political backdrop is a shrill and hyper-partisan 2016 election campaign that has tapped into fears about terrorism, as well as middle-class malaise spurred by a lost decade of wage growth.

    Obama is unlikely to dwell on the 2016 election race directly, but in embracing optimism, the White House hopes to draw a sharp contrast with Republicans.

    "We think that there is a lot of noise coming from one party," said one aide, insisting the negativity of the campaign trail does not represent the broader nation.

    If Obama manages to kindle a sense of optimism, supporters hope it could help define a political epoch, much as Lyndon Johnson did when declaring a "war on poverty" or when John F. Kennedy announced the moonshot.

    - A hostile Congress -

    Obama has long thought of his presidency in such historic terms. But the broad sweep of his speech is also born of necessity.

    He faces a hostile Republican Congress, united only in its disdain for him and his agenda.

    Obama can expect some bipartisan support for a call to enact criminal justice reform, but efforts to close the notorious prison at Guantanamo Bay or improve ties with Cuba will require unilateral executive action.

    He will rely on symbolism and the bully pulpit to press for tighter gun-control laws, which Republicans fiercely oppose.

    The White House says one seat in the First Lady's guest box will be left vacant for "victims of gun violence who no longer have a voice ? because they need the rest of us to speak for them."

    Republican criticism is likely to focus on Obama's handling of foreign policy, in particular the rise of the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

    Offering a preview of the Republican response, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan accused Obama of "doubling down on the same failed foreign policies that have made the world a more dangerous place."

    "The president of the United States should be an optimist," said Danielle Pletka of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. "Don't slam him for wanting great things for our country."

    "Slam him for not talking about how the last seven years have seen an almost unprecedented decline not simply in our nation's security, but in our ability to combat enemies near and far."

    by Andrew Beatty
     
     
     
     
    AFP


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  • Breaking News! Jury sentences Dylann Roof to death for Charleston church slayings

    11/Jan/2017 // 412 Viewers

     

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal jury sentenced Dylann Roof to death on Tuesday for killing nine black parishioners during a massacre inside a church here last year.
     
    Roof was convicted last month of 33 counts of federal hate crimes. The same jury that found him guilty on all counts last month deliberated Tuesday for just under three hours before deciding his sentence.
     
    Earlier Tuesday, Roof, 22, had stood before the jury and delivered a halting and cryptic closing argument, suggesting that the prosecution “hates me” and that his killing of nine parishioners at a Bible study meeting in 2015 was not motivated by hatred of black people.
     
    “Anyone that thinks I’m filled with hatred has no idea what real hatred is,” said Roof, a self-described white supremacist who has said he hoped his high-profile killings would incite a race war in America. “They don’t know anything about me. They don’t know what real hatred looks like. They think they do, but they don’t.”
     
    “I would say that in this case, the prosecution and anyone else who hates me are the ones that have been misled,” Roof said in a soft voice, standing before the eight women and four men who, shortly after, began deliberating whether to sentence him to death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
     
    “Wouldn’t it be fair to say that the prosecution hates me?” Roof said, noting that prosecutors were seeking the death penalty.
     
    Roof told the jury they might think, “‘Of course they hate you; everyone hates you. They have good reason to hate you.’ I don’t deny it.”
     
    For the first time, Roof also seemed to obliquely raise the possibility that some emotional or mental condition may have led to his killing spree. Previously, Roof had clashed with his court-appointed attorneys who wanted to introduce evidence of mental illness.
     
    “Um, I think it’s safe to say that no one in their right mind wants to go into a church and kill people,” said Roof, wearing a light blue cable-knit sweater and gray khakis, at the start of his seven-minute closing argument.
     
    Roof pointed out to the jury that in his confession to the FBI, “I told them I had to do it. … Obviously that’s not true. Nobody made me do it.”
     
    Without directly explaining his meaning, Roof then said, “I felt like I had to do it, and I still feel like I had to do it.”
     
    Roof also noted that he had a right to ask the jury to spare his life, but “I’m not sure what good that would do.”
     
    Roof said FBI officials in his interrogation asked him, “So is it safe to say that you don’t like black people?”
     
    “My response to them was, ‘Well, I don’t like what black people do,’ ” he said.
     
    If he hated black people, Roof said, “wouldn’t I have just said, ‘Yes, I don’t like black people’?”
     
    He noted that imposition of the death penalty required a unanimous decision by the jury.
     
    “Only one of you needs to disagree,” he said, noting that each of them said during jury selection that they would stand up for what they thought was right.
     
    With that, Roof paused, looked up and said:
     
    “That’s all, thank you.”
     
    Roof’s closing statement followed a detailed two-hour closing argument by prosecutor Jay Richardson, who recapped the facts of the case, which have been uncontested by Roof.
     
    Roof’s guilt was never in doubt; he admitted to FBI interrogators that he had planned for months to kill black worshipers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, known as Mother Emanuel, because of the church’s historic significance in the black community — he said it would “make the biggest wave” and hopefully inspire other white people to kill black people.
     
    The only question was whether Roof, a ninth-grade dropout, would be sentenced to death or to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Roof seemed to all but guarantee his fate by choosing to fire his court-appointed lawyers — including a respected death penalty specialist — and represent himself during the penalty phase of the trial.
     
    Richardson told the jury how Roof had planned the shootings for months and had become a radicalized racist online in recent years — especially since the killing of black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, a white man.
     
    “He feels no remorse because it was worth it to him,” Richardson said.
     
    Richardson displayed photos of all nine victims, who ranged in age from 26 to 87 — contrasting photos of them smiling in life and lying crumpled and bloody on a church basement floor after being shot by Roof.
     
    Richardson also noted that Roof considered Adolf Hitler “an icon, someone to be emulated,” and even loaded 88 bullets into his gun’s magazines — a common white supremacist symbol: H is the eighth letter of the alphabet, and 88 represents “Heil Hitler.”
     
    Richardson urged the jury to “speak the truth and hold this defendant accountable for his actions. Sentence this defendant to death.”
     
    Following the jury’s decision, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said it will “hold him accountable for his choices.”
     
    “No verdict can bring back the nine we lost that day at Mother Emanuel.  And no verdict can heal the wounds of the five church members who survived the attack or the souls of those who lost loved ones to Roof’s callous hand.  But we hope that the completion of the prosecution provides the people of Charleston – and the people of our nation – with a measure of closure.”
     


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  • Breaking: Intelligence chiefs briefed Trump and Obama on unconfirmed claims Russia has compromising information on president-elect

    11/Jan/2017 // 290 Viewers

     

    A classified report delivered to President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump last week included a section summarizing allegations that Russian intelligence services have compromising material and information on Trump’s personal life and finances, U.S. officials said.
     
    The officials said that U.S. intelligence agencies have not corroborated those allegations, but believed that the sources involved in the reporting were credible enough to warrant inclusion of their claims in the highly classified report on Russian interference in the presidential campaign.
     
    A senior U.S. official with access to the document said that the allegations were presented at least in part to underscore that Russia had embarrassing information on both major candidates, but only released material that might harm Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — a reflection of Russian motivation that bolstered U.S. spy agencies’ conclusion that Moscow sought to help Trump win.
     
    The inclusion of such unsubstantiated allegations in the election report, a development first reported Tuesday by CNN, adds a disturbing new dimension to existing concerns about Russia’s efforts to undermine American democracy.
     
    If true, the information suggests that Moscow has assembled damaging information — known in espionage circles by the Russian term “kompromat” — that conceivably could be used to coerce the next occupant of the White House. The claims were presented in a two-page summary attached to the full report, an addendum that also included allegations of ongoing contact between members of Trump’s inner circle and representatives of Moscow.
     
    U.S. officials said the claims about Russian possession of compromising material were based not on information through traditional intelligence channels but research done by an outside entity engaged in political consulting work and led by a former high-ranking British intelligence official. The material was first mentioned in a Mother Jones report in October.
     
    U.S. officials said that while the FBI had so far not confirmed the accuracy of the claims, U.S. officials had evaluated the sources relied upon by the private firm, considered them credible, and determined that it was plausible that they would have first-hand knowledge of Russia’s alleged dossier on Trump.
    The CIA, the FBI and the White House declined to comment on the matter. The Trump transition team did not respond to requests for comment.
     
    K.T. McFarland, Trump’s designated deputy foreign service adviser, declined to respond to a question about the report. “I don’t know about the story that you’re talking about that’s broken. I don’t think it’s appropriate…I know in Washington people prefer to talk about something about which they know nothing, but I’m going to refrain,” she said during participation in a panel at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
     
    “I’m not going to say what Donald Trump thinks about the election and what involvement the Russians had. I think I’d just say what [Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr.] said, which is that nothing the Russians did had any effect on the outcome.” Clapper, however, testified that the report never attempted to assess what effect the Russian intervention had on the election result.
     
    The two-page summary was attached to the most highly classified of three separate versions of the report on Russian election interference that were circulated in Washington last week, including an abbreviated declassifed draft that was made public.
     
    It was unclear whether the claims in the summary were even considered by FBI, CIA and DNI analysts who were responsible for the main body of the report, of whether the information from the outside group had any influence on those analysts’ conclusions.
     
    Senior lawmakers who were briefed on the most classified version of the report on declined to comment.
     
    Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Ca.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the Trump transition team, said that “we can’t comment on what goes on in” classified briefings, but added that the idea that Moscow would seek to gather incendiary material on U.S. leaders “should not be a surprise to anyone.”
     
    “The Russians are always looking for dirt on any politician,” Nunes said. “That wouldn’t be news.” Asked whether he was aware of any contacts between the Trump team and Russia, Nunes said, “No. I found that hard to believe. I have not heard that. News to me.”


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  • +VIDEO: Finally, Obama heads home to Chicago to say farewell to the nation, gives final speech before leaving White House

    11/Jan/2017 // 472 Viewers

     


    CHICAGO — President Obama planned to use his farewell speech here in his home town on Tuesday to defend his imperiled legacy and press a broad, optimistic vision for the country that has rarely seemed more divided than it does as he is about to leave office.

    Obama has sought to rise above the rancorous politics of the past few months and the stunning presidential election that resulted in the defeat of his chosen successor and a Republican sweep of Congress.

    Obama has referred to his home in the Hyde Park neighborhood here as “a time capsule,” a mostly uninhabited place full of old bills and news clippings dating to a time before he took office.

    And on Tuesday, he returned to his home town to lay down a critical mile marker of his presidency, seeking to address both the past and the future.

    The last months of his presidency have tested his confidence and optimism in ways that he never expected. First, there was a violent summer of police shootings and protests that highlighted the country’s deep divisions and the limits of any single president to speak to a fractious and frustrated nation.

    During two successful runs for the White House, Obama had rallied his base with the chant “Yes, we can.”

    By last summer, he was asking a different question: “Can we do this? Can we find the character as Americans to open our hearts to each other?” he asked. “I don’t know. I confess that sometimes, I too experience doubt.” Then there was the stunning victory of President-elect Donald Trump, a candidate that Obama derided as unfit for the Oval Office.

    In Chicago, Obama doubled down on his optimistic vision for the country and his faith in the American people, despite the acrimony and doubt of the past few months.

    But Obama sought to make the case that the change he promised in 2008 is a reality that will continue to unfold despite the battering his party suffered in the November elections.

    In the Woodlawn neighborhood, where the Obama Presidential Center is slated to open in 2021, residents said they hope that the center will provide a critical economic boost to the neighborhood. Tonya Hall, a home health-care aide, said big hopes were riding on small signs. “We saw them cutting down all the trees,” she said, a concrete sign in her mind that the library will be a helpful reality.

    “I think it will be jobs,” said 77-year-old Almeda Nelson on Monday, as she ran errands across from the Good Shepherd Manor seniors’ home where she lives. She hopes the Obama library will help create opportunities for the neighborhood’s young people: “It will give them something to do. They don’t have nothing to do. They’re out in the street.”

    Obama chose Chicago for his farewell address because of a “deep and profound love for the city,” said White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

    But the city also highlights some of the unfinished work of his presidency. Racked by gun violence, armed confrontations between police and civilians, and fights between city officials and the teachers’ union, Chicago is held up by conservatives as a national symbol of urban dysfunction. The city had 762 homicides last year, the highest number since the crack epidemic of the 1990s.

    “We are experiencing, obviously, a serious murder and crime problem,” said Dick Simpson, a political-science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. But Simpson, who served as a city alderman from 1971 to 1979, noted that Chicago “has become more established as a global city,” and the Obama center will reflect that growing sophistication.

    In an interview Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel noted that the number of tourists visiting his city each year has risen from 39 million when he took office in 2011 to 54 million in 2016. Given Chicago’s easy accessibility and the draw of the presidential center, Emanuel said, “his library will be a major part of the cultural attraction of Chicago.”

    While Emanuel acknowledged that Chicago had a difficult past year, he added that many other major cities faced similar challenges. Obama, he said, was committed to helping tackling some of them during his post-presidency.

    “These are complex problems that require comprehensive solutions,” Emanuel said.

    Even as many welcome the prospect of new development on the city’s South Side, there is also a tangible unease that the area’s redevelopment could crowd out existing residents.

    The Rev. Byron T. Brazier, who serves as pastor of Apostolic Church of God, said construction of the center will provide both Woodlawn and nearby Washington Park with greater leverage over future economic decisions. Both communities are on the upswing, he said, with strong schools and a declining murder rate.

    A decade ago, Obama’s rapid ascent appeared to galvanize a new political coalition — composed of young people, people of color and women — that promised to scramble established voting patterns and usher in an era of federal progressive policymaking.

    On Tuesday, many of the Obama true believers gathered to hear him one last time.

    Elizabeth Jarvis-Shean, a Sacramento native who directed research at the White House as well as during the 2012 campaign, is now works in the tech industry in Northern California. On Monday, she boarded a plane for Chicago to meet up with other veterans of the Obama campaigns.

    “I’m looking forward to hearing from him,” she said. “He’s always been sort of the North Star. So the question is what does that navigation tell us, what does the compass look like.”

    The White House put out a video over the weekend, featuring celebrities and ordinary people recounting what the 2008 campaign slogan — “yes we can” — meant to them.

    Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley has dubbed Obama “a firewall president, who must constantly defend progressive achievement in a country that’s center-right.” The result is that Obama may find himself more tightly tethered to the political stage than he had envisioned he would be at this point.

    “He’s going to keep his political hat on for a little longer than he wants to,” Brinkley said, even though “he might want to throw it in the closet.”

    And Obama has begun to think through when he might publicly weigh in on what his successor is doing, Jarrett said, even as he will work to be respectful of the fact that a new president will be in charge. - The Washington Post


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  • Breaking News: Again, DONALD TRUMP stuns the world, takes another major decision ahead of inauguration

    11/Jan/2017 // 2807 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 11, 2017: (DGW) U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has declared his intention to shift the management of his assets into a trust managed by his sons and give up management of his private company, The Washington Post is reporting.

    This latest step, he said, will help him immeasurably to move closer to resolving potential conflicts of interest.

    The move, announced in Trump’s first news conference since July, comes amid early criticism from Congressional Democrats who say his financial entanglements could improperly steer his presidential decision-making.


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  • Breaking News: DONALD TRUMP very angry, spits fire, blast 'fake news disgrace'

    11/Jan/2017 // 461 Viewers

     

    US President-elect Donald Trump says allegations Russia has compromising material on him is "fake news, phoney stuff", put together by "sick people".
     
    He was replying to allegations carried in some US media that his election team colluded with Russia and there were salacious videos of his private life.
     
    In his first briefing as president-elect, he also said for the first time Russia had been behind hacking attacks.
    He also confirmed handing total control of his businesses to his two sons.
     
    The press conference was scheduled for Mr Trump to give details about his business affairs but was dominated by the allegations of the compromising material.
     
    Mr Trump said the claims "should never have been written and should never have been released".
     
    Tweet
     
    Intelligence agencies reportedly considered them sufficiently relevant to brief both Mr Trump and President Barack Obama last week.

    Mr Trump would not confirm he had been briefed but he then said there had been a "lot of people in the room" and that it would be a "tremendous blot" on the reputation of intelligence agencies if they had been responsible for leaking the details.

    "That's something that Nazi Germany would have done," he said.

    A 35-page dossier of allegations had been published in full on Buzzfeed and reported by CNN.

    Mr Trump called Buzzfeed a "failing pile of garbage" and accused CNN of "going out of their way to build it up".
     
    Donald Trump
    Mr Trump said details of the alleged compromising material "should never have been released"

    The allegations claim Russia has damaging information about the president-elect's business interests, and salacious video evidence of his private life, including claims of using prostitutes at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Moscow.

    Denying any such claims, Mr Trump said that as a high-profile person he was extremely cautious about all that he did when travelling abroad.
    Russia has also strongly denied the allegations.

    Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, said they were "pulp fiction" and a "clear attempt to damage relations".
    Mr Trump said he "respected" Mr Putin for putting out a statement.

    Mr Trump was also asked about the hacking scandal that dominated the US election campaign, with US spy agencies concluding Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic Party emails.

    Mr Trump said for the first time "I think it was Russia", but added that "we get hacked by other people".
     
    Later in the briefing, he suggested the outcome was justified, saying "look at the things that we learned... Hillary Clinton got the questions to the debate and didn't report it".
    He added: "If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability."

    Mr Trump did not answer directly when asked whether his team had communicated with Russia during the election campaign, but he did say that any hacking by Mr Putin must stop. "He shouldn't be doing it. He won't be doing it."
    Other areas of the briefing:

    Mr Trump said he had formally handed "complete and total" control of his business empire to sons Don Jr and Eric to avoid any conflict of interest, adding: "They're not going to discuss it with me"

    The president-elect said there would be "a major border tax" on companies moving from the US to other nations
    David Shulkin selected to head Veterans Affairs

    A plan to be submitted "essentially simultaneously" to both repeal and replace Barack Obama's affordable health care programme Obamacare
    The wall to be built on the Mexican border will start as soon as possible with US funding but Mr Trump adds: "Mexico in some form... will reimburse us"
     
    'Never been to Prague'

    Before the briefing, the Trump team acted to dismiss news of the compromising material.
     
    Michael Cohen, a lawyer for President-elect Donald Trump, arrives in Trump Tower in New York, 16 December 2016.
    Michael Cohen, pictured in Trump Tower in New York, says the reports are "fake"

    Michael Cohen, a lawyer to Mr Trump named in the 35-page dossier, denied a specific claim that he went to Prague in August or September 2016 to meet Kremlin representatives to talk about the hacking.

    "I've never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews," he tweeted.

    Reince Priebus, Mr Trump's chief of staff, called the dossier report "phoney baloney garbage".

    US media suggest the alleged salacious videos were prepared as "kompromat" - compromising material collected about a politician or public figure in order to create a threat of negative publicity, if needed.
    How this came to light
    The allegations began circulating in political and media circles in recent months.
     
    Vladimir Putin
    "If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset," Mr Trump said

    The BBC understands they are based on memos provided by a former British intelligence officer for an independent organisation opposed to Mr Trump in Washington DC. Sources say the CIA regards them as "credible".

    The original intention was to derail Mr Trump's candidacy, reports say.

    The BBC first saw the documents in October but has been unable to verify the claims included. Several material inaccuracies have been highlighted in them.

    However past work by the British operative was considered by US intelligence to be reliable, US media say.
    The existence of the documents was first reported by Mother Jones in October.

    "It's all fake news, it's phoney stuff, it didn't happen," he said, saying that "sick people" had "put that crap together... it's an absolute disgrace".

    He thanked the news organisations that chose not to run with the claims, which have been circulating for months.
     
    *Original post appears first on BBC
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     


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  • just in: Six Volkswagen executives indicted in emission scandal

    11/Jan/2017 // 134 Viewers

     A Volkswagen dealership in Carlsbad, Calif. (Mike Blake/Reuters)


    U.S. officials indicted six executives at German automaker Volkswagen on Wednesday in connection with company’s efforts to deliberately deceive U.S. regulators about the emissions standards of its diesel engine vehicles and sell those cars illegally to American drivers.

    Five of the six executives are currently in Germany, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch said it was too soon to say how that will impact legal proceedings moving forward. Additional executives at the company are being investigated and could potentially face charges, she said.

    The Justice Department officially handed down criminal and civil penalties for Volkswagen on Wednesday afternoon. Volkswagen has agreed to plead guilty to three criminal counts, a rare admission of wrongdoing for a major company, and pay $4.3 billion in fines.

    “As you know we cannot put companies in jail, but we can hold their employees personally accountable and make companies pay hefty fines,” said FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

    “This is reflection of the fact that faceless multinational corporations don’t commit crimes, people commit crimes,” added Sally Q. Yates, deputy attorney general.

    Volkswagen will pay a $2.8 billion penalty to resolve the criminal charges. The company will pay an additional $1.5 billion to settle civil claims that it violated environmental, customs and finance laws as part of its deception.

    The guilty plea and fines match the settlement terms Volkswagen outlined yesterday, when the company confirmed that “advanced discussions” with U.S. officials to resolve the charges were underway. The proposed deal still needed the approval of the company’s board.

    The settlement must now be approved in court. That date has yet to be scheduled, a Justice Department spokesman said.

    Volkswagen is charged with conspiring to defraud the government and violate environmental regulations from May 2006 to November 2015 by installing devices in its diesel engine vehicles that obscure the amount of nitrogen oxide they spew into the air. Those devices and accompanying software allowed Volkswagen to evade regulators for years, the Justice Department asserts.

    However, Volkswagen falsely claimed that its vehicles met all environmental regulations in order to import and sell the affected vehicles in the United States from 2009 to 2015, according to the charges. In all, the emissions scandal touched 11 million vehicles worldwide, including more than half a million sold in the United States.

    When U.S. officials finally caught onto the ruse, Volkswagen “did corruptly alter, destroy, mutilate and conceal business records” in order to obstruct the investigation, charging documents declare. In August and September 2015, a Volkswagen supervisor is accused of deleting emails and files related to the deceptive device and instructing employees to do the same, charging documents show.

    Those criminal charges, which Volkswagen must still formally admit to in court, were also the basis for three civil allegations brought against the company.

    A Volkswagen executive was arrested and charged in Miami earlier this week in connection with the Justice Department investigation. Wednesday’s plea agreement states that the agency will “not file additional criminal charges” against Volkswagen or its “direct or indirect affiliates and subsidiaries.”

    Past Justice Department settlements with automakers, including Toyota and GM, allowed those companies to pay a fine without admitting to any wrongdoing.

    Wednesday’s announcement will bring Volkswagen’s total fines to roughly $20 billion. The largest of those penalties was the $14.7 billion the company was ordered to pay to buyback cars and otherwise compensate customers impacted by the scandal.


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  • Breaking: I'll bomb North Korea - Donald Trump

    11/May/2016 // 907 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MAY 12, 2016: (DGW) - Mr. Donald Trump has sent a very strong signal to the hermit kingdom of North Korea that it is not going to be business as usual if elected as the president of the United States of America.

    The Republican presidential nominee was quoted as saying a strike on the rogue regime of North Korea would send a strong message of America's military might around the world, he wrote while asking himself question what he would do in North Korea.

    He wrote: "What would I do in North Korea? "Am I ready to bomb this reactor? You're damned right."

    Donald trump also reportedly patted the young North Korean leader for executing all his rivals and keeping the rest of them under permanent subjugation to consolidate his hold on power.

    Recall Kim executed some army generals among whom was one of his uncles.

     His words:  “You’ve got to give him credit. How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden — you know, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it.


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  • BREAKING: Democrats submitted measure minutes ago that could steal presidency from Trump

    11/Nov/2016 // 2270 Viewers

     

    Earlier today, Democrats moved into position to execute a last ditch attempt to shift the Electoral College results. This, of course, would award Hillary Clinton the presidency. Their argument stems from the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
     
    KDVR reporters on the scene said that Democrats are making a strong push for the Electoral College to be changed, and for the popular vote to take effect in a new way.
     
    How their plan works is simple. As you know, each state has a specific number of electoral votes based on the number of congressional districts within its borders. Additionally, a vote is given for each Senator. The total comes out to 538.
     
    Yet, there is nothing in our Constitution to prevent these electors from refusing to support the candidate who won their state. That means even though Trump won, specific electoral voters could outright deny him the presidency.
     
    They Are Stealing It Before Our Very Eyes
     
    Democrats are pushing the law into practice by spreading a provisional petition. As of this afternoon, the petition has 175,000 signatures, making it an official public position.
     
    While some states could try to “ban” electoral voters from switching to Hillary, there’s no way it could be enforced—each electoral voter has the ultimate say.
     
    It’s a low move by the Democrats, and it could actually work.
     
    Red State Watcher reported that throughout history, more than 99% of electors have pledged to support American voters. But if the election cycle was indicative of anything to come, the Democrats are sure to actually push this.
     
    Clinton already has the control of large donors like Soros, who are currently funding anti-Trump protests all around the country.
     
    We have come TOO FAR to lose it now. Please spread this message and share this article. We must make the American People aware of the dirty trick they are trying to use. If we don’t, we could surely lose America to the same evil forces we just defeated. 
     
    Link to source:  CLICK HERE


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  • ''Trump could ban Muslims in US, speed up deportations'' - American legal experts say

    11/Nov/2016 // 660 Viewers

    US President-elect, Donald Trump

    PARIS, NOVEMBER 11, 2016: (DGW) US legal experts say , the President-elect on assumption of office could actually ban Muslims from entering the United States and speed up deportations, the Los Angeles Times published on November 10, 2016 has reported.

    The paper reports that  ''Noncitizens seeking to enter the country generally aren’t protected by the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws.

     
    ''As of Thursday morning, mention of the Muslim ban had disappeared from Trump’s campaign website. Later in the day, the proposal reappeared on the website. Trump aides insisted the earlier removal had been a technical glitch. 
     
    ''Trump could limit the entry of refugees from Syria, Iraq and other war-torn Middle Eastern countries. He probably would face pressure from U.S. allies not to do so, but he could disregard that.''
    On deportation of foreigners from the USA, Los Angeles Times also reported that, '' The law gives the president broad authority over immigration policy. Trump could speed up deportations, revoke Obama’s program that shielded so-called Dreamers — people who came to the U.S. illegally as children — and curb certain categories of visas for legal immigrants.

    ''But as Obama found, there are limits. Courts struck down his effort to expand the deportation shield to cover millions of adults.

    ''Trump also could not build a wall along the Mexican border without money from Congress, although he might be able to get started on construction by shifting funds already in the federal budget.''

    Credit: Los Angeles Times


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