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Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 11:36 AM
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Report: Mueller focusing closely on Trump jr's intent in Russia meeting

Members of special counsel Robert Mueller's team are looking at President Trump's oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., to determine the intent behind his attendance at a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer, according to a report.

A source familiar with the investigation into potential ties between Trump campaign officials and Russians told BuzzFeed that federal prosecutors are working to figure out what information Trump Jr. was provided during the meeting.

Federal prosecutors are also examining Trump Jr.'s own comments about the June 2016 gathering.

Trump Jr. attended the meeting, along with the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, with Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer, after he was promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

At: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/special-counsels-team-focusing-on-trump-jrs-intent-in-russia-probe-report/article/2631956

That should be an easy one:

Get daddy in the White House by hook or by crook, become real billionaires while doing so; rinse, repeat.

"Right, daddy?"

Pence compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt

Vice President Mike Pence is a big fan of his boss, and on Thursday he found yet another way to praise President Donald Trump: Pence compared him to President Theodore Roosevelt.

Specifically, Pence said Trump has the “vision, energy, and can-do spirit” that Roosevelt had.

One way these two are not alike? Roosevelt is considered by some to be a “war hero” for his role in the Spanish-American War.

Trump, in contrast, had five military deferments during the Vietnam War ― but he still has strong opinions on those who have served. Trump is also happy to take credit for the Panama Canal, begun during Roosevelt’s 1901-09 presidency.

At: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pence-trump-has-energy-can-do-spirit-reminiscent-of-teddy-roosevelt_us_5996f657e4b0a2608a6bd957

Teddy Roosevelt: "Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care."
Cheeto: "I'm, like, a really smart person. I know more than the generals - believe me!"

Robert Mueller makes move that suggests he's going after Mike Pence also

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is closing in on Trump from so many angles it’s hard to keep track.It’s only a matter of time before Trump is removed from office.

The only question is whether or not Mike Pence will go down with him and from the looks of it, he will.

Michael Flynn was the beginning of the end for the current administration. The New York Times is reporting that Robert Mueller is now asking for the White House to turn over documents pertaining to Flynn’s employment as a foreign agent and with the Trump campaign.

Mueller is supposedly investigating whether Flynn was getting kickbacks from his time on the Trump campaign, which would be classified as fraud.

Why is this significant for Mike Pence?

Flynn has already admitted to the Trump team that he was a paid foreign agent, but he was still hired for the National Security Adviser position. Mike Pence knew Michael Flynn was a criminal, but claimed his innocence anyways.

Mueller’s investigation into these kickbacks brings up the question, did Pence know about those too? If Pence knew about these crimes then he committed obstruction of justice.

At: http://www.bluedotdaily.com/makes-move-that-suggests-hes-going-after-mike-pence-also/

Pence wanted a fetus funeral? How about his gestating presidential ambitions.

Holocaust survivor Erika Gold responds to President Trump's Nazi comments

You're her president too, Cheeto.

Facing defeat in key district, Argentina's Macri suspends vote count

Argentine President Mauricio Macri is coming under fire after the vote count for the country's largest district, Buenos Aires Province, was drastically slowed and later suspended once results showed that his leading opponent, former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was headed for a narrow victory in Sunday's senate primaries.

The vote count, conducted by the Argentine Postal Service, proceeded normally until 2 a.m., when 80% of the assigned tabulators were ordered to stop working; the order was reportedly given by President Macri himself.

"They froze the still partial result for four or five hours for show, so they could claim victory on television when they actually lost in 14 Argentine provinces (out of 23). They hijacked the votes of 300,000 Buenos Aires residents," former House Speaker Leopoldo Moreau, an ally of Mrs. Kirchner, said.

Over 1,500 precincts remain to be counted in Buenos Aires Province - two-thirds of these in areas where Kirchner's center-left Citizen's Unity was ahead by double digits. Citizen's Unity had received 34.11% when the count was stopped this morning, with Macri's right-wing Let's Change coalition (led by his Education Minister, Esteban Bullrich) at 34.19%.

Sunday's elections were primaries ahead of the final round in October. Turnout was high at 74%.

As the tops of their respective tickets, Kirchner and Bullrich are all but guaranteed a senate seat themselves, given that in Argentina the runner-up in each province receives one of three seats for that province.

A victory in Buenos Aires Province, home to 17 million out of Argentina's 44 million people, would boost Kirchner's chances of returning as president in 2019, however, and be seen as a rebuke of Macri's right-wing policies, which have led to a 7-fold hike in utility rates and a decline in real wages.

Buenos Aires Province, especially the largely working class Greater Buenos Aires area, has been particularly affected.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pagina12.com.ar%2F56530-secuestraron-los-votos-de-300-000-bonaerenses&edit-text=

So many votes; so little to do. Argentine tabulators were ordered to stop counting around 2 a.m. once results showed the ruling party would be overtaken.

Argentines vote in legislative primaries, with key battleground too close to call

Amid high turnout, Argentines voted on Sunday in a closely watched mid-term primary election.

The primary vote essentially serves as a detailed poll ahead of the October 22 mid-term election for one third of the Senate and half the lower house of Congress, as no major candidates are being challenged from within their own parties.

“It has been a very quiet and peaceful day, with important voter participation; around 74% of the electorate voted,” Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio said.

Particular attention will be given to the results from Buenos Aires Province, with 37% of the nation's 33 million voters.

Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (for Citizens' Unity, representing center-left Peronists), Education Minister Esteban Bullrich (for Macri's right-wing 'Let's Change' coalition), and Congressman Sergio Massa (for 1Nation, representing anti-Kirchner Peronists), are competing for Senate seats for Buenos Aires Province.

Exit polling shows the race in Buenos Aires Province narrowing considerably, with Fernández de Kirchner and her electoral partner, former Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana, vying for the two senate seats for the majority against Bullrich and controversial ACUMAR environmental agency head Gladys González.

The runner-up would be awarded the third, minority seat.

The nationwide Senate electoral map favors Macri's Let's Change, as it's contesting just 3 of its 17 senators; the pro-Kirchner Front for Victory (FpV) is contesting 20 of its 43 senators.

Let's Change candidates are leading in 10 of 24 districts, including historically conservative ones such as the city of Buenos Aires and the provinces of Córdoba and Mendoza. Former Defense Minister Agustín Rossi, a close ally of Mrs. Kirchner, led an upset victory for his party list in the Santa Fe Province house races.

Citizens' Unity is a new political alliance which Fernández de Kirchner, 64, announced on June 14. The FpV-led alliance seeks to form a broad congressional coalition to check President Mauricio Macri's right-wing administration, which has often bypassed Congress.

Under Macri, regulations and economic subsidies were lifted, effectively shifting the tax burden to the majority and undoing many of the progressive gains made from 2003 to 2015 under the presidencies of Fernández de Kirchner and her late husband and predecessor, Néstor Kirchner.

Unemployment has risen from 5.9% in 2015 to 9.2%, with real wages down nearly 10%, utility rates up by over 500%, budget deficits doubled, and the foreign debt up by over $60 billion.

At: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-13/argentina-primaries-pit-macri-reforms-against-fernandez-comeback

Candidates for the key Buenos Aires Senate race:
·former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (center-left 'Citizens' Unity');
·Education Minister Esteban Bullrich (right-wing, pro-Macri 'Let's Change');
·Congressman Sergio Massa (centrist '1Nation');
·former Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo (center-left 'Fulfill' - disaffected Kirchnerists).

Thousands protest over missing indigenous activist in Argentina

A missing campaigner for indigenous rights prompted thousands of people to march through Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires on Friday.

It is feared that Santiago Maldonado, 28, may have been taken away by police in Patagonia ten days ago, when security forces evicted Mapuche indians from land owned by the Italian clothing firm Benetton.

Witnesses reported seeing Maldonado beaten by officers as he clung to a tree, and then taken away in a Gendarmerie vehicle.

Human rights groups and the UN have expressed concern. Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action alert on August 9 calling on President Mauricio Macri to “carry out a full and impartial investigation” and to “guarantee the physical integrity of the Mapuche community.”

The case has revived memories of disappearances in the past, when up to 30,000 were murdered by the authorities during Argentina's last dictatorship in the late 1970s.

“Forty years ago, during the military dictatorship, we shouted: ‘they took them, we want them alive, the guilty must be punished’. It’s unacceptable that today, with a constitutional government, we have to do so again,” said Taty Almeida of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo human rights group.

“I think it could have happened to any of us, we have ideals and we fight for what we think. No one should disappear for fighting for their ideas and for what they believe,” added another young protester, Sofia Palermo.

The case has highlighted a long-running conflict between Benetton, which grazes sheep on land it owns in Patagonia to produce wool, and the Mapuche people – who claim ancestral territory over a small portion of Benetton's land.

The government, which has denied involvement in Maldonado's disappearance, has offered a reward for information after a UN committee called for action. A police search on Friday located a rope with dried human blood and hair in a Gendarmerie station in El Bolsón, near the site of the disappearance.

At: http://www.euronews.com/2017/08/12/argentina-thousands-protest-over-missing-indigenous-activist

Amid mounting capital flight, Argentine banks impose $10,000 cap for dollar purchases

Facing an escalation in demand for U.S. dollars and accelerating capital flight, numerous Argentine banks have decided to limit their purchase by private parties to $10,000 a month.

The move comes amid a sharp increase this week in dollar purchases for the purpose of wiring funds overseas - part of a rapidly growing trend known in Argentina as the "financial bicycle."

Around 85% of the dollars purchased, according to Buenos Aires financial institutions, have been in transactions of between $2 million and $5 million - the legal limit in Argentina - and with scanty documentation. Of $14 billion purchased in the first half of 2017, nearly $8 billion left the country as of June.

This week, the Central Bank was forced to sell nearly $1.6 billion from its reserves to stabilize the dollar, which has jumped 12% to 18 pesos since June 19.

The 'financial bicycle' boom in carry-trade transactions began shortly after a package of financial deregulation decrees signed by President Mauricio Macri within days of taking office 20 months ago.

This trend has been largely financed by the Central Bank itself through short-term bills known as Lebacs.

Lebac debacle

Lebacs, issued in pesos and typically purchased for a 28 or 35-day term, pay an annualized 26% rate - or 10 to 15% in dollar terms. Attracting mostly domestic speculators, Lebacs are typically rolled over, with the profits used to buy dollars that are then wired overseas.

The value of Lebacs outstanding has more than tripled under Macri to 960 billion pesos ($54 billion). Investors, however, began dumping Lebacs on June 19, when a record 23% ($8 billion) were cashed in rather than rolled over.

Central Bank data show that of $60 billion in public foreign debt added in the last 18 months, $37 billion have gone to finance the bicycle and other capital flight.

Argentine Central Bank President Federico Sturzenegger denies that the "bicycle" has become unsustainable, and on July 27 ordered Piedro Biscay, the sole member of the Central Bank board to warn of a potential bubble, dismissed.

The current trend has drawn comparisons to the bubble created at the height of Argentina's last dictatorship in 1980, when the Central Bank issued Lebacs paying up to 60% interest in dollar terms to attract investment - only to end in a financial collapse in 1981 after insiders "bicycled" some $20 billion of the profits to offshore accounts.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldestapeweb.com%2Flos-bancos-pusieron-un-cepo-al-dolar-informal-el-aumento-demanda-n31761&edit-text=

And: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ambito.com%2F893324-en-semana-previa-a-las-paso-el-bcra-debio-vender-mas-de-us-1500-m-para-contener-al-dolar-cerca-de-los--18&edit-text=

Trump's top evangelical ally: God supports bombing North Korea

A short time after Trump spoke Tuesday afternoon, threatening that North Korean aggression would “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” one of his closest religious advisers made that link explicit. In a statement emailed to journalists Tuesday afternoon, Pastor Robert Jeffress praised Trump’s aggressive statement as a function of divine will.

“When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil. In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-Un.”

Jeffress has long been one of Trump’s political allies, one central to Trump and his team’s increasingly unsettling conflation of Christianity, nationalism, and pro-Trump cult of personality. Jeffress spoke at Trump’s inauguration. In July, he led a “Freedom Rally,” during which he praised Trump as “God’s choice for America.”

At: https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/8/9/16118628/robert-jeffress-trump-god-supports-bombing-north-korea

Pastor Robert Jeffress and the current occupant of the White House.

Kenyan president leads challenger in partial vote results

Source: Washington Post

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta led challenger Raila Odinga by a significant margin in partial election results, Kenya’s election commission said Wednesday.

The commission’s website showed Kenyatta with just over 55% and opposition leader Odinga with nearly 44% after votes were counted from more than two-thirds of the 40,833 polling stations. However, the commission did not release information about which constituencies had been counted, so it was unclear whether Kenyatta strongholds or opposition centers, or some combination, had yet to be tallied.

Authorities hope to avoid the post-election violence of a decade ago when ethnic divisions fueled unrest that killed more than 1,000 people.

Kenyatta and Odinga also faced off in the mostly peaceful 2013 election. Kenyatta won that contest with just over 50% of the vote; Odinga, who had served as prime minister since 2008, alleged voting irregularities but Kenya’s highest court ruled in Kenyatta’s favor by validating the results.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/kenyans-choose-next-president-in-fiercely-contested-vote/2017/08/07/c8dfe5fc-7be7-11e7-b2b1-aeba62854dfa_story.html?utm_term=.6772ea1b3da9

Raila Odinga, and the incumbent (and more conservative) Uhuru Kenyatta
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