Susan Rice and millionaire husband made large donation to Biden campaign: report

Susan Rice and her husband ponied up increasingly large donations for Joe Biden’s campaign as her stock rose as his potential running mate, according to a new report. The Obama-era national security adviser and her millionaire TV producer husband Ian Cameron donated $24,000 to the Democratic nominee’s campaign in the month of June alone, the…

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US counterintelligence chief: China and Iran favor Biden, Russia favors Trump

The Trump administration’s top counterintelligence official warned Friday that China and Iran are trying to help Joe Biden defeat President Trump, but that Russia appears to be opposing the presumptive Democratic nominee.

National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina issued the unusual assessment after Senate Democrats clamored for more awareness of foreign interventions.

Evanina warned there was “ongoing and potential activity by China, Russia, and Iran” ahead of voting.

“We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection,” Evanina said.

“China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China,” he said.

“Although China will continue to weigh the risks and benefits of aggressive action, its public rhetoric over the past few months has grown increasingly critical of the current Administration’s COVID-19 response, closure of China’s Houston Consulate, and actions on other issues.”

Evanina, who held his position since 2014 before his Senate confirmation in May, noted various clashes between Trump and China.

China has “harshly criticized the Administration’s statements and actions on Hong Kong, TikTok, the legal status of the South China Sea, and China’s efforts to dominate the 5G market. Beijing recognizes that all of these efforts might affect the presidential race,” Evanina said.

Trump, who frequently claimed he’s been tougher on Russia than predecessors, is the Kremlin’s favorite, Evanina said — a point likely to be circulated with glee by Democrats who claim Trump’s 2016 win is owed to alleged Russian hacks of Democratic emails.

“We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment’,” Evanina wrote.

“This is consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia.”

Biden led the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy. Trump was impeached in December for urging Ukraine to investigate his son Hunter Biden’s cushy job on a corrupt Ukrainian energy company’s board.

Evanina wrote that “pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.”

Iran’s aims are to undermine Trump but also to spur discord in the US, Evanina wrote.

Trump ended the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal, assassinated top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and isolated the country with new sanctions.

“We assess that Iran seeks to undermine U.S. democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections,” Evanina wrote.

“Iran’s efforts along these lines probably will focus on on-line influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-U.S. content. Tehran’s motivation to conduct such activities is, in part, driven by a perception that President Trump’s reelection would result in a continuation of U.S. pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change.”

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Authorities question Russian owner of ship linked to deadly Beirut blast

Security officials in Cyprus have tracked down and questioned the Russian businessman believed to have abandoned the lethal cargo of ammonium nitrate that caused the explosion in Beirut Tuesday, according to a report.

Igor Grechushkin, 43, who has been identified as the owner of the ship MV Rhosus, which abandoned the shipment in 2013, was questioned at his home in the Mediterranean island nation on Thursday afternoon.

“There was a request from the Interpol to locate this person and ask certain questions related to the cargo,” Cyprus police spokesman Christos Andreou told Reuters. He said the results of the interview were being passed on to officials in Beirut.

The cargo ship’s captain, Boris Prokoshev, told authorities the load of the combustible chemical fertilizer ended up in Beirut when Grechushkin ordered him to make an unscheduled stop there to pick up extra cargo.

The businessman lives in Cyprus with his wife and 20-year-old son.

Police officials in Cyprus would not comment further on the outcome of their interview.

The explosion destroyed much of Beirut’s waterfront, killing at least 137 people — including at least one American — and injuring as many as 5,000. It was the country’s worst peace-time disaster.

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Majority of African Americans want steady police presence

A majority of African Americans want the police presence in their neighborhoods to stay the same, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday — even though less than one-in-five say they’re “very confident” they’d be treated by cops with courtesy and respect.

The study was conducted online between June 23 and July 6 — about a month after the firestorm Memorial Day death of George Floyd, who was black, beneath the knee of a white Minneapolis cop.

Sixty-one percent of African American respondents indicated that they want police to spend the same amount of time in their neighborhoods, nearly in line with the 67-percent figure for all surveyed.

The percentage of African Americans who want to see more police is nearly equal to the percentage calling for fewer, at 20- and 19-percent, respectively.

By comparison, white Americans were most satisfied with the current police presence in their neighborhoods — 71 percent — while Hispanic Americans were the most likely to want an increase, at 24 percent, and Asian Americans the most likely to request a scaling-back, at 28 percent.

Despite the desire to keep police presences the same, only 18 percent of African American respondents said they were “very confident” that they would be treated with courtesy and respect by police in their neighborhoods.

Forty-three percent said they were “somewhat confident,” while 27 percent said they were “not too confident,” and 12 percent said they were “not at all confident.”

By contrast, 48 percent of all respondents said they were “very confident” they’d be treated well — a number that grew to 56 percent among white respondents.

Overlaying the results of the two questions indicates that, for African Americans, confidence in a positive experience with the police correlated to a desire for a greater presence in their neighborhoods.

Sixty-eight percent of those who felt “very confident” of a positive interaction said they wanted the police presence to hold steady, while 24 percent who felt that way wanted to see more cops.

The opposite also held true.

Fifty-nine percent of those who were “not at all confident” in a positive interaction wanted a smaller police presence.

Gallup took online reposes from 36,463 adults and weighted them to conform with US population demographics, the group said.

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President Trump changes tone, backs mail-in voting in Florida

President Trump on Tuesday encouraged voters in Florida to cast their ballots via mail, in an abrupt change of tone from weeks of criticism of absentee voting.

“Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True,” the president tweeted.

“Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA.”

Last year, Trump changed his official residence from New York to Florida, which is struggling through one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the nation. He used an absentee ballot in New York in 2018 and has applied for one in Florida, according to

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Trump demands death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

President Donald Trump on Sunday demanded the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — whose execution was taken off the table by an appellate court last week.

“Rarely has anybody deserved the death penalty more than the Boston Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,” Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon. “The court agreed that this ‘was one of the worst domestic terrorist attacks since the 9/11 atrocities.’ Yet the appellate court tossed out the death sentence. So many lives lost….”

“and ruined. The Federal Government must again seek the Death Penalty in a do-over of that chapter of the original trial,” he added. “Our Country cannot let the appellate decision stand. Also, it is ridiculous that this process is taking so long!”

Tsarnaev, 27, and his older brother Tamerlan killed three people and injured hundreds more when they detonated a pair of shrapnel-filled, homemade, pressure-cooker bombs along the famed marathon’s route April 15, 2013. Tamerlan later died in a shootout with cops.

Court overturns death sentence of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Marathon bombing survivor gives advice for getting through post-pandemic PTSD
Boston Marathon bomber wants death sentence overturned

Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in 2015 for his role in the horrific attack but appealed the ruling last year, claiming it was ridiculous to think there could be impartial jurors in Boston, where his trial was held.

The First US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with him last week, saying jurors weren’t properly screened for the case.

Federal prosecutors now must decide whether they want to try to reverse the ruling, including by going to the US Supreme Court.

Even without the death penalty, Tsarnaev is currently in a federal “supermax” prison in Colorado — and will remain behind bars for the rest of his life, authorities said.

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Protesters burn Bible, American flag as tensions rise in Portland

Protesters burned an American flag and a Bible in Portland, Oregon, sparking outrage just as weeks of violent demonstrations seemed to be coming to a close.

For more than 60 days, Black Lives Matters demonstrators, including a “Wall of Moms” and a “Wall of Vets,” have clashed with federal agents in the city, drawing national attention as authorities blasted marchers with tear gas and the civilians at times responded with weapons of their own — such as feces, bleach, bricks or batteries.

Friday night’s demonstrations were largely peaceful, appearing to mark a break from the chaos as federal agents made a recent deal to allow local authorities to handle the protests.

But just after midnight, marchers were caught on video using the flag and holy book as kindling for bonfires lit outside the federal courthouse, which has been a focal point of rioting after the death of George Floyd in police custody in May, according to a news report.

“Left-wing activists bring a stack of Bibles to burn in front of the federal courthouse in Portland,” claimed Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter Saturday.

A US flag is burnt next to a plastic pig in Portland, Oregon.
A US flag is burnt next to a plastic pig in Portland, Oregon.EPA
The post featured a video which showed protestors with “Black Lives Matter” signs tossing bibles into a raging bonfire. The video, which has gone viral, had more than 1.8 million views and thousands of retweets.

“Now we move to the book burning phase,” said Donald Trump Jr. in a tweet Saturday. “I’m pretty sure ANTIFA doesn’t actually stand for what they say it stands for. Maybe just remove the anti part of [their] name and it’s perfect,” he wrote.

The fire was later put out by members of Moms United for Black Lives Matter, who doused the flames with bottles of water and stomped on the embers, according to KOIN 6, a local CBS affiliate television station in Portland.

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Seattle City Council move to abolish police department with new bill

Seattle lawmakers want to abolish the city’s police force and replace it with a “community-led” safety prevention program, according to proposed legislation released Friday.

Arguing that the Seattle Police Department “perpetuates racism and violence” and upholds “white supremacy culture,” the Seattle City Council moved to redirect cash to a non-profit, civilian-led “Department of Community Safety & Violence Prevention” — and offered a “blueprint” on how to defund the police, according to the resolution.

Under the bill, cops would be replaced by “community-led activities” and organizations focused on “housing, food security, and other basic needs” along with “culturally-relevant expertise rooted in community connections,” according to documents posted by Christopher Rufo, Director of Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty.

To gain police department funding, groups must show they are “well-versed in de-escalation skills” along with “trauma-informed, gender-affirming, anti-racist praxis” and are “committed to hiring staff from the communities they serve,” according to the proposal.

The legislation cites protests over the police “murder” of George Floyd, which forced the Seattle to examine its own history of police brutality.

Seattle police show injuries, damage suffered from ongoing riots
“These protests forced many nationwide and in Seattle to confront the racism that has been plaguing the black community… And the SPD’s role in perpetuating racism and violence.”

It wasn’t immediately clear when the bill would go to vote—but the majority of city council members said earlier this month that they agree with a plan to defund the city’s police department.

Seattle became an international focal point last month after hundreds of protesters took over the city’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, which was stormed and cleared by police in early July.

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