George Papadopoulos admits he lied to the FBI about contacts with Russian operatives

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Government erred in claiming accused Russian spy Maria Butina offered to trade sex for political access

Prosecutors said Friday that they misunderstood text messages used as the basis of a claim that Maria Butina offered to trade sex for access — an extraordinary admission that threatens to undercut the government’s cloak-and-dagger portrayal of the young Russian accused of working to infiltrate American political circles.


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Julia Ioffe – Examining the Intricacies of Russian Politics | The Daily Show

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US Midterm Elections Targeted By Russian Hackers: Microsoft

Microsoft has claimed that its security wing has thwarted cyber-attacks against the US Senate and conservative think tanks by hackers linked to Russian military intelligence. The American tech giant said the Russian group is linked to the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential election campaign, and had the potential to launch cyber attacks on candidates and other political groups ahead of
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Russian artist honors photography’s roots with wooden cameras

A Russian artist is going back to the roots of photography, creating eye-catching wooden cameras based on the basic principles of the artform and attracting buyers from around the world.


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U.S. Targets Chinese, Russian Companies Over Illegal Shipments To North Korea

In a continuation of the implementation of existing UN and U.S. sanctions on North Korea, the Treasury Department on Wednesday announced actions against Chinese and Russian companies involved in facilitating illicit shipments on behalf of the reclusive communist nation.
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Alleged Russian Agent Marina Butina Moved to Virginia Jail, Unclear Why

William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center

Maria Butina, the Russian national accused of acting as a Kremlin agent in the United States, was abruptly moved from a jail in Washington to a lockup in Alexandria, Virginia, according to her lawyer.

“I got a collect call from Maria from Alexandria Detention at midnight last night, but was disconnected before we could speak,” Robert Driscoll told The Daily Beast. “I couldn’t get in to the facility last night, but visited her this morning. She was not informed of the reason for the move. I was not notified of the move, and still am unaware of the reason.”

Amy Bertsch, a spokeswoman for the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, confirmed Butina arrived around 7 p.m. Friday at William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center, which also houses federal inmates. Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief, is also currently being held at the same jail, awaiting the verdict in his trial for a host of alleged financial crimes.

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‘The president acts like he’s compromised’ by Russian government: Top House Intel Dem

He also said there’s “no other way to explain why he would” side with Putin.
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Suspected Russian agent ordered held behind bars pending trial

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Russian gun-rights advocate accused of undermining political system

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Need a World Cup mural? Russian paints giant portrait of his wife on Moscow wall

The head of a Russian advertising agency tasked with decorating Moscow facades ahead of the soccer World Cup used the opportunity to commission a 12-storey high mural of his wife.


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Indictment of Russian officers puts pressure on Trump at Putin summit

If U.S. President Donald Trump was inclined to be tentative when raising election meddling with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking in 2016 has made that approach a much harder sell.


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‘I Probably Am the Person Referred to’ in Russian Hacking Indictment, Says Trump Adviser Roger Stone

Roger Stone late Friday acknowledged that he is likely the unnamed American referred to in an indictment of 12 Russian hackers issued by the Justice Department Thursday. Stone is not implicated in the hackers’ theft of Democratic emails, but appears to be one of several Americans whose interactions with the alleged hackers are detailed in the new indictment.

Stone, speaking to CNN’s Chris Cuomo, said “I certainly had a 24 word exchange with the persona Guccifer 2.0 over Twitter direct messages . . . I probably am the person referred to.”

The indictment (which can be read in full at Vox) accuses 12 members of the Russian GRU agency with hacking against staffers and infrastructure of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Those documents were then publicized by two online channels, a site called DCLeaks and a persona known as Guccifer 2.0.

Around August 15 of 2016, while “posing as Guccifer 2.0,” the hackers “wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump,” according to the indictment. The exchange, recounted in paragraph 44 of the indictment, matches a known Twitter interaction with Stone, in which “Guccifer 2.0” praised Stone as a “great man” and offered to help Stone and the Trump campaign.

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Stone, an occasionally close Trump adviser and heir to the Roy Cohn/Richard Nixon school of political ‘dirty tricks,’ has previously confirmed the interaction with Guccifer 2.0. But he reiterated to Cuomo on Friday that the interaction was “benign” and “innocuous,” and the known interaction does not contain evidence of cooperation between Guccifer 2.0 and the Trump campaign.

However, there are hints that the interaction may not have ended on Twitter. A few weeks later, Stone wrote on Twitter that “it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel,” implying foreknowledge of the planned schedule of email leaks – though Stone has claimed that was merely a coincidence. Stone also praised Guccifer 2.0 as “a hero,” however, and wrote an article for Breitbart.com arguing that Guccifer 2.0 was not linked to Russia.

In his conversation with Cuomo, Stone continued to hedge on the question of whether Guccifer 2.0 was in fact a Russian front, emphasizing that the new indictment consists of allegations rather than proven facts. In the face of near-universal consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies on Guccifer 2.0’s links to the GRU, Stone’s denials may suggest anxiety about future findings by Robert Mueller’s investigation. And it certainly reflects his often-repeated modus operandi: “Admit nothing. Deny everything. Launch counter-attack.”

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Trump golfs after Russian indictment announcement

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Will Trump Side With Mueller or Putin on Russian Hackers?

MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/Getty

Over the past several years, President Donald Trump has adamantly insisted that the Russian government did not hack his 2016 political opponents.

He’s blamed just about everybody but the Kremlin, speculated that the Democrats hacked themselves, and even suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin was framed. He’s also said it would be all but impossible to ever know for sure who was responsible for the series of hacks that rocked the 2016 contest. Other Trump boosters –– including former Breitbart reporter Lee Stranahan, who the indictment alludes to, and Trump ally Roger Stone –– have also made similar arguments.  The indictment appears to allude to both men.

Today, special counsel Robert Mueller largely put those conspiracy theories to bed, indicting a dozen Russian intelligence officers for the hacks.

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Need a World Cup mural? Russian paints giant portrait of his wife on Moscow wall

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The head of a Russian advertising agency tasked with decorating Moscow facades ahead of the soccer World Cup used the opportunity to commission a 12-storey high mural of his wife.


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Russian couple stops wedding to watch World Cup shootout

PUSHKIN, Russia — Russian couple Yekaterina and Dmitry Vasilyev enjoyed a perfect wedding celebration on Sunday as they briefly halted their nuptials to watch the hosts defy the odds by beating Spain in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup quarter-finals. The couple, along with their family and friends, were huddled around a mobile…
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A CNN investigation discovers that Russian trolls exploited the fatal police shooting of Philando Castile. His mother has a simple question: Why?

It was the height of presidential primary season, just a few weeks before the Republican and Democratic conventions, but on July 7, 2016, most Americans woke up to a story other than the election leading the news.


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Burger King Apologizes for an Ad Offering Burgers to Russian Women Who Get Pregnant by World Cup Players

(MOSCOW) — Burger King has apologized for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women who get pregnant by World Cup players.

Critics assailed the offer, announced on Russian social media, as sexist and demeaning.

The announcement was removed Tuesday from Burger King’s social media accounts but was still circulating among Russian social network users. It promised a reward of free burgers to women who get “the best football genes” and “ensure the success of the Russian team for generations to come.”

In a statement Wednesday to The Associated Press, Burger King said, “We are sorry about the clearly offensive promotion that the team in Russia launched online.” It said the offer “does not reflect our brand or our values and we are taking steps to ensure this type of activity does not happen again.”

Ads in Russia often play on sexist stereotypes, notably ads around sporting events like the World Cup. Women’s rights activists have been increasingly speaking out against them.

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New indictment filed against Manafort names ally with Russian intel ties

Prosecutors have filed a new indictment against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manfort that also names Konstantin Kilimnik as a defendant, a close business colleague of Manafort’s who prosecutors have said has close ties to Russian intelligence.


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How an argument with the Russian government is preventing Telegram from updating worldwide

Telegram iPhone Update

Popular iPhone and Android chat app Telegram ran into some serious issues with the Russian government, which banned the app a few weeks ago, taking additional steps to prevent users from accessing it.

Russia wanted Telegram to turn over encryption keys, which the company refused to do. It turns out that Russia’s troubles with the Russian government are affecting users worldwide, as Apple has prevented Telegram updates since April.

Continue reading…

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How an argument with the Russian government is preventing Telegram from updating worldwide originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 31 May 2018 at 23:34:29 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Man who attacked Russian art masterpiece says driven by ideology

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A man who attacked and damaged a masterpiece of Russian painting with a metal pole said on Tuesday he had acted for ideological reasons to rescue the reputation of a tsar, recanting an earlier confession that the vandalism was fueled by vodka.


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How a Russian oligarch linked to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen turned a California state park into a mini Moscow

Viktor Vekselberg has been banned from doing business in America under U.S. sanctions. But as of this week, he was still the chairman of a U.S. nonprofit group.
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Sanctioned Russian tycoon hands back his private jets

Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska has handed back three private jets he was leasing because of U.S. sanctions imposed on him.
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The Russian MMA Fighter Linked to Trump, Cohen—and Putin

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

The Russian fighter was in Chicago, killing time with his entourage in the days before a mixed martial arts bout, when the call came.

FBI agents were looking for him. A fearsome heavyweight known as “The Last Emperor”—and who’s beloved by Russian President Vladimir Putin—Fedor Emelianenko had been in America for only five days before the feds appeared at his hotel near O’Hare Airport on Tuesday, April 24.

A decade before, Emelianenko had headlined an MMA league championed by Donald Trump and his personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen. The outfit went bust after only two fights.

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Protesters Call for Investigation Into Russian Mall Fire

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Tumblr Confirms That Russian Trolls Spread Misinformation On Its Service

Tumblr confirmed on Friday that Russian trolls spread misinformation on the blogging service in prelude to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Tumbler, part of the Verizon Communications’-owned Oath media group, said it discovered last fall that 84 accounts were linked to the Internet Research Agency. This Russian propaganda outfit was one of the groups identified in a recent Justice Department indictment alleging the Kremlin’s role in spreading fake news through popular social media services to increase division among Americans and interfere with the 2016 presidential elections.

Tumblr’s confirmation that Russia-linked groups misused its service follows a similar admission by social media forum operator Reddit in early March. The IRA and other Russian-linked entities were also alleged by the DOJ to have spread fake news and misleading online advertising on social networks like Facebook


fb



and Twitter


twtr



.

Tumblr said that after discovering the questionable accounts, it contacted U.S. law enforcement, terminated the accounts, and deleted the posts, the contents of which Tumblr did not describe. The Russian-linked Tumblr accounts spread misinformation via “organic content,” or conventional postings, rather than online ads, Tumblr said.

The blogging service said it worked “behind the scenes” with the DOJ and provided information that led to the Justice Department’s indictment, revealed in February.

“Remember, the IRA and other state-sponsored disinformation campaigns play off our zero-sum politics,” Tumblr said in a statement. “They want to drive a wedge between us so that we spend our time fighting with each other instead of building towards the future. We’ll be watching for signs of future activity, but the best defense is knowing how they operate and how to judge the content you see.”

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Tumblr said it would notify users who interacted with any of the IRA-linked accounts and that it would keep a public record of usernames associated with those accounts. Some of the IRA-linked usernames include 1-800-gloup, best-usa-today, ricordio, and stopropaganda, according to a separate Tumblr post.

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Russian Ex-Spy And His Daughter Poisoned With Nerve Agent, Police Say | NBC Nightly News

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Exclusive: Russian President Vladimir Putin Addresses 2016 Election Meddling | NBC Nightly News

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The Latest: Russian media: US strike kills Russians in Syria

The Latest on Syria’s conflict (all times local): 1:30 p.m. Russian news reports say at least several private Russian military contractors have been killed by a U.S. strike in Syria.
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NYT: US spies paid Russian who promised cyberweapons, Trump intel

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US releases long-awaited ‘Putin list’ of Russian politicians, oligarchs

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration late Monday released a long-awaited list of 114 Russian politicians and 96 “oligarchs” who have flourished during the reign of President Vladimir Putin, fulfilling a demand by Congress that the U.S. punish Moscow for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election. Yet the administration paired that move with a surprising announcement…
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Trump Tower Russian Lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Exposed in Swiss Corruption Case

LONDON—The Moscow operation behind the now infamous Russian-Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 included a direct attempt to enlist a foreign country’s law enforcement official as a virtual double-agent, according to a court case in Switzerland.

One of Switzerland’s top investigators has been fired after allegations of bribery, violating secrecy laws and “unauthorized clandestine behavior” in meeting with the very same Russian actors linked to the Trump Tower encounter.

Details of the explosive case have been published by investigative reporters for the Tribune de Genève and Tages-Anzeiger newspapers in Switzerland. The officer, named only as Victor K., traveled to Moscow—against the expressed wishes of his superiors—where he spoke to Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner at Trump Tower.

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Dramatic video shows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny arrested by police

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Russian opposition takes to streets, calls for election boycott

Hundreds of supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny began a day of protest against the authorities.
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Twitter will alert users exposed to Russian propaganda

Twitter Inc which is reviewing Russian interference during the 2016 U.S. elections, said on Friday it would notify some of its users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service. The company said it would email 677,775 people in the United States who followed, retweeted or liked content from accounts…
Tech | New York Post

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Report: Ex-Trump Aide Told Australians of Russian ‘Dirt’ on Clinton

Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos was reportedly tipped off to Russia obtaining thousands of emails that would compromise Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election—and he made the mistake of bragging about it to an Australian diplomat, The New York Times reports. Papadopoulos’ May 2016 conversation with the high-ranking Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, appears to have been the evidence FBI investigators needed to launch the ongoing Russia probe, a thorn in the side of Trump’s White House. Papadopoulos, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI as part of that investigation, reportedly made the comment to Downer during a night of drinking in an upscale London bar, saying that Russia had obtained “dirt” on Clinton and “thousands of emails” in a bid to damage her campaign. Papadopoulos had been informed of Russia’s involvement three weeks prior by the Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud, who had ties in Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry and took a special interest in Papadopoulos and the Trump campaign, according to the report. Two months after Papadopoulos’ disclosure, when hacked DNC emails began appearing online, Australian officials informed their U.S. counterparts about Papadopoulos’ comments.

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Russian tankers supplied fuel to North Korea, breaching UN sanctions

RBC Capital Markets head of commodity strategy Helima Croft weighs in on the markets reacting to Russian tankers supplying fuel to North Korea, breaching sanctions set by the United Nations. Chris Johnson, Johnson Research Group, and Michael Cuggino, Permanent Family of Funds, weighs in.
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Should We Believe a Russian Hacker Who Claims He Hit the DNC for a Rogue Operative in the FSB?

MOSCOW—There is a secret and rather luxurious section of Moscow’s otherwise hellish and overcrowded Matrosskaya Tishina prison. The so-called “Kremlin jail” is in a separate building, it has comfortable clean cells for VIP prisoners—former politicians, members of special services, or top bureaucrats.

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Trump slams ‘bogus’ Russian dossier and says the FBI is ‘tainted’

He cited comments made on Fox News.
ABC News: Top Stories

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Report: Russian Social-Media Exec Sought to Help Trump Campaign

An executive at Russian social-media giant Vkontakte reached out to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 with an offer to launch a page to win Trump support among Russian Americans and Russians, The Washington Post reports. Konstantin Sidorkov, VK’s director of partnership marketing, told Donald Trump Jr. and social-media director Dan Scavino that Trump’s presence on the platform would be “top news in Russia” in an email sent days before the November 2016 election, according to the report. The overture was reportedly brokered by none other than British music promoter Rob Goldstone, who had also asked Trump Jr. to meet with a Kremlin-connected lawyer ahead of the presidential election. Trump Jr. said he could not recall VK’s offer ever receiving further discussion after he first forwarded the pitch to Scavino, according to the report. Scavino had initially responded enthusiastically, but it wasn’t clear from the emails whether Trump’s campaign ever followed up. “Please feel free to send me whatever you have,” Scavino wrote to Goldstone after the suggestion was first made in January 2016. “Thank you so much for looking out for Mr. Trump and his presidential campaign,” he was quoted as saying.

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Donald Trump Jr. Questioned By House Panel On Meeting With Russian Lawyer | NBC Nightly News

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Manafort worked with Russian intel-connected individual, special prosecutors allege

He worked with a Russian intel-connected individual last week, prosecutors say.
ABC News: Top Stories

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You Can Soon Check If You’ve Interacted With Russian Trolls on Facebook

Facebook has created a tool that will allow users to see if they liked or followed any accounts linked to Russia’s “Internet Research Agency” that intentionally spread misinformation leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Facebook and Instagram users will be able to check to see if they liked or followed any of the pages created by the Russian troll farm. The tool, operating through the Facebook Help Center, will be available by the end of the year, the company said in a blog post Wednesday.

“It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 US election,” Facebook said in a post. “That’s why as we have discovered information, we have continually come forward to share it publicly and have provided it to congressional investigators. And it’s also why we’re building the tool we are announcing today.”

The new function will show a list of which pages a user liked, and the date they did so.

In testimony to Congress earlier this year, Facebook said posts from these pages reached 126 million Facebook users. However, as the Wall Street Journal points out, the new tool will not give insight on the millions of other users who came across the pages in the news feeds, interacted with them or saw them as a result of paid reach on the platform.

“This is part of our ongoing effort to protect our platforms and the people who use them from bad actors who try to undermine our democracy,” Facebook said in its post.

Facebook, Google and Twitter have been grappling with how to control the issue of propaganda spread by Russian actors on its websites. In addition to posts that reached 126 million Facebook, the “Internet Research Agency” had also posted more than 131,000 messages on Twitter and 1,100 videos on YouTube, according to the companies.

All three companies have placed an emphasis on transparency and prevention moving forward, with Google adding icons to election ads showing who bought them and Twitter banning advertisements from accounts run by Russian-owned media outlets.


Fortune

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Facebook Will Let Users See What Russian Propaganda They Followed

Facebook will let its users see which Russian-created propaganda pages they may have liked or followed, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. The company announced that it is rolling out a tool by the end of the year that will allow Facebook users to see which ads and pages they followed on the social media site were created by the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency. Incendiary postings by the IRA reached an estimated 150 million people during the 2016 presidential election with the intention of heightening controversy regarding issues like gun rights, immigration, race relations and religion. 

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‘Russian fake Twitter posts targeted Brexit vote’

Fake Twitter accounts created by a Russian propaganda unit made a determined, co-ordinated attempt to interfere during the EU referendum, Sky News can reveal.
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Trump Backs Intel Agencies After Saying He Believes Putin on Russian Meddling

President Donald Trump on Sunday walked back his comments in which he suggested he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials on election meddling over the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community. “As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted,” Trump said at a press conference alongside the Vietnamese president, making a clear distinction between the current and past leaders of those agencies. “As currently led, by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.” Trump came under scrutiny for saying of Putin’s denials, “I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.”

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Trump: ‘I’m with our agencies’ on Russian election meddling

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — President Donald Trump on Sunday said he believes U.S. intelligence agencies, which have concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. But Trump also said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is sincere when he says Russia didn’t interfere.
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News Wrap: Sessions insists he didn’t lie about Russian contacts to Senate

HARI SREENIVASAN: In the day’s other news: Attorney General Jeff Sessions insisted he never lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his conversations with the Russian ambassador during the presidential campaign. At a hearing today, he bridled at Democratic Senator Al Franken’s accusation that he’d — quote — “moved the goalposts” on the nature of his discussions.

SEN. AL FRANKEN, D-Minn.: First it was, I didn’t have communications with Russians, which wasn’t true. Then it was, I never met with any Russians to discuss any political campaign, which may or may not be true.

Now it’s, I didn’t discuss interference in the campaign.

JEFF SESSIONS, Attorney General: Well, let me just say without hesitation, that I conducted no improper discussions with the Russians at any time regarding the campaign or any other item facing this country.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Sessions has recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling.

President Trump had new criticism today for former FBI Director James Comey over the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe. He complained again that Comey decided to clear Clinton before she was even interviewed. That’s based on newly released draft statements by Comey from May of 2016. FBI officials say it was already clear that no charges were warranted.

On another issue, the president faced fallout over the death of Army Sergeant La David Johnson in Niger this month. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson says she was with Mrs. Johnson when the president called. The Florida Democrat told The Washington Post that Mr. Trump said — quote — “He knew what he was signing up for, but I guess it hurts anyway.”

The sergeant’s mother confirmed it, but the president denied it, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders went after Wilson.

SARAH SANDERS, White House Press Secretary: This is a president who loves our country very much, who has the greatest level of respect for men and women in uniform and wanted to call and offer condolences to the family, and I think to try to create something from that, that the congresswoman is doing, is, frankly, appalling and disgusting.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The Post also reported on another incident today. It quoted the father of a soldier killed in Afghanistan as saying the president offered $ 25,000 from his personal account, but never followed through.

We will get more detail on all of this after the news summary.

The death toll in Northern California’s wildfires rose to 42 today. Officials in Sonoma County found the remains of the latest victim, as they searched hundreds of burned homes. Meanwhile, fire crews made new gains overnight with the help of cooler weather and low winds.

A two-time Olympic medalist says the former team doctor for U.S. women’s gymnastics sexually abused her for years. McKayla Maroney is the highest profile athlete to come forward in the scandal. In a statement today, she said Dr. Larry Nassar began molesting her when she was just 13. He’s awaiting sentencing on a child pornography charge, but has denied any sexual abuse.

More questions tonight about drug pricing. A new study finds the costs of injectable cancer drugs, approved since 1996, rose an average of 25 percent over eight years. That’s far higher than the rate of inflation. The study was based at Emory University and published in “The Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

And on Wall Street, health insurers and IBM fueled a surge in stocks today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 160 points, more than half-a-percent, to close above 23000 for the first time. The Nasdaq rose just a fraction, and the S&P 500 was up two points.

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Report: Russian hackers target secrets taken by NSA worker

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hackers allegedly working for the Kremlin stole details about how the U.S. infiltrates foreign networks and defends against cyberattacks after a National Security Agency contractor took the classified material home and put it on a personal computer, according to a news report published Thursday.
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‘The Death of Stalin’ Review: Creator of ‘Veep’ Sends Up Russian History

What is The Death of Stalin?

Set in Moscow in 1953, The Death of Stalin kicks off with the Russian leader falling ill, and revolves around his core team of ministers jockeying for position while also desperately trying to not get killed. And when Stalin himself does indeed die, the search is on for who will take charge of the country and fill his sizeable shoes.

Period Piece That Feels Contemporary

Armando Iannucci is a brilliant satirist, first taking down the media in The Day Today and via Alan Partridge. Then taking on British politics through The Thick of It and In the Loop. And more recently setting his sites on America with Veep. But the stories he has told have largely been contemporary. Or at least about very recent history.

Wth The Death of Stalin, he’s travelling to the past, where gulags, firing squads, and political imprisonment and murder were all the rage. But in spite of this being a period piece, the humour is still very much the same, with Iannucci using dumb misunderstandings, bureaucratic mix-ups, and masterful word-play to make those in power look like clowns.

He’s also assembled a fantastic cast to play the historical figures in question. Steve Buscemi is terrific as Krushchev, Jeffrey Tambor’s Malenkov has much in common with Hank from Larry Sanders, and esteemed stage actor Simon Russell Beale is marvellously unpleasant as Beria, frequently the villain of the piece. Rupert Friend and Andrea Riseborough meanhwhile, play Stalin’s troubled kids as spoilt, unhinged and somewhat terrifying brats; and in doing so raise plenty of laughs.

Rather than attempting Russian accents, the cast speak in their own voices, or something close, which oftentimes adds to the humour. Most notably Adrian McLouchlin’s cockney Joseph Stalin, and Jeremy Isaac’s very northern Georgy Zhukov, the character sounding less like a Russian general and more like legendary football manager Brian Clough (he of The Damned United fame).


In The Death of Stalin, the Russian’s funeral is played for laughs.

Race to the Top

The bulk of the film’s comedy is fuelled by paranoia and fear. Stalin ruled his people with an iron fist, and so when he becomes incapacitated, and his committee is forced to convene, no one wants to take responsibility for any kind of decision, preferring instead to act collectively in hilariously staged meetings.

His health declines thanks to all the qualified doctors being locked up, and then he dies, precipitating outpourings of grief from the members of his Government. None of it even remotely real.

But with the position at the top becoming open, proceedings take a more serious turn, as committee members jockey, double-cross, and stab each other in the back to replace Stalin as the Russian leader. Rumours, whispers and lies echo around Moscow. And here Buscemi comes to the fore, his Kruschev transforming from something of an idiot (just check out those pyjamas, or his body-slam with Beria) into a bona fide dictator. It’s a subtle but very effective performance.

Michael Palin is also worthy of mention, playing Vyacheslav Molotov with a combination of innocence, confusion, and raw ambition. It’s one of his finest comedic turns since the days of Monty Python. And it comes in a film that’s clearly influenced by the likes of Holy Grail and Life of Brian, taking real and sometimes dark historical truths, and finding the blackest of humour in them. So you’ll be shaking your head as you laugh at the awful things that are being said and done. But you’ll be laughing nevertheless.


The cast is a brilliant ensemble that combines comedians with dramatic actors.

Is The Death of Stalin Good?

They say that comedy is tragedy plus time, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to The Death of Stalin. Armando Iannucci is brilliant at this form of satire, his film attacking the corrupting influence of power, while at the same time poking fun at it.

That combination harks back to the best of Mel Brooks, with a little of Woody Allen’s historical comedies thrown in for good measure. It also calls to mind Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, most obviously when the committee is together and making terrible decisions for all the wrong reasons.

The script that Iannucci and collaborators David Schnieder, Ian Martin and Peter Fellows have written — itself based on the comic books of the same name by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin — is beautifully crafted, working as both farce AND history lesson. And the bizarre combination of actors and accents onscreen really make the material sing, resulting in one of the funniest films of the year; about a subject that seems anything but.

The Death of Stalin screened at Fantastic Fest and will hit UK screens on October 20.

‘Gerald’s Game’ Review: Carla Gugino Shines in Terrific Stephen King Adaptation

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Facebook shares drop on worries about Russian ads

The controversy over Russian ads is pummeling Facebook’s stock. Reports that Facebook had trouble identifying ads from Russian trolls during the 2016 US presidential election, as well as Facebook’s ad team getting caught this month saying it reaches more Americans than actually exist, have eroded trust in the social network, critics say. In a Monday…
Business | New York Post

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Report: Facebook Gave Special Counsel Russian Ad Details

Facebook has reportedly handed over detailed records about Russian ad purchases on its site to special counsel Robert Mueller. The Wall Street Journal reports that the information shared went beyond what was given to Congress last week. According to people familiar with the matter, the information shared with Mueller includes copies of ads, details about accounts that bought them and targeting criteria that was used. Facebook policy, the Journal notes, says that the company would only turn over “the stored contents of any account” in response to a search warrant.

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A Pussy Riot member recounts her experience in a Russian prison camp in her new memoir

‘If you hear someone talking about the humane treatment of women in Russian prisons, it is a total lie’

Rex

Most of us hadn’t heard of the group Pussy Riot until February 2012. Do you remember the anti-Putanist punk rock group who burst into The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow to film a guerrilla performance of their provocative Punk Prayer? Yes, that was them.

The satirical performance was a political protest, with the three women calling on Virgin Mary to ‘be a feminist’ and ‘banish Putin.’

The short demonstration (and viral 40-second video clip) saw three of its members Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova arrested, with the former two charged for ‘organised hooliganism’, spending two years on a Russian prison camp.

A 21-month prison sentence later, Pussy Riot are a household name, with its members going straight back into activism.

Freed Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina arrives at Kursk train station. Credit: Rex

Maria Alyokhina, known as Masha, served her sentence in a remote prison colony in the Urals Mountains, something that she details in her new memoir, Riot Days, which lands on book shelves today.

‘Whenever we hear “Attention!”, we have to stand up and say, “Good day!” in chorus,’ Masha recalls in Riot Days. ‘These are the rules. It is the first lesson in politeness, which I must master, because to reform is to know and fulfil the orders. Politely. So we stand up. Forty women run to their assigned spots.’

She goes on to detail every aspect of her prison sentence from the night raids and identical uniforms to the rules she had to follow.

‘Sleeping is a violation of the rules’, the 29-year-old activist explains in her book, recalling how she had fallen asleep while reading the prison regulations for three hours, something the guards responded by screaming, ‘This is not a holiday resort! This is not a health spa!’

‘“Masha,” one of the women says to me in a whisper, while we are warming tea in the kitchen. “If someone comes to visit you – you know, from Moscow – tell them,”’ the activist recalls. ‘“Don’t be silent. Tell them how we live here. You’re a political. We have rights. We may be prisoners, but we’re still people. Tell them.”’

So that’s what she’s doing.

Riot Days by Maria Alyokhina, and published by Allen Lane it out now for £16.99.

The post A Pussy Riot member recounts her experience in a Russian prison camp in her new memoir appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Colbert Rips Trump’s Harvey Response: ‘He’s Been Closer to a Flood in a Russian Hotel Room’

Like most other late-night hosts, Stephen Colbert was on vacation for the last two weeks of August, which made Tuesday night his first chance to weigh in on the mass devastation left by Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

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The Curious Case of the Dying Russian Diplomats

MINSK, Belarus — On Thursday morning Moscow confirmed that yet another Russian diplomat died far away from his homeland, raising all sorts of speculation about why so many Russian emissaries of various ranks—at least six—have given up the ghost since November.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Russian hackers accused of spying on hotels

Hackers linked to Russian military intelligence were behind a cyber-espionage campaign targeting influential figures from the West, according to a report by security researchers.
Tech News – Latest Technology and Gadget News | Sky News

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Russian surveillance plane creates buzz in Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) — A low-flying Russian airplane created a buzz in the nation’s capital on Wednesday, but it turns out the surveillance flight over the Capitol, Pentagon and other sites was cleared by the U.S. government under a long-standing global treaty.
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The curious case of Nicole Mincey, the Trump fan who may actually be a Russian bot

Trump has been known for amplifying tweets of dubious origin. This one comes at a time when the president has railed against multiple investigations into Russia’s meddling in U.S. politics.
Politics

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President Trump Revealed Highly Classified Information to Russian Officials During White House Visit: Reports

Multiple news outlets are reporting that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during their visit to the White House last week.

The Washington Post was the first to report the news, citing current and former U.S. officials who said Trump’s comments to the Russians “jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.”

Two U.S. officials who were briefed on Trump’s disclosures confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the president disclosed classified national security information to Russia’s ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during the visit.

One official said the situation is “far worse than what has already been reported.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee has also been briefed on Trump’s disclosures, according to one of the officials.

The New York Times also confirmed the veracity of The Washington Post’s report, citing a current and a former American government official who said that Trump shared details that could expose the source of the classified information and how it was obtained.

Officials told the newspaper that Trump’s disclosures were about an Islamic State plot. According to the Times, the disclosure did not appear to be illegal but rather a “major breach of espionage etiquette” that could “jeopardize a crucial intelligence-sharing relationship.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a statement Monday denying Trump discussed “sources, methods or military operations” during his meeting with the Russian officials.

Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell told CNN’s Jim Acosta: “This story is false. The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced.”

RELATED VIDEO: Exclusive: Natasha Stoynoff Speaks Out: ‘I Don’t Want Women to Feel Afraid’

Officials who spoke with the Post said the classified information — which included intelligence on ISIS — was considered “so sensitive” that details had been withheld from allies and restricted within the U.S. government.

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Recognizing the significance of Trump’s disclosures, senior White House officials reportedly moved quickly to contain the fallout, according to the Post.

The revelation comes nearly one week after Trump’s controversial firing of FBI Director James Comey. Comey had been leading the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election, as well as the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia. Trump is now facing accusations that he fired Comey in an effort to obstruct the investigation.


PEOPLE.com

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Patton Oswalt Reacts To Russian Hacking Revelation With No-Holds-Barred Post

Comedian Patton Oswalt has officially had enough with both Republicans and Democrats after the latest political scandal to erupt in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory. 

Following the release of a CIA report that concluded Russian hackers interfered with the election to help secure the White House for Trump, Oswalt shared a no-holds-barred post on Facebook expressing his disgust at the state of American politics. 

“These newest revelations, that Russia hacked the election. Piles of evidence, teetering up to the sky. That Russia ALSO hacked the [Republican National Committee] and are holding them over a barrel because of what they know. Which would be hilarious if it wasn’t so frightening,” he wrote on Saturday. 

“And the boiling chaos that’s resulting from it. I’ve got conservative friends actually DEFENDING Russia on this,” Oswalt continued. “I’ve got progressive friends gloating that we’ve finally had done to us what we’ve done to other countries. That Hillary somehow deserves this. That WE somehow deserve this. That infuriating cliche about, ‘It’s actually GOOD if Trump destroys everything it’ll start a revolution BLAH BLAH BLAH F**KING BLAH.’”

On Friday evening, Trump’s transition team dismissed the CIA report as a fabrication in a statement that also described the intelligence agency as “the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

“It’s time to move on and ‘Make America great again,’” the statement said.

But Oswalt, for one, is putting his foot down and refusing to normalize the president-elect, whom he likens to a “grope-y, racist uncle who just won $ 50,000 playing scratch-offs.”

“In the middle of it all is Trump ― bloated, grinning, oblivious, wearing his cheap baseball cap and ruining people’s lives with his Twitter,” Oswalt wrote. “While all around him ― smarter, better, exhausted people scramble around, trying to sweep up a china shop he keeps stumbling through, laughing the whole time at these stupid nerds picking up the broken pieces on the ground.”

Read his full post below: 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Russian, German & Polish Food & Cooking: With Over 185 Traditional Recipes from the Baltic to the Black Sea, Shown Step by Step in Over 750 Clear and

Russian, German & Polish Food & Cooking: With Over 185 Traditional Recipes from the Baltic to the Black Sea, Shown Step by Step in Over 750 Clear and


Russian, German & Polish Food & Cooking: With Over 185 Traditional Recipes from the Baltic to the Black Sea, Shown Step by Step in Over 750 Clear and

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The Russian Mood Volume 3

The Russian Mood Volume 3


We, the translators Elena Levin and James Vendeland, would like to comment on why we selected the specific Russian operas included in our Volume III of “The Russian Mood”. All three operas are not well known by English speaking audiences but were very familiar to Russian listeners at the time they were created. Most Russian operas are based upon three themes. They are: folktales, fairy tales, and historical events or characters. In this volume, we have presented one opera on each of these themes.In the opera Rusalka (not to be confused with Dvorak’s opera Rusalka) composer Alexander Dargomyzhsky (1813-1869) wrote both the music and libretto. The story is based on a folktale which the most famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) wrote as a poem.The next opera in this book is Dubrovsky. It is an opera based on an unfinished novel by Alexander Pushkin, written in 1832 and published in 1841 after the author’s death. The opera was composed by Eduard Napravnik (1839-1916) and its libretto written by Modest Tchaikovsky (1850-1916). It contains some similarity to the Robin Hood legend. Pushkin mentioned in his novel that it was quite possible that “a man in Russia can be deprived of an estate to which he has indisputable rights”, highlighting to the readers a picture of the corrupt judicial practices in Russia.Our final offering is the fairy tale Snegurochka (The Snow Maiden). Both music and libretto were written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908). The opera is based on a play by Aleksander Ostrovsky (1823-1886).Hyperlinks are provided which are found at the conclusion of each libretto. They connect these operas to you tube sites where excerpts of them can be heard.

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The Russian Lifestyle Including Russian Clothing, Cuisine, Traditions, National Holidays, and Religion

The Russian Lifestyle Including Russian Clothing, Cuisine, Traditions, National Holidays, and Religion


New – Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. The Russian lifestyle is a colourful mix of ethnic Russian clothes, delectable cuisine, interesting customs and traditions, and many religions. This book studies essential features of the Russian lifestyle. Russian clothing consists of kaftan, kosovorotka and ushanka for men, sarafan and kokoshnik for women, with lapti and valenki as common shoes. Russian cuisine

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