Top News Stories For Today – Oct 25, 2017
New Clinton probes opened
Nearly a year after Donald Trump won the US presidency, Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives say they are opening new investigations into controversies linked to the challenger he defeated, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte and Oversight Committee chief Trey Gowdy said they would probe how the Federal Bureau of Investigation reached its conclusion that Clinton was “extremely careless” in her handling of classified material in emails while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, but that no criminal charges were warranted. Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes said he was opening an investigation into the complex 2013 sale of about 20 percent of the US uranium assets to Russia at a time when Clinton’s State Department was one of nine US government agencies that reviewed foreign investments in the United States. VOA
Two retiring GOP Senators blast Trump
Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker went in on Donald Trump, saying that the President’s behavior is a danger to our democracy. Corker started things off just a couple of hours before Trump had lunch with Senate Republicans to talk about tax reform. Trump had been tweeting out insults all morning long to Corker. Corker called Trump a liar, suggested he shouldn’t have access to the nuclear codes, said he’s a bad role model for kids and said debasing the country would be Trump’s legacy. Corker said he’ll never support Trump again. Ouch.
Before anyone could catch their breath, Flake dropped a bombshell of his own in a stunning speech we’ll be talking about for years. Flake said he won’t run for re-election, partly because he feels a conservative like him has a narrow path for victory in the age of Trump. Flake decried the “coarsening” of US politics and blamed the President’s tone as the culprit. He went after his fellow Republicans too, saying they’re being complicit if they just sit around and not call Trump out because it’s politically expedient: “We must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal.” The White House seemed almost pleased with Flake’s decision, saying it’s “probably a good move” for him to retire. The President never responded to Flake’s speech — at least not yet. The Arizona Republic, CNN
Trump-Russia dossier research
Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund the opposition research that produced a controversial dossier on President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, The Associated Press and The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The research firm Fusion GPS started compiling the dossier for a Republican client during the primaries, and in March 2016 it contacted Perkins Coie, a law firm representing Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, about picking up the financing.
Fusion GPS hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who reported that Russia was trying to help Trump win and had compiled potentially damaging dirt on him. Trump has called the dossier “phony stuff,” and claimed it was just part of a political smear campaign. The Associated Press, The Washington Post,The Week
Kurd in Iraq
The Kurdish government is rethinking its independence plans in the face of the military response from Iraq. The leaders of the autonomous Kurdistan region, in oil-rich northern Iraq, propose not acting on last month’s independence referendum to stop the violence which has since erupted between Iraqi troops and the Peshmerga, the Kurd’s military force.
Kurdish leaders want a ceasefire and the start of talks with Baghdad, but Iraq hasn’t responded to the proposal yet. The US is watching all of this closely, because both Iraq and Kurdistan are critical allies in the fight against ISIS. CNN
You need to be careful where you click today. A new ransomware attack has hit Russia and it’s spreading around the globe. Cyber security experts say the ransomware — a virus called “Bad Rabbit — poses as an Adobe update, but when clicked on, it locks down computers and demands money for people to get their files back.
The current attack targeted Russian media companies and transportation systems in Ukraine. But it’s also been detected in the US, Germany, Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, South Korea and Japan. It’s unclear who’s behind Bad Rabbit, but the attackers appear to be “Game of Thrones” fans. The ransomware code contains references to characters from the popular book and TV series like Grey Worm and Daenerys’ dragons. CNN
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