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  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    Today, 04:44 AM
    FBI Russia investigation looking at Kushner role (CNN)The FBI's criminal probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election is increasingly touching on the multiple roles of senior White House adviser Jared Kushner on both the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team. Points of focus that pertain to Kushner include: the Trump campaign's 2016 data analytics operation; his relationship with former national security adviser Michael Flynn; and Kushner's own contacts with Russians, according to US officials briefed on the probe. There is no indication Kushner is currently a target of the probe and there are no allegations he committed any wrongdoing. It's not clear if the FBI plans to talk to Kushner, but investigators believe he would be able to help provide information to assist the probe. A source close to Kushner said Kushner was unaware of the FBI's interest in him and hasn't been contacted. NBC News and the Washington Post reported Thursday on the FBI's interest in Kushner. Kushner's attorney said her client is willing to talk to the FBI if asked. "Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry," said Jamie Gorelick, his attorney. The FBI has collected data on computer bots, programs that perform repetitive functions like searches, allegedly linked to Russia that helped target and push negative information on Hillary Clinton and positive information on Donald Trump through Facebook and other social media, the officials say. Federal investigators have been taking a closer look at the Trump campaign's data analytics operation, which was supervised by Kushner, officials say, and are examining whether Russian operatives used people associated with the campaign -- wittingly or unwittingly -- to try to help Russia's own data targeting. Kushner, the president's son-in-law, worked with and helped oversee the campaign's data operation contractors based in San Antonio, Texas. Kushner has described how, beginning last June, he began testing the use of data targeting to sell Trump merchandise. Eventually, according to a November Forbes magazine profile, the data operation helped the Trump campaign figure out where the candidate's message was resonating in states like Michigan and Wisconsin, places where conventional political wisdom suggested they would be wasting time and money. "I called somebody who works for one of the technology companies that I work with, and I had them give me a tutorial on how to use Facebook micro-targeting," Kushner told Forbes. A source connected to the data analytics group said the team has not been contacted about any Russia related probe. "We have not been contacted by anyone and don't know anything formally about an investigation," the source said. The FBI focus on Flynn also touches on Kushner because he led the presidential transition's foreign policy efforts. Kushner's impact grew during the transition, which one source says he effectively ran -- along with another campaign aide Rick Dearborn -- once New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was removed. This source says both Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump wanted Flynn in as national security adviser. A source close to Kushner denied that he pushed for Flynn. Kushner has acknowledged meeting during the transition with Russia's ambassador and separately with the head of a Russian bank. According to a source familiar with what transpired, neither meeting discussed sanctions but instead focused on establishing a backchannel to Russia's president. Those meetings are of interest to the FBI. The White House referred calls to Kushner's attorney. Folks....note how it says now "Criminal Probe"...so something really bad happened here to be called like that.....and of course...that involves Donaldof....so it is to be expected that at some point in the future...things are going to be really bad for him.....
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    Today, 04:33 AM
    Newsweek Ivanka Trump's Husband, Jared Kushner, Met With Russian Officials Last Year and the FBI is Investigating Why The FBI is scrutinizing Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as part of its Russia probe, NBC News reports. Investigators are interested in Kushner's separate meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and banker Sergey Gorkov in December 2016, The Washington Post reports, although the newspaper writes that Kushner has not been accused of doing anything wrong. As NBC explains Gorkov, studied at the training school for Russia's Federal Security Service, an intelligence agency known as the FSB. He is also the chairman of VneshEconomBank, which is owned by Moscow and has been sanctioned by the U.S. since mid 2014. Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, attended the meeting with Kushner and Kislyak in December. Later that month, Kushner sent a deputy to meet with the Russian ambassador. In yet another meeting, Flynn met Kislyak one-on-one and the two discussed ending U.S. sanctions against Russia—something Flynn later reportedly misrepresented to Vice President Mike Pence. When details of their meeting leaked, Trump asked Flynn to resign. Kushner, a key White House adviser and the husband of the president's daugheer, Ivanka Trump, did not initially disclose his meetings with Kislyak or Gorkov on his security clearance forms, according to The New York Times. His lawyer said this was an accident and explained the forms would be changed to reflect the meetings. “Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry,” Jamie Gorelick, an attorney for Kushner, told The Post. The FBI is investigating the Trump team and Russia on a number of fronts. One involves Russia's alleged attempts to influence the U.S. election and the Trump campaign's alleged coordination with Moscow. There's also a separate probe into possible financial crimes, though the details remain murky, and yet another invesigation into Flynn's undisclosed dealings with foreign countries. Sarah Isgur Flore, a spokesperson for the Justice Department, told The Post: “I can’t confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of investigations or subjects of investigations.” The investigation into links between Trump’s campaign and Moscow is now being spearheaded by a special counsel, former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, while the Pentagon's top watchdog is running the Flynn probe. NBC News reports that Kushner is "in a different category" from Flynn and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who have received grand jury subpoenas. It's unclear if federal investigators have requested any records from him.
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    Today, 04:30 AM
    Politics Leaders Of Senate Russia Probe Given 'Blanket Authority' To Issue Subpoenas WASHINGTON ― The Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to give its leaders “blanket authority” to issue any subpoena they deem appropriate in their investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election and possible ties between Moscow and President Donald Trump’s campaign. Under regular committee rules, Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and ranking member Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) could only issue subpoenas after a full committee vote on the matter. Thursday’s vote, however, allows the two leaders to act jointly without the approval of their fellow members ― thus speeding up the process. On Wednesday, the committee issued two new subpoenas specifically targeting former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s businesses, Flynn Intel LLC and Flynn Intel Inc. Flynn was fired earlier this year over failing to disclose that he had had conversations with Russian officials prior to Trump’s inauguration. Burr and Warner maintained that Flynn’s decision to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination does not apply to his businesses and documents, adding he could be subject to a contempt charge if he doesn’t turn over the materials. “We would like to hear from Gen. Flynn,” Burr told reporters on Wednesday. “We’d like to see his documents. We’d like him to tell his story because he publicly said, ‘I’ve got a story to tell.’ We’re allowing him that opportunity.”
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    Today, 04:21 AM
    Just to point out a difference here...and a Common Denominator.... Everyone around Donaldof seems to get in the worst mood....I mean....look at the Pope !! Who would imagine the Pope would have the look of someone who wants to choke Donaldof...but he did had the look....and .... NO SMILES !!!! Then look at Merkel...When Merkel met Donaldof....NO SMILES !! ( I can only guess Donaldof striking resemblance of Adolf Hitler may have cause consternation ) BUT.. AND SO FOLKS....THERE IS ONLY ONE COMMON DENOMINATOR....ONE WHO NO ONE WANTS TO BE AROUND WITH, ONE WHO EVERYONE WANTS TO STAY AWAY FROM LIKE A SKUNK ON YOUR LAP....AND THAT ONE IS DONALDOF TRUMPLER....PICTURES DON'T LIE...
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Today, 01:10 AM
    By John Lee. The head of the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) has reportedly suggested that Iraq is interested in creating an oil price hedging program that would lock in prices for future trades far in advance. Falah Al Amri is quoted as saying: “We will not rush. This is a long process … We must make sure we do not lose money. You know the Iraqi parliament, it would not accept that. “Transforming SOMO is unstoppable. It will do more than just market Iraqi crude.” (Sources: Bloomberg, OilPrice) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 23 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Today, 01:10 AM
    By Lara Saeed (pictured), Managing Editor, Bite.Tech. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of*Iraq Business News. Over the past 6 months, we at Bite.Tech have been mapping out the startup ecosystem in Iraq which consists of all the stakeholders who directly add value and and drive the startup ecosystem providing entrepreneurs, investors, and new comers with an overall guide of the ecosystem. With this map we can also identify the main challenges the Iraq’s startup ecosystem faces and the initiatives the Iraqi ecosystem needs to go through for it to become a high-potential site amongst regional startup ecosystems. For example, a notable missing section on the map is investments/funding. E-commerce: Chanbar is an online platform that allows merchants to create online stores within 24 hours, users can start to sell products online immediately after a simple setup. Payment can be made through Zain cash. CO-Working Space Tech Hub: the first tech focused co-working space in Iraq, the Erbil location is already accommodating several startups and is running workshops, with a Baghdad branch soon to follow. Media: Bite.Tech is an online newsletter published in English covering the tech startup ecosystem of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Events: HackaErbil: a two-day hackathon, participants are required to present new and innovative projects. Startup Weekend: Powered by Google, Startup Weekend teaches its participants how to network and build their startups within 54 hours. Pitch Bootcamp: a two-day career accelerator program that helps participants develop their skills, and improves their chances of finding jobs. The concept is from Spark Agency in Portugal who have organized these events around the world. Rwanga: the NGO running the Rwanga Awards. The event is open to anyone who wishes to showcase their work in the fields of writing, photography, scientific discoveries and many more. Maker Space: Fikra Space: an open space in Baghdad for people who have common interests in computers, technology, science, arts and other fields. Science Camp: a space for anyone with interest in computing technology, digital arts, design, green energy, recycling & digital arts run in Basra? Education: Al-Mansour University Incubator: The incubator is located in Al-Mansour University. They guide and support entrepreneurs through brain storming sessions, business analysis and more. MSELECT: a staffing agency with a training academy offering internationally certified public and private courses in business, IT, soft skills, vocational subjects and more. Re:Coded: the mission is to equip refugees and vulnerable youth in conflict affected areas with fundamental coding skills and professional experience that together create access to careers in technology. Code Lab: an intensive software development boot camp that meets virtually on Facebook. The boot camp focuses on writing clean and efficient code to produce scalable and maintainable software products. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 21 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Today, 01:10 AM
    By Wassim Bassem for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.* A new era has started in the northern Ninevah Plains, known for its ethnic and religious diversity, following the expulsion of the Islamic State (IS). IS took over the area in June 2014 and forced the Christians living there — estimated at more than 100,000 — to abandon their farms and towns and head to the neighboring Kurdistan Region and other areas in the country, or to leave Iraq altogether. On May 16, the heads of the Christian churches told the media of their “concerns over the possible return of terrorism” and demanded that “the areas of the Ninevah Plains be protected by the United Nations and enjoy autonomy.” This*fear, however, has not*prevented*many Christians from returning to their farms and cities and practicing religious rites in their monasteries and churches. During the Easter mass April 15 at the*Mar Mattai Syriac Orthodox Monastery in Ninevah, Christians prayed for the safe return of the displaced to their homes and the spread of peace. IS reduced several monasteries and churches to ruins, and Christians in the Ninevah Plains are demanding that plans be made for their reconstruction, especially for the monastery of Mar Behnam (pictured). It dates to the fourth century; IS occupied it in 2014 and bombed it in 2015. They are also calling for the reconstruction of the Mar Mattai Monastery, founded more than 1,600 years ago. Yonadam Kanna, a Christian member of parliament, told Al-Monitor, “IS besieged the Mar Mattai Monastery in 2014 and prevented people from getting to it.*So the first thing I did after the liberation of the Ninevah Plains was to restore the road leading to this monastery through the slopes of Mount Maklub, on top of which the monastery is built. extends over about 1*kilometer at a height*of 2,400 meters above sea level.” Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
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  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Today, 01:10 AM
    Without urgent investment in education, Iraq’s future generations risk being left behindThe future of Iraq, its economic security and prosperity depends on increasing investment in education today. And while the price of investing in Iraq’s education sector is high, failing to do so will cost the nation far more in the future. “The Cost and Benefits of Education in Iraq” a UNICEF-supported report released today by the Ministry of Education estimates that Iraq lost almost US$1 billion in unrealized wages from school dropouts from the 2014-2015 school year. Lack of investment threatens the future of millions of Iraqi children. 3.5 million school-aged Iraqi children are missing out on education, which means they are at increased risk of early marriage, child labour and recruitment into armed groups. Half of all school buildings in Iraq need urgent repairs. Children are dropping out of school while others are repeating grades. “Children in Iraq are suffering from protracted periods of conflict. Without equitable access to quality education, children are at risk: we are talking about losing a generation of children.” said UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere. Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 21 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Today, 01:10 AM
    U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Wednesday, conducting 34 strikes consisting of 78 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday. Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports. Strikes in Syria In Syria, coalition military forces conducted 21 strikes consisting of 29 engagements against ISIS targets: Near Albu Kamal, four strikes destroyed three ISIS oil tanker trucks, two ISIS wellheads, two ISIS fuel tanks, a front-end loader, a crane and a bulldozer. Near Hawl, a strike destroyed a vehicle bomb. Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike destroyed an ISIS barge. Near Raqqa, 15 strikes engaged 12 ISIS tactical units; and destroyed five fighting positions, four ISIS dump trucks, four vehicles, two artillery systems, a front-end loader and a weapons cache. Strikes in Iraq In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted 13 strikes consisting of 49 engagements against ISIS targets: Near Beiji, seven strikes destroyed 22 trenches, six bunkers, a tactical vehicle, a supply cache, an ISIS staging area, a front-end loader and a vehicle bomb. Near Mosul, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units; destroyed five vehicles, four fighting positions, four medium machine guns, three heavy machine guns, three weapons caches, an improvised explosive device, a mortar system, an ISIS staging area, a rocket-propelled grenade system; damaged two ISIS supply routes; and suppressed two mortar teams. Near Rawah, a strike destroyed an ISIS fuel point. Near Tal Afar, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle. Near Tikrit, a strike destroyed an ISIS fuel tank. Additionally, three strikes were conducted in Syria May 23 that closed within the last 24 hours: Near Raqqa, three strikes destroyed eight command-and-control nodes and destroyed a vehicle bomb-making facility. Part of Operation Inherent Resolve These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said. The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect. For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said. The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. (Source: US Dept of Defense) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 21 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Today, 01:10 AM
    By John Lee. The*Central Bank of Iraq (CBI)*has reported that 38 banks and 10 remittance companies took part in its currency auction on Thursday. A total of $158,102,404 sold at a price of 1184 Iraqi Dinars (IQD) per dollar. (Source: Central Bank of Iraq) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 30 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:37 AM
    Trump's big VA budget request comes with proposed trims to veterans benefits The proposal, officially released Tuesday and now facing months of scrutiny on Capitol Hill, represents another sizable boost for the department, which over the last decade has seen annual increases while other government agencies have faced funding reductions. President Trump’s plan calls for a $4.4 billion increase in discretionary funding for the department, roughly a 6 percent increase from fiscal 2017 levels. The $82 billion total discretionary request is nearly twice as large as the department’s entire budget in fiscal 2001, before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Officials said the VA spending request reflects that “veterans’ access to timely, high quality health care is one of this administration’s highest priorities.” But they also promised their focus is on “providing veterans with the most efficient and effective care and benefits,” and proposes several trade offs to pay for program expansions. The most dramatic of those is an end to Individual Unemployability benefit payments to retirement-age veterans, a move expected to save $3.2 billion next year alone and $41 billion over the next decade. If you are a veteran, and if you are receiving the above benefits....call your Congressman and let them know that you don't want Donaldof's dirty hands meddling with your benefits..... I told you folks...Donaldof doesn't know the sacrifices a service member makes when he/she serves this country...what does he knows?....NOTHING. Why not starting to cut his trips and have him pay for his own protection at the Trumpler Plaza?....that would save a lot of money.... but instead, Donaldof lives lavishly while veterans across this country, will continue paying a higher price for his/her service to this country. Call your Congressman !!!
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:21 AM
    Secret Service budget asks for $25M to protect Trump Tower WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is asking for more money to protect President Donald Trump's signature New York skyscraper, add hundreds of new Secret Service agents and strengthen security at the White House, according to new budget documents presented to Congress. The request is for $25.7 million in security-related expenses at Trump Tower, including "personnel travel costs assigned to the protective details for the children and grandchildren of President Trump, as well as other functions supporting these details." Those services, the request said, will be maintained "throughout the incumbent's presidency." The budget numbers offer the first look into the administration's request for a full year's worth of extra protective resources under Trump, who frequently has stayed at his namesake properties outside of the White House since he took office Jan. 20. The figures also underscore the taxpayer costs that benefit Trump, with $6.3 million allocated toward "rent and utilities" at Trump Tower. The biggest increase includes $1.3 billion in new staffing, including $75 million for 453 special agents and uniformed officers as part of a multiyear personnel plan. The administration said the money helps it "keep pace with mission requirements" by getting 7,150 positions filled by the end of the next budget year. Also requested is nearly $86 million in "protective infrastructure and technology," including more money for physical protection of the White House. Earlier this year, a man jumped the White House fence and spent 15 minutes roaming the grounds. The Secret Service faces a more complicated job than it did under Trump's immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, because Trump has family living beyond Washington and traveling extensively. They include First lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, who currently live in Trump Tower. Barron plans to attend school in suburban Washington this fall. Trump's jaunts beyond Washington have proved expensive, with a pair of his recent trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida costing more than $1.2 million. The documents, made public by the conservative group Judicial Watch, reflect only the costs associated with the president's plane, Air Force One, and not expenses for Secret Service protection or support vehicles provided by the Department of Defense. A Trump trip in early February cost about $670,000, and a second trip in March cost about $612,000, according to the Air Force, which operates and maintains Air Force One. He's visited seven times as president. Trump has used Mar-a-Lago, which not only is a vacation home but also a for-profit resort that charges $200,000 for memberships, to entertain foreign dignitaries and to meet with members of his Cabinet and senior leadership team. Based on other travel reports for other presidents, Defense Department costs far exceed all other expenses related to such trips. Wow !! Common Folks...is this what you voted for?..... BUT...if you are poor or have financial hardships....Flashnews! Is going to be worse under Donaldof Trumpler Office of the Hijacked White House !!! I know that there are some smart folks in here (unless you voted for Donaldof....you are, well...intellectually challenged)..can someone do some math how much Donaldof spent in traveling to Mar-a-Lago in the past four months?...did I heard you say over $20 million dollars and he is asking for another $25 million to protect a building he no longer lives in? Tell me, what you have to show for in this Puppet first four months?....Expenses, Expenses and more Expenses which, by the way, are meant to gratify Donaldof and his Family existence, not to serve the American people..... In the Meantime...the American People are suffering because of Donaldof.....
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:39 AM
    By John Lee. A plan has reportedly been made to rebuild the areas liberated from the Islamic State group (IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) over the next 10 years with $100 billion in financing. According to Al Arabiya, Iraq’s Planning Minister Salman Al-Jumayli said on Wednesday: “The plan to bring stability and development for the liberated areas will be in two steps. The first will be from 2018 to 2022, and the second from 2023 to 2028. “The government is trying to provide the figure through grants, international loans, and from what has been provided through the general budget of the country.“ The Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS), established in 2015, is currently carrying out immediate projects in the liberated areas. (Source: Al Arabiya) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 52 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:39 AM
    The US Army failed to keep tabs on more than $1 billion worth of arms and other military equipment in Iraq and Kuwait according to a now declassified Department of Defense (DoD) audit, obtained by Amnesty International following Freedom of Information requests. The government audit, from September 2016, reveals that the DoD “did not have accurate, up-to-date records on the quantity and location”of a vast amount of equipment pouring into Kuwait and Iraq to provision the Iraqi Army. “This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed – and potentially dangerous – system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region,” said Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s Arms Control and Human Rights Researcher. “It makes for especially sobering reading given the long history of leakage of US arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq, including the armed group calling itself the Islamic State.” The military transfers came under the Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF), a linchpin of US-Iraqi security cooperation. In 2015, US Congress appropriated USD$1.6 billion for the programme to combat the advance of IS. The transfers, which include tens of thousands of assault rifles (worth USD$28 million), hundreds of mortar rounds and hundreds of Humvee armoured vehicles, were destined for use by the central Iraqi Army, including the predominantly Shi’a Popular Mobilisation Units, as well as the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The DoD audit found several serious shortcomings in how ITEF equipment was logged and monitored from the point of delivery onward, including: Fragmentary record-keeping in arms depots in Kuwait and Iraq. Information logged across multiple spreadsheets, databases and even on hand-written receipts. Large quantities of equipment manually entered into multiple spreadsheets, increasing the risk of human error. Incomplete records meaning those responsible for the equipment were unable to ascertain its location or status. The audit also claimed that the DoD did not have responsibility for tracking ITEF transfers immediately after delivery to the Iraqi authorities, despite the fact that the department’s Golden Sentry programme is mandated to carry out post-delivery checks. A previous DoD audit in 2015 pointed to even laxer stockpile monitoring procedures followed by the Iraqi armed forces. In some cases the Iraqi army was unaware of what was stored in its own warehouses, while other military equipment – which had never been opened or inventoried – was stored out in the open in shipping containers. “The need for post-delivery checks is vital. Any fragilities along the transfer chain greatly increase the risks of weapons going astray in a region where armed groups have wrought havoc and caused immense human suffering,” said Patrick Wilcken. Arms transfers fuelling atrocities Amnesty International’s research has consistently documented lax controls and record-keeping within the Iraqi chain of command. This has resulted in arms manufactured in the USA and other countries winding up in the hands of armed groups known to be committing war crimes and other atrocities, such as IS, as well as paramilitary militias now incorporated into the Iraqi army. In response to the audit, the US military has pledged to tighten up its systems for tracking and monitoring future transfers to Iraq. However, the DoD made almost identical commitments in response to a report for Congress as long ago as 2007 that raised similar concerns. “After all this time and all these warnings, the same problems keep re-occurring. This should be an urgent wake-up call for the US, and all countries supplying arms to Iraq, to urgently shore up checks and controls. Sending millions of dollars’ worth of arms into a black hole and hoping for the best is not a viable counter-terrorism strategy; it is just reckless,” said Patrick Wilcken. “Any state selling arms to Iraq must show that there are strict measures in place to make sure the weapons will not be used to violate rights. Without these safeguards, no transfer should take place.” Amnesty International is urging the USA to comply with the Leahy Law, which prohibits the supply of most types of US military aid and training to foreign security, military and police units credibly alleged to have committed “gross human rights violations”. The USA and Iraq must also accede to the global Arms Trade Treaty, which has strict rules in place to stop arms transfers or diversion of arms that could fuel atrocities. (Source: Amnesty International) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 49 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:39 AM
    U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, conducting 12 strikes consisting of 32 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday. Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports. Strikes in Syria In Syria, coalition military forces conducted five strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets: Near Abu Kamal, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and damaged a vehicle. Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike destroyed eight ISIS oil stills and destroyed two ISIS oil truck. Near Raqqa, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units; destroyed three fighting positions and a mortar system. Strikes in Iraq In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of 27 engagements against ISIS targets: Near Mosul, five strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed two vehicle bombs, two medium machine guns, two vehicles, a storage compound, a fighting position, a rocket- propelled grenade system, an ISIS staging area; damaged 21 ISIS supply routes and two vehicles; and suppressed a mortar team. Near Rawah, a strike destroyed an anti-air artillery system. Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIS staging area. Additionally, three strikes were conducted in Syria May 22 that closed within the last 24 hours: Near Raqqa, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units; destroyed a fighting position, a vehicle bomb and a front-end loader. Part of Operation Inherent Resolve These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said. The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect. For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said. The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. (Source: US Dept of Defense) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 47 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:39 AM
    By John Lee. The*Central Bank of Iraq (CBI)*has reported that 39 banks and 10 remittance companies took part in its currency auction on Wednesday. A total of $150,321,047 sold at a price of 1184 Iraqi Dinars (IQD) per dollar. (Source: Central Bank of Iraq) Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 64 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 07:02 PM
    Pope Francis finally finds something he hates about his job.
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 07:01 PM
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 07:00 PM
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  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 06:57 PM
    Nice shot of a cheerful Pope Francis giving Trump the tour. 'Chairs, floor, walls ... We're done, get out.'----- The Pope
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 06:55 PM
    Pope Francis. Trump. What is it that makes everyone sour around Trump?
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 06:53 PM
    "God....are you testing me?"---- The Pope
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 06:51 PM
    And here is !! The moment everyone was waiting for !! The Pope is thinking..."Why this man..Why Dear God"~~!! And "Oh Lord...did someone died in their family today"?
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 03:18 PM
    Republicans and Democrats dismiss Trump’s budget as ‘dead on arrival’ WASHINGTON — President Trump formally rolled out his 2018 budget plan Tuesday, and lawmakers from both parties wasted no time in pushing back, with many proclaiming it “dead on arrival” and arguing that the proposal goes against many of Trump’s campaign-trail promises. “The president’s budget isn’t going anywhere,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La. Cassidy added that “Trump’s campaign contract with the American people should be fulfilled” by keeping health care costs low, something he said the budget does not do. “This budget exposes all of that verbiage for what it really was, just cheap and empty campaign rhetoric that was meant to get votes,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, the top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee. Trump’s budget calls for sweeping cuts to the social safety net, slashing $800 billion from Medicaid over 10 years in conjunction with a health care bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month. Other programs designed to combat poverty, ranging from food stamps to Social Security Disability Insurance, would also see their funding slashed. The document calls for a bevy of tax cuts as well. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, claimed that the budget is designed to decrease waste in government spending, spur greater economic growth and erase the federal deficit within 10 years. “We looked at this budget from the eyes of the people who were actually paying the bills,” Mulvaney told reporters Tuesday. “For years and years we looked at the budget in terms of those on the back end of the programs, the recipients of the taxpayer money. We haven’t spent nearly enough time focusing on the people paying the taxes.” But the proposal has met skepticism from Congress, with both Democrats and Republicans noting that the budget is a step away from statements Trump made while running for president. Among other things, Trump assured voters that there would be no cuts to Medicaid under his administration. I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. Huckabee copied me. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2015 “ is once again an example of the rhetoric of the campaign not matching up with the reality of governance,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., who noted that the budget hit rural areas, such as his home state, particularly hard. Sanders further called the plan “immoral,” while Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., slammed the budget for giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. “The Trump budget takes a sledgehammer to middle class and working class Americans, lavishes tax breaks on the wealthy and imagines all the deficit problems away with fantasy math,” he said. Republican lawmakers als distanced themselves from the budget, insisting that they would move forward with their own appropriations plan. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., panned the proposed defense spending as unacceptably low and labeled the overall budget plan as “dead on arrival” in Congress. WH $603B defense budget is inadequate to challenges we face, fails to rebuild military & dead on arrival in Congress https://t.co/8Vcp9fVRhn — John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) May 23, 2017 Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., described the proposal as merely a “recommendation.” “We’ll take things into consideration and move forward,” McConnell said. It is common for a president’s proposed budget to meet pushback. Many of President Barack Obama’s budget plans sputtered in Congress, where the House was controlled by Republicans after 2010. “Almost every president’s budget proposal is basically dead on arrival, including President Obama’s,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said, according to NBC News. Members have said there are elements of the Trump budget that they can work with, however. McConnell touted Trump’s plans to increase defense spending, allowing the U.S. to add over 56,000 service members in 2018. Multiple lawmakers cheered the White House’s decision to reverse course and fund the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which supporters say is critical in the fight against opioid addiction. Even Sanders said he would be willing to work with the president on a proposed $25 billion plan to provide workers with up to six weeks’ paid leave to care for the birth of a new child. “ is a good thought, but it is totally inadequate in terms of its funding,” Sanders said. But any paid family leave proposal faces an uncertain future in Congress. Mulvaney acknowledged that while he had been skeptical of paid family leave in his time in the House, it was a major piece of Trump’s plan to stimulate economic growth. “We try and create the environment where people are more comfortable going back to work and staying at work knowing that if they do have a child, they’ll be able to spend time with that child,” Mulvaney said. Mulvaney will get to make his case at length soon. He’ll defend the proposal at hearings before House and Senate budget committees on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Schumer advocated shutting the White House out of the appropriations process altogether and said the proposal “was something you’d expect from someone rooting for the government shutdown.” Instead, Schumer said Congress would be better served acting as they did last month, when he said a bipartisan effort helped avert a government shutdown. “The way we can reach a funding agreement in September is to do what we did last month: work together on a bipartisan basis … and tell President Trump and Mick Mulvaney to stay out of the process and come up with a plan.” As I said many times before.....Donaldof wants, and only wants he and his billionaire buddies to get richer while the middle class and the poor are dragged through the mud....and yeah, you can say whatever, but the thing is that at the end, you are the one paying high premiums, high taxes, high everything with little money left...while the rest goes straight to Donaldof pockets....That is his norm and this shows that even Republicans are against Donaldof ideologies....
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 03:15 PM
    Trump tells Duterte of two U.S. nuclear subs in Korean waters: NYT MANILA (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump told his Philippine counterpart that Washington has sent two nuclear submarines to waters off the Korean peninsula, the New York Times said, comments likely to raise questions about his handling of sensitive information. Trump has said "a major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible because of its nuclear and missile programs and that all options are on the table but that he wants to resolve the crisis diplomatically. North Korea has vowed to develop a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead that can strike the mainland United States, saying the program is necessary to counter U.S. aggression. Trump told Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Washington had "a lot of firepower over there", according to the New York Times, which quoted a transcript of an April 29 call between the two. "We have two submarines — the best in the world. We have two nuclear submarines, not that we want to use them at all," the newspaper quoted Trump as telling Duterte, based on the transcript. The report was based on a Philippine transcript of the call that was circulated on Tuesday under a "confidential" cover sheet by the Americas division of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. In a show of force, the United States has sent the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier to waters off the Korean peninsula, where it joined the USS Michigan, a nuclear submarine that docked in South Korea in late April. According to the Times, a senior Trump administration official in Washington, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the call and insisted on anonymity, confirmed the transcript was an accurate representation of the call between the two leaders. U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said Trump discussed intelligence about Islamic State with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak at talks in the Oval Office this month, raising questions about Trump's handling of secrets. Trump also praised Duterte for doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem", the New York Times reported, a subject that has drawn much criticism in the West. Almost 9,000 people, many small-time users and dealers, have been killed in the Philippines since Duterte took office on June 30. Police say about one-third of the victims were shot by officers in self-defense during legitimate operations. Folks...you must be mighty ass stupid just to disclose this type of information freely to anyone and everyone as Donaldof Trumpler continues to do and for what now we can conclude, it is his policy, disclose sensitive and classified information to anyone who asks.... Donaldof...ARE YOU THAT MUCH OF A STUPID PUPPET AS TO PUT AMERICAN SERVICE MEMBERS LIVES AT RISK......AGAIN ??....Common Dude...at some point you must show that you have some type, some kind, some common sense of some shape or form !!!!!! I guess his business empire and his business deals are first and foremost THE most important thing going on, so you know, his hotels and golf clubs will be built on those countries without a hiccup in exchange for information....
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 03:00 PM
    Former CIA chief Brennan had concerns about Russian contacts with Trump campaign Former CIA Director John Brennan told Congress that U.S. intelligence found contact between Russian officials and people involved with Donald Trump's campaign at a time in 2016 when the Russians were "brazenly" interfering in the presidential election. "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals," Brennan said Tuesday at an open session of the House Intelligence Committee. "And it raised questions in my mind again whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals." Brennan added, however, that he did not know whether any collusion resulted from those contacts. Trump has dismissed such a possibility, saying there is no evidence of collusion. Earlier this month, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified that there was "no evidence" of collusion in the intelligence community's assessment report on Russian interference — which Trump used to defend himself in a tweet. Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows- there is "no evidence" of collusion w/ Russia and Trump. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017 However, Clapper clarified to ABC News that he had no evidence available at the time — in January, when the report was released — to show there was collusion with the Russians. "That's not necessarily exculpatory, since I did not know the state of the investigation or the content — what had been turned up with it," he said. In addition, Brennan said Tuesday that because of the sensitive nature of a counterintelligence investigation, not everything that was shared with the FBI for its investigatory purposes was shared with Clapper. Brennan testified that there was a "sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation" by the FBI to determine whether U.S. citizens were "actively conspiring, colluding" with Russian officials. "I was worried by a number of the contacts that the Russians had with U.S. persons," he said. Brennan said he was concerned because of tactics that Russians are known to use, including trying to get individuals, including Americans, to act on their behalf. Russian intelligence operatives won't identify themselves as Russians or as agents of the Russian government; they try to develop personal relationships with individuals and then try to get those people to do things on their behalf, said Brennan. "By the time I left office on Jan. 20, I had unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting U.S. persons involved in the campaign or not to work on their behalf," he said. Asked if Russia's contacts were with official Trump campaign staffers, Brennan repeatedly declined during the hearing to identify individuals because of the classified nature of the information. A source familiar with the matter told ABC News on Tuesday that National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers was asked by Trump to publicly push back against the FBI probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by Trump associates. Brennan said he was unaware of any efforts the president has made to enlist the support of intelligence community personnel to counter the collusion narrative. Warning to the Russians "It should be clear to everyone that Russia brazenly interfered in our 2016 presidential election process and that they undertook these activities despite our strong protests and explicit warning that they not do so," Brennan during his opening remarks at today's hearing. He testified that in an Aug. 4, 2016, meeting he warned Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia's Federal Securities Bureau intelligence service, that any continued interference would destroy near-term prospects for improvement of relations between Washington and Moscow and would undermine the chance of their working together on matters of mutual interest. Brennan said he warned that if Russia had such a campaign of interference underway, which had already been reported in the press, it would be "certain to backfire." "I said that all Americans, regardless of political affiliation or whom they might support in the election, cherish their ability to elect their own leaders without outside interference or disruption," he said. According to Brennan, Bortnikov said that Russia was not doing anything to influence the presidential election and that Washington has traditionally blamed Moscow for such activities. Russia has repeatedly denied interfering in the election. Despite his denial, Bortnikov said he would inform Russian President Vladimir Putin of U.S. concerns, Brennan said. He added that the meeting was primarily about Syria but that he also told Bortnikov that Russia's continued mistreatment of U.S. diplomats in Moscow was "irresponsible, reckless, intolerable and needed to stop." In January of this year, a declassified U.S. intelligence report was released that found Putin "ordered" a campaign to influence the election in an attempt to "undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process." Russia also sought to denigrate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and harm her election prospects and possible presidency, U.S. intelligence agencies found at the time. Trump's Oval Office meeting with the Russians Brennan said it is not unprecedented to share intelligence with Russia or other partners. But he said if reports are true that Trump shared information with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a White House meeting on May 10, it violated two protocols. First, classified intelligence of this nature is shared not with visiting foreign ministers or ambassadors but through intelligence channels so that it's handled the "right way" and to make sure it is not exposed, Brennan said. Second, before a person shares any classified intelligence with foreign partners, it is important to go back to the originating agency to make sure that sharing the language and substance is not going to reveal sources and methods, possibly compromising future collection capability, said Brennan. He continued, "So it appears as though, at least from the press reports, that neither did it go in the proper channels nor did the originating agency have the opportunity to clear language for it. So that is a problem." During the meeting, Trump reportedly shared with the Russians intelligence information about ISIS that came from Israel. He has defended his disclosure, arguing he has the right to share such information with Russia. On Monday, while visiting Israel, Trump told reporters, "I never mentioned the word or the name Israel. Never mentioned it during our conversation." Concern over leaks Brennan said he was "very concerned" about subsequent releases of what appears to be classified information purporting to point to the source of the information. "These continue to be very, very damaging leaks, and I find them appalling, and they need to be tracked down," he said. He added that the Russians are "watching very carefully" what's going on in Washington and that they will try to exploit it for their purposes.
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • millionairetobe71's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 02:57 PM
    U.S. Why Everyone Should Care That Russia Interfered In The U.S. Election WASHINGTON — Former CIA chief John Brennan had a moving response when asked Tuesday why Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election should matter to the American people. “Why should they care? Why do you care, sir?” Rep. Dennis Heck (D-Wash.) asked Tuesday during a House Intelligence Committee hearing. “Because for the last 241 years this nation and its citizens have cherished the freedom and liberty that this country was founded upon,” Brennan said. “Many, many Americans, brave Americans, over the years have lost their lives to be able to protect that freedom and liberty. They’ve lost their lives also to protect the freedom and liberties of other countries and other peoples around the world.” The United States’ ability to chose its own leaders, free from any sort of outside interference, is an “inalienable right” that must be protected at all costs, Brennan added. “Therefore, I believe this is something that’s critically important to every American,” he said. “It’s very important to me, for my children and grandchildren, to make sure that never again will a foreign country try to influence and interfere with the foundation stone of this country, which is electing our democratic leaders.” “In other words, sir, because you love your country?” Heck asked. “That’s the Cliffs Notes version of it, yes,” Brennan said. Brennan, who spent 25 years with the CIA, testified Tuesday as part of an ongoing probe by the House Intelligence Committee into Russia’s attempt to influence the presidential election and whether Trump’s campaign colluded in the effort. He told House lawmakers that before he left the CIA he was “aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign.”
    6001 replies | 250292 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 02:39 PM
    Saudi Arabia and Iraq agreed on 9 months extension on OPEC cut Saudi Arabia and Iraq, two OPEC giants, have agreed on Monday on the need for extending global cut in oil supply so that oil price can rise. Source: IraqDirectory.com Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 54 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 02:39 PM
    US Dollar to Iraqi Dinar exchange rate falls on 23rd May Exchange rate for US Dollar to Iraqi Dinar (IQD) was down on 23rd May 2017 on the currency market of Kurdistan region. Source: IraqDirectory.com Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 64 view(s)
  • Investors Iraq News's Avatar
    05-24-2017, 02:39 PM
    Iraq is heading towards darkness, unless investment in education increases Economic security and prosperity of Iraq as a nation greatly depends on investment in the education sector of Iraq. The price of investment in education sector is high though lack of investment can destroy future of the nation. Source: IraqDirectory.com Post your commentary below.
    0 replies | 59 view(s)
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