Mary Margaret Olohan | Reporter

Instagram announced Thursday a mission to block all anti-vaccine hash tags and ads by labeling them “misinformation.”

Facebook (also the owner of Instagram) announced March 7 that due to complaints from users who had seen large amounts of anti-vaccine content, they would be taking steps to label this content as misinformation and thereby effectively hide it from public view.

Some health professionals have pushed for this move as well, citing research that shows the lack of correlation between vaccines and autism. These professionals worry that the misinformation on social media may lead people to resist vaccinations and thereby make themselves more vulnerable to illness. (RELATED: States Push For Laxer Vaccine Regulations Amid Worst Measles Outbreak In Years)

The Hill reported Thursday that “Facebook and Instagram’s search functions still recommend vaccine-related misinformation, including groups and hashtags that associate vaccinations with autism.”

A spokesperson from Instagram said that they are still working on hiding this content, and that immediate measures will include blocking anti-vaccine related hash tags including #vaccinescauseautism, #vaccinesarepoison and #vaccinescauseids.

“As part of our work to address health-related misinformation on Instagram, we’re looking at ways to minimize recommendations of this content and accounts that post it across Instagram,” the spokesperson said Thursday.

However, two weeks after Facebook promised to curb anti-vaccine related content, it remains as prominent as ever. “Vaccine” searches resulted in suggestions such as “vaccines and autism” and “vaccines revealed” which then led to results for “vaccine misinformation.”

A Thursday article in The Atlantic asserts that “Instagram Is the Internet’s New Home for Hate” and that social media sites should pay closer attention to misinformation on Instagram since it is the most popular outlet for young people.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Amy Schumer has defended her decision to talk about her husband Chris Fischer being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder to the world during her stand-up “Growing” on Netflix.

“He [Fischer] was diagnosed as high functioning autism spectrum disorder,” the 37-year-old expectant comedian shared Wednesday during her appearance on “Late Night with Seth Myers.” (RELATED: TRAINWRECK–Tampa Crowd Eats Amy Schumer Alive For Going After Trump [VIDEO])


“That’s why we both wanted to talk about it because it’s been totally positive,” she added. “I think a lot people resist getting diagnosed and even some of their children because of the stigma that comes along with it.”(RELATED: Kate Hudson Will Raise Her Daughter ‘Genderless’: We Don’t Know ‘What She’s Going To Identify As’)

Schumer continued, “Like the tools we’ve been given have made his life so much better and our marriage and our life much more manageable. I just wanted to, you know, encourage people to not be afraid of that stigma.”

“I think there’s a lot of people with autism who go undiagnosed when I think their life could be better if they got those tools,” the “Trainwreck” star explained.

At one point, the comedian said she doesn’t want make it sound like she was “so nice” because she married “someone with autism.”

As previously reported, it comes on the heels of reports that people really freaked out, and called her out for having revealed that about her husband during her latest show that started streaming on the site Tuesday. Others came to the comedian’s defense and couldn’t figure out why people were upset and instead thanked her.

“I knew from the beginning that my husband’s brain was a little different than mine,” Schumer shared. “I have to start this over because I really want to get this right because I love him very much.”

“My husband was diagnosed with what used to be called Asperger’s,” she added. “He has autism spectrum disorder. He’s on the spectrum. And there were some signs early on.”

Schumer continued, “Once he was diagnosed, it dawned on me how funny it was, because all of the characteristics that make it clear that he’s on the spectrum are all of the reasons that I fell madly in love with him. That’s the truth.”

“He says whatever is on his mind,” the actress explained. “He keeps it so real. He doesn’t care about social norms or what you expect him to say or do.”

Source: The Daily Caller

Shoppers walk with shopping bags as they take care of their last-minute Christmas holiday gift purchases outside department stores in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk with shopping bags in Paris, France, December 23, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

March 14, 2019

By Leigh Thomas

PARIS (Reuters) – The French economy will grow marginally slower this year than previously expected although improving household purchasing power should help limit the impact of a global slowdown, the country’s central bank said on Thursday.

The Bank of France forecast growth of 1.4 percent this year in its quarterly economic outlook, marginally less than the 1.5 percent it predicted in December. The economy grew 1.5 percent in 2018.

At the rate forecast by the central bank, France will easily outperform its more export-dependent neighbor Germany, where the government and private institutes expect growth of 1 percent or lower due to weak foreign demand.

Since growth in France is more dependent on consumers at home, its economy should benefit from a 10 billion euro ($11.3 billion) package of concessions to protesters aimed at boosting spending power and quelling a wave of violent demonstrations.

In December, President Emmanuel Macron announced wage increases for the poorest workers and a tax cut for most pensioners in an effort to stifle anti-government protests that saw some of the worst street violence in decades in Paris.

The central bank estimated the measures would boost households’ purchasing power this year by 0.7 percentage points, and in turn lift consumer spending by 0.3 percentage points.

Households would likely squirrel away the rest of the income gains, pushing the savings rate to 15.4 percent this year before easing lower afterwards.

Low inflation, seen at 1.3 percent this year before gradually rising to 1.7 percent by 2021, would also favor households’ income gains.

Meanwhile, job creation was seen slowing although stronger productivity would lead to higher wages, the central bank estimated.

Looking further out, French economic growth was seen rising marginally to 1.5 percent in 2020, before easing back to 1.4 percent in 2021.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Iranian presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi gestures as he casts his vote during the presidential election in Tehran
FILE PHOTO: Iranian presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi gestures as he casts his vote during the presidential election in Tehran, Iran, May 19, 2017. TIMA via REUTERS

March 12, 2019

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

LONDON (Reuters) – Hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi has swiftly emerged as one of Iran’s most powerful figures and a contender to succeed Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Last week, he was named chief of the judiciary and on Tuesday he was elected deputy chief of the 88-member Assembly of Experts, the clerical body responsible for choosing the supreme leader.

As head of the judiciary, a post to which he was appointed by Khamenei, Raisi holds significant power in a country that has long used its powerful legal system to crack down on political dissent.

In that post he replaced Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, another potential candidate for the supreme leader post. Larijani also ran for the position of deputy chief of the Assembly of Experts but failed, suggesting his hopes of leading Iran could be fading.

Larijani is accused by rights groups of condoning widespread violations of the rights of political detainees.

“Larijani’s work as the head of judiciary was not acceptable,” Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi told Reuters.

“But to replace him with Raisi, who had a role in the past in extrajudicial execution and massacre of political prisoners, will taint the judiciary even more … It is replacing bad with worse.”

As deputy prosecutor in Tehran in 1988, Raisi helped oversee the execution of political prisoners.

Larijani has said his country’s judiciary is one of the fairest in the world, while Iran says its legal system is independent and not influenced by political interests.


Raisi ran in presidential elections in 2017, criticizing pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani for signing a deal with the United States and other powers to curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions.

In a fiery election speech, Rouhani accused Raisi of being a pawn of the security services and said Iranians would not vote for “those who have only known how to execute and jail people”.

Raisi’s failure in the elections was widely attributed to a then 28-year-old audio tape which surfaced in 2016 and purportedly highlighted his role in the executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.

In the recording, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the deputy supreme leader at the time, said the executions included “pregnant women and 15-year-old girls” and were the “biggest crimes committed by the Islamic Republic”.

Montazeri’s son was arrested and sentenced to jail for release of the tape. Raisi prosecuted the case.

Raisi said last year that the trials of political prisoners were fair, and he should be rewarded for eliminating the armed opposition in the early years of the revolution.

“It’s my honor that I fought against hypocrisy,” Raisi said, using a term Iranian officials use when referring to the main opposition groups of the 1980s.

In a report in 2018, Amnesty International said the lowest estimates put the number executed at around 5,000.

“The real number could be higher, especially because little is still known about the names and details of those who were rearrested in 1988 and extrajudicially executed in secret soon after arrest.”

Raisi’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.


Although Raisi failed in the 2017 elections, he has remained outspoken, expressing his conservative views on the economy and foreign policy.

Echoing the views of Khamenei, Raisi has said Iran should be self-sufficient in production of essential goods, so it can resist against Western sanctions on its missile program and regional military presence.

“Raisi is in Khamenei’s circle of trust. He has been one of Khamenei’s students and his thoughts are very close to the Supreme Leader’s,” former lawmaker Jamileh Kadivar told Reuters.

Raisi was not well known until 2016 when Khamenei appointed him the custodian of Astan Qods Razavi, a multi-billion dollar religious conglomerate that owns mines, textile factories, a pharmaceutical plant and even major oil and gas firms.

Although some believe Raisi lacks the charisma to replace Khamenei, he shares his deep distrust of the West, limiting U.S. chances of pressuring Tehran to change its domestic and foreign policies if he becomes supreme leader.


Raisi was born into a religious family in Mashhad, Iran’s second biggest city and home to some of its most sacred sites. He lost his father at the age of five, but followed his footsteps to become a cleric.

As a young student at a religious seminary in the holy city of Qom, he took part in protests against the Western-backed Shah.

After the 1979 Islamic revolution, Raisi’s contacts with top religious leaders in Qom made him a trusted figure in the judiciary. He was deputy head of the judiciary for ten years before being appointed prosecutor-general in 2014.

Last June, Raisi said “internal threats to the Islamic Republic are more dangerous than external threats”, a clear signal that he would not tolerate dissent.

Yet Raisi, a father of two, has in the past surprised many by his unconventional initiatives.

Although his father-in-law, a hardline cleric, banned concerts in Mashhad, Raisi met an Iranian rapper during his election campaign and said music can be used to promote religious ideas.

He is also one of the few senior clerics who has publicly spoken about his wife, a university professor, saying women should be encouraged to work and help society move forward.

Larijani’s appointment as the head of the judiciary in 2009 coincided with an uprising in Iran when millions of people came to the streets to protest against the disputed election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the biggest unrest in the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.

Hundreds of protesters, activists, journalists and opposition figures were arrested and put on mass trials shown on state television.

Raisi, then deputy head of the judiciary, defended the execution of a dozen protesters in 2009, saying they were linked to “anti-revolutionary” and “terrorist” groups.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Babak Dehghanpisheh and Giles Elgood)

Source: OANN

Ann Coulter, the woman who wrote "In Trump We Trust" and "Resistance Is Futile!", has broken from President Donald Trump on the border wall and is now considered a "wacky nut job" by the president himself.

"Wacky Nut Job @AnnCoulter, who still hasn't figured out that, despite all odds and an entire Democrat Party of Far Left Radicals against me (not to mention certain Republicans who are sadly unwilling to fight), I am winning on the Border," President Trump tweeted Saturday. "Major sections of Wall are being built . . ."

". . . and renovated, with MUCH MORE to follow shortly," an ensuing President Trump tweet read. "Tens of thousands of illegals are being apprehended (captured) at the Border and NOT allowed into our Country. With another President, millions would be pouring in. I am stopping an invasion as the Wall gets built. #MAGA"

Ironically, Coulter's book "Resistance Is Futile!" protests Trump haters have lost their collective minds and argues "the American left has become irrational in its opposition to President Donald J. Trump." 

Coulter has taken up the resistance, hate-Trump mantle of late, calling the president an "idiot" and the true national emergency last month: "The only national emergency is that our president is an idiot."

While President Trump has broken from a one-time backer in Coulter, a one-time never-Trump conservative Glenn Beck now claims to support the president he used to resist along with Democrats.

Source: NewsMax

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

The lawyer for Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann will likely sue CNN next, and the stakes could be higher than their suit against The Washington Post.

L. Lin Wood is representing Sandmann in another suit against WaPo calling for $250 million in compensatory and punitive damages over its coverage of the student’s interaction with Native American activist Nathan Phillips, according to Fox News.

“I expect because of the way [CNN] went after Nicholas so viciously, that the claim for his reputational damage will be higher than it was against The Washington Post,” Wood told Fox News host Mark Levin.

“CNN was probably more vicious in its direct attacks on Nicholas than The Washington Post. And CNN goes into millions of individuals’ homes,” Wood continued during an interview that will air on Fox News Channel Sunday. (RELATED: Nicholas Sandmann’s Attorneys Double Down On WaPo After ‘Editor’s Note’)

The suit will likely be issued Monday or Tuesday, Wood told Levin. Wood said that Sandmann did “absolutely nothing wrong.”

“But you have a situation where CNN couldn’t resist the idea that here’s a guy with a young boy, that Make America Great Again cap on. So they go after him,” he said, adding, “The CNN folks were online on Twitter at 7 a.m. retweeting the little one-minute propaganda piece that had been put out. … They’re out there right away going after this young boy. And they maintain it for at least two days. Why didn’t they stop and just take an hour and look through the Internet and find the truth and then report it? Maybe do that before you report the lies.”

Nicholas Sandmann, 16, a student from Covington Catholic High School stands in front of Native American activist Nathan Phillips in Washington, U.S., in this still image from a January 18, 2019 video by Kaya Taitano. Kaya Taitano/Social Media/via REUTERS/File Photo

Nicholas Sandmann, 16, a student from Covington Catholic High School stands in front of Native American activist Nathan Phillips in Washington, U.S., in this still image from a Jan. 18, 2019 video by Kaya Taitano. Kaya Taitano/Social Media/via REUTERS/File Photo

Wood said he has a team of “young, smart lawyers” working on the potential suit.

“I’ve got some young, smart lawyers that are working hard as we can,” he told Levin. “Double-checking, and listen, when we file complaints, we’ve investigated it because we want to get it right. Maybe CNN can learn from that.”

Wood and Todd McMurtry, an attorney also representing Sandmann, released a statement Monday addressing an editor’s note issued by WaPo March 1 about the outlet’s coverage of the Covington Catholic boys.

“The Friday night efforts by the Post to whitewash its wrongdoing were untimely, grossly insufficient and did little more than perpetuate the lies it published – lies that will haunt and adversely impact Nicholas for the rest of his life,” part of the statement read.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

Send tips to [email protected].

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Disinfected healthcare workers' gear dries outside a hospital in Bwana Suri
FILE PHOTO: Disinfected healthcare workers’ gear dries outside a hospital in Bwana Suri, Ituri province of Democratic Republic of Congo, December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic/File Photo

March 9, 2019

GOMA, Congo (Reuters) – Armed Mai Mai militiamen attacked an Ebola treatment center at the heart of an outbreak of the disease in eastern Congo on Saturday, killing a policeman before being repelled by security forces, the local mayor said.

The center in Butembo was the same one torched by unknown assailants last week, an attack that prompted Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) to suspend activities in the area.

Aid workers have faced deep mistrust from locals in some areas as they work to contain the outbreak, which has become the worst in Democratic Republic of Congo’s history, killing close to 600 people so far.

Efforts to contain the virus have been further hampered by a plethora of armed groups operating in Congo’s lawless east.

World Health Organisation (WHO) President Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was due to visit the Butembo center on Saturday. A WHO spokesman said it was unclear if the visit would still happen.

Butembo major Sylvain Kanyamanda Mbusa said the Mai Mai militants were successfully repelled.

“Because of previous attacks, a security system was already in place and attackers were quickly confronted by the police officers guarding the …center,” he told Reuters.

The facility had resumed operations only a week ago and had been managed by the ministry of health in collaboration with the WHO and United Nations Children’s Fund.

The Mai Mai take their name from the word for “water” in a local Swahili dialect, because some of their fighters believe magic can turn flying bullets into water.

They comprise several armed bands that originally formed to resist two invasions by Rwandan forces in the late 1990s. They have since morphed into a variety of ethnic-based militia, smuggling networks and protection rackets.

One of the militiamen was wounded in Saturday’s attack and is in custody, Kanyamanda Mbusa said.

On Thursday, MSF accused the Congolese government of failing to contain the epidemic because of an overly militarised response that was alienating patients and their families.

(Reporting by Fiston Mahamba; Writing by Giulia Paravicini; editing by Tim Cocks and John Stonestreet)

Source: OANN

President Donald Trump will be making a significant request for border wall funds and seeking money to stand up Space Force as a new branch of the military in the White House budget being released next week, an administration official said Friday.

For the first time, Trump plans to stick with the strict spending caps imposed years ago, even though lawmakers have largely avoided them with new budget deals. That will likely trigger a showdown with Congress.

The official said the president's plan promises to balance the budget in 15 years.

Trump will seek $750 billion for defense, while cutting non-defense discretionary spending by 5 percent, said the official, who was unauthorized to discuss the document ahead of its release and spoke on condition of anonymity

Budgets are mainly seen as blueprints for White House priorities. But they are often panned on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers craft the appropriation bills that eventually fund the government, if the president signs them into law.

Trump's budget for the 2020 fiscal year will increase requests for some agencies while reducing others to reflect those priorities. Reductions are proposed, for example, for the Environmental Protection Agency.

The official said Congress has ignored the president's spending cuts for too long. The federal budget is bloated with wasteful spending, the official said, and the administration remains committed to balancing the budget.

By proposing spending levels that adhere to budget caps, the president is courting a debate with Congress. Lawmakers from both parties have routinely agreed to raise spending caps established by a previous deal years ago to fund the government.

Trump, though, has tried to resist those deals. He threatened to veto the last one reached in 2017 to prevent a shutdown. Late last year, a fight over border wall funds sparked the 35-day shutdown that spilled into this year and became the longest in history.

Source: NewsMax

Chorney and Burnstein train for the Boston Marathon in Boston
David Chorney and Mike Burnstein (L) train for the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, April 3, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

February 26, 2019

By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When personal finance expert Jean Chatzky was buying a house years ago with her husband, she got the shock of her life: His credit score was better.

“It was just really funny,” said Chatzky, financial editor of NBC’s Today Show, host of the “Her Money” podcast and author of the upcoming book “Women With Money.” “I am supposed to be the big financial expert – and his score was 30 points better.”

And so began a friendly marital competition that lasts to this day with husband, career coach Eliot Kaplan. It has since toggled back and forth, but “his is usually better,” Chatzky admitted.

Having such a competition is not just an academic exercise, or something for bragging rights. It can have a very real effect on your financial lives if two partners nudge each other in a positive direction. Higher credit scores could save you a ton of money over the course of your lives.

“If you have a goal to buy a home together in a few years, then better credit scores will benefit both of you: You will see lower interest rates, more affordable monthly payments, and maybe even be able to buy a better house,” said Bethy Hardeman, personal finance expert for the debt-management app Tally.

And how exactly do you boost that magic score? The strategies are extremely common-sense. Pay your bills – on time, every time. Do not use up too much of your existing credit; try for 30 percent or less of your ceiling. Have credit with multiple different lenders, all of which are reporting your trustworthiness to the credit agencies.


Love and money are notoriously combustible partners. Mixing them requires a delicate touch, as if you were handling explosive chemicals.

So how to have a healthy credit-score competition, without causing any marital upset? Some tips:

* No judgment

Even if your score is an iffy 500 and hers is a robust 700, or vice versa – resist the temptation to make moral judgments, keep things positive, and move forward together as a team.

* Have patience

You are not going to see massive success right away, no matter how dedicated you are to boosting your score.

“The frustrating thing about credit is that it is like losing weight – you won’t necessarily see pounds slipping away on the scale every day or week,” said Chatzky. “So don’t check in too frequently.”

* Use it as a conversation starter

If there is anything most couples really hate to talk about, it is money. So a friendly credit competition is one way to crack that door open, and have an open and honest conversation about money issues beyond just credit scores.

“My partner and I do this as a fun discussion,” said Ian Harvey, a financial planner in Chappaqua, New York.

* Do not strive for perfection

In theory, the best possible FICO credit score is 850 (although different credit agencies have developed their own scoring models).

But do not drive yourselves crazy aiming for perfection. Instead, focus on getting to levels that will make your financial lives appreciably easier.

At 660, you should start being approved for most credit applications, said Hardeman. At 720, you should start seeing some of the best interest rate offers available. And if you can make it to 760, you are attractive enough a credit risk that you will be getting unsolicited mailers from lenders all the time.

(The writer is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)

(Editing by Beth Pinsker anf Steve Orlofsky)

Source: OANN

Twenty-three former Republican members of Congress have written a letter to current GOP members urging them to pass a joint resolution 'terminating the emergency declared" by President Donald Trump.

In the letter, published Monday by Politico, the lawmakers said that no matter what their policy preferences were or "how deep our loyalties to presidents or party leaders," lawmakers take an oath to put the United States and its Constitution first.

"We who have signed this letter are no longer Members of Congress, but that oath still burns within us," the letter said. "That is why we are coming together to urge those of you who are now charged with upholding the authority of the first branch of government to resist efforts to surrender those powers to a president."

The former lawmakers point out that in Article 1 of the Constitution, section 9, it is stated that the power of the purse rests with Congress.

The second argument asks how much members of Congress are willing to undermine the Constitution "to advance a policy outcome that by all other legitimate means is not achievable."

The letter was signed by former Reps. Steve Bartlett, Texas; Douglas Bereuter, Nebraska, Sherwood Boehlert, New York; Rodney Chandler, Washington; William Clinger Jr., Pennsylvania; Tom Coleman, Missouri;  Mickey Edwards, Oklahoma; David Emery, Maine; Nancy Johnson, Connecticut; James Kolbe, Arizona; James Leach, Iowa; John LeBoutillier, New York; Pete McCloskey, California; Thomas Petri, Wisconsin; Claudine Schneider, Rhode Island; Christopher Shays, Connecticut; Peter Smith, Vermont; Alan Steelman, Texas.

Former Sens. John Danforth, Missouri; Chuck Hagel, Nebraska; Gordon Humphrey, New Hampshire; Richard Lugar, Indiana; Olympia Snowe, Maine, also signed the letter.

Source: NewsMax

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe is wrapping up soon, and a source familiar with the investigation tells Fox News it is "near the end game" — although there has been no formal notification to President Trump’s legal team that Mueller’s work is completed.

Exiting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the Mueller probe for 18 months until the recent confirmation of AG William Barr, had said privately he intended to remain in his role until the Mueller report was delivered to Congress. On Tuesday, the White House announced that Deputy Secretary of Transportation Jeff Rosen would replace Rosenstein.

Sources close to the investigative process have told Fox News that the high-level shakeup at Justice — with Barr assembling his new team, and Rosenstein planning to leave by mid-March — is a sign that the stars are aligning for the probe’s conclusion.

The DOJ has not confirmed it is planning an announcement on the inquiry, and neither Mueller’s team nor the DOJ responded to Fox News’ request for comment.


Also unclear is whether the final Mueller report will be made public. Barr testified during his confirmation hearings that, as he understands the regulations governing the special counsel, the report will be confidential – and any report that goes to Congress or the public will be authored by the attorney general.

Some Democrats sounded the alarm after Barr’s testimony, with Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal charging that Barr  indicated he’d exploit legal "loopholes" to hide Mueller’s final report from the public and to resist subpoenas against the White House.

"I will commit to providing as much information as I can, consistent with the regulations," Barr had told Blumenthal when asked if he would ensure that Mueller’s full report was publicly released.

Mueller’s team is still leading several prosecutions, including against longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone on charges of witness tampering and lying to Congress, and against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who awaits sentencing on charges he lied to FBI agents during the Russia probe. Flynn is cooperating as part of a separate Foreign Agents Registration Act case regarding lobbying work in Turkey as part of his plea deal.

Roger Stone leaves federal court Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Washington. Stone appeared for a status conference just three days after he pleaded not guilty to felony charges of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Roger Stone leaves federal court Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Washington. Stone appeared for a status conference just three days after he pleaded not guilty to felony charges of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The flurry of activity comes shortly after Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley — who until recently was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee – said he expected Mueller’s final Russia report "within a month." Grassley later walked back those comments, saying they were based on unconfirmed news reports and rumors.

The top Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, meanwhile, are calling for former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe and Rosenstein to testify before their respective panels, following McCabe’s explosive claims in an interview last week that senior Justice Department officials had considered removing President Trump using the 25th Amendment.


According to McCabe, Rosenstein offered to wear a wire to record the president, seemingly confirming reports last year. Rosenstein strongly denied that allegation, calling McCabe’s statements "factually incorrect."

The 25th Amendment governs the succession protocol if the president dies, resigns or becomes temporarily or permanently incapacitated. While the amendment has been invoked six times since its ratification in 1967, the specific section of the amendment purportedly discussed by top DOJ officials — which involves the majority of all Cabinet officers and the vice president agreeing that the president is "unable" to perform his job — has never been invoked.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Sex abuse survivors say Vatican summit must deliver action

Roman Catholics who were sexually abused by clergy are insisting that decisive actions to confront the decades-long problem of pedophile priests and church cover-ups must come out of an upcoming Vatican summit.

A founding member of the advocacy group Ending Clergy Abuse, Peter Isely, contended Sunday that Pope Francis is "facing resistance" from top Vatican officials as he prepares to convene bishops from around the world.

"Let me tell you what it was like to try and have to resist that priest when I was a boy who was sexually assaulting me," Isely said. "So whatever difficulty for him or discomfort this is for anybody in the papal palace, it is nothing compared to what survivors have had to undergo."

Isely offered his perspective in an interview with The Associated Press near St. Peter’s Square shortly before Francis spoke of the importance of the Feb. 21-24 event on protecting children and teenagers in the church,.

Addressing faithful in the square, Francis asked for prayers for the gathering of the heads of Catholic bishops’ conferences worldwide.

Francis said he wanted the summit, to be "an act of strong pastoral responsibility in the face of an urgent challenge of our time."

Revelations in many countries about priests raping and committing other kinds of sexual abuse against children and a pattern of bishops hiding the crimes have shaken the faith of many Catholics.

They also test the pontiff’s ability to ensure the safety of children and punishment for the abusers as well as any complicit superiors.

The Vatican announced Saturday that Francis approved the expulsion from the priesthood for a former American cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, for sexual abuse of minors and adults.

But survivor advocates also have demanded that Francis say what he and other top Vatican officials knew about the prelate’s sexual wrongdoing, which spanned decades.

"You abuse a child, you have to be removed from the priesthood," Isely said. "If you cover up for abusing a child, you have to be removed from the priesthood, and this is the only thing that is going to turn the corner on this global crisis."

Another founding member of the group, Denise Buchanan, a native of Jamaica, said a priest raped and assaulted her when she was 17.

"That rape actually resulted in a pregnancy, and the priest arranged for an abortion," Buchanan said.

Veteran Vatican watcher Marco Politi told the AP he also sees the pope facing inside resistance.

"There is a struggle going on between the pope and his supporters who want a change, and a lot of people among the bishops and among the clergy who don’t want transparency and applying law and order in the abuse issue in the world," Politi said.

Some of Francis’ critics contend that as a product of the Catholic Church’s hierarchical culture, he, too, has been slow to recognize the hierarchy’s role in perpetuating abuse by pedophile priests.

Francis has tried to temper expectations for the summit, saying in January the "problem of abuse will continue" because "it’s a human problem." Isely of Ending Clergy Abuse said the bar should be high and the participants "have to deliver for survivors."

Source: Fox News World

Maduro alleges secret meetings with U.S. special envoy, invites him to Venezuela

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:31 AM PT — Friday, February 15, 2019

Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is inviting a U.S. special envoy to the country, following alleged “secret talks” with the U.S.

During an interview Thursday, Maduro claimed US. Special Envoy Elliott Abrams privately met with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in two separate meetings. He went on to allege the U.S. threatened military action and severe sanctions during the talks, however, his claims have not been confirmed.

Maduro said he would gladly meet with Abrams, and even said he hopes to meet with President Trump in the near future to discuss America’s recognition of Juan Guiado as Venezuela’s leader.

“I can tell you that we have had two meetings already with Mr. Elliott Abrams in New York, our Chancellor has met twice with Elliott Abrams — the first meeting lasted two hours, the second three hours, a few days ago,” claimed Maduro. “I invited Elliott Abrams to come to Venezuela in private, in public, in secret or if he wants to meet, let him say when, how, where, and I will be there.”

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

The embattled Venezuelan president continued by reaffirming he would not step down from power despite increasing pressure from across the globe.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Juan Guaido has said humanitarian aid will enter the country despite Maduro’s efforts to block it. At a rally this week, Guaido”said he will organize relief so supplies can be brought into the country next week.

Truck loads full of food and medicine arrived last week, but Maduro has continued to resist foreign efforts to help the country’s people who are suffering from rising hunger. More than two million people have fled Venezuela over the past two years due to soaring hyperinflation and severe food and medical shortages.

“Because the humanitarian crisis, the humanitarian aid…it’s not a box, it’s not a blister. It is a mother in Anzoategui who lost her baby boy to dehydration. It is a grandfather who can’t get his medicine. It is a mother who doesn’t have anything to give her son for lunch, and we say enough already, enough already.”

— Juan Guaido, self-proclaimed interim President – Venezuela

Venezuelans living in Colombia protest the government of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, and its blocking the entry of humanitarian aid in Cucuta, Colombia, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, on the border with Venezuela. The sign reads in Spanish “Urgent. The entry of humanitarian help is needed now. There are Venezuelans at risk of dying.” (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Source: OANN Top News

That didn’t Take Long… AG Sessions has resigned, and Rosenstein removed from overseeing the special counsel.   Democrats have planned Protests tomorrow. So tRusty Resist bot just told me they are protesting…. If you are a Republican who wants to keep tabs on these types of things…. use their own tools… if you are on […]

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