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Audio Post – German Verdict Due in Deadly Anti-Semitic Rampage

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A German court is to hand down its verdict Monday on a deadly far-right attack in Halle last year that nearly became the country’s worst anti-Semitic atrocity since World War II.

A bolted door at the eastern city’s synagogue with 52 worshippers inside marking Yad Vashem, the holiest day of the Jewish year, was the only thing that prevented a heavily armed assailant from carrying out a planned bloodbath, prosecutors say.

After failing to storm the temple on October 9, 2019, the attacker shot dead a female passer-by and a man at a kebab shop instead.

During his five-month trial, far-right defendant Stephan Balliet, 28, has denied the Holocaust in open court — a crime in Germany — and expressed no remorse to those targeted, many of whom are co-plaintiffs in the case.

“The attack on the synagogue in Halle was one of the most repulsive anti-Semitic acts since World War II,” prosecutor Kai Lohse told the court in the nearby eastern city of Magdeburg as the trial wrapped up.

The prosecution has demanded life in prison for Balliet. His defense team has asked presiding judge Ursula Mertens only for a “fair sentence.”

Lohse said Balliet had acted on the basis of a “racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic ideology” to carry out an attack against not only those he killed but “Jewish life in Germany as a whole.”

The events that unfolded were like a “nightmare,” he added.

“At the end of this nightmare, the perpetrator murdered two people and injured and traumatized numerous others.”

During the trial, Balliet insisted that “attacking the synagogue was not a mistake, they are my enemies.”

Dressed in military garb, he filmed the attack and broadcast it on the internet, prefacing it with a manifesto espousing his misogynist, neo-fascist ideology.

The attack bore some of the hallmarks of two carried out and similarly live-streamed some months earlier in Christchurch, New Zealand, by Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 people. Balliet cited Tarrant as an inspiration.

He has been charged with two counts of murder and multiple counts of attempted murder in a case that has deeply rattled the country and fueled fears about rising right-wing extremism and anti-Jewish violence, 75 years after the end of the Nazi era.

Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, called the attack “a very, very alarming moment in German history.”

“If that guy would have been able to get into a synagogue… it would have had a tremendous impact on German identity after the war and the fight against anti-Semitism,” he told AFP in an interview. 

“I hope and trust that the German court will do the right thing and make the right decision. Anti-Semitism is indeed a phenomenon that attacks the very democratic essence of Germany and I think that is the thing that is so important to protect.”

The government’s point man against anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, called the trial “a good opportunity to bring about debate in society about anti-Semitism.”

Crimes targeting Jews and their belief have risen steadily in Germany in recent years, with 2,032 offenses recorded in 2019, up 13% on the previous year.

Meanwhile a string of far-right terrorist attacks have shocked Germany, including the assassination of pro-refugee politician Walter Luebcke at his home in June 2019 and the murder in the western city of Hanau of nine people of migrant origin in February.

Baillet “described the fatal shots fired at his two victims in Halle without emotion” and appeared disappointed that he had failed in his attempt to enter the synagogue, psychiatrist Norbert Leygraf said of the defendant in an evaluation.

He said Balliet suffered from symptoms of schizophrenia, paranoia and autism preventing him from having “empathy with others” while feeling “superior to others.” 

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The Tip Of An Iceberg: Sexual Misconduct Within The FBI – By AP – December 10, 2020

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The Tip Of An Iceberg: Sexual Misconduct Within The FBI Is Exposed by AP!

Investigate The Investigators who are nothing more and nothing less than a bunch of psychopaths, perverts, and child abusers.

Abolish the FBI and put the criminal FBI agents in prison where they belong!

The present crisis in America is the direct result of the FBI stupidity, treacherous incompetence and malfeasance.

An AP investigation has identified at least six sexual misconduct allegations involving senior FBI officials over the past five years, including two new claims brought this week by women who say they were sexually assaulted by ranking agents. 

The Associated Press December 10, 2020

 

‘Under the rug:’ Sexual misconduct shakes FBI’s senior ranks

By JIM MUSTIAN

2 hours ago

A former FBI analyst, who asked to be identified only as Becky, poses for a photo, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. Becky alleges in a new federal lawsuit that an FBI supervisory special agent licked her face and groped her at a colleague’s farewell party in 2017. She ended up leaving the FBI and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
WASHINGTON (AP) — An assistant FBI director retired after he was accused of drunkenly groping a female subordinate in a stairwell. Another senior FBI official left after he was found to have sexually harassed eight employees. Yet another high-ranking FBI agent retired after he was accused of blackmailing a young employee into sexual encounters.

An Associated Press investigation has identified at least six sexual misconduct allegations involving senior FBI officials over the past five years, including two new claims brought this week by women who say they were sexually assaulted by ranking agents.

Each of the accused FBI officials appears to have avoided discipline, the AP found, and several were quietly transferred or retired, keeping their full pensions and benefits even when probes substantiated the sexual misconduct claims against them.

Beyond that, federal law enforcement officials are afforded anonymity even after the disciplinary process runs its course, allowing them to land on their feet in the private sector or even remain in law enforcement.

“They’re sweeping it under the rug,” said a former FBI analyst who alleges in a new federal lawsuit that a supervisory special agent licked her face and groped her at a colleague’s farewell party in 2017. She ended up leaving the FBI and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“As the premier law enforcement organization that the FBI holds itself out to be, it’s very disheartening when they allow people they know are criminals to retire and pursue careers in law enforcement-related fields,” said the woman, who asked to be identified in this story only by her first name, Becky.

The AP’s count does not include the growing number of high-level FBI supervisors who have failed to report romantic relationships with subordinates in recent years — a pattern that has alarmed investigators with the Office of Inspector General and raised questions about bureau policy.

The recurring sexual misconduct has drawn the attention of Congress and advocacy groups, which have called for whistleblower protections for rank-and-file FBI employees and for an outside entity to review the bureau’s disciplinary cases.

“They need a #MeToo moment,” said U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat who has been critical of the treatment of women in the male-dominated FBI.

“It’s repugnant, and it underscores the fact that the FBI and many of our institutions are still good ol’-boy networks,” Speier said. “It doesn’t surprise me that, in terms of sexual assault and sexual harassment, they are still in the Dark Ages.”

In a statement, the FBI said it “maintains a zero-tolerance policy toward sexual harassment” and that claims against supervisors have resulted in them being removed from their positions while cases are investigated and adjudicated.

It added that severe cases can result in criminal charges and that the FBI’s internal disciplinary process assesses, among other factors, “the credibility of the allegations, the severity of the conduct, and the rank and position of the individuals involved.”

The AP review of court records, Office of Inspector General reports and interviews with federal law enforcement officials identified at least six allegations against senior officials, including an assistant director and special agents in charge of entire field offices, that ranged from unwanted touching and sexual advances to coercion.

None appears to have been disciplined, but another sexual misconduct allegation identified in the AP review of a rank-and-file agent resulted in him losing his security clearance.

The FBI, with more than 35,000 employees, keeps a notoriously tight lid on such allegations. The last time the Office of Inspector General did an extensive probe of sexual misconduct within the FBI, it tallied 343 “offenses” from fiscal years 2009 to 2012, including three instances of “videotaping undressed women without consent.”

The latest claims come months after a 17th woman joined a federal lawsuit alleging systemic sexual harassment at the FBI’s training academy in Quantico, Virginia. That class-action case claims male FBI instructors made “sexually charged” comments about women needing to “take their birth control to control their moods,” inviting women trainees over to their homes and openly disparaging them.

In one of the new lawsuits filed Wednesday, a former FBI employee identified only as “Jane Doe” alleged a special agent in charge in 2016 retired without discipline and opened a law firm even after he “imprisoned, tortured, harassed, blackmailed, stalked and manipulated” her into having several “non-consensual sexual encounters,” including one in which he forced himself on her in a car. The AP is withholding the name and location of the accused special agent to protect the woman’s identity.

“It is the policy and practice of the FBI and its OIG to allow senior executives accused of sexual assault to quietly retire with full benefits without prosecution,” the woman’s attorney, David J. Shaffer, alleges in the lawsuit.

One such case involved Roger C. Stanton, who before his abrupt retirement served as assistant director of the Insider Threat Office, a division at Washington headquarters tasked with rooting out leakers and safeguarding national security information.

According to an Inspector General’s report concluded this year and obtained by AP through a public records request, Stanton was accused of drunkenly driving a female subordinate home following an after-work happy hour. The woman told investigators that once inside a stairwell of her apartment building, Stanton wrapped his arm around her waist and “moved his hand down onto her bottom” before she was able to get away and hustle up the stairs.

After Stanton left, he called the woman 15 times on her FBI phone and sent her what investigators described as “garbled text” complaining that he could not find his vehicle. The heavily redacted report does not say when the incident happened.

Stanton disputed the woman’s account and told investigators he “did not intend to do anything” and only placed his arm around her because of the “narrowness” of the stairs. But Stanton acknowledged he was “very embarrassed by this event” and “assistant directors should not be putting themselves in these situations.”

Stanton retired in late 2018 after the investigation determined he sexually harassed the woman and sought an improper relationship. He did not respond to requests for comment from AP.

Earlier this year, the Inspector General found that the special agent in charge of the Albany, New York, office, James N. Hendricks, sexually harassed eight subordinates at the FBI.

Hendricks also was not named in the OIG report despite its findings. He was first identified in September by the Albany Times Union. One current and one former colleague of Hendricks confirmed his role in the case to AP.

Hendricks now writes a law enforcement blog in which he touts his FBI accolades but makes no mention of the misconduct allegations. He did not respond to requests for comment.

Becky, the former analyst, told AP she once believed FBI’s “organizational values and mission aligned with how I was raised.” But she was disabused of that notion after reporting to management that Charles Dick, a supervisory special agent at the FBI Training Academy at the time, sexually assaulted her at a farewell party.

Becky told AP her assailant had threatened her at least two times before. “Once while we were waiting for the director he said, ‘I’m going to touch your ass. You know it’s going to happen.’”

“His boorish behavior was well known,” she added. “He was getting away with everything.”

In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, Becky accused the former agent of wrapping his arm around her chest while posing for a photograph and “reaching under her and simulating” penetration of her “with his fingers through her jeans.”

Dick denied the charges and was acquitted in state court in Virginia by a judge who ruled it “wholly incredible” that Becky would “stand there and take it and not say anything,” according to a transcript of the proceeding. Dick retired from the FBI months before the Inspector General followed up on Becky’s internal complaint, Becky alleged in her lawsuit, adding she faced retaliation for coming forward.

“It’s much easier to suffer in isolation than it is to go public,” she told AP. “But if I don’t report it, I’m complicit in the cultural and institutionalized cover-up of this sort of behavior.”

___

AP reporter Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

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Just Security: Early Edition: December 9, 2020 – Audio Review

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Just Security: Early Edition: December 9, 2020

A curated guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news 

US DEVELOPMENTS

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the DC District Court yesterday dismissed the criminal case against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security advisor, following a three-year long legal case and Trump’s recent pardon of Flynn. However, Sullivan, in his 43-page opinion, did criticize Trump’s pardon for being “extraordinarily broad,” making clear that a “pardon does not necessarily render ‘innocent’ a defendant of any alleged violation of the law … Indeed, the Supreme Court has recognized that the acceptance of a pardon implies a ‘confession’ of guilt.” Sullivan also took issue with the Justice Department’s earlier decision to drop its case against Flynn, stating that it was a pretext and was not in line with legal standards. Katelyn Polantz reports for CNN.

Over a dozen Army officials have been fired or suspended as part of a sweeping internal review into the culture at a military base in Fort Hood, TX, which revealed “major flaws” and a leadership climate which allowed for a string of violent deaths, suicides and sexual harassment and assault, said Ryan D. McCarthy, the secretary of the Army. The report released yesterday stated: “Unfortunately, a ‘business as usual’ approach was taken by Fort Hood leadership causing female soldiers, particularly, in the combat brigades, to slip into survival mode,” adding that they were “vulnerable and preyed upon, but fearful to report and be ostracized and re-victimized.” McCarthy ordered the firing or suspension of 14 officials, including high-ranking leaders, and stated that “this report, without a doubt, will cause the Army to change our culture.” Sarah Mervosh and John Ismay report for the New York Times.

The House yesterday approved the annual defense policy bill  the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)  in a 335-78 vote, despite Trump’s repeated veto threats unless lawmakers repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a legal shield for internet and social media companies. The vote numbers from yesterday were over the two-thirds needed to override Trump’s veto, although some Republicans may change their vote if it comes down to a showdown between Congress and Trump. The Senate is expected to vote next, and then the measure will be sent to Trump’s desk. Rebecca Kheel reports for The Hill.

US-based FireEye Inc., one of the world’s largest cybersecurity firms, was hacked by the same Russian hackers that infiltrated the White House and State Department several years ago and recently attempted to steal coronavirus vaccine research, according to people familiar with the matter speaking on the condition of anonymity. Apparently, FireEye detected the breach in recent weeks, but disclosed it yesterday, which saw sensitive hacking tools stolen which the company uses to detect weaknesses in customers’ computer systems and which the company fear could ultimately be used against customers. FireEye said the hackers were primarily concerned with hacking information related to certain government customers; the FBI is currently investigating the matter and “preliminary indications show an actor with a high level of sophistication consistent with a nation-state,” said Matt Gorham, assistant director of the bureau’s cyber division. Ellen Nakashima and Joseph Marks reports for the Washington Post.

The interim director at Voice of America (VOA) was pushed out from his post by Trump appointee Michael Pack, CEO of US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which oversees VOA, in what some have said was a move aimed at asserting greater control and authority over the broadcasting network’s editorial operations. The move follows US judge Beryl Howell order which instructed Pack and his team to stop investigating or interfering with journalists at VOA and its sister networks. “But Biberaj’s departure appears to be an end run around that order, opening the way for Pack to appoint his own executive at VOA. People at VOA said Tuesday that the leading candidate is Robert R. Reilly, a former VOA director who is currently the director of the Westminster Institute, a think tank in McLean, Va. that focuses on “threats from extremism and radical ideologies.” Reilly, 74, has worked at the conservative Heritage Foundation and served as a White House aide during President Reagan’s first term,” reports Paul Farhi for the Washington Post.

Trump’s nomination of Nathan Simington to the five-member Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was yesterday approved by the Senate in a 49-46 vote. Ryan Tracy reports for the Wall Street Journal.

PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN’S TRANSITION TO POWER

President-elect Joe Biden yesterday officially named retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as his nominee to be secretary of Defense, although Austin leading the Pentagon has raised concerns about the nation’s long-standing tradition of civilian control of the military, which requires at least seven years out of uniform before becoming eligible for the role — Austin only has four years out of service, retiring in 2016, and so would require a legal waiver from Congress. Whether Austin will receive the necessary waiver has ignited much debate between lawmakers, with both the Senate and the House needing to approve the waiver, but only the Senate responsible for confirming the nomination. Jennifer Steinhauer, Eric Schmitt and Luke Broadwater report for the New York Times.

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said yesterday that she will oppose granting a waiver to Austin: “I have great respect for Gen. Austin. His career has been exemplary, and I look forward to meeting him and talking to him more, but I opposed a waiver for Gen. [James] Mattis, and I will oppose a waiver for Gen. Austin,” Warren told reporters. Jordain Carney reports for The Hill.

A number of other Democrats have indicated that they may oppose granting a legal waiver to Austin. “I have the deepest respect and admiration for Gen. Austin, and his nomination is exciting and historic. But I believe that a waiver of the seven-year rule would contravene the basic principle that there should be civilian control over a nonpolitical military,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CO), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I didn’t for Mattis, so I probably wouldn’t for him,” Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said. Andrew Desiderio and Connor O’Brien report for POLITICO.

“Questions swirl over Austin’s limited experience,” which will see a barrage of probing questions related to global challenges pointed at him during his Senate confirmation. Bryan Bender and Lara Seligman report for POLITICO.

Biden has nominated Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) as his secretary of housing and urban development, and chosen Tom Vilsack, who served as the secretary of agriculture under former President Barack Obama, to lead that department again, people familiar with both picks confirmed. Annie Linskey, Matt Viser and Seung Min Kim report for the Washington Post.

Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) is the leading contender to be chosen for attorney general by Biden, three sources familiar with the discussions told NBC News. Mike Memoli, Carol E. Lee, Kristen Welker and Sahil Kapur report for NBC News.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who has been considered as a top contender for multiple positions in the Biden administration, told Reuters that he would not join the Cabinet.  

The Supreme Court yesterday rejected an attempt by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and two other Republican House candidates to have Biden’s victory in the state overturned, a one-sentence order by the justices revealed. Kelly’s challenge argued that legislation introduced last year in Pennsylvania which allowed for no-excuse, mail-in voting violated the state constitution and therefore the vote result should be invalidated. Josh Gerstein, Zach Montellaro and Kyle Cheney report for POLITICO.

US-RELATIONS

The Treasury Department has said that no sanctions will be placed on foreign banks that process payments for humanitarian aid to Iran, a move following a European appeal for leniency. John O’Donnell reports for Reuters.

The Treasury Department has also confirmed that terrorism sanctions have been placed on Iran’s envoy to Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebel group, Hasan Irlu, for his support of the group. Arshad Mohammed reports for Reuters.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for Iran to respond to concerns about the country’s nuclear and ballistic missiles program and urged them to return to a “full implementation” of the 2015 nuclear deal. AP reporting.

The US has sanctioned six companies, some based in China, and four ships over alleged illicit exports of North Korean coal, the Treasury Department said yesterday. Reuters reporting.

A dual US-Saudi citizen, Walid Fitaihi, was yesterday sentenced to six years in prison in Saudi Arabia on charges of illegally obtaining US citizenship, a person close to his family said. Kareem Fahim reports for the Washington Post.

CORONAVIRUS

The novel coronavirus has infected over 15.17 million and now killed over 286,300 people in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there have been over 68.36 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 1.559 million deaths. Sergio Hernandez, Sean O’Key, Amanda Watts, Byron Manley and Henrik Pettersson report for CNN.

The White House has made an offer to Democrats of $916 billion for the highly disputed coronavirus relief package, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced yesterday, marking progress in negotiations that have since the election moved at a glacial pace. The bill offers provisions of aid for hard-hit state and local governments, which Democrats have long called for, and liability protections for businesses, which has been a top priority for Republicans. Mnuchin also proposed that lawmakers approve another round of stimulus checks worth $600 per person and $600 per child, according to people familiar with the discussion. Andrew Duehren and Kristina Peterson report for the Wall Street Journal.

A map and analysis of all confirmed cases of the virus in the US is available at the New York Times.

US and worldwide maps tracking the spread of the pandemic are available at the Washington Post.

A state-by-state guide to lockdown measures and reopenings is provided by the New York Times.

Latest updates on the pandemic at The Guardian.

The post Early Edition: December 9, 2020 appeared first on Just Security.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): Just Security: Early Edition: December 9, 2020

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Signup to receive the Early Edition in your inbox here.

A curated guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news 

US DEVELOPMENTS

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the DC District Court yesterday dismissed the criminal case against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security advisor, following a three-year long legal case and Trump’s recent pardon of Flynn. However, Sullivan, in his 43-page opinion, did criticize Trump’s pardon for being “extraordinarily broad,” making clear that a “pardon does not necessarily render ‘innocent’ a defendant of any alleged violation of the law … Indeed, the Supreme Court has recognized that the acceptance of a pardon implies a ‘confession’ of guilt.” Sullivan also took issue with the Justice Department’s earlier decision to drop its case against Flynn, stating that it was a pretext and was not in line with legal standards. Katelyn Polantz reports for CNN.

Over a dozen Army officials have been fired or suspended as part of a sweeping internal review into the culture at a military base in Fort Hood, TX, which revealed “major flaws” and a leadership climate which allowed for a string of violent deaths, suicides and sexual harassment and assault, said Ryan D. McCarthy, the secretary of the Army. The report released yesterday stated: “Unfortunately, a ‘business as usual’ approach was taken by Fort Hood leadership causing female soldiers, particularly, in the combat brigades, to slip into survival mode,” adding that they were “vulnerable and preyed upon, but fearful to report and be ostracized and re-victimized.” McCarthy ordered the firing or suspension of 14 officials, including high-ranking leaders, and stated that “this report, without a doubt, will cause the Army to change our culture.” Sarah Mervosh and John Ismay report for the New York Times.

The House yesterday approved the annual defense policy bill  the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)  in a 335-78 vote, despite Trump’s repeated veto threats unless lawmakers repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a legal shield for internet and social media companies. The vote numbers from yesterday were over the two-thirds needed to override Trump’s veto, although some Republicans may change their vote if it comes down to a showdown between Congress and Trump. The Senate is expected to vote next, and then the measure will be sent to Trump’s desk. Rebecca Kheel reports for The Hill.

US-based FireEye Inc., one of the world’s largest cybersecurity firms, was hacked by the same Russian hackers that infiltrated the White House and State Department several years ago and recently attempted to steal coronavirus vaccine research, according to people familiar with the matter speaking on the condition of anonymity. Apparently, FireEye detected the breach in recent weeks, but disclosed it yesterday, which saw sensitive hacking tools stolen which the company uses to detect weaknesses in customers’ computer systems and which the company fear could ultimately be used against customers. FireEye said the hackers were primarily concerned with hacking information related to certain government customers; the FBI is currently investigating the matter and “preliminary indications show an actor with a high level of sophistication consistent with a nation-state,” said Matt Gorham, assistant director of the bureau’s cyber division. Ellen Nakashima and Joseph Marks reports for the Washington Post.

The interim director at Voice of America (VOA) was pushed out from his post by Trump appointee Michael Pack, CEO of US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which oversees VOA, in what some have said was a move aimed at asserting greater control and authority over the broadcasting network’s editorial operations. The move follows US judge Beryl Howell order which instructed Pack and his team to stop investigating or interfering with journalists at VOA and its sister networks. “But Biberaj’s departure appears to be an end run around that order, opening the way for Pack to appoint his own executive at VOA. People at VOA said Tuesday that the leading candidate is Robert R. Reilly, a former VOA director who is currently the director of the Westminster Institute, a think tank in McLean, Va. that focuses on “threats from extremism and radical ideologies.” Reilly, 74, has worked at the conservative Heritage Foundation and served as a White House aide during President Reagan’s first term,” reports Paul Farhi for the Washington Post.

Trump’s nomination of Nathan Simington to the five-member Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was yesterday approved by the Senate in a 49-46 vote. Ryan Tracy reports for the Wall Street Journal.

PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN’S TRANSITION TO POWER

President-elect Joe Biden yesterday officially named retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as his nominee to be secretary of Defense, although Austin leading the Pentagon has raised concerns about the nation’s long-standing tradition of civilian control of the military, which requires at least seven years out of uniform before becoming eligible for the role — Austin only has four years out of service, retiring in 2016, and so would require a legal waiver from Congress. Whether Austin will receive the necessary waiver has ignited much debate between lawmakers, with both the Senate and the House needing to approve the waiver, but only the Senate responsible for confirming the nomination. Jennifer Steinhauer, Eric Schmitt and Luke Broadwater report for the New York Times.

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said yesterday that she will oppose granting a waiver to Austin: “I have great respect for Gen. Austin. His career has been exemplary, and I look forward to meeting him and talking to him more, but I opposed a waiver for Gen. [James] Mattis, and I will oppose a waiver for Gen. Austin,” Warren told reporters. Jordain Carney reports for The Hill.

A number of other Democrats have indicated that they may oppose granting a legal waiver to Austin. “I have the deepest respect and admiration for Gen. Austin, and his nomination is exciting and historic. But I believe that a waiver of the seven-year rule would contravene the basic principle that there should be civilian control over a nonpolitical military,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CO), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I didn’t for Mattis, so I probably wouldn’t for him,” Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said. Andrew Desiderio and Connor O’Brien report for POLITICO.

“Questions swirl over Austin’s limited experience,” which will see a barrage of probing questions related to global challenges pointed at him during his Senate confirmation. Bryan Bender and Lara Seligman report for POLITICO.

Biden has nominated Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) as his secretary of housing and urban development, and chosen Tom Vilsack, who served as the secretary of agriculture under former President Barack Obama, to lead that department again, people familiar with both picks confirmed. Annie Linskey, Matt Viser and Seung Min Kim report for the Washington Post.

Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) is the leading contender to be chosen for attorney general by Biden, three sources familiar with the discussions told NBC News. Mike Memoli, Carol E. Lee, Kristen Welker and Sahil Kapur report for NBC News.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who has been considered as a top contender for multiple positions in the Biden administration, told Reuters that he would not join the Cabinet.  

The Supreme Court yesterday rejected an attempt by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and two other Republican House candidates to have Biden’s victory in the state overturned, a one-sentence order by the justices revealed. Kelly’s challenge argued that legislation introduced last year in Pennsylvania which allowed for no-excuse, mail-in voting violated the state constitution and therefore the vote result should be invalidated. Josh Gerstein, Zach Montellaro and Kyle Cheney report for POLITICO.

US-RELATIONS

The Treasury Department has said that no sanctions will be placed on foreign banks that process payments for humanitarian aid to Iran, a move following a European appeal for leniency. John O’Donnell reports for Reuters.

The Treasury Department has also confirmed that terrorism sanctions have been placed on Iran’s envoy to Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebel group, Hasan Irlu, for his support of the group. Arshad Mohammed reports for Reuters.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for Iran to respond to concerns about the country’s nuclear and ballistic missiles program and urged them to return to a “full implementation” of the 2015 nuclear deal. AP reporting.

The US has sanctioned six companies, some based in China, and four ships over alleged illicit exports of North Korean coal, the Treasury Department said yesterday. Reuters reporting.

A dual US-Saudi citizen, Walid Fitaihi, was yesterday sentenced to six years in prison in Saudi Arabia on charges of illegally obtaining US citizenship, a person close to his family said. Kareem Fahim reports for the Washington Post.

CORONAVIRUS

The novel coronavirus has infected over 15.17 million and now killed over 286,300 people in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there have been over 68.36 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 1.559 million deaths. Sergio Hernandez, Sean O’Key, Amanda Watts, Byron Manley and Henrik Pettersson report for CNN.

The White House has made an offer to Democrats of $916 billion for the highly disputed coronavirus relief package, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced yesterday, marking progress in negotiations that have since the election moved at a glacial pace. The bill offers provisions of aid for hard-hit state and local governments, which Democrats have long called for, and liability protections for businesses, which has been a top priority for Republicans. Mnuchin also proposed that lawmakers approve another round of stimulus checks worth $600 per person and $600 per child, according to people familiar with the discussion. Andrew Duehren and Kristina Peterson report for the Wall Street Journal.

A map and analysis of all confirmed cases of the virus in the US is available at the New York Times.

US and worldwide maps tracking the spread of the pandemic are available at the Washington Post.

A state-by-state guide to lockdown measures and reopenings is provided by the New York Times.

Latest updates on the pandemic at The Guardian.

The post Early Edition: December 9, 2020 appeared first on Just Security.

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Mike Nova’s articles on Inoreader
Prosecutors seek lengthy prison terms for Charlie Hebdo accomplices
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:24:16 +0000
French prosecutors seek 5 years to life in prison for 14 suspected accomplices of the Charlie Hebdo attackers.
Protesters block traffic in Armenia demanding PM to resign
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:45 +0000
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Dozens of protesters took to the streets of the Armenian capital Tuesday, demanding the resignation of the countrys prime minister over his handling of the conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh

FOX News: Kyle Rittenhouses mom says teen gunman was helping people in Kenosha
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
Teen gunman Kyle Rittenhouses mom claimed Sunday he was helping people during the unrest in Kenosha, Wis., where he fatally shot two protesters.

Wendy-Rittenhouse.jpg

Wendy-Rittenhouse.jpg

22789FOX News

World: Protesters block traffic in Armenia demanding PM to resign
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
Dozens of protesters took to the streets of the Armenian capital Tuesday, demanding the resignation of the countrys prime minister over his handling of the conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh

37100World

FOX News: Mount Everest has grown taller
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
China and Nepal jointly announced a new official height for Mount Everest on Tuesday, ending a discrepancy between the two nations.

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AP20343322653667.jpg

22789FOX News

FOX News: Invasive lizards are threatening wildlife in Georgia, officials say
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
Georgia wildlife officials are trying to eradicate an invasive lizard that consumes the unhatched eggs of a number of local animals.

Argentine-black-and-white-tegu_Stan-Kirk

Argentine-black-and-white-tegu_Stan-Kirk

22789FOX News

World: Emirati investor acquires half of Israeli soccer club known for anti-Arab fan base
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
The deal is on the latest in a series of deals between Israel and the UAE since a normalization agreement was signed.

37100World

FOX News: Rare WWII Nazi Enigma machine, used to send secret messages, discovered
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
Experts have uncovered a rare artifact from World War II  an Enigma machine used by the Nazis to prevent the Allies from learning their secrets.

GettyImages-The-Enigma-cipher.jpg

GettyImages-The-Enigma-cipher.jpg

22789FOX News

FOX News: Rep. Jim Banks: GOP is only party to tackle our national debt Dems don’t have the guts to try
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
Yes, Republicans and Democrats have both contributed to the problem of our national debt and deficit. But no, the blame is not evenly shared.

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22789FOX News

FOX News: Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean’s Instagram account hacked
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean’s Instagram account was hacked on Tuesday, along with Formula 2 driver Christian Lundegaard.

070516-motor-romain-grosjean.vresiz-3791

070516-motor-romain-grosjean.vresiz-3791

22789FOX News

FOX News: Black vultures terrorizing Pennsylvania town
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
Scores of pesky black vultures are ruling the roost in one unlucky Pennsylvania town harassing residents, wrecking homes and coating entire trees with their droppings.

iStock-vulture.jpg

iStock-vulture.jpg

22789FOX News

FOX News: Critical fire danger continues for Southern California
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
Another day of critical fire danger for southern California with strong winds, dry conditions and warm temperatures fueling the conditions for spreading and starting wildfires.

Dean-WeatherGraphic-Dec820.jpg

Dean-WeatherGraphic-Dec820.jpg

22789FOX News

World: Impatience rises as aid still blocked to Ethiopias Tigray
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
Impatience is rising as humanitarian officials say they still dont have access to Ethiopias embattled Tigray region more than a week after Ethiopias government and the United Nations signed a deal to allow in desperately needed food and other aid

37100World

FOX News: Brexit negotiations at a stalemate as Britain, EU free-trade deal teetering on collapse
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
Britain and the European Union warned Tuesday that talks on a post-Brexit free-trade deal are teetering on the brink of collapse, with just over three weeks until an economic rupture that will cause upheaval for businesses on both sides of the English Channel.

AP20342572066871.jpg

AP20342572066871.jpg

22789FOX News

Deutsche Welle from Michael_Novakhov (6 sites): Deutsche Welle: COVID-19 trims down India’s grand weddings
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
The pandemic might have put a damper on weddings but certainly not on romance. Instead of weddings with hundreds of guests, many couples are choosing more intimate ceremonies and postponing the big party until 2022.

122437Deutsche Welle

6841512Deutsche Welle from Michael_Novakhov (6 sites)

FOX News: Millions of smart devices vulnerable to hacking: research
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000
BOSTON (AP) Researchers at a cybersecurity firm say they have identified vulnerabilities in software widely used by millions of connected devices flaws that could be exploited by hackers to penetrate business and home computer networks and disrupt them.

AP20343136240219-e1607430801721.jpg

AP20343136240219-e1607430801721.jpg

22789FOX News

Upstract | Syndicated: Why Hot I.P.O.s Arent Always a Golden Ticket for Investors: Live Business Updates
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:32 +0000

221007Upstract | Syndicated

“John Bolton” – Google News: All-region teams: East Cowetas Bolton named top player in 2-7A – Atlanta Journal Constitution
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:27 +0000
All-region teams: East Cowetas Bolton named top player in 2-7A  Atlanta Journal Constitution

7209072“John Bolton” – Google News

Stocks making the biggest moves in the premarket: Stitch Fix, Tesla, Palantir, Coupa Software & more – CNBC
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:23 +0000

  1. Stocks making the biggest moves in the premarket: Stitch Fix, Tesla, Palantir, Coupa Software & more  CNBC
  2. Stitch Fix, Tesla, and the Perils of Short Selling  Barron’s
  3. Stitch Fix Hires New Finance Chief From Amazon  The Wall Street Journal
  4. Stitch Fix shares skyrocket more than 30% on earnings beat, upbeat outlook  CNBC
  5. Stitch Fix Scores in Stay-at-Home World  WWD
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News
Natalie Desselle-Reid, “Madea’s Big Happy Family” actress, dead at 53 from colon cancer – CBS News
Tue, 08 Dec 2020 13:23:23 +0000

  1. Natalie Desselle-Reid, “Madea’s Big Happy Family” actress, dead at 53 from colon cancer  CBS News
  2. Natalie Desselle Reid, ‘Madea’s Big Happy Family’ actress, dead at 53  CNN
  3. Actress Natalie Desselle-Reid, Known for Cinderella and B.A.P.S., Dies at 53  PEOPLE
  4. Beloved B*A*P*S Co-Star Natalie Desselle-Reid Dead at 53 [Updated]  Yahoo Lifestyle
  5. ‘B.A.P.S.’ & ‘Madea’ Star Natalie Desselle-Reid Dead at 53 from Colon Cancer  TMZ
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News
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Headlines

 

Mike Nova’s articles on Inoreader
Prosecutors seek lengthy prison terms for Charlie Hebdo accomplices
Protesters block traffic in Armenia demanding PM to resign
FOX News: Kyle Rittenhouses mom says teen gunman was helping people in Kenosha
World: Protesters block traffic in Armenia demanding PM to resign
FOX News: Mount Everest has grown taller
FOX News: Invasive lizards are threatening wildlife in Georgia, officials say
World: Emirati investor acquires half of Israeli soccer club known for anti-Arab fan base
FOX News: Rare WWII Nazi Enigma machine, used to send secret messages, discovered
FOX News: Rep. Jim Banks: GOP is only party to tackle our national debt Dems don’t have the guts to try
FOX News: Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean’s Instagram account hacked
FOX News: Black vultures terrorizing Pennsylvania town
FOX News: Critical fire danger continues for Southern California
World: Impatience rises as aid still blocked to Ethiopias Tigray
FOX News: Brexit negotiations at a stalemate as Britain, EU free-trade deal teetering on collapse
Deutsche Welle from Michael_Novakhov (6 sites): Deutsche Welle: COVID-19 trims down India’s grand weddings
FOX News: Millions of smart devices vulnerable to hacking: research
Upstract | Syndicated: Why Hot I.P.O.s Arent Always a Golden Ticket for Investors: Live Business Updates
“John Bolton” – Google News: All-region teams: East Cowetas Bolton named top player in 2-7A – Atlanta Journal Constitution
Stocks making the biggest moves in the premarket: Stitch Fix, Tesla, Palantir, Coupa Software & more – CNBC
Natalie Desselle-Reid, “Madea’s Big Happy Family” actress, dead at 53 from colon cancer – CBS News

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