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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 05:15 PM
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NATO officials say they were briefed on Russian bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan

Source: Business Insider

Three NATO officials say they had been briefed on intelligence that Russian operatives were secretly offering cash bounties to Taliban-linked militants for US casualties in Afghanistan — as President Donald Trump claimed he was not, and dismissed news reports on the intelligence as a "possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax."

The revelation that US intelligence had briefed the White House on the Taliban bounties had been a closely-held secret for several months, until US officials began briefing UK and other European allies last week.


However, three NATO military officials told Insider on Monday they had been briefed by US intelligence of the potential threat, with two of them saying they were given the briefing about one week ago. None of the three officials have permission to be named in the press, but their identities are known to Insider.

"We were briefed {by the Americans} on a potential threat to our troops in Afghanistan from operatives potentially linked to the Russian intelligence services," one NATO military intelligence official told Insider on Monday.

Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-bounty-us-soldiers-afghanistan-nato-officials-briefed-trump-denies-2020-6

Report: 2 fallen Marines with York ties identified as potential victims of Russian bounties

Source: York Daily Record

U.S. officials are investigating whether an attack that killed three Marines in Afghanistan in 2019, including York County native Benjamin Hines, was related to Russian bounties, according to a Delaware Online report.

Sgt. Hines was killed alongside Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman and Cpl. Robert Hendriks in April 2019 when a car rigged with explosives was detonated by their vehicles as they returned to the military base Bagram Airfield. They were infantrymen assigned to 2nd Battalion, 25th Marines, a reserve infantry unit headquartered out of Garden City, New York

According to the report, investigators are now looking into whether the attack was connected to bounties Russia was secretly offering the Taliban for American deaths. Top White House officials were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence about the bounties, a full year earlier than has been previously reported, according to U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence.

Read more: https://www.ydr.com/story/news/2020/06/30/bounty-russia-afghanistan-soldiers-benjamin-hines-marines-killed/3285290001/

Washington state to require face masks after county runs out of hospital beds

Source: CBS News

A county in Washington state has run out of hospital beds because of a recent spike in coronavirus cases — and now, Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the entire state is going to take a more aggressive approach to handling the pandemic. Everyone in the state, minus a few exceptions, will now have to wear a face mask, and will be charged with a misdemeanor crime if they fail to do so.

In a Tuesday press conference, Inslee said the state is experiencing an "uptick" in COVID-19 activity, and that to stop it, the state needs to "remain vigilant and diligent and resourceful."

"The number of people that one person infects is now going up," Inslee said, adding that every coronavirus-infected individual in the state is potentially infecting around three other people.

As of Tuesday evening, there are 28,870 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington, and more than 4,000 hospitalizations, according to the state's Department of Health. Yakima County, which sits just southeast of Seattle, has the second highest numbers in the state — and said it has run out of hospital beds to help battle the virus.

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/washington-state-require-face-mask-hospital-beds-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR3mzqMH0eyidoceuIjXogRdDiB6M_aIYyRbwoHBgXAMRmMU8_564kWZmZ4

Trump: 'With smaller testing we would show fewer cases'

Source: The Hill

President Trump asserted Tuesday that the United States would record fewer cases of the novel coronavirus with less testing after stirring controversy by saying over the weekend he asked aides to slow down testing.

“Cases are going up in the U.S. because we are testing far more than any other country, and ever expanding. With smaller testing we would show fewer cases!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.

Trump has been scrutinized for saying at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., on Saturday that testing was a “double-edged sword” and that he told his staff to “slow the testing down, please.” The White House has said the comment was meant as a joke.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/504026-trump-with-smaller-testing-we-would-show-fewer-cases

stable genius indeed...

Trump Releases Ad Claiming Osama Bin Laden 'Endorsed' Biden

TOPLINE President Trump appeared on his son Donald Trump Jr.’s podcast ‘Triggered’ on Thursday, where he released an ad claiming Osama Bin Laden “endorsed” Joe Biden, predicted Democrats would work with him if wins a second term, and said there would be “tremendous bedlam” if Biden wins in November.

Asked about reports that documents seized in a raid on Bin Laden’s compound revealed a plan to assassinate former President Obama to install Biden as president, which Obama officials said was never a serious threat, Trump said “we’re going to immediately make a commercial out of that if that’s true.”

Trump Jr. then unveiled an ad as a “Father’s Day present,” approved by Trump, which claimed Biden was “endorsed” by Bin Laden and called Biden “China’s candidate, Iran’s candidate and Osama’s candidate.”


Trump Claims 'Nobody Had Ever Heard Of' Juneteenth Before He Made It 'Very Famous'

Source: Forbes

President Trump took credit for popularizing Juneteenth in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, stating that no one had ever heard of the June 19 holiday commemorating the emancipation of black slaves in the U.S. before he scheduled a political rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on that day, claiming, "I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous."


In Wednesday's WSJ interview, Trump said a black Secret Service agent told him the meaning of Juneteenth when the president initially faced criticism following his announcement of the rally.


Speaking of Juneteenth, Trump told the WSJ, "It's actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it."

The Trump administration has put out statements on Juneteenth in each of his first three years in office.

"Oh really? We put out a statement? The Trump White House put out a statement?" Trump said when informed of this fact. "Ok, ok. Good."

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommybeer/2020/06/18/trump-claims-nobody-had-ever-heard-of-juneteenth-before-he-made-it-very-famous/#1e975886133e

Schiff blasts Bolton for not testifying after release of excerpts

Source: The Hill

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said former White House national security adviser John Bolton “may be an author, but he’s no patriot” after excerpts from his book claims that House Democrats committed “impeachment malpractice” in limiting their inquiry to Ukraine.

“Bolton’s staff were asked to testify before the House to Trump’s abuses, and did. They had a lot to lose and showed real courage,” Schiff tweeted. “When Bolton was asked, he refused, and said he’d sue if subpoenaed. Instead, he saved it for a book.”

“Bolton may be an author, but he’s no patriot," the House Intelligence Committee chairman and manager of the House impeachment effort concluded.

An early copy of the book, which is set to release next Tuesday, was obtained by the New York Times and the Washington Post, who published excerpts on Wednesday.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/house/503264-schiff-blasts-bolton-for-not-testifying-after-release-of-excerpts

75-Year-Old NY Protester Fractured Skull in Cop Shove, Can't Walk: Lawyer

Source: NBC NY

A 75-year-old protester who struck his head on pavement after being shoved by police remained hospitalized Tuesday with a fractured skull, his attorney said.

Martin Gugino's lawyer has told media outlets in recent days that he had not yet been able to walk. Attorney Kelly Zarcone said in an email Tuesday there was no change in his condition and that she expects only gradual improvement.


President Donald Trump soon after claimed on Twitter, without evidence, that the elderly protester "could be an ANTIFA provocateur" involved in a possible setup. The president's tweet was widely criticized and the accusations were dismissed by Zarcone as "utterly baseless and ridiculous."

The bogus theory has its roots on an anonymous blog, NBC News reported.

Read more: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/buffalo-protester-shoved-to-ground-has-skull-fracture-cannot-walk-lawyer/2467859/

'ICUs are full, patients are dying': 3 Alabama counties see largest jump in weekly cases

Source: ABC News

Montgomery County, Alabama, home to the state's capital, is quickly emerging as a hot spot in the state’s battle against COVID-19, according to a leading health expert.

With nearly 3,000 people diagnosed with the coronavirus, Montgomery County now has more cases than any other county in the state, Dr. Don Williamson, the head of the Alabama State Hospital Association, told ABC News Tuesday.

But Montgomery County isn't the only one in danger.

Montgomery, Jefferson and Tuscaloosa Counties are all reporting their largest increases in weekly cases due to outbreaks in the workplace, long-term care facilities and large gatherings, according to a FEMA memo distributed internally on Tuesday.


In Montgomery County, "ICUs are full, patients are dying, and some of the staff that are normally working are out ill," Williamson said.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/US/icus-full-patients-dying-alabama-counties-largest-jump/story?id=71295417&cid=clicksource_4380645_4_three_posts_card_hed

Trump calls it 'inappropriate' for Bolton to write book

Source: The Hill

President Trump on Monday said it was “totally inappropriate” for former national security adviser John Bolton to write a memoir about his work in the White House and claimed the book contains "highly classified" information.

“If he wrote a book, I can’t imagine that he can because that’s highly classified information,” Trump, who said he hadn’t read the book, told reporters during a meeting in the Cabinet Room.

“I will consider every conversation with me as president highly classified. So that would mean if he wrote a book and if the book gets out, he’s broken the law and I would think he would have criminal problems,” Trump continued.

Trump also suggested the details contained in the book may not be truthful, telling reporters Bolton has "been known not to tell the truth, a lot.”

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/502809-trump-calls-it-inappropriate-for-bolton-to-write-book
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