Microsoft Warns China Hackers Attacked U.S. Infrastructure
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Microsoft warned on Wednesday that Chinese state-sponsored hackers had compromised “critical” U.S. cyber infrastructure across numerous industries with a focus on gathering intelligence.

The Chinese hacking group, codenamed “Volt Typhoon,” has operated since mid-2021, Microsoft said in an advisory. The organization is apparently working to disrupt “critical communications infrastructure between the United States and Asia,” Microsoft said, to stymie efforts during “future crises.”

The National Security Agency put out a bulletin on Wednesday, detailing how the hack works and how cybersecurity teams should respond.

The attack is apparently ongoing. In an advisory, Microsoft urged impacted customers to “close or change credentials for all compromised accounts.”

U.S. intelligence agencies became aware of the incursion in February, around the same time that a Chinese spy balloon was downed, the New York Times reported.

The infiltration was focused on communications infrastructure in Guam and other parts of the U.S., the Times reported, and was particularly alarming to U.S. intelligence because Guam sits at the heart of an American military response in case of a Taiwanese invasion.

Volt Typhoon is able to infiltrate organizations using a unnamed vulnerability in a popular cybersecurity suite called FortiGuard, Microsoft said. Once the hacking group has gained access to a corporate system, it steals user credentials from the security suite and uses them to try to gain access to other corporate systems.

The state-sponsored hackers aren’t looking to create disruption yet, Microsoft said. Rather, “the threat actor intends to perform espionage and maintain access without being detected for as long as possible.”

Infrastructure in nearly every critical sector has been impacted, Microsoft said, including the communications, transport, and maritime industries. Government organizations were also targeted.

Chinese government-backed hackers have targeted critical and sensitive information from U.S. companies before. Covington and Burling, a prominent law firm, was hacked by suspected Chinese state-sponsored hackers in 2020.

In a joint statement with international and domestic intelligence services, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned that Chinese attacks pose a continued risk to American intellectual property.

“For years, China has conducted aggressive cyber operations to steal intellectual property and sensitive data from organizations around the globe,” CISA director Jen Easterly said in a statement.

Read 6 Comments
  • John says:

    Then maybe Microsoft and the Bill Gates luciferian cocksucker should start using his spy equipment to spy on China rather than the American citizens like the Satan worshiping demon has done his entire life, helping and collaborating with a communist corrupted and fascist government get control of wealth resources and human enslavement with the agenda of thecontrol and destruction of humanity

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    2 Dead in Shooting After High School Graduation Ceremony in Virginia; Suspect in Custody



    Two people were killed and five others were injured Tuesday after a suspect opened gunfire near Virginia Commonwealth University following a high school graduation ceremony.

    VCU police said the shooting occurred around 5:13 p.m. in the area of Monroe Park, near the campus’ Altria Theater after a recently-concluded graduation ceremony for Huguenot High School.

    One of the victims killed was an 18-year-old male who had just graduated, and the other was a 36-year-old male, police said.

    Their names were not released, but police believe the suspect knew at least one of the victims.

    Richmond police said five others were injured with various degrees of injuries. Two people were treated for falls; one juvenile was struck by a car and sustained injuries that were not life-threatening; and 9 people were treated at the scene for minor injuries or anxiety.

    Police also said a 19-year-old who was in custody will be charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

    Police recovered multiple handguns.

    No further details were given about the victims’ ages or the identity of the suspects.

    Richmond Public Schools said Thomas Jefferson High School canceled a planned graduation ceremony planned for Tuesday evening. The ceremony will be rescheduled.

    School board member Jonathan Young told Richmond TV station WWBT that graduates and other attendees were exiting the theater when they heard about 20 gunshots in rapid succession.

    “That prompted, as you would expect, hundreds of persons in an effort to flee the gunfire to return to the building,” Young said.

    “It materialized in a stampede,” he said.

    Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney called the shooting “traumatic” for everyone, especially the youth involved.

    “Is nothing sacred any longer? We’re going to do everything we can to bring the individuals who are involved in this to justice. Not just for the families involved, but also the city,” Stoney said.

    Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said his administration was monitoring the “terrible” shooting and that state law enforcement is providing support to the Richmond Police Department.

    Police said there is no ongoing threat to the community, but a heavy police presence remains at Monroe Park. Richmond police are leading the investigation.

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    Tucker Carlson Returns With New Show: ‘Tucker on Twitter’



    Former Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson brought his show to Twitter for the first time Tuesday by posting a monologue about the Ukraine war and how the media is covering it.

    Carlson spoke about the latest developments in the Russian war against Ukraine, beginning with a major dam explosion inside Russian-occupied territory Tuesday morning.

    “This morning, it looks like somebody blew up the Kakhovka Dam in southern Ukraine. The rushing wall of water wiped out entire villages, destroyed a critical hydropower plant, and as of tonight, puts the largest nuclear reactor in Europe in danger of melting down. So, if this was intentional, it was not a military tactic — it was an act of terrorism,” Carlson began.

    The Ukrainian and Russian governments accused each other of intentionally destroying the dam as an act of sabotage, according to The Washington Post.

    “Blowing up the dam may be bad for Ukraine, but it hurts Russia more. And for precisely that reason, the Ukrainian government has considered destroying it. In December, The Washington Post quoted a Ukrainian general saying his men had fired American-made rockets at the dam’s floodgate, as a test strike,” Carlson stated.

    Carlson transitioned to discussing The Washington Post’s story showing the U.S. knew about Ukrainian plans to attack the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline months before it was destroyed. The Post’s story was based on an intelligence leak on social media platform Discord.

    “So, really, once the facts start coming in, it becomes much less of a mystery what might have happened to the dam. Any fair person would conclude that the Ukrainians probably blew it up — just as you would assume they blew up Nord Stream, the Russian natural gas pipeline, last fall. And in fact, the Ukrainians did do that, as we now know. It’s not like Vladimir Putin is anxious to wage war on himself,” he said.

    Carlson proceeded to mock the corporate media’s coverage of the Nordstream 2 explosion for immediately blaming Russia for the attack without considering whether Ukraine blew up the pipeline.

    “Oh, but that’s where you’re wrong, Mr. and Mrs. Cable News Consumer. Vladimir Putin is exactly that sort of man — the sort of man who’d shoot himself to death in order to annoy you. We know this from the American media, which wasted no time this morning in accusing the Russians of sabotaging their own infrastructure,” Carlson remarked.

    “No one who’s paid to cover these things seemed to entertain even the possibility it could have been the Ukrainians who did it. No chance of that. Ukraine, as you may have heard, is led by a man called Zelensky, and we can say for a dead certain fact that he was not involved. He couldn’t have been. Zelensky is too decent for terrorism,” Carlson added.

    He followed up by ridiculing Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Republican Presidential candidate Nikki Haley because of their unwavering support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his country. Afterwards, he broadened his media criticism beyond the scope of the Ukraine war to other issues where narratives must never be questioned.

    “But mostly they just ignore the stories that matter. What’s happened to the hundreds of billions of US dollars we’ve sent to Ukraine? No clue. Who organized those BLM riots three years ago? No one’s gotten to the bottom of that. What exactly happened on 9/11? Well, it’s still classified. How did Jeffrey Epstein make all that money? How did he die? How about JFK? And so endlessly on. Not only are the media not interested in any of this, they’re actively hostile to anybody who is. In journalism, curiosity is the gravest crime,” Carlson said.

    Carlson pointed to the intelligence officer who blew the whistle Monday on alleged UFOs possessed by the U.S. government as a recent example of the pressing stories the media ignores.

    “So if you’re wondering why our country seems so dysfunctional, this is a big part of the reason. Nobody knows what’s happening. A small group of people control accesses to all relevant information. And the rest of us don’t know. We’re allowed to yap all we want about racism, but go ahead and talk about something that really matters and see what happens. If you keep it up, they’ll make you be quiet. Trust us. That’s how they maintain control,” he continued.

    Carlson concluded his monologue with a teaser about future Twitter broadcasts if the platform maintains its commitment to free speech under owner Elon Musk.

    “That’s how most of us now live here in the United States — manipulated by lies, silenced by taboos. It is unhealthy and is dehumanizing, and we’re tired of it. As of today, we’ve come to Twitter, which we hope will be the shortwave radio under the blankets. We’re told there are no gatekeepers here. If that turns out to be false, we’ll leave. But in the meantime, we are grateful to be here. We’ll be back with much more very soon.”


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    Appeals Court Denies Biden Request for Stay in Challenge to Migrant Release Policy



    The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday denied the Biden administration’s request for a stay on an order blocking the implementation of a controversial policy that saw thousands of migrants released into the U.S. without a court date in the short time it was in place.

    A federal judge had blocked the administration’s “parole with conditions” policy in May, a day after it was implemented amid a surge in migration to historic highs just ahead of the end of Title 42 expulsions on May 11. The administration has said that nearly 9,000 migrants were released in the time the policy was in place.

    The judge found that the policy, which saw migrants released into the U.S. without court dates and told to check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement within 60 days, was materially identical to a separate policy that paroled migrants into the U.S. while enrolling them into alternatives to detention (ATD) programs. The judge had blocked that policy in March in response to a lawsuit from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who also filed the May challenge.

    The administration, which called the block of the policy “sabotage,” filed a motion to stay the orders blocking both the “parole + ATD policy” and the “parole with conditions” policy. Lawyers for the administration said that the orders blocking the policies will “undermine the Executive Branch’s constitutional and statutory authority to implement its immigration priorities and secure the border.”

    The administration had also argued that blocking the ability to release migrants will lead to the overcrowding of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities and threaten the health, safety and security of Border Patrol agents and migrants – with downstream effects on public safety and national security.

    “The fact remains that when overcrowding has occurred in Border Patrol facilities, Republican and Democratic Administrations alike have used this parole authority to protect the safety and security of migrants and the workforce,” a CBP statement said last month.

    The three-judge appeals court panel denied the motion, arguing that the warnings “ring somewhat hollow on this record, considering the department’s track record of overstating similar threats in the underlying proceedings” and pointed to prior claims made by the administration of disastrous consequences if releases were blocked.

    “Given this record, we take DHS’s latest claims of impending disaster if it is not allowed to use either of the challenged policies with some skepticism,” the judges wrote. The judges also noted a recent drop in encounters at the border since the Title 42 order ended on May 11.

    The denial marks another win for Moody, who secured first a temporary restraining order and then the preliminary injunction against the policy.

    “The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to disturb an injunction Florida obtained against a Biden policy allowing the mass release of illegal immigrants into the country,” Moody said in a statement. “Protecting our border is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of our President and Florida will not allow Joe Biden and Secretary Mayorkas to continue putting American lives at risk in clear violation of Federal Law.”

    Moody last week expanded the challenge to include migrants being released with court dates (Notices to Appear) after DHS said it had streamlined a policy that released migrants with NTAs on their own recognizance. Should that policy be blocked, it could result in most migrants not being allowed into the U.S. and a significant increase in detention.

    Meanwhile, the administration is also facing legal challenges from both GOP-led states and civil rights groups targeting its asylum rule, which in theory bars most migrants from claiming asylum if they have entered illegally and failed to claim asylum in a prior country.

    GOP-led states have called the rule a “smoke screen” while left-wing groups have argued it unlawfully bars migrants from claiming asylum. The administration has defended the policy, saying it is designed to encourage migrants to use lawful pathways and enter via ports of entry.

    DHS officials said last week that, amid a 70% drop in encounters at the border, “[W]e’ve also seen how the consequences we are delivering as part of our comprehensive effort to manage flows at the border are working.”

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    Report: U.S. Has Intel of Ukraine Plan to Attack Nord Stream Pipeline Months Before Attack



    The United States learned of a Ukrainian plan to attack the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines three months before they were damaged last September by underwater explosions, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, citing leaked information posted online.

    The CIA learned last June, through a European spy agency, that a six-person team of Ukrainian special operations forces intended to blow up the Russia-to-Germany project, the newspaper reported.

    The intelligence reporting was shared online on Discord, purportedly by Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira, who was arrested in April and charged in relation to the leak of sensitive U.S. documents. The Washington Post said it obtained a copy from one of Teixeira’s online friends.

    The intelligence report was based on information provided by a person in Ukraine, the Washington Post said, adding the CIA shared it with Germany and other European countries in June 2022.

    The Post said officials in multiple countries had confirmed that the intelligence summary posted on Discord accurately stated what the European service told the CIA.

    White House spokesperson John Kirby said on Monday that investigations into the Nord Stream attack were active.

    “The last thing that we’re going to want to do from this podium is get ahead of those investigations,” Kirby said when asked about The Post’s reporting on the matter.

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 put Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas in the political spotlight. The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines hastened the region’s switch to other energy suppliers.

    Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, each consisting of two pipes, were built by Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom to pump 110 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas a year to Germany.

    The Post said it agreed to withhold the name of the European intelligence agency as well as some aspects of the suspected plan at the request of government officials, citing risks to sources and operations.

    Several underwater explosions ruptured the Nord Stream 1 and the newly built Nord Stream 2 pipelines that link Russia and Germany across the Baltic Sea in September 2022.

    The blasts occurred in the economic zones of Sweden and Denmark. Both countries said the explosions were deliberate, but have yet to determine who was responsible. Those countries and Germany are investigating.

    Washington and NATO called the incident “an act of sabotage.” Moscow blamed the West, accusing investigators of dragging their feet and trying to conceal who was behind the attack.

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    SEC Files Temporary Restraining Order to Freeze Binance Assets



    The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a temporary restraining order to freeze Binance assets after investors pulled $780million out of the exchange in just 24 hours.

    The proposed order would prevent Binance.US – the American branch of the world’s largest crypto exchange – from accessing funds in its customer’s wallets, but would still allow customers to make withdrawals themselves.

    The emergency order on Tuesday evening came a day after US regulators sued Binance’s billionaire CEO Changpeng Zhao over an alleged ‘web of deception’ and ‘blatant disregard for the federal securities laws’ – sending investors into a frenzy.

    Although the SEC action targeted Binance.US, Binance customers around the world appeared to be feeling the heat.

    Data firm Nansen said that Binance saw net outflows of $778.6 million of crypto tokens within 24 hours of the SEC lawsuit filing, and Binance.US registered net outflows of $13 million.

    In an apparent attempt to instill calm, Zhao tweeted on Tuesday evening after news of the motion that the order would only affect Binance.US funds and not those held by

    Binance.US is headquartered in San Francisco and operates as a separate company and exchange to serve the US market – it has a significantly lower trading volume than Binance.

    As of June 2022, Binance.US had a $147.3 million 24-hour trading volume whereas Binance had $11.9 billion in trades over the same period.

    A filing to the court on Tuesday read: ‘The SEC respectfully submits that this relief is necessary on an expedited basis to ensure the safety of customer assets and prevent the dissipation of available assets for any judgment, given the Defendants’ years of violative conduct, disregard of the laws of the United States.’

    If the order is granted, Binance would have to surrender ‘possession, custody, or control over Customer Assets’ within five days.

    Within 30 days it would be required to transfer holdings in customer accounts to new wallets with ‘private keys, including new administrative keys’.

    The emergency motion is therefore to prevent Binance from appropriating customers’ funds amid the onslaught of withdrawals.

    Although customer withdrawals will be allowed to continue, exceptions would apply to ‘Binance Entities’.

    Binance has insisted that customer assets are safe. CEO Zhao responded to the news of the requested order by retweeting a post saying that the exchange had already ‘survived a few bank runs this year, while some U.S. banks haven’t’.

    Officials also launched a separate suit on Tuesday against another exchange, Coinbase – accusing it of illegally operating without having registered with the regulator.

    The SEC alleged in 13 charges on Monday that Binance artificially inflated its trading volumes, diverted customer funds, failed to restrict US customers from its platform and misled investors about its market surveillance controls.

    The lawsuit marks the most significant step against a crypto company by the SEC in its sweeping crackdown on the industry this year.

    In statements on Monday, Binance said it had been cooperating with the SEC’s probes and had ‘worked hard to answer their questions and address their concerns’, including by trying to reach a negotiated settlement. ‘We intend to defend our platform vigorously,’ it said in a blog.

    The lawsuits have rocked the crypto markets and Bitcoin fell more than five percent on Monday, its worst daily decline since April 19. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency was last at $25,723, near a more than two-month low.

    ‘It’s another blow to the crypto industry and the crypto exchanges of the world,’ said Tony Sycamore, market analyst at IG Markets, of the SEC suit.

    Binance’s BNB cryptocurrency, the world’s fourth-largest, fell 0.3% to a near three-month low of $277, after a 9.2 percent plunge on Monday, its worst daily fall since November.

    The SEC complaint is the latest in a series of legal headaches for Binance. The company was sued by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in March for operating what it alleged was an ‘illegal’ exchange and a ‘sham’ compliance program.

    Zhao said the CFTC claims were an ‘incomplete recitation of facts’.

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    Chris Christie Launches 2024 GOP Primary



    Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey whom former President Donald Trump trounced in the 2016 presidential primaries, filed paperwork Tuesday to launch a bid for the Republican nomination.

    Christie joins a crowded field of eight candidates, a field size that benefits Trump, some Republicans fear. Political commentators expect a total of ten candidates to vie for the nomination.

    The former governor often tried to position himself as one of the strongest critics of Trump, but questions remain if Christie will have any impact on the large gap separating Trump and the other GOP hopefuls.

    Polling appeared to be unmoved by Gov. Ron DeSantis’s entrance in the race on May 24.

    A Morning Consult survey on May 31 revealed Trump still held a 34 point lead over his closest potential competitor.

    Despite the seemingly immovable gap, Christie recently claimed he is a “viable” candidate for the nomination. “I am the viable Trump alternative,” Christie recently told The Daily Beast.

    Christie’s candidacy will immediately face challenges. He must meet the criteria set by the Republican National Committee to participate in debates: 40,000 unique donors, including “at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20+ states and/or territories,” per the press release.

    He or she must poll at least one percent in three national polls or poll at one percent in two national polls, in addition to garnering one percent support in an early state poll.

    RealClearPolitics survey averages for 2024 poll Christie at one percent. A CBS/YouGov survey in May found 70 percent of Republicans said they would not even consider voting for Christie, the worst showing in the field.

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    NYC Unveils First ‘Free’ Crack Pipe Vending Machine



    New York City’s first public health vending machine giving out free crack pipes, condoms and Narcan, an overdose-reversing drug, was already empty less than 24 hours after being unveiled by officials.

    But eager city officials determined to keep residents in rich supply of clean drug apparatus were quick to revisit the site on Tuesday afternoon with more.

    Elan Quashie, the Opioid Overdose Program Director at Services for the Under Served, said: ‘We’re going to restock every day. Probably multiple times a day.’

    He said he was not surprised that the items were taken so quickly, adding: ‘I kind of knew that they would go.’

    He restocked five trays of Naloxone and two trays of fentanyl-testing kits – and said he will be returning later to refill the machine with the other products.

    Each tray on the machine holds between 13 and 18 products, which are free for the public to take. Quashie, who worked for the nonprofit agency, carried the additional supplies in a Trader Joe’s reusable bag.

    The words ‘poor choices’ were chalked on the sidewalk directly outside the machine.

    The program director stood on the etched words as he unlocked the vending machine – which is kept at room temperature for the products.

    Quashie added: ’We got a lot of positive feedback from people, and they were happy to see that it was free. So, we had an idea that some of the selections were going so quickly.

    Speaking about the restock, he added: ‘I would estimate maybe twice a day, depending on what items are going quickly than others.

    ‘Hopefully all items go at equal speed. Give it another week and we’ll have some trends.’

    One disgruntled resident, who can see the vending machine from her bedroom window, complained that it should be put in the lobby of one of the resource buildings, rather than on the street.

    She also said that it could be a hazard for children walking past, who may think the drug paraphernalia machine is stocked with candy.

    She said: ‘Being a Brooklyn resident and someone who goes out, there are places that are definitely better suited to this.’

    The initial $11,000 taxpayer money is for the machine – but not for the daily restocks.

    She added: ‘It’s lit up at night. Yes it is. Last night it looked like a candy machine.’

    Representatives from S:US restocked the machine for the second time on Tuesday – but only with condoms, fentanyl-testing kits and Naloxone.

    They did not restock any crack pipes.

    The machine in Brownsville, Brooklyn, is the first of its kind in the Big Apple.

    The city’s Democrats hailed it as a watershed, public health moment yesterday, calling a press conference to tout their initiative and promise more down the line.

    To access the machine’s contents, residents simply need to punch in the right zip code. Then, they’ll have free access to the strips, Narcan, condoms, tampons, nicotine-gum, first aid kits and the ‘safer smoking kits’, sanitary pads, Vitamin C and COVID-19 tests.

    Officials hope to put syringes in the next ones.

    By 9am on Tuesday – less than 24 hours after it was first displayed – all of the crackpipes had been taken. Gone too were the condoms, the COVID-tests and the nicotine-gum. All that was left were a few fentanyl-testing strips.

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    Nike Marks Pride Month with Doctor Who Does Kids’ Gender Surgeries: Leaked Email



    Nike will celebrate Pride Month by hosting a panel discussion with a surgeon who said he performed “gender affirming mastectomies” on minors, a leaked email obtained by The Daily Wire reveals.

    The email begins by stating, “This year’s theme is Together We Are Undeniable. The LGBTQIA+ community continues to fight for equality – their fight to be themselves.”

    It goes on to explain that the theme “centers around determination; celebrating icons of the community and the progress we have and will continue to make in light of recent attacks and restrictions on the community and their allies.”

    The Portland-based corporation will host a panel discussion with Dr. Blair Peters, a surgeon at the Oregon Health and Science University, who has admitted to performing “gender affirming mastectomies” on minors.

    “Join the Human Rights Campaign, Portland Community Football Club’s Kaig Lightner, and OHSU Trans Health Program’s Dr. Blair Peters for a panel and Q&A to discuss policies impacting the transgender community,” the leaked email says, advertising the July 11 event.

    In a now-deleted tweet from last year, Peters said he had “performed gender affirming mastectomies (top surgeries) for 3 young adults and adolescents” in one day.

    Peters makes another reference to performing sex change operations on minors in a video titled “Meet OHSU’s Dr. Blair Peters,” where he discusses the experiences that motivate him as a surgeon.

    Peters, who self-identifies as “queer,” cites an example scenario, saying, “I have an adolescent patient who hasn’t been going to school … and they come back to clinic two months after top surgery … thriving all of the sudden.”

    The Daily Wire previously revealed that the director of the gender clinic at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, which is affiliated with OHSU, received $3,114 from Endo Pharmaceuticals, the producer of a drug commonly used off-label as a puberty blocker.

    But Nike’s panel discussion is just one of several events the company is hosting to commemorate Pride Month. The corporation is also hosting a “family friendly” drag story time on July 13. The event description reads, “Join us at our inaugural Pride Community Fair, spotlighting local queer, women, and minority-owned businesses.” It goes on to read, “You will have an opportunity to cultivate an undeniable sense of community and belonging with your Nike teammates through activations like … a family friendly Drag Story Time.”

    Nike also encourages employees to “join the Pride Network as we spotlight the pioneering gender-inclusive ‘Kids One Fit’ apparel.” Attendees to this event will also “unpack the conversation of trans inclusion in sport with a special screening of ‘Changing the Game,’” a film promoting the presence of male athletes in women’s sports.

    Meanwhile, the description of another event reads, “Join the PRIDE Network in a conversation … as we welcome environmental educator Isaias Hernandez … to explore queer ecology.” The email defines “queer ecology” as “a field of scientific study that disrupts conventional binaries to create solutions for the climate action and future of sport.”

    Hernandez explains that he seeks to “help everyone educate themselves on the intersectional nature of the climate crisis” before adding, “As a queer and brown environmentalist, I believe a diversity of worldviews, backgrounds, and experiences are essential to achieve success in the environmental movement.”

    In addition to hosting the event series, Nike has also pledged financial support to a number of “LGBTQIA+” organizations. “This year, through our Inclusive Community portfolio investment, Nike is supporting six organizations advancing the LGBTQIA+ community with a total of $600,000 in funding,” the email reads.

    The Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is one of the six organizations listed. GLSEN says the group works “to prompt LGBT cultural inclusion” in schools. GLSEN has produced an “LGBTQ History Coloring Book” for kids, as well as “inclusive curriculum” guides for elementary school teachers.

    Nike also pledged financial support to Camp Lightbulb, an organization that hosts overnight camps for “LGBTQ+ youth” as young as 14.

    The email is signed by Heidi O’Neill, the president of consumer and marketplace and the executive sponsor of the “PRIDE Network,” an affinity group for employees who identify as LGBT.

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    Collapse of Major Dam in Ukraine Triggers Emergency as Moscow and Kyiv Trade Blame



    A major dam in southern Ukraine collapsed Tuesday, triggering floods, endangering crops in the country’s breadbasket and threatening drinking water supplies as both sides in the war scrambled to evacuate residents and blamed each other for the destruction.

    Ukraine accused Russian forces of blowing up the Kakhovka dam and hydroelectric power station on the Dnieper River in an area that Moscow has controlled for over a year, while Russian officials blamed Ukrainian bombardment in the contested area. It was not possible to verify the claims.

    The consequences quickly became clear as homes, streets and businesses flooded downstream and emergency crews began evacuations; officials monitored water for cooling systems at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant; and authorities expressed concern about supplies of drinking water to the south in Crimea.

    Both Russian and Ukrainian authorities brought in trains and buses for residents. About 22,000 people live in areas at risk of flooding in Russian-controlled areas, while 16,000 live in the most critical zone in Ukrainian-held territory, according to official tallies. Neither side reported any deaths or injuries.

    A satellite photo Tuesday morning by Planet Labs PBC analyzed by The Associated Press showed a large portion of the dam’s wall, more than 600 meters (over 1,900 feet), missing.

    The dam break added a stunning new dimension to Russia’s war, now in its 16th month. Ukrainian forces were widely seen to be moving forward with a long-anticipated counteroffensive in patches along more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of front line in the east and south.

    It was not immediately clear whether either side benefits from the dam’s collapse, since both Russian-controlled and Ukrainian-held lands are at risk.

    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu charged that Ukraine destroyed the dam to prevent potential Russian attacks in the Kherson region after what he alleged was a failed Ukrainian counteroffensive in recent days. He claimed Ukraine had lost 3,715 troops and 52 tanks since Sunday, and in a rare acknowledgment of Russia’s own losses, said 71 Russian troops were killed and 210 wounded.

    Ukraine, meanwhile, alleged Russia blew up the dam to hinder Kyiv’s counteroffensive, even though observers note that crossing the broad Dnieper would be extremely challenging. Other sectors of the front line are more likely avenues of attack, analysts say.

    Nigel Gould-Davies, a senior fellow for Russia and Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the alleged Russian destruction of the dam “betrays a lack of confidence, a lack of confidence, a profoundly defensive measure, the lack of confidence in Russia’s longer-term prospects” in the war.

    Experts have previously said the dam was in disrepair, which could also have led to the breach. David Helms, a retired American scientist who has monitored the reservoir since the war began, said in an email that it wasn’t clear if the damage was deliberate or simple neglect from Russian forces occupying the facility.

    But Helms also noted a Russian history of attacking dams.

    Underscoring the global repercussions, wheat prices jumped 3% after the collapse. It’s unclear whether the surge in wheat prices was due to a real threat of floodwaters destroying crops. Ukraine and Russia are key global suppliers of wheat, barley, sunflower oil and other food to Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia.

    Authorities, experts and residents have expressed concern for months about water flowing through — and over — the Kakhovka dam. After heavy rains and snow melt last month, water levels rose beyond normal, flooding nearby villages. Satellite images showed water washing over damaged sluice gates.

    Amid official outrage, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy convened an urgent meeting of the National Security Council. He alleged Russian forces set off a blast inside the dam structure at 2:50 a.m. (2350 GMT Monday, 7:50 p.m. EDT Monday) and said about 80 settlements were in danger. Zelenskyy said in October that Russia had mined the dam and power plant.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called it “a deliberate act of sabotage by the Ukrainian side … aimed at cutting water supplies to Crimea.”

    White House officials were trying to assess potential impacts of the dam collapse and were looking to see what humanitarian assistance can be provided to Ukrainians who are being displaced, according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity and was not authorized to comment publicly.

    Both sides warned of a looming environmental disaster. Ukraine’s Presidential Office said some 150 metric tons of oil escaped from the dam machinery and that another 300 metric tons could still leak out.

    Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s President’s Office, posted video showing the flooded streets of Russian-occupied Nova Kakhovka, a city in the Kherson region where about 45,000 people lived before the war.

    Ukraine’s Interior Ministry urged residents of 10 villages on the Dnieper’s right bank and parts of the city of Kherson to gather essential documents and pets, turn off appliances, and leave, while cautioning against possible disinformation.

    The Russian-installed mayor of Nova Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontyev, said it was being evacuated as water poured in.

    Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom said via Telegram that the damage to the dam “could have negative consequences” for the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is Europe’s biggest, but wrote that for now the situation is “controllable.”

    The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency said there was “no immediate risk to the safety of the plant,” which has been shut down for months but still needs water for its cooling system. It said that IAEA staff on site have been told the dam level is falling by 5 centimeters (2 inches) an hour. At that rate, the supply from the reservoir should last a few days, it said.

    The plant also has alternate sources of water, including a large pond than can provide water “for some months,” the statement said.

    Ukrainian authorities have previously warned that the dam’s failure could unleash 18 million cubic meters (4.8 billion gallons) of water and flood Kherson and dozens of other areas where thousands live.

    The World Data Center for Geoinformatics and Sustainable Development, a Ukrainian nongovernmental organization, estimated that nearly 100 villages and towns would be flooded. It also reckoned that the water level would start dropping only after 5-7 days.

    Go deeper ( 4 min. read ) ➝


    Texas Sheriff Recommends Criminal Charges Over DeSantis Migrant Flight



    A Texas sheriff is recommending criminal charges be brought against those who orchestrated two flights of migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last September.

    Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, an elected Democrat, said an on-the-ground operation allegedly lured migrants onto the flights with false promises of jobs and opportunities at the other end.

    The sheriff’s office has handed District Attorney Joe Gonzales its findings from a criminal investigation into the flights. It’s now up to the prosecutor whether to file charges.

    Salazar has said he was not investigating DeSantis, a 2024 GOP presidential hopeful, but only those who had direct contact with the immigrants in San Antonio.

    Over the weekend, the same contractor, Vertol Systems, is believed to have transported more than a dozen migrants from Texas to California. The migrants were carrying documents suggesting travel had been arranged by the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

    Last fall, Salazar railed against the flights that took off from his city of San Antonio and saw 48 Venezuelans put on private planes to be flown to Massachusetts.

    ‘I believe there is some criminal activity involved here,’ Salazar said when he announced the investigation adding that he believed the migrants had been ‘preyed upon’ and ‘hoodwinked.’

    ‘The case filed includes both felony and misdemeanor charges of Unlawful Restraint,’ according to the statement released on Monday. ‘At this time, the case is being reviewed by the DA’s office. Once an update is available, it will be provided to the public.’

    Prosecutors in Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, will now need to decide whether to follow the sheriff’s recommendations for charges to be brought.

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    Oregon Investigating FOX Board Over Election Fraud Claims



    Oregon’s attorney general announced Monday she has begun investigating the board of directors of Fox Corp. for breaching its fiduciary duties by allowing Fox News to broadcast fraud claims about the 2020 presidential election — claims that cost the broadcaster almost $800 million in a lawsuit.

    Also joining the investigation is Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read, who oversees the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, which owns more than 250,000 shares of Fox stock. Both Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Read are Democrats.

    “Treasurer Read and I believe that Fox’s board of directors breached its fiduciary duties by allowing Fox News to broadcast false claims that Dominion and Smartmatic rigged the 2020 presidential election,” Rosenblum said. “We hope to hold the board accountable and protect the long-term value of Oregon’s investment in Fox Corp.”

    Brian Nick, chief communications officer and executive vice president of Fox Corp., declined to comment on Rosenblum’s announcement.

    In April, Fox News agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million to avert a trial in the voting machine company’s lawsuit.

    Dominion had argued that the news outlet owned by Fox Corp. damaged Dominion’s reputation by promoting false theories that claimed its equipment switched votes from former President Donald Trump to Democrat Joe Biden.

    Lachlan Murdoch, chair and CEO of Fox Corp., said when the settlement was announced that it avoids “the acrimony of a divisive trial and a multiyear appeal process, a decision clearly in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.”

    The Oregon Department of Justice said the investigation will explore leading a lawsuit against Fox’s management on behalf of the company’s harmed investors, which include Oregon’s public employees.

    “Fox directors and senior officers manage the company on behalf of its investors,” the department said in a statement. “They have a duty to manage the company competently, honestly, and in a manner that prevents foreseeable and catastrophic financial harm like that inflicted upon company’s shareholders by the Dominion and Smartmatic suits.”

    “We invest for Oregon’s public servants and we aim to hold Fox’s board of directors, including Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, accountable for their decisions,” said Read, who is a member of the Oregon Investment Council, which sets state investment policy. “Investigating Fox’s books and records is a necessary and significant step in fulfilling our obligation to our beneficiaries.”

    As of May 26, the Oregon pension fund owned 168,075 Class A common stock shares and 92,850 Class B shares of Fox stock, said Roy Kaufmann, Rosenblum’s spokesperson.

    Another voting machine company, Smartmatic USA, has also sued Fox News over Fox News’ fraud election claims. Dominion had sued Fox for $1.6 billion.

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    WATCH: ‘The View’ Erupts Into Chaos During Tim Scott Interview



    Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) admonished “The View” on Monday over what he described as “dangerous, offensive, and disgusting” messages airing on the show about success among black people being the “exception and not the rule.”

    During an appearance on ABC talk show, Scott — who recently announced his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination — was asked by co-host Sunny Hostin to explain his claim that he doesn’t believe in “systemic racism” as she pressed him to then to define “systemic racism.”

    “Let me answer the question that you’ve asked,” Scott said.

    “One of the reasons why I’m on the show is because of the comments that were made frankly on this show that the only way for a young African American kid to be successful in this country is to be the exception and not the rule,” Scott said.

    “That is a dangerous, offensive, disgusting message to send to our young people today, that the only way to succeed is by being the exception,” he added.

    Hostin interjected and said, “It is. It’s been 114 years,” before Scott disagreed.

    “So, the fact of the matter is we’ve had an African American president, African American vice president, we’ve had two African Americans to be secretaries of the state,” Scott said. “In my home city, the police chief is an African American who’s now running for mayor. The head of the highway patrol for South Carolina is an African American.”

    “In 1975, there was about 15% unemployment in the African American community. For the first time in history of the country, it’s under 5%,” he added.

    Hostin interrupted Scott once again and claimed that all the examples he provided were “still exceptions.” She cited statistics in recent years showing African Americans, who make up 13% of the general population in the United States, accounting for 40% of the homeless population.

    “You asked the question,” Scott replied. “I’ve watched you on the show. You like people to be deferential and respectful. So, here’s what I am going to suggest … progress in America is palpable. It can be measured in generations. I look back at the fact that my grandfather, born in 1921 in Salley, South Carolina, when he was on a sidewalk, a white person was coming, he had to step off and not make eye contact.”

    “That man believed then, with some doubt now, in the goodness of America, because he believed that faith in God, faith in himself, and faith in what the future could hold for his kids, would unleash opportunities in ways that you cannot imagine,” he added.

    “Every kid today can look. Just change the stations and see how much progress has been made in this country,” Scott continued. “ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, CNN, Fox News all have African-American and Hispanic hosts. So what I’m suggesting is that yesterday’s exception is today’s rule.”

    Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


    Lia Thomas Teammate Shares Heartbreaking Story



    A young woman who attended the University of Pennsylvania publicly shared for the first time her story about participating on the same team as transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.

    Paula Scanlan, who was on the school’s Women’s Swimming and Diving Roster, told The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh that she now wants to join former University of Kentucky swimming star Riley Gaines in “fighting for women and girls across the country.”

    Walsh posted the video of their discussion to Twitter on Monday and noted that Scanlan previously appeared anonymously in his hit documentary “What Is A Woman?” that was released last year.


    “A few days ago she came to us and said she is ready to come out publicly and tell her story,” Walsh said in a tweet. “I had a longer conversation with Paula where she revealed a number of details that weren’t covered in the film.”

    Thomas, a male who began hormone replacement therapy in May 2019, switched from University of Pennsylvania’s men’s team to the women’s squad in 2021 after identifying as a female and won a NCAA Division I national championship in the 500-yard freestyle.

    The story of Thomas has been at the forefront of a national conversation about female athletes contending with the prospect of being at an unfair disadvantage in sports and uncomfortable situations in which females have to share a locker room with someone who is a biological male but identifying as a woman.

    Gaines, who raced against Thomas, has emerged as an activist who champions female athletes after watching them lose out on opportunities because they were “displaced” by a male competitor.

    “I’m speaking for every female athlete, not just myself,” Gaines said during an interview with British broadcaster Piers Morgan in April. “I’m done competing. This isn’t about me. But I know what’s at stake if someone doesn’t use their voice. I have a younger sister. I just got married. I can only hope one day that I have a daughter and I can’t imagine being in this position and not fighting for them.”

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    Human Rights Campaign Declares State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ People



    The Human Rights Campaign declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for LGBTQ+ people living in the U.S., the first time the organization has made such a warning in its 40-year history.

    “The multiplying threats facing millions in our community are not just perceived — they are real, tangible and dangerous,” HRC President Kelley Robinson said in a statement.

    “In many cases they are resulting in violence against LGBTQ+ people, forcing families to uproot their lives and flee their homes in search of safer states, and triggering a tidal wave of increased homophobia and transphobia that puts the safety of each and every one of us at risk.”

    HRC wants biological man to be allowed to compete in women’s sports, use women’s restrooms and kids to be able to have puberty blockers and sex reassignment surgeries:

    • Twenty-one states now restrict the ability of transgender athletes to compete on sports teams consistent with their gender identity, according to HRC.
    • Another 20 states have passed laws or policies that heavily restrict or ban gender-affirming health care for transgender minors. Just under 31 percent of all transgender 13- to 17-year-olds are now living in states where they can no longer access care considered medically necessary by most major medical organizations, according to the HRC.
    • In at least nine states, transgender people are unable to use restrooms, locker rooms or other facilities that match their gender identity, according to HRC.

    “The assault on freedom is not limited to one state but permeates across America,” said Nadine Smith, the CEO of Equality Florida.

    Last month, both the HRC and Equality Florida issued a travel advisory to Florida.

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    PGA Tour and Saudi-Backed Rival LIV Golf Announce Shock Merger



    The war between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf is ending with the two joining forces.

    The PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed rebel league are merging into one company, The PGA Tour announced.

    The two sides will also be merging with the European DP World Tour.

    All parties will work on the potential for LIV players to reapply for memberships with the PGA and DP Tours after this year, according to Golf Digest.

    “After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.

    “This transformational partnership recognizes the immeasurable strength of the PGA TOUR’s history, legacy and pro-competitive model and combines with it the DP World Tour and LIV – including the team golf concept – to create an organization that will benefit golf’s players, commercial and charitable partners and fans. Going forward, fans can be confident that we will, collectively, deliver on the promise we’ve always made – to promote competition of the best in professional golf and that we are committed to securing and driving the game’s future.

    “We are pleased to move forward, in step with LIV and PIF’s world-class investing experience, and I applaud PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan for his vision and collaborative and forward-thinking approach that is not just a solution to the rift in our game, but also a commitment to taking it to new heights. This will engender a new era in global golf, for the better.”

    LIV Golf, financed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund and led by Greg Norman, lured some of the top names in golf last year with reported nine-figure contracts, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.

    The PGA Tour then banned any LIV Golf defectors from competing on the Tour, and the two leagues were embroiled in an antitrust battle.

    With the merger, the Tour and LIV agreed to end all litigation between the two sides.

    According to the PGA Tour, the Saudi Public Investment Fund “will make a capital investment” into the new, yet-to-be-named supertour.

    “They were going down their path, we were going down ours, and after a lot of introspection you realize all this tension in the game is not a good thing,” Monahan told The Associated Press.

    “We have a responsibility to our tour and to the game, and we felt like the time was right to have that conversation.”

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    ‘It’s Only Merchandise’: Lululemon CEO Defends Firing of Employees Who Confronted Thieves



    Lululemon’s CEO defended his company’s decision to terminate two employees who called the police as three masked men robbed their Georgia store location.

    Calvin McDonald, the head of the Vancouver-based retailer, cited Lululemon’s “zero-tolerance policy” on engaging thieves when asked during a recent interview about the firing of Jennifer Ferguson and Rachel Rogers, a pair of workers who confronted thieves and called the police at their shop in Peachtree City, located in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

    “We have a zero-tolerance policy that we train our educators on around engaging during a theft. Why? Because we put the safety of our team, of our guests, front and center. It’s only merchandise,” he told CNBC.


    When pressed, McDonald claimed that the employees were not fired for calling the police but because they broke company policy by “engaging the thieves across multiple points, including following them out of the store.”

    Ferguson — who was an assistant manager — told NBC’s local affiliate 11Alive that when a robbery occurs, workers are told to “scan a QR code. And that’s that. We’ve been told not to put it in any notes, because that might scare other people. We’re not supposed to call the police, not really supposed to talk about it.”

    The robbery at the Peachtree City location is part of a trend of retail theft across the nation which has brought increased attention to the risks faced by employees, shopper safety, and rising prices.

    McDonald admitted that “retail theft and shrink has been a growing topic.” The CEO stated that the company is investing under three “pillars”: training, technology, and working with law enforcement.

    “We take that policy seriously because we have had instances — and we have seen with other retailers, instances — where employees step in and are hurt, or worse, killed,” McDonald said. “And the policy is to protect them. But we have to stand behind the policy to enforce it.”

    Four men have been arrested and charged after multiple Lululemon stores were ransacked around the Atlanta area, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.

    The public’s help and officers’ quick action sends a message to thieves that “you will not get away with it, and we have the court systems to support us as well to ensure that you’re tied up in it for a long enough time to where you’re not going to be committing these crimes in the future, at least not in our area,” said Lt. Chris Hyatt of the Peachtree City Police Department.

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    Republicans Launch Contempt Process Against FBI Director After Viewing Biden ‘Bribery’ Document



    House Republicans are officially starting contempt of Congress charges against FBI Director Chris Wray for failing to turn over Biden ‘bribery’ document they claim shows then-Vice President Joe Biden was involved in a $5 million ‘criminal’ scheme with a foreign national.

    The escalation comes after the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Oversight Committee were granted access by the FBI Monday to view the FD-1023 form in a secure facility within the Capitol. The document apparently details an ‘arrangement’ for an exchange of money for policy decisions.

    The Republicans issued a subpoena for the FD-1023 form last month and FBI Director Chris Wray was given a hard deadline of May 30 to hand over the unclassified document, which he did not comply with.

    After reviewing the document Monday, Comer told reporters the accusations contained in the form ‘suggests a pattern of bribery’ consistent with findings the committee has put out publicly.

    It’s called ‘money laundering,’ he said, saying it fits within the pattern of over $1 million in Romanian-linked payments to the Biden family revealed last month.

    In early May, Republicans released a report digging in on over $10 million received by Biden family members from foreign actors, including previously undisclosed $1 million in Romanian-linked payments, and a ‘web’ of 20 companies created while President Joe Biden was vice president and pushing anti-corruption efforts abroad.

    He also said the FBI record was ‘not disproven’ and is currently being used in an ongoing investigation that is being conducted by the Department of Justice in Delaware into Hunter Biden’s finances.

    The ‘confidential human source’ is a ‘trusted, highly credible informant’ who has been used by the FBI for over 10 years and has been paid over six figures, continued Comer.

    The chairman added that contempt proceedings will begin this Thursday.

    ‘At the briefing, the FBI again refused to hand over the unclassified record to the custody of the House Oversight Committee, and we will now initiate contempt of Congress hearings this Thursday.’

    Last week, Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, spoke with Wray by phone and the FBI director offered to let them and Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., view the documents at the FBI headquarters in an attempt to stave off the contempt threat.

    ‘During today’s call, Director Wray offered to provide the Committee’s Chairman and Ranking Member an opportunity to review information responsive to the subpoena in a secure manner to accommodate the committee, while protecting the confidentiality and safety of sources and important investigative sensitivities,’ said the FBI in a statement.

    ‘The FBI has continually demonstrated its commitment to working with the Committee to accommodate its request, from scheduling briefings and calls to now allowing the Chair to review information in person. The FBI remains committed to cooperating with the Committee in good faith.’

    Comer also informed Wray that he was also narrowing the breadth of the subpoena for the document by providing two additional terms that may be referenced in the record: ‘June 30, 2020’ and ‘five million.’

    Raskin blasted the Republicans’ handling of the document in a reporter gaggle following Monday’s briefing, calling it ‘second-hand hearsay.’

    He said former U.S. Attorney Scott Brady for the Western District of Pennsylvania and then-Attorney General Bill Barr did not find any reason to escalate the investigation into all ‘allegations related to Ukraine’ based on the FD-1023 form.

    ‘I am just surprised that my colleagues want to try to litigate this in public, much less hold the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in contempt for complying with the request when there was a whole process that was undertaken, and that process came to its natural end as I understand it,’ Raskin said.

    He would not directly confirm that the foreign national alleged in the memo being sought by Republicans is from Ukraine.

    Raskin did agree with his Republican colleagues that the whistleblower is considered ‘credible.’

    The White House has also pushed back, calling the Republican-led investigation ‘unfounded’ and ‘politically motivated.’

    Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


    Whistleblowers ‘Worked on Secret Program to Rebuild Crashed UFOs’ — Craft of Non-Human Origin



    Four whistleblowers have testified to investigators they worked on a secret US Government program to rebuild crashed UFOs.

    The bombshell revelation came from one of America’s top former intelligence officials who has called on world leaders to finally come clean about unexplained recovered wreckage.

    Ex-US deputy assistant secretary of defence for intelligence Christopher Mellon, 65, who served under presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush, said he has received reports that the government has engaged in a “reverse engineering project” involving UFOs.

    He said he personally had referred four witnesses to the defence department’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office – aka AARO – which is probing 800 reported close encounters between military personnel and UFOs.

    Each claimed to have knowledge of a secret program “involving the analysis and exploitation of materials recovered from off-world craft”.

    Other sources had contacted him about an “alleged secret US Government reverse engineering program”, he told Politico.

    Mr Mellon urged the government to make records of the program public.

    He said the public “have a right to know the truth” about reverse-engineering of UFO debris and “can handle” information about extraterrestrial craft.

    Disclosure of such information could help global leaders “develop an effective deterrent” against an attack – though so far he said there had been no sign of “aggression”.

    Mr Mellon said coming clean with information about UFOs – aka Unidentified Aerial Phenomena – could lead to scientific benefits.

    “If we have recovered off-world technologies our best and brightest minds should be engaged in evaluating it,” he said.

    “Assuming UAP propulsion technology is distinct from anything known to the public a successful reverse engineering program might bring about a revolution in energy, transportation and materials technologies.

    “We might be able to accelerate a transition to clean and cheap energy, perhaps even develop super-conducting materials and propulsion technologies that are now the stuff of Hollywood movies.”

    Mr Mellon is the not the first to raise questions about the reverse engineering of UFOs.

    In March US Congressman Tim Burchett said he believed “we have recovered a craft at some point – and possible beings”.

    “I think that a lot of that’s being reverse-engineered right now, but we just don’t understand it,” he added.

    A fortnight ago Dr Garry Nolan, 62, a pathology pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine who has published more than 300 research articles and holds 40 US patents, told an international conference whistleblowers who had worked on “reverse-engineering downed craft” were stirring up a “hornet’s nest” at the heart of government.

    He drew gasps from the audience when he said he was ‘100%’ certain aliens are living on Earth.

    Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


    ICE Director Announces Retirement



    The acting leader at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is preparing to step down after serving for more than two years in the post absent a permanent leader being confirmed, the Washington Examiner has learned.

    ICE Deputy Director Tae Johnson, a 28-year federal immigration officer, will retire in the coming weeks after overseeing the federal agency for two years and three months since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

    Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) confirmed Johnson’s planned retirement to the Washington Examiner on Tuesday.

    ICE issued a statement to the Washington Examiner following publication that addressed Johnson’s employment, but it did not flatly deny that he was planning to retire.

    “Rumors surrounding the retirement of Acting ICE Director Tae Johnson are just that. Acting Director Johnson has not announced plans to retire,” ICE spokeswoman Jenny Burke wrote in an email. “He will continue leading the men and women of this agency with the same integrity and commitment that he has demonstrated throughout his entire career.”

    The loss of the agency’s head more than halfway into President Joe Biden’s term will continue a five-year period the agency has not had a confirmed leader — all as Congress attempts to overhaul border security and immigration laws that affect ICE’s work.

    ICE has not disclosed Johnson’s forthcoming departure or who will succeed him, though it could fall to the next-in-line senior official performing the duties of the deputy director, Patrick J. Lechleitner. Two sources familiar with Johnson’s forthcoming departure told the Washington Examiner late last week that he planned to retire by late April.

    Johnson was the ninth consecutive acting director of ICE in the last five years.

    Johnson was scheduled to appear before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Tuesday morning to testify about the agency’s fiscal 2024 budget needs.

    Biden had nominated a sheriff from Houston to lead ICE in April 2021. But Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez failed to get a confirmation vote by the Senate and withdrew his name in July 2022 after reports of domestic abuse. Biden has not nominated anyone else since Gonzalez.

    Under the Trump administration, more than half a dozen officials led ICE in temporary roles, which has continued under Biden.

    Former criminal prosecutor Jonathan Fahey was two weeks into his role temporarily overseeing ICE in early January 2021 but stepped down a week before Trump left office. Fahey’s deputy, Johnson, was made the acting director.

    Biden took office amid calls from progressive Democrats to abolish the agency, whose responsibility it is to enforce immigration laws that Congress has enacted. Biden immediately paused deportations, and his administration quickly shifted protocols for which illegal immigrants in the United States would be eligible for arrest and removal.

    In fiscal 2021, which began in September 2020, arrests and deportations of illegal immigrants bottomed out under Biden, dropping more than 75% compared to the record-high numbers seen during the Obama administration.

    ICE removed 59,011 noncitizens from October 2020 through September 2021, with most being under the Biden administration’s more rigid criteria for who could be taken into custody. In 2011, nearly 400,000 noncitizens were deported — meaning the numbers were down 85% under Biden.

    ICE has also overwhelmingly chosen not to detain illegal immigrants in government facilities through court proceedings. This year, the Biden administration has requested funding for 25,000 beds in detention facilities, while more than 5 million people have been encountered illegally entering the country over the past two years, more than half of whom have been released into the U.S. and either tracked digitally or not at all.

    Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


    Mike Pence Files Paperwork to Enter 2024 Presidential Race



    Former Vice President Mike Pence has filed paperwork to jump into the 2024 presidential primary for the Republican nomination, setting up a clash with former President Donald Trump.

    Pence has long been expected to enter the race and is set to formally announce his candidacy on June 7.

    Pence, who served as governor of Indiana prior to becoming vice president, will enter a growing field of candidates competing for the nomination, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

    The former vice president has long sought to market himself as a “classical conservative,” pushing for a return to the pre-Trump Republican Party.

    As he mounts a bid to challenge his former running mate, Pence will likely seek to distinguish himself from Trump on socially conservative grounds. It’s thought that Trump placed Pence on the ticket in 2016 to draw in the support of social conservatives, as many on the right viewed the New Yorker as too socially liberal. The same strategy will likely characterize his 2024 bid.

    Pence has often described himself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.”

    Although he served as Trump’s vice president, the two increasingly grew apart in the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. Pence has called it “a tragic day” and one for which he said that “history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”

    At the time, Trump tried to convince Pence to use a disputed power under the 12th Amendment to refuse certification of electoral slates from contested states where Trump said the results were plagued by widespread voter fraud.

    Pence refused repeated efforts by the former president to use this power and has characterized Trump’s efforts as a danger to American political norms. Pence argued that acceding to Trump’s request would have prompted a constitutional crisis.

    “President Trump was wrong,” Pence said of the matter.

    “I had no right to overturn the election. And [Trump’s] reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day, and I know history will hold Donald Trump accountable.”

    On the other hand, he has resisted efforts from both the now-defunct House Jan. 6 panel and other inquiries for investigations into the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and has suggested that some “irregularities” characterized the 2020 election.

    In a March 2021 op-ed for the Heritage Foundation, Pence noted the existence of “significant voting irregularities and numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law” during the 2020 election.

    Rejection of Populism

    Pence recently called on conservatives to reject the “siren song of populism.”

    “I believe we have to resist the politics of personality and the siren song of populism unmoored to timeless conservative principles, and we need to stand firm on the conservative agenda of life and liberty and a commitment to freedom that has always led us to victory,” he said on June 3 in Iowa.

    “Our movement cannot forsake the foundational commitment that we have to security, to limited government, to liberty, and to life. But nor can we allow our movement to be led astray by the siren song of unprincipled populism that’s unmoored from our oldest traditions and most cherished values.

    “There’s a healthy debate going on within our movement today. Some in our movement long for a simple return to the traditional conservative agenda of the Reagan era. Others say our movement should be swept along by a new and energetic sense of populism.”

    For most of the Trump administration, Pence played the role of a loyal subordinate to Trump, defending administration wins as Trump’s.

    He led the administration’s COVID-19 task force, overseeing Operation Warp Speed, which ultimately produced the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

    Since leaving the White House, Pence has joined the Heritage Foundation as a visiting fellow.

    Pence has expressed support for Ukraine in the Russo–Ukrainian conflict, acknowledging that it’s “not America’s war” but saying that the United States should nonetheless seek to back Ukraine to defend international freedom.

    “Make no mistake: This is not America’s war. But if we falter in our commitment to providing the support to the people of Ukraine to defend their freedom, our sons and daughters may soon be called upon to defend ours,” Pence told an audience at The University of Texas at Austin in February.

    “If we surrender to the siren song of those in this country who argue that America has no interest in freedom’s cause, history teaches we may soon send our own into harm’s way to defend our freedom and the freedom of nations in our alliance.”

    Despite the personal feud between Trump and Pence, Trump has focused much of his efforts on DeSantis, considered the runner-up for the nomination.

    Most polls have Pence well behind Trump, polling equally with figures such as Haley, but lagging when compared to the double-digit leads enjoyed by Trump and DeSantis.

    Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝

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