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Putin Launches Satellite-Killer Weapon Into Space
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Citizen Frank

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A Raging Vladimir Putin has launched a terrifying weapon system into space capable of killing other satellites, the US has warned.

The Pentagon said that the Russian counter-space weapon was put into the “same orbit” as a US government satellite – and is likely tracking the space device already.

The Russian space object believed to be Cosmos-2576 was launched on May 16 on a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome, some 497 miles north of Moscow.

It is now in the same orbit as the American spy satellite USA 314, operated by the US National Reconnaissance Office.

An unofficial Russian source claimed the launch carried a “secret military device”.

While it was previously reported as a Russian space satellite, the US has now warned it could be a counter-space weapon capable of attacking other such tech.

Pentagon spokesman Brig Gen Pat Ryder said last night: “Russia launched a satellite into low Earth orbit that we assess is likely a counter space weapon.

“It was deployed into the same orbit as a US government satellite and assessments further indicate characteristics resembling previously deployed counter space payloads from 2019 and 2022.”

“We will continue to monitor the situation … we have a responsibility to be ready to protect and defend the space domain and ensure continuous and uninterrupted support to the joint and combined force.”

Russia’s Roskosmos state space agency said the launch was “in the interests of the defence ministry of the Russian Federation”.

A US official told CNN that the US had been expecting the launch for at least several weeks.

It was closely tracked by the North American Aerospace Defense Command as well as the US Northern Command.

The US has increasingly sought to deter Russia from developing a nuclear space strike capability – fearing it could trigger a massive energy wave to cripple commercial and government satellites used for mobile phones and the internet.

Such a Russian nuclear weapon is not yet in orbit, it is understood.

US intelligence chiefs, however, warned in February that Russia is planning to launch nukes into space that would destroy satellites in a “grave” threat to the world’s security.

Military experts have warned that Putin would take the “suicidal” decision to launch the deadly weapons if he felt his grip on power was being threatened by Ukraine and the West.

Mad despot Putin has already tested orbital weapons designed for blasting Western kits – such as the anti-satellite weapon, Cosmos 2543.

While the weapon was not armed with a nuke for its 2020 firing – there are fears future versions of similar tech could take the next step amid the US’s chilling warning to the West.

Russia’s Cosmos 2543 ejects projectiles into space at incredible speed – like missiles which could destroy crucial Western kits orbiting the Earth.

On July 15 2020, the Cosmos 2543 was fired from its mothership the Cosmos 2542 – and launched a projectile object into the ether at an incredible 400mph.

The Russian spacecraft was also spotted skulking around the Pentagon’s spy satellite earlier that very same year.

Juliana Suess, a Research Analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank, told The Sun it would be “wrong” to think Putin wouldn’t “sacrifice everything” by firing nukes into space.

For Dr David Jordan, Co-Director of the Freeman Air & Space Institute at King’s College London, Putin could make the disastrous knee-jerk reaction to fire nukes into space “because he can” or if “he thought he could get away with it”.

He said Putin could also push the red button if he felt the war in Ukraine was going to end with his removal of power.

“He could do it out of spite. He might think, I’ve lost, so you’re going to suffer as well,” Dr Jordan told The Sun.

Putin – along with ex-defence minister Sergei Shoigu – said that Moscow “has always been categorically against space war and is now against the deployment of nuclear weapons in space”.

However, the madman’s ambassador at the UN vetoed a US resolution against nuclear weapons in space last month.

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Read 15 Comments
  • Avatar A different Guest says:

    What?
    I could have sworn that Putin is a really nice guy that is misunderstood and absolutely no threat to the US or anyone else. He’s just trying to protect Russia by destroying US satellites that do things like control our GPS systems in cars and planes, internet and telephone and TV communications. This is just the first of potentially thousands of these satellites.
    But don’t worry. Putin’s not after America. His little nuclear weapons drill yesterday to warn the West (USA) that he means business means, well, he means business. Even his plan to redraw lines in the Baltics without asking the countries of the Baltics, well, that’s for his protection, right? Just like China claiming the entire straits of the shipping channel in the China sea around Taiwan.
    To quote Boney M. ‘Oh those Russians’ (Rasputin).
    Putin was emboldened by Biden’s total incompetence and weakness. Then other politicians had to jump in and prove they’re no smarter than Biden.
    Yep, Putin is a really great guy.

    • Avatar Sad4theUS says:

      Our own government is really more of a threat to us than Putin is, because they’re the ones poking the Bear, supporting and encouraging Hamas and enticing terrorists from all the countries that hate us to come into this country through the open border they created. And let’s not forget, they’re going to steal an election so they can stay in power and continue to rob us blind!

      • Avatar RBach says:

        Yep, the Biden admin is a big threat to us. What’s even a bigger threat are supposed Americans blaming America for what a dictator trying to expand his dominion and empire is doing.
        That would be you. No one is poking the bear. The bear is hunting. You want to sit back while the bear feeds on other people? You’re the asshat that would throw other people to the sharks until you realize you’re the last idiot left instead of killing the sharks. HAMAS is working WITH Russia, Iran and China. Yeah, Biden is a terrible weak kneed moronic pussy that’s a danger to this country. He has to be taken out of the Whitehouse, they stole one election, we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
        Biden’s incompetence doesn’t excuse any of Putin’s murderous terrorist activity in the world. Except to weak kneed moronic pussies.

        • Avatar America says:

          There were people in 1938 in the US that thought Germany was the victim protecting itself too. They were called Nazi sympathizers, not Hitlerites or any such.
          You shouldn’t be surprised. We call those who support Putin’s rampage low information voters. Additionally, we refer to them as Russian trolls. I only an hour ago was reading about ‘Putinistas’. They’re a world wide phenomenon and like HAMAS largely despised.
          I agree with your YEP on the Biden administration. It is indeed a more immediate problem. We must post haste remove the Democrats from power and recover our nation.

      • Avatar jms says:

        Everyone will be so surprised when Biden who can’t draw a dozen people to his rally BEATS Trump who draws tens of thousands at every appearance
        They did it last time & got away with calling everybody “election deniers” & threatened to cancel them or put them in jail if they protested the stolen election. Why do people seem to think this election will be any different?

        • Avatar Garry says:

          100% correct. The same result will occur. Sad really. I have lost almost all hope for our counyry

    • Avatar RBach says:

      You might want to tell folks that last line was sarcasm.
      Some of the Putinistas here will think you like the son of a bitch.

    • Avatar Ron says:

      Nope. Putin is not a great guy.

    • Avatar Seriously? says:

      What are you talking about diff? Everybody knows Russia crap is all hype they can’t get a thing right. That satellite won’t do a thing. They can’t even conquer a country a tenth their size when the country ran out of ammo.
      Calm down.

  • Avatar Sad4theUS says:

    Well that’s not good… Why do our Global Elite enemies keep poking the Bear? Because they want war!

    • Avatar RBach says:

      You think Putin just suddenly developed this satellite and set it up in the last week or something?
      THIS is 100% a Putin plan they’ve been working on for years. If you’re too stupid to see it that’s your problem. The bear wants more lebensraum.
      You Putinistas blame the US when it’s this Stalin/Hitler bastard doing all this shit.

  • Avatar John says:

    The fact that we have a weak Joe Biden in the White House is the reason stuff like this happens he is a coward and he will do nothing to help defend us. If Trump was in an office. This would’ve probably never happened or if it did, he would’ve countered them with a device of our own?

  • Avatar andrewp05 says:

    yeah the satellite needs to have a critical malfunction in the near future, as well as any other launches into that orbit

  • Avatar LB says:

    Russia and China are coming after the USA

    • Avatar dguested says:

      LB ya think? Communists in any way shape or form are not our friends, never have been, never will be. They will continue with their prime directive left to them by Mao, Trotsky, Lenin and Marx, which is to take down and take over the US above all things and at any cost. When our people get over their political differences and unite to fight this waking giant, it may be too damned late. Many of those who have seen them biding their time, picking the brains of the cream of the crop in every business and scientific area, building up their own economic power and technological prowess, and silently infiltrating every aspect of our society through the placement of moles in our colleges then sending them out to gain access to our bigger companies, building up relationships in them it will be too late. WE have already seen previews of coming attractions during 9/11 and the subsequent chaos and terror. We have seen the fallout from the Covid episode that is still dividing and conquering us through dissension and division still today. We CANNOT afford to be politically correct, or civil to them. We cannot afford to continue to accept foreign students, to do business or conduct trade with any country who associates with them in any way. We MUST cut trade, exchange of goods, students or anything with them. We just cannot afford to keep our borders open, we should not allow travel to those countries or at the very least restrict it. We NEED to beef up our military, weed out the woke elements in it, abolish the diversity edicts and punish those who use them to get away with hate crimes and the dissemination of their propaganda on our campuses in in our schools. Free speech is one thing, and this skullduggery and perversion of it is quite another. Too long have the enemies of freedom used our laws against us to carve inroads into our society and pervert our laws for their own purposes. We need to put aside our differences and bickering and unite to fight this silent enemy.

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    AI Candidate Running for Parliament in UK

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    An artificial intelligence candidate is on the ballot for the United Kingdom’s general election next month.

    “AI Steve,” represented by Sussex businessman Steve Endacott, will appear on the ballot alongside non-AI candidates running to represent constituents in the Brighton Pavilion area of Brighton and Hove, a city on England’s southern coast.

    “AI Steve is the AI co-pilot,” Endacott said in an interview. “I’m the real politician going into Parliament, but I’m controlled by my co-pilot.”

    Endacott is the chairman of Neural Voice, a company that creates personalized voice assistants for businesses in the form of an AI avatar. Neural Voice’s technology is behind AI Steve, one of the seven characters the company created to showcase its technology.

    He said the idea is to use AI to create a politician who is always around to talk with constituents and who can take their views into consideration.

    People can ask AI Steve questions or share their opinions on Endacott’s policies on its website, during which a large language model will give answers in voice and text based on a database of information about his party’s policies.

    If he doesn’t have a policy for a particular issue raised, the AI will conduct some internet research before engaging the voter and pushing them to suggest a policy.

    AI Steve, which is open to the public to try, told NBC News in response to a question about its stance on Brexit: “As a democracy, the UK voted to leave, and it’s my responsibility to implement and optimize this decision regardless of my personal views on the matter.”

    “Do you have any thoughts on how Brexit should be managed in the future?” it added.

    Endacott said he is also seeking thousands of whom he calls “validators,” or people he is targeting because he believes they represent the common man — in particular Brighton locals who have a long daily commute.

    “We’re asking them once a week to score our policies from 1 to 10. And if a policy gets more than 50%, it gets passed. And that’s the official party policy,” he said, adding, “Every single policy, I will say that my decision is my voters’ decision. And I’m connected to my voters at any time on a weekly basis via electronic means.”

    In 2022, Endacott unsuccessfully ran in a local election under the Conservative Party. He received less than 500 votes. This time, the unusual nature of his candidacy stirred some conversation on X over the weekend, when news of AI Steve’s launch leaked online and prompted around 1,000 calls to the AI proxy in one night.

    Voters’ top issues so far, according to those calls, were (in order of importance): Concerns about the safety of Palestinians, trash bins, bicycle lanes, immigration and abortion. Endacott noted that having an AI representative enables him to respond, in a sense, to thousands of potential constituents a day.

    “I don’t have to go knock on their door, get them out of bed when they don’t want to talk to me,” Endacott said. He said that was “the old form of politics,” whereas people can now choose to contact AI Steve on their own volition and at their convenience.

    Endacott describes himself as a “centralist” who aligns most closely, but not quite, with the Green Party. His own party, Smarter U.K., was not registered in time for this year’s election.

    He said he is not using the AI avatar to propel his own business interests, as he says he holds less than a 10% share in Neural River, the platform behind AI Steve. His primary motivation, he said, is to push the government to enact changes to cut carbon emissions — whether that means running for office or, “worst case,” becoming a political influencer.

    If elected, AI Steve would be the first AI legislator to make it into public office — but he’s not the first to experiment with leveraging the emerging technology in elections. In Wyoming, a Cheyenne mayoral candidate reportedly says he would use an AI bot to make decisions for him. And two years ago, a political party in Denmark was founded on an AI-derived platform.

    Though the concept of an AI politician may seem silly to some and disturbing to others, Endacott said he wants to make clear that his platform is “not a joke.” He rejects the premise that the AI is replacing a human politician — instead insisting that the aim is to bring “more humans” into politics.

    “​​It’s not AI taking over the world. It’s AI being used as a technical way of connecting to our constituents and reinventing democracy by saying, ‘You don’t just vote for somebody every four years; you actually control the vote on an ongoing basis,’” he said. “Which is very, very radical in the U.K. Probably even more radical in America.”

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    G7 Leaders Reach Deal to Unlock Frozen Russian Assets for Ukraine

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    Group of Seven (G7) leaders reached an agreement on June 13 to utilize frozen Russian assets in their continued support of the war in Ukraine.

    The G7 will provide Ukraine with a loan using frozen Russian assets as collateral. The total sum is unclear at this time, but the United States has committed $50 billion alone. The risk will be shared among the other G7 nations.

    Senior Biden administration officials told reporters that the loan will begin this year, and emphasized that this effectively makes Russia pay for the loan rather than the taxpayers in the United States and G7 countries.

    “Russia pays,” said one senior administration official. “The income comes from the interest stream on the immobilized assets, and that’s the only fair way to be repaid. The principle is untouched for now. But we have full optionality to seize the principal later if the political will is there.”

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a post on X, had expressed hope that the asset deal would be finalized on June 13.

    “The entire Ukrainian people, including our warriors, see that the G7 will always support Ukraine,” he wrote. “I am grateful to our partners for their belief in us and our victory.”

    In the run-up to the crucial summit, the G7 finance ministers held discussions about the legality of using some $300 billion worth of frozen assets kept in European accounts as collateral for providing a loan to Ukraine for reconstruction. France was believed to be the main holdout on the plan.

    President Joe Biden mentioned before leaving France last week that he had reached an agreement with Mr. Macron on a plan to use the frozen Russian assets.

    Concerns lingered over the payout of the loan and whether or not Russian assets would remain immobilized, especially considering the European Union’s need to renew the sanctions every six months to do so.

    The senior administration official clarified that the payout of the loan would be dependent on “the pace at which Ukraine can absorb the money effectively.”

    He also exuded confidence in European leaders’ commitment to maintain the sanctions.

    “When you have commitment at the highest political levels, you know, that is what gives us confidence that these assets are going to remain immobilized,” he said. “The income will continue to flow, and we will be repaid either from the income itself or through reparations with Russia.”

    The senior administration official also said that the funds would be used in multiple ways in Ukraine, including humanitarian support and reconstruction support. However, he also said that there were “certain jurisdictions” that preferred to have their money earmarked for military support.

    The agreement was reached a day after the United States announced expanded sanctions on more than 300 entities and individuals designed to “ratchet up the risks that foreign financial institutions take by dealing with Russia’s war economy,” according to national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

    Following his meetings with G7 leaders on June 13, President Biden will sign a 10-year bilateral security agreement with Mr. Zelenskyy, signifying a continuing U.S. commitment to support the war-torn country against Russian aggression.

    This is the 50th summit meeting of the leaders of the United States, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and Canada—the seven most advanced economies in the world—and, along with the war in Ukraine and Russian assets, discussions are also expected to cover the war in Gaza, economic security, AI, migration, climate change, and food security.

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    WSJ Gershkovich to Be Tried for ‘Espionage’ in Russia

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    U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich, who has been jailed for over a year in Russia on espionage charges, will stand trial in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, where he was detained, authorities said Thursday.

    An indictment of The Wall Street Journal reporter has been finalized and his case was filed to the Sverdlovsky Regional Court in the city about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) east of Moscow, according to Russia’s Prosecutor General’s office. There was no word on when the trial would begin.

    Gershkovich, 32, is accused of “gathering secret information” on orders from the CIA about Uralvagonzavod, a facility in the Sverdlovsk region that produces and repairs military equipment, the Prosecutor General’s office said in a statement, revealing for the first time the details of the accusations against him.

    Gershkovich was detained while on a reporting trip to Yekaterinburg in March 2023 and accused of spying for the United States. The reporter, his employer and the U.S. government denied the allegations, and Washington designated him as wrongfully detained.

    Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, alleged after arresting Gershkovich that he was acting on U.S. orders to collect state secrets but provided no evidence to back up the accusations.

    The U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller slammed the development, saying there was “absolutely zero credibility to those charges” and adding that the U.S. government would continue to work to bring Gershkovich home.

    “Evan has done nothing wrong. He should never have been arrested in the first place. Journalism is not a crime,” Miller said. “The charges against him are false. And the Russian government knows that they’re false. He should be released immediately.”

    The Biden administration has sought to negotiate his release, but Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Moscow would consider a prisoner swap only after a verdict in his trial.

    “Russia’s latest move toward a sham trial is, while expected, deeply disappointing and still no less outrageous,” a statement by Almar Latour, Dow Jones CEO and publisher of the Journal, and Emma Tucker, the Journal’s editor in chief, said.

    They added that the charges against Gershkovich were “false and baseless.”

    “The Russian regime’s smearing of Evan is repugnant, disgusting and based on calculated and transparent lies. Journalism is not a crime. Evan’s case is an assault on free press,” the statement said. “We had hoped to avoid this moment and now expect the U.S. government to redouble efforts to get Evan released.”

    Roger Carstens, the Biden administration’s special presidential envoy who serves as the U.S. government’s top hostage negotiator, said that though he had been hopeful about striking a deal to get Gershkovich home before this point, the latest development “doesn’t slow or stop us down.”

    “The bottom line is, this was not unexpected,” he said.

    Uralvagonzavod, a state tank and railroad car factory in the city of Nizhny Tagil, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Yekaterinburg, became known in 2011-12 as a bedrock of support for President Vladimir Putin.

    Plant foreman Igor Kholmanskih appeared on Putin’s annual phone-in program in December 2011 and denounced mass protests occurring in Moscow at the time as a threat to “stability,” proposing that he and his colleagues travel to the Russian capital to help suppress the unrest. A week later, Putin appointed Kholmanskikh to be his envoy in the region.

    Putin has said he believed a deal could be reached to free Gershkovich, hinting he would be open to swapping him for a Russian national imprisoned in Germany, which appeared to be Vadim Krasikov, who is serving a life sentence for the 2019 killing in Berlin of a Georgian citizen of Chechen descent.

    Asked last week by The Associated Press about Gershkovich, Putin said the U.S. is “taking energetic steps” to secure his release. He told international news agencies in St. Petersburg that any such releases “aren’t decided via mass media” but through a “discreet, calm and professional approach.”

    “And they certainly should be decided only on the basis of reciprocity,” he added in an allusion to a potential prisoner swap.

    Gershkovich faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

    He was the first U.S. journalist taken into custody on espionage charges since Nicholas Daniloff in 1986 at the height of the Cold War. Gershkovich’s arrest shocked foreign journalists in Russia, even though the country had enacted increasingly repressive laws on freedom of speech after sending troops into Ukraine.

    The son of Soviet emigres who settled in New Jersey, Gershkovich was fluent in Russian and moved to the country in 2017 to work for The Moscow Times newspaper before being hired by the Journal in 2022.

    Since his arrest, Gershkovich has been held at Moscow’s Lefortovo Prison, a notorious czarist-era prison used during Josef Stalin’s purges, when executions were carried out in its basement.

    U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy, who regularly visited Gershkovich in prison and attended his court hearings, has called the charges against him “fiction” and said that Russia is “using American citizens as pawns to achieve political ends.”

    Since sending troops to Ukraine, Russian authorities have detained several U.S. nationals and other Westerners, seemingly bolstering that idea.

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    WNBA Expected to Lose $50 Million — League Is ‘Hard-Pressed to Exist Without the NBA,’ Executive Says

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    Areport citing WNBA sources, including an executive from one of the teams, revealed that despite the league’s wall-to-wall coverage, it will still lose $50 million for the 2024 season.

    With the basketball association reportedly taking in between $180-$200 million the previous season, it is still just a fraction of the $10 billion+ earned by the NBA.

    Given that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in 2018 that the WNBA loses about $10 million per year, that would amount to at least $200 million and upwards of $260 million in losses since the league’s inception in 1997.

    The report by the Washington Post detailed that the WNBA is expected to lose $50 million from the current season, citing two unnamed sources who are aware of the financial figures. The sources told the outlet that they did not have permission to publicly discuss the league’s financial status.

    WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said publicly that the NBA provides a “huge advantage” for the women’s league in terms of marketing, “especially with streaming services who rely on a 12-month subscription model.”

    “If we’re only there for 4½ months … how attractive is that? But we and the NBA are maybe the only sports properties that can give 330 days of live programming — almost the entire year. That’s hugely valuable to a subscription platform.”

    Despite this, another anonymous WNBA team executive admitted in the report that WNBA likely would cease to exist without the financial backing of the NBA, an idea that has been the theory of sports fans for some time.

    “The truth is, this league would be hard-pressed to exist without the NBA.”

    Even with all the apparent success, it doesn’t seem like the league can be pushed into the black simply by the existence of star Caitlin Clark, who has been a marketing sensation for the WNBA.

    Recent attendance reports noted that as of June 11, 2024, Clark sparked an 87% increase in attendance in away games compared to her opponent’s average home attendance.

    Her presence also accounts for 33.5% of the WNBA’s total attendance in 2024, according to Sportscasting.

    Average attendance of Clark’s games are double the league average, as well. The league brings in 7,645 fans on average, but that number increases by 105% for Clark, to 15,142 at her games. These latest figures confirm a recent sample size, where Clark’s games saw twice the attendance of other games that were played the same weekend.

    The Clark bump also equates to more eyes on screens. Through the first weekend of June 2024, WNBA games that featured Clark had an average of 1.099 million viewers. Games without her averaged only 414,000 viewers.

    Given all this information, WNBA players may want to be cautious when making complaints about Clark’s favoritism, as the league is seemingly a long way from profit.

    Complaints about charter planes not being luxurious enough could easily result in that expense being axed, which reportedly costs around $25 million per year.

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    Wells Fargo Fires Employees Over “Mouse Jigglers”

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    In the era of hybrid work, with employees splitting their time between two days in the office and three days working remotely, employers have ramped up using productivity monitoring software. However, employees have outsmarted some of these surveillance programs with gadgets like mouse movers, otherwise known as ‘mouse jigglers.’

    The popularity of mouse jigglers has exploded on TikTok in the last several years. Firms have been cracking down on these devices following a surge in fake work activity, which has weighed on productivity.

    Wells Fargo, in a new disclosure with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, first reported by Bloomberg, had terminated over a dozen employees in its wealth- and investment-management unit for their use of mouse jigglers.

    They were “discharged after review of allegations involving simulation of keyboard activity creating the impression of active work,” according to the disclosures.

    On Amazon, some of the top-ranking mouse jigglers sold have thousands of reviews and range in price between $6 and $25.

    Google Trends shows a massive search spike for these devices in 2022.

    The bank’s Finra disclosure does not indicate whether the employees were fired for faking work at home or in the office.

    It’s unclear how the employees were caught, and if the bank opted to use other forms of surveillance to catch the employees faking work.

    Major banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, were among the most aggressive institutions in ordering workers back to the office after the government enforced lockdowns.

    The jiggler is just proof of the unintended consequences of remote working.

    Instead of employers micromanaging their workforce with mass surveillance, perhaps implementing baseline objectives for them…

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    House Committee Subpoenas Biden Cabinet Secretaries Over Voter Access ‘Scheme’

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    The House Administration Committee issued subpoenas to 15 members of President Biden’s Cabinet related to an executive order on voting access.

    The executive order, Promoting Access to Voting, was signed in March 2021 and says that “executive departments and agencies should partner with state, local, tribal and territorial election officials to protect and promote the exercise of the right to vote, eliminate discrimination and other barriers to voting, and expand access to voter registration and accurate election information.”

    Rep. Bryan Steil, chairman of the committee, suggested the executive order lets officials from the Biden administration “flood election administration sites, [which] threatens election integrity and reduces Americans’ confidence.”

    “Elections are partisan, but our election administration should never be partisan,” Mr. Steil, Wisconsin Republican, said in the statement.

    “This executive order is another attempt by the Biden administration to tilt the scales ahead of 2024. I will continue working to provide transparency and accountability on this administration’s latest scheme, as Congress did not appropriate taxpayer funds for partisan activities.”

    The subpoenas request information from the Cabinet officials on how they plan to implement the orders five months ahead of the Nov. 5 election.

    “The committee has concerns about the implementation of E.O. 14019, particularly regarding its compatibility with provisions of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993,” Mr. Steil said in a letter to the Cabinet secretaries dated Wednesday.

    “Congress delegates to federal agencies specific functions and missions, which by law they are required to follow. Congress’ delegation of authority to [the Housing and Urban Development Department] does not include using funds and resources to provide Americans with voter registration materials,” Mr. Steil said.

    He said the executive order requires federal agencies to submit their plans on “how the agency can promote voter registration and voter participation” and that some agencies, like the Education Department and the Small Business Administration, have already begun taking action.

    In the letter, Mr. Steil said he had requested the documents, but didn’t receive any documents or replies. He also said the committee is considering legislation to repeal the executive order and require the agencies’ plans to be submitted to Congress.

    The agencies subpoenaed were requested to respond by June 26. The letter was sent to the Departments of Transportation, Agriculture, Interior, Treasury, State, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Energy, Education, Defense, Commerce, Justice, Office of Management and Budget, Labor and HUD.

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    WATCH: Biden Appears to Wander Off at G7 Summit Before Being Pulled Back by Italian PM

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    President Biden appeared to wander off at the G7 summit in Italy, with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni needing to pull him back to focus.

    As world leaders applauded a parachuting presentation, Biden could be seen trailing off and stepping away from the group, appearing to talk to an officer packing a parachute.

    Meloni, who is hosting the Group of Seven meeting of world leaders, then pulled back the US president to get his attention so he could rejoin the group.

    The rest of the leaders then awkwardly moved to center themselves around Biden for a photo op.

    Biden, 81, slowly slipped on his signature sunglasses for the picture.

    Afterward, he walked toward one of the parachutists, shook his hand and saluted him, video shows. Then other leaders joined him in shaking the hands of the other jumpers.

    Hours earlier, Biden had a strange introduction to Meloni, saluting her as he arrived at the venue in southern Puglia.

    The president shuffled in and the two embraced and talked for a moment. Meloni directed him to his place on the stage, at which point he raised his right hand in a salute to her and walked away.

    The G7 summit is an annual informal economic and security forum attended by leaders of the some of the world’s biggest industrialized democratic nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union also has status in the group, but is not a full member.

    This year’s summit, which lasts through Saturday, is focusing on global conflicts, impact of artificial intelligence, migration issues and climate change.

    Earlier, Biden appeared to be looking in a completely different direction as a parachuter landed right in front of him, video from the moment shows.

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    Supreme Court Keeps Abortion Pill Legal

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    The Supreme Court unanimously rejected a bid Thursday to restrict access to mifepristone, part of a two-drug regimen used to induce medical abortions.

    The high court concluded a group of anti-abortion doctors that brought the case forward lacked standing to challenge the Food and Drug Administration’s prior regulatory approval of the pill.

    “The plaintiffs have sincere legal, moral, ideological, and policy objections to elective abortion and to FDA’s relaxed regulation of mifepristone. But under Article III of the Constitution, those kinds of objections alone do not establish a justiciable case or controversy in federal court,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in the opinion.

    “A plaintiff’s desire to make a drug less available for others does not establish standing to sue,” he went on, noting that the group could still take their concerns to the executive and legislative branches.

    As a result of the ruling, women may continue to access mifepristone via online prescriptions and receive shipments of the drug through the mail.

    However, the high court’s rejection based on standing does leave the door open for future challenges to the FDA’s approval of the drug.

    “Today’s decision does not change the fact that the fight for reproductive freedom continues. It does not change the fact that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade two years ago, and women lost a fundamental freedom,” President Biden said in a statement.

    “It does not change the fact that the right for a woman to get the treatment she needs is imperiled if not impossible in many states,” the 81-year-old added. “It does mean that mifepristone, or medication abortion, remains available and approved. Women can continue to access this medication – approved by the FDA as safe and effective more than 20 years ago.

    “But let’s be clear: attacks on medication abortion are part of Republican elected officials’ extreme and dangerous agenda to ban abortion nationwide.”

    Back in March when the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the matter, justices sounded deeply skeptical about upending the FDA’s approval of mifepristone.

    The agency initially approved the drug in 2000 before relaxing the rules to expand access in 2016 and 2021.

    The plaintiffs argued that the FDA flouted standards set in federal law for making regulatory decisions, and did not sufficiently examine mifepristone when giving the go-ahead for expanded access.

    Mifepristone is typically used alongside misoprostol to induce abortions and was responsible for an estimated two-thirds of all abortions in the country last year.

    In April of 2023, after a challenge backed by the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Texas federal judge issued a preliminary ruling overturning the FDA’s initial 2000 approval of mifepristone.

    Then, in August, the New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals imposed a stay on the FDA’s 2016 rule changes that made the drug more easily accessible.

    The ADF raised concerns about doctors who had ethical qualms about prescribing the drug and argued that federal policies making allowances for such objections were too weak — but the court found they hadn’t shown that to be the case.

    “In short, given the broad and comprehensive conscience protections guaranteed by federal law, the plaintiffs have not shown – and cannot show – that FDA’s actions will cause them to suffer any conscience injury,” Kavanaugh wrote.

    “EPA rolls back emissions standards for power plants—does a doctor have standing to sue because she may need to spend more time treating asthma patients?” he asked.

    “The government repeals certain restrictions on guns — does a surgeon have standing to sue because he might have to operate on more gunshot victims?”

    Justice Clarence Thomas penned a concurring opinion in which he addressed the plaintiffs’ pitch for associational standing — in which organizations can sue over injuries caused to its membership.

    “The Alliance and other plaintiff associations claim that they have associational standing to sue for their members’ injuries,” he wrote. “I am particularly doubtful of associational-standing doctrine because the Court has never attempted to reconcile it with the traditional understanding of the judicial power.

    FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine marks the high court’s most consequential decision on abortion since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June 2022.

    The Supreme Court is also weighing a separate abortion case out of Idaho.

    That case examines whether doctors have federal protection to provide abortions in emergency situations, even in states with strict bans on the procedure.

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    Judge in Fani Willis Case Faces Calls for His Removal

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    The judge presiding over Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ sweeping RICO case against alleged Young Slime Life gang members is facing calls for his recusal after a stunning clash between him and one of the defense attorneys in the case.

    Judge Ural Glanville is facing calls to step aside in the YSL trial after he held attorney Brian Steel, who is representing Grammy-winning rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, in the case, in criminal contempt for refusing to reveal how he learned of a private meeting that took place in the judge’s chambers.

    Glanville sentenced Steel to 20 days behind bars on Monday after Steel sought to file for a mistrial based on his knowledge of the ex parte meeting between the judge, prosecutors, state witness Kenneth Copeland—otherwise known as Lil Woody—and Copeland’s attorney. Steel accused Glanville and Willis’ office of witness tampering during the meeting, but the judge was more focused on how the attorney learned about what was said in the meeting rather than what was discussed. The Georgia Supreme Court has since stayed the motion, meaning Steel will not have to serve the sentence while he appeals.

    On Wednesday, Doug Weinstein, another defense attorney in the YSL trial representing Deamonte Kendrick, otherwise known as Yak Gotti, sought Glanville’s recusal and asked that the trial be halted until the motion was heard by another judge.

    “Defendants were not provided notice of the hearing either before, during, or after, and, regardless, Defendants should have been afforded an opportunity to attend any hearing where a ‘sworn witness in a critical stage* of the trial is being coerced to testify,” the motion reads. “The only logical conclusion to be drawn by the willful exclusion of all defense counsel from the meeting among Chief Judge Glanville, the State, and sworn witness Copeland was to harass and intimidate the sworn witness into testifying.”

    Glanville denied the motion in court on Wednesday, saying that Weinstein couldn’t “file a motion to recuse for a ruling that a trial judge makes” and that it would require Glanville to do something “extrajudicial” in order for such an action. Weinstein said he disagreed with the judge’s characterization and asked Glanville, “Aren’t you interested in removing the cloud that’s hanging over the case right now?”

    “Sir, I’d be real careful about what you’re pleading at this point in time and what you’re stating to the court,” Glanville warned Weinstein in response. “I’d be very careful if I were you.”

    Atlanta-based appellate attorney Andrew Fleischman, criticized Glanville’s remarks, saying that his words were another reason for him to step down from the YSL case.

    “THREATENING SOMEONE WHO HAS MOVED TO RECUSE YOU IS RECUSABLE,” Fleischman said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

    Glanville also refused to issue a certificate of immediate review for another judge to consider whether he should step aside—a move that Weinstein called “an error.”

    “Okay, thank you sir,” the judge replied.

    Willis’ office indicted Williams, Kendrick and 26 others in 2022 on gang-related crimes. Prosecutors have claimed that Willams is one of the founders of Young Slime Life, an alleged violent street gang in Atlanta. Williams’ attorneys argue that YSL stands for his record label Young Stoner Life.

    At the center of the trial is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a federal law that allows for harsher punishments for people who commit illegal acts in connection with a criminal organization. Willis has become known for her use of the state’s RICO law, having used it to successfully prosecute a group of Atlanta public school teachers who cheated on standardized tests and to bring the election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his allies.

    Legal commentator Pam Keith argued on X that Glanville should recuse himself not only for holding an “improper” ex parte meeting, but also because he “made himself a witness to a crime” by holding Steel in criminal contempt.

    “The judge CANNOT decide the criminal contempt issue because he is a material witness to the underlying event,” Keith said. “And…he should recuse himself because the ex parte hearing was WAY improper to begin with. It is NOT the role of a judge to help the prosecution manage its witnesses.”

    “The judge was obviously furious that he got caught doing something he had no business doing, but trying to strong arm counsel to reveal their sources is not the answer,” she added.

    Attorney Ashleigh Merchant had called on Glanville to recuse himself for just that reason earlier this week. Merchant, who rose to national prominence for leading the efforts to disqualify Willis from the Trump election interference case, is representing Steel in the contempt matter.

    “Mr. Steel is entitled to all the same due process rights that Mr. Williams and every other defendant in this courtroom is entitled to. He’s entitled to those. One of those is to have a fair and neutral judge decide his case,” Merchant told Glanville on Monday. Her request was also denied.

    Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis agreed that Glanville’s actions against Steel warranted recusal, writing that “Judge Glanville is correct that evidence of extrajudicial bias is the bar for removal of a judge, not just rulings adverse to a party, because of an appearance of impropriety. But the thing here is that he’s alleged to have created an actual conflict by his actions— not a ruling.”

    “Judges cannot respond by unduly taking their feelings out against an attorney like Judge Glanville did yesterday,” Kreis told the Atlanta Constitution Journal on Tuesday. “Frankly, I was surprised that Judge Glanville didn’t take a step back all day to reconsider what he was doing or at least pump the brakes.”

    Conservative legal analyst Phil Holloway had anticipated that someone in the case would file a motion to recuse, tweeting Monday that he did not see any ways for Glanville to continue as the judge in this case.

    “A motion to recuse in Georgia MUST be heard by a different judge I don’t see how the #YoungThug #YSLTrial is not irreparably tainted,” Holloway said.

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    Lunden Roberts: Hunter Biden Kept Drug Gear at Joe’s Va. Home and Slept with Members of ‘Amoeba’ Group

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    Hunter Biden was so strung out on crack cocaine a few years ago that he brought both his girlfriend and his brother’s widow — both of whom he was sleeping with — to President Biden’s Virginia home. There, the first son kept his drug paraphernalia “locked up” in his own wing of the house, according to the now-ex-girlfriend.

    Lunden Roberts, whose bombshell memoir, “Out of the Shadows: My Life Inside the Wild World of Hunter Biden,” is out August 20, told The Post that Hallie Biden did not appear “very street smart” when the two spent time with an often-high Hunter at Joe Biden’s rented house in McLean, Va.

    “You need to meet Hallie. You’ll love her. And she’ll love you. Let’s all get together!” she writes that Hunter told her not long after they met in 2017.

    “Am I really spending time with someone who’s in a seemingly open relationship with his sister-in-law?” Roberts, 33, muses in the book.

    But hanging out with the now-president’s son and his brother’s widow is almost a footnote in Roberts’ rollicking, nearly 400-page tale of being a fly on the wall in Hunter’s chaotic life.

    Contrary to what’s been reported, Roberts told The Post, and writes in her book, that she did not meet Hunter at a strip club — but at a small party at the offices of his investment firm, Rosemont Seneca, which was then located at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC. She was invited by a friend.

    At the time, Biden, who was found guilty of felony gun charges Tuesday, was going through a divorce from his first wife, Kathleen Buhle, with whom he has three children. He had begun an affair with Hallie Biden, the widow of his brother, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.

    Hunter was in an office away from the party when Roberts first spotted him, she writes, wearing brightly colored boxer briefs “with parrots all over them” and meticulously arranging his drug paraphernalia — a series of small glass tubes and copper strands on the desk in front of him.

    “He turns in his chair and catches me in his stare, his gaze intense with furrowed brows and the most beautiful blue-gray eyes I have ever seen … He is complex, but how? He has my full attention.”

    Once they began hanging out and hooking up, Roberts witnessed Hunter lighting up a crack pipe and twerking on a pole at the Mpire Club, the high-end “gentlemen’s club” in DC where she also worked.

    She also write of his run-ins with colorful drug dealers with names like Bicycles, a mysterious bodyguard of Hunter’s named Big Country who may also be a hitman, wild trips on Amtrak to New York City when Hunter would abruptly get off the train to “buy pants” — and at least one life-threatening overdose.

    Roberts describes how Hunter kept multiple cellphones at any given time and was constantly losing or misplacing them, along with his other possessions.

    She writes, too, of his “kindness” and desire to help others — once giving a homeless man his jacket, but forgetting that he had left his cellphone, his dead brother’s dog tags and several rocks of cocaine in the pockets. (He eventually tracked the man down and got the dog tags back.)

    Roberts writes that she got used to Hunter compulsively showering up to six or seven times a day to “get the demons” off him. He was, the book says, never far from a bottle of his favorite Tito’s vodka.

    According to the book, Roberts introduced several of her younger single girlfriends — a group she dubbed the “Amoeba” — to Hunter. She was on call to drive him around and obey his frequent demands, like getting “baby powder” for him from the strip club. Except Roberts bought actual talcum powder, and was mocked by Hunter for not knowing it was code for cocaine.

    She worked at the Mpire Club, but declines to say in what capacity, and also as one of Hunter’s two personal assistants.

    The fun and games briefly came to a halt one night when Hunter showed up at the presidential suite of the five-star Rosewood Hotel in DC, one of the many luxe hotel rooms he often booked for himself and the “Amoeba,” looking more drugged out than usual.

    “We have never seen Hunter as messed up as he is in this moment,” Roberts writes. “His words are jumbled, and his face seems distorted on one side. I glance at my anxious friends, trying not to show concern on my own face. It’s terrifying. Then suddenly, Hunter goes limp, slumping to the floor between the couch and the marble coffee table.

    “I drop to my hands and knees. ‘Hunt, are you okay?’”

    She recounts a frightening night spent alongside the first son in bed, monitoring his breathing and being torn about calling paramedics, fearing word would get out about it and would create a scandal.

    In the end, Biden survived the night and jumped up the next morning “as if nothing had happened,” Roberts writes.

    But their relationship came to an abrupt halt when she told him she was pregnant in 2018.

    Roberts told The Post that Hunter was initially supportive of the pregnancy, but later proclaimed that they had only met at a strip club once and never had sex.

    She writes that he then had sex with one of her “Amoeba” friends, who tearfully apologized to Roberts afterward.

    Their daughter, Navy Joan Roberts, was born in August 2018. Roberts filed a paternity suit in 2019 and Hunter was forced to take a DNA test that proved he was the girl’s father.

    In late 2020 and throughout 2021, Roberts — who has lived in her native Arkansas since giving birth to Navy — claims, her house was mysteriously broken into about 10 times, sometimes when she was there.

    She said she still sleeps with a gun under her pillow and another in a nightstand and has guns hidden throughout her house.

    Once, a friend who was staying the night with her woke her up to tell her all the doors and windows of the house were wide open and the front-door deadlock was laid neatly on the floor.

    “Sometimes the barstools would be moved into the living room or other furniture would be rearranged,” Roberts told The Post. “My security system would be disconnected from my Wi-Fi each time. Almost every time the person left big bootprints throughout the house. It was obvious they were trying to intimidate or scare me. They never took anything.”

    One year ago, after years of what Roberts calls “toxic litigation,” Biden agreed to pay Roberts monthly child support for Navy and turn over several of his paintings to her. Some of his artworks have listed for as much as $500,000 each.

    President Biden finally acknowledged Navy Joan as his seventh grandchild at around the same time.

    When asked by The Post why she still seemed sympathetic to and forgiving of Hunter, Roberts admitted it was because they share a child. She said Hunter and Navy are forging a relationship on Zoom, but none of the Bidens have yet met the 5-year-old girl in person.

    “But that’s always on the table,” Roberts said about Navy eventually meeting her dad as well as her grandfather. “I think Hunter really wants to step up and do the right thing.”

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    NATO Says Over 300,000 Troops Now on High Readiness

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    NATO countries have “comfortably exceeded” a target of placing 300,000 troops on high-readiness as the alliance grapples with the threat from Russia, a senior alliance official said Thursday.

    NATO leaders agreed in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 to massively ramp up the number of forces that alliance commanders can deploy within 30 days.

    “The offers on the table from allies comfortably exceed the 300,000 that we set,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

    “Those are forces which allies have said to us, ‘They are available to you as of now at that level of readiness’.”

    The push to have more troops ready to respond quickly is part of a broader overhaul of NATO’s plans to stave off any potential Russian attack that was signed off at a summit last year.

    Those plans laid out for the first time since the end of the Cold War what each member of the US-led alliance would be expected to do in case of an invasion by Moscow.

    NATO commanders are currently trying to make sure they have the capabilities to execute those plans if needed.

    But the alliance faces shortfalls in key weaponry such as air defences and longer-range missiles.

    “There are capability gaps. There are things that we don’t have enough of as an alliance at the moment and we need to tackle,” the official said.

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    IDF Uses Medieval Siege Weapon to Fling Fireballs at Lebanon

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    A video has emerged on social media on Thursday that appears to show IDF soldiers firing a trebuchet at the Lebanese border, igniting plantations across the border.

    A ‘local initiative’

    The military responded, stating, “This is a local initiative and not a tool that is widely used,” Israeli state broadcaster KAN News reported.

    “The area on the Lebanese border is characterized by boulders, thickets, and dense thorn vegetation, which poses a challenge to the IDF troops deployed in defense.”

    Maariv quoted the IDF as saying that the tool was built by reservists serving at an outpost on the northern border, and another military source said that the video was filmed over a month ago.

    A trebuchet is an artillery weapon used primarily for siege purposes. They were used primarily in the medieval period.

    The incident follows recent heightened tensions in northern Israel.

    On Tuesday, the IDF killed Sami Taleb Abdullah, the most senior Hezbollah commander to be eliminated since October 7.

    On Wednesday, Hezbollah fired a heavy barrage of some 250 rockets onto Israel’s North. This constituted the largest amount of rockets fired at the area since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war. In addition, this was the first time rockets were fired as far south as the area of Tiberias.

    Earlier on Thursday, the military stated Israel Air Force (IAF) jets had struck Hezbollah military structures in the Ayta ash Shab area and terror infrastructure in the Aynata area of southern Lebanon.

    Israel and Hezbollah have been engaged in intensifying cross-border conflicts since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war.

    Hezbollah has targeted northern Israel with numerous rocket and UAV barrages, which has seen the evacuation of communities near the border and the outbreak of several fires as a result of rockets and shrapnel.

    In retaliation, the IAF has frequently struck strategic Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon, including terror infrastructure and terrorists.

    Policy experts have predicted immense destruction should Israel and Hezbollah engage in all-out war. According to researchers at the Alma Institute, Hezbollah has 150,000 mortars, 65,000 rockets with a range of up to 80 km, 5,000 rockets, and missiles with a range of 80-200 km, 5,000 missiles with a range of 200 km or more, 2,500 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – and hundreds of advanced missiles, such as anti-aircraft missiles or cruise missiles.

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    Air Force Celebrates Pride Month with CEO of Organization Advocating for Child Gender Transitions

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    The Department of the Air Force hosted a two-day pride month celebration that featured the CEO of an organization that advocates for children to undergo irreversible medical sex change procedures and pushes sexually explicit LGBT books onto children, The Daily Wire has learned.

    A promotional Air Force poster advertising the “DAF Pride Celebration,” exclusively obtained by The Daily Wire, reveals how the military branch celebrated pride month, showing that the CEO of the pro-transgender organization PFLAG, Brian Bond, was a keynote speaker at the event.

    PFLAG is one of the nation’s most prominent pro-transgender organizations. Under Bond’s leadership, it has fervently opposed legislation that seeks to protect children from cross-sex hormone treatments and sex change procedures.

    The event is being promoted on posters inside the Pentagon office space, according to images obtained by The Daily Wire. It was scheduled to take place in the Pentagon courtyard.

    Bond’s radical organization has a “transgender reading list for children” which includes “I Am Jazz,” which it described as a story about “a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings.” There’s also the “Gender Now Coloring Book,” which is “meant to provide reflection and support unity by showing multiple genders standing together.”

    Another book on the list, called “What Makes a Baby,” is said to be a “children’s book that takes gender out of making a baby.” The book’s author, Cory Silverberg, is one of the founders of what has been referred to as a “beginner’s sex store” in Toronto. He has also authored “Sex is a Funny Word,” a children’s book that discusses “transgender identity, intersex conditions, and masturbation.”

    A Pentagon source told The Daily Wire that the event is indicative of “misplaced” focus in the military, which is losing sight of its main purpose: fighting wars.

    “We are bombarded with emails, memos, official messages, meetings, and gatherings for special interest groups and social issues, but nary a word is issued about our warfighting heritage,” the source said. “This is indicative of a much larger problem in the Pentagon: more time and effort is spent on social programs and issues than preparing for war. The focus is misplaced, and taxpayers should know what they are paying for.”

    PFLAG has taken legal action against Texas, Missouri, and North Carolina after the states sought to protect children from medical interventions like cross-sex hormone therapy injections and sex-change surgeries.

    “Families need to be free to access care that is in their child’s best interest,” the organization argued in a statement that also said, “‘medical bans’ criminalize treating a transgender child under the age of 18, imposing penalties on parents and health care providers.”

    The military branch hosted a range of different activities and speakers for Pride Month beyond just the PFLAG CEO. The event schedule included “queer trivia,” as well as speaker sessions on “LGBTQ+ & Organizational Culture” and the “LGBTQ+ Civilian and Service Experience.”

    Opening comments on the second day of the event were offered by Lieutenant Colonel Bree Fram, an engineer with the United States Space Force and activist for pro-transgender policies in the military. The Daily Wire previously discovered that the Air Force Academy hosted Fram for a symposium where he spoke to cadets about transgender inclusion.

    Fram, a man who identifies as a woman, also addressed a Pride celebration where he called for those in the military to “initiate difficult conversations about racial and gender barriers.”

    Another session appears to advertise a pro-transgender activist group within the military called “SPARTA,” which calls itself “a beacon for transgender individuals who currently serve or have served in the U.S. military.”

    Another one of the speakers was Technical Sergeant Evelyn Lee, a member of SPARTA, who the organization described as “the first United States Air Force airman to begin a successful gender transition while stationed on the Korean Peninsula.” Lee is also credited with “shaping Department of the Air Force policies to better accommodate transgender service members.”

    Lt. Gen. Leah Lauderback, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations in the Air Force, is listed as another speaker. Lauderback was one of the cofounders of the LGBTQ Initiative Team, a “barriers analysis working group” that “focuses on the LGBTQ community and identifies and works to resolve the issues that disproportionately impede the success of LGBTQ Airmen and Guardians.”

    An Air Force Spokeswoman told The Daily Wire that the June 6 event was hosted by volunteers associated with the LGBTQ Initiative Team and that “appropriated funds were not expended for the speaker and attendance was strictly voluntary.”

    “The Department of Defense encourages special observances to recognize the continuous achievements of all Americans and to increase awareness, mutual respect, and understanding,” the spokeswoman went on to add. “They are designed to enhance cross-cultural competencies and promote harmony among all military members, their families, and the DoD civilian workforce.”

    This DAF celebration is far from the first time that the military and other agencies tasked with preserving our national security have pushed the LGBT Pride agenda. Even the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center is hosting its own Pride Month event, called the “LGBTQ+ Cross-Cultural Mentoring Panel.”

    The Pentagon has worked to institutionalize leftwing gender ideology and the broader diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) agenda, even requesting $114 million in taxpayer funding to support “unconscious bias diversity training” and “training programs and diversity and inclusion initiatives.”

    The leftwing ideology appears to have trickled down throughout the entire federal bureaucracy and military, with a recent Daily Wire investigation revealing that a summer camp exclusively for children of military families asked about the gender identities of six-year-olds, including the options transgender and non-binary on its sign-up form.

    Former President Donald Trump has pledged to use executive orders to fire leftwing bureaucrats who might otherwise obstruct his policy agenda. “We will pass critical reforms making every executive branch employee fireable by the President of the United States,” Trump said at a rally, touting his plan, adding that the deep state “must be brought to heel.”

    The Biden administration recently moved to strengthen job protections for bureaucrats in what appears to be a preemptive response to Trump’s plan.

    In the event that Trump is able to fire leftwing bureaucrats, however, his supporters may have an opportunity to join executive agencies en masse. Allies of the former president are preparing to fill the void left by outgoing bureaucrats, with the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 assembling a personnel database that could step into the administration in the event that Trump beats Biden in November.

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    House Votes to Hold AG Merrick Garland in Contempt

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    The House voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio of President Joe Biden’s interview in his classified documents case, Republicans’ latest and strongest rebuke of the Justice Department as partisan conflict over the rule of law animates the 2024 presidential campaign.

    The 216-207 vote fell along party lines, with Republicans coalescing behind the contempt effort despite reservations among some of the party’s more centrist members. Only one Republican — Rep. David Joyce of Ohio — voted against it.

    Garland said in a statement late Wednesday, “It is deeply disappointing that this House of Representatives has turned a serious congressional authority into a partisan weapon. Today’s vote disregards the constitutional separation of powers, the Justice Department’s need to protect its investigations, and the substantial amount of information we have provided to the Committees.”

    He added, “I will always stand up for this Department, its employees, and its vital mission to defend our democracy.”

    Garland is now the third attorney general to be held in contempt of Congress. Yet it is unlikely that the Justice Department — which Garland oversees — will prosecute him. The White House’s decision to exert executive privilege over the audio recording, shielding it from Congress, would make it exceedingly difficult to make a criminal case against Garland.

    Nonetheless, Speaker Mike Johnson defended the decision to push ahead with what is now a mostly symbolic effort.

    “Look, we did our job on the contempt, and I think it sends an important message,” the Louisiana Republican said following the vote. “We’ll see what happens next, but, I mean, the House has to do its work and I’m pleased with the outcome today.”

    The White House and congressional Democrats have slammed Republicans’ motives for pursuing contempt and dismissed their efforts to obtain the audio as purely political. They also pointed out that Rep. Jim Jordan, the GOP chair of the House Judiciary Committee, defied his own congressional subpoena last session.

    “This contempt resolution will do very little, other than smear the reputation of Merrick Garland, who will remain a good and decent public servant no matter what Republicans say about him today,” New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, the top Democrat on Judiciary Committee, said during floor debate.

    Garland has defended the Justice Department, saying officials have gone to extraordinary lengths to provide information to the committees about Special Counsel Robert Hur’s classified documents investigation, including a transcript of Biden’s interview with him.

    “There have been a series of unprecedented and frankly unfounded attacks on the Justice Department,” Garland said in a press conference last month. “This request, this effort to use contempt as a method of obtaining our sensitive law enforcement files is just most recent.”

    Republicans were incensed when Hur declined to prosecute Biden over his handling of classified documents and quickly opened an investigation. GOP lawmakers — led by Jordan and Rep. James Comer — sent a subpoena for audio of Hur’s interviews with Biden during the spring. But the Justice Department only turned over some of the records, leaving out audio of the interview with the president.

    On the last day to comply with the Republicans’ subpoena for the audio, the White House blocked the release by invoking executive privilege. It said that Republicans in Congress only wanted the recordings “to chop them up” and use them for political purposes.

    Executive privilege gives presidents the right to keep information from the courts, Congress and the public to protect the confidentiality of decision-making, though it can be challenged in court.

    Administrations of both political parties have long held the position that officials who assert a president’s claim of executive privilege can’t be prosecuted for contempt of Congress, a Justice Department official told Republicans last month.

    Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte cited a committee’s decision in 2008 to back down from a contempt effort after President George W. Bush asserted executive privilege to keep Congress from getting records involving Vice President Dick Cheney.

    Before Garland, the last attorney general held in contempt was Bill Barr in 2019. That was when the Democratically controlled House voted to issue a referral against Barr after he refused to turn over documents related to a special counsel investigation into Trump.

    Years before that, then-Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt related to the gun-running operation known as Operation Fast and Furious. In each of those instances, the Justice Department took no action against the attorney general.

    The special counsel in Biden’s case, Hur, spent a year investigating the president’s improper retention of classified documents, from his time as a senator and as vice president. The result was a 345-page report that questioned Biden’s age and mental competence but recommended no criminal charges for the 81-year-old. Hur said he found insufficient evidence to successfully prosecute a case in court.

    In March, Hur stood by his no-prosecution assessment in testimony before the Judiciary Committee, where he was grilled for more than four hours by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

    His defense did not satisfy Republicans, who insist that there is a politically motivated double standard at the Justice Department, which is prosecuting former President Donald Trump over his retention of classified documents at his Florida club after he left the White House.

    But there are major differences between the two probes. Biden’s team returned the documents after they were discovered, and the president cooperated with the investigation by voluntarily sitting for an interview and consenting to searches of his homes.

    Trump, by contrast, is accused of enlisting the help of aides and lawyers to conceal the documents from the government and of seeking to have potentially incriminating evidence destroyed.

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