Suspect in Deadliest Terror Attack Ever on British Soil Has Been Taken Into US Custody
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The Lockerbie bombing suspect was taken into custody on Sunday.

“The United States has taken custody of alleged Pan Am flight 103 bombmaker Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi,” a Department of Justice spokesperson confirmed to Fox News. “He is expected to make his initial appearance in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Additional details, including information regarding public access to the initial appearance, will be forthcoming.”

The statement gave no information on how Mas’ud came to be in U.S. custody.

Scotland’s Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said in a statement that “the families of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing have been told that the suspect Abu Agela Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi is in U.S. custody.”

Pan Am flight 103, traveling from London to New York, exploded over Lockerbie on Dec. 21, 1988, killing all 259 people aboard the plane and another 11 on the ground. It remains the deadliest terror attack on British soil.

“U.S. officials had to know that he was possibly being released. And it probably has to do with the limitations in that particular host country in terms of sentencing and the amount of time that someone serves,” former assistant FBI Director Chris Swecker said on Fox & Friends Weekend. “So knowing that this person, they just couldn’t let him go, they made that decision to go ahead and render him back to the United States. Now, I don’t know this — I don’t have inside information, but I can’t imagine any other reason why he would be back in the United States. I don’t think he would come here voluntarily.”

“This is fairly dated. It was an attempt to start a revolution, if you will, by Gadhafi. He had it in for the United States. But this type of terrorism hasn’t gone away,” Swecker added. “I’m afraid we’ve taken our eye off the ball of international terrorism. I think this is a reminder that we need to make sure that we keep our eye on that. With all the so-called domestic terrorism going on. Now, international terrorism like this is still out there. They have long memories.”

The U.S. Justice Department announced new charges against Mas’ud in December 2020, on the 32nd anniversary of the bombing.

“At long last, this man responsible for killing Americans and many others will be subject to justice for his crimes,” William Barr, the attorney general under the Trump administration at the time, said at a press conference.

In 2001, former Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of bombing the flight. He is to date the only person convicted over the attack. He lost one appeal and abandoned another before being freed in 2009 on compassionate grounds because he was terminally ill with cancer.

He died in Libya in 2012, still protesting his innocence.

A breakthrough in the investigation came when U.S. officials in 2017 received a copy of an interview that Mas’ud, a longtime explosives expert for Libya’s intelligence service, had given to Libyan law enforcement in 2012 after being taken into custody following the collapse of the regime of the country’s leader, Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

In that interview, U.S. officials said, Mas’ud admitted building the bomb in the Pan Am attack and working with two other conspirators to carry it out. He also said the operation was ordered by Libyan intelligence and that Gadhafi thanked him and other members of the team after the attack, according to an FBI affidavit filed in the case.

While Mas’ud is now the third Libyan intelligence official charged in the U.S. in connection with the Lockerbie bombing, he would be the first to stand trial in an American courtroom.

The Crown Office in its statement added that “Scottish prosecutors and police, working with U.K. government and U.S. colleagues, will continue to pursue this investigation, with the sole aim of bringing those who acted along with al-Megrahi to justice.”

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Pro-Life Father Arrested by FBI Acquitted on Federal Charges



A Catholic pro-life activist facing 11 years in prison for allegedly violating a federal law prohibiting people from blocking others from entering an abortion clinic was acquitted on Monday following a week-long trial.

Mark Houck leads a nonprofit group that counsels women outside of abortion clinics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was providing sidewalk counseling when, the Department of Justice says, he assaulted an abortion escort twice “because he was a volunteer reproductive health care clinic escort.”

“Assault is always a serious offense, and under the [Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances] FACE Act, if the victim is targeted because of their association with a reproductive healthcare clinic, it is a federal crime,” U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero said in a DOJ press release. “Our Office and the Department of Justice are committed to prosecuting crimes which threaten the safety and rights of all individuals.”

The FACE Act makes it a federal crime to injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone due to their status as a provider of reproductive health care.

Houck and his attorneys at the Thomas More Society argued, however, that this was “a political prosecution” meant to “send a message” to pro-life Americans.

“And what’s clear from the Department of Justice at its highest levels, which is directing this case, [is] that they are trying to send a message to pro-life and people of faith: ‘Don’t mess with us,’” Thomas More Society vice president Peter Breen told Fox News. “They want to intimidate — they want to cause good people like Mark to stop praying and counseling at the abortion clinics of our country. And that’s not going to happen.”

Breen told the outlet that the case was thrown out of state court but revived by the Biden administration nearly a year after the incident. Further, Breen said, some 20 FBI agents raided Houck’s home when they arrested him, treating him “as if he was a drug lord or a mafia boss.”

“If he was truly a danger to the community, they wouldn’t have waited a year to prosecute,” Breen said. “Serious questions need to be asked of the attorney general. What was he thinking? Why did they do this obscene show of force against a peaceful pillar of the community?”

Houck’s lawyers also argued that the DOJ’s claim that the FACE Act protects anyone associated with an abortion clinic is inaccurate.

“The FACE Act was never intended to cover disputes between advocates on the public sidewalks outside of our nation’s abortion clinics,” Breen said in a statement earlier this month. “This new evidence shows clearly that Congress intended to limit the FACE Act to patients and staff working in the clinic, and not to take sides between pro-life and pro-choice counselors and escorts on the sidewalk. The Biden Department of Justice’s prosecution of Mark Houck is pure harassment, meant solely to intimidate our nation’s pro-life sidewalk counselors who provide vital resources to help pregnant women at risk for abortion.”

Houck pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and testified at trial that he and the clinic escort, Bruce Love, had two altercations on the day in question. The first occurred while Houck was counseling two women crossing the street who left Planned Parenthood, Catholic News Agency reported. Love allegedly chased Houck about 100 feet in an attempt to stop him from counseling the women, Life News reported. Houck claimed that Love surprised and made contact with him, causing him to ask, “What are you doing?” and reflexively elbow the escort in the hip to move him out of the way. The prosecution argued that Houck elbowed Love unprovoked because of his status as a clinic escort.

After this, Houck said Love left the clinic and stood near Houck’s 12-year-old son while taunting Houck Sr., saying, “You’re hurting women. You don’t care about women.”

Houck said Love also repeatedly disparaged him to his son, who testified on Friday that Love stood about an arm’s length away from him near the clinic.

“I moved away… because I was scared,” the younger Houck testified, adding that Love told him, “Your dad’s a bad person. Your dad’s harassing women.”

It was after Houck repeatedly told Love to stop harassing his son that Houck said he pushed Love away.

The jury deadlocked on Friday after two-and-a-half hours of deliberation, telling U.S. District Judge Gerald Pappert that they didn’t think they could come to a conclusion given more time. Pappert sent the jury home but instructed them to return Monday morning and continue deliberations anyway.

On Monday, the jury acquitted Houck. Following the verdict, Breen released a statement condemning the Biden administration for pursuing his client.

“We are, of course, thrilled with the outcome,” Breen said. “Mark and his family are now free of the cloud that the Biden administration threw upon them. We took on Goliath – the full might of the United States government – and won. The jury saw through and rejected the prosecution’s discriminatory case, which was harassment from day one. This is a win for Mark and the entire pro-life movement. The Biden Department of Justice’s intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith has been put in its place.”

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DOJ Responds To Jim Jordan’s Demands In Biden Docs Probe



The Justice Department rejected the House Judiciary Committee’s demand for records about the investigation into President Joe Biden‘s handling of classified materials.

Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte issued the agency’s response to a January 13 letter sent by Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), who sought documents and communications underlying the inquiry, including the appointment of a special counsel the lawmakers said had raised “fundamental oversight questions” that are “routinely” examined by their panel.

Citing “longstanding policy,” Uriarte said the Justice Department is averse to sharing “non-public information” central to an ongoing investigation because doing so “could violate statutory requirements or court orders, reveal roadmaps for our investigations, and interfere with the Department’s ability to gather facts, interview witnesses and bring criminal prosecutions where warranted.”

Disclosures from active investigations “risk jeopardizing those investigations and creating the appearance that Congress may be exerting improper political pressure or attempting to influence Department decisions in certain cases,” Uriarte added. “Judgments about whether and how to pursue a matter are, and must remain, the exclusive responsibility of the Department.”

All that really was explained in detail in the new letter was an already-established timeline of events on steps taken after classified materials were first found in November at Biden’s think tank office in Washington, D.C., and later his Wilmington, Delaware, residence. That includes an initial review by U.S. Attorney John Lausch, and, at his recommendation, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointing former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel to examine whether “any person or entity violated the law in connection with this matter.”

The letter, published in full Monday by the Washington Examiner, refrained from directly addressing particular records about the run-up to the special counsel investigation or various records from the Justice Department, FBI, or the White House also sought by Jordan and Johnson. Uriarte said the Justice Department would abide by regulations he cited as reasons for the agency’s limited ability to report to Congress, but he encouraged the GOP lawmakers to contact his office for further assistance.

“Our Members are rightly concerned about the Justice Department’s double standard here. After all, some of the Biden documents were found at a think tank that has received funds from communist China,” Jordan spokesman Russell Dye said in a statement. “It’s concerning, to say the least, that the Department is more interested in playing politics than cooperating.”

It remains to be seen whether Republicans in control of the House will escalate the showdown as they gear up for multiple investigations into the Biden administration. Jordan told CNN last week lawmakers are “definitely looking at asking for documents via subpoena.” Among the concerns raised by Jordan and others are the prospect of unauthorized possession of classified materials dating back to Biden’s time as a senator and vice president.

Frustrations have also been mounting on the Senate side even as Biden’s team insists they are cooperating with the National Archives and Justice Department. Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee left a classified briefing last week in an uproar, with leaders of the panel arguing they were being prevented from performing their congressional oversight duties because the U.S intelligence community refused to show records at the center of the Biden documents scandal as well as records at the heart of a separate special counsel inquiry into former President Donald Trump’s handling of documents.

Uriarte sent a response to Senate Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) over the weekend. In that letter, reported by CBS News, Uriarte assured the senators the Justice Department was “working with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to support the provision of information that will satisfy the Committee’s responsibilities without harming the ongoing Special Counsel investigations.”

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Trump Sues Bob Woodward for Nearly $50M over Release of Interview Recordings



Former President Donald Trump is suing journalist Bob Woodward and his publisher for nearly $50 million over the inclusion of audio recordings of an interview the ex commander-in-chief did with the veteran reporter in an audiobook released last year.

Trump, 76, alleges in the lawsuit filed on Monday that he never agreed for 19 taped interviews conducted for Woodward’s 2020 book “Rage” to be included in the audiobook “The Trump Tapes,” published by Simon & Schuster Inc. last year.

“This case centers on Mr. Woodward’s systematic usurpation, manipulation, and exploitation of audio of President Trump gathered in connection with a series of interviews conducted by Mr. Woodward,” Trump’s lawyers argue in the 31-page filing.

The lawsuit claims that Woodward’s “Rage” book flopped compared to his previous Trump book, “Fear,” released in 2018, and in an effort “to exploit, usurp, and capitalize” off of the taped Trump interviews, Woodward decided after the release of “Rage” to package them into a new audiobook.

“In publishing Rage, Woodward clearly hoped to replicate the success of Fear, but he failed to do so. Faced with the reality that Rage was a complete and total failure, Woodward decided to exploit, usurp, and capitalize upon President Trump’s voice by releasing the Interview Sound Recordings of their interviews with President Trump in the form of an audiobook,” the suit claims.

“The Defendants’ ongoing concerted efforts to profit off the protected audio recordings and the works they have distributed derived from the protected audio recordings have caused President Trump to sustain substantial damage,” the lawsuit alleges.

The suit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida, seeks more than $49 million in damages and names Simon & Schuster and its parent company Paramount Global as defendants along with Woodward.

“The Trump Tapes,” sold more than two million copies at $24.99 apiece, according to CNBC.

In October, Trump sued CNN for $475 million in punitive damages, alleging defamation and claiming that the network had carried out a “campaign of libel and slander” against him.

Earlier this month, a Florida judge ordered Trump and his lawyer to pay nearly $1 million in sanctions to cover the legal costs for Hillary Clinton and dozens of other defendants involved in one of the ex-commander in chief’s failed lawsuits alleging a conspiracy to target him for criminal prosecution.

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‘B***h, You’re Not Gonna Talk to Me Like That’: 9th-Grade Female Student Viciously Assaults Her Teacher



A Georgia school district and sheriff’s office are investigating a student assault on a teacher caught on video Thursday at Heritage High School in Conyers, the Rockdale Citizen reported.

The attack was recorded from at least two angles and posted to social media. The first video shows a female student hollering in a female teacher’s face inside a classroom: “I don’t give a f*** if you’re an adult or not! You’re not gonna talk to me like that, you dumbass bitch!”

The teacher tells the student, “Get outta my face, baby.”

The Citizen reported that the student knocked a cell phone out of the teacher’s hand while the teacher called for assistance.

The student then is seen pushing or striking the teacher with both hands, and the teacher appears to put her hands up in order to protect herself.

As the teacher walks away from the student and heads to the door, the student follows her and hollers, “Bitch, you’re not gonna talk to me like that! You’re not gonna talk to me like that!”

While the teacher is in the hallway, the student attempts to close the door, but the teacher steps back into the doorway, and things escalate.

“Do not put your hands on me!” the teacher tells the student.

But the violence spirals out of control as the student repeatedly hits the teacher and grabs the teacher’s hair while the teacher appears to attempt to protect herself; students in the classroom react with hoots and hollers.

A second video shot from an opposite angle across the hallway shows the teacher and student grappling and then tumbling upon the hallway floor. The student quickly gets on top of the teacher and repeatedly hits her until she’s pulled away.

The paper said the teacher apparently didn’t strike the student.

The second video appears to show the teacher’s right leg buckle before she falls; at the end of the second clip, the teacher is heard saying, “My leg’s broken.”

Here are the videos. Content warning: Language:

The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office told the paper the teacher was injured and is recovering, and the student — reportedly a ninth-grader — was detained and taken to a juvenile facility.

A sheriff’s office spokesman added to the paper that law enforcement is “actively investigating this incident. Once there is a decision to charge either party, RCSO will take the proper steps.”

Rockdale County Public Schools issued the following statement Thursday evening, the paper said: “Rockdale County Public Schools is investigating an incident where a student allegedly attacked a teacher during class today. RCPS does not tolerate student violence towards any staff members. Students who harm other students or staff will be disciplined according to our Student Discipline Code of Conduct and will be appropriately charged by law enforcement. We will adhere to personnel and student privacy laws in this matter.”

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Laverne & Shirley’ Actress Cindy Williams Dead at 75



Cindy Williams, who starred in “Laverne & Shirley,” died on Wednesday at the age of 75 following a brief illness, according to her family.

Williams portrayed Shirley alongside Penny Marshall’s Laverne on the popular sitcom.

The family’s spokesperson, Liza Cranis, released a statement to Fox News Digital on behalf of Williams’ children.

“The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed. Knowing and loving her has been our joy and privilege. She was one of a kind, beautiful, generous and possessed a brilliant sense of humor and a glittering spirit that everyone loved,” the statement began.

“We have always been, and will remain, SO proud of her for many things…her lifelong mission to rescue animals, her prolific artistry, her faith, and most of all, her ability to make the world laugh! May that laughter continue in everyone, because she would want that. Thank you for loving our Mom, she loved you too.”

Williams also starred in director George Lucas’ 1973 film “American Graffiti” and director Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation” from 1974.

But she was by far best known for “Laverne & Shirley,” the “Happy Days” spinoff that ran on ABC from 1976 to 1983 and that in its prime was among the most popular shows on TV.

Williams played the straitlaced Shirley to Marshall’s more libertine Laverne on the show about a pair of roommates who worked at a Milwaukee bottling factory in the 1950s and ’60s.

Williams’ co-star, Penny, passed away in 2018 at 75. Penny Marshall was the sister of Garry Marshall, who co-created the series.

Williams made a few guest appearances on “Law and Order: SVU,” “7th Haven” and “8 Simple Rules” in her acting career. Other television roles include “The Odd Couple,” “A Dream of Christmas,” “Sam and Cat” and “Getting By and Normal Life.”

Williams released her book “Shirley I Jest: A Storied Life” in 2015, and had just recently completed a national theater tour, “Me, Myself and Shirley.”

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WATCH: Bill Gates Gets Nervous when Reporter Confronts Him About Relationship with Epstein



Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates became visibly uncomfortable when a reporter confronted him about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

ABC Australia reporter Sarah Ferguson asked Gates in an interview that aired Monday whether he feels “regret” for having “maintained” a relationship with Epstein “despite Melinda’s advice and wishes,” referring to his ex-wife Melinda French Gates.

Gates, clearly uncomfortable and annoyed with the question, admitted that he does.

“I said that I’m— this is going way back in time, but yeah I will say for the over 100th time, yeah I shouldn’t have had dinners with him,” Gates said.

Despite his reticence, Ferguson pushed the issue farther. Noting that “Epstein had a way of sexually compromising people,” she asked whether Melinda had warned Gates about putting himself in such a position.

“No, I mean its—” Gates responded before taking a brief pause. “No. I had dinner with him and that’s all.”

When Ferguson asked whether Gates regretted any connection between Epstein and his charitable efforts, Gates denied that any such relationship had existed.

The New York Times, however, alleged in an infamous 2019 story that Gates and Epstein did maintain some type of relationship.

In fact, beginning in 2011, Mr. Gates met with Mr. Epstein on numerous occasions — including at least three times at Mr. Epstein’s palatial Manhattan townhouse, and at least once staying late into the night, according to interviews with more than a dozen people familiar with the relationship, as well as documents reviewed by The New York Times.

Gates has denied being Epstein’s friend. Last year, he said that meeting with Epstein was a “huge mistake.”

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Americans Name the US’ Worst Problem — and it’s Not Inflation or Immigration



Americans now say that a lack of leadership from President Biden and the Congress is the country’s biggest problem — outpacing inflation, ​the immigration crisis and the state of the economy, according to a poll released on Monday. ​

Despite Americans getting socked in the wallet, “the government/poor leadership” took over the No. 1 spot from inflation over the past year, with 21% of Americans naming it as the “most important problem facing this country today​” compared to the 15% who said so last year, a Gallup Poll found.

​Inflation and the economy ​came in last year as the top two issues — tied at 16% each — followed by the government (15%), immigration (8%) and unifying the country (6%). ​

Over the past year, Americans’ concerns with the economy fell 6 percentage points to 10%, ​inflation fell one point to 15%, and immigration rose 3 points to 11%.

The percentage of Americans who named unifying the country as one of the problems remained the same.

Americans’ outlook appears to have tracked the cooling rate of inflation, which fell from 7.5% last January to 6.5% in December, according to the most recent numbers.

The poll was conducted between Jan. 2-22 when the discovery of classified documents at President Biden’s Delaware home and the US House of Representatives prolonged vote on electing Rep. Kevin McCarthy the House speaker dominated headlines.

​But the poll pointed out that the approval ratings for Biden (41%) and Congress (21%) remain basically unchanged over the past year.

Republicans believe “the government/poor leadership” is more of a problem (24%) than Democrats (18%).

Republicans pick inflation and the economy (both at 18%) as the second most pressing problems, followed by the economy (11%), declines in morality, ethics and the family (6%) and the federal budget deficit (5%).

Democrats go with inflation (11%), the economy (9%) then race relations (9%), unifying the country (8%), and the environment (6%).

And while Americans might be worried about the government, the economy doesn’t get a pass.

Forty-five percent rate the economy as poor, 38% as only fair and 15% say good.

Only 2% say it is excellent – percentages that are only incrementally better than last year.

But 72% believe the economy is going to get worse while 22% think it will get better.

Asked about the job market, 64% say this is a good time to find a “quality job,” compared to 33% who say it is a bad time.

Last year, 62% said it was a good time and 35% said it was a bad time.

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‘Frankly Grotesque’: Internet Reacts To ‘Non-Binary’ Singer’s New Sexually Charged Music Video



Singer Sam Smith is facing criticism for his over-the-top, sexually charged music video, which critics point out is visible to young fans on YouTube.

The 30-year-old U.K.-based performer, who identifies as “non-binary,” just dropped a new video for the single “I’m Not Here To Make Friends,” which is featured on the recently-released album, “Gloria.” The video is rife with sexual imagery, including Smith dancing and wearing pasties while surrounded by scantily clad backup dancers.

There’s also one buzzed-about clip of him being sprayed in the mouth with water that some have interpreted to represent a bodily fluid.

“YouTube does not have any age restrictions on Sam Smiths (sic) degrading sexualized new music video. 5 year olds can search this up and watch it with no content restrictions! Sam Smith, this is not art. This is not trendy. This is not empowering. This is monstrous,” one Twitter account posted alongside a GIF from the music video.

“Sam Smith is a perfect example of what degenerate Hollywood culture does to people. It makes celebrities vulgar, hyper-sexualized and obsessed with wearing their sexuality like a costume and shoving it in everyone’s face,” another account agreed. “And to make matters worse, kids look up to this man!”

“Can I just say I used to love Sam Smith when he made actual music,” a third account echoed. “Since then, he’s become frankly grotesque, cheapened his talent and turned into a complete joke. Why isn’t somebody close to him telling him he looks terrible?”

Smith previously discussed the new album during an interview with CBS Mornings.

“I felt this pressure, that I put on myself mostly, to do that every time and I was like, ‘Okay, this is my ’brand,’ you know, I am ‘this’ and then the arts started to suffer because of that,” Smith said.

He discussed how risky the album was to make. “I think that you can’t blame people for thinking something’s not beautiful sometimes. Some people just didn’t like it, but it was a case where I had to sit there and be like, ‘Wait, maybe you don’t like that because you don’t understand it.’”

“The music industry is just not used to queer artists,” Smith went on.

“I’ve always been very sexual and very open and loved dancing and moving my body and singing and making songs that allow my body to move in the way that it does in front of people is just so exciting,” the “Unholy” singer concluded.

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Democrat Pa. Mayor Arrested on DUI Charges: Police



Upper Darby Mayor Barbarann Keffer was arrested in Upper Chichester Township on suspicion of DUI after a sergeant with the department confirmed to CBS3 this morning Keffer was observed driving on Route 322 with a flat tire and a broken headlight.

Keffer was given field sobriety tests, according to police, at which time an officer determined she was not capable of driving.

Investigators say she was taken to the police department where they say she refused a blood test.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, police pulled Keffer over after 9 p.m.

After exiting her Toyota Corolla for field sobriety tests, Keffer had “slurred speech, glassy bloodshot eyes, had unstable balance and a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from her breath,” an Upper Chichester officer wrote in the affidavit.

Upper Darby officials sent a statement:

Last evening, Mayor Barbarann Keffer was involved in a traffic incident and plans to cooperate fully with local authorities in Upper Chichester. The Mayor was arrested on suspicion of DUI and released. Mayor Keffer and her family request privacy as they deal with the personal aspects of this incident and she will offer additional comment in the near future.

“I can assure you that the government is operating as usual to serve the residents, businesses, and visitors of Upper Darby, with our administrative leadership and their team members focused on providing municipal services, programs, and activities to the community,” township Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Alison Dobbins said in an email.

Sources say Keffer was at a political fundraiser last night before the traffic stop.

It’s alleged by police Keffer hit a guiderail, damaged her car and kept going before being pulled over.

Barbarann Keffer’s move to defund the police

In 2020, the Upper Darby Police Department’s armored police vehicle was sent to another police department in western Pennsylvania.

“The tank sort of symbolizes an overmilitarized police department,”  said Barbarann Keffer. She added that her administration is working to modernize the police department.

The vehicle had its supporters, including Republican township Councilman Tom Wagner and the Delaware County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 27.

“It’s been a very useful vehicle,” Wagner said, adding it was recently used last week during Tropical Storm Isaias. “It was proven to be a useful vehicle in a natural emergency. (The police) used that vehicle to save people’s lives.”

Chris Eiserman, second vice president of the Delaware County FOP, agreed.

“This vehicle rescued 22 people in one day and drove one person to the hospital,” he said. “The day after, (Keffer) put it on a flatbed and had it taken out of there. Who’s going to rescue those people the next time there’s flood waters?”

Eiserman said the vehicle could be used for multiple reasons such as protecting police during a school shooting or a barricaded subject in their home or to allow kids to become acquainted with police at Community Days by climbing on it.

“They took that out of our toolbox,” he said. “It’s crazy. This is a type of equipment that is not only used to rescue police but also residents. Now we don’t have that piece of equipment. These guys all made these dramatic rescues with this piece of equipment on Tuesday and they show up to work Wednesday and it’s being shipped out.”

Eiserman claimed that the Keffer administration is moving to remove the township SWAT team and all of the department’s tactical long range rifles.

“All they’re giving our police officers is a car and a handgun,” he said, adding that only highly trained SWAT officers, who train every month, were authorized to carry the rifles. “It’s not like a regular patrolman would carry that rifle. It’s one of the biggest police departments in our area and they’re taking our equipment away.”

Rongione said no rifles have been removed from the 130-member department, although conversations have begun to that effect.

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NYC Mayor Eric Adams Is Forcing All City Employees to Go Through Radical CRT-Style Training



Mayor Eric Adams’ New York City forced all of its employees into a radical critical race theory-inspired training, according to a copy of the training reviewed by Fox News Digital.

The “mandatory” training was sent to all New York City employees with a March 6 deadline. “The training provides all NYC employees with a framework to understand… the importance of racial equity… in the workplace,” the email said.

The controversial lens expressed in the training is called critical race theory, which holds that America is and was always structurally racist; CRT adds that the U.S. was designed from its start to systematically oppress minority groups in order to uphold systems of power for the dominant culture or White racial group. CRT also maintains an oppressor versus oppressed lens of society and classifies people into groups based on supposed “privilege.”

A source familiar with the “racial equity” training told Fox News Digital, “Where they were discussing equity, how we have to look at people through a particular lens, that contradicted… [the idea that] we should treat everybody equally.”

“I do not agree with what they want us to do as city employees. The [racial equity training] leads me to believe that they want the contracts with the city and the hiring from the city being looked at through this lens. And that’s what I think is really unfair. It goes against their [stated claims]… that everybody should be treated equally.”

The training said that there was no scientific basis to race, and that it was invented to create a system of “exclusion and oppression.”

“Race has no genetic or scientific basis. It is a social construct created to classify people on the arbitrary basis of skin color and other physical features,” it said. “Despite this, race has a very real impact on people’s lives. This is because our society has used race to establish and justify systems of power, privilege, exclusion and oppression.”

The training said there were two other types of racism besides for “individual racism.”

“Institutional racism: policies, practices, patterns and structures within public and private institutions that impose oppressive or otherwise negative conditions on identifiable groups on the basis of race or ethnicity,” it stated. “Structural racism/Systematic racism: Racism that occurs across multiple institutions and is integrated into politics, culture and other aspects of life. Creating a system that negatively impacts communities of color compared to White communities.”

It also said all New York City workplaces should maintain an “equity lens” by implementing “antiracism training” in their workforces, creating “safe spaces” where race can be regularly discussed, and address “unconscious bias” which may be causing a racist work environment.

“To foster equity. Embrace the idea that a problem may exist. Become aware of systematic racism and the possible presence of racial inequity in your workplace,” the training stated. “Understand the dominant cultural patterns of your workplace and whether they are hurting or helping your diversity, equity and inclusion goals.”

The training continued, “Be Conscious. Unconscious Bias. Implicit bias occurs when our brains make quick judgments and assess people and situations without us consciously knowing or realizing it. These biases are pervasive and employees often possess them unintentionally.”

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CNN Grills Adam Schiff Over False Impeachment Claims



Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who was recently booted off the House Intelligence Committee, faced scrutiny during an interview on Sunday over past examples of him allegedly politicizing intelligence information for partisan gain.

Schiff made the remarks during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Dana Bash while talking about losing his spot on the committee.

“You said that there was direct evidence of the fact that Donald Trump colluded with Russia back in 2016. Special counsel Robert Mueller said in his report — quote — ‘The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government,’” Bash said. “Republicans argue that’s proof that you used your position the Intelligence Committee to intentionally mislead Americans, which is why you should not be on that committee.”

Schiff claimed that the report did not say that and that the report revealed that then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign manager shared internal campaign polling data with a Russian agent. “To most Americans, that is collusion,” he claimed. “Now, whether it’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the crime of conspiracy — that’s what Bob Mueller was talking about — I have always distinguished between the two.”

Bash responded by highlighting another example that Republicans point to when they mention the problems that they have with Schiff being on the Intelligence Committee.

“Ahead of the first Trump impeachment, you said the committee had not spoken to a whistle-blower,” Bash said. “In fact, that turned out not to be true.”

“When I was asked the question, I thought they were referring to whether we had brought the whistle-blower in,” Schiff claimed. “And I should have been more clear in my answer.”

Bash noted that “The Washington Post” fact-check team said that his claim about whistleblower were false.


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WATCH: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is Filmed Dancing in Streets of Windy City, as Crime Soars 61%



Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been blasted over a video of her dancing on the streets, amid continued violent crime and the loss of more flagship stores on the city’s ‘Magnificent Mile’ shopping district that now sits one third empty.

Lightfoot, who is four weeks shy of what polls have shown is an uphill Democratic primary battle with several opponents, was seen dancing along to a drumline at the city’s Lunar New Year parade Sunday.

It caused one Twitter user to say: ‘Since [Lightfoot]’s term began, Chicago has suffered 2,278 homicides and over 9,000 shot. Since January 1, the city has endured 41 homicides and 194 shot. Yet here Lightfoot is blissfully dancing and asking voters to return her to office. Lightfoot is detached from reality.’

In addition to rising crime – overall crime is up a shocking 61 percent in the first four weeks of 2023 from the same period last year – Lightfoot has overseen vacancy rates of nearly 30 percent after flagship stores on the Magnificent Mile bailed.

Huge brands like Macy’s, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Gap, Uniqlo and Timberland have all fled large premises since Covid shutdowns and ensuing riots.

Many were driven away by soaring crime and violence, with the vacancy rate on the once tony shopping strip rising 10-fold since 2016, when it sat at just 3.6 percent, to the current 30.1 percent vacancy rate.

A journalist recorded a video of an empty shopping district in Chicago on Sunday that in the past, despite the poor weather, would have been filled with people.

The Magnificent Mile’s vacancy rate was under five percent just six years ago, according to NBC Chicago.

Lightfoot made history as the first black woman and first openly gay person to serve as Chicago mayor, sailing to victory four years ago as an outsider who vowed to rid City Hall of corruption and deliver a safer, more equitable city.

But her bid for a second term is very much in question amid concerns about continuing high crime in the nation’s third-largest city and accusations that she is overly hostile and sometimes flat-out mean – criticism she has dismissed as sexist and racist smears against a tough leader who is passionate about Chicago.

Ahead of a crowded February 28 election, Lightfoot has been forced to go on the defensive in a heated race that has turned into both a personality contest and a policy debate.

‘We have started to change Chicago around for the better,’ Lightfoot said during a recent debate. ‘I want to finish the job that we have started.’

With nine candidates in the race, it is unlikely that anyone will exceed the 50 percent threshold needed to win the officially nonpartisan election outright. That means the winner is likely to be decided in an April 4 runoff between the top two.

Were she to lose, Lightfoot would be the first Chicago mayor in decades to run for reelection and fail. And unlike her predecessors, Lightfoot doesn’t enjoy a fundraising advantage over her top rivals.

The election will be an early test this year of how crime factors into mayoral races in big-city Democratic strongholds. Other major cities electing mayors this year, including Philadelphia, are also grappling with how to balance progressive ideals with residents’ day-to-day concerns about keeping their families safe.

Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor who had never before run for political office, emerged from a crowded field in 2019 to defeat far better known candidates with support from voters weary of political corruption and cover-ups.

She says her administration has made concrete progress on critical issues, from putting money into neighborhoods that have seen decades of disinvestment to taking illegal guns off the streets.

But she notes that the last four years haven’t been easy, with a global pandemic and protests over police violence that she said represented ‘some of the toughest times that we´ve ever faced’ in Chicago.

Lightfoot’s handling of crises has sometimes drawn praise, such as when she ordered lockdowns early in the coronavirus pandemic and an image of the stern-faced mayor became a popular meme. But at other times, Lightfoot´s actions have been questioned.

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Major Insurers Plan to Drop Two Car Models’ Coverage Due to Thefts



At least two major automotive insurers are refusing to protect certain Kia and Hyundai models because they lack anti-theft common in today’s cars, according to reports.

Both State Farm and Progressive confirmed with CNN that they no longer write policies for some Kia and Hyundai models manufactured between 2015-2019.

In September 2022, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IHHS, and Highway Loss Data Institute reported that vehicle theft claims for 2015-19 Hyundai and Kia vehicles were nearly twice as common as the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

“Car theft spiked during the pandemic,” HLDI Senior Vice President Matt Moore said in the report. “These numbers tell us that some vehicles may be targeted because they’re fast or worth a lot of money, and others because they’re easy to steal.”

The report also noted that the Hyundai and Kia vehicles being stolen lack electronic mobilizers that can hinder a thief’s ability to steal a car from just breaking into the car and bypassing the ignition. Once immobilizers were added to the cars, Moore said, vehicle thefts of Kias and Hyundais “plunged.”

The report also notes that immobilizers were standard in 26 percent of Kia and Hyundai vehicle models in 2015, but standard in 96 percent of all other manufacturers.

State Farm and Progressive did not immediately respond to inquiries seeking additional information about the claims.

In a statement to CNN, State Farm confirmed the temporary halting of writing insurance policies in some states for some Kia and Hyundai model years and trim levels.

Progressive also confirmed with CNN that they were making changes. In some areas, Progressive is increasing rates and limiting the sale of new insurance policies for those who have Kias and Hyundais that fit within the slot of vehicles that are at substantial risk.

Kia and Hyundai vehicle thefts are up as much as 300% over the past two years in some cities.

Videos posted on social media show people how to start the vehicles without keys, but instead with the tip of a phone charger or USB cable, and the trend has prompted juveniles across the US to try and steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles to go for a joyride.

The manufacturers are working through the thefts, with Hyundai offering steering wheel locks through municipalities like Clearwater, Florida.

Another fix making the rounds was created by the Suntrup Automotive Group in St. Louis, Missouri, involving a redesigned off-the-shelf Bluetooth switch that could be hardwired to the car to immobilize the ignition.

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WATCH: Finland Features 59-Year-Old Trans Skater at European Figure Skating Championships



Figure skater and trans-identified biological male Minna-Maaria Antikainen gave a debut performance at the European Figure Skating Championships in Espoo, Finland. That ceremony sees female figure skaters holding national flags while Antikainen, wobbling on white skates and with arms outstretched, skates a solo on the ice amid the girls who stand by and watch.

Antikainen then stumbles and falls, and is unable to get back up off the ice until the skater carrying the flag of Finland comes to the center of the ice, helps Antikainen up, and hands the inept trans skater the national blue and white flag.

Antikainen needs the help of a younger woman to be assisted up from the ice, and leans hard on the Finnish flag the young woman holds before taking that flag and skating off into the spotlight while the young woman becomes another face in the shadows.

“The opening ceremony will present skaters at various levels from non-professionals to top athletes. On the ice, we will see Single Skaters, Synchronized Skaters, and Pairs. Included among the performers are Figure Skater Minna-Maaria Antikainen, who defines herself as a gender-neutral woman, adaptive skating performers, and a male synchronized skating team,” said coach Helena Tienhaara.

“With the diverse group of performers, we want to show that the ice has space for everyone,” choreographer and coach Beata Leppilampi said.

The Championships, running from January 25-29, saw Antikainen give an opening skate to mixed reviews from fans and critics.

An old video, unearthed by Nilsen Report, shows Antikainen leearning ballet in toe-shoes while wearing women’s clothes before going out on the ice dressed as some kind of Brunhilda. The video, posted three years ago, indicates that there has been little improvement in Antikainen’s skill level

The ISU European Figure Skating Championships claims that their opening ceremony, of which Antikainen was a part, was based on the theme “Just be you.” They state that the “Finnish Figure Skating Association promotes the importance of equality and diversity and develops skating according to its values.”

Antikainen, who transitioned to presenting as female from male, now uses both male and female pronouns, and identifies as a “gender neutral woman.” Antikainen is 59 and was previously a farmer.

Antikainen had a “childhood dream” to become a professional figure skater, though this performance does not indicate that, were it not for the new, much lauded transgender status, there would have been any hope of achieveing that dream.

Executive Director of the Finnish Figure Skating Association and Secretary General of the ISU European Figure Skating Championships Outi Wuorenheimo praised the gender diversity shown in the opening ceremony, saying:

“Figure skating is a very conservative sport with various strict rules. In international competitions, same-sex skating pairs are not allowed, and there is no category for non-binary skaters. I hope that every country will start working for equality and diversity in the field.”

That diversity, apparently, includes males who pose as women and cannot skate.

“We want to change the figure skating world by showing that talking about a skater’s weight is not the top priority, but muscular, healthy athletes may also succeed at the top level. It is important that we have different-looking skaters of various sizes in the competitions,” Wuorenheimo continued.

In her view, figure skating is often perceived as elitist, and having a trans-identifed male who presents as female and wobbles on the ice can assuage those feelings that the sport is not for everyone.

Recent years have seen the emergence of trans-identified males infiltrating women’s sports. Trans-identified Laurel Hubbard, a weight-lifter who represented New Zealand at the Olympics though did not place, achieved “Sportswoman of the Year.”

Trans-identified college swimmer Lia Thomas represented UPenn at the level of national competition and made away with trophies, titles and records. Thomas was nominated by UPenn to be NCAA Woman of the Year, though backlash against a male being nominated for that honor previously reserved for women athletes was fierce.

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Suicide Bomber Kills 34, Wounds 150 at Mosque in Pakistan



A suicide bombing at a crowded mosque in Pakistan’s Peshawar killed at least 34 people on Monday, the latest attack targeting police in this northwestern city where Islamist extremists remain active.

Hospital officials said at least 150 people were wounded, with many of them in critical condition.

Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif called the blast a suicide attack. There were at least 260 people in the mosque, police official Sikandar Khan added.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, which ripped through the mosque during noon prayers, causing a wall to collapse on top of worshippers. The building is located inside a highly fortified compound that includes the headquarters of the provincial police force and a counter-terrorism department.

“We’re getting that the terrorist was standing in the first row,” Defense Minister Khawaja Asif told Geo TV.

Footage from government broadcaster PTV showed police and residents scrambling to remove debris from the blast site and carrying wounded people on their shoulders.

The attack was the city’s worst since March last year, when a suicide bombing at a Shi’ite Muslim mosque during Friday prayers killed at least 58 people and injured nearly 200. ISIS terrorist group extremists claimed responsibility for that bombing.

Peshwar, which sits at the edge of Pakistan’s tribal districts bordering Afghanistan, is frequently targeted by terrorist groups, including the Pakistani Taliban.

The group, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), is an umbrella of Sunni and sectarian Islamist groups that want to overthrow the government and replace it with their own brand of Islamic governance.

The TTP has stepped up attacks since it ended a so-called peace deal last year with the Pakistani government, which was facilitated by Afghan Taliban.

TTP has staged frequent attacks targeting police in the last few months. In December, Islamist terrorists seized a counter-terrorism center in the northwestern and took hostages to negotiate with government authorities.

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The Shaming Images That Show Where Our iPhones, Laptops and Tesla Cars Really Come From



For years, big tech companies like Apple and Tesla have assured the customers of their glossy stores and showrooms that all their goods are ethically sourced and sold.

But a new series of images taken from inside mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where 90 percent of the world’s cobalt is mined and used to make the batteries that power our tech-led lives, raise uncomfortable questions.

Cobalt is the chemical element found in almost every tech gadget that uses a lithium-powered battery on the market today – a smartphone, tablet or laptop requires a few grams of it, while an electric vehicle requires 10kg.

Apple, Microsoft, Google, Tesla and others all insist that they hold cobalt suppliers to the highest of standards, and that they only trade with smelters and refiners who adhere to their codes of conduct.

But the photos and videos that can share today from some of the largest mines in Africa – where many of these suppliers get their cobalt – tell a different story.

Barefoot children covered in chemicals, endlessly smashing open rocks for $2-a-day; exhausted new mothers with their babies strapped to them, sifting through nets of rocks in the hopes of finding the precious cobalt.

Those are among the powerful images obtained by Siddharth Kara over the last several years in the Katanga region, that can be shared now ahead of the publication of his new book – Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Powers Our Lives.

The book paints a damning picture of the desperate demand for cobalt in the West, and the deadly effects of it among African families.

Speaking to ahead of its release, Kara, an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, said his research proves that the confident assurances of big tech can’t be trusted.

‘There are hundreds of thousands of the poorest people on the planet [mining for cobalt].

‘The moral clock has been dialed back to colonial times.

‘They’re doing it for $2-a-day and for them, it’s the difference between whether or not they eat that day so they don’t have the option of saying no.’

The sudden demand for the eco-friendly vehicles, ironically driven by environmentally-conscious, is having a catastrophic effect in Congo, according to Kara.

‘It’s supposed to be a green choice, getting an EV. Well it’s not green for everybody.’

Coupled with the immediate problems of overpopulated, underregulated mines is the added danger of cobalt’s toxicity.

Prolonged exposure to cobalt can lead to lung disease, deafness and, according to Kara who has spent years in the Congo researching the subject, birth defects and various forms of cancer.

‘This is blood diamonds multiplied by a thousand – diamonds aren’t toxic.

‘And you buy a diamond once, maybe twice, in your life, whereas western society can’t function for more than 24 hours without devices that rely on cobalt,’ he said.

Among his videos is one of two children, covered in toxic chemicals from the mine, smashing their rocks open.

They cannot be older than seven or eight.

Big tech companies like Microsoft, Tesla, Apple and Samsung have made various promises and commitments to move away from using cobalt in products.

They have also leaned on the fact that many of the mines are Chinese owned and operated, claiming it’s out of their control what goes on those operations.

In 2020, Tesla signed a multi-year deal to buy 6,000 tones of cobalt from the British-owned mining giant Glencore, which runs a copper and cobalt mine in the Katanga region.

Glencore was the subject of a 2019 lawsuit filed by a human rights advocacy group on behalf of the families of 19 Congolese children who died in a mine that was operated by the company.

The lawsuit also named the tech companies as defendants, but a judge dismissed them, claiming it was too difficult to prove a connection between the dead kids and the businesses.

Kara is calling on the American companies – whose values are in the trillions – to do more.

‘This is not on China. This is on big tech.

‘They are aware of the problems but they look the other way and blame China. China does dominate, but it’s non-sensical to say it can’t be fixed.

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Cops Charged With Murder Of Tyre Nichols Hired After Job Requirements Lowered: Report



Some of the fired police officers charged with the murder of Tyre Nichols were reportedly hired after the Memphis Police Department lowered its job requirements.

Nichols died on January 10, three days after Memphis police pulled him over in a traffic stop, local media reported. Nichols, and the five former police officers accused of murdering him, are black.

Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmit Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith have all been charged with two counts of official misconduct, local media reported, with one count of official oppression, second-degree murder, aggravated assault-act in concert, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping.

The New York Post reported that Bean and Haley joined the Memphis Police Department during the summer of 2020 as riots related to the death of George Floyd rocked the nation.

Bean and Haley’s hiring by the department in August 2020 came two years after the department significantly lowered the education required to join the force.

The lowered standards meant that recruits no longer needed an associate’s degree or 54 college credit hours to join, the report said, and could instead get by with just work experience.

Experts who spoke to the Post said the lowered requirements meant “less desirable” candidates were being brought on by the department.

A LinkedIn post by law enforcement official Karan Parmar claimed that sources inside the department said that the officers were not hired through the normal process that the department had implemented.

“According to a source within the Memphis PD, the 5 charged officers weren’t hired through the usual structured PD hiring process,” Parmar claimed. “City leaders felt the existing process was too strict and kept certain people from getting jobs at the department. City leaders began their own hiring process and then pushed new hires into the agency, bypassing the testing procedures in place at the department. You can read between the lines what that all means.”

“All 5 of the charged officers were hired by the City, and didn’t go through the rigorous PD testing process,” the statement continued. “This is what quota hiring looks like. Lawsuits and dead innocents. The city should pay (sic) the lawsuits instead of the Police department. This Murder wasn’t created by old school policing or by ‘white supremacy’. This murder was directly facilitated by liberal policy.”

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Huge Explosion Rocks Arms Factory in Central Iran



A huge fire has erupted at an Iranian military industry factory following a suspected drone strike – as mystery surrounds who was responsible for the attack.

A loud explosion struck the factory close to Iran’s central city of Isfahan overnight amid rising global tensions.

Footage close to the scene shows huge flames engulfing the facility and plumes of black smoke rising from the area, while emergency vehicles and fire trucks could be seen outside the complex.

The extent of the damage could not be independently confirmed, but officials in Tehran’s Defence Ministry have said the explosion caused only minor damage to the roof of a workshop building and there were no casualties.

A statement to State television said: ‘Around 11.30pm (8pm GMT) on Saturday night, an unsuccessful attack was carried out using micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) on one of the ministry’s workshop sites.’

Officials said one drone was shot down, while a further two were ‘caught in defence traps and blew up’.

It added: ‘The attack has not affected our installations and mission… and such blind measures will not have an impact on the continuation of the country’s progress.’

Elsewhere, a large fire broke out at a motor oil factory in an an industrial zone near the northwestern city of Tabriz on Sunday. No further information has been made available about the blaze.

The drone attack comes amid tensions with the West over Tehran’s nuclear work and supply of arms for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as months of anti-Government demonstrations.

Iran has also in the past accused Israel of planning attacks by using agents inside Iranian territory.

In July, Tehran said it had arrested a sabotage team made up of Kurdish militants working for Israel who planned to blow up a ‘sensitive’ defence industry centre in Isfahan.

An Israeli military spokesperson declined comment when asked if the country was responsible for the attack.

Israel has long said it could attack Iran if diplomacy fails to curb Tehran’s nuclear or missile programmes, but has a policy of withholding comment on specific incidents.

In Ukraine, which accuses Iran of supplying hundreds of drones to Russia to attack civilian targets in cities far from the front, a senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy linked the incident directly to the war there.

Politician Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted: ‘War logic is inexorable & murderous. It bills the authors & accomplices strictly. Explosive night in Iran – drone & missile production, oil refineries. Did warn you.’

Several Iranian nuclear sites are understood to be located in the Isfahan province, including Natanz, the centrepiece of Iran’s uranium enrichment programme, which it accuses Israel of sabotaging in 2021.

There have been a number of explosions and fires around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities in recent years.

Talks between Tehran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear pact have stalled since September.

Under the pact, abandoned by Washington under President Donald Trump, Iran agreed to limit nuclear work in return for easing of sanctions.

Iran has acknowledged sending drones to Russia, but says they were sent before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

The Kremlin denies its forces use Iranian drones in Ukraine, although many have been shot down and recovered there.

Tehran has also faced internal turmoil in recent months, with a crackdown on widespread anti-Government demonstrations spurred by the death in custody of a woman held for violating rules on dress.


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Massive Fire Destroys Commercial Egg Farm Belonging To Top US Supplier



About 100,000 chickens may have been lost after a massive fire broke out at an egg farm in Bozrah, Connecticut, the Salvation Army said, according to reports.

Multiple fire departments responded to the fire on Saturday afternoon at the Hillandale Farms at 17 Schwartz Road.

Norwich Firefighters Local 892 listed about 20 companies that were dispatched, including Colchester, East Haddam, Salem, Gardner Lake, Lebanon, Franklin, Yantic, and Sterling, Taftville, Montville, Oakdale, and Lisbon.

The Norwich Firefighters Local 892 said that a 150-foot-by-400-foot chicken coop was reportedly “well involved.”

A Salvation Army canteen truck was on the scene, providing food. According to the Salvation Army, about 100,000 chickens may have died in the fire. It also said that no injuries had been reported.

The Epoch Times cannot independently confirm the estimate. It remains unclear whether other livestock or people were injured.

The Norwich Firefighters Local 892 shared a video on Facebook that showed thick plumes of smoke rapidly rising over the egg farm.

Thick smoke could be seen miles from the farm, according to other video posted online.

Fire crews remained on scene after the fire was put out to investigate the incident, according to local reports.

The cause of the fire is unclear at this stage.

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New Jersey Investigates Double Voting That May Have Flipped Local Race



An investigation is underway in New Jersey where double counting may have flipped the result of at least one local contest in the 2022 elections.

The state’s attorney general, Matthew Platkin, announced an inquiry last week, citing public reports about voting problems in Monmouth County. “Protecting New Jerseyans’ right to vote in a free and fair election is paramount to our democracy, and ensuring the integrity of that process is essential,” Platkin said in a statement. He added “a full investigation is warranted to encourage and preserve public trust in our elections, including recommendations for reforms to benefit the conduct of contests statewide.”

Several municipalities in Monmouth County, located on the coast of central New Jersey, experienced tabulation problems that were apparently only discovered two months after the midterm elections as part of Board of Elections investigation into an unrelated issue, the New Jersey Globe reported earlier this month. However, the news blog followed up with another report saying county officials were notified about the voting machine issues in November.

While multiple towns were affected, one local race in particular, the contest for Ocean Township Board of Education, was close enough where double voting could flip the results. Steve Clayton, a former board member, emerged victorious over incumbent Jeffrey Weinstein by 20 votes, however an informal tally showed Weinstein ahead by one vote.

Platkin joined forces with Monmouth County officials on January 20 in asking a court to allow a “full recount and recheck” in the towns affected by the voting system error, according to CNN. Clayton took office this month, but acknowledged the final results may change. “I’m a board member until I’m not a board member. My main concern is the integrity of the election and that whoever ends up taking the seat, the people have confidence in the outcome,” he told the Asbury Park Press.

The county’s voting machine vendor, Election Systems and Software (ES&S), blamed “human procedural error” for what it described as an “isolated incident.” A technician, who was sent over the summer to investigate reports of slow performance in the county’s internal network, “excluded a step” that “optimizes the system database and ensures USB flash media cannot be read twice during the results loading process,” an ES&S spokeswoman said.

Platkin said his office retained the law firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb, and Tyler LLP on behalf of the Division on Civil Rights on a pro bono basis to investigate whether any person or entity engaged in unlawful conduct under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act. Peter Harvey, a former New Jersey attorney general and federal prosecutor, was picked to lead the investigation. Harvey brings “immense experience in civil rights matters and overseeing complex and sensitive investigations,” per the attorney general’s office.

Monmouth County officials said they support any investigation by the New Jersey attorney general into the election software issue and called on the state to implement reforms. ES&S “pledges to work with Monmouth County to ensure all necessary steps are taken to ensure election accuracy,” a spokeswoman for the company said.

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