Rantburg

Dark Overlord’s demands targeted several insurers and legal firms, including Lloyds of London, Silverstein Properties and Hiscox Syndicates. It is unclear what exact files were stolen by the group, however the hacking collective tweeted "We’ll be providing many answers about 9.11 conspiracies through our 18.000 secret documents leak from @HiscoxComms and others."

"The law firm’s systems are not connected to Hiscox’s IT infrastructure and Hiscox’s own systems were unaffected by this incident. One of the cases the law firm handled for Hiscox and other insurers related to litigation arising from the events of 9/11, and we believe that information relating to this was stolen during that breach," the spokesperson told Motherboard in an email.

The hacking group published a small set of letters, emails and other documents that mention various law firms, as well as the Transport Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (The TSA could not provide a statement in time for publication, and the FAA told Motherboard in an email it was investigating.) Those documents themselves appear to be fairly innocuous, but the group says it may release more.

In its extortion note, The Dark Overlord included a link for a 10GB archive of files it allegedly stole. The group also provided a link to this archive to Motherboard before publishing its announcement. The cache is encrypted, but the hackers are threatening to release the relevant decryption keys, unlocking different sets of files at a time, unless the victims pay the hackers an undisclosed.

I had never experienced the danger of free healthcare in my own homeland – that glorious vanguard of capitalism known as the United States – which was too busy waging wars and otherwise facilitating obscene corporate profit accumulation to be bothered with basic human rights. At one Venezuelan clinic, a female doctor from Cuba appropriately remarked that, like the US military, Cuban medics also operated in global conflict zones – but to save lives.

A December 2017 statement from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights notes that, while the US manages to spend "more [money] on national defence than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, United Kingdom, India, France, and Japan combined", US infant mortality rates were, as of 2013, "the highest in the developed world".

The Special Rapporteur provides a barrage of other details from his own visit to the US, during which he was able to observe the country’s "bid to become the most unequal society in the world" – with some 40 million people living in poverty – as well as assess "soaring death rates and family and community destruction wrought by prescription and other drug addiction".

[France24] Food aid meant for starving Yemenis is being stolen and sold in some areas controlled by the Houthi movement, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) says, and has threatened to suspend some of its shipments unless the theft stops. "There are certain Houthi elements that don’t care about the people. They are literally diverting aid and we are demanding it be stopped because innocent people are the victims here," WFP Executive Director David Beasley said. "At a time when children are dying in Yemen because they haven’t enough food to eat, that is an outrage. This criminal behaviour must stop immediately."

The federal government is in the midst of a partial government shutdown as Congressional Republicans and Democrats have failed to produce a funding bill that would include monies for building a southern border wall and border security. The partial shutdown officially began after midnight the Friday before Christmas, but the first several days of it included weekend and already schedule holiday days off including Christmas Day.

President Trump made clear that he will not sign a bill that fails to include border wall funding that he said Congressional Republicans promised him before he signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus funding bill earlier this year. He has called for a compromised $5 billion in border wall and border security funding that Trump requires in order to sign a bill to end the partial government shutdown.

He is Eric A. Dubelier, a litigator for the Reed Smith law firm who knows international law and the D.C. playing field. He served eight years prosecuting cases as a Justice Department assistant U.S. attorney in Washington. He refers to his former employer as "the real Justice Department," implying that Mr. Mueller’s team is something less.

Mr. Dubelier charges that the Mueller team violated the confidentially of Concord’s counter evidence while hiding documents Concord needs for its defense. The prosecutor wants to "whisper secrets to the judge," Mr. Dubelier says, as Mr. Mueller is calculating the "short-term political value of a conviction" and not worrying about an appeals court defeat years later.

"Mr. Dubelier is exactly right on Mr. Mueller’s motives and tactics," said Sidney Powell, whose book "License to Lie" exposes years of Justice Department scandals. "His lieutenant Weissmann is the poster boy for prosecutorial misconduct and has no regard for the facts or the law. He will make up whatever he wants to win, and the entire like-minded team views as an accomplishment everyone whose life they destroy in pursuit of their objective."

Since posting this piece by Hanson I’ve been thinking about some of my own observations of California farms vs Midwestern farms. I’ve spent some time in the Midwest. When you drive through the Midwestern countryside you see a lot of farms and most of them have a nice, big farmhouse where the farmer and his family live. These are family farms. I’ve even visited some of these farms, I have relatives who are farmers. I didn’t see many immigrants there.

In California’s Central Valley and also around Salinas I see vast fields where they grow fruits and vegetables. But it isn’t pretty like in the Midwest and I see no farmhouses, not like the ones in the Midwest. The houses I see are…well, not shacks but not pretty. They’re small stucco affairs and kinda dirty looking. Actually, some of them are shacks. I can’t imagine a prosperous farmer and his family living in such a dump and yet these are vast, highly productive farms. I suspect the people who live in these places are not the owners of the farm but hired hands. I think the owners are all big agribusiness corporations whose shareholders live in cities. Without cheap, imported labor the California farms would simply not work. It’s a whole different kind of operation from the Midwestern farms. I have no idea which method produces the most food but it’s easy to see which ones look nicer from the road.

Abu Uluque — I have seen a fair number of dwellings alongside the Ohio Turnpike surrounded by what appear to be gigantic fields. They don’t look like typical farmhouses, not as elegant, but basically decent housing. In the summer I have seen families coming & going in the yards, they look like they could be Hispanic. Lots of clothes of various sizes hanging on the clotheslines nearby. I suspect these are for migrant laborer families. I was moving too fast to see the license plates on the vehicles.

…created after many members of the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood decided the organization was becoming too moderate. Operations were conducted out of Egypt until 1981 when the group was exiled after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. They worked out of Gaza until they were exiled to Lebanon in 1987, where they clove tightly to Hezbollah. In 1989 they moved to Damascus, where they remain a subsidiary of Hezbollah…

The IDF believes the Lebanese terror group will seek to conquer swaths of northern Israel as the opening maneuver of a future war, citing Hezbollah’s own propaganda and threats as evidence. Under the plan, hundreds of Hezbollah fighters would infiltrate into northern Israel through subterranean tunnels, while many more would swarm across the border above ground, and the surrounding area would be bombarded to prevent the Israeli military from sending in reinforcements to liberate it.

Interesting new unit shows the fundamental difference between a regional power, like Israel, and a global power, like the US, in their military forces. The Israelis have one area they going to fight in and have decided to specialize in wringing every advantage in fine-tuning for conflict there. The USA plans on fighting everywhere so are units are more … generic.

Head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi and eventually appointed himself president-for-life. He has fallen out with his Islamic mentor, Hasan al-Turabi, tried to impose shariah on the Christian and animist south, resulting in its secessesion, and attempted to Arabize Darfur by unleashing the barbaric Janjaweed on it. Sudan’s potential prosperity has been pissed away in warfare that has left as many as 400,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced. Omar has been indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court but nothing is expected to come of it.

…a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn’t suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews …

Remember, nuance and subtle optics are very significant in Eastern projections of political brand messaging. When they present a nationally broadcast message every grain of sand on the optical beach has been thought out, considered, staged and carefully placed by hand with great forethought toward the intended audience. The optics are everything. [That’s also the reason why POTUS Trump used a video presentation (specifically for Kim) at the end of the Singapore summit.]

delivers a message not just to his people, but more specifically to the international community. The backdrop, the venue for the message as broadcast, reflects a stunning shift for the country of North Korea. Notice the background message is ’economic’: Business attire; business office etc. The guiding hand of Chairman Xi is visible, and the transmission is full of messages highlighting the influence of the Trump Doctrine.

It is critical to remember that Chairman Xi (Beijing China), is still the leading influence agent over Chairman Kim (DPRK). That nuanced/subtle (hostage/captive) influence message is also inherent in the background of this broadcast. As the U.S. -vs- China confrontation continues, this video message provides additional support that Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping is no longer underestimating the cunning of POTUS Trump.

Remember also, the clock is ticking…. the deadline for U.S. and China trade negotiations is March 1st, OR ELSE, a massive round of devastating (for China) tariffs kicks in and almost everyone agrees the Chinese economy cannot sustain itself under that pressure. So Chairman Xi needs to use his hostage, Chairman Kim, in this negotiation period.

"While President Trump shuts down the federal government over his obsession with keeping im migrants colonists out, New York stands strong in our support for immigrant communities," Governor Cuomo said. "These actions will help keep immigrant families together and take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York."

The statement explained that the goal was to "remove the barriers that their criminal records present to their immigration status. Some are facing deportation, while others wish to be able to participate in their communities as citizens of the country they call home. In each case, a pardon will make immigration-related relief possible, if not automatic."