William Browder is a hedge fund manager with a long and complicated history with Russia.
He’s also a key player in the push against the country after running afoul of its government, according to Russian authorities, who convicted him of tax fraud after trying him in absentia. Although at one point he called Putin his ‘biggest ally’ after massive business dealings in the region, his mood has shifted drastically after a complicated series of affairs which we’re still in the process of untangling.
Key to this situation is the Magnitsky Act, which are sanctions directed against Russia by the US after the death in prison of Sergei Magnitsky. The late Magnitsky, who has been called an auditor, accountant, and attorney for Bill Browder, died under uncertain circumstances, with some calling his death a murder, and some calling it an act of negligence typical to prisons like the one in which he was held.
Thankfully we had the help of Lucy Komisar. A recent guest on Fault Lines, Komisar has a long history of researching crimes in high finance. She recently wrote a key article detailing a series of allegations of illegal activities conducted by Browder and his associates.
We’re working on a detailed guide to the story of Browder, the Magnitsky Act, and his relationship with the anti-Russian narrative. We’ll have more on that soon!
John Kiriakou is an ex-CIA agent and whistleblower.
He spent the first years of his career as an analyst of the Middle East, specifically Iraq, before going on to do anti-terrorism work in Greece. After 9/11 he was put into the position of Chief of Counterterrorist Operations in Pakistan.
Kiriakou resigned from the CIA in 2004 after witnessing waterboarding. He later reported the CIA’s use of this technique to the media in 2007.
He was the first person to do so, and he was later convicted and jailed for two years on charges of passing classified information to a reporter.
Since then he’s written three books: The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror, The Convenient Terrorist: Abu Zubaydah and the Weird Wonderland of America’s Secret Wars, and Doing Time Like a Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison.
The Russian information attack on the election did not stop with the hacking and leaking of Democratic emails or the fire hose of stories, true, false and in between, that battered Mrs. Clinton on Russian outlets like RT and Sputnik.
Far less splashy, and far more difficult to trace, was Russia’s experimentation on Facebook and Twitter, the American companies that essentially invented the tools of social media and, in this case, did not stop them from being turned into engines of deception and propaganda.
Facebook acknowledged yesterday that 470 accounts “likely operated out of Russia” purchased around 3,000 ads between June 2015 and May 2017. https://t.co/nclhFO1IVn
— NPR (@NPR) September 7, 2017
Facebook (FB) said Wednesday that phony accounts that appear to have originated in Russia bought $100,000 worth of advertisements during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and in the months following the election.
Today’s admission by Facebook is vindication for reporters who spent months reporting on Russia’s use of Facebook. https://t.co/ZU0gpaq067
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) September 7, 2017
I’m reading into the Facebook ads Russia story and getting increasingly angry at the garbage reporting coming out about it.
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) September 7, 2017
The findings mark the first time that Facebook has acknowledged that Russian actors may have used its platform during the presidential campaign. The conclusion is a shift from July, when a Facebook spokesman said the company had no evidence that Russian entities bought ads targeted at Americans on the platform during the election season.
Facebook officials provided their findings to House and Senate investigators looking into Russian interference in the presidential election, according to people familiar with the matter.
— Andrew Wilkow (@WilkowMajority) September 7, 2017
Apparently, after digging through advertising data for the better part of full year now, Facebook felt compelled to let us know that they found a ‘staggering’ $50,000 worth of ad buys that ‘MAY‘ have been purchased by Russian-linked accounts to run ‘potentially politically related’ ads.
No really, Facebook, a $500 billion company, actually thinks that $50,000 worth of ad revenue is news and quite literally could have changed the course of American history.
Facebook colluded with Russia!!! #sarcasm
— Kristina Wong (@kristina_wong) September 7, 2017
New York’s Excelsior Scholarship is the first of its kind. It covers the cost of tuition for qualifying students who are enrolled in a two- or four-year degree program at any of the state’s 88 public colleges and university campuses.
When Governor Cuomo announced the program he said that college, like high school, “should always be an option even if you can’t afford it.”
While similar programs in other states have made tuition free for community college students, the Excelsior Scholarship is the first to include those pursuing a four-year degree.
An estimated 75,000 people applied for the scholarship this year, but only about 23,000 will receive it, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office said.
The scholarship is designed to help those students whose families previously earned a little too much to qualify for financial aid.
The University of Missouri beginning next year will guarantee payment of all tuition and fees for every Missouri student who qualifies for a federal Pell Grant, MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright announced Thursday afternoon.
Most Pell Grants are awarded to students whose families make less than $30,000 a year. Under certain circumstances though, some Pell Grants are awarded to students whose families make more than that.
For Missouri students who meet the Pell Grant-eligible requirements and also are in the MU Honors College, Cartwright said the university will not only pay all remaining tuition and fees after Pell Grant dollars are applied, but will also pay for the student’s housing, food and books.
Essentially any Missouri student who qualifies could get a free or significantly subsidized education at the University of Missouri.
BREAKING: DNC Operative led “Tweetstorm” on Ukraine: EXPLAINS grudge against Manafort. HUGE https://t.co/l40JCmjbDp
— Lee Stranahan (@stranahan) August 31, 2017
BREAKING: MAJOR find by a Citizen Journalism School student — Chalupa sister’s Manafort Grudge EXPLAINED: Periscope coming! pic.twitter.com/uZccFc6pY9
— Lee Stranahan (@stranahan) August 31, 2017
One such event organized by the DigitalMaidan has been the weekly – and now almost daily – Twitter “storms” that have bombarded television stations, newspapers, celebrities, high-profile individuals, as well as government officials, with information about Ukraine’s protests through “tweets.”
As a result of these storms, with premade messages released on the day of the storm to adjust to the changing environment of the Euro-Maidan, these tweets have been re-Tweeted by celebrities, including Russell Brand, Richard Branson, Vera Farmiga, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of France, the band Pussy Riot, chess master Garry Kasparov and others.
The project got off the ground on Monday, January 20, following a Twitter exchange between two socially conscious and tech-savvy Ukrainian Americans, Lara Chelak and Andrea Chalupa, who messaged Ina Kirsch, managing director for the European Center for a Modern Ukraine, which is President Viktor Yanukovych’s lobbying arm in Europe. Ms. Chelak and Ms. Chalupa let Ms. Kirsch know that she has blood on her hands following the shooting deaths of Euro-Maidan protesters in Ukraine.
In Washington, Alexandra Chalupa, Andrea’s sister, works on coordinating the information for Congress, the White House and Ukrainian disapora organizations in the area.
McMaster has been fending off on an information, and sometimes, a disinformation campaign against him.
The decline of Tapper’s journalistic integrity has been a sad sight to behold. Once, Jake was like a refreshing voice in the wilderness for the mainstream media. However since the rise of Donald Trump and the populist movement, and under what I’m sure is pressure from CNN, Tapper has become nothing more than a typical establishment journalist who cherry picks details and stories in an attempt to produce an establishment-friendly narrative.
His attack on me is both factually wrong and cowardly. I have been very open about working for Sputnik since the moment my hiring was announced and although the outlet receives public funding from Russia, there has been no attempt by anyone there to influence my views either generally or when it comes to individual points.
Specifically on the issue of the firing of H.R. McMaster, my producer and I have never discussed it, nor have I discussed it with any other employee of Sputnik. The decision to call for his firing is based on my very clear record of concerns about people diluting the Trump agenda and about those associated with Hungarian billionaire George Soros.
Furthermore, Tapper never mentions that the cohost of my show Fault Lines with Nixon and Stranahan, Garland Nixon, argued AGAINST the firing of McMaster when we discussed it on our show about 10 days ago.
What Jake is doing is especially shameful as a journalist: he is trying to intimidate me into shutting up. But anyone who knows anything about my 10 years as a journalist, or about my friendship with the late Andrew Breitbart, will understand one thing about me: I won’t shut up, ever.
I have challenged Tapper on Twitter to have me on his show to answer his accusations, and I hope that as a journalist and a believer in the First Amendment he takes me up on it.
Using in-depth laddering interviews to elicit underlying motivations for connection to Black Lives Matter, The Frontier Lab identified that one of the movement’s segments – the organizers – was using the movement to further personal organizing and career goals, over and above black community issues.
Lead researcher Anne Sorock said of the findings, “Organizers of Black Lives Matter who participated in our study were almost wholly unconcerned with furthering issues important to aiding the Black community in America. Instead, movement operatives see victory for a decades-long struggle to divide Americans into ‘haves and have-nots’ within reach, more tangibly, for the first time in many of their lifetimes.”
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