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Who Is Jack Smith, the New Special Counsel?

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Mr. Smith will take on the role of special counsel after leaving his current position as a specialist prosecutor based in The Hague investigating war crimes.

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Jack Smith faces the camera in a portrait.

Jack Smith in 2020 during a hearing in The Hague, where he has been the lead prosecutor at a special court that deals with war crimes during the Kosovo conflict. He ran the Justice Department’s public integrity section from 2010 to 2015.Credit…Pool photo by Jerry Lampen

  • Nov. 18, 2022Updated 3:34 p.m. ET

Jack Smith, the Justice Department’s newly appointed special counsel, will come to the task of investigating former President Donald J. Trump with a wealth of experience: He has been prosecuting criminal cases for nearly three decades.

Mr. Smith got his start in the 1990s as a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office and soon moved to a similar job at the United States Attorney’s office in Brooklyn. There, he served in a number of supervisory positions, according to his Justice Department biography, and worked on an assortment of cases, many involving public corruption.

From 2008 to 2010, Mr. Smith worked as the investigation coordinator in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. In that role, he oversaw high-profile inquiries of foreign government officials and militia members wanted for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Returning to the United States, Mr. Smith served from 2010 to 2015 as chief of the Justice Department’s public integrity section, which investigates politicians and other public figures on corruption allegations.

Two of Mr. Smith’s more notable corruption cases against high-profile political figures had opposite results. His team initially won a conviction against the former Gov. Robert McDonnell of Virginia, a Republican, but the Supreme Court overturned it.

It also won a conviction of former Representative Rick Renzi, Republican of Arizona, who was sentenced to three years in prison. (Mr. Trump pardoned Mr. Renzi among a flurry of clemency actions in January 2021, in his last hours as president.)

When Mr. Smith took over the public integrity section, it was reeling from the collapse of a criminal case against former Senator Ted Stevens, Republican of Alaska. In Mr. Smith’s first few months on the job, the section closed several prominent investigations into members of Congress without charges.

But in an interview that year with The New York Times, Mr. Smith denied that the section on his watch had lost its nerve.

“I understand why the question is asked,” Mr. Smith said at the time. “But if I were the sort of person who could be cowed — ‘I know we should bring this case, I know the person did it, but we could lose, and that will look bad’ — I would find another line of work. I can’t imagine how someone who does what I do or has worked with me could think that.”

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Smith has also worked in top positions at the United States Attorney’s office for the Middle District of Tennessee in Nashville.

Mr. Smith will take on the role of special counsel after leaving his current position as a specialist prosecutor based in The Hague investigating war crimes. He will remain in the Netherlands for some time, according to the Justice Department, in order to recover from a recent bicycle accident.

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РИА Новости: Путину доверяют 78 процентов россиян, показал опрос ВЦИОМ

This article links to a state controlled Russian media. Read more.

690972 РИА Новости

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all news | Deutsche Welle: В Конгрессе США представили резолюцию о проверке средств для Киева

Группа республиканцев в Палате представителей обнародовала резолюцию с призывом проконтролировать средства, выделяемые Конгрессом США для помощи Украине.

1990162 all news | Deutsche Welle

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1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (114 sites): “russia ukraine” – Google News: Time for Ukraine to talk to Russia? ‘Nuts!’ – POLITICO Europe

Time for Ukraine to talk to Russia? ‘Nuts!’  POLITICO Europe

6423121 “russia ukraine” – Google News

6597550 1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (114 sites)

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Is this really the end of Twitter?

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The BBC’s technology editor looks at claims that Twitter may be heading for calamity.

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ОДКБ готова предложить помощь Армении из-за агрессии Баку — вопросом займётся Путин

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В пресс-службе ОДКБ анонсировали сессию Совета коллективной безопасности, в которой примет участие президент России

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The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics

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Russian President Vladimir Putin Suffering From Parkinson’s and Cancer? Experts Slam Rumours

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has been at the helm of the war against Ukraine. Now, media reports state that leaked Kremlin emails suggest he might be fighting against cancer and Parkinson’s disease, too. British tabloid The Sun claimed it had viewed emails from a Russian intelligence source that revealed that Putin has Parkinson’s and could also potentially suffer from pancreatic and prostate cancer. While tabloids and netizens are speculating about rumours regarding the Russian President’s poor health being true, doctors have a different say.

The Sun Online claimed that emails from a Russian intelligence source they looked at said, “I can confirm he has been diagnosed with early stage Parkinson’s disease, but it’s already progressing.” According to The Sun’s report, which has no evidence attached, the source also claimed that Putin has pancreatic cancer and has to take tons of medication. The Sun’s article also highlights how users have speculated about Putin’s disease due to black marks (allegedly from injections) on his hands, bloated face, and gripping tightly onto a table.

However, neurologists and other experts do not agree with this pop diagnosis. Speaking to Deutsche Welle, Caroline Rassell, chief executive of charity organisation Parkinson’s UK, said that Parkinson’s is a complex condition. It has over 40 symptoms ranging from physical to mental. She said it would be impossible to diagnose someone via a 12-minute video clip. “It affects everyone differently,” Rassell said. “With no definitive diagnostic test, it’s something that can only be confirmed after examination by a neurologist or specialist. Media and online speculation is unhelpful.”

ALSO READ: Study: COVID-19 Triggers Brain Inflammation Similar to Parkinson’s and Other Neurodegenerative Conditions

Another expert, Ray Chadhuri, a neurologist at the University of London, also told DW something similar. He said that Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism are extremely hard to diagnose and can only be determined by thorough the person’s neurological examination. He said that the “bloating of [the] face or tremors can be caused by many reasons and I did not see any tremor either.”

Despite opinions from experts, speculations in popular media, emboldened by the secrecy that the Kremlin maintains around Putin, continue to influence public opinion and generate more rumours.

Read all the Latest Lifestyle News here

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Would Putin Launch An Electromagnetic Pulse Attack Against Ukraine?

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EMI receiver or spectrum analyzer display during measurement

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The nations of Europe are on edge after a Ukrainian missile, apparently defending against Russian attacks, appears to have flown off course, killing two people in Poland. Concern is rising that the war in Ukraine could draw in other countries, including those in the NATO alliance, leading to a much broader conflict.

This follows a Financial Times report earlier this month that Vladimir Putin may be considering a nuclear attack on Ukraine—but not the kind you think. Rather than detonate a nuclear device over a Ukrainian city—a “conventional nuclear attack” if one could call it that—Russia might instead detonate a bomb far up in the atmosphere, unleashing an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that destroys nearly all electronics on the ground within a radius of hundreds, or even thousands of miles.

The likely effect of such an attack would be to put Ukraine on the defensive while it works to rebuild its infrastructure. Access to electricity and water is already a problem in Ukraine – this would exacerbate the humanitarian crisis on a massive scale. The resulting chaos that ensues would provide perfect conditions for Russia to launch a renewed all-out assault.

This threat is real, and it needs to be taken seriously. But there are also reasons to think that such a strike might not be forthcoming, at least not in the near term. This provides some reassurance that the conflict in Ukraine will remain contained, for now, but that doesn’t mean Europe is out of the woods yet.

A high-altitude EMP (HEMP) strike involves detonating a nuclear device high in the stratosphere. Only a handful of countries have the nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities of conducting such an attack, and very little is known about the effects of HEMPs, since almost all nuclear test detonations have taken place near the surface. (Several notable exceptions occurred in the Soviet Union in the early 1960s.)

There are a few different forms an EMP attack can take, varying in their intensity and duration, but the consequences are similar. Most electronics within a certain range of the detonation would be fried. Automobiles would stop working, as would cell phones, televisions and internet service. Basic electrical services would be wiped out, potentially for all of Ukraine.

A HEMP attack could perhaps have far more dire consequences than a conventional nuclear attack as people struggle for weeks or longer to find necessities like food, water, transportation and heat. Yet Russia might not be ready to engage in such an attack.

One reason is that localized HEMP attacks are not possible. That’s because a high-altitude blast would emit a pulse that stretches every direction all the way to the horizon. Russia could potentially devastate Ukrainian forces and infrastructure with a HEMP attack, but it would inevitably inflict damage on others too, including probably NATO countries and Russia itself.

More localized nuclear EMP attacks are possible with air blasts at levels much closer to the surface. However, when this occurs, it’s the blast, not the pulse, that’s going to be the overriding concern. In other words, traditional nuclear bomb blasts produce EMPs too, but the blast and resulting radiation do far more damage than the EMP.

Thus, none of Putin’s options come without significant drawbacks. Launching a HEMP attack would likely involve self-inflicted damage as well as potentially incur the wrath of NATO. Putin could conceivably argue his use of nuclear weapons constitutes information warfare, akin to a cyber-attack, and therefore does not violate any norms of warfare surrounding use of nuclear weapons. However, NATO countries may not buy this reasoning.

Non-nuclear weapons-based EMP attacks are also a possibility. These have less intensity and less range than a nuclear EMP. If Putin is to use EMP strikes as a tactic of warfare, this may be the most likely outcome in the near term, but these weapons may not change the course of the war dramatically.

Finally, a more conventional nuclear attack by Russia on a Ukrainian city is another option. This could change the course of the war, but this would clearly break international taboos about the use of nuclear weapons, and therefore might also evoke a response from NATO.

So long as there appears to be some hope Russia can win this war by standard methods, it will likely stay within norms of modern warfare. However, we cannot assume the status quo will prevail forever. The longer the Ukraine war drags on, the more desperate Russia is likely to become and the more likely it is Putin draws upon extreme solutions to tilt conditions in his favor. A nuclear EMP attack cannot be ruled out.

Europe and the United States need to be prepared for almost any outcome. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and that’s the issue that should concern us most.

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Саакашвили передал России стратегические энергокомпании после 2008 года

This article links to a state controlled Russian media. Read more.

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Саакашвили передал России стратегические энергокомпании после 2008 года

Саакашвили передал России стратегические энергокомпании после 2008 года – РИА Новости, 18.11.2022

Саакашвили передал России стратегические энергокомпании после 2008 года

Премьер-министр Грузии Ираклий Гарибашвили заявил, что после военного конфликта с Южной Осетией в августе 2008 года тогдашний президент Михаил Саакашвили и… РИА Новости, 18.11.2022

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михаил саакашвили

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россия

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ТБИЛИСИ, 18 ноя – РИА Новости. Премьер-министр Грузии Ираклий Гарибашвили заявил, что после военного конфликта с Южной Осетией в августе 2008 года тогдашний президент Михаил Саакашвили и действующее руководство передали российской стороне стратегические энергокомпании.”Помнит ли кто-нибудь, чтобы после августовской войны они (оппозиция – ред.) проводили кампанию с целью введения санкций? Конечно же нет. Этого не случилось. Помнит ли кто-нибудь, какую резолюцию они подписали после войны? Это была предательская, направленная против национальных интересов резолюция и текст, который является общедоступным документом… Вы являетесь представителями того государства, которое после августовской войны передало российским компаниям стратегические энергокомпании, объекты и стратегическую инфраструктуру… Тогдашний президент Саакашвили упразднил в одностороннем порядке визовый режим для россиян, лично встречался на границе с русскими туристами и просил их приехать в Грузию”, – заявил премьер в ответ на вопрос оппозиционеров о том, какие меры против России приняла правящая партия “Грузинская мечта” в связи с конфликтом на Украине.Премьер напомнил, что тогдашние члены правительства в знак оправдания повторяли фразу, что “русские деньги не пахнут”.Представители грузинских властей неоднократно заявляли, что не собираются присоединяться к санкциям против России, которые были введены Западом из-за военной операции на Украине.Грузия в ночь на 8 августа 2008 года обстреляла из установок залпового огня “Град” Южную Осетию, грузинские войска атаковали республику и разрушили часть ее столицы Цхинвала. Россия, защищая жителей Южной Осетии, многие из которых приняли гражданство РФ, ввела войска в республику и после пяти дней боевых действий вытеснила грузинских военных из региона.Москва 26 августа 2008 года признала суверенитет Абхазии и Южной Осетии. Руководители России не раз заявляли, что признание независимости двух бывших грузинских автономий отражает существующие реалии и пересмотру не подлежит. Грузия по-прежнему не признает Абхазию и Южную Осетию независимыми государствами и считает их своими регионами.

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михаил саакашвили, ираклий гарибашвили, россия, южная осетия, грузия

Михаил Саакашвили, Ираклий Гарибашвили, Россия, Южная Осетия, Грузия

Саакашвили передал России стратегические энергокомпании после 2008 года

ТБИЛИСИ, 18 ноя – РИА Новости. Премьер-министр Грузии Ираклий Гарибашвили заявил, что после военного конфликта с Южной Осетией в августе 2008 года тогдашний президент Михаил Саакашвили и действующее руководство передали российской стороне стратегические энергокомпании.

“Помнит ли кто-нибудь, чтобы после августовской войны они (оппозиция – ред.) проводили кампанию с целью введения санкций? Конечно же нет. Этого не случилось. Помнит ли кто-нибудь, какую резолюцию они подписали после войны? Это была предательская, направленная против национальных интересов резолюция и текст, который является общедоступным документом… Вы являетесь представителями того государства, которое после августовской войны передало российским компаниям стратегические энергокомпании, объекты и стратегическую инфраструктуру… Тогдашний президент Саакашвили упразднил в одностороннем порядке визовый режим для россиян, лично встречался на границе с русскими туристами и просил их приехать в Грузию”, – заявил премьер в ответ на вопрос оппозиционеров о том, какие меры против России приняла правящая партия “Грузинская мечта” в связи с конфликтом на Украине.

Премьер напомнил, что тогдашние члены правительства в знак оправдания повторяли фразу, что “русские деньги не пахнут”.

Представители грузинских властей неоднократно заявляли, что не собираются присоединяться к санкциям против России, которые были введены Западом из-за военной операции на Украине.

Грузия в ночь на 8 августа 2008 года обстреляла из установок залпового огня “Град” Южную Осетию, грузинские войска атаковали республику и разрушили часть ее столицы Цхинвала. Россия, защищая жителей Южной Осетии, многие из которых приняли гражданство РФ, ввела войска в республику и после пяти дней боевых действий вытеснила грузинских военных из региона.

Москва 26 августа 2008 года признала суверенитет Абхазии и Южной Осетии. Руководители России не раз заявляли, что признание независимости двух бывших грузинских автономий отражает существующие реалии и пересмотру не подлежит. Грузия по-прежнему не признает Абхазию и Южную Осетию независимыми государствами и считает их своими регионами.