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Story image for Puerto Rico braces for hurricane season from WLS-TV

Puerto Rico braces for hurricane season, 8 months after Maria 

WLS-TV15 hours ago
Eight months after being struck by Hurricane Maria, the island of Puerto Rico is bracing for another hurricane season while still cleaning up and …

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Puerto Rico power grid braces for hurricane season 

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. federal agency tasked with restoring electricity to Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria hit the Caribbean last …

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Puerto Rico braces for hurricane season 

ReutersMay 18, 2018
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Florida, Mississippi and Alabama brace for Subtropical Storm Alberto … 

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Hurricane season doesn’t officially begin until June 1, but Alb

Puerto Rico braces for hurricane season, 8 months after Maria WLS-TV-15 hours ago Eight months after being struck by Hurricane Maria, the island of Puerto Rico is bracing for another hurricane season while still cleaning up and … Puerto Rico power grid braces for hurricane season Reuters-May 18, 2018 NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. federal agency tasked with restoring electricity to Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria hit the Caribbean last … Dire warnings for Puerto Rico as battered island faces new h

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Puerto Rico power grid braces for hurricane season
 

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. federal agency tasked with restoring electricity to Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria hit the Caribbean last year, is leaving the island though thousands still have no power heading into the next hurricane season starting next month.

Only a last-minute request from the governor of the island, bemoaning the “fragile state” of the power grid, managed to keep most of the generators brought by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Puerto Rican soil for another six months.

The remaining generators might help keep the lights on for hospitals or police stations if the island gets hit again during the coming hurricane season, which begins June 1.

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico last September, leaving 1.5 million homes and businesses in the dark. Both the island’s power utility and the Trump Administration’s Federal Emergency Management Agency were criticized for a slow response.

Most power has been restored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers but the electricity grid remains unreliable, and suffered an island-wide blackout last month.

(For a graphic on power restoration after hurricanes, click tmsnrt.rs/2xvCFyU)

“The whole world is very nervous about hurricane time,” said Rosalina Abreu Gonzalez, who lives near Mariana, on the eastern side of the island, where power has still not been restored. “There is a real concern – the government hasn’t provided an energy system that is more secure.”

The Army Corps, a unit of the U.S. armed forces, has said its task is largely complete now that most people have power. About 22,000 customers are still without electricity, most in remote areas, according to the new head of the island’s power utility, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

“Our mission wasn’t to build a modern resilient system,” Charles Alexander, Director of Contingency Operations and Homeland Security Headquarters at the Army Corps, said at a Senate hearing last week.

On April 29, Governor Ricardo Rossello asked U.S. officials to leave behind 850 generators at critical facilities, along with three larger generators used to keep the grid stable. FEMA agreed to leave the mega-generators and generators for 700 critical facilities. Mega-generators supply 75 megawatts of power, enough to power 75,000 homes.

New PREPA Chief Executive Walter Higgins, who has only been on the job for two months, said he is focusing on emergency procedures in the event of another disaster in coming months.

He said there is a plan for building a more resilient grid in the future. Higgins took over from Ricardo Ramos, who resigned as CEO in November after coming under fire for signing unvetted, little-known contractors to restore power, rather than immediately ask for assistance from other utilities.

“Unfortunately, pain causes learning, and what we’ve learned is how to get mutual assistance called for and on the island immediately,” Higgins told Reuters.

Still, PREPA’s grid lacks buried power lines or reinforced poles, common in other hurricane prone areas. The power utility ran up an $8 billion debt over many years, largely due to poor bill collection, causing the system to fall into disrepair.

“It is very hard to see these messages where the government is saying we’re ready for next season. We’re not,” said Sheylda Diaz, a biology professor who lives near Utuado, in the island’s center, where some lines and poles have yet to be fixed.

The Army Corps will not provide further line restoration after Friday, FEMA said.

“People here have no idea that they are leaving,” said Abreu Gonzalez, who runs a center where people without power can go for meals.

Higgins said he sympathizes with those who want the Corps to remain. “I can understand why somebody would want them to stay longer, as long as there’s a single customer out.”

Maria hit shortly after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma slammed the U.S. mainland in 2017, but in both cases, power was largely restored within a week.

“I cannot imagine a scenario where 20,000-plus Texans or 20,000 Floridians were without power and FEMA would make that decision,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich, a Democrat from New Mexico. “I think that’s reprehensible.”

Reporting By Jessica Resnick-Ault; Editing by Diane Craft

Puerto Rico braces for hurricane season – Google Search
 

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Trump Versus Law Enforcement: A Confrontation With No Precedent
 

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Mr. Trump has wanted to take on his own government more overtly for months despite his lawyers’ warnings. Since bringing on Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor, as the face of his legal team, the president has turned more aggressive, willing to push boundaries of law enforcement practices.

He remains deeply mistrustful of the Justice Department, according to people who have spoken with him, nursing his animosity for Mr. Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himselffrom the Russia investigation. Even reminders that Mr. Wray has purged several F.B.I. holdovers have not soothed Mr. Trump, associates said.

“I think the president should exercise restraint,” said Christopher Ruddy, his friend and the chief executive of Newsmax Media. “He should use the Reagan model. You shouldn’t get involved in these investigations, leave it to the lawyers, leave it to the people outside the White House. Avoid the Nixon model where you get involved in the investigations and you fire prosecutors and the other stuff that could be perceived as obstruction.”

Sam Nunberg, a former campaign adviser, said the president should not fire Mr. Sessions, Mr. Rosenstein or Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in charge of the Russia investigation, because “they’re perfect foils.” They and James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director fired by Mr. Trump last year, have become symbols of the “deep state” that Mr. Trump says he is fighting.

“They have given us every single talking point that we have needed,” Mr. Nunberg said. “All I need to do is quote them. Their mind-set is they know better. It’s this gilded Washington, ‘we know best and you’re just not smart enough to understand.’ ”

The president’s demand for an investigation into the informant and the release of confidential information stunned Justice Department officials and put Mr. Rosenstein in an awkward position. Rather than resist, Mr. Rosenstein agreed to an inquiry. The next day, Mr. Trump summoned him and Mr. Wray to the White House, which then announced that the department and F.B.I. would disclose information to House Republicans who have been demanding it.

Renuncia el Procurador General de Puerto Rico
 

mikenova shared this story from Radio Isla 1320 AM.

Luis Román Negrón renunció hoy a su posición como Procurador General por razones personales, anunció el secretario interino de la Gobernación, Luis Rivera Marín.

“El gobernador [Ricardo Rosselló] agradece el trabajo y la labor realizada por el Lcdo. Román Negrón y le deseamos el mayor de los éxitos en sus proyectos futuros”, detalló Rivera Marín en un breve comunicado de prensa.

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Ahead of his arrest, Roger Stone threatens to murder a witness against him
 

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Roger Stone is going to be indicted and arrested soon. Robert Mueller’s grand jury has reached the point where it’s hauling in the witnesses who are the closest to Stone, which means that he’s a target, and that the proceedings against him are nearly complete. Stone himself recently admitted on Meet The Press that he expects to be indicted, while declaring his innocence. We’ve recently learned that Stone is going down for something that looks a lot like espionage. Now we’re learning that Stone has also been making murder threats.

Stone just got sold out by his former friend Randy Credico. The Wall Street Journal got ahold of emails that reveal Stone asked Credico to help him get ahold of Hillary Clinton’s emails from Russian puppet WikiLeaks. This means Stone was plotting with a foreign enemy to try to alter the outcome of the election. Credico responded to the WSJ story by asserting that he’s fully willing to cooperate with Robert Mueller. Now it turns out Credico has been preparing to give Stone up all along, and Stone threatened to kill him over it.

Back in early April, after Credico messaged Stone informing him that he was going to give everything up, according to Mother Jones, Stone replied in an obscene and threatening manner: “I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die cock sucker.” We don’t know if this legally counts as a death threat, but Credico says he took it as one. More importantly, the law may view this as an attempt at witness intimidation, as Stone was trying to stop Credico from giving up evidence against him. Will the grand jury indict him on that charge as well?

Remarkably, this happened six weeks ago, before it became clear to all involved that Roger Stone was going to be indicted and arrested. So this isn’t merely some last minute meltdown on Stone’s part now that he’s realized he’s circling the bowl. This has been going on for awhile now. Stone claims that eight of his associates have been subpoenaed to testify against him. Do we even want to know how many of the eight he’s threatened to murder?

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Subtropical storm Alberto: Tropical storm warning as strom moves toward U. S. Gulf Coast – Latest track, forecast, flood advisories today
 

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida, Alabama and Mississippi launched emergency preparations Saturday ahead of the arrival of Subtropical Storm Alberto, a slow-moving system expected to cause wet misery across the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast over the holiday weekend. CBS Miami meteorologist Craig Setzer called Alberto a “big, lopsided storm” — and the effects of the storm will be felt long before it makes landfall.

Cuba was being pounded by rain along its western coast, raising the threat of flash floods and mudslides. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the island’s rain totals could reach 10 to 15 inches – and even 25 inches in isolated areas. The National Hurricane Center warned there could be life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Heavy downpours were expected to begin lashing parts of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Sunday. Tropical storm warnings have been issued for parts of Florida and Alabama, saying tropical storm conditions are possible there by early Monday.

The governors of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi all declared states of emergency ahead of the storm Saturday.

Twitter / NWS Mobile

Rainfall accumulations of 3 to 7 inches with maximum amounts of 10 inches are possible across the Florida Keys and southern Florida.  About 5 to 10 inches of rain are possible along affected areas in eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, western Tennessee and the western Florida Panhandle. Isolated areas could see as much as 15 inches.

Under overcast skies and occasional drizzle, several Gulfport, Mississippi, residents lined up to fill 10- and 20-pound (5- and 9-kilogram) bags with sand they will use to block any encroaching floodwater expected as a result of Alberto.

Tommy Whitlock said sandbagging has become a usual event in his life since he lives next to a creek.

“I’m doing this because every time we have a hard rain, it floods at my house,” Whitlock said. “We get water from other neighborhoods, and water can get up to a foot deep in some places.”

STRINGER/REUTERS

Eddy Warner, a retired consultant for a construction company, filled bags while waiting for his nephew to come help transport them home to protect his garage.

“I’m 65 years old and too old to be doing this,” he said, laughing.

Alberto – the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season that officially starts June 1 – is expected to strengthen until it reaches the northern Gulf Coast, likely on Monday night.

The NWS said waves as high as 18 feet could pound the popular Gulf beaches in Baldwin County, Alabama, and northwestern Florida on Monday. A high surf warning was in effect through 7 p.m. Tuesday local time.

At 5 p.m. EDT Saturday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alberto was about 95 miles (155 kilometers) north of the western tip of Cuba and moving north at 13 mph (20 kph). The storm had top sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) and was expected to strengthen as it moves over the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

A subtropical storm like Alberto has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm, and its strongest winds are found farther from its center. Subtropical storms can develop into tropical storms, which in turn can strengthen into hurricanes.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect for Cuba’s western Pinar del Rio province, where heavy rains could trigger flash floods and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center said.

Mexico canceled its watch for the resort-dotted coast of the Yucatan peninsula, where the storm brought heavy rain. There were no immediate reports of emergencies. In Cancun, local newspapers showed scenes of some streets flooded to mid-hubcap level.

The downpours could dampen Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the summer tourist season along Gulf beaches. Along with heavy rains and high winds come rough seas and a threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana that can sweep swimmers out to sea.

Tracey Gasper and her 6-year-old son, Chase, traveled to Biloxi Beach from Donaldsonville, Louisiana, for a day of fun in the sun with a group of friends from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The weather had scared off the usual crowds expected for the holiday weekend.

“It was a 50-50 chance of whether to come down and we decided to chance it,” Gasper said.

What is a tropical storm watch?

A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible for the area and time frame described. At the most recent information available from NOAA, the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio and areas of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche should monitor Alberto for the next 24 hours.

What is a subtropical storm?

The National Hurricane Center defines subtropical storm as a “subtropical cyclone” in which the maximum sustained wind speed – using the U.S. one-minute average – is 39 mph or higher. Subtropical storms have cooler centers than tropical storms, but they can eventually develop into tropical storms and then into hurricanes.

McCabe Bought a $70,000 Table, Then the FBI Redacted Docs To Keep It Secret – Google Search
 

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McCabe Bought a $70000 TableThen the FBI Redacted Docs To …

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Florida and Mississippi declare states of emergency ahead of …

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(CNN) Both Florida and Mississippi declared states of emergency Saturday as Subtropical Storm Albertoheads toward the Gulf of Mexico.
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The Latest: Mississippi preps for Subtropical Storm Alberto

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Subtropical Storm Alberto a Gulf Coast Holiday Weekend Threat …

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Subtropical Storm Alberto will slide into the Gulf of Mexico late Saturday, then head toward the northern Gulf Coast late in the Memorial Day …

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City, county prepare for flooding as chance for Tropical Storm Alberto

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A Chabad house in Long Island becomes fulcrum in Mueller probe – American Politics
 

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US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at his hotel in New York City, US.

US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at his hotel in New York City, US, May 9, 2018. . (photo credit: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID)

WASHINGTON – A Chabad house in Long Island has once again made headlines as a hinge point for contacts under scrutiny by Robert Mueller III, the US special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Individuals who attended the Chabad of Port Washington allegedly facilitated contact between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US President Donald Trump by connecting loyalists of Poroshenko with Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer currently under criminal investigation by Mueller and New York State, BBC News reported on Wednesday.

Poroshenko sought an audience with Trump and directed confidantes to orchestrate it, according to the report, using the Chabad house as a channel to reach Cohen and, through him, the president.

“The BBC’s claim that our organization played a role in any of this is false and unsubstantiated. Neither I nor any of our staff know, or have been in contact with, any current or former members of the Ukrainian parliament, nor Michael Cohen,” Rabbi Shalom Paltiel of Chabad of Port Washington told

The Jerusalem Post

.

But that same Port Washington channel may have been used before in an effort by affiliates of Russian President Vladimir Putin to end sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, according to reports in

The New York Times

.  One such report found that Felix Sater, a member of the Port Washington Chabad and its 2010 and 2014 “man of the year,” had met with Cohen in January 2017 to orchestrate an end to the sanctions.

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Cohen at the time proved himself a successful emissary for Russian interests, delivering the proposal to Michael Flynn, then Trump’s national security adviser and now a cooperating witness in Mueller’s investigation.

Sater is a convicted criminal associate of the Russian mob in New York and co-led Bayrock-Sapir, a real estate firm closely associated with Trump, to which Trump turned in his exploration of potential construction contracts in Moscow.

The firm was founded by Tamir Sapir, whose son joined Trump’s 2013 meetings in Moscow under investigation by Mueller, and who maintained a close relationship with Lev Leviev, Chabad’s top donor and a Putin confidante.

Trump and Leviev met to discuss Moscow real estate opportunities in 2008, according to Russian media reports and photographs.

In 2015, Sater emailed Cohen and an unidentified Russian contact about his desire to aid Putin’s effort to elevate Trump to the presidency in 2016. “Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Sater wrote to Cohen, according to an email obtained by the

Times

. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”

“I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected,” he wrote in another email to the Russian contact.  “If he says it we own this election.”

Cohen is Jewish himself and a frequent attendee of a Chabad in midtown Manhattan.

Wednesday’s BBC report claimed that Cohen was paid $400,000 to connect Poroshenko’s aides with the White House, where the Ukrainian leader succeeded in meeting with Trump in June. Cohen did not register as a foreign agent representing Ukrainian or Russian interests, as is mandated by US law.

Shortly after the June meeting with Trump, Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency dropped its investigation into Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who is currently another top target in the Mueller probe.

Port Washington came under scrutiny last April, when

Politico Magazine

 ran an article examining its role in connecting Trump and Putin’s oligarchs. The article noted that Putin has employed two of his closest contacts, Leviev and Roman Abramovich, to serve as envoys to the global Jewish community, using the Chabad network as their base.

Paltiel dismissed that article as antisemitic  and on Wednesday, the rabbi expressed dismay that the BBC failed to approach him– or anyone at the Chabad house– for comment before running the claim.

“Nobody at the BBC bothered to verify the claim with us, or even request comment, as is basic journalistic practice,” he said. “Despite the fast-paced news culture we live in and the understandable desire to get a story out first, someone from the BBC could have easily picked up the phone or sent us an email.”

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Tesla solar and Powerwall keep the lights on during Puerto Rico power outage
 

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Ever since the island of Puerto Rico’s power grid was destroyed by hurricanes last year, power outages have plagued the island.

Tesla has been focusing on deploying solar and energy storage on the island in order to help get power back to more people quicker.

One homeowner with a Tesla Powerwall and solar array shows how it can keep the lights on and run off-grid during outages.

After Puerto Rico was ravaged by hurricanes last year, most of the island’s population lost power for an extended period of time as the grid was badly damaged.

While power slowly came back online over the last few months, they still have been having issues and last month, the entire power grid went down again for virtually everyone on the Puerto Rican Electric Power grid.

Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company installed batteries at 662 locations in Puerto Rico.

We reported that they focused on critical services. For example, Tesla deployed a series of Powerpack systems on the Puerto Rican islands of Vieques and Culebra for a sanitary sewer treatment plant, the Arcadia water pumping station, the Ciudad Dorada elderly community, the Susan Centeno hospital, and the Boys and Girls Club of Vieques.

The automaker’s energy division also deployed a solar+battery system at a hospital in Puerto Rico.

But we now learn that Tesla has also been installing solar arrays and battery packs at residential homes.

Israel Melendez, Jr. shared on Twitter images of his new Powerwall keeping the lights on during the last power outage:

Melendez is connected to the grid, but with a 12-kW solar array and 3 Tesla Powerwalls, the house can run completely off-grid.

Yesterday, he shared the power generation of his system which generated more than twice the energy needed to power the house:

The rest was fed back into the grid to be consumed by his neighbors in Manatí, Puerto Rico.

The tweet caught the attention of Musk who says that Tesla is working to activate “hundreds” of other energy storage system on the island to help stabilize the grid.

In recent months, Tesla has announced several new projects to deploy more Powerwalls, which appears to be backordered as many longtime reservation holders still report not being able to purchase the home battery pack.

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9:16 AM 5/26/2018 – The Countless Israeli Connections to Mueller’s Probe of Trump and Russia – Haaretz
 

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The Countless Israeli Connections to Mueller’s Probe of Trump and Russia
Haaretz
The Israeli media usually takes scant interest in Robert Mueller’s investigations. It prefers to dwell on Donald Trump’s supposedly pro-Israeli policies. Last week’s report in the New York Times about the participation of Joel Zamel, the Australianand more »
Trump, Russia, Mueller: The countless Israeli connections
 

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The Israeli media usually takes scant interest in Robert Mueller’s investigations. It prefers to dwell on Donald Trump’s supposedly pro-Israeli policies. Last week’s report in the New York Times about the participation of Joel Zamel, the Australian-born “Israeli specialist in social media manipulation,” in an August 3, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York was an exception to the rule. The FBI, the Times reported, had even come to Israel to search the offices of Zamel’s company. Here was a direct Israeli link to the scandal that has bewitched much of America since Trump was first elected.

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The moment of fleeting interest was followed up by a report, published by Walla! News, that another Israeli-based company called Inspiration, run by former IDF intelligence officers, had been employed by a super PAC that supported Trump’s election. The report alleged that after retiring from the race, Housing Secretary and then-candidate Ben Carson personally presented Trump with Inspiration’s plan for voter manipulation in swing states. A source in the company told Walla! that Inspiration had received “enormous amounts” of information from the Super PAC, which it then used to compose strategies and slogans that would elevate Trump and “float all kinds of things” about Hillary Clinton.

The two separate cases of Israeli involvement fed into sometimes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that seek to place Israel on the same level as Russia in its intervention in the 2016 presidential elections. In Israel’s case, however, there is no indication or allegation of direct government involvement or of Mueller’s interest. Nonetheless, beyond Zamel and Inspiration, a disturbing number of the main players implicated so far in Mueller’s investigation, many of them of Russian origin, have a direct link to Israel in their past or present.

>> Who is Joel Zamel, the Australian-Israeli linked to Mueller’s Trump Probe?

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There could be myriad reasons for the preponderance of actors with ties to Israel. In recent years, Israeli political strategists have developed an international reputation for election campaigns; many are employed by foreign political parties. Israeli intelligence services have certainly developed an expertise in psychological warfare; both Zamel and Inspiration are said to have employed former intelligence officers. And an estimated 10-15 percent of the million or so Russian immigrants who came to Israel from the 1970s onwards are known to have used the country as a way station to immigrate to the United States and other Western countries – but not before picking up Israeli citizenship, which remains with them for life. These included so-called Russian oligarchs, some of whom made their fortunes on the wrong side of the law.

Nonetheless, there is no denying that Benjamin Netanyahu’s government was overjoyed at Trump’s election – if not before the fact, then certainly after. According to reports published in November and December of last year, Mueller is investigating lobbying efforts made in December 2016, before Trump’s inauguration, by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and presidential adviser Jared Kushner against the Obama administration’s intention to refrain from vetoing UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. Flynn’s indictment included an admission that he had lied to the FBI about his approach to Russia’s U.S. Ambassador Sergei Kislyak to delay the Security Council vote.

And while no direct link has been established, there was certainly a confluence of views and interests in the recently uncovered efforts by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia to assist Trump’s campaign. According to the New York Times, in the August 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, the UAE representative, George Nader, told Donald Trump Jr. and other participants that Obama had left a “power vacuum” in the Middle East. The report also states that Nader had concocted a secret plan to destabilize the Iranian regime, an objective now being pursued, despite their denials, by both Israel and the United States.

>> Explained: What Michael Flynn’s guilty plea means for Jared Kushner and Israel ■ Ronan Farrow: Israelis, like Russia, are interfering in American politics ■ Analysis: Netanyahu puts Israel’s fate in hands of U.S president dubbed ‘serious threat to national security’

The question of whether the Israeli involvement was merely coincidental or an indication of something more sinister could become clearer if and when Mueller presents his findings. In the meantime, here is a necessarily incomplete catalog of the numerous Israeli connections to some of the people named so far in Mueller’s probe:

* George Nader, the convicted pedophile who worked on behalf of UAE, is a Lebanese businessman who has worked for decades in the shadows of Middle East diplomacy. He has often been accused in the Arab press of being an agent for the Mossad.  In the 1980s, Nader reportedly mediated between Israel and Lebanon. At the same time, he established the journal Middle East Insight, which often arranged meetings in Washington between Israelis and Arabs. In July, 1996, Nader hosted Netanyahu shortly after his first election as prime minister. This video shows both on the same stage.

Two years later, Nader forged even closer ties with Netanyahu and his bureau: he served as Ronald Lauder’s assistant in the cosmetic tycoon’s failed efforts to secure a peace deal between Netanyahu and Syria’s president at the time, Hafez Assad. Netanyahu’s advisers have acknowledged their contacts with Nader, who is said to have been especially close to Dore Gold, the prime minister’s aide and former UN ambassador.

* Nader’s partner in representing the UAE – and in pressing Trump to take a hard line on Qatar – was Elliott Broidy, the Los Angeles venture capitalist and GOP fundraiser.  Broidy made headlines in recent weeks for his lucrative lobbying efforts on behalf of the UAE, which included two personal meetings with Trump, as well as for his alleged role in Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s payment of $1.6 million to former Playboy Playmate Shera Bechard. Many commentators assume that it was Trump who actually had an affair with Bechard and got her pregnant, with Broidy volunteering to serve as his cover.

Broidy also has a long history with Israel in general and Netanyahu in particular. Together with Sheldon Adelson, he is a prominent member of the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which has taken hawkish positions on the Iran nuclear deal and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Fifteen years ago, Broidy set up Markstone Capital Group which operated in Israel, investing in Israeli companies and attracting Israeli investors. In 2003, then-Finance Minister Netanyahu took credit for convincing the New York State pension fund to invest $250 million in Markstone. It later emerged that Broidy’s bribes to former New York State Comptroller and now-convicted felon Alan Hevesi also played a role in the pension fund’s largesse. By the time Broidy pled guilty to a misdemeanor after cooperating with Hevesi’s investigators in 2012, Markstone’s Israeli branch had essentially collapsed, taking with it the many Israelis’ investments.

* In January 2017, Nader took part in a meeting in Seychelles, which is also being probed by Mueller. In attendance were Erik Prince, Trump confidante, brother of Education Secretary Betsy Devos and founder of the security company Blackwater, as well as Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian government’s sovereign wealth fund Russia Direct Investment Fund. Dmitriev’s fund has in recent months been negotiating with Israeli government ministers on a $100 million project to open Israeli-run dairies in Russia.

* Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya, who features in the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, in which she is alleged to have offered damaging information on Hillary Clinton, represented Prevezon Holdings Ltd. in the money laundering case brought forth by former New York Southern District Attorney Preet Bharara. After Bharara was dismissed by Trump, Prevezon was allowed to pay a $6 million fine in May 2017 to avoid criminal prosecution. The owner of Prevezon is Denis Katsyv, another Israeli citizen, whose father Pyotr was a high municipal official in Moscow. In 2005, the same Katsyv reached a similar settlement with Israeli authorities, paying a fine of 35 million shekels after being indicted for money laundering at a Tel Aviv branch of Bank Hapoalim. The Cyprus-registered Prevezon was managed for a while by a Tel Aviv lawyer, who also represented the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv.

* Katsyv partnered with the Dutch branch of Africa-Israel Ltd., which belongs to Russian-Israeli diamond and real estate mogul Lev Leviev. Leviev’s apartments in New York were alleged to have served as a conduit for Prevezon’s money laundering. In 2015, Leviev sold four stories of the old New York Times building in Manhattan to Jared Kushner for $295 million, secured through a loan from Deutsche Bank, which is also being probed by Mueller.

* Leviev and Roman Abramovich, the billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club who has recently run into visa problems with British authorities, teamed up in 1999 to set up the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia (FOR). They were responding to a request by Vladimir Putin to set up a group that would rival the Russian Jewish Congress, headed by Israeli-Russian oligarch Vladimir Gusinsky, who was close to former Russian President Boris Yeltsin. The head of the FOR is Italian-Russian Chabad Rabbi Berel Lazar. In April 2017, Politico alleged that Chabad and FOR were used by the Kremlin as conduits for their efforts to influence the U.S. elections. The report was denied and even dismissed as anti-Semitic. Interestingly, a BBC story published this week about payments made to Michael Cohen by Ukraine in order to secure a long White House meeting with Trump for Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko notes that the approach to Trump’s lawyer was made via the Chabad branch in Port Washington, New York.

* Mueller is also said to be investigating connections between Russian oligarchs and Trump’s businesses in the years before he became president. One such partner in Trump’s failed Soho tower was the late Israeli-Georgian tycoon Tamir Sapir. In 2007, Trump hosted the wedding of Sapir’s daughter, Zina, with Rotem Rosen, then the director of the North American branch of Leviev’s Africa-Israel. The same year, Netanyahu listed Sapir as one of the potential donors to his Likud primary campaign in a handwritten note uncovered by the Yedioth Aharonoth daily.

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* Another partner in the Soho project, and possibly the architect of Trump’s ties to Russia, was Felix Sater, who worked closely with Cohen. Sater is also an Israeli citizen, having passed through the country on his way to the United States with his father Mikhail, whom the FBI has named as a lieutenant for Russia mafia kingpin Sergei Mogilevich. Mogilevich came to Israel in 1990 and lived there for a few years. According to press reports, Mogilevich participated in a 1995 meeting of Ukrainian master criminals convened in Tel Aviv by another Russian oligarch with a shady reputation, Boris Birshtein. After several years in Israel, Birshtein left the country for Canada, after learning that he had turned into a target of the Israeli police. Subsequently, he partnered with Trump in a building project in Toronto.

* Mueller is also said to be investigating a $150,000 contribution to Trump’s inaugural committee, in which Broidy played an active role, made by another Ukrainian billionaire, Victor Pinchuk. Cohen, it is alleged, was the middleman. Pinchuk is a significant contributor to religious institutions in Israel, but is also well connected to its politicians. In 2008 he served as co-chairman of the Israeli Presidential Conference convened in Jerusalem by the late Shimon Peres.

* Another purported target of Mueller’s investigation is Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, an Israeli citizen with investments in Israel, for payments allegedly made to Michael Cohen. Vekselberg partnered with Israeli-Russian billionaires Len Blavatnik, who is invested in Israeli media, connected to Netanyahu and is also under Mueller’s spotlight, as well as Russian-Israeli billionaire Mikhail Fridman. One of their joint holdings was Alfa Bank, which, according to the Steele Dossier, owned a mysterious internet server found in Trump Tower. Fridman is also the main contributor to the Genesis Prize, in which Netanyahu regularly plays a prominent role, and which featured recently in the brouhaha surrounding Natalie Portman’s decision to decline the prize after she had earlier accepted it.

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Red Diapers: Growing Up in the Communist Left

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Red Diapers: Growing Up in the Communist Left is the first anthology of autobiographical writings by “Red Diaper Babies” — children of communist or other radical-left parents. Edited by Judy Kaplan and Linn Shapiro, it consists of memoirs, short stories, and poems. Among the 40 authors are such well known figures as journalist Carl Bernsteinfeminist writer Kim Chernin, scientist Richard Levins, and author/activist Robert Meeropol (son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg).

The book has been widely praised by some of the major figures of 20th century radical politics, reviewed in radical and academic periodicals, and used as a textbook in radical history courses at Pennsylvania State University and East Stroudsberg University, as well as being reviewed by the mainstream media.

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