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US lawmaker to retire after mistress abortion scandal: media

October 5, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
AFP
Thu, 2017-10-05 04:31
ID: 
1507167715093521300

WASHINGTON: A US congressman who sponsored legislation criminalizing late-term abortion announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election next year, after a report revealed he urged his mistress to have an abortion.
“After discussions with my family and staff, I have come to the decision that I will not seek reelection to Congress at the end of my current term,” House Republican Tim Murphy, who has been popular with members of the pro-life movement, said in a statement according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“I plan to spend my remaining months in office continuing my work as the national leader on mental health care reform, as well as issues affecting working families in southwestern Pennsylvania.”
Criticism of Murphy surged when the Gazette broke a story about the lurid sex scandal just as the House of Representatives voted Tuesday on Murphy’s bill banning nearly all abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Murphy, 65, acknowledged last month that he had an extramarital affair with Shannon Edwards, a psychologist who worked with him on mental health legislation.
On Tuesday the Gazette reported that Edwards sent Murphy a text message in January that excoriated him for an anti-abortion statement on his Facebook account.
“And you have zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options,” Edwards wrote about an apparent pregnancy scare, the Gazette reported.
The National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, congressman Steve Stivers, said in a statement that while he was “extremely disappointed” in Murphy’s conduct he remained confident that the district could remain in Republican hands next year.
Another Republican pro-life congressman, Scott DesJarlais, faced a similar abortion scandal in 2012, but he remains in Congress.

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Barclays on Spain, Catalonia: The risk of “greater volatility in related financial markets”

October 5, 2017 Eamonn Sheridan 0

I posted this from SG earlier on the crisis:
SG on Catalonia: Luckily for Spain, the risk-on mood is masking the threats ahead ..
Via Barclays now:
We think the outlook for the Catalonia is binary and hinges on whether the Catalonian government declar…

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Mueller Takes Over “Trump Dossier” Probe After Intel Committee “Hits A Wall”

October 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Now that the FBI and investigators from the Senate Intelligence Committee have given up on trying to verify the contents, Reuters is reporting that the infamous “Trump Dossier” hot potato has passed to Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team.

According to Reuters, Mueller has taken over the FBI inquiry into the dossier after it was widely reported earlier this year that the FBI failed to verify its most salacious allegations, but still used it to justify launching an investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Three sources with knowledge of Mueller’s probe said his investigators have assumed control of multiple inquiries into allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the election to benefit Trump, a Republican.

 

Russia has repeatedly denied any meddling in the election.

The timing of the story is interesting, considering that only a few hours ago, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr admitted that the committee’s investigators had given up on trying to corroborate the document’s allegations.

During a public update about the status of the committee’s investigation, Burr said that the committee’s efforts to investigate the dossier’s allegations had “hit a wall” because it’s been unable to interview the dossier’s author, former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.

“Unfortunately, the committee has hit a wall,” Sen. Burr says of Steele dossier https://t.co/T5uqoA85rO pic.twitter.com/QbxgCGr8yN

— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 4, 2017

Without Steele’s cooperation, Burr said, the dossier’s contents and provenance, as well as the identity of its financial backers, appear impossible to verify up until it was first turned over the FBI in June 2016. The tacit suggestion here is that the only thing stopping investigators from publicly confirming that the dossier’s allegations have been debunked is the hope that Steel may one day come forward with the smoking gun that could lead to the downfall of a president…an eventuality that appears increasingly remote.

in case they forgot, Reuters reminds readers that its reporters had been briefed on the dossier’s contents before the election, but, like most media outlets at the time, decided not to report it because it couldn’t be verified.

Reuters added that since then, several US intelligence agencies have said they’re taking the allegations seriously.

In summary, Mueller’s “takeover” of the Russia dossier investigation is really just another hail mary in the hopes that Steele or somebody else will come forward with something, anything, that could verify the document’s assertions.

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Egypt: We have fulfilled all requirements for Russian flights resumption

October 5, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Egypt has fulfilled all the security requirements of its airports for the resumption of the Russian flights, Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation, Sherif Fathy, announced on Tuesday. Speaking at a press conference held in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, Fathi said that “the measures taken by Egypt to secure its airports are currently in the hands of the Russian government,” adding the Russian officials have modified the security requirements “more than once.” “We have fulfilled all the Russian demands and we’re awaiting their determination of a date for the flights’ resumption,” stressing that Egypt “has nothing else to do on this matter.” “The final decision is in the hands of the Russian side,” he reiterated, as quoted by Egypt’s Sada […]

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3 Green Berets Killed In Al Qaeda Ambush Near Mali-Niger Border

October 5, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

An unidentified group of assailants attacked and killed soldiers from both the US and Niger in an ambush near the Niger-Mali border on Wednesday, according to CNN and local French-language media.

Three green berets were killed in the incident, the first US casualties in a mission to assist local troops against Al Qaeda’s African branch, and five soldiers from Niger were also killed.

Specifically, the attack occurred in Niger about 120 miles from Niger’s capital Niamay in an area where militants have conducted cross-boarder raids, the New York Times reported. Two other green berets were wounded.

The US has maintained a small military presence in the northwest African country with small groups of US Special Operations Forces advising local troops as they battle two terrorist groups: the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram – which is based in neighboring Nigeria – and al Qaeda’s North African branch, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The group has maintained a presence in the Mali-Niger border area, despite a multi-year French-led military counterterrorism effort, Operation Barkhane, which began in 2014.

“We can confirm reports that a joint US and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger,” Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for Africa Command, which oversees US troops in the region, told CNN.

 

“We are working to confirm details on the incident and will have more information as soon as we can confirm facts on the ground,” Falvo added.

CNN reports that the US military has largely played a supporting role in the battle against the regional Al Qaeda branch, providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to support French and local forces. France has a presence of thousads of troops in the area, who are leading a coalition including forces from Germany, Mali, Niger and other countries in the region. The US is also building a drone base near Agadez in Niger to help bolster its counterterrorism efforts, just like it did in South Yemen, the reputed home of Al Qaeda.

“US Forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces, including support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts, in their efforts to target violent extremist organizations in the region,” Falvo said, adding “one aspect of that is training, advising and assisting the Nigeriens in order to increase their ability to bring stability and security to their people.”

President Donald Trump has been briefed on the attack, according to the White House.

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