If you've followed the War on Terror at all, you're almost certainly familiar with the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — a U.S. prison that exists outside the realm of the U.S. justice system.Now, it turns out, there's a secret U.S. detention system in the War on Drugs, too — and this one is aboard U.S. Coast Guard cutters sailing in the Pacific Ocean.In an effort to staunch the flow of cocaine and other hard drugs from South America to Central America and points north, Coast Guard cutters have been deployed farther and farther from the shore in the Pacific Ocean. When these cutters capture a boat carrying drugs, the smugglers are brought onto the ships and kept shackled to the deck, sometimes outside in the elements, until the Coast Guard makes arrangements for them to be transported back to the U.S. for trial.But this isn't a wait of just a few hours or days. Often, these waits can last weeks or months, according to new reporting from The New York … [Read more...] about U.S. Coast Guard operating secret floating prisons in Pacific Ocean
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President Trump’s phone call last week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is evidence that the Marx Brothers were a better coordinated bunch than Trump and the others running foreign policy in this administration. The stumbles, bumbles and fumbles reflect a team that still lacks a coherent strategy toward Syria. The president reportedly reassured the Turkish president that the U.S. would cease military support to the Kurdish militias. These were the forces the administration relied on, along with U.S. airpower, to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's caliphate, and on which it was pinning its hopes to pressure the Assad regime and contain Iran in Syria. But Turkey has long been pressed Washington to end its support for Kurdish militias in northern Syria, which it sees as closely allied with the terrorist PKK and a threat to Turkey’s internal stability and security along the Syrian-Turkish border. On Friday, … [Read more...] about Trump said what? How chaos on Turkey, Kurds and Syria could work for U.S.
President Trump’s phone call last week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is evidence that the Marx Brothers were a better coordinated bunch than Trump and the others running foreign policy in this administration. The stumbles, bumbles and fumbles reflect a team that still lacks a coherent strategy toward Syria. The president reportedly reassured the Turkish president that the U.S. would cease military support to the Kurdish militias. These were the forces the administration relied on, along with U.S. airpower, to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's caliphate, and on which it was pinning its hopes to pressure the Assad regime and contain Iran in Syria. But Turkey has long been pressed Washington to end its support for Kurdish militias in northern Syria, which it sees as closely allied with the terrorist PKK and a threat to Turkey’s internal stability and security along the Syrian-Turkish border. On Friday, … [Read more...] about Trump said what? Chaos on Turkey, Kurds and Syria could work out for U.S.
WASHINGTON – The FBI failed to notify scores of U.S. officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year that the targets were in the Kremlin’s crosshairs, The Associated Press has found.Nearly 80 interviews with Americans targeted by Fancy Bear, a Russian government-aligned cyberespionage group, turned up only two cases in which the FBI had provided a heads-up. Even senior policymakers discovered they were targets only when the AP told them, a situation some described as bizarre and dispiriting.“It’s utterly confounding,” said Philip Reiner, a former senior director at the National Security Council, who was notified by the AP that he was targeted in 2015. “You’ve got to tell your people. You’ve got to protect your people.” More: Cybersecurity czar: White House must compromise with Congress on surveillance More: Senators threaten new … [Read more...] about FBI didn’t tell U.S. targets as Russian hackers hunted emails
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration backtracked Friday on its decision to order the Palestinians’ office in Washington to close, instead saying it would merely impose limitations on the office that it expected would be lifted after 90 days.Last week, U.S. officials said the Palestine Liberation Organization mission couldn’t stay open because the Palestinians had violated a provision in U.S. law requiring the office to close if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis. The move triggered a major rift in U.S.-Palestinian relations that threatened to scuttle President Donald Trump’s ambitious effort to broker Mideast peace before it ever got off the ground.Yet the United States delayed shuttering the office for a week while saying it was working out the details with the Palestinians, before abruptly reversing course late Friday, as many Americans were enjoying a long Thanksgiving Day weekend. State Department … [Read more...] about U.S. backtracks on decision to close Palestinian office in D.C.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The company behind Internet gambling website PlaySugarHouse.com has become the first in the U.S. to let gamblers bet real money online on the outcome of virtual sports events.Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive tells The Associated Press it has received approval from New Jersey regulators to let patrons bet online on the outcome of virtual computer-generated sporting "events," including soccer, horse, dog and vehicle racing.The technology exists in some Nevada casinos and is widely used throughout Europe, but this is the first time it will be available over the internet in the U.S.The site and mobile app launched Wednesday.Technology company Inspired Entertainment created the product, which debuts shortly before a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could legalize real-world sports betting in the U.S.Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive recently received approval from New Jersey regulators to let patrons bet online on the outcome of virtual computer-generated … [Read more...] about Firm becomes 1st in U.S. to offer online virtual-sport betting
One of the more important recent developments in global energy is the resurgence of U.S. energy production, thanks in large part to the shale revolution.Now, after half a century as a net importer, the U.S. is poised in the coming decade to become a net exporter, as imports from historic sources decline and demand for U.S. energy products abroad grows.According to the IEA’s World Energy Outlook, the U.S. is set to be a dominant force in energy production for the foreseeable future, as the surge from shale triggers the biggest boom in production in more than 50 years.By 2025, increases in U.S. gas and oil production will turn the country into a net exporter of fossil fuels for the first time since 1948. The U.S. will remain the “undisputed leader” in oil and gas markets “for decades to come,” according to the IEA.This prediction is derived in part from the IEA’s calculation of the recoverable reserves in the U.S., particularly shale, which the agency … [Read more...] about Analysis: Why Saudi Arabia should fear U.S. oil dominance
Despite repeated threats to incinerate the United States with its nuclear weapons, North Korea takes pains to note it won't strike first.The over-the-top rhetoric is often misinterpreted in the West, but North Korea has been consistent in saying it is developing a nuclear arsenal solely to ward off a first-strike by the U.S. military, said Van Jackson, an analyst at the Center for Strategic Studies at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.“North Korea makes pretty inflammatory statements all the time,” said Jackson, who wrote Rival Reputations Coercion and Credibility in US-North Korea Relations, about the history and credibility of U.S. and North Korean threats. “But largely ... defensive if-then things.”North Korea has promised to launch a nuclear strike that would turn the U.S. homeland into “a sea of fire” if attacked. It recently tested an intercontinental missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. … [Read more...] about North Korea won’t strike U.S. first despite inflammatory threats, experts say
Washington — In the eyes of many trade observers, President Donald Trump’s “America First” slogan has become “America Alone.”The president has followed through on campaign pledges to withdraw from controversial trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And he has made strident demands in talks with Canada and Mexico over tweaks to the North American Free Trade Agreement that appear to have imperiled the entire deal.The remaining 11 countries that were part of the TPP — including Canada and Mexico, as well as Japan — have taken steps toward the formation of a U.S.-less agreement. That could strengthen Canada and Mexico’s hand in the next round of NAFTA talks, scheduled to begin Friday in Mexico City, because it shows other countries are still interested in forging global trade deals without the United States.“Clearly there is a bargaining chip with the U.S.,” said Linda Lim, professor emeritus of strategy at the … [Read more...] about U.S. stands alone as NAFTA talks resume
OPEC just significantly overhauled its expectations for North American shale, projecting strong supply growth through the early 2020s. The revision came as part of OPEC’s World Oil Outlook (WOO), and it represents an acknowledgment from the cartel that it has failed to kill off U.S. shale by flooding the market.There was still some hope for OPEC at this point last year. In the 2016 version of its WOO, OPEC predicted that North American shale would decline from 4.9 million barrels per day (MB/D) in 2015 to just 4.1 MB/D in 2017 – a contraction due to the supply glut – before rebounding a bit to 4.8 MB/D in 2021. Low prices would have successfully halted shale in its tracks, ending one of the most dramatic growth stories the world of oil has ever seen.But a year later, OPEC is conceding that a different reality could be playing out. The 2017 WOO predicts North American shale output rises from 5.1 MB/D in 2017 to a massive 7.5 MB/D by 2021 and 8.7 MB/D in 2025. The 2021 … [Read more...] about World oil outlook: OPEC concedes that U.S. shale won’t die