Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Last Supper

Second Day of Ramadan

This will take you through the third and fourth days:

"UN aid chief in Yemen warns of cholera rise without more aid" AP  May 31, 2017

AMMAN, Jordan — Two senior UN officials on Tuesday warned of the spread of cholera and malnutrition in Yemen, where millions of civilians have been caught in a two-year-old civil war.

Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian chief in Yemen, said on Tuesday that poverty and disease are visibly spreading amid the havoc of war.

People in Yemen are ‘‘dying unnecessary, preventable deaths in quiet corners of villages,’’ he said in an interview in the Jordanian capital of Amman, after a recent trip to Yemen.

‘‘It’s going to be a very sad year for Yemen,’’ said the regional director of the UN children’s agency UNICEF. 55,200 cases of cholera were reported in Yemen in the past four weeks.

‘‘More children die every day in Yemen from preventable causes like malnutrition and cholera,’’ said Geert Cappelaere. ‘‘Time is running out.’’

What is left unsaid is that it is the U.S.-Saudi campaign against them that has brought about these conditions, and the U.N.'s impotence in the face of it.

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RelatedHundreds of thousands of Yemeni children are nearing starvation

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"Iraq paramilitaries reach border with Syria" Associated Press  May 29, 2017

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s Shi’ite paramilitary forces reached the border with Syria on Monday after securing a string of small villages west of Mosul, according to a spokesman for the group.

The move follows a push by the government-sanctioned forces to retake a number of small villages and key supply lines from the Islamic State in the vast deserts west of Mosul. Iraq’s conventional military has focused on clearing the city itself, a slow, grinding process in dense urban terrain packed with tens of thousands of civilians.

The paramilitary forces — mostly Shi’ite fighters with close ties to Iran referred to as the Popular Mobilization Forces — began Monday’s operation by pushing Islamic State militants out of the center of the town of Baaj, some 25 miles from the Syrian border, according to Shi’ite lawmaker Karim al-Nouri.

The fighters plan to ‘‘erect a dirt barricade and dig a trench’’ along the border, said Sheikh Sami al-Masoudi, a PMF leader, describing how the forces would secure the porous border area that has long been a haven for smugglers and insurgent activity.

Masoudi described Baaj as the last Islamic State supply line between Syria and Iraq in the area. Iraq’s army, federal police, and special forces launched the operation to retake Mosul last October.

Meanwhile, the Iran-backed PMF — known as Hashed al-Shaabi in Arabic — has largely operated in the desert to the west of Mosul, retaking small villages and cutting Islamic State supply lines since October.

After securing the border area, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces are ready to move inside Syrian territories, according to Hashim al-Mousawi, a leader with the powerful al-Nujaba militia that falls under the PMF umbrella.

On the Syrian side of the border, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, Islamic State militants, and Syrian rebels are fighting for territory. President Bashar Assad’s forces and their allies have also been on the offensive, moving toward the Iraqi and Jordanian border but are still far from reaching it....

Maybe ISIS will be routed soon.

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RelatedDozens dead in a pair of bombings in Baghdad The attacks came just days into the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during daylight hours. After sundown, families break their fast. Baghdad’s restaurants and cafes quickly fill up with people staying up long into the night. During Ramadan last year, another section of Karrada was hit by massive suicide bombing that killed almost 300 people, the deadliest single attack in the Iraqi capital in 13 years of war. The attack was also claimed by ISIS.

ISIS blasts kill dozens at family gatherings — this time, in Iraq,

US-backed Syrian fighters reach gates of IS capital of Raqqa The latest push comes as airstrikes have intensified in recent days.

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"Macron confronts Putin on Syria, rights, elections" by Alissa J. Rubin New York Times   May 29, 2017

VERSAILLES, France — France’s newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron, came out of his first meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on Monday with a message of stark challenge, on issues including human rights, war crimes, and election interference.

Against the gilded backdrop of the Palace of Versailles, Macron and Putin pledged to work with each other to fight terrorism, but their body language was at times tense, and the sometimes confrontational tone of the meeting was made clear in Macron’s comments during a joint news conference afterward, where he signaled his intent to play a forceful role on the global stage and not be cowed by other world leaders.

Is that why the French elected him?

Macron promised French military reprisals for any use of chemical weapons by Russia’s allies in Syria and said he would closely monitor the curtailing of civil rights for gay people in Chechnya.

And if the chemical weapons are used by EUSrael allies and proxies?

In answering a reporter’s question, Macron minced no words in explaining why his campaign team had shut out two Russian-associated news organizations, Russia Today and Sputnik. “When press organs sow defamatory untruths, they are no longer journalists,’’ he said. “They are organs of influence.”

Aaaah, they like my pre$$ then!

He said the news outlets “on many occasions produced untruths about me and my campaign and so I determined that they had no place, I confirm it, in my headquarters.”

Before the election, Putin had expressly backed Macron’s opponent, Marine Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigrant National Front. On the eve of the vote, Macron’s campaign suffered a massive cyberattack that it compared with the hacking of candidate Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last year. US intelligence agencies blamed that operation on the Russian government.

That's when I hit the wall.

Cybersecurity analysts detected Russian fingerprints behind the hacking of the Macron campaign’s e-mails and internal communications earlier this month. The Kremlin has denied involvement, and Putin on Monday reiterated that. Macron, 39, won the May 17 election in a landslide.

Means nothing! CIA could have left them there!

With Putin standing beside him, he publicly warned the Russian leader that the use of chemical weapons was a “red line” for France. “The use of chemical weapons by anyone will be the object of reprisals and immediate retaliation on the part of France,” he said.

The French Obama.

The visit by Putin, at Macron’s invitation, was described as a working meeting timed to coincide with the opening of a show at the Grand Trianon, a ch√Ęteau within the Versailles complex. The exhibition celebrates the ties between Russia and France forged 300 years ago by Peter the Great when he visited France after encouraging diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The meeting was Macron’s first with the Russian leader, and he appeared intent on introducing himself as a new factor for Russia to take into consideration on the European stage. It was also a chance for Macron to show France and the rest of Europe what kinds of issues will matter to him in international relations.

Macron recently returned from his first meeting with NATO and Group of 7 leaders, but in those meetings he was part of a larger group and the agenda was collective. On Monday, he appeared set on opening discussions on a variety of topics, including Russia’s involvement in Ukraine and Syria.

Putin appeared to want to reestablish the relatively warm relations the two countries have had in the past and to use the meeting as an opportunity to underscore Russia’s position in a number of policy areas. Not least of those is its demand for lifting European economic sanctions against Russia that were put in place after the annexation of Crimea and meddling in Ukraine.

LIE! They did not annex Crimea.

Despite the sometimes tough tone of the news conference, Macron received Putin with all the usual formalities.....

Then he sh*t in his face. Must be some kind of French fetish.

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Related:

"Foreign and defense ministers from Egypt and Russia met in Cairo to discuss a range of issues, including terrorism, Libya, and the resumption of flights suspended since 2015 terrorist attack. Along with Egypt’s president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi, and Foreign Minister Sameh Shurki met with their Russian counterparts, Sergey Shoygu and Sergey Lavrov. Shurki said that Russia and Egypt will continue to speak against countries harboring terrorists and providing militants a ‘‘safe haven.’’ He said that militant groups are using Libya as a ‘‘staging ground to threaten Egyptian national security.’’ Also Monday, Egypt announced a $2.49 billion package of income tax discounts, bonuses for state employees, increased pension payments, and cash subsidies for lower and middle income Egyptians to cope with soaring inflation. In a separate development Monday....." 

While Trump was away and the pre$$ obsessed, the U.S. lost Egypt!

"Israel’s interior minister grilled in corruption inquiry" Associated Press  May 29, 2017

JERUSALEM — Israel’s interior minister and his wife were reportedly among 16 people who were interrogated by Israel police Monday in a major corruption inquiry. 

What did the Palestinians have to eat today?

Police said 16 people were taken in for questioning in the investigation into tax evasion and real estate crimes.

Looks like SOP.

Israeli media reported that Aryeh Deri and his wife were questioned by the police’s high-profile crimes unit for at least 10 hours over suspected wrongdoing.

Deri was previously sentenced to three years in prison for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in 2000 during his previous stint as interior minister in the 1990s. He served 22 months in prison, but made a political comeback and retook the reins of the religious Shas party in 2013.

Details of the case are under a police gag order.

Public officials were among 14 other people who were detained Monday in connection with the ongoing investigation, according to local media.

Among those detained were Jerusalem’s Deputy Mayor Moshe Leon and Ariel Mashaal, director general of the Ministry for Development in the Negev. They were expected to be released later in the day.

The investigation of Deri and his wife reportedly involves a series of real estate dealings in which the minister is suspected of illegally transferring a five-room Jerusalem apartment to his brother, attorney Shlomo Deri.

Police are also reportedly looking into how the Deri family built a vacation villa in the Upper Galilee village of Kfar Hoshen.

Investigators are scrutinizing a grant from the Israeli Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee, which Deri formerly ran. The money was allegedly going to be provided to an organization managed by Yaffa Deri until it was halted by ministry officials.

Deri was named interior minister in 2016, and resigned from the Knesset to allow Michael Malchieli to take his seat.

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Manchester police cordon off area as bomb squad investigates Ariana Grande and other top stars — including Justin Bieber, Coldplay, and Miley Cyrus — will perform at a benefit concert in Manchester Sunday night, less than two weeks after.

Hmmmmmm!

UK investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber

Tsarnaevs, Manchester terror suspect have chilling similarities 

Same script, ridiculous.

"The airline said Monday that it was running most flights as normal, but the disruption resulted in tense scenes at London’s two biggest airports, in particular. A global computer failure that began Saturday morning led to the canceling of all British Airways flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports in London. CEO Alex Cruz said the failure was caused by a power surge...."

The hackers must be back in the $hadows

BA debacle puts spotlight on airlines’ old IT systems, cuts

Good thing a robot is on patrol at the Pru.

JetBlue will test facial-recognition system for boarding at Logan

Armed man at Orlando airport taken into custody, according to police

The psyops never stop!

"Tourism in Spain and the United Kingdom will lead a rebound in European luxury spending this year, while Chinese domestic consumption also increases, Bain & Co. said, raising its forecast for global growth in 2017. High-end labels found it hard to keep up momentum in 2016 amid flagging consumption in China and a terror-related downturn in European tourism, but in Europe recovering tourist flows and increased consumer confidence will drive growth....."

Well, there you have it. No real terror attacks for Europe in 2017. Bain would know.

"Just over a week before a general election in Britain, a scathing song lampooning British Prime Minister Theresa May for her perceived political flip-flopping appears to have captured the national mood, climbing to the top of the UK iTunes chart. May has come under criticism for a series of U-turns. She vowed she would not call an early election and then did just that. She supported Britain remaining in the European Union, yet is now overseeing its departure. She has been criticized for backtracking from new plans to finance care for older people, even as she has portrayed herself as the champion of those “just about managing” to get by......"

Looking like there will be a change in government and no Brexit after all.

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"In Sri Lanka on Monday, a group of soldiers carried a body wrapped in a tarpaulin to police for identification, while others dug through piles of mud after flash floods. Helicopters searched elsewhere for people still marooned after rain-triggered floods and mudslides inundated villages last Thursday, killing at least 169 people and leaving 102 others missing, officials said.....

Bangladesh readies evacuation plans as cyclone nears

Tropical Storm Mora was expected to make landfall early Tuesday:

Bangladesh Cyclone Wreaks Havoc in Rohingya Refugee Camps

That leads you to Myanmar:

 Harvard gives humanitarian award to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi
Obama pledges to lift all sanctions against Myanmar
Alleged military abuse after militant attack in Myanmar poses test for Suu Kyi
As Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi faces something new: scrutiny
Violence Mounts in Restive Myanmar State
Satellite images reveal destruction in Rohingya villages
Malaysia criticizes Myanmar’s treatment of ethnic group

He should worry about himself and hop on the first flight out of there.

US official says abuses appear ‘normal’ in Myanmar crackdown
Myanmar ruling party mourns assassination of Suu Kyi adviser He was seen as a familiar and helpful figure by journalists and human rights workers who have found Suu Kyi’s government almost as difficult to deal with as the military-backed regime it replaced.

No kidding?

Strange how all that talk started after she cozied up to China.

As ethnic group flees Myanmar violence, Bangladesh is sending them back
Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to be relocated to remote, inhospitable island

As soon as they got there, their imam was shot. It was a hate crime. They question the man and John Kerry was sent to step up the fight:

"Bangladesh on Saturday executed a top Islamist party leader convicted of war crimes involving the nation’s 1971 independence war against Pakistan. Mir Quasem Ali, a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was hanged at a jail near the capital, Dhaka. The Jamaat-e-Islami party protested Ali’s execution and called for an eight-hour general strike beginning Monday morning (AP)."

More on the strikes later. After the pipe bomb in Manhattan after the state was on alert and boosting patrols. 

All I can think is they went from dropping down buildings to this

Was there any backlash

Yes, I suppose there was, and whose fault was it?

Lawyer: Bombings suspect has serious injuries from shooting
Manhattan bomb suspect pleads not guilty to attempted murder

At least he didn't shoot up a mall.

It was all over the place, and the "complaint says Mr. Rahami was motivated by an extremist Islamic ideology that he recorded in a notebook he had with him when he was shot and wounded by the police in Linden, N.J., on Monday morning before being taken into custody. Pierced by a bullet and splattered with blood, the journal contains screeds against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan....."

Has FBI set-up all over it!!

Bombing suspect carried writings endorsing jihad

Father of accused bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami stands by claim about FBI His description of that contact differs starkly from the one given by law enforcement officials

Who you gonna believe? 

The FBI, in a statement this week, said it had conducted an assessment of Ahmad Rahami that included interviews with his father, a review of bureau databases and public records, and checks with other agencies. But the assessment did not turn up anything that warranted further inquiry, and the matter was closed.

It's the Tsarnaev script!

Shades of Tamerlan Tsarnaev present in N.Y. bombing suspect
ISIS supporter to plead guilty in US court
R.I. man pleads guilty to ISIS conspiracy

Trick or treat!

Woman charged with lying after bombings plans to stay in Russia

They murdered her husband Todashev.

Judge denies request for public disclosure of Tsarnaev defense funds
FBI releases 2011 report of interview with Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Conviction upheld for Robel Phillipos, friend of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Robel Phillipos is slated to be released in February 2018.

Time to do a VSE of the Islamic center and the next generation of Muslim leaders in Bo$ton. Check their Facebooks, who they friend, what groups they like, who they bond with, what sort of faith they have, is it fair, should you investigate, should you be vigilante?

Then you can label them and undercut the three-day summit convened at the White House this past week that set  new rules for combating terroristsHow about those faces, huh?  Nothing SILLI about them! 

Amidst all this "debate":

"3 NYC men held on charges of having ISIS ties; Arrests come as extremists step up recruitment" by Marc Santora and Stephanie Clifford, New York Times  February 26, 2015

NEW YORK — Two young men living in Brooklyn were arrested Wednesday and charged with plotting to travel thousands of miles to fight under the banner of the Islamic State, the terrorist organization that has seized a wide expanse of Syria and Iraq. A third Brooklyn man was charged with helping organize and fund their activities.

Even as the Islamic State has been waging a brutal war in the Middle East, it has been spearheading an aggressive campaign to recruit Muslims to its cause, using social media to target young people across the world.

It has drawn thousands of fighters from nearby nations, tapping into a range of resentments, from religious oppression to personal disillusionment. More recently, the group has found scores of recruits in Europe, many drawn by the gruesome videos of atrocities that the group uses to promote itself.

Now, according to law enforcement authorities, it has reached into New York City to find three men drawn to the group’s apocalyptic message.

confidential informant paid by the government played a key role in the investigation, court documents show. Defense lawyers have criticized the government’s reliance on such informers in similar cases, saying they may lure targets into making plans or statements more extreme than they would on their own. And in some cases, the charging documents’ picture of the credibility of the threat outlined in charging documents has turned out to be overstated.

Still, coming just days after the authorities in London said they were looking for three teenage girls who left their homes and are suspected of traveling to Syria to join the jihadists, the arrests of the three Brooklyn men heightened concerns about the reach and threat of the Islamic State.

Law enforcement officials fear not only what people might do if they make it to faraway battlefields but also what they might do at home if they fail to get overseas.

“This is real,” William J. Bratton, the New York City police commissioner, said at a news conference. “This is the concern about the lone wolf.”

One of the men was arrested at Kennedy International Airport, where he was trying to board a flight to Istanbul and then planned to travel to Syria to join the battle, according to the government.

At least two of the men had threatened to carry out attacks on targets in the United States, including planting a bomb in Coney Island, if they failed in their attempt to travel overseas, according to the government.

But their threats of violence had an “aspirational” quality, according to law enforcement officials, with no indication that they were close to staging an attack, large or small.

The men arrested were identified as Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev, 24; Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19; and Abror Habibov, 30.

Juraboev, a permanent US resident and a citizen of Uzbekistan, and Saidakhmetov, a permanent US resident and a citizen of Kazakhstan, appeared in federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday. Habibov, a citizen of Uzbekistan whose visa had expired, was arrested in Florida and appeared in federal court in Jacksonville on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday before the arrests were announced, FBI Director James B. Comey said the threat posed by sympathizers of Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, was escalating.

“I have homegrown violent extremist investigations in every single state,” Comey said in a speech at a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General.

The Islamic State, he said, “is putting out a siren song through their slick propaganda through social media that goes like this: ‘Troubled soul, come to the caliphate, you will live a life of glory, these are the apocalyptic end times, you will find a life of meaning here fighting for our so-called caliphate, and if you can’t come, kill somebody where you are.’ ”

The men charged Wednesday appeared to fit that mold, according to court documents. They were influenced by videos posted online by the Islamic State, inspired by messages on social media and felt compelled to act after months of becoming increasingly radicalized.

The court documents show young men driven to travel to the Middle East after clashing at home with family members they considered infidels. One of the young men had his passport taken away by his mother, who had grown concerned about his behavior.

One of the men worked at a Gyro King restaurant, earning about $2,000 a month. Another worked at a mall kiosk, repairing cellphones.

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Some fear Americans when the $urveillance $tate is really about money and trusting the Barney Fife of Bo$ton.

"The principal of the Islamic School of Rhode Island said he is taking extra precautions since the school was tagged with offensive graffiti, but that life there is returning to normal. The FBI is conducting a civil rights investigation into the vandalism at the West Warwick school on Feb. 14. The entrance was tagged with graffiti that read ‘‘Now this is a hate crime,’’ “pigs,’’ and offensive references to Mohammed. Monday was the students’ first day back from February vacation. Principal Abdelnasser Hussein said police officers were there to make sure it went well. Hussein said nearly all of the students attended classes."

Terrorism is topic of two-day conference in Cambridge

The threat is evolving, meaning 5 years of failure and all the spying, data collection, torture, wars, etc, etc, doesn't work.

Man claims to have bomb, triggering a 5-hour standoff in Rehoboth

Suspect charged with leaving explosive device near police cruiser

A homeless man has been blowing up cop cars for the last two years?

Or was he framed?

"North Korea’s ambition seen in attempt to breach global banks" by Paul Mozur and Choe Sang-Hun New York Times  March 25, 2017

When hackers associated with North Korea tried to break into Polish banks late last year, they left a trail of information about their apparent intentions to steal money from more than 100 organizations around the world, according to security researchers.

Or CIA did.

A list of Internet Protocol addresses, which was supplied by the security researchers and analyzed by The New York Times, showed that the hacking targets included institutions like the World Bank, the European Central Bank, and big US companies including Bank of America.

While some of the Polish banks took the hackers’ bait, the scheme was detected fairly quickly and there is no evidence that any money was stolen from the intended targets. Yet security researchers said the hit list, found embedded in the code of the attack on more than 20 Polish banks, underlines how sophisticated the capabilities of North Korean hackers have become as their goals have turned financial, in addition to spreading propaganda, heisting data, and disrupting government and news media websites in countries considered its enemies like South Korea.

Such NYT garbage on top of Obama's secret three year war.

The list of targets, which has not been previously reported, is part of a growing body of evidence showing how North Korea, a country that is cut off from much of the global economy, is increasingly trying to use its cyberattack abilities to bring in cash — and making progressively bolder attempts to do so.

North Korea’s hacking network is immense, encompassing a group of 1,700 hackers aided by more than 5,000 trainers, supervisors, and others in supporting roles, South Korean officials estimate. Because of the country’s poor infrastructure, the hackers typically work abroad, in places like China, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Like other North Koreans allowed to work abroad, the hackers are constantly monitored by minders for possible breaches in allegiance to the government.

The security firm Symantec said it believed that the hackers behind the Poland attack are also behind two other major breaches: the theft of $81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh and a 2014 attack on Sony Pictures, which rocked the film industry.

“We found multiple links, which gave us reasonable confidence that it’s the same group behind Bangladesh as the Polish attacks,” said Eric Chien, a researcher at Symantec, which studied both attacks.

The firm has not traced the attacks to a specific country’s government, but US officials have blamed North Korea for the Sony attack, partly based on intelligence that came from US breaches of North Korea’s computer systems.

The list of targets uncovered in the Polish attack — including big US financial institutions like State Street Bank and Trust and the Bank of New York Mellon — is illuminating for its ambition, Chien added. “It’s one thing to go after Bangladesh,” he said, “but it’s a whole other thing to take on the US.”

US prosecutors are investigating North Korea’s possible role in the Bangladesh heist, according to a person briefed on the inquiry, who asked to remain anonymous because the details are confidential. And on Tuesday, Richard Ledgett, a deputy director of the National Security Agency, said that research linked the Sony Pictures attack to the Bangladesh heist. He also affirmed that he believed nation states were now robbing banks.

All of this represents a troubling new front in cyberwarfare, Ledgett said at an event sponsored by the Aspen Institute. “That is a big deal,” he said.

North Korea has denied involvement in the attacks on Sony and others, instead accusing South Korea of disrupting its websites. North Korea’s population is cut off from the Internet except for a handful of state-run sites filled with propaganda.

The Polish episode provides a case study of how North Korean cyberattack goals have escalated.

The attack began around October when the hackers planted a virus on the website of the Polish financial regulator — then waited for banks to inadvertently download it when they visited the site.

The perpetrators used what is called a watering-hole attack — named after the way predators ambush prey by lazing around a high-traffic spot — to go after the banks. In this case, the “watering hole” was the financial regulator’s website. When the visitors on the list landed on the page, they would be redirected to software that would attempt to download malware. The list of targets extended beyond Poland, investigators said, because the group intended to carry out similar attacks elsewhere.

Chien said the hackers appeared to have created watering hole sites in Mexico and Uruguay, too. Symantec said it had blocked 14 attacks against computers in Mexico and 11 in Uruguay.

The fact that the hackers were able to attack a specific site showed that their capabilities have improved, said Chien. The group also used its own modifications of code and exploits more broadly shared by cybercriminals, whereas before it had mostly built its own tools — another indication of evolution.

While Polish banks were the most numerous targets, the second-largest number was in the United States, including the US arm of Deutsche Bank. CoBank, which lends to agriculture and rural projects, was targeted, too. The central banks of Russia, Venezuela, Mexico, Chile, and the Czech Republic were on the list. The only target associated with China: branches of the Bank of China in Hong Kong and the United States.

North Korea has been carefully cultivating its cyberattack capabilities since the early 1990s, according to South Korean officials. Generally, the country selects young computer prodigies and trains them as hackers, according to people who have attended the South Korean government’s discussions of the North’s hacking operations. South Korean cybersecurity officials began detecting attacks attributed to North Korean hackers around 2009.

Working overseas is a huge incentive for young hackers, since many North Koreans have little chance to leave their impoverished, isolated country. As long as the hackers meet their government-set targets, they are allowed to live abroad and often get the added perk of running illegal gambling sites online, generating profits they can share with supervisors.

While North Korea lags developed countries in hacking capabilities, it has occasionally startled observers in South Korea. In 2011, investigators found that a South Korean bank had been hit by malware when an infected computer used by a maintenance-company employee was briefly hooked into the bank’s server network.

South Korean hackers who forensically analyzed the attack were impressed not so much by the malware, but by the fact that North Korean hackers had been so constantly on alert, apparently for hours or days on end, waiting for the short window during which the infected computer was connected to the bank’s servers so that they could activate the virus.

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Looks like Shadow Broker Bull$h** to me!!!

"A Canadian man suspected of having planned a July attack on a bakery in Dhaka that left 22 people dead was killed in a shootout with the Bangladeshi police Saturday, officials said. The man, Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, a 30-year-old Canadian citizen of Bangladeshi descent, was one of three militants killed in the raid outside Dhaka, the capital, the officials said. Bangladeshi authorities have said Chowdhury planned the July 1 assault on the Holey Artisan Bakery, a restaurant popular with expatriates and middle-class Bangladeshis. Some analysts believe Chowdhury acted as a coordinator for the Islamic State militant group in Bangladesh and northeastern India (New York Times)."

Cafe attack suspect killed in Bangladesh

Another suspected mastermind in Bangladesh attack arrested

Police arrest 27 men ‘for homosexuality’ in Bangladesh

And, of course, there is the elephant in the room:

Bangladeshi villagers gathered as wildlife experts attended to a fully grown Indian elephant; they are trying to move the elephant to a safari park outside Bangladesh's capital.
Bangladeshi villagers gathered as wildlife experts attended to a fully grown Indian elephant; they are trying to move the elephant to a safari park outside Bangladesh's capital (Associated Press).

I meant this:

"A boiler exploded and triggered a fire at a packaging factory near Bangladesh’s capital, leaving at least 12 people dead and 16 others injured Saturday. Several bodies were recovered from the five-story Tampaco Foils Ltd. factory in the Tongi industrial area outside Dhaka. Factory safety is a major concern in Bangladesh, which has thousands of garment and packaging factories that supply products to global clothing chains. In 2012, a fire at a garment factory killed 112 workers (AP)."

Yes, how are the factories in Bangladesh these days?

"Dozens of global clothing companies are not complying with a plan to ensure better safety in Bangladesh garment factories following the deadly collapse of a building four years ago, a rights group said Monday. Only 29 out of 72 recently contacted companies are releasing information about how they source their products in Bangladesh, and ‘‘many brands have held out completely,’’ New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report. That makes it impossible to hold them accountable for ensuring safe conditions at factories they work with, the group said. Bangladesh’s garment industry has invested more than $1 billion in safety improvements since April 24, 2013, when the Rana Plaza garment factory complex collapsed outside Dhaka, killing more than 1,130 workers and injuring 2,500. The collapse highlighted grim conditions in the country’s garment industry, the second largest in the world with about 4,000 factories employing about 4 million workers and earning $25 billion a year from exports, mainly to the United States and Europe."

Why am I not surprised in the least?

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While in the Indian Ocean:

"Bangkok hospital bombing wounds 24 on anniversary of Thai coup" New York Times   May 22, 2017

BANGKOK — A bomb wounded 24 people at a military-owned hospital in Bangkok on Monday, the third anniversary of the army’s seizing of power in Thailand.

The attack struck Phramongkutklao Hospital, leaving three people with shrapnel wounds, with most of the others suffering minor injuries, said Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, a government spokesman.

The Thai military seized power in the kingdom on May 22, 2014, to derail a populist movement that had won several national elections over more than a decade. The coup was at least the 12th military takeover since Thailand abandoned the absolute monarchy in 1932.

The king was sick, he died a day later, the military took over, and description there is a total reversal. The alleged populist movement was a globalist controlled group with the Thai military protecting the nation. Thus the are referred to as a junta in my paper.

Although the hospital that was bombed is owned by the military, it also treats civilians. General Chalermchai Sittisart, the Thai Army’s chief of staff, said the blast took place “in a room full of people who were waiting for their medications.”

“Most of these people are elderly and retired, and their families,” he said. “The bomb was made with the intent to take lives, because it consisted of a lot of nails.”

Who would want to destabilize Thailand?

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack. General Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, the deputy national police chief, said the blast bore similarities to a small explosion at the National Theater in Bangkok last week.

That led back to the West.

The military held an emergency meeting Monday in response to the blast, and Sittisart said that security had been increased at various government buildings.

Thailand has been grappling with low-level insurgencies, particularly in the south of the country, where Muslim separatists have carried out attacks against “soft targets” like markets in retaliation for crackdowns on militants.

I smell CIA!

Ransibrahmanakul was sharply critical of those behind the Bangkok blast, for having struck a hospital, saying that insurgents “in three provinces in the deep south don’t even choose a hospital as a target.”

Last summer, Thailand was rocked by multiple explosions that struck popular tourist destinations such as Hua Hin and Phuket.

Official suspicion fell on supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was removed as prime minister in a military coup in 2006, and his sister Yingluck Shinawatra, who also served as prime minister and was forced from office in the 2014 military coup. Both remain popular with voters in Thailand’s rural heartland.

--more--"

Also see:

"The US Coast Guard said two stranded mariners were rescued Friday after crews saw their ‘‘SOS’’ in the sand on an uninhabited island in Micronesia, Hawaii News Now reports. A US Navy aircraft crew spotted the pair on the beach and gave their location to the Coast Guard in Guam. Hawaii News Now says the two, who had no emergency equipment, were picked up and taken to a patrol boat. The Coast Guard received a report about the couple’s 18-foot vessel going missing on Aug. 19. Hawaii News Now says the two departed Weno Island on Aug. 17, and they were expected to arrive at their destination to Tamatam Island the next day. (AP)

"Almost all of Indonesia’s roughly 250 million people are moderate Sunni Muslims, though there is a significant Christian minority. Compared with other large Muslim countries, militancy is relatively rare in Indonesia, though extremist groups have carried out minor attacks, including of churches. The biggest attack occurred when terrorists bombed nightclubs on the island of Bali in 2002, killing 202, including 88 Australians. Since then, the government has carried out a massive crackdown on militant cells. The incident at Medan, Indonesia’s third-largest city, marks the second Islamic State-inspired attack in the country this year...."

"A 73-year-old Australian fisherman said Monday that he caught a far bigger fish than he hoped for when a 9-foot great white shark leapt into his boat, knocking him off his feet...."

Hot air balloon crashes after couple gets engaged on board

They waited too long to get married.

I would cover Cambodia; however, I get my news from other sources regarding that country rather than seizing whatever the Globe says.

*****************

"Philippine forces struggle to retake city held by Islamist militants" New York Times  May 29, 2017

MARAWI, Philippines — Militants loyal to the Islamic State stubbornly resisted as government troops pushed Monday to drive them out of Marawi, a city in the southern Philippines where hundreds of desperate residents remained trapped by the fighting.

Troops have so far cleared about half the city of militants from the Abu Sayyaf and Maute groups and the foreign fighters backing them, but the insurgents have broken up into small groups and have proved elusive, according to Zia Alonto Adiong, a spokesman for the Lanao del Sur provincial government.

The military’s struggle to drive out the rebels has become a major challenge for the government of President Rodrigo Duterte, who declared martial law in the region last week and vowed to defeat the insurgents.

There were signs that the battle was turning into a siege. Alonto said the province had imposed a nightly curfew and called on civilians to help the military fight and subdue the militants. As he spoke, helicopters on bombing runs circled above the city, which once bustled with a population of 200,000. It is now nearly a ghost town, with little other than intermittent bursts of gunfire to break the eerie silence.

The crisis appears to be spilling over to the nearby city of Iligan, where people fleeing the fighting have taken refuge while fearing that insurgents could be hiding among them....

--more--"

RelatedPriest says he and 200 others held hostage in Philippines

The terrorist uprising has taken attention away from the drug war and whose to blame. People are dying on both sides in a state of lawlessness

Duterte ordered Philippine killings, hit man testifies
Philippine president seeks extension of bloody war on drugs
Professed hit man tempers charges of Duterte’s role in Philippine killings
Philippine mayor accused of drug links by Duterte is killed by police
Another Philippine mayor accused of drug crimes by Duterte is killed
Philippines president on killing suspects: ‘I used to do it personally’
Duterte threatens to throw corrupt officials out of a helicopter
Philippine Police Are Accused of Killing South Korean Businessman
Philippine police stop antidrug crackdown amid scandal
Former police officer says Philippines president paid him to kill opponents
Philippine court orders arrest of prominent critic of Rodrigo Duterte

It's enough to make you curse to high heaven.

Also see:

"A summit of Southeast Asian countries issued a mild rebuke of China on Wednesday over its expansionist activities in the disputed South China Sea, and indirectly urged it to show restraint and not raise tensions. In a victory for Beijing’s diplomatic, economic, and military clout, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations couldn’t even get all of its 10 members to agree that China was responsible for building islands in the disputed and resource-rich sea...." 

Philippine president wants US forces out of restive south
Philippine leader rejects joint patrols, eyes China weapons
Philippines to forge closer ties with China, Russia

Duterte has decided to ‘‘cross the Rubicon’’ in his ties with the United States, and that could get him killed (Obama lost Turkey, lost Philippines).

Philippines leader says Obama ‘can go to hell’
Duterte raises doubts about Philippine military alliance with the US

It's a quandary that could provoke a backlash, and "Duterte said he had received information that “the CIA is planning to kill me.”

Duterte, scorned abroad, remains popular in the Philippines

He is loved by the women.

Blowback for American sins in the Philippines

Related(?):

Typhoon slams into northeastern Philippines Many of the provinces are still recovering from powerful Typhoon Sarika, which left at least two people dead and displaced tens of thousands of villagers last weekend.

Haima leaves at least 7 dead ‘‘In my age, I’m 60 years old, this is the strongest typhoon I have ever seen,’’ village councilor Willie Cabalteja said in Vigan city in Ilocos Sur province.

Powerful typhoon slams into Philippines, spoiling Christmas
Typhoon kills 6 in Philippines

Was a weather weapon used because of the split?

Duterte tells US not to treat Philippines ‘like a dog with a leash’
Duterte, Pushing Break With U.S., Runs Up Against Deep Ties 

“He would alienate his military, which wants the help of the United States,” and he has been warned!

The problem is Duterte has attempted to improve relations with China.

Philippines to declare marine sanctuary in South China Sea
US cuts aid package to Philippines
UN official seeks Philippines inquiry
Duterte may be guilty of crimes against humanity, rights group says
Philippines’ Duterte open to joint naval drills with Russia
Duterte orders military to parts of South China Sea claimed by Philippines

You see what is going on, right?

The U.S. is being asked to leave as the war is ending.

In the end, Duterte will be considered a hero.

****************

"South Korea Leader Orders Investigation Into Unreported U.S. Launchers" by Choe Sang-Hun New York Times  May 31, 2017

SEOUL — President Moon Jae-in of South Korea ordered an investigation Tuesday into why the Defense Ministry had failed to inform him that four additional launchers for a contentious US missile-defense battery had been brought into his country.

The United States hurried to deploy the antimissile system, called the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, in late April.

That deployment came despite protests from Moon, a presidential candidate at the time, who demanded that the deployment be delayed until after the new government in Seoul reviewed whether it was in the country’s best interest.

The president’s move came as tensions on the Korean Peninsula were rising. On Monday, Pyongyang launched what South Korean officials called a Scud-type missile that flew 280 miles before falling into waters near Japan.

Hours after the missile test, two US supersonic B-1Bs conducted a drill over South Korea, the second such mission this month.....

Not only that, they just did missile test in the middle of the Pacific according to the photograph in my printed paper.

--more--

You know, it's not the first time North Korea has launched a missile as a calculated way to prop up the regime (must be taking lessons from U.S. leaders). Sure, it was a big blast, but it soon disappated. The provocations from North couldn't save her from impeachment, and what better way to show our peaceful benevolence than to give flood aid to the North? Maybe the remains of a POW can be exchanged instead of gunfire.

At least the North Korean subs are defective. They can't fire any missiles, and new sanctions will sink the program. The president is ‘on the brink of collapse’ from scandal with not a friend to turn to. The people are in the streets and indictments are on the way. Resignation is not good enough; only impeachment will suffice. Family members are also caught up in the trial, and even the acting leader is being booted from power. It's one last look around and off to court they go for a grilling

Then, the moment of truth:

Samsung leader is named a suspect in South Korean bribery inquiry

Someone dropped their name and cast a shadow over everything they do.

In battle of cellphone makers, Supreme Court appears vexed on how to decide damages

They sided with....

Japan?

Was that a smart thing to do with a full Moon over Korea?

Japan vows to watch Chinese warplane activity closely
Putin, Abe hold talks on Japan-Russia territorial dispute
Russia, Japan agree to set up $1 billion investment fund

Now the U.S. is losing Japan, too?

US returns largest tract of Okinawa land to Japan in 44 years
Japanese leader’s Pearl Harbor visit isn’t a first, but it can still be a milestone
In Pearl Harbor Visit, a Symbol of Reconciliation in Japan
Caroline Kennedy dances in a Christmas video, and Japan can’t get enough
Caroline Kennedy, an ambassador whose role transcended the embassy

She should have abdicated.

"Now, as survivors commemorate the 75th anniversary of the executive order that authorized their incarceration, they’re also speaking out to make sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Muslims, Latinos, or other groups. They’re alarmed by recent executive orders from President Trump that limit travel and single out immigrants....."

Former Hiroshima mayor urges Trump to meet bomb survivors reasons to be concerned as he gained control of the United States’s nearly 1,400 active nuclear warheads on Friday, as reported by The Washington Post.

A more dangerous radiation?

Japanese government and utility are found negligent in nuclear disaster

"Regarding the longer-term situation, nuclear experts expressed concern about the safety of the cleanup operation at the Daiichi plant. The melted cores of three reactors have yet to be removed as they are still too radioactive for workers to approach. Since the 2011 disaster, ground water seeps into the reactors daily. The water, contaminated by the melted fuel rods, needs to be treated and stored on site. So far, Tokyo Electric has built more than 880 tanks of about 1,000 tons each. The tanks are inspected four times a day to confirm that they do not leak, said Okamura of Tokyo Electric. And in an effort to halt the flood of ground water into the damaged buildings, the company has built an underground wall of frozen dirt nearly a mile in length encircling the reactors. The wall is not yet fully frozen, though, and ground water continues to flow into the reactors.....New quake tests resilience, and faith, in Japan’s nuclear plants 

And that water is then leaking/dumped into the Pacific Ocean, 300 tons of it, day after day after day.

And there has been 2 more explosions and a fire since. 

Maybe one day there will a shrine for them.

Related: "Japan’s economy grew at a lower-than-forecast 0.2 percent pace in the April-June quarter, as private demand and exports remained weak. That could push the Bank of Japan to take additional steps to stimulate the national economy. The bank approved a new stimulus package earlier this month, but that wasn’t enough to please investors on Wall Street."

That's how wars get started.

"Speculation about a possible visit by Prime Minister Abe to Pearl Harbor has grown since President Obama paid tribute in May to the victims of the US atomic bombing in Hiroshima. No serving Japanese prime minister has visited Pearl Harbor."

How they end.

The first shot in the invasion of China was fired from Bo$ton:

"For many years, American presidents of both parties have sold free trade deals by claiming they would create jobs, raise living standards, and strengthen national security. Now most of the presidential candidates of both parties are saying these were bad deals that off-shored millions of jobs while capping wages for most Americans and strengthening the country’s biggest challengers, like China. What gives? In this real world, the primary purpose of the trade agreements is not to improve the economic welfare of the United States. Rather, it is to strengthen the American geopolitical position. The Trans Pacific Partnership was aimed at countering China’s influence."

Clyde Prestowitz is president of the Economic Strategy Institute and the author most recently of “The Betrayal of American Prosperity.” He served in the Reagan administration and was vice chairman of President Clinton’s Commission on Trade and Investment in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Thus the suicide bomber unleashed on the embassy (fake photos and all). Was meant to affect the election in Hong Kong and the "theatrical protests that others staged Wednesday spoke to the grievances that have remained unresolved since the the prodemocracy protests of 2014 that became known as the Umbrella Movement and presaged more clashes to come."

All it took was a spark for the U.S. to send in the destroyers. The Chinese mined the harbors and set up missile batteries equipped with radar. You will have to wait for the mail to see if the plan backfires. As the old Confucian and Communist saying goes, ‘‘A thousand yes-men cannot equal one honest adviser. I'll bet they have sharp ones in Hong Kong, even if they are passing secrets to the enemy. That will be for a judge to decide, and if you are lucky they will only hack of your arm.

The storm clouds are gathering, and "even as coal becomes unpopular in China, the country’s biggest state-owned electricity generators are adding new coal-fired power plants at a pace not seen in a decade, said Lauri Myllyvirta, who analyzes China’s energy production for the environmental group Greenpeace, which is acknowledged as an authoritative analyst of China’s energy production."

It's far from a Nirvana if you can get in, and things could get tight once inside. You could be denied exit in the future or get lost in the crowds while the jets are scrambling. They are now threatening the U.S. in Guam. The outspoken leaders of China have the full support of their people, unlike the current round of CIA-sponsored protest. I'm sure that will be covered up as the Chinese aggression is the new normal in the Pacific. If we are lucky it will only be a trade war in the midst of the most dramatic crackdown on free speech in China in decades. The Communist Party’s propaganda department has been firmly rapped on the knuckles — for not shaping public opinion and promoting the party’s point of view forcefully enough. ‘‘It needs to strengthen further its leadership of ideological work. It does not do enough in applying the principle of the party controlling the media in weak points like new media, or in coordinating thought and political work at universities.’’

That crackdown costs time and money.

Powerful tornado strikes east China; 98 reportedly dead

"Tornados occasionally strike southern China during the summer, but rarely with the scale of death and damage caused by the one on Thursday."

Hmm.

"Typhoon Nepartak weakened to a strong tropical storm Saturday as it lashed China’s east coast, bringing powerful winds and heavy rains that toppled houses and inundated roads. No deaths were reported (AP)."

They hid under the bridge and blogged about it.

At least 154 dead, over 120 missing as floods sweep China

Going to have to bribe someone to see your way clear. The backlash has begun and rights have been suspended. The shift suggests that China could have a greater say in the global tech industry’s direction. Already in China, more people use their mobile devices to pay their bills, order services, watch videos, and find dates than anywhere else in the world....."

I can believe that, and its how you subtly subvert a society.


It may feel like an alien abduction, but.... it's only a trip to Missouri -- courtesy of the FBI. Looks like jail on the moon and "an acrimonious debate over China’s use of prisoners’ organs for transplant — a practice Chinese officials say has ended — has flared anew as an international transplant conference gets underway in Hong Kong, with some doctors and ethicists saying the meeting should not be held in China given the controversy...."

Not Bo$ton, either (remember Coma?).

Nothing cuddly making that point. Time to get away as fast as you can. China is militarizing the Spratly Islands to ship opiates to the U.S. (hidden in the undercarriage of cars shipped from Tibet) so they can blow up a certain section of Hollywood like in 1941. Then it is into the internment camp for you as Xi extends his power into Taiwan with a ground invasion.

*****************

Time to put on some sandals and head South:

"Havaianas, those colorful Brazilian flip-flops worn by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow, don’t always come cheap. But for investors, the company may soon look like a bargain....."

"Former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega dead at 83" by Randal C. Archibold New York Times  May 30, 2017

NEW YORK — Manuel Antonio Noriega, the brash former dictator of Panama and sometime ally of the United States whose ties to drug trafficking led to his ouster in 1989 in the largest US military action since the Vietnam War, has died. He was 83.

Noriega, who became the de facto leader of the country by promoting himself to full general of the armed forces in 1983, had a decades-long, head-spinning relationship with the United States, shifting from cooperative ally and informant for American drug and intelligence agencies to shady adversary, selling secrets to political enemies of the United States in the Western Hemisphere and tipping off drug cartels. Whose side he was on was often hard to tell.

They didn't go after him until he stopped following orders.

Noriega’s two-facedness was known to the US authorities, but they saw him as useful in their efforts to maintain influence in Panama at a time of political instability and leftist uprisings in Central America. He provided, for one thing, an important listening post in the region.

He grew more belligerent, however, and by 1989 US patience had run out. Lawmakers in Washington, some of them worried about the coming turnover of the canal to Panama, began asking more questions about his ties to drug traffickers. Opposition in Panama had also grown, ignited in large measure by the torture and murder in 1985 of Dr. Hugo Spadafora, a longtime critic who had publicly accused Noriega of being in league with Colombian drug cartels.

Noriega turned more violent toward political opponents, setting his feared anti-riot units — his “Dobermans” — on demonstrators.

In 1988, Noriega was indicted in Miami and Tampa, Fla., on federal narcotics-trafficking and money-laundering charges. There was a failed coup in 1988. The next year, Noriega annulled the results of Panama’s presidential election, ratcheting up pressure on the United States to take action. After another failed coup, in 1989, he anointed himself “maximum leader,” and the national assembly declared war on the United States.

Then, on Dec. 16, 1989, Panamanian troops shot and killed an unarmed American soldier in Panama City, wounded another, and arrested and beat a third soldier whose wife they threatened with sexual assault. “That was enough,” President George H.W. Bush said in announcing the invasion, which included more than 27,000 troops......

That was the excuse H.W. needed to commit his first overt war crime.

--more--"

He died in France's version of Gitmo.

***************

Ore. stabbing suspect’s court outburst: ‘Get out if you don’t like free speech’

Yeah, thanks for the help.

Portland, Ore., mayor calls for free-speech and anti-sharia rallies to be canceled after stabbings

Portland hero’s purported last words: ‘Tell everyone on this train I love them’

Even Trump felt the need to comment on the psyop.

Police convince man with knife to drop weapon

I thought Muslims were opposed to abortion.

I know they are opposed to these:

"Pastor facing drug and possession of stolen property charges" by Maria Cramer and John R. Ellement Globe Staff  May 03, 2017

A Dorchester pastor was arrested on drug trafficking charges after Boston police said they found cocaine, Fentanyl, and 50 oxycodone pills inside the church where he once preached.

Willie Wilkerson, a 58-year-old grandfather with a long criminal record, was ordered held on $50,000 bail Wednesday following his arraignment in Roxbury Municipal Court.

The morning before, drug unit officers had forced their way into Wilkerson’s home on Baker Avenue, about a block from the church, the church itself, and a small food truck parked on the church’s Quincy Street property.

Inside the church, they found bags of suspected crack cocaine, Fentanyl, and the pills, as well as a drug ledger, a police report filed in court said. They also seized more than $14,000 in cash.

A pastor’s certificate in Wilkerson’s name was found in the office of the church, the police report said.

According to court documents, Wilkerson is the son of the late Idene Wilkerson, who was known as Ma Siss and helped establish Quincy Street Missional Church out of a former one-story cinderblock garage. It became not only a center of worship but also a refuge known as “Ma Siss’s Place.”

Before her death in 2013 at age 76, Wilkerson incorporated Ma Siss’s Place as a nonprofit to run a food bank and thrift shop, conduct counseling, and generally advocate for a neighborhood and people who often are marginalized from conventional philanthropy.

Her estate is currently the subject of litigation in Suffolk Probate and Family Court, records show, but police described Willie Wilkerson as the owner of the Quincy Street building.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting if I were you.

The Globe profiled Idene Wilkerson, her work, and the congregation she built in an award-winning four-part series in 2007.

But her son had long been troubled. At the time of the Globe series, Willie Wilkerson was serving a 10-year federal sentence for dealing crack cocaine, according to federal records and the stories written at the time.

In 2013, he started another two-year sentence in federal prison after he violated the terms of his supervised release, federal court records say. Cocaine was found in his system, the records say.

In March, two months before his latest arrest, police picked him up on a charge of larceny and receiving stolen property.

On Tuesday, he was arrested outside of his house.

Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Kristen Sullivan asked Judge Debra DelVecchio to hold Wilkerson on $75,000 bail “given the inherent danger of the drugs.”

“We do believe he does pose a danger to the community,” Sullivan said.

Wilkerson’s lawyer, John Osler, requested he be held on $500 bail, suggesting the most serious drugs were found inside the church and could have belonged to congregants who stay there.

Homeless people often find refuge in the church as well, Osler said.

He described Wilkerson as a father of six and grandfather of 16 who had not been a pastor at the church since 2012.

The police investigation against Wilkerson, Osler said, was a “very, very questionable case to try to connect him to a whole assorted bunch of contraband in a public building where there are many other people other than him and where he hasn’t had any special connection in five years.”

Is that why the Globe has stayed silent since?

--more--"

Related(?)Authorities smash fentanyl trafficking group in a predawn raid throughout Greater Lawrence Tuesday, in a sweep, which was overseen by the US Drug Enforcement Administration in a yearlong investigation dubbed “Operation Bad Company.”

I suppose they would know they were coming.

"Mass. wants to update its alcohol laws. Not all are happy; Health advocates oppose loosening sought by business" by Dan Adams Globe Staff  May 30, 2017

When Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg last year announced a major push to rewrite the state’s alcohol laws, the message was clear: Our antiquated and confusing booze rules frustrate businesses and consumers.

“We’ve been building on a post-Prohibition law with little fixes here and there, but we need to do more than technical fixes after there’s been a problem,” Goldberg said at the time. “We want to try to anticipate the market, and ask, ‘What does a 21st-century alcohol law look like?’ ”

But just as the treasurer’s Alcohol Task Force begins its work in earnest this month, with a series of public hearings and a call for proposed changes, a legion of public health advocates has suddenly jumped into the debate.

Their message is also clear: Not so fast.

They argue that loosening alcohol rules will inevitably lead to higher rates of alcoholism, drunken driving, youth drinking, disease, and birth defects — even if each tweak, on its own, seems innocuous and is well-intended. 

I would like to take this time to remind you that these are the same people who dragged their feet on medical marijuana and are now delaying legal pot that could help with opioid addictions. 

Sorry to say it, but they all look like a bunch of $elf-$erving $cum to me.

“Alcohol is the substance that is used most by youth across the state, and we’re very concerned about the sometimes tragic consequences,” said Amy Turncliff, a neuroscientist and prevention advocate who cochairs the MetroWest Substance Abuse Prevention Alliance. “I am sure we can all agree that minimizing the public health impact of alcohol should be a priority for the task force.”

Are you $ure of that? I'm not. Actions, not words. Here's your drink!

Turncliff and other public health experts say science is on their side, citing studies that show the same policies decried by many businesses and consumers — high taxes and prices, constraints on hours when alcohol is sold, and tight local control over licensed alcohol retailers — reduce the social ills caused by drinking.

Undoing alcohol laws that were originally intended to limit consumption could backfire in unexpected ways, they said.

“Our laws in Massachusetts are so complex and intertwined that when you pull on one piece, there may be unintended public health consequences,” said Heather Warner, coalition coordinator for the Strategic Planning Initiative for Families and Youth, a health group in Hampshire County.

To guide the Alcohol Task Force, Goldberg is planning to create advisory committees of brewers, distributors, and alcohol retailers. The advocates want one for public health issues. Some public health advocates are even proposing tougher rules: higher taxes on alcohol to fund youth drinking prevention efforts, restrictions on advertising and displaying booze, limits on when alcohol can be sold, including resurrecting the ban on Sunday sales, harsher penalties for bars that sell to minors, mandatory training for alcohol servers, and a prohibition on bartenders younger than 21.

Business groups said they support strict enforcement of rules on underage drinking. But they’re skeptical that loosening and modernizing alcohol rules will spark a public health crisis.

Plus they want to make a buck or two more.

And what about the message this is sending? We are always overloaded with that on the demon weed issue. The message, the message!

Health advocates acknowledged their proposals are unlikely to be popular, but there is some agreement between the two sides. Smaller package stores and some restaurants, for example, agree with health advocates that minimum alcohol prices and limits on licenses should be preserved. While limiting drinking, those measures also benefit businesses by limiting price wars, keeping new competitors from entering the market, and preserving the value of alcohol licenses.

Goldberg, who oversees the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, has taken a hands-off approach to the task force since it was convened in January. The group was conceived of last summer after a fight over beer distribution regulations boiled over and embarrassing headlines arose from some of the state’s more inane liquor rules. It is made up mostly of lawyers with little connection to the alcohol business, which, Goldberg said, will help insulate the task force from the influence of industry groups and other special interests.

Yeah, leave it in the hands of the lawyers because they are uncorruptible to me.

Still, she reassured public health advocates that their concerns are being heard. “I have not forgotten about them, and I never forget about them,” Goldberg said of the advocates. “I’m the terrible mom who busted kids for drinking when I was a chaperone at prom, and I shut down businesses in my local community when they had multiple violations.”

PFFFFT!

Even so, public health advocates are worried they will be at a disadvantage once the task force’s recommendations are submitted to the Legislature, since many of them work for organizations that receive federal health funding and are therefore prohibited from lobbying.

Businesses, meanwhile, are prepared to spend handsomely to push measures that benefit them. The Total Wine & More chain, for example, just launched a large public relations campaign urging the task force and the Legislature to allow alcohol retailers to issue coupons and loyalty cards.

Interestingly enough, the daily full page Total Wine ad in the Globe is placed on the back page of my front section today.

Meanwhile, the task force has also heard from consumers, and the number one request was to allow beer drinkers to bring an empty growler — a large glass container for beer — to a brewery and fill it without having to purchase a new one. But earlier in May, the ABCC preempted the task force by issuing a regulation that allows consumers to reuse their growlers....

Sorry, I don't drink.

--more--"

Finally, something to eat:

"Does a culture change await yogurt maker Stonyfield?" by Janelle Nanos Globe Staff  May 30, 2017

At the end of March, Gary Hirshberg experienced a bit of a culture shock.

The cofounder of Stonyfield Farm Yogurt was preparing for the company’s 34th anniversary when its corporate parent, the dairy giant Danone Group, dropped a bombshell. It was putting Stonyfield up for sale.

The reason: In its quest to acquire more of the natural foods that Stonyfield had popularized, Danone had spent $10 billion to purchase WhiteWave Foods, the maker of Horizon Organic milk and Silk soy milk. But in doing so, it had raised red flags for the Department of Justice, which worried about a monopoly in the organic milk market. Danone will be forced to sell Stonyfield in the coming days, or face antitrust action.

Hirshberg was crestfallen. The Londonderry, N.H., company had played a key role in fueling Americans’ appetite for yogurt, and after three decades, it had become the top-selling organic yogurt in the country, its reputation as a mission-driven company on par with Ben & Jerry’s.

That success came in part because Stonyfield had ridden the wave of several significant trends that shifted how America eats. Consumers were paying attention to — and were willing to pay more for — organics. And yogurt had become an international obsession. In the 15 years that Danone owned Stonyfield, its sales had surged to nearly $400 million from $75 million.

But even that was no match compared with the seismic growth of another upstart company that reshaped the yogurt market. Since Chobani helped introduce Greek yogurt to the United States a decade ago, the thick, creamy cups have now grown to account for 46 percent of market share.

Now, as Stonyfield seeks a new owner, some have asked: Can the company that helped introduce Americans to the health benefits of yogurt continue to thrive in a crowded dairy aisle?

“Stonyfield has been an important part of the movement for a long time,” said Brad Edmondson, a journalist and author who has written extensively about corporate social responsibility efforts in the United States. “I hope they come through this sale with their identity intact.”

A lot has changed since Hirshberg and cofounder Samuel Kaymen began selling Stonyfield Farm Yogurt in 1983 to help lift their farming education center in Wilton, N.H., out of debt. It was heady times for yogurt in 2013, as Americans began eating it by the bucketful.....

--more--"

Related: China Tills Stonyfield

***********************

Today's 21-Gun Salute

"A tradition among high school seniors got out of hand in Hopkinton last weekend after a student was mistaken for a gun-wielding criminal, creeping around inside a resident’s garage. The student, police said, was playing “Senior Assassin,” a game in which members of the senior class go after an assigned target — other students — to soak with a water gun. The game is played in many communities as students prepare for graduation. Officer Philip Powers, Hopkinton’s school resource officer, said the woman resident decided not to press charges. Police in other cities and towns have also warned residents about students participating in the annual “Senior Assassin” game...."

On centennial of JFK’s birth, memories of a different era

The Globe is claiming it was a time of unity; they must have forgot the "Wanted For Treason" posters placed all around Dallas before his visit as well as the tremendous divisions within the country at the time. Don't let that spoil their agenda-pushing revisionist narrative though, and part for Trump no matter what you think of him.

Trump honors fallen in Memorial Day address

Someone else who has fallen in my mind:

"In case you missed it, U2 singer Bono and former President George W. Bush hung out for a bit over the Memorial Day weekend. Bush and Bono look like a couple of bros in a photo posted on Instagram by the 43rd president of the United States. “Bono is the real deal. He has a huge heart and a selfless soul, not to mention a decent voice,” W wrote on Instagram. “@laurawbush and I are grateful he came to the ranch to talk about the work of @thebushcenter, @onecampaign,@PEPFAR, and our shared commitment to saving lives in Africa.” Bono, whose band plays Gillette Stadium June 25, posted the same photo on ONE’s Instagram account, writing: “More than 11 million people are alive today thanks to this man’s creation of PEPFAR, the U.S. AIDS program that has been saving lives and preventing new HIV infections for over 10 years, with strong support from political leaders right, left, and center. That progress is all at risk now with President Trump’s budget cuts, which will mean needless infections and lives lost. — Bono.”

Yeah, never mind the millions that have died on the altar of his lies that led to wars.

Meanwhile, George Takei is taking on Trump.

The true meaning of Memorial Day

Another chance to talk about Nazis!

Eastern Mass. pauses to remember on Memorial Day

What, are they now inducting children like they did?

Volunteers needed Tuesday to remove flags on Boston Common

Volunteers converge on Boston Common to remove flags honoring soldiers

Time to $urrender:

"Iraq air base: US company fires investigators who see wrongs" by Desmond Butler Associated Press  May 04, 2017

WASHINGTON — A US company that was paid nearly $700 million to secure an Iraqi base for F-16 jets turned a blind eye to alcohol smuggling, theft, security violations, and allegations of sex trafficking — then fired investigators who uncovered wrongdoing, an Associated Press investigation has found.

Documents and interviews with two former internal investigators and a half-dozen former or current Sallyport Global staff describe schemes at Iraq’s Balad Air Base that were major contract violations and possibly illegal.

The fired investigators, Robert Cole and Kristie King, said they uncovered evidence that Sallyport employees were involved in human trafficking for prostitution. Staff on the base routinely flew in smuggled alcohol in such high volumes that a plane once seesawed on the tarmac under the weight. Rogue militia stole enormous generators using flatbed trucks and a 60-foot crane, driving right past Sallyport security guards.

The whole f***ing thing was on autopilot under Obummer, wasn't it?

The trouble stretches to the headquarters in Reston, Va., say the investigators and other ex-employees. They say much of what they uncovered was not revealed to the US government, which was footing the $686 million contracting bill, until early this year — after an auditor started asking questions.

The investigators were fired abruptly on March 12 and were immediately flown out of Iraq. They say they had been looking into timesheet fraud allegations and were set to interview company managers, whom they considered suspects.

‘‘I feel like they got us out so quickly because they feel like we knew too much,’’ King said. ‘‘When we finally got the idea that they were hiding all of the stuff from the US government, it was mind-blowing.’’

Used to be. Now it is viewed as SOP.

In a statement, Sallyport said it follows all contracting rules at the base, home to a squadron of F-16s that are indispensable to the operations of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group.

‘‘Sallyport has a strong record of providing security and life support services in challenging war zones like Iraq and plays a major but unheralded role in the war against ISIS,’’ chief operating officer Matt Stuckart wrote. ‘‘The company takes any suggestion of wrongdoing at Balad very seriously.’’

In one allegation, informants told the investigators that ‘‘flight line’’ staff, who directed airplanes on the runways and handled cargo, were showing up drunk. At one point they passed around a bowl of gummy bears soaked in vodka .

Alcohol on base was restricted, but the booze was everywhere, several former employees said.

That's a real problem across all services, boom.

--more--"

How about pills?

"Suspected drug thefts persist at VA centers" by Hope Yen Associated Press  May 29, 2017

WASHINGTON — Federal authorities are investigating dozens of new cases of possible opioid and other drug theft by employees at Veterans Affairs hospitals, a sign the problem isn’t going away as more prescriptions disappear.

First the phony appointment lists, now this!!!

Records show 36 criminal investigations opened by the VA inspector general’s office from Oct. 1 through May 19. It brings the total number of open criminal cases to 108 involving theft or unauthorized drug use. Most of those inquiries typically lead to criminal charges.

The numbers are an increase from a similar period in the previous year. The VA has pledged ‘‘zero tolerance’’ in drug thefts after an Associated Press story in February about a sharp rise in reported cases of stolen or missing drugs at the VA since 2009.

That covers his whole presidency!!!

Doctors, nurses, or pharmacy staff in the VA’s network of more than 160 medical centers and 1,000 clinics are suspected of taking controlled substances for their own use or street sale — sometimes to the harm of patients — or drugs simply vanished without explanation.

Drug thefts are a growing problem at private hospitals as well as the government-run VA as the illegal use of opioids has increased in the United States, but separate data from the Drug Enforcement Administration obtained by the AP under the Freedom of Information Act show the rate of reported missing drugs at VA health facilities was more than double that of the private sector.

DEA investigators cited in part a larger quantity of drugs kept in stock at the bigger VA medical centers to treat a higher volume of patients and for distribution of prescriptions by mail.

Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said AP’s findings were ‘‘troubling.’’ He urged Congress to pass bipartisan accountability legislation he is cosponsoring that would give the agency ‘‘the tools needed to dismiss employees engaged in misconduct.’’ The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill June 6.

--more--"

Other VA scandal is apparently down the memory hole, along with Obama's NSA spying on  world leaders, using the IRS for political purposes, the Fast and Furious malfeasance, etc, etc.

"A New Hampshire man charged in Boston with using the names of former girlfriends to wrack up huge credit card bills has allegedly continued his scam on bail, now targeting women in Alabama and Oklahoma, officials said. The alleged con artist, Michael J. Shields Jr., 26, is currently charged in the Hub with 21 counts of credit card fraud, 17 counts of use of a stolen or fraudulently obtained credit card, one count of larceny over $250, and two counts each of larceny over $250 by single scheme, attempting to commit larceny over $250, and intimidation of a witness, Conley’s office said. Prosecutors say Shields opened more than a dozen credit cards in the names of five women he briefly dated. He allegedly asked for their personal information, saying he wanted to add them as authorized users on his own cards. Instead, he opened the phony cards with their information and added himself as an authorized user to those accounts, running up more than $350,000 on purchases including meals, vacations, clothing, and jewelry, the statement said. After his release on bail in October, Shields looked south for new victims, prosecutors allege. He opened cards in the names of women in Alabama and Oklahoma. The two alleged victims “told police they had provided personal identifying information to Shields with the expectation she would be added as an authorized user on Shields’ account,” the statement said. No new charges have been filed for those alleged schemes, but authorities on Wednesday hauled Shields back into Suffolk Superior Court, where Assistant District Attorney George Barker argued that the Granite State grifter should have his bail revoked. Instead, Judge Beverly Cannone jacked up the bail and ordered Shields to wear a GPS monitoring device, stay in Massachusetts, and “not open any new credit cards or cause others to open new credit cards while his case is pending,” the statement said. Shields is due back in court July 31."

At least he didn't post naked pictures of you.

***************

"The decision by Salem State trustees to choose a white male former state representative as the new president of the university has disappointed some faculty and ignited a simmering debate about the lack of gender and racial diversity in the top ranks of public higher education. To critics, the selection of John D. Keenan fit a troubling pattern of trustees at Massachusetts public colleges and universities turning to well-known local politicians to serve as presidents, rather than outside candidates with more experience in education...."

I didn't recall Meehan coming in for such criticism. He was greeted more like a $avior.

Former FBI director Robert Mueller emphasizes integrity at Tabor commencement

Lightning struck a third time?

There were briefs and a blotter that day, but not the next.

‘You make Boston Public Schools proud,’ 38 valedictorians are told

What good is a teachers’ union that doesn’t care about great teaching?

Boston Bridge aims to provide free college for some students

Time to go to work:

Cape Cod’s summer is off and running, despite chilly start

I guess they found enough workers after all, huh, despite this spring’s cool, wet weather?

Banks pull stocks away from records as 7-day streak ends Still, stocks remain close to their record highs.

"Americans increased their spending in April at the fastest pace in four months, bolstered by a solid gain in incomes. The strong results underscored expectations that the economy is poised to rebound after a lackluster start to the year....."

Economists are hopeful, and what rebound? Been told it's been growing for the last nine years and the job market is great. WTF?

"‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ tops box office, ‘Baywatch’ sinks" by Lindsey Bahr Associated Press  May 30, 2017

It was smooth sailing to the top spot at the box office for ‘‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,’’ but the waters were choppier for the Dwayne Johnson comedy ‘‘Baywatch.’’

It was the second-lowest domestic opening for the nearly $4 billion franchise, but the latest ‘‘Pirates of the Caribbean’’ film, which cost a reported $230 million to produce, has massive international appeal. Its four-day global total is expected to hit $300 million. Having the majority of profits come from international receipts is not worrying Walt Disney Studios. ‘‘This is a trend that we’ve seen play out over the course of these films,’’ said Dave Hollis, executive vice president of distribution for Disney.

The R-rated ‘‘Baywatch,’’ meanwhile, is sinking like a rock. The miss could be attributable to a couple of factors. Even with the star power of Johnson, R-rated Hollywood updates to family-friendly television shows have a dubious track record, ComScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said. This month’s box office has also been tough on nearly every film except ‘‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’’

‘‘’Baywatch’ doesn’t stand alone as a casualty in this marketplace,’’ Dergarabedian said. ‘‘It’s joining a cadre of other films that have underperformed.’’

Even the decently reviewed ‘‘Alien: Covenant’’ dropped an uncommonly steep 71 percent in its second weekend in theaters to take fourth place with $10.5 million. The teen romance ‘‘Everything, Everything’’ rounded out the top five with $6.2 million.

‘‘Hollywood needs June to save the box office world,’’ Dergarabedian said.....

So that is why they need the $80 million in state tax loot (and look, the Globe chose a photo for the one movie they made here that was actually worth it).

--more--"

Related:

"“Slender Man,” a horror film inspired by the creepy fictional figure that became an Internet phenomenon, will be made around Boston this summer. The Slender Man mythology — introduced by Eric Knudsen — made headlines in 2014 when two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls were charged with attempted homicide for stabbing another girl to impress Slender Man, who they claimed was real. HBO made a documentary about the mythology and the controversy called “Beware the Slenderman.” We’re told local filming will run from June 19 to July 28....." 

Tax loot for that sick and twisted Satanist shit!?

Also see: Why feminists should embrace Wonder Woman Because it is penned by TV veteran Allan Heinberg and stars Israeli actress-model Gal Gadot.

Another factor in the theaters downfall, rarely discussed, is the collapse of retail. No ancillary food and let's take a few hours off my feet in a movie impulse buy after 4 hours of touring the mall, and did you see the lines for the restroom?

So for what else do they need taxpayer funds and will consumers benefit (first you need to find a doctor that will administer it)?

Did you see what else they were raising from the grave?

"New York artist places a ‘Pissing Pug’ at the feet of the ‘Fearless Girl’"by Christina Prignano Globe staff  May 30, 2017

A New York artist is sparking controversy after he installed a papier-mache dog that appeared to be urinating on the recently installed and highly popular “Fearless Girl” statue on Wall Street.

Artist Alex Gardega said he placed the piece, which he called the “Pissing Pug,” on Monday around 9 a.m. and removed it around noon the same day.

In an interview with the Globe, Gardega said he created the piece as a rebuke to State Street Global Advisors, which was behind the surprise installation of the “Fearless Girl,” which first appeared back in March ahead of International Women’s Day. The statue depicts a young girl with her fists defiantly placed on her hips, staring down the much larger statue of a charging bull on Wall Street.

Gardega said he didn’t think the “Fearless Girl” statue represented feminism, because it was commissioned by State Street and not created by an independent artist.

“It had nothing to do with feminism. It’s corporate feminism,” Gardega said of the “Fearless Girl” statue.....

EXACTLY!

--more--"

The dog died.

"Frank Deford, who mined the sports world for human stories and told them with literary grace over six decades in Sports Illustrated, a shelf of books, and many years of radio and television commentary, died on Sunday at his home in Key West, Fla. He was 78....."

"A Wareham man was arrested Sunday after he allegedly swore at and grabbed a 73-year-old woman in a Taunton cemetery, then stole her cellphone, police said. The confrontation began shortly before 5:30 p.m. in the Mayflower Hill Cemetery when the woman told Alvin Berube, 53, that his four unleashed dogs were not allowed, police said. Berube allegedly grew angry at the woman and began swearing at her, according to police. The victim began to take pictures of the dogs with her cellphone and Berube allegedly grabbed her, saying, “If you want problems, I’ll give you problems,” according to Taunton Police Lieutenant Paul Roderick. Berube allegedly wrestled the phone from her hands and took it with him as he left, police said. He was arrested shortly after while walking in nearby woods, police said. Berube originally told police that he did not know what the woman was talking about, but later admitted to burying the phone in dirt and leaves, police said. He was charged with assault and battery on a person over 60 and unarmed robbery, according to police."

That's the second time that happened at a cemetery.

Here are a couple of ringers for you:

Amazon joins the $1,000 club

Bella Bond murder trial opens Tuesday 

That will give you some summer reading anyway. I'm sure the Globe will be attending court every day.

"Cryptocurrency like bitcoin is one of the hottest investments around" by Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff  May 29, 2017

Cryptocurrencies are a form of money created by computer networks instead of by government-sponsored banks. They enable people to make fast, anonymous transactions at virtually no cost, while using digital encryption to create an indelible record of every transaction. Cryptocurrencies eliminate the need for banks to act as middlemen, making transactions almost as fast and cheap as sending an e-mail.

Looks good, and don't worry about the 2013 collapse in value amid a massive theft of bitcoin from a major financial exchange called Mt. Gox.

Cryptocurrencies are viewed as secure havens in uncertain times, much as gold is. That’s because digital money can’t be directly devalued or easily confiscated by governments. Also, bitcoins or Ether can be shunted to another country easily and almost instantly. “Getting physical gold and moving that out of the country is very hard,” said  Jeremy Allaire, chief executive of the Boston cryptocurrency startup Circle Internet Financial Ltd.

You would think.

Meanwhile, Ether’s growth is being driven in large part because of its underlying technology, called Ethereum. Like bitcoin, Ethereum uses software that generates a “blockchain,” a permanent and unalterable record of all transactions.

But Ethereum’s blockchain has been designed to do far more than generate a new kind of currency. It’s designed to run a variety of distributed applications, or “dapps,” which can handle all manner of highly secure transactions.

For instance, a startup called VirtuePoker is designing an Ethereum-based system to let people anywhere in the world play poker against each other, without risk of cheating. All bets and even the state of the cards will be encoded in a blockchain to guarantee all games are honest.

No hack threat?

Ethereum dapps are also being developed for managing securities transactions, international trade, and real estate deals. In February, dozens of giant companies, including Microsoft, Intel, and JP Morgan, formed a consortium to develop Ethereum applications for big business. This corporate embrace of a once-obscure technology is yet another reason why investors are snapping up cryptocurrencies. “That, I think, is giving people confidence,” Allaire said.

He gives “Trump credit” for it, and it's the surest sign that bitcoin has been coopted.

Last Tuesday, Abigail Johnson, chief executive of Boston-based Fidelity Investments, said the giant investment company will soon let customers track their cryptocurrency investments on the Fidelity website. “I love this stuff,” Johnson said at a digital currency conference in New York, but despite these reasons to buy, many investors are warning that the current surge can’t continue....

Neither can I.

--more--"

Well, I see the sun has gone down. 

That means you can sit down and eat with the Globe.