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Trump Open to Possibility of Kim Jong Un Visiting White House

President Donald Trump said on Friday that he is open to the possibility of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un visiting the White House. "Are we close to seeing Mr. Kim here at the White House?" Fox News host Steve Doocey asked the president. "It could happen, yeah, I would, yeah I think it is something that could happen," Trump said. Trump added that Kim is strong and when he speaks, his people sit up at attention, saying he wants people in the United States to do the same. "He is the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head. Don't let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention," Trump said. "I want my people to do the same." Immediately after his interview with Fox News, Trump was asked about the comment. "I'm kidding. You don't understand sarcasm," Trump said. He went on to ask the reporter what network he is with. The reporter replied he was with CNN, to which Trump said the reporter the "worst." In the wake of Tuesday's Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, Trump claimed North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat to the United States. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has yet to dispose of the country's nuclear weapons or its ballistic missiles that have the ability to strike the United States. Trump became the first U.S. president to meet face-to-face with a North Korean head of state during the summit. The Trump administration has pushed for North Korea to denuclearize, while promising security and prosperity in return. The joint statement Trump and Kim signed gave few details on how the two countries will move forward with denuclearization of the peninsula. "President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," the statement said. Tump was asked when the sanctions on North Korea would be removed. "When we can be sure there are no more nuclear?" Trump said. "We're close to getting it started. He [Kim] wants to do something great with this country. He wants to make his country great." The president also claimed that his predecessor President Obama was "essentially ready" to go to war with North Korea. "When I was talking to President Obama he essentially was ready to go to war with North Korea. He felt you almost had to go to war," Trump said. "I asked him, have you spoken to him. He said no. Do you think it would be a good thing to speak to him, maybe?" There was no public indication during his presidency that Obama was preparing the U.S. military for war with North Korea. Trump continued on to say a war with North Korea would be devastating. "If you go to war there, you're not talking about 100,000 lives which is a lot, you're talking about 30, 40, 50 million lives. Seoul is 30 miles off the border. They don't need nuclear weapons to take out Seoul. They have thousands of cannons, they call them cannons, they have big guns, thousands pointed right at Seoul," Trump said. The post Trump Open to Possibility of Kim Jong Un Visiting White House appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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UAW & Chrysler Named Co-Conspirators in Corruption Case

The Justice Department is now going after Fiat Chrysler and the United Auto Workers for a corruption scheme both attributed to rogue leaders. The department has already secured guilty pleas from union and company executives accused of embezzling funds to pay for everything from mortgages to foreign luxury cars. When it announced indictments against the senior officials, as well as the widow of a former UAW executive, both the company and union pled ignorance, saying they were victims of corrupt individuals. Federal prosecutors, however, have now declared them co-conspirators in the $4.5 million scheme, alleging that they conspired to enrich one another at the expense of employees. "Executives conspired with one another, with FCA, with officials at the UAW, and with the UAW, to violate the Labor Management Relations Act," the department said in a court filing first obtained by the Detroit News. The union and the company have denied any wrongdoing in connection to the scandal. Both declined to comment on the department allegations, as well as interviews on the subject. A UAW spokesman referred the Washington Free Beacon to outgoing president Dennis Williams's denial of any knowledge of the embezzlement at the union's annual conference on Monday. "Those who misallocated or misused training center funds betrayed our trust. The UAW has zero tolerance for corruption or wrongdoing, at any level of the organization," he said. "Our leadership team had no knowledge of the misconduct—which involved former union members and former auto executives—until it was brought to our attention by the government." A Fiat Chrysler spokesman said the company had "no further comment at this time" regarding the scandal. He referred to a July 2017 statement claiming the company and union were "victims of malfeasance by certain of their respective employees that held roles at the National Training Center." Both groups have said they cooperated with federal investigators when the lucrative corruption scheme was brought to their attention and took action to cut off the accused leaders upon "obtaining credible evidence of wrongdoing." "These egregious acts were neither known to nor sanctioned by FCA US," the statement said. "The Company has also worked with the UAW to implement governance, auditing and structural reforms to improve the accountability and transparency of the NTC." The scandal has snowballed in recent months. When charges were first announced in 2017, officials were accused of diverting about $1 million from the training center. The estimated figure has quadrupled. The number of union and company leaders alleged to have partaken in the scheme has grown with every guilty plea from the original figures in the case, which include former Chrysler vice president Alphons Iacobelli and Monica Morgan, the wife of late UAW executive General Holiefield. Both have pled guilty in connection to the scandal. The Department of Justice did not return request for comment. The post UAW & Chrysler Named Co-Conspirators in Corruption Case appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Trump: What Comey Did Was ‘Criminal’ and ‘Horrible’

President Donald Trump said former FBI Director James Comey's conduct during the Hillary Clinton email investigation was "criminal" and "horrible" during an interview Friday on the White House lawn. Speaking live with "Fox and Friends" host Steve Doocy, Trump addressed the Inspector General's report finding Comey's conduct regarding the Clinton probe was "extraordinary and insubordinate," such as his July 2016 announcement not to seek charges against her and his late-October letter to Congress saying it had been reopened. "From what you've seen so far, should James Comey be locked up?" Doocy asked. "I would never want to get involved in that," Trump said. "Certainly, they just seemed like very criminal acts to me. What he did was criminal. What he did was a terrible thing to the people. What he did was so bad in terms of our Constitution, in terms of the well-being of our country. What he did was horrible. Should he be locked up? Let somebody make a determination." Trump added the "funniest" part of the IG report was learning Comey used a private email account to conduct FBI business. Trump fired Comey last May but has offered differing reasons for why he dismissed him, ranging from the Russia meddling probe to his overall conduct at the FBI. He tweeted Friday he did a "great service to the people" in terminating Comey. That was a momentous decision for his presidency, as it ultimately led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the sprawling Russia probe that has clouded the White House for more than a year. The IG Report is a total disaster for Comey, his minions and sadly, the FBI. Comey will now officially go down as the worst leader, by far, in the history of the FBI. I did a great service to the people in firing him. Good Instincts. Christopher Wray will bring it proudly back! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018 The Justice Department investigation report also revealed improper behavior by FBI agents and text messages showing bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton. The post Trump: What Comey Did Was ‘Criminal’ and ‘Horrible’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Pakistani Taliban Leader Killed in Air Strike in Afghanistan Near Border

By Rupam Jain and Jibran Ahmad KABUL/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah has been killed in a U.S.-Afghan air strike in Afghanistan, a senior Afghan Defence Ministry official said on Friday, a killing likely to ease tension between the United States and Pakistan. An official at the NATO-led Resolute Support mission confirmed Fazlullah was killed on Thursday. The U.S. military said earlier in Washington it had carried out a strike aimed at a senior militant figure in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar, which is on the Pakistani border, and one U.S. official said the target was believed to have been Fazlullah. Fazlullah was Pakistan's most-wanted militant, notorious for attacks including a 2014 school massacre that killed 132 children and the 2012 shooting of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. "I confirm that Mullah Fazlullah, leader of the Pakistani Taliban, has been killed in an joint air operation in the border area of Marawera district of Kunar province," Mohammad Radmanish, spokesman for Afghan defense ministry, told Reuters, adding the air strike was carried out at about 9 a.m. on Thursday. U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Martin O'Donnell said U.S. forces conducted a "counter-terrorism strike" which targeted "a senior leader of a designated terrorist organization". "U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and NATO-led Resolute Support forces continue to adhere to … Afghanistan's unilateral ceasefire with the Afghan Taliban," O'Donnell said. The government announced the ceasefire last week and it took effect this week. "…as previously stated, the ceasefire does not include U.S. counter-terrorism efforts against (Islamic State and al Qaeda) and other regional and international terrorist groups, or the inherent right of U.S. and international forces to defend ourselves if attacked. "We hope this pause leads to dialogue and progress on reconciliation and a lasting end to hostilities." Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a ceasefire lasting until June 20 but on Friday suggested it could be extended. ‘MULLAH RADIO' Fazlullah's death could ease strained ties between Islamabad and Washington even as Afghanistan observes an unprecedented three-day ceasefire with the larger Afghan Taliban. Pakistan is considered key to persuading Afghan Taliban leaders, who Washington believes shelter on Pakistani soil, to open negotiations to end the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan. In March, the United States offered a $5 million reward for information on Fazlullah. Pakistani government and military spokesmen were not immediately available for comment. A member of the Pakistani Taliban told Reuters by telephone on Friday the group was trying to get word from Afghanistan, where most of the Pakistani Taliban fighters are now based. Fazlullah emerged as an Islamist leader in the Swat Valley, northwest of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, more than a decade ago. He was known as "Mullah Radio" for his fiery sermons broadcast over a radio channel. He was reviled in Pakistan for the 2014 assault on an army-run school in the city of Peshawar in which Pakistani Taliban gunmen killed at least 132 children. He is also believed to have ordered the 2012 shooting of then-15-year-old Malala Yousafzai over her advocacy of girls' education. The Pakistani Taliban have waged a decade-long insurgency seeking to establish a harsh interpretation of Islamic rule but most of their fighters have now fled to Afghanistan. They are separate from the Afghan Taliban who ruled Afghanistan for five years before being ousted in a 2001 U.S.-led military action. Washington and Kabul accuse Pakistan of harboring Afghan Taliban and the allied Haqqani network, which Islamabad denies. Islamabad says the Pakistani Taliban maintain sanctuaries in Afghanistan. (Additional reporting by Qadir Sediqi in Kabul and Ahmad Sultan in Jalalabad; Writing by Kay Johnson and Nick Macfie; Editing by Robert Birsel) The post Pakistani Taliban Leader Killed in Air Strike in Afghanistan Near Border appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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The Real Summit

The Singapore summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un had drama, imagery, pomp and circumstance, even a Hollywood-style promotional video. There were promises of denuclearization and hopes for a new relationship between the United States and North Korea. What was missing, however, were the specific details and concrete actions necessary to achieve such lofty goals. That work began at a less remarked on, but perhaps more important, meeting in Beijing two days later. Between Mike Pompeo and Xi Jinping. Singapore was nonetheless a revolution in U.S. relations with Kim's tyranny. Since the end of the Cold War, our North Korea policy has followed a template: America leveraged its power to isolate the Hermit Kingdom and force it into negotiations where it made specific pledges to denuclearize in exchange for cash. It lied every time. The cash arrived; the nukes multiplied. Trump altered the formula. Vowing "fire and fury" and implementing drastic sanctions, he reestablished a military deterrent that had eroded during the Obama years. Instead of following his predecessors along the circuitous route of multilateral negotiations, however, he went for bilateral, personal diplomacy to coax Kim out of isolation. Then, rather than having the North Koreans commit to precise actions, he settled for vague aspirations that, by their nature, are harder to break. And he did so without lifting a single sanction. Yes, he agreed to suspend joint military exercises with democratic South Korea as a confidence-building measure. I'm leery of the move, especially since the north has yet to undertake a confidence-building measure of its own. But does anyone doubt that the mercurial Trump won't restart the maneuvers at the first sign of North Korean intransigence? This is the same president, after all, who called his new friend "little rocket man" at the U.N. last year and who backed out of the Singapore confab just weeks before it ended up taking place. Trump has gone from threat-making Dirty Harry to an upselling Billy Mays. A few months ago he was drawing up plans to bomb North Korea back to the Stone Age. Now he's developing condos along the Wonsan beach. Carried aloft on gusts of optimistic rhetoric, he's declared the threat over on Twitter and tells us all to "sleep well tonight!" Trump is unpredictable, impulsive, over the top. He can't be controlled. The men and women who implement policy can't afford such flights of imagination. They have to deal with the objective facts of the situation. Retired admiral Harry Harris, the former Pacific commander nominated for U.S. ambassador to South Korea, told Congress, "I think we must continue to worry about the nuclear threat." And at a press conference in Beijing with his Chinese counterpart, Mike Pompeo said, "We have made very clear that the sanctions and the economic relief that North Korea will receive will only happen after the full denuclearization, the complete denuclearization, of North Korea." Which is why Pompeo's meetings in Beijing are decisive. Not only would North Korea's nuclear program cease to exist without Chinese support. North Korea would disappear too. Some 90 percent of North Korea's foreign trade is with China. And it was most likely China's reluctant imposition of tough U.N. sanctions last spring that grabbed Kim's attention. Now, with Singapore behind us, China is ready to ease the pressure. That cannot happen if denuclearization is to succeed. Pompeo understands that in the midst of good feeling there is a tendency to look away from bad behavior, to excuse or rationalize autocratic probing for weakness and irresolution. Democracies often sacrifice both their principles and their interests in order to perpetuate abstract, meaningless, consequence-free diplomatic processes. If the Trump administration is to produce a different outcome than the Clinton, Bush, or Obama administrations, it must relax its posture only when North Korea provides tangible reasons to do so. So you go to Beijing. Why? Because North Korea is but a part of a much larger puzzle: China's rise to great power status. Some might argue for going easy on Kim in order to free up resources to deal with China's military, cultural, political, and economic challenge to American power. This gets it backward. Want to see results in North Korea? Resist Chinese hegemony. By opening up the space for strategic decision-making and pressuring China at several points at once, you make it more likely Xi Jinping will exert influence over his vassal. Just so we back off. Indeed, China is worried that North Korea may cut its own deal with the United States and, like Vietnam and Laos, become a one-party state that nevertheless balances against the Middle Kingdom. Let's increase Xi's blood pressure a little. There are plenty of options. For starters, kill the defense sequester. In addition to conducting freedom of navigation operations, penalize China for militarizing islands in the South China Sea. Levy tariffs. Sell the F-35 to Taiwan. Warn the region that, if negotiations with Kim fail, America may be forced to reintroduce the tactical nuclear missiles that were removed from the Korean peninsula in 1991. Will China protest, and U.S. doves cry? Of course they will. But remember they did exactly the same thing last year—until maximum pressure forced China to act. And North Korea sang a different tune. The post The Real Summit appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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‘The Incredibles 2’ Review

The Incredibles is that rare Pixar movie that doesn't feel as if it were designed to rip your heart out and devastate you. It has nothing like the opening montage of Up, during which we experience the ups and downs of a shared life full of love in just a few minutes; nothing like the moment near the end of Toy Story 3, when it seems as if our heroes are about to end up where all toys end up; nothing like Bing Bong's self-negation in Inside Out. This isn't to say that the film is entirely absent emotional beats. There's something stirring about the frustration that a family of superheroes feels at being forced to hide their powers from a world that fears them, government agents who want to imprison them, and legal leeches who want to sue them. I had never known I needed a mash up of Fantastic Four, Watchmen, and Atlas Shrugged, but I was quite happy with the result. That being said, the struggle at the center of The Incredibles was more intellectual than passionate. As such, it has always felt to me as though it is something of an outlier in the Pixar canon: as compelling and well constructed as the rest of the studio's legendary body of work, but maybe a little … chilly. The Incredibles 2 is a bit more concerned with the inner lives of its heroes, and a bit more interested in how family dynamics might shift for the super-powered. Bob/Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) is forced to juggle the kids when Helen/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) is offered a professional superhero gig by Winston and Evelyn Deavor (Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener, respectively), a brother-sister industrialist duo. The Deavors hope that body cams worn by the Incredibles will show the masses and their leaders that supers can benefit society, which, in turn, will spark a movement to decriminalize superhero activity—a pressing concern, given the emergence of new super villain The Screenslaver (Bill Wise). In the midst of all this, Violet (Sarah Vowell) is struggling with boys at school after a mind-erasure ruins a date, while Dash (Huck Milner) is struggling not to beat all the boys at school in athletic competitions, given his super-speed. And then there's Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile), a baby unable to control his emerging coterie of powers; his outbursts provide a challenge for fan-favorite costume-designer Edna (writer-director Brad Bird). There's a lot to love here, first and foremost Bob pulling Mr. Mom duties while Elastigirl is out saving the world. An unruly baby, new math, and boy troubles combine to form a Voltron-like foe far more terrifying than any spandex-clad super threat. Again, though, I felt more intellectual than emotional pleasure from The Incredibles 2. Bird and his team of animators have a fantastic sense of the physics of superhero-dom, the ways in which superpowers can be used to bend our perception of the laws of science in order to achieve extraordinary goals. The standout set piece in this film involves Elastigirl racing around a city on a motorcycle trying to stop an out-of-control train: she swings through the city using the propulsion of the bike and the elasticity of her arms; she dramatically expands her body to create a parachute, using drag to slow the train down; she takes advantage of momentum and centripetal force to slingshot around skyscrapers in an effort to keep up with the speeding locomotive. The whole scene plays a bit like a science problem handed to a particularly gifted group of 15-year-old comic book nerds. As someone who will always be a 15-year-old comic book nerd at heart—and someone who currently has a great deal of empathy for Mr. Incredible's Mr. Mom alter ego—I can understand and appreciate what The Incredibles 2 is trying to do. I'm just not quite sure I can love it as fully as I do some of Pixar's other properties. The post ‘The Incredibles 2’ Review appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Phone Records Suggest Qatar Shopped Hacked Emails to DC Reporters

Attorneys for former Republican National Committee finance chairman and Trump ally Elliott Broidy have issued 43 subpoenas in an investigation following the hack of his email account by what Broidy alleges was the state of Qatar, according to multiple sources involved in the investigation. Broidy's legal team is preparing more subpoenas in a case alleging that Qatar orchestrated a spear phishing hack of Broidy's email, in retaliation for Broidy's anti-Qatar advocacy with the Trump administration. The lawsuit says that individuals working for Qatar in Washington and New York, including both registered and unregistered foreign agents, distributed the hacked emails to reporters, fueling a series of damaging media stories. Several prominent news outlets ran stories in recent months based on emails obtained from the Broidy hack, including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, the New York Times, McClatchy, and the Associated Press. The stories revealed details of Broidy's interactions with Qatar's Gulf-region rivals, and his efforts to persuade President Trump and other administration officials to side with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against Qatar in their ongoing dispute in the region. Broidy has not been formally registered with the Department of Justice to represent the UAE, but the leaked emails appear to show he was reporting back to UAE representatives regarding meetings he held with President Trump and administration officials. In at least two instances in which records have already been obtained—those concerning stories in the AP and McClatchy—subpoenaed phone records show that Nicolas Muzin, a former deputy chief of staff to Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) who was a registered foreign agent for Qatar, had been in close contact with reporters who soon thereafter published stories based on the Broidy emails. In the weeks leading up to the May 21 publication of a lengthy AP story on Broidy, Muzin and AP reporter Tom LoBianco spoke approximately three dozen times, according to subpoenaed phone records viewed by the Washington Free Beacon. Muzin and McClatchy reporter Ben Wieder held at least four calls on January 25 and 26, the phone records show. In March, McClatchy ran a lengthy article based on the hacked Broidy emails. The AP reporter, LoBianco, left the AP a day after the Broidy story was published. Both the AP and McClatchy told the Free Beacon that they do not comment on their sourcing. LoBianco did not respond to a request for comment. Individuals once tied to Qatar, including Muzin and Joseph Allaham, have publicly cut ties with the country or have criticized Qatar in recent days as the legal landscape shifts against the Middle Eastern nation. On June 6, Muzin announced on Twitter that his firm, Stonington Strategies, "is no longer representing the State of Qatar." A day later, Joseph Allaham, a New York restaurateur who is accused of working for Qatar and with Muzin, also abruptly severed ties with Qatar, telling Politico that "Qatar enjoys portraying themselves as the purveyor of peace in the region, but this could not be further from the truth." Allaham, who was being paid by Qatar but had not filed with the Justice Department as a registered foreign agent, announced he would register. Allaham's legal troubles recently deepened when a federal district court judge in New York ordered him for the third time to comply with a Broidy subpoena seeking records and documents related to the hack. Allaham had gained extensions first by citing his wife's pregnancy and then the birth of a child, finally earning a harsh rebuke from the judge. The failure to produce documents, "combined with the fact that no response, not even an objection, was filed by the compliance date … further suggests that Allaham never intended to comply with the subpoena or produce any documents whatsoever" the judge ruled. Other defendants in the case include Mohammed bin Hamad, a senior Qatari regime official who leads the country's public relations and lobbying efforts in the United States; Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, a former Qatari diplomat and head of a $100 billion Qatari sovereign wealth fund; Jamal Benomar, a former United Nations official who lives in New York and works for Qatar; and the cyberintelligence consulting firm Global Risk Advisors, which was hired by Qatar in 2017. The post Phone Records Suggest Qatar Shopped Hacked Emails to DC Reporters appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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U.S. Officials Press Cuba on ‘Urgent Need’ to ID Source of Attacks on Diplomats

U.S. officials are continuing to stress the "urgent need" for the Cuban government to identify the source of mysterious sonic attacks on U.S. diplomats in Havana nearly a year after the State Department first publicly acknowledged they had occurred. The latest call for more transparency from the Cuban government on the attacks came during the seventh bilateral commission meeting between U.S. and Cuban official in Washington Thursday. "The United States reiterated the urgent need to identify the source of the attacks on U.S. diplomats and to ensure they cease," the State Department said in a release. "We also reiterated that until it is sufficiently safe to fully staff our embassy, we will not be able to provide regular visa services in Havana." In April, the State Department began evacuating U.S. diplomats from a U.S. consulate in China who had suffered from mysterious neurological symptoms that are raising similar suspicions about whether the host government's had knowledge of or involvement in the attacks U.S. personnel suffered in Cuba. The U.S. officials, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs John Creamer, also expressed ongoing U.S. concerns about the arbitrary detention of independent journalists and human rights activists in Cuba by the Cuban government. Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, Cuba's Foreign Ministry's director general for U.S. affairs, headed the Cuban delegation that traveled to Washington and participated in the discussions. The delegations also addressed efforts to combat human trafficking, law enforcement cooperation, the resolution of certified claims, and efforts to facilitate safe aviation after a major Cuban airline crashed in May killing 112 people The two sides agreed to hold the next round of the biannual talks this summer. The bilateral commission is a formal working group established under President Obama's policy of renewing diplomatic and economic ties with the island nation. Thursday's meeting was the first time officials from the two countries had formally gathered since former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last fall ordered nonessential diplomats and families out of Cuba following a string of debilitating and still unexplained sonic attacks on U.S. diplomats in Havana. The decision to gut the new U.S. embassy in Havana and Tillerson's subsequent order expelling most Cuban personnel from the United States a few months marked a new low in the relationship between the Trump administration and Havana. Relations were already frayed after Trump announced last summer rolled back some of the looser travel rules the Obama administration put in place as part of its new rapprochement with Havana. Tillerson took the dramatic step after U.S. medical experts confirmed that at least 21 U.S. diplomats and family members became ill in Havana after experiencing strange and painful sonic attacks. Cuban officials have repeatedly denied any role in perpetrating or permitting the sonic attacks to occur and have said they have fully cooperated with a months-long FBI investigation that was inconclusive. The post U.S. Officials Press Cuba on ‘Urgent Need’ to ID Source of Attacks on Diplomats appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Harvard Hospital Taking Down Portraits of White Men

Brigham and Women's Hospital, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, is taking down its prominent display of its past medical legends because too many are white men. Diversity and inclusion initiatives prompted the removal of 30 portraits from the hospital's Bornstein Amphitheater because the paintings reinforce "that white men are in charge," one professor said. The Boston Globe first reported the news, writing that past white male luminaries will be dispersed to "put the focus on diversity." Portraits that had hung in the amphitheater for decades will now be moved to less visible areas like conference rooms and lobby halls. Dr. Betsy Nabel, the president of Brigham and Women's Hospital, said she made the decision to get rid of white men after reading the minds of minority students looking at the portraits. "I have watched the faces of individuals as they have come into Bornstein," Nabel told the Globe. "I have watched them look at the walls. I read on their faces ‘Interesting. But I am not represented here.'" "That got me thinking maybe it's time that we think about respecting our past in a different way," she said. Nabel said no one on staff has objected to taking down portraits of past department heads, which include Dr. Harvey Cushing, the "father of neurosurgery," who studied at Harvard and Yale and became surgeon-in-chief at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in 1913. Cushing operated on hundreds of patients each year with "remarkable results," and his meticulous notes and case studies provided the "history of neurological medicine from its beginning." Another prominent portrait to be moved is Dr. William Councilman, the first chief pathologist at Brigham Hospital. Cushing described Councilman as "a man of ardent and generous enthusiasms" and an "inspiring teacher for the young and such a delightful companion both for young and old." The portraits of Cushing, Councilman, and Dr. Henry Christian, Brigham's first chief of medicine, will be moved to the entrance of the Hale Building for Transformative Medicine. The Hale Building is named after Robert Hale Jr., a white male and CEO of Granite Telecommunications, who, along with his wife, donated $100 million to Brigham, the largest donation the hospital has ever received. Dr. Nabel said no staff at Brigham Women's Hospital has "openly" objected to the removal of the portraits and getting rid of the prominent display of white men has been in the works for years. The Globe spoke to Dr. Jeroan Allison, a University of Massachusetts Medical School professor, who recommended that portraits of white men "should be hung within a broader context that includes modern contributions from more diverse leaders." Allison said when so many portraits of white men are hung together in a small space, "it reinforces that white men are in charge." Brigham and Women's Hospital has numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Center for Development and Diversity, and the Committee on Diversity and Inclusivity. "Through our work, we have learned that inclusion is about feeling respected and valued for who you are and that the goal is to find ways to honor and celebrate each individual," according to the hospital's Diversity and Inclusion program in the nursing department, which strives to offer "inclusive care." "We seek to create a safe space for dialogue and ideas that can begin to change, where needed, our interactions and behavior in our day-to-day interactions with one another and with our patients," the department said. "It is one more positive step toward co-creating a caring and inclusive environment." The "Brigham Health Diversity and Inclusion" mission statement explains that the hospital takes into account "race, gender identity, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability, religion, income, and national origin" when giving care. The hospital provides unconscious bias training, "diversity and inclusion dialogues and trainings," "community building," and "reflection rounds" for employees. "Diversity, a long-standing value of ours, is more important now than ever before to truly improve our health care system," according to the Center for Development and Diversity. Doctors and nurses are also encouraged to take an unconscious bias test to see how racist or sexist they are. The diversity department warns against unconscious bias and provides the examples of making assumptions that "Women are always primary caregivers," "Someone is gay based on a certain haircut," or "An overweight person is unmotivated." "Begin by recognizing that you—and everyone else—have unconscious bias," the hospital said. The hospital also works to "increase visibility, awareness, and understanding of LGBTQ+ individuals" and holds "LGBT & Friends Monthly Meetings." Brigham also holds LGBT Health Awareness Week, claiming lesbian and gay individuals are "more likely to get sick" than their "straight and non-transgender neighbors." Brigham and Women's Hospital was the recipient of the over $3.5 million taxpayer-funded study that asked why the majority of lesbians are obese. The study's findings included the discovery that gay men have a "greater desire for toned muscles" than straight men, and that lesbians have lower "athletic-self esteem." Request for comment on the removal of the white male portraits was not immediately returned. No word on whether Brigham and Women's Hospital will change its name, which is named after Peter Bent Brigham and his nephew Robert Breck Brigham, who gave the initial endowments used to found the hospital in the 19th century. Both were wealthy white males. The post Harvard Hospital Taking Down Portraits of White Men appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Continetti: Comey Is Like Someone Who Burns a House Down and Says ‘We Can All Learn From This’

Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti criticized James Comey Thursday for breaching protocol during the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. Discussing the Justice Department's inspector general report on Fox News' "Special Report with Bret Baier," Continetti said that Comey put his "own self-interest and self-conception" and sanctimony over normal procedures. "Once again, Jim Comey's sense of righteousness led him to undertake steps that, even though he thought they were right and conscientious, ended up ruining things for everybody else," Continetti said. "He's like someone who burns down a house and says afterward, ‘Well, we can all learn from this experience,'" he added. He argued that this report has hurt his and other people's reputations at the FBI and warned that more damning information could come soon. "My takeaway, of course, is this is the first in a trilogy. Not only do we have this IG report, eventually we're going to have the IG report about the investigation into Trump and then of course the Mueller report as well," Continetti said. "There's a lot of reading ahead of us." Comey responded quickly to the IG report Thursday, publishing an article in the New York Times defending himself, with the headline "This Report Says I Was Wrong. But That’s Good for the F.B.I." The post Continetti: Comey Is Like Someone Who Burns a House Down and Says ‘We Can All Learn From This’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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