Tag: Leader

Major Evangelical Leader In Iowa Endorses Ted Cruz For President

You Can’t Win Iowa Without This Person’s Endorsement, And One GOP Candidate Just Got It – Politistick

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The Iowa Caucus, which will be held on February 1, is the first caucus in the country. As a result, it is a key focal point for nearly everyone running for president. It is a critical state to win as it helps set the stage for all the caucuses that follow.

For a Republican to win the caucus in Iowa, there is one man’s endorsement that is critical to secure. He is a top evangelical leader in the state and his endorsement matters. On Thursday morning, Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of Family Leader, announced his endorsement for the 2016 presidential race and the weight of his name behind this candidate is expected to be a game changer.

Vander Plaats announced that he is endorsing Texas Senator and constitutional conservative Ted Cruz for the presidency. The blessing of the Cruz campaign by Vander Plaats carries a lot of weight with the coveted and important evangelical Christian voting bloc in Iowa.

Speaking with the Des Moines Register, Vander Plaats shared why he chose to endorse Ted Cruz instead of one of the other 14 candidates in the GOP presidential race. He said, “At the end of the day, we truly believe that Ted Cruz is the most consistent and principled conservative who has the ability to not only win Iowa but I believe to win the (Republican) nomination.”

The majority of the GOP presidential candidates were trying desperately to secure Vander Plaats’ endorsement. Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham were all hopefuls for this endorsement. Each auditioned with Vander Plaats in an attempt to get his support. The only two candidates who did not work to get his endorsement were Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.

Vander Plaats not only shared why he chose to endorse Cruz, but also explained why he chose Cruz over a few of the other candidates.

In regards to Donald Trump, Vander Plaats said, “Mr. Trump, he was probably taken off our radar when he made the decision not to attend the forum.” He said the two will move on as friends, however.

Though he described Marco Rubio as a conservative, his history regarding amnesty and illegal immigration played a major role in Rubio not getting Vander Plaats’ endorsement.
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“However, I do believe the one issue he decided he was going to lead in Washington, D.C., with (Democratic New York U.S. Sen. Chuck) Schumer and (Republican Arizona U.S. Sen.) John McCain and the ‘gang of eight’ gave and gives everybody a little bit of cause for pause. And with immigration being such a big issue today, I think that’s going to be a hurdle that’s going to be a very steep for Marco Rubio to clear.”

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Though some have attempted to portray Ted Cruz as a DC insider since he is a sitting senator, Vander Plaats begged to differ with such a description of Cruz. He contended, “But I think what’s appealing about Ted Cruz is he still gives that ‘outside’ appearance. He has not been embraced by the Washington establishment community, on either side of the aisle. So he’s still viewed as that outside candidate who really knows how this thing works and what needs to be changed.”

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Thanks Barack… Former Gitmo Detainee Now An Al-Qaeda Leader In Yemen

Guantanamo Detainee Now An Al Qaeda Leader In Yemen – Long War Journal

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Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a new video featuring a former Guantanamo detainee, Ibrahim Qosi, who is also known as Sheikh Khubayb al Sudani.

In July 2010, Qosi plead guilty to charges of conspiracy and material support for terrorism before a military commission. His plea was part of a deal in which he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors during his remaining time in US custody. Qosi was transferred to his home country of Sudan two years later, in July 2012.

Qosi joined AQAP in 2014 and became one of its leaders. Qosi and other AQAP commanders discussed their time waging jihad at length in the video, entitled “Guardians of Sharia.”

Islamic scholars ensure the “correctness” of the “jihadist project,” according to Qosi. And the war against America continues through “individual jihad,” which al Qaeda encourages from abroad. Here, Qosi referred to al Qaeda’s policy of encouraging attacks by individual adherents and smaller terror cells. Indeed, AQAP’s video celebrates jihadists who have acted in accordance with this call, such as the Kouachi brothers, who struck Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris earlier this year. The Kouachi brothers’ operation was sponsored by AQAP.

The al Qaeda veterans shown in the video emphasized the importance of following the advice of recognized jihadist ideologues. Although AQAP’s men do not mention the Islamic State by name, they clearly have Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s group in mind. Al Qaeda has criticized the Islamic State for failing to follow the teachings of widely respected jihadist authorities, most of whom reject the legitimacy of Baghdadi’s self-declared “caliphate.”

Qosi’s appearance marks the first time he has starred in jihadist propaganda since he left Guantanamo. His personal relationship with Osama bin Laden and time in American detention make him an especially high-profile spokesman.

A leaked Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessment and other declassified files documented Qosi’s extensive al Qaeda dossier. In the threat assessment, dated Nov. 15, 2007, US intelligence analysts described Qosi as a “high” risk to the US and its allies.

“Detainee is an admitted veteran jihadist with combat experience beginning in 1990 and it is assessed he would engage in hostilities against US forces, if released,” JTF-GTMO found.

In 1990, Qosi met two al Qaeda members who recruited him for jihad in Afghanistan.

Qosi was then trained at al Qaeda’s al Farouq camp, which was the terror group’s primary training facility in pre-9/11 Afghanistan. In 1991, Osama bin Laden relocated to Sudan and Qosi followed. He worked as an accountant and treasurer for bin Laden’s front companies, a role he would continue to fill after al Qaeda moved back to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the mid-1990s.

JTF-GTMO found that after an attempt on bin Laden’s life in 1994, Qosi was chosen to be a member of the al Qaeda founder’s elite security detail. He was also picked to perform sensitive missions around that time.

For example, Qosi served as a courier and may have delivered funds to the terrorist cell responsible for the June 25, 1995 assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Qosi relocated to Chechnya that same year, before returning to bin Laden’s side in Afghanistan some time in 1996 or 1997.

“From 1998 to 2001,” JTF-GTMO’s analysts wrote, Qosi “traveled back and forth between the front lines near Kabul and Kandahar to help with the fight against the Northern Alliance.”

In Dec. 2001, the Pakistanis captured Qosi as he fled the Battle of Tora Bora. He was detained as part of a group dubbed the “Dirty 30” by US intelligence officials. The “Dirty 30” included other members of bin Laden’s bodyguard unit, as well as Mohammed al Qahtani, the would-be 20th hijacker. Qahtani, who was slated to take part in the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackings, had been denied entry into the US just months before.

While detained at Guantanamo in 2003, Qosi was asked why he stayed true to bin Laden for so many years. According to JTF-GTMO, Qosi explained it was his “religious duty to defend Islam and fulfill the obligation of jihad and that the war between America and al Qaeda is a war between Islam and aggression of the infidels.”

Qosi made it clear in AQAP’s new production that he hasn’t changed his opinion in the twelve years since.

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Muslim Leader Congratulates Victims Of Mecca Crane Accident – Says It’s A “Great Honor” To Be Crushed To Death There

UK Islamic Leader: Muslims Consider It A “Great Honor” To Have A Crane In Mecca Crush Them To Death – Weasel Zippers

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I’m sure it is.

Via Express:

Tributes have been paid to father-of-four from Bolton Qasim Akram, who was killed in the accident just hours after arriving in the Saudi Arabian city ahead of his first pilgrimage to Mecca.
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Mr Akram, who was believed to be 32, and a private hire driver, had been in the Grand Mosque with his parents 50 yards ahead of them when the crane struck.
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Shockingly, a British imam and director of the Oxford Islamic Information Centre, Dr Hojjat Ramzy, said he wanted to “congratulate” those who lost their lives for “going straight to heaven without any question”, describing the tragic incident as a “great honor”.
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The Independent newspaper quoted him as saying: “Many Muslim pilgrims wish to pass away during the journey of hajj and to have honor of being buried in the holy city of Mecca.
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“This is great honor from God that every one wishes for but not many will be granted.”

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Suicidally Stupid Left-Wing Brits Choose Marxist Nutjob As Their New Labour Party Leader

Cheers! Teetotal Jeremy Corbyn Heads To The Pub For A Rousing Rendition Of The Socialist Anthem ‘The Red Flag’ After Being Elected Labour Leader In Landslide Victory With A Crushing 59.5% Of The Vote – Daily Mail

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Jeremy Corbyn this afternoon headed straight to a pub with his supporters after storming to victory in the Labour leadership contest, winning almost 60 per cent of the vote in the first round.

In the most extraordinary result in modern political history, the 66-year-old Marxist throwback who has never run anything in his life will now take charge of the party of Keir Hardie, Clement Atlee and Tony Blair.

There were cheers at the QEII Conference Centre in central London as it was confirmed that the unassuming Islington MP had defied all expectations – including his own – to become leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition.

After thanking the unions, attacking the media, and accusing the Conservatives of ‘social cleansing’, Mr Corbyn took his supporters to the Sanctuary pub in Westminster for a victory drink where they hailed former socialist firebrand Tony Benn and sang the socialist Red Flag anthem.

Earlier, supporters wept and punched the air, chanting ‘Jez we did, Jez we did’, after it emerged Mr Corbyn had taken 59.5 per cent of the vote – 251,417 of the 422,664 votes cast – against 19 per cent for Andy Burnham, 17 per cent for Yvette Cooper and just 4.5 per cent for Liz Kendall.

But winning could be the easy part: While he was still addressing the leadership conference, the first resignations from the frontbench emerged as his critics warned he would be a ‘f***ing disaster’.

Following Mr Corbyn’s stunning victory, the new Labour leader sneaked out of the special conference building opposite Westminster Abbey to go to the pub. Jubilant supporters sang The Red Flag word perfect as bemused tourists, including one American family, looked on.

He was joined by campaign manager John McDonnell and hard-left Unite general secretary Len McCluskey. Mr McDonnell said it was the ‘‎greatest victory for the left in possibly decades’. ‘I just wish Tony Benn had been here,’ he said.

He said it was an end to the ‘dark years’ where there had been ‘no discussion of socialism’, but through which Mr Corbyn had ‘kept the flame alive’.

When the result was announced, ‘the earth moved’. ‘Another world is possible,’ Mr McDonnell added. ‎’We want to bring this government down. We want to install in Number 10 one of the best socialists.’

Standing up, Mr Corbyn apologised to an American family whose pub lunch his supporters were interrupting – causing the crowd to chant ‘USA, USA.’

Mr Corbyn said liberties had not been ‘handed down by the rich and powerful and royalty’ but had come thanks to the efforts of ‘ordinary people’.

After 32 years as a backbench MP, during which he has voted against Labour more than 500 times, Mr Corbyn must now try to piece together a frontbench team and demand loyalty from the parliamentary party.

He will face big tests in the coming days and weeks on Tory plans to curb unions, cut benefits and join airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Fallon warned Labour was now a ‘serious risk to national security’.

In a rambling but uncompromising victory speech, Mr Corbyn repeatedly attacked the Tories but gave little sign he is willing to tone down his extreme socialist views to win broad public support.

To cheers from his supports, Mr Corbyn said: ‘The Tories have used the economic crisis of 2008 to impose a terrible burden on the poorest people in this country.

‘Those that have seen their wages frozen or cut, those that can’t afford to even to sustain themselves properly, those that rely on foodbanks to get by. It is not right, it’s not necessary and it’s got to change.’

Offering his backing to Sadiq Khan, Labour’s candidate for the London Mayoral elections, warning: ‘I am fed up with the social cleansing of London by this Tory government and its policies.’

Four months after Britain rejected Mr Miliband for being too left-wing and not looking like a Prime Minister, Labour is now led by the most radical leader of a mainstream party the country has ever seen.

Punters were quick to place bets against Corbyn surviving as leader until the next general election, with thousands of pounds rushing in to bookmakers within an hour of his victory.

One Paddy Power customer put £2,000 on the new leader being deposed by 2020 at odds of 5/2, with a number of other gamblers placing bids of £100 against Corbyn lasting that long.

But privately senior Labour MPs branded the result a ‘f***ing disaster’ and warned he would not survive a year.

Another MP said it was ‘absolutely disastrous’ for the party. He said Mr Corbyn would be ‘vicious’ and move to deselect rebel MPs by flooding the party with the new supporters.

A senior backbencher added: ‘I will give him 12 months. I can’t see him lasting any longer than that.’

David Blunkett, meanwhile, said he was ‘deeply fearful’ of the direction Mr Corbyn might take the party, and said there was a danger that Labour will be in ‘perpetual opposition’ unless he dramatically changes tack.

Warning of the dangers of a party split, he urged New Labour supporters not to desert the party, saying: ‘Do not allow the people who lost us elections from 1983 onwards to be the ones who run the show.’

The former Home Secretary said someone in the conference hall had shouted to him: ‘Corbyn in, Blairites out’.

‘If that is the attitude, we’re on a road to nowhere,’ he said. ‘The message has to be clear – we need consensus, we need the enthusiasm, but above all we need policies that mean something and are relevant to people out there.’

He added: ‘I’m deeply fearful of the direction in which we might go. All of us will be giving Jeremy our best wishes in the weeks and months ahead.

Many senior Labour MPs will quick to refuse to serve under him as party staffers are braced for a ‘purge’ of non-Corbyn supporters from the Brewer’s Green headquarters.

Ahead of the announcement, one staffer told MailOnline: ‘The mood is not great. I’m getting made redundant on Monday. It’s the Corbyn purge isn’t it.’

Defeated leadership contender Yvette Cooper immediately announced that she would quit as shadow home secretary and return to the backbenches.

Shadow public health minister Liz Kendall, who secured just 4.5 per cent of the vote in the contest, is also expected to quit.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt and shadow health minister Jamie Reed were also quick to confirm they would refuse to play any part in the new leadership team.

Mr Hunt said: ‘It is important to be honest about it – I have substantial political differences with Jeremy’.

Asked if he thought Mr Corbyn would find sufficient numbers of MPs willing to be part of his front bench, he said: ‘That’s for his team to discover. I imagine they are working on that.’

Mr Reed – whose Copeland constituency includes the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site – condemned Mr Corbyn’s anti-nuclear policies as ‘poorly informed and fundamentally wrong’.

And Mr Reed warned: ‘No amount of well-meaning protest will protect the NHS, drive up standards, recruit more medical professionals or improve the accessibility of world-class healthcare to the British people. Only an elected Labour government will do this.’

Emma Reynolds, who has been an outspoken critic of Mr Corbyn’s wavering support for the EU, quit as shadow communities secretary. Writing on Twitter she said: ‘Congratulations to Jeremy – he needs to space to build his own team. I will serve our party and my constituents from backbenches.’

Others expected to refuse to serve in his team are current shadow chancellor Chris Leslie, shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker, shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Shabana Mahmood, shadow international development secretary Mary Creagh and shadow Cabinet Office minister Lucy Powell.

During the campaign, Ms Cooper and Ms Kendall both refused to work with Mr Corbyn team, while Mr Burnham insisted the party should always come first and was prepare to work with anyone.

However, shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna – a senior centrist who withdrew from the contest after a matter of days – issued a plea for the party to ‘come together’ behind its new leader.

In a post on Facebook, Mr Umunna said: ‘Now the contest is over, we must respect the result, come together and focus on providing the most credible and effective opposition to the Tories.’

Mr Corbyn is expected to promote Angela Eagle and Owen Smith to more high profile roles, and his close friend and leftwing firebrand John McDonnell is in line for a top job.

Corbyn supporter Clive Lewis, who entered Parliament as MP for Norwich South in May, said: ‘One of the things that Jeremy is about is about opening up the party, being more inclusive. Rather than the top-down ‘Here is the policy’, it’s going to be from the bottom up and everyone will have an input into it.’

At the height of Corbynmania the party was deluged with members, swelled by new 113,000 registered supporters who paid just £3 to get a vote, along with an extra 148,182 affiliated supporters and 105,973 full members who have signed up since May.

It led to allegations of ‘entryism’ by extreme left-wingers and Trotskyites seeking to hijack the contest in favour of Mr Corbyn. There were also claims that many people did not receive their ballot papers in time to vote, leading to calls for the result to be delayed for three days.

But in his speech, Mr Corbyn said: ‘During these amazing three months, our party has changed. We have grown enormously, because of the hopes of so many ordinary people for a different Britain, a better Britain, a more equal Britain, a more decent Britain.

‘They are fed up with the inequality, the injustice, the unnecessary poverty. All those issues have brought people in in a spirit of hope and optimism.

‘I say to the new members of the party, or those who have joined as registered or affiliated supporters – welcome. Welcome to our party, welcome to our movement. Can I say to those returning to the party who were in it before and felt disillusioned and went away. Welcome back, welcome back to your party, welcome home.’

He said his campaign had given the lie to claims that young Britons are apathetic about politics, showing instead that they are ‘a very political generation that were turned off by the way in which politics was being conducted’. He said: ‘We have to and must change that.’

Mr Corbyn said: ‘The fightback now of our party gathers speed and gathers pace.’

Iain McNicol, Labour’s general secretary, earlier insisted that the party had ‘weeded out’ people who had tried to ‘subvert our democracy’.

Addressing the leadership conference, He added: ‘We have run a free and fair election.’

Mr McNicol added: ‘In the leader we place our trust and on their shoulders they carry the hopes of millions in Britain and beyond our borders. It is not to be taken lightly or without a due sense of responsibility.

‘Friends, this Labour Party is bigger than any of us.’

In a thinly-veiled swipe at Mr Corbyn, he warned the new leader: ‘Our leaders have come and gone through the decades.’

He also aimed a dig at the thousands of £3 supporters behind Mr Corbyn’s surge. He said: ‘I look forward to seeing them on the doorstep.’ Mr McNichol said he wanted them to do more than ‘click a button’ to vote in the leadership contest.

Economist Richard Murphy, whose ‘people’s quantitative easing’ plan has been adopted by Corbyn, told the BBC: ‘I’m going to be very pleased that ideas I’ve promoted for a long time are now, I guess, going to be part of Labour Party policy, and I will be delighted about that.’

Mr Corbyn only scraped on to the ballot paper after gaining the nominations of Labour MPs who did not want him to win and was installed with odds of 200/1.

Andy Burnham, the northern shadow health secretary who had shifted to the left, was seen as the frontrunner while shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper presented the strongest threat from the centre.

After strong Blairite candidates including Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt pulled out of the race, it was left to Liz Kendall to fly the flag for moderates in the party – with little success.

Union barons who backed Mr Corbyn over his rivals could not contain their delight at his victory.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of the UK’s biggest union Unite, said: ‘Voters can now look at Labour and see, unquestionably, that it stands for fairness, justice, peace and strong communities. It is the party of hope, ready to take on a Government hell-bent on making life worse for ordinary people.

‘The task now for all of us who support Labour is to back the leadership team, to unite, to turn to face the Tories and hold them to account. It is what the voters expect, it is the way back to power and it is the duty of those at all levels of the party to deliver.’

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: ‘Today people for the first time in a decade are hearing a message of hope. ‘A clarion call that there is another way, an alternative message that it doesn’t need to be like this.

‘People see in Jeremy a politician who has created a wave, a vision of a better, kinder world that works for everyone, not just a self-serving few‎. ‘‎Jeremy has ignited a spark of hope, a spark that had been dampened for decades. This is a chance to claim back the heart and the soul of the party and make it our Labour Party once more‎.’

Outgoing acting leader Harriet Harman today issued a plea for unity, urging people across the party to take roles on the frontbench.

She told The Times: ‘You’ve got a commitment to the party whoever is the leader.

‘I’ve served under Michael Foot to Tony Blair, my first boss was Michael Meacher.

‘The point is, it’s a broad team and you don’t decide you’ve got abilities and energy and commitment by virtue of who the leader is.’

Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone – tipped for a job under a Corbyn leadership – insisted he a is a ‘consensual’ politician who wants to have proper discussions about the direction of the party on key issues.

‘It will work if Jeremy starts to connect with people,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

‘He is nice and that connects with people. Don’t forget, a big factor in John Major’s surprise win in 92 was the fact that people thought John Major was nice.’

The ex-MP said he has ‘never seen him lose his temper or even be rude to anyone’.

‘And he has an economic strategy to modernise our economy, create a better range of jobs and build homes to rent.’

Shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray told BBC News: ‘Whoever is crowned winner, we will unite behind him. That’s what the Labour Party and the Labour movement does.’

Mr Murray said that the almost 600,000 people signed up to vote in the election amounted to around one in 100 of the entire UK population, adding: ‘The Labour Party should be very proud of the way it’s been able to engage communities in this and the number of people who’ve turned out to vote and registered to vote.’

Yesterday the Labour party announced Sadiq Khan, the son of a bus driver and former human rights lawyer, would be the party’s candidate in the London Mayoral election.

His victory over Tessa Jowell, a Cabinet minister under Tony Blair, was seen as further proof of the party’s lurch to the left.

Mr Khan was one of the MPs responsible for securing Mr Corbyn a place on the ballot paper only to ensure a wider debate, despite backing actually Mr Burnham as leader.

As well as appointing a new frontbench, the new leader will have to prepare to appear on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show tomorrow morning and the first confrontation with David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

The Conservatives have timed key votes on controversial anti-strike laws for this week to pile pressure on Labour’s links to the unions.

Having resisted the temptation to comment on the contest for months, the Tories are preparing to take the gloves off.

Mr Cameron yesterday warned victory for Mr Corbyn would be bad for the country as it would break a consensus between the main parties on issues such as nationalisation, nuclear weapons, taxation and union laws

‘The country is stronger when you have shared objectives rather than when you’ve got someone who wants to take us back to the days of Michael Foot and Arthur Scargill,’ he said.

The contest showed that Labour had ‘completely vacated the intellectual playing field and no longer, in my view, represents working people’, he said.

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Russian Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov Murdered One Day Before Major Anti-Putin Protest

Shot In The Kremlin’s Shadow: Russian Opposition Leader Killed In ‘Politically Motivated’ Attack A Day Before Major Anti-Putin Protest – Daily Mail

A leading Russian opposition politician and vocal critic of Vladimir Putin was gunned down in a ‘politically motivated’ drive-by shooting on the streets of Moscow last night.

Former deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, 55, was under surveillance by his killers before they fatally shot him down in the shadow of the Kremlin the day before a major anti-Putin protest.

He had been working on a report presenting evidence he believed proved Russia’s direct involvement in the separatist rebellion that erupted in eastern Ukraine last year.

The father-of-four was shot four times by assailants in a white car as he walked across a bridge over the Moskva River with 23-year-old Ukrainian model Anna Duritskaya, who was unhurt.

‘The murderers knew Nemtsov’s route, he was spied on,’ said a police source.

Just hours before his death, Nemtsov told Ekho Moskvy radio that Putin had pushed Russia into an economic crisis through his ‘mad, aggressive and deadly policy of war against Ukraine.’

President Putin has condemned the murder and assumed ‘personal control’ of the investigation into the killing, said his spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

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Mr Peskov, said the shooting could also be a ‘provocation’ as the opposition has planned a big protest in Moscow on Sunday.

He said Putin had been quickly informed of the killing and that the president had expressed his condolences and ordered the security agencies to investigate.

Nemtsov was one of the organisers of the Spring March opposition protest set for Sunday, which comes amid a severe economic downturn in Russia caused by low oil prices and Western sanctions.

He leaves behind his wife Raisa Akhmetovna and four children.

Opposition activist Ilya Yashin told Ekho Moskvy radio he had no doubt that Mr Nemtsov’s murder was politically motivated.

He said: ‘Boris Nemtsov was a stark opposition leader who criticised the most important state officials in our country, including President Vladimir Putin.

‘As we have seen, such criticism in Russia is dangerous for one’s life. He got lots of threats, mostly via social networks, anonymously.

‘I have no doubt this was a political killing. The only threat to his life came from his political activity. He had no foes other than political ones.’

Nemtsov’s death came one year after the Russian annexation of Crimea in a special operation by Russian special forces. The politician was a strong and outspoken critic of Putin’s policy on Ukraine.

Just hours earlier, Putin had declared 27 February a new ‘professional holiday’ for special operation soldiers in his armed forces and secret services.

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Political analyst Sergey Parkhomenko alluding to this new holiday said that Nemtsov’s killing was carefully planned and a ‘present’ for someone.

‘There is a war going on here. If someone thinks otherwise… we’re now living in a country that is fully-fledged in a war.’

‘Nemtsov’s murder is a terrible tragedy for Russia,’ said ex-finance minister Alexei Kudrin, a Putin ally.

Britain has said it will follow closely investigations into the killing.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: ‘We are shocked and saddened by news that former Russian deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov has been shot and killed in Moscow.

‘Our thoughts are with his family and we offer our condolences to them. We deplore this criminal act. Those responsible must be brought to justice. We will continue to follow the situation closely.’

US President Barack Obama has also condemned the ‘brutal murder’, the White House National Security Council said tonight on Twitter.

The White House called on the Russian government to conduct a ‘prompt, impartial and transparent investigation’ and to ‘ensure those responsible are brought to justice.’

Obama said he met Nemtsov in Moscow in 2009 when the Russian was willing to ‘share his candid views with me’.

‘We offer our sincere condolences to his family and to the Russian people, who have lost one of the most dedicated and eloquent defenders of their rights,’ he said.

Police cars blocked the street where Nemtsov was shot, and an ambulance was also nearby.

‘Nemtsov B.E. died at 2340 hours as a result of four shots in the back,’ an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said.

Nemtsov, 55, first gained an international profile after being spotted by former British premier Margaret Thatcher as a future leader of Russia, and she praised his market reforms after visiting Nizhny Novgorod where as governor in the early 1990s he led spearheaded reforms.

Later he rose to become deputy prime minister under Boris Yeltsin, but he was always opposed as too Western and liberal by hardliners.

He had angered the government two years ago when he charged that billions of dollars had been stolen from funds designated for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, his home town.

He blamed ‘Putin’s friends’ for the alleged embezzlement, which he described as ‘a real threat to Russia’s national security.’

Putin’s former premier Mikhail Kasyanov, now an opposition leader, said: ‘The comments are very easy: the bastards.

‘They killed my friend in Moscow city centre, near the Kremlin wall.’

He warned: ‘This is a demonstration for all of us, for all open-minded people of Russia. How freedom of speech is finished in today’s Russia.

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‘Could we have imagined an opposition leader killed by the Kremlin wall yesterday? We couldn’t. The country is rolling to the abyss. It is terrible.’

His death was ‘payback for the fact that Boris consistently, for many, many years fought for Russia to be a free democratic country.’

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev warned against jumping to conclusions.

‘Certain forces will try to use the killing to their own advantage. They are thinking how to get rid of Putin,’ he said.

Another key opposition figure Vladimir Ryzhkov said: ‘I’m absolutely shocked. It’s the first case of political murder in many years, a slaying of a politician of federal level.’

The killing was an ‘extraordinary, shocking event.’

He said that ‘political responsibility for what happened is with the authorities.’

Nemtsov had publicly expressed concerns for his life earlier this month and was outspoken in his opposition to Putin.

He was highly critical of the government’s inefficiency, rampant corruption and the Kremlin’s policy on Ukraine, which has strained Russia-West ties to a degree unseen since Cold War times.

He helped organise street protests and wrote extensively about official corruption. He had been due to take part on Sunday in the first big opposition protest in months in the Russian capital.

Ironically, hours earlier, Putin had declared 27 Febrary a new ‘professional holiday’ for special operation soldiers in his armed forces and secret services.

Political analyst Sergey Parkhomenko alluding to this new holiday said that Nemtsov’s killing was carefully planned and a ‘present’ for someone.

‘There is a war going on here. If someone thinks otherwise… we’re now living in a country that is fully-fledged in a war.’

‘Nemtsov’s murder is a terrible tragedy for Russia,’ said ex-finance minister Alexei Kudrin, a Putin ally.

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Nemtsov’s 87 year old mother Dina had had a premonition that her son would be killed.

He told earlier this month how his mother warned him: ‘When will you stop cursing Putin? He’ll kill you for that.’

‘She was completely serious,’ said Nemtsov, who admitted he was ‘somewhat worried’.

The assassination also comes after Nemtsov criticised Putin in the Financial Times on Thursday.

The politician had said residents he met in a town northeast of Moscow had complained about the country’s economic problems.

He added: ‘They believed that the embargo on imported foods is America’s fault, and they were surprised when I told them no, that was not Obama, it was Putin.

‘This is what we need to make people aware of: the crisis, that’s Putin.’

Mikhail Kasyanov, a former Russian prime minister now also in opposition, said he was shocked by the murder.

‘In the 21st century, a leader of the opposition is being demonstratively shot just outside the walls of the Kremlin!’ Kasyanov told reporters as Nemtsov’s body was placed in a plastic bag.

‘The country is rolling into the abyss.’

Kasyanov said the rally organisers decided that instead of the planned demonstration on Moscow’s southeastern outskirts, they will stage a demonstration in the centre of the capital to commemorate Nemtsov.

The murdered politician was known as an economic reformer during his time as governor of one of Russia’s biggest cities, Nizhny Novgorod.

Political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky told the radio station that he did not believe that Mr Nemtsov’s death would in any way serve Mr Putin’s interests.

‘But the atmosphere of hatred towards alternative thinkers that has formed over the past year, since the annexation of Crimea, may have played its role,’ he said, referring to the surge of intense and officially endorsed nationalist discourse increasingly prevalent in Russia since it annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

Nemtsov, who was Deputy Prime Minister of Russia from 1997 to 1998 during Boris Yeltsin’s presidency, was sentenced to 15 days in jail in January 2011 after being arrested at a New Year’s Eve protest rally for ‘disobedience towards police’.

One of Russia’s most prominent opposition leaders, he was among 68 people arrested at an unsanctioned rally at a central Moscow square.

Nemtsov and other protesters had gathered on the opposite side of the square from an authorised protest.

He was sentenced for failure to follow police orders, the state news agency RIA Novosti reported at the time.

A year ago, Putin had predicted a high profile opposition killing, claiming his deeply divided foes would kill on of their own number.

‘They are looking for a so-called sacrificial victim among some prominent figures,’ said Putin. ‘They will knock him off, I beg your pardon, and then blame the authorities for that.’

Nemtsov hit back at Putin for the statement, declaring:

‘If the head of the federal government, who controls all intelligence agencies, makes a public statement that he has information about such a provocation and such a crime, he must do everything to prevent it and not just publicly scare Russians.’

He warned: ‘If the authorities fail to do everything to prevent such a scenario,’ Nemtsov said then, ‘they will become accomplices in this grave crime being plotted.’

Nemtsov had accused Putin of turning Russia back to the Cold War.

‘He believes that everything he did was absolutely right… he is not critical about himself at all. He says that he is right and the world is wrong. Sometimes I believe that he is mad,’ he said.

When he died he was allegedly preparing to reveal evidence in a report entitled ‘Putin, War’ of Russia’s direct involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of the opposition Yabloko party, called the killing an ‘act of political terrorism’.

‘This is a challenge not just to the opposition but to the leadership of the country.’

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*VIDEO* Andrew Klavan: Black Leader Al Sharpton


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Police Chief Stole Tea Party Leader’s Identity; Registered Him On Gay Dating, Pornography, And Obamacare Websites

Police Chief Charged In Bizarre Feud With Tea Party Leader – PoliceOne

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A police chief in Wisconsin pleaded no contest Friday to a charge that he signed a local tea party leader up on gay dating, pornography and federal health care websites.

Prosecutors charged Town of Campbell Police Chief Tim Kelemen earlier this month with one misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a computerized communication system. The La Crosse Tribune reported Kelemen entered the plea in a deal that calls for the charge to be dismissed in two years if he doesn’t commit any new crimes, continues counseling and completes 40 hours of community service.

The charge stems from a feud between Kelemen and tea party leader Greg Luce. It began last fall when the tea party began holding protests on an interstate overpass in Campbell. Concerned the protests were distracting drivers, Kelemen persuaded the town board to ban signs on the bridge.

Kelemen told investigators Luce urged tea party supporters across the U.S. to bombard his department with harassing phone calls and threats in retaliation for the ordinance.

Kelemen told investigators he tried to get back at Luce this winter by using his name, address, phone number and email address to create accounts for Luce on homosexual dating, pornography and federal health care websites. He told investigators he didn’t think what he was doing was a big deal.

La Crosse police turned the case over to Monroe County authorities.

Luce told Monroe County Circuit Judge David Rice on Friday that Kelemen is getting away with a “slap on the wrist.” He said he thinks Kelemen has suffered a psychological breakdown and shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun or wear a badge again.

Kelemen didn’t address the court.

Luce has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the sign ordinance violates his free speech rights and demanding damages from Kelemen for stealing his identity. The town board has placed Kelemen on paid leave.

H/T Weasel Zippers

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It Figures… Anti-Redskins Indian Leader Not A Legitimate Member Of His Tribe

Documents: Anti-Redskins Indian Leader Not A Legitimate Member Of His Tribe – Daily Caller

The American Indian leader spearheading the campaign to change the name of the Washington Redskins is not a legitimate member of the tribe he leads, according to a New York State Assemblywoman, but rather an Obama crony who is raking in casino money and paying back only small stipends to his tribe members.

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Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter, who is also the CEO of Oneida Nation Enterprises, is not recognized in his position by the Grand Council of Chiefs governing the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy. Halbritter is not a legitimate member of the Oneida tribe, Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney told The Daily Caller.

“He is not even technically an Oneida. There is not a drop of Oneida in him,” Tenney said.

Halbritter traces his lineage back to a woman who lived on traditional Iroquois Confederacy land, but as a non-member of the Six Nations.

A microcopy of 1885-1940 Indian Census Rolls from the National Archives of the United States, obtained by The Daily Caller, disputes Halbritter’s claim to have one-fourth Oneida blood on his mother’s side. The Oneida Indian Nation of New York determines membership by matrilineal descent and requires “a blood quantum of 1/4 degree,” according to its constitution, submitted to a former official of the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1994.

The document lists Lucy Carpenter, Halbitter’s great-great grandmother on the “Census of Indians residing upon the Oneida Reservation who do not belong to the Six Nations.”

Many Indians whose families left New York attempted to get back into the Six Nations during this period to take advantage of various treaties.

Lucy Carpenter’s daughter Christina Cornelius, born in Canada, had a daughter in New York named Mary Cornelius, who later married and changed her name to “Mary Winder” and had a daughter in New York named Gloria Winder, who went on to have a son with a man named “Ramon Halbritter.” That son was Arthur “Ray” Halbritter, the current Representative of the Oneida Nation, according to documents obtained by TheDC.

Halbritter ancestor Lucy Carpenter’s expulsion from the Six Nations, according to the 1885-1940 Census Rolls, invalidates Halbritter’s claim to one-fourth Oneida heritage on his mother’s side, according to Tenney.

“He has no ancestry in the Six Nations but he has a lot of powerful friends in D.C.,” Tenney said.

Halbritter attended a January 27, 2012 fundraiser with President Obama in Washington, D.C. with 70 Indian leaders. The $15,000 to $35,800 fundraiser raised up to $2.5 million for Obama’s re-election campaign.

“The president was most gracious and kind in his remarks,” Halbritter said after the event to a media network owned by his nation’s company, noting that Obama is doing more to reach out to Indian tribes than any president in his experience.

Obama recently said that if he was the owner of the Redskins, he would “think about changing it [the team name].”

Halbritter also faces criticism about his relatively miniscule payments to members of his nation, in light of his company’s massive casino profits.

The Oneida Nation turned a $115 million profit in 2006, according to a report by University of Rochester professor Gregg Jarrell. Tenney claimed that Oneida annual revenue is now “really closer to $300 million.” The tribe directly takes in “$8 to 9 million” per year in taxpayer money from federal and state governments for health care, according to Tenney.

But Oneida tribe members, who number between 450 and approximately 1,000 according to competing estimates, are only getting paid $4,000 per quarter, or $16,000 per year, according to a source.

By contrast, the Seminole tribe in Florida takes in approximately $500 million in revenue and pays its approximately 3,300 members about $84,000 per year, a considerably higher rate than in Halbritter’s Oneida Nation.

When a tribe member told Halbritter that the nation needed assistance and questioned the “validity” of building an RV park and a hotel, Halbritter replied, “It is your decision. If you all want to split the money and distribute it then, that can be done. As a result though, we will have no future business adventures, or new buildings built,” according to April 17, 1994 Turtle Clan Meeting minutes obtained by TheDC.

Halbritter‘s pro-gambling, profit-driven mentality has been a divisive presence in his own tribe for decades. Originally appointed by his aunt, wolf clan mother Maisie Shenandoah, as one of three temporary Oneida representatives to the Grand Council of Chiefs in the 1980s, Halbritter eventually became the sole representative following the deaths of his two counterparts.

Halbritter’s gaming compact with then-New York governor Mario Cuomo in 1993, which allowed for the opening of the profitable Turning Stone Casino in Verona, was not voted on by Oneida members, some of whom feel that gambling is a violation of traditional Iroquois Confederacy law.

In 1993, the Grand Council of Chiefs of the Six Nation Confederacy removed Halbritter from his position as Oneida representative, but the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which initially upheld the decision, changed course and re-instated Halbritter after coaxing from then-U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, who backed Indian casino development in his New York home district.

Boehlert, a Republican, leveraged his political capital to get Halbritter that recognition by holding out on his vote regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) supported by then-President Clinton, records reveal.

“‘A good case’ could be made that timing of Federal recognition of Ray Halbritter as representative for the Oneida Nation just days before was related to his holding out on NAFTA, he said,” according to a November 7, 1997 article on Boehlert in the “Rome Daily Sentinel.”

Halbritter’s status as Representative is still not recognized by the Grand Council of Chiefs.

Conflict within the Oneida tribe only grew worse in subsequent years. In 2002, Maisie Shenandoah reportedly accused her nephew Halbritter of “operating under self-assumed authority.” The following year, Halbritter’s government ordered home evictions of dwellers on Oneida Nation land, including his own aunt Maisie.

Maisie Shenandoah’s daughter Diane called her mother’s eviction “a disgrace.”

The Oneida Indian Nation did not return a request for comment.

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PETA To Redskins: Keep Name, Change Mascot To Potato – Breitbart

PETA would like the Redskins to keep their nickname and instead change their mascot to a red potato.

Seriously.

“Don’t change the legendary Redskins name. Just change the logo,” PETA writes. “By keeping the name and adopting a heart-healthy, appeeling logo, the Washington Redskins would set a powerful example on and off the field. And that’s no small potatoes.”

PETA continues with their “ingenious” and “healthy” suggestion:

When you hear the word “redskin,” what do you immediately think of? Potatoes, of course! And who could be offended by a harmless redskin potato – except, maybe, for the Yukon Gold lobby (and if Alaska had a football team, rest assured that we’d be the first to suggest the Yukon Gold Diggers as a franchise name).

The redskin potato would be a noble mascot for a variety of reasons. Potatoes are also native Americans, having been cultivated in Peru for millennia. A tasty, versatile, animal- and environmentally friendly vegan staple, potatoes are now the most popular vegetable in the U.S. They are loaded with nutrients, including iron, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and even protein, and red potatoes in particular are high in antioxidants. (Take that, Cheeseheads.)

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Democrat Leader Of New York Senate Indicted For Corruption

NY Democratic Leader Indicted For Corruption – Big Government

Democrat Sen. John Sampson, 47, the New York State Senate leader and former leader of the Democratic caucus, has been indicted on charges of embezzlement, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to the FBI.

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Sampson has been accused of embezzling $440,000 between 1998 and 2008. He used escrow accounts which were in his control when he negotiated foreclosures for the court to channel some of the funds into his attempt to be elected Brooklyn district attorney in 2005.

According to U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch:

Today we have unsealed a nine-count indictment that outlines a pattern of self-dealing and corruption that spans decades and covers several events. If there was money to steal, he would steal it. His oath as a lawyer, his oath as a state senator, his position on either the judiciary or the Senate Ethics Committee in no way impacts how he does business. In no way does it guide him, in no way does it illuminate him.

Sampson is also accused of trying to ferret out information from an employee of the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office. He told the employee that he wanted to know who was cooperating with authorities to implicate him so he could arrange to “take them out.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos stated:

John Sampson has been added to the list of recently indicted New York elected officials. Elected officials are referred to as “public servants” and that should not be confused with “self-serving.” The people of New York have a right to demand, at a bare minimum, that their elected representatives obey the law.

Sampson reportedly asked former Queens Sen. Shirley Huntley, who has been indicted for mail fraud conspiracy, to help him get a business friend expanded access to growing his business at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Huntley allegedly agreed and took $1,000 in bribes to do so.

Ironically, when Huntley’s indictment was made public in 2012, it was Sampson who stripped her of her position in the senate. He also stripped Sen. Carl Kruger the same way when Kruger was arrested in 2011 on conspiracy charges.

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Florida Republican Party Leader Receives Hoax Letter; FBI Investigates

Florida Republican Party Leader Receives Hoax Letter; FBI Investigates – WKMG

The FBI is joining an investigation into bogus letters sent to many Florida residents, including the Republican Party of Florida chairman, that raise questions about their eligibility to vote.

FBI officials said Wednesday the FBI will focus on letters received by voters in 18 counties in central and southwest Florida.

According to the Republican Party of Florida, Chairman Lenny Curry received one of the fake letters on Tuesday.

“This type of activity is not only disgusting, it is criminal, and must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Curry said in a release. “I call on Florida Democrats to join me in condemning this false letter writing campaign that appears to target likely voters in Florida, and help RPOF get the word out about this false campaign.”

Local 6 first reported the bogus letter scam on Monday, which claim to be from county supervisors of elections but are postmarked from Seattle. They raise questions about the voter’s citizenship and appear intended to intimidate people.

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The FBI says voters who get a letter should contact their supervisor of elections and then keep the letter for the FBI.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is also investigating.

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