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Analysis: Just Sitting Down With Trump, Putin Comes Out Ahead

MOSCOW — When President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sits down with President Trump in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday for a meeting he has long wanted, he will already have accomplished virtually everything he could reasonably hope for. All he really needs to make his meeting with Mr. Trump a success is for it to take place without any major friction — providing a symbolic end to Western efforts to isolate Russia over its actions against Ukraine in 2014, its meddling in the United States election in 2016 and other examples of what the United States Treasury Department has described as Russia’s “malign activity” around the world. Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter “If Trump says, ‘Let bygones be bygones because we have a world to run,’ that is essentially what Moscow needs from this,”...

Guccifer 2.0: How Russian Hackers Spread Stolen Records

The message from WikiLeaks in July 2016 to a group of Russian intelligence officers who prosecutors say were posing as a Romanian hacker named Guccifer 2.0 urged swift action before the opening of the Democratic National Convention that month. “If you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo days prefable because the DNC is approaching,” the error-ridden message read. “and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after.” WikiLeaks had begun seeking stolen files from Guccifer 2.0 weeks earlier, after revelations that the Democratic National Committee’s server had been hacked, according to private messages cited in an indictment filed Friday by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. The organization had told Guccifer that publishing the stolen material on the Wiki...

Chicago man shot, killed by officers appeared to have gun, police say

Footage from body cameras and other surveillance video appeared to show that a black man who was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer was armed with a gun and reached toward it as officers confronted him, officials said Sunday. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Harith Augustus, 37, had a holstered semiautomatic handgun tucked into his waistband when officers confronted him on the city’s South Side. According to patrol chief Fred Waller, Augustus broke free and ran from the officers, who believed “he appeared to be reaching for a weapon” and shot him. Police had sent the handgun and two magazines of bullets for testing, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, who added that Augustus wasn’t a known gang member and had no recent arrest history. A...

Elon Musk calls diver who helped save Thailand boys a ‘pedo’ for slamming his rescue idea

Tesla CEO Elon Musk in June.  (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File) Tech billionaire Elon Musk sent a viral shockwave Sunday in a tweet apparently accusing a British diver who helped rescue the 12 boys from a Thailand cave of being a pedophile. Musk later reportedly doubled down on the unfounded claim, telling another Twitter user he’d bet money it was “true.” The war of words began after Vern Unsworth told CNN that he thought Musk’s attempts to help out with the rescue of the youth soccer team represented nothing but a show for attention. “It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine I believe was about 5 feet, 6 inches long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone round corners or round any obstacles,” Unsworth said. “It wouldn...

Nicaragua troops raid towns in south

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Riot police moved into the neighbourhood of Monimbo Nicaraguan government forces have launched raids to clear protesters’ barricades in towns in the south-east of the country, leaving at least 10 dead. Human rights organisations say at least six civilians were killed along with four members of the security forces. The operation targeted the city of Masaya and several smaller communities and neighbourhoods in the area. The EU, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador criticised the government’s actions. Alvaro Leiva, the head of Nicaraguan Association For Human Rights (ANPDH), said at least 22 vehicles carrying government security forces had arrived in the area. Labelled “Operation Clean-up” by the government, it concentrated on the city of M...

Iran nuclear deal: US rejects EU plea for sanctions exemption

Image copyright AFP Image caption European companies have invested heavily in Iran’s energy sector The US has rebuffed high-level pleas from the European Union to grant exemptions to European companies from its sanctions against Iran. In a letter to European nations, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US rejected the appeal because it wants to exert maximum pressure on Iran. It said exemptions would only be made if they benefited US national security. The EU fears that billions of dollars’ worth of trade could be jeopardised as a result of Washington’s new sanctions. “We will seek to provide unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime,” the letter, which was also signed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said, according to NBC news. It added...

New Musk controversy after he tweets attack on diver in Thai cave rescue

© Provided by CNBC Mayor Rahm Emanuel Makes Announcement On Express Train Service To O’Hare Airport Elon Musk lashed out at a British cave explorer who blasted his idea to use a submarine to rescue a trapped Thai youth soccer team. After the explorer poured scorn on Musk’s efforts, the billionaire lashed back on Twitter, but deleted those posts. Elon Musk launched into a blistering Twitter tirade early Sunday against a British explorer who helped spearhead the rescue of a youth soccer team trapped in a Thailand cave — only to delete his posts after coming under withering criticism. The flame war between Tesla’s CEO and Vernon Unsworth, a spelunker who helped rescuers find the Thai soccer team, began after Unsworth made an appearance on CNN and criticized Musk’s idea...

Gowdy rules out Rosenstein impeachment

© Provided by The Hill Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Sunday ruled out the possibility of impeaching Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, saying there is not enough support for his ouster. “I’m not convinced there is a movement,” Gowdy said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” citing Politico’s recent report that a group of GOP lawmakers are preparing to impeach Rosenstein. Conservatives frustrated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election have long targeted Rosenstein. Some lawmakers claim he has delayed their investigation into FBI agents involved in Mueller’s investigation who they feel are biased against President Trump. Gowdy, who has previously laid into Rosenstein, said he does not s...

Inside Israel’s raid to seize nuclear documents in Iran

TEL AVIV –  Israeli agents covertly extracted documents detailing Iran’s nuclear program in a dramatic 6½-hour operation in Tehran in January, removing a trove of materials that included partial designs for a nuclear warhead, senior Israeli intelligence officials said. The Israeli team secretly reached the warehouse holding the materials and broke in during a tight time window when it knew the building would be unguarded, the officials said. To avoid drawing attention to the nondescript facility, Iran hadn’t posted full-time guards, they said, but rather relied on alarm systems that the Israeli agents disabled. The Israeli operation was first revealed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an April press conference in which he declared that the stolen documents proved Iran had lied for ye...