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Willemstad, Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles) (AFP) - Curacao authorities Friday blocked Venezuelan opposition supporters from loading aid donations onto a ship to sail to their country, the vessel's captain said, with the island's government citing security concerns. The Venezuelans have flown containers to Curacao from private donors in the United States -- part of a broader aid effort by Venezuela's self-declared leader Juan Guaido to put pressure on President Nicolas Maduro. The organizers tried on Friday to load the aid onto the Seven Seas supply ship, moored in the port of the Caribbean island 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Venezuela's coast.
The organising effort, described to Reuters by three Microsoft workers, offers the latest example in the last year of tech employees protesting cooperation with governments on emerging technologies. Microsoft won a contract in November to supply the Army with at least 2,500 prototypes of augmented reality headsets, which digitally displays contextual information in front of a user's eyes. In a petition to Microsoft executives, posted on Twitter, workers said they "did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used." They called on the company to develop "a public-facing acceptable use policy" for its technology and an external review board to publicly enforce it.
A beloved, longtime Walmart greeter with cerebral palsy met with store management in Pennsylvania on Friday in a bid to keep his job but came away with no guarantees, and his family is girding for a fight.
Days before the second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, to be held in Vietnam's capital, a Kim impersonator appeared at the Metropole Hotel, a back-up location for the meeting. Howard X, an Australian, has been cashing in on his resemblance to North Korea's leader, especially his haircut. It looks awful," Howard X said, adding it takes him three hours to prepare his outfit and get into character.
‘I think it’s possible” that President Donald Trump is a Russian asset, disgraced former FBI acting director Andrew McCabe told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday. McCabe also said to The Atlantic that FBI brass felt “concern about the president and whether or not he posed a national-security threat that we should be investigating.”On Wednesday, Russian president Vladimir Putin addressed the Federal Assembly in Moscow. “Let me be loud and clear,” he told lawmakers near the Kremlin. “If the U.S. really is going to deploy missiles on the European continent, it will exacerbate the international situation and create a genuine danger for Russia, as there will be missiles with a 10–12-minute flight time to Moscow.” Putin lamented America’s February 1 withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty and added: “We are ready for disarmament talks, but we are no longer going to knock on a closed door.”McCabe’s bizarre comments perfectly echo the Trump-hating Left’s exhausted yet unsinkable theory that the president of the United States secretly works for Russia, Russia, Russia, and that he and Putin somehow swiped the White House from Hillary Clinton, who had waited her turn patiently to become America’s commander-in-chief.But only a thoroughly rotten Russian asset would create genuine danger for the Kremlin and close doors to Moscow. Indeed, President Trump routinely gives Putin ulcers.A Russian asset worth his borscht would work quietly to erode America’s military. Instead, Pentagon spending has soared from Obama’s final $521 billion allocation to Trump’s $634 billion in outlays for 2017 (up 21.7 percent) and another $716 billion last August (up 12.9 percent).Not satisfied simply to bolster the U.S. armed forces, Trump has pressured America’s NATO allies to do the same. Some criticize Trump for supposedly abusing our European partners. Actually, he has lavished them with tough love.“By the end of next year, NATO allies will add $100 billion extra toward defense,” NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said January 27 on Fox News Sunday. “So we see some real money and some real results. And we see that the clear message from President Donald Trump is having an impact.” Stoltenberg added: “NATO is united because we are able to adapt to deliver. North America and Europe are doing more together now than before.”None of this makes Vladimir Putin smile.Putin must have groaned last October when President Trump persuaded German chancellor Angela Merkel to spend $576 million on a terminal to receive U.S. liquefied natural gas. The Wall Street Journal called this “a key concession to President Trump as he tries to loosen Russia’s grip on Europe’s largest energy market.” This promises less revenue and leverage for Moscow and more profits and employment for American gas exporters.Adjacent to Russia, Trump restored Poland’s purchase of U.S. Patriot air-defense missiles (which Obama canceled to appease Moscow). Trump also shipped Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine.Last June, and in January 2017, Trump imposed financial sanctions and travel restrictions on Russian companies and oligarchs. This was payback for Moscow’s invasions of Ukraine and Crimea and its interference in U.S. political campaigns. As Trump said: “We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections.”If anyone behaved like a Russian asset, it was Obama. Trump’s predecessor launched the soft-on-Moscow “Russian Reset.” He was caught on a hot mic in March 2012 whispering to Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev: “This is my last election,” Obama said at a conference in Seoul. “After my election I have more flexibility,” especially on matters like anti-ballistic missiles in Europe, on which Russia frowned. “I understand,” Medvedev replied. “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”As The Weekly Standard recalled, “the Obama administration removed a group of missile launchers from near the Russian border with Poland after Moscow objected to their placement.” Obama refused to arm Ukraine’s anti-Putin fighters. Obama’s first secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said in March 2010: “Our goal is to help strengthen Russia.” This apparently included encouraging Cisco Systems, Google, and Intel to open shop at Skolkovo, a sort of Russian Silicon Valley. The Pentagon and FBI eventually learned that the entire project was a giant technology-theft scam.Strengthening Russia also involved greenlighting Moscow’s purchase of Uranium One Inc. and its 20 percent share of U.S. uranium reserves. This company’s top investors donated $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. What a coincidence.Alas, fact-o-phobic Trump haters like Andrew McCabe consider him a pro-Moscow mole even as they wink at Obama’s and Hillary’s Russophilia.Michael Malarkey furnished research for this opinion piece.