Three dead in southern France terrorist attack

A man who took hostages at a supermarket in the French town of Trèbes has been shot by police after a standoff that lasted three hours. According to government sources, the suspect is now dead after also taking part in a couple other incidents today. In Carcassone, a town 15 minutes away from Trèbes, he is believed to have hijacked a car, killing one passenger and injuring the driver. He also shot and wounded a policeman who was jogging with colleagues in Carcassonne. The suspect is then believed to have driven to Trèbes, where he took hostages in the Super-U supermarket in the small town.

Reports say the gunman, believed to be Moroccan, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. He is said to have been heavily armed and demanding the release of Salah Abdeslam, the most important surviving suspect in the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people. It is also believed that the suspect was known to French intelligence services and that his mother is now at the scene.

A security source explained that most employees and customers at the supermarket had “managed to flee”. Hundreds of police officers have been deployed to the area and the vicinity has since been cordoned off. Counter-terrorism prosecutors are leading the investigation but few details have been provided.

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Putin wins russian elections by massive landslide

Vladimir Putin has been reelected as President of Russia in an election which saw him gather over 75% of the popular vote. The former KGB spy will now sit at the head of the Kremlin until 2024, making him the country’s longest serving leader since Joseph Stalin. His main opponent, Alexei Navalny, was barred from taking part in the elections, making it a comfortable day for Putin at the polls. He was followed by Pável Grudinin, of the Communist Party (12,2%), nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovski (5,6%) and Ksenia Sobchak (1,5%), with the rest of candidates not even managing 1% of the votes.

Putin now has six years to solve his country’s main problems, like fighting against poverty or making Russia’s economy stronger. Other issues, like its involvement in the Syrian Civil War, its alleged interference in the American elections of 2016, or its role in the poisoning of the former Russian spy Serguéi Skripal in British territory will also call for him to take action.

But maybe even more important is the need for Putin to name a successor to his thrown, seeing as 2024 will probably be his last year in power. The Russian Constitution doesn’t allow for the president to keep his place for more than two successive terms. In six years time, Putin will be 72, and it seems unlikely that he will step down just to take part in the next elections – like he did in 2008. During a recent interview with NBC, the current Russian President also dismissed the idea that he will try to change the law to keep himself in power.

The Latest – Your Berning Week

Giovanni LoPiccolo

The Trump Administration continues on its path of absolute chaos and loss of direction, Elizabeth Warren on her future, gun control battles, new CIA Director nominee’s shady history, and more to catch up on with The Latest – Your Berning Week. You can read more about the following issues on the Berning Media Network homepage!

 

Sunday, March 11th

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts states she’s not running for President, specifying that right now she’s running for re-election for her Senate seat, and is continuing to fight for the everyday, hard-working, Americans.

 

Elizabeth Warren is one of a few progressives that is constantly reminded that there’s yet another Presidential election coming up, not even halfway through the current term, and it seems she’s given an answer to shut the media up. It is frustrating when people speculate a lot about something as heavy as running for the head of state of the most powerful nation in the world, which comes with much responsibility. All she did was solidify her path ahead of her, working to make America fairer for the rest of us, and deliver justice to the 1% that have too much wealth. Elizabeth Warren is most likely going to win a second term as Senator of Massachusetts. She did not explicitly say that in 2020 she will not run for President.

 

Tuesday, March 13th

  • Rex Tillerson has been fired from his position as Secretary of State, which was announced on Twitter by Donald Trump.

 

This is another example of why the Trump Administration is unstable, dangerous, and erratic. There is chaos. Turnover rate in the White House is significantly higher than Trump’s predecessors, and is not a good sign. With each passing day, Trump is feeling more and more pressure. We have the Russia investigation by Robert Mueller, the media, and Stormy Daniels’ presence, of course. Rex Tillerson is no saint, he was the head of Exxon Mobil and clearly a person who looks for profit first, however, he was possibly the most steady-minded individual in the Trump Administration. Tillerson brought stability to the White House and even reassurance to other world leaders whenever Trump would say something out of line. With Tillerson gone, it will be difficult to say how the meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will go…

 

Wednesday, March 14th

  • Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner rejected a common sense gun control legislation that would require gun dealers to have licenses.

 

Here we have yet another example of a politician who’s in the bloodied palms of the NRA. When it comes to shootings and guns, Republicans just can’t seem to grasp how these horrors continue to plague our society. However, if there’s any other incident, let’s say a dog put into an overhead bin on an airplane, then we know exactly what the problem is. It’s just infuriating and disappointing at the same time how motivated by money many people are. It’s a disappointing aspect of humanity, that many of us place materialistic things above morality.

 

Thursday, March 15th

  • Sister of the Charleston shooter, Morgan Roof, brought weapons to school the day of national school walk-out, which was for gun-control awareness.

 

The eighteen year old Morgan Roof had pepper spray, a knife, and marijuana in her backpack upon being arrested. This is a clear signal that there are still many twisted minds among our youth. Not only due to mental illness, but also due to not having access to proper psychiatric treatment and therapy. This girl’s brother, Dylann Roof, shot up a church in Charleston, and most likely did not process it appropriately. There are many factors in why these shootings happen in the first place, and is headed by the fact we have weapons that shouldn’t be in the hands of people, as well as people who shouldn’t have any guns at all due to their personal issues. Such as having a history of mental illness, depression, domestic violence, any form of abuse or violence for that matter.

 

Friday, March 16th

  • Gina Haspel has been nominated by President Trump to lead the CIA, due to Rex Tillerson’s firing, and current CIA Director Mike Pompeo being nominated for the position of Secretary of State. She’s been a part of the CIA during George W. Bush’s tenure, and oversaw inhumane interrogation tactics: torture.

 

A segment from Patrick Vinson’s article, Bush Administration Member Nominated for CIA Chief Has Dark Past with CIA Torture Sites, “Wells Dixon from the Center on Constitutional Rights said in a statement that “Gina Haspel disgraced herself by participating in the CIA torture program and the destruction of criminal evidence. We do not believe she should be director of the CIA. Rather, she should be in jail.”” Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, responded by saying that those who carried out these programs shouldn’t be chastised due to the results yielded (claiming it gave us intel on Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts).

That argument contradicts the idea that if you see something bad happening and you don’t intervene, you’re just as guilty. Whereas in this case, she’s overseeing the inhumane actions of the CIA! President Trump just keeps filling the swamp with more disgusting and abhorrent creatures upon each resignation or firing within his Administration.

 

Saturday, March 17th

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired FBI Director Andrew McCabe just a day he could receive his retirement benefits, including his pension, after over twenty years of service.

 

This is the second FBI Director to be fired from President Trump with no clear reason other than how the President is feeling. The Russia investigation is going places, Robert Mueller isn’t on a wild goose hunt, he is connecting the dots, slowly but surely. It isn’t all about collusion, obviously, there’s more to it. There are finances involved, and the FBI is onto it. Trump is yet again explicitly obstructing justice by firing this FBI Director. What more does the Republican Party need at this point to show that this man has done something illegal and is trying to hide it? Impeachment is definitely on the horizon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retired Army General Claims Donald Trump is a “National Security threat”, claiming him to be a Putin puppet

On Friday the 4-star Army General , Barry McCaffrey, slammed Donald Trump claiming him as a “serious threat to U.S. national security” for his failure to protect the nation from “active Russian attacks.”

The General also accused President Donald Trump in a tweet Friday of being “under the sway” of Russian president Vladimir Putin” for some “unknown reason.”


NBC interview:

O’DONNELL: I know you didn’t choose those words lightly.MCCAFFREY: No, not at all. You know, I’ve been fairly critical of the President for a variety of reasons, but what really, I think, the turning point in my mind was his reluctance to personally stand with the Brits over what has been a documented series of essentially Russian intelligence murders in London, and the latest one being really a signature attempt at assassination of the former Russian intelligence officer and his daughter using a chemical agent that was clearly only available to former Soviet operatives.


McCaffrey is also the military analyst for NBC News and also the president of his own consulting firm, BR McCaffrey Associates, was director of Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Clinton from 1996 to 2001. His military background includes three Purple Heart medals for injuries sustained during his service in Vietnam, two Silver Stars for valor, and two Distinguished Service Crosses.


Featured photo from NBC

Jeff Sessions Fires FBI Director, 48 hours before being able to collect benefits

On Friday night the United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired now Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, which comes just a day before he could retire.

Though McCabe stepped down as Deputy Director in late January, he remained on the federal payroll, planning to retire on Sunday. The firing places his federal pension in jeopardy.

Sessions said the firing was justified because an internal review apparently found that McCabe had leaked information to the press and mislead investigators. McCabe denied the claims, saying he was fired because he is a key witness to the Russia investigation.


In a statement, McCabe said:

“This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement and intelligence professionals more generally. It is part of the administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the special counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the special counsel’s work.”


This was the first statement that McCabe had spoken candidly of his anger at the Trump White House. In it, he portrayed a remarkable picture of an administration that tried to politicize its principal law enforcement arm, the FBI, and discredit several of the bureau’s longtime leaders, all in an effort to escape scrutiny of Trump by the special counsel.

McCabe noted in his statement that he had knowledge that could be useful to Mueller’s investigation into events involving the president.

Unlike Trump’s removal of Comey last year, which produced a widespread resentment inside the FBI, McCabe’s termination was recommended by the agency that he has served for 21 years.

This Sunday is McCabe’s 50th birthday, which would have made him eligible for certain substantial retirement benefits. Now thanks to the current administrations moves, those benefits are up in the air.


Featured photo via CBC News

FBI Deputy Director says Obama DoJ forced the FBI to erase half a million criminal background checks

On Wednesday we found out that under former President Barack Obama, the Department of Justice directed the FBI to drop more than 500,000 names of fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This came from the current FBI deputy director David Bowdich, who testified on Wednesday.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about law enforcement’s faulty response to Parkland, Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Bowdich about the removal.



That was a decision that was made under the previous administration,” Bowdich testified. “It was the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel that reviewed the law and believed that it needed to be interpreted so that if someone was a fugitive in a state, there had to be indications that they had crossed state lines. Otherwise they were not known to be a fugitive under the law and the way it was interpreted.


Fugitives from justice are barred from buying a firearm under federal law. But the exact definition of a fugitive from justice has been a strung out debate between the Department of Justice and the ATF.

According to a report that was done by The Washington Post, the FBI considered anyone who has an outstanding arrest warrant to be a fugitive. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives defines a fugitive as someone who has an outstanding arrest warrant and has crossed state lines.

At the end of former President Barack Obama’s final term, the argument between the agencies came to a end. The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel ended up siding with the ATF’s interpretation of what a fugitive is.

Under President Donald Trump, the DOJ defined a fugitive as a person who went to another state to dodge criminal prosecution or evade giving testimony in criminal court, and implemented the Office of Legal Counsel’s decision. This decision meant that around half a million fugitives were removed from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Current President Donald Trumps Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recently announced that the Justice Department will “aggressively” be pursing anyone who is caught lying on their background check when purchasing a firearm.


Click here for the full clip of David Bowdichs testimony

Featured photo via Washington Post

GOP Senator: “My Party Might Not Deserve to Lead”

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Giovanni LoPiccolo

Those are the words of Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, speaking at the National Press Club, who has lately been calling for a restoration of civility and humane behavior to American politics, as well as a reevaluation of support of President Donald Trump. The Senator from Arizona is one of the few moderates remaining in the Senate, as well as one the very few non-radical members of the Republican Party that has succumbed to extremism.

If we are going to cloister ourselves in the alternative truth of an erratic leader, if we are going to refuse to live in a world that everyone else lives in … then my party might not deserve to lead…” stated the Senator.

Jeff Flake is an open-minded individual who sees and understands that the words, actions, and behavior of this Republican President and Republican Congress are taking a toll on America’s values and even our stability as a nation. The Senator has decided not to run for re-election in 2018, opening a path for a Democrat to take his place.

Senator Flake even mentioned that his party seems to have a case of amnesia when it comes to all the issues our country has faced in modern history, and seemed to be happening all over again. Just in time for the Senate’s passing of the banking deregulation just a few days ago, about ten years after the Great Recession of 2008 (when the big banks had free reign). The Republican Party does, in fact, have amnesia, or more so selective memory.

The Reagan tax cuts in the 80s failed, as did the Bush tax cuts in the 2000s, which led to our 2008 recession in the first place. The real situation here is that these members of Congress pushing for tax cuts and deregulation of the financial industry aren’t stupid, they aren’t ignorant of the past, they are being paid by their corporate donors to do so. The rollback on major parts of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations (which were implemented after the 2008 crisis) was approved by 67 senators. Republicans only have a majority of 52 seats, clearly showing some Democrats voted for the bill as well.

Although Flake’s speech wasn’t directed at this bill deregulating the banks, or specific policies, it was more about the principles of the Republican Party. He’s stated, “Never has a party abandoned, fled its principles and deeply held beliefs so quickly as my party did in the face of the nativist juggernaut…We have become strangers to ourselves.” The Republican Party has fallen from its grace, fallen from a position of upholding fiscally conservative and traditional values. Becoming a party that divides, a party that chooses profit over people, and chooses the NRA over lives. And instead of condemning the racist and idiotic statements blatantly spoken by our President, they go along with it.

A big problem is institutionalism. The institutions of our federal government, specifically the legislative and executive have become far too intertwined. The party that has a President in power have become too complicit to what the President says or does. Yes, they have every right to pursue their agenda, but it’s become more about blind loyalty. Yes, a member of Congress may fear that if they go against the will of the President (of that same party) the party leadership will effectively ruin their career by supporting a challenger. However, if more Senators and Representatives spoke up, they can’t all be replaced.

We don’t know if Jeff Flake really has the courage, to criticize Trump and the GOP, or is just doing it because he knows his career in Congress is over. Far too many members of Congress have become servants of the Party, not servants of the people, which is what their job is. They are representatives, they are supposed to represent our views and ideals, not solely do what the Party commands. Senator Flake is right, we have become strangers to ourselves, all these problems are converging together to make a heaping mess for our country and our leaders choose not to deal with them.

 

 

 

Sources:
https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/15/politics/jeff-flake-criticizes-gop-trump/index.html
(Image) https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/03/politics/jeff-flake-axe-files-cnntv/