Newly discovered document proves Salisbury Two were definitely on holiday …

Newly discovered document proves Salisbury Two were definitely on holiday [CARTOON]
Anna Shapiro was dining in a Prezzo with her husband when they both fell ill
Anna Shapiro was dining in a Prezzo with her husband when they both fell ill ( Instagram )

The Russian model at the centre of the latest Salisbury poisoning scare has claimed she was the victim of a plot, saying: “Vladimir Putin wants me dead.”

Anna Shapiro, 30, has opened up about the moment she and her husband Alex King, 42, both fell ill while dining out at a Prezzo restaurant in the city.

She said she went to look for her husband in the toilets after he did not return for 15 minutes and found him “foaming at the mouth”.

Ms Shapiro then also fell ill and ran to the toilet to be sick, while others called emergency services. The city centre was placed on lockdown amid heightened tensions following the Novichok attack on the Skripals in March .

China and Russia’s biggest war games include submarine hunt in Pacific

china russia.jpgAIWA! NO!//KLERK PENINSULA, Russia — Russian naval forces have conducted a submarine search using an anti-submarine ship and a helicopter in the Sea of Okhotsk as part of Russia’s largest-ever military exercises.

About 3,200 troops from China have joined about 300,000 Russian troops for a week of war games in Siberia and the Far East, and over the Arctic and Pacific oceans. The maneuvers continue through Monday.
The naval exercise in the arm of the Pacific between Russia and Japan’s Hokkaido island featured the Russian destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov and a Ka-27 helicopter equipped to search for submarines.
The Defense Ministry said Saturday’s also included MiG-31 and Su-35 fighter jets intercepting planes appearing to approach their zone without responding to ground control, and Tu-22 long-range bombers hitting targets resembling parked aircraft and warehouses.

It’s Not Just the President* Who Ought to Be Sweating Today

Don’t forget Paul Manafort got Mike Pence the VP job

Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Returns To Court For Arraignment
Getty ImagesAlex Wong
BY Before the Paul Manafort’s Destiny Party really gets rolling—Vodka and ostrich meat for everyone!—let’s pause for a moment and consider Vice President Mike Pence. The Choirboy (pace Doghouse Riley) was going nowhere in the winter of 2016. He had screwed up eight ways from Sunday as governor of Indiana, and it was better than even money that he wouldn’t be re-elected. His career had kicked the ye oaken bucket. Then, that summer, a miracle happened, and the miracle was named Paul Manafort. From CBS News:

First reported by the New York Post, an indecisive Trump had initially decided on Christie after the New Jersey governor made his final case to Trump on July 12. Christie, the first former presidential candidate to get behind Trump after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary, had assumed a high profile role on the campaign prior to the Convention – reaching out to donors and potential high profile supporters. Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager at the time, allegedly had another idea in mind.

Manafort had arranged for Trump to meet with his first choice for the job on July 13: Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Afterwards, the plans was for Trump and Pence to then fly back to New York together and a formal announcement would be made, a campaign source said of Manafort’s thinking. What had previously been reported as a “lucky break” by the New York Times was actually a swift political maneuver devised by the now fired campaign manager. Set on changing Trump’s mind, he concocted a story that Trump’s plane had mechanical problems, forcing the soon-to-be Republican nominee to stay the night in Indianapolis for breakfast with the Pence family on Wednesday morning.

Other than softening the Republican Party’s stance on Russian thuggery in the Ukraine, and maneuvering Mike Pence into the vice presidency, Manafort didn’t do much in the short time he managed the president*’s campaign, except possibly commit some crimes. On Friday, the president*’s former campaign manager, and the person most responsible for the vice president’s presence on the ticket, pleaded guilty to…wait for it…”conspiracy against the United States,” which isn’t really as serious as it sounds, but which is not something to which any president wants his former campaign manager to cop. Mike Pence has one foot in the barrel now, too.

Republican National Convention: Day Three
Getty ImagesChip Somodevilla

Other than that, I don’t have a lot to add to Friday’s proceedings. Manafort clearly didn’t trust the president* to deliver on a pardon. (Smart play, Paul.) I don’t know how much, precisely, he can hand over to Mueller, but he can put other people who have more to offer into the frying pan. If I were either of the two Trump boys, or Jared and Ivanka, I’d be buying new court clothes tonight. They’re pretty much the only ones left short of El Caudillo Del Mar-A-Lago. From The Washington Post:

Kevin Downing, an attorney for Manafort, gave a brief statement outside the courthouse after the hearing. “He wanted to make sure his family remained safe and live a good life,” Downing said of Manafort. “He has accepted responsibility.”

“Safe” is a curious word in this context. Or, maybe it’s not.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said at the beginning of Friday’s plea hearing that Manafort has agreed to cooperate with investigators, saying the 17-page plea document included the terms of Manafort’s expected cooperation. Jackson noted Manafort has agreed to cooperate “fully and truthfully” with the investigation conducted by the Office of Special Counsel, including participating in interviews and debriefings, producing any documents in his control, testifying and agreeing to delay sentencing until a time set by government.

And Robert Mueller, with no expression on his face, reaches across his desk for another document.

President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort surrenders four properties and money from several bank accounts in plea deal with Mueller Russia collusion probe

Federal Agencies  seize 4 of Manafort’s homes as part of plea deal with Mueller team. The former Trump campaign chair admitted to conspiracy charges


AIWA! NO!Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, is surrendering four properties and money from several bank accounts as a part of a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Manafort has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation in exchange for reduced charges, according to the New York Times. As a part of the deal, he pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy and one charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Prosecutors dropped five other charges that included lobbying violations and money laundering.

He had said repeatedly that he would not cooperate with Mueller but reassessed his situation after his trial last month on separate charges. In that case, he was found guilty on eight counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failure to report a foreign bank account.

During the trial, real estate was found to be one of the main ways Manafort made his deceptions. One such instance involved his Trump Tower condo, which he claimed as his primary residence. One of his associates, however, testified that Manafort was actually renting out the property.

Documents from the trial showed that Manafort said he had real estate interests worth $216 million. Most of those properties he co-owned with Jeffrey Yohai, his former son-in-law, through Baylor Holdings, LLC. Yohai, for his part, is in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings over four California properties owned by Baylor. He’s also being sued in New York for allegedly running a ponzi scheme.

The prosecution also claimed Manafort made bogus financial representations in order to obtain loans from banks. That included mortgages on the Trump Tower condo, as well as a townhome at 377 Union Street in Brooklyn and a condo at 29 Howard Street in Manhattan.

Manafort’s second trial on separate but related charges stemming from political consulting work he did in Ukraine was supposed to start next week.

The Real Deal interviewed Manafort’s real estate fixer Brad Zacksonlast summer, who said that the world was attacking his friend “for no reason.”  [NYT] – Eddie Small

Russia includes China in biggest war games in decades

About 3,200 Chinese troops, more than 900 pieces of weaponry and 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters will participate in joint training to conduct fire strike and counterattacks, the Chinese Defense Ministry said.

Koalitsiya-SV tanks participate in Russia’s Victory Day military parade on May 9 in Red Square, Moscow. File Photo by Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA-EFE
AIWA! NO!//(UPI) — Russia began its war games — the largest show of military force since the height of the Cold War nearly four decades ago — Tuesday, amid heightened tensions with the United States.

The five-day military exercise known as the Vostok-2018 drills in Russia’s eastern and central military districts has mobilized almost a third of the country’s soldiers, making it the largest Russian or Soviet military exercise since 1981, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a statement last month.

In addition to mobilizing 300,000 Russian troops, the exercise includes 1,000 aircraft and 36,000 military vehicles, South China Morning Post reported, which is the biggest show of force since Zapad-81 drills at the height of the Cold War.

The drills kicked off close to Russia’s border with China on Tuesday and will run through Saturday. The drills are underway at five military training grounds in Russia’s Far East region, and in the waters of the East Sea, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk.

RELATED Trade deficit widens amid Trump tariff war

The demonstration of military might will include some joint exercises with the Chinese army.

About 3,200 Chinese troops, more than 900 pieces of weaponry and 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters will participate in joint training to conduct fire strike and counterattacks, the Chinese Defense Ministry said.

China’s participation will enhance its counterattack abilities and reinforce ties with Russia, Chinese government officials said Tuesday.

RELATED U.S. judge rejects bail for accused Russian spy Butina

“The focus of the drill has expanded from anti-terrorism to allied defense and counterattack,” a China defense ministry statement said. It also “signifies that the political strategic trust and military cooperation between China and Russia has reached a historic high.”

U.S.-China tensions have heightened with an ongoing trade war. U.S.-Russia tensions have also increased with the Pentagon recently sending more than 100 U.S. Marines to reinforce a coalition outpost in southern Syria after a threatened attack from Russia, according to U.S. officials.

“Cooperation in traditional security fields between China and Russia has a very clear target,” the United States, Song Zhoping, a Hong Kong-based military commentator, told the South China Morning Post. “Beijing and Moscow have to show Washington that they have an unbreakable strategic partnership.”

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WASHINTON DC – Omarosa visits The View to leak new tape of Trump crashing a White House meeting to rant about Hillary and Russia

Manigault told “The View” that Trump frequently barged into meetings when he got bored and just spoke about whatever was on his mind.

Omarosa Manigault-Newman (ABC)

The recording shows Trump rambling about Hillary Clinton and the Russia investigation after interrupting a meeting about tax cut legislation in October 2017, shortly after reporting showed his rival’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped pay for opposition research by a former British spy.

“I think Hillary is getting killed right now with Russia,” Trump tells staffers. “The real Russia story is Hillary and collusion.”

The president claims that then-staffer Hope Hicks told him Clinton paid $9 million for the opposition research that resulted in an infamous dossier, although Sarah Sanders corrected him to say it was closer to $6 million.

“Did you see?” Trump says. “Nobody knows who spent it. No, I heard it was 9. I heard it was 5.7 but now they say it was 9.”

Trump claims the money was paid through a law firm so it could not be traced, and he insisted the payments were illegal campaign contributions.

“It’s definitely illegal, and it’s illegal from a campaign standpoint, from a campaign financing standpoint,” Trump says.

Manigault told “The View” that Trump frequently barged into meetings when he got bored and just spoke about whatever was on his mind.

“When Donald Trump got bored, which was very often because his attention span was very short, he would sometimes try to figure out what meetings were taking place in the White House and he would crash those meetings,” she said.

“This was a meeting with the entire communications staff and the press shop, meeting to talk about tax reform or his trip to North Korea,” Manigault continued. “He crashed the meeting, he came into the meeting, he sat down and he starts rambling from topic to topic, none of it makes sense.”

UNITED STATES -How to Slow-Walk a President

U.S. leaders have almost unchecked powers in a crisis. But the bureaucracy has ways to gum up the system.

Continue reading UNITED STATES -How to Slow-Walk a President