Trump Expected to Shut Down CIA Program that Funds and Trains Syrian Rebels Loyal to ISIS and Al Qaeda

President Trump is expected to shut down the CIA’s program to arm and train rebels fighting the Syrian government.  Obama spent $815 million on the program that was designed to overthrow Syrian President Assad.  Most of the Syrian rebels that the US supported are loyal to ISIS, al Qaeda, and al Nusra. –GEG

President Donald Trump has elected to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train “moderate” Syrian rebels fighting against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria according to U.S. officials who spoke to the Washington PostThe program was a central plank of a policy begun by the Obama administration in 2013 to put pressure on Assad to step aside, but even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later. Preceding the CIA program was a Pentagon-led effort which was criticized by Foreign Policy for costing $500 million without yielding tangible results.

Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia after Trump’s July 7 meeting with Putin at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. It may also signal an lack of ability as well as desire by Washington to take steps to remove Assad from power in Syria. Officials told the Washington Post that Trump made the decision to scrap the CIA program nearly a month ago, after an Oval Office meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

After the Trump-Putin meeting, the United States and Russia announced an agreement to back a new cease-fire in southwest Syria, along the Jordanian border, where many of the CIA-backed rebels have long operated. Trump described the limited cease-fire deal as one of the benefits of a constructive working relationship with Moscow. The ending of the CIA program was not a condition of the cease-fire negotiations according to officials.

The “moderate” Syrian rebel groups operating in Syria have long been criticized for their close ties to jihadist groups such as ISIS and al-Nusra. In 2015, Western media finally admitted that there were no longer any “moderate” rebel groups operating in Syria. In January 2017, Representative Tusli Gabbard returned from a visit to Syria to confirm these reports, as well as to reveal that U.S. support was effectively delivering arms to jihadist groups such as al-Nusra, al-Qaida, Ahrar al-Sham and ISIS who are operating inside Syria.

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China Is Creating Super-Dogs in Preparation for Creating Super Humans as Soldiers

China announced it was genetically engineering hyper-muscular super-dogs, sparking speculation that the dogs are being used as a prototype for creating biologically weaponized super-human soldiers.  The dogs are test-tube bred in a lab, have twice the muscle mass of their natural counterparts, and are much stronger and faster. –GEG

The dogs, which are test tube bred in a lab, have twice the muscle mass of their natural counterparts and are considerably stronger and faster.

The canine genome has been especially difficult to engineer and replicate – but its close similarity to the human genome means it has long been the prize of geneticists.

Now the Chinese success has led to fears the same technology could be used to create weaponised super-humans – typifed in Marvel Comics by Captain America and his foes.

Chinese soldier and super dogMARVEL•EYEVINE

China have begun to breed ‘super dogs’ with twice the muscle of a normal dog

David King, director of Human Genetics Alert (HGA), voiced his fears over what is widely viewed as the first step on a slippery slope.

He told “It’s true that the more and more animals that are genetically engineered using these techniques brings us closer to the possibility of genetic engineering of humans.

“Dogs as a species, in respect of cloning are very difficult, and even more difficult to clone human beings.

“There’s no medical case for it, the scientists are interested in being the first person in the world to create a genetically engineer child.

In terms of genetic engineering we will be seeing this more and more

David King, director of Human Genetics Alert

“They’re interested in science and the technology and their careers. They will continue pushing the regulations for it.

“That does set us on the road to eugenics. I am very concerned with what I’m seeing.”

An army of super-humans has been a staple of science fiction and superhero comics for decades – but the super-dog technology brings it closer to reality.

The Chinese researchers first self-bred cloned dog was named Little Long Long.

Long Long cloned dogSINO GENE

Nine-day-old Long Long was cloned from a genetically modified dog by Sino Gene in Beijing

The beagle puppy, one of 27, was genetically engineered by ‘deleting’ a gene called myostatin, giving it double the muscle mass of a normal beagle.

The advance genetic editing technology has been touted as a breakthrough which could herald the dawn of ‘superbreeds’, which could be stronger, faster, better at running and hunting.

The Chinese official line is that the dogs could potentially be deployed to frontline service to assist police officers.

Dr Lai Liangxue, researcher at Guangzhou institute of biological medicine and health, said: “This is a breakthrough, marking China as only the second country in the world to independently master dog-somatic clone technology, after South Korea.”

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Flash Mob of 500 Black Teens Challenge Philadelphia Police

Philadelphia: Police say a mob of 500 teens, ages 12 to 17, amassed outside of the Lonnie Young Recreation Center in Germantown and hurled glass bottles at them, jumped on their cars, and taunted the officers.  Police commanders decided not to arrest anyone for fear the situation would escalate.

A flash mob of an estimated 500 teens threw bottles, jumped on cars, and taunted police officers in Philadelphia Sunday night, police say.

Police told CBS Philadelphia that a large crowd — mostly made up of children between the ages of 12 and 17 — appeared in the street and on the sidewalk outside of the Lonnie Young Recreation Center in Germantown around 6 p.m. Sunday.

Cops say the teens hurled glass bottles at them, jumped on their cars, and taunted the officers.

Police commanders decided not to arrest any of the teens for fear the situation would escalate.

“There’s no reported injuries to police, no reported arrests, and there’s no reported injuries to civilians at this time,” Capt. Drew Techner with Philadelphia Police said. “We closed the Lonnie Young Rec Center for the night after all of this. We’re concerned all the juveniles may re-gather in the same location that they started out. We for [sic] their own safety want them home.”

The crowd disbursed finally around 11 p.m. and did not reassemble.

The Associated Press reports that none of the teens nor officers were injured, although police did ask stores in the area to close when the teens started to pour into the shops.

Techner added that parents should keep an eye on their kids and enforce a curfew.

“Parents have to be aware of what their kids are doing, who they are with, and what they’re getting involved in. They need to be home at a decent hour,” he said.

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$5 Billion in Student Loans May be Uncollectable Because Holder of the Loans Cannot Prove It Owns Them

The National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts (NCSLT), a group of 15 trusts for private student loans, has misplaced the paperwork that proves it owns $5-billion in student debt. Judges have dismissed NCSLT collection lawsuits in Ohio, New Hampshire and Texas because the company cannot document its claims.  Increasingly, the only time these debts are collected are when borrowers do not show up to defend themselves or when they voluntarily pay without a court judgement. These loans are not guaranteed by the federal government.

Billions of dollars in student loans may be wiped out for tens of thousands of borrowers in the US because a lender didn’t keep track of the paperwork verifying ownership of the loans, according to The New York Times.

The National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts, which holds 800,000 private loans and is one of the country’s largest owners of private student loans, is at the center of the legal dispute, The Times reports.

Borrowers are failing to repay more than $5 billion of the $12 billion in private student loans held by National Collegiate, sending the loans into default. The organization has brought more than 800 lawsuits against borrowers this year alone in pursuit of repayment — and National Collegiate usually wins because borrowers either choose to settle or don’t show up in court, according to The Times.

When borrowers do show up to fight, the cases are not so straightforward. Disorganized or missing paperwork has made it difficult for National Collegiate to prove it does indeed own the defaulted loan it’s demanding repayment on, according to The Times. To be clear, The Times reports, the organization’s legal problems don’t include falsifying documents.

The student loans held by National Collegiate were made “more than a decade ago by dozens of different banks, then bundled together by a financing company and sold to investors through a process known as securitization,” and they weren’t guaranteed by the federal government, according to The Times.

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Republican Senators Sell Out, Break Promise to Repeal Obamacare

Four Republican senators, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Shelly Moore Capito, and Rob Portman, at the last minute broke their promise to support repeal of Obamacare. Without their support, the Republicans’ seven-year-long promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act is dead on arrival. Murkowski, who represents Alaska, says that repealing the ACA without a clear path forward just creates confusion and uncertainty. [Perhaps Alaska voters should explain to her that repealing Obamacare is the clear path forward they want.] –GEG

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) against Republicans’ efforts to repeal Obamacare.

Moderate senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME) came out earlier today against efforts to repeal Obamacare However, Sen. Murkowski voted to repeal Obamacare in 2015.

Sen. Murkowski released a statement on why she opposes a repeal of Obamacare. Murkowksi confessed:

As I’ve been saying, the Senate should take a step back and engage in a bipartisan process to address the failures of the ACA and stabilize the individual markets. That will require members on both sides of the aisle to roll up their sleeves and take this to the open committee process where it belongs. The individual market in states like Alaska and in rural communities across America has continued to deteriorate since we last voted to repel the Affordable Care Act. Alaskans have seen their premiums increase over 200 percent, only one insurer remains on our individual market, and the state was forced to enact a costly reinsurance program to keep our sole remaining provider from leaving. At the same time, the coverage offered on the exchange has become coverage in name only for too many Alaskans with premiums close to $1,000 a month on average and many facing deductibles approaching $10,000. Repealing the ACA without a clear path forward just creates confusion and greater uncertainty. As I stated earlier this year, I cannot vote to proceed to repeal the ACA without reform that allows people the choice they want, the affordability they need and the quality of care they deserve.

The Alaskan senator opposed the Senate healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), that would have repealed parts of Obamacare and replaced it with reforms to Medicaid. It also would have repealed most of the Affordable Care Act’s taxes. Now, Murkowski opposes repealing Obamacare because Republicans would not have an immediate replacement to the Affordable Care Act.

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