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Trump declares state of emergency in DC ahead of Biden’s inauguration

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Trump declares state of emergency in DC ahead of Biden’s inauguration
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United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency in Washington D.C..

The declaration came on the heels of a revelation by the police of three plots to attack the Capitol Building ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration, including the “largest armed protest in American history”.

It also came as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alerted its agents to possible uprisings at capitols in 50 states ahead of Inauguration Day, particularly if Trump is removed from office before Biden enters the White House.

Trump’s declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate with local authorities as Democrats had been furiously demanding.

On Monday night, the new chiefs of Capitol Police told House Democrats they were looking into three separate plans, including one described as “the largest armed protest ever to take place on American soil”.

The protesters plan to involve armed rioters encircling the Capitol and blocking Democrats from entering – killing them if necessary – so that Republicans can take command of government.

They also plan another protest in honor of Ashli Babbitt, the USAF veteran who was shot by a police officer as she tried to clamber into the Speaker’s Lobby during the Trump mob’s siege.

“It was pretty overwhelming,” one Democrat told Huffington Post of the police briefing.

The FBI’s internal memo warned of a group which was calling for the ‘storming’ of state, local and Federal Government buildings, as well as court houses if Trump is removed from office.

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The bulletin came to light just as Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced an article of impeachment accusing Trump of incitement to insurrection, five days after the mob of the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol, leaving five people dead in a futile bid to overturn the general election.

More than 6,000 members of the National Guard were deployed to Washington, DC, over the weekend, with dozens of them standing guard over the Capitol during Monday’s proceedings.

Capitol Police told Congress that it was preparing for up to tens of thousands of Trump supporters arriving in the days ahead, including possible violence to take control of the White House and the Supreme Court.

Working alongside their colleagues in the National Guard, the police are said to have told Democrats that they had agreed on rules of engagement in the eventuality of an armed demonstration.

They do not plan to shoot anyone unless fired at first, but they added that there were exceptions to the rule.

The police urged caution on lawmakers about leaking any specifics to the press because Big Tech had so successfully ‘cut off main communications’ that many could now only learn of plans through traditional media.

One member remarked that the Silicon Valley gagging order on Trump’s supporters “might ultimately save lives”.

But as the Capitol Police expressed confidence it was making sufficient plans to combat any violent uprisings, some lawmakers questioned whether this was the case given the lax security last week.

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One Democrat told the police chiefs that there was clear evidence that some in the police department could be ‘in league with the insurrectionists who love to carry their guns.’

“You can’t just let them bypass security and walk right up to Biden and Harris at inauguration,” this lawmaker told HuffPost.

A further area of Democrat speculation surrounded whether the Trump administration was preventing federal law enforcement from lending its expertise to the police.

The member told the HuffPost: “I don’t think anyone has confidence that the folks at the Pentagon, that may or may not even be needed for some of this, or the Department of Homeland Security, where we don’t even know who’s in charge, are going to be cooperative.”

The National Park Service said it would close the Washington Monument and other area facilities beginning today and lasting through January 24.

The Pentagon is also reportedly considering sending as many as 13,000 guardsmen to secure the area on Inauguration Day. Prior to last week’s breach, officials had planned to deploy roughly 7,000 guardsmen.

The hardened-up security plans came after the Department of Defence said it was aware of “further possible threats posed by would-be terrorists in the days up to and including Inauguration Day”, Congressman Jason Crow (D – Colorado) said in a statement Sunday after speaking with Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy about security preparations.

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The Department of Homeland Security is working with the Defense Department, local DC authorities and inauguration officials to sharpen the law enforcement response in the coming days, including by erecting non-scalable fencing and security checkpoints around Capitol Hill.

“Now that it happened people will take it much more seriously,” a senior DHS official told CNN in reference to last week’s violence. “Now, the planners, they are all going to take it much more seriously.”

Federal and local authorities have faced fierce criticism for their perceived failure to crack down on Wednesday’s insurrection despite evidence that they knew it was coming.

Hundreds of people might face federal charges in the wake of last week’s Capitol breach, DC’s acting US attorney said in an interview with NPR over the weekend, saying a massive, 24-hour-a-day hunt was on to identify suspects and bring charges against them.

In the meantime, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said she is ‘extremely concerned’ about security on Inauguration Day in a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf over the weekend. She wrote that the event ‘will require a very different approach to previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury and death experienced at the US Capitol during the insurrection’.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to be sworn in on the west front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20.

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China Says Guantanamo Bay Is The Real “Detention Camp” For Muslims

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China Says Guantanamo Bay Is The Real "Detention Camp" For Muslims
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China Says Guantanamo Bay Is The Real “Detention Camp” For Muslims

Beijing has weighed in on the 20th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay by calling on the United States to address its human rights violations and finally close the notorious offshore military prison.

Some 39 detainees—many without charges—remain at the facility in southern Cuba.

The question of whether to shut down “Gitmo” for good has carried over successive administrations, with the United Nations among several leading organizations calling for a swift and conclusive resolution by the U.S.

At a regular press conference in Beijing on Wednesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, called the continued operation of the prison “a dark chapter” in the world’s human rights record.

“If ever there was a ‘detention camp’ that holds Muslims, it would be Guantanamo Bay,” he said, alluding to allegations that the Chinese government has interned over a million Uyghur Muslims in mass detention centers in Xinjiang in the country’s northwest—a charge Beijing denies.

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China Says Guantanamo Bay Is The Real “Detention Camp” For Muslims

“The United States has promised more than once that it would close the prison,” said Wang. “However, 20 years later, 39 people are still being kept there, while few of them have been charged with or convicted of crimes.”

Wang accused the U.S. of operating “black sites” such as Guantanamo Bay all over the world. The prison, the official said, is “only the tip of the iceberg.”

“The U.S. should sincerely reflect on itself, immediately close Guantanamo Bay and all other secret prisons across the world,” he said.

“It should stop atrocities including arbitrary detention and the torture of prisoners, deliver apologies and compensations to the victims and bring to justice those who authorized and committed the torture.”

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Guantanamo Bay, which is located within a U.S. naval base, was opened on January 11, 2002, during George W. Bush’s first administration, as part of the “war on terror” following the 9/11 attacks.

In the two decades since, some 780 inmates have been held at the facility, including a peak of 684 detainees in June 2003.

Former President Barack Obama vowed to close the military prison in his first year, but opposition from Congress and challenges related to the secure transfer of inmates meant the otherwise historic decision dragged on indefinitely until it was reversed by his successor, Donald Trump.

President Joe Biden has committed to closing Gitmo by the time he leaves office.

On Monday, a report commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, of which the U.S. is a member, found that only nine of the the prison’s 39 detainees have been charged or convicted of crimes.

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“Between 2002 and 2021, nine detainees died in custody, two from natural causes and seven reportedly committed suicide. None had been charged or convicted of a crime,” said the report authored by a panel of independent human rights experts.

“Despite forceful, repeated and unequivocal condemnation of the operation of this horrific detention and prison complex with its associated trial processes, the United States continues to detain persons, many of whom have never been charged with any crime,” they wrote.

They report said: “Guantanamo Bay is a site of unparalleled notoriety, defined by the systematic use of torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment against hundreds of men brought to the site and deprived of their most fundamental rights.”

The Department of Defense says torture is prohibited and investigated whenever reported.

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Russia Arrests, Dismantles Revil Hacking Group At US Request

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Russia Arrests, Dismantles Revil Hacking Group At US Request
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Russia Arrests, Dismantles Revil Hacking Group At US Request

The source said that hacker from REvil with Russian citizenship will not be extradited to the US

The members of the REvil hacker group, involved in a number of attacks on large American companies, have been charged in Russia; now the community and its infrastructure have been liquidated, the FSB’s Public Relations Center (DSP) told Interfax.

“The FSB of Russia has established the full composition of the REvil criminal community and the involvement of its members in the illegal circulation of means of payment, and has documented illegal activities,” the intelligence service said.

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The reason was the appeal of the competent US authorities, who reported on the leader of the criminal community and his involvement in encroaching on the information resources of foreign high-tech companies by introducing malicious software, encrypting information and extorting money for its decryption, the FSB recalled.

More than 426 million rubles were seized at the places of stay of 14 members of the hacker group, including in cryptocurrency, 600 thousand dollars, 500 thousand euros, as well as computer equipment, crypto wallets used to commit crimes, 20 premium cars bought with money, obtained by criminal means.

Russia Arrests, Dismantles Revil Hacking Group At US Request

The detained members of the criminal community were charged under Part 2 of Art. 187 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (illegal circulation of means of payments).

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“Representatives of the US competent authorities have been informed about the results of the operation,” the DSP said.

According to the FSB, the detainees developed malicious software, organized the theft of funds from the bank accounts of foreign citizens and cashing them out, including by purchasing expensive goods on the Internet. The secret service did not disclose the identity of the detainees.

In July 2021, the US-based company Kaseya was subjected to a massive cyberattack using a ransomware virus. The hacker attack affected companies directly or indirectly associated with Kaseya, which remotely controls the programs of its customers: Internet service providers for businesses. It was reported that the cyberattack was carried out by the REvil hacker group, which is credited with having links with the Russian Federation.

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In November, US Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Monday that Russian Yevgeny Polyanin, who is considered one of the leaders of REvil, received about $ 13 million from the victims of his hacker attacks using ransomware, but of which $ 6.1 million was returned to Washington.

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Prime Minister set to be sacked for breaking Covid19 rules

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Boris Johnson set to be sacked for breaking Covid19 rules
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Prime Minister set to be sacked for breaking Covid19 rules

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is under fire and facing numerous calls to quit his post as the nation’s leader after he apologized for attending a party during the first coronavirus pandemic in May 2020. The calls for him to vacate his position has been growing louder since he admitted to attending the party which is viewed as distasteful by the British public as it implies that he violated the very rules that his own office put in place to ensure the safety of British citizens against the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The admission and apology came during his Prime Minister’s Questions sessions at the House of Commons where he said, “I know the rage they feel with me and the government I lead,”… “when they think that in Downing Street itself, the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.”

Prime Minister set to be sacked for breaking Covid19 rules

The calls for him to vacate his position has been growing since it was established that he seemed to be holding back the truth when he was initially questioned about the parties. His refusal to initially admit to the parliament that he was present at those parties, implies that he intentionally misled the Parliament, an offence that is enough to earn him his exit according to Labour Leader, Sir Keir Starmer who led the call for the Prime Minister’s untenable position.

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