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Trump favorite for State Dept. John Bolton tries to shift 2016 hacking blame from Russia to Obama

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Neocon and notoriously easily provoked hothead John Bolton — who is rumored to be President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee of Deputy Secretary of State — said on Sunday that there is no proof that malicious hacks on the email servers of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee were not carried out as a “false flag” operation by the agencies loyal to Pres. Barack Obama.

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TheHill.com reported that Bolton told Fox News’ Eric Shawn, “It is not at all clear to me, just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC was not a false flag operation.”

“We just don’t know,” he said.

A “false flag” attack is when a government or armed group attack their allies or stage a phony attack in order to stir up aggression against an enemy.

Bolton — who Pres. George W. Bush appointed as ambassador to the United Nations in a 2005 recess appointment after Congress refused to confirm him — professed to believe that Russia is being unfairly maligned as part of a master plan by Democrats.

“But I believe that intelligence has been politicized in the Obama administration to a very significant degree,” said one of the men instrumental in selling the invasion of Iraq to the world in 2003.

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Bolton went on to say that he questions how spies as adept as the Russians got caught at all — that whatever clues U.S. intelligence agencies have based their assessments on may have been left behind intentionally.

“(I)f you think the Russians did this, then why did they leave fingerprints?” he asked on Fox.

“We would want to know who else might want to influence the election and why they would leave fingerprints that point to the Russians,” he said. “That’s why I say until we know more about how the intelligence community came to this conclusion we don’t know whether it is Russian inspired or a false flag.”

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COVID-19

White House adds 20 percent increase to ‘best case’ projection of coronavirus deaths

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The White House is moving the goal posts once again. Instead of taking drastic action, like asking every state's governor to mandate a quarantine to reduce the spread of coronavirus, it is quietly upping its projected death toll, just one day after stunning Americans with a six-digit death rate.

On Sunday President Donald Trump told Americans he thinks if 100,000 Americans die from coronavirus he will have done "a very good job."

On Monday Dr. Deborah Birx announced the White House is projecting 100,000 to 200,000 deaths.

Tuesday evening, the number increased 20 percent.

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Elections 2016

Olympic athletes in ‘impossible position’ – Canada

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Canadian Olympic chiefs said Monday the health and safety of athletes had prompted the country's decision to withdraw its team from the Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A day after Canada became the first team to announce its withdrawal from the July 24-August 9 Games, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) chief David Shoemaker said athletes had been left in an "impossible position."

With public health authorities urging individuals to stay inside to curb the spread of COVID-19, athletes had been caught between a desire to heed health and safety advice while trying to minimize disruption to training programs.

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Elections 2016

Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines

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Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.

"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.

More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.

At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.

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