KHIMKI, Russia (Reuters) -A Russian court on Thursday found U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner guilty of deliberately bringing cannabis-infused vape cartridges into Russia despite them being illegal, after the athlete said she had made an honest mistake by packing them. Her sentencing, which is due to take place within hours, could pave the way for a prisoner swap between Russia and the United States that would include the 31-year-old athlete and an imprisoned Russian who was once a prolific arms dealer. Griner had admitted bringing in the vape cartridges infused with hashish oil, but earlie...
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On Friday, The New York Times reported that pro-Trump users on the president's social media network Truth Social are starting to push the idea that calls for violence against the FBI for most of the week were a false flag operation planted by government agents.
"Truth Social users posted that the United States was born 'through an insurrection followed by several years of bloody violence,' and that the country would 'become a communist state just as long as we don’t pick up arms and fight back!!'" reported Tiffany Hsu and Sheera Frankel. "There was talk that 'the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,' a phrase from a letter by Thomas Jefferson, and that 'sometimes clearing out dangerous vermin requires a modicum of violence, unfortunately.'"
"But later in the week, a different narrative gained traction, propelled without evidence by other prominent Truth Social users: that calls for violence were posts planted by federal law enforcement officials or Democratic operatives to frame right-wing patriots as insurrectionists and extremists," said the report. "The point, the conspiracy theory goes, is to give the Biden administration cover to strip Trump supporters of guns, or to set up a pretext for martial law."
Among the prominent users pushing this was Jack Posobiec, a far-right activist who helped spread the "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory. On Thursday, Posobiec posted “ANYONE POSTING ABOUT BEING VIOLENT RIGHT NOW IS A FED.”
This comes after Ricky Shiffer, a former January 6 insurrectionist suspected to have posted calls for violence against federal agents on Truth Social, tried to shoot his way into an FBI field office in Cincinnati, Ohio on Thursday. State police pursued him and eventually killed him in a shootout.
"The sentiments on Trump’s social media network extended to other platforms as well," the report continued. "One Proud Boys Telegram channel, used by hundreds of members of the militant group, posted in the hours after the search that 'civil war is imminent.' On Twitter, there was a tenfold increase in tweets mentioning 'civil war' in the 24 hours after the raid, according to Dataminr, a tool that analyzes Twitter data."
Salman Rushdie's agent gave a grim update on his condition after he was stabbed after taking the stage for a "discussion of the United States as an asylum for writers and other artists in exile."
Rushdie has transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital and underwent several hours of surgery, The New York Times reported.
Rushdie's agent, Andrew Wylie, told the newspaper on Friday evening that Rushdie could not speak as he was on a ventilator.
“The news is not good," Wylie said.
"Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged," he explained.
The Chautaugua Institute, where Rushdie was scheduled to speak alongside Henry Reese, described the author while promoting the event.
"One of the most celebrated authors of our time, Salman Rushdie is the author of 14 novels, four works of nonfiction and a collection of short stories, in addition to serving as co-editor of two anthologies," the institute said. "He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. A former president of PEN American Center, Rushdie was knighted in 2007 for services to literature, has been a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1983, and was appointed Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France in 1999."
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'That stuff doesn't lie around': How Trump would have to go out of his way to steal top secret documents
On Friday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," Washington Post editor Eugene Robinson laid out exactly how serious former President Donald Trump's alleged removal of classified information was.
This comes amid reporting that nuclear weapons secrets may have been among the documents the FBI was searching for when they executed a warrant at the former president's Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida.
"Just as they compartmentalize some of this intelligence, Gene, if we compartmentalize away everything that people feel about Donald Trump — good, bad, or in between — and take just this information. Imagine it was President X," said anchor Ari Melber. "How does this fit into your view of the significance of this story, as someone we rely on to understand this national news?"
"Unprecedented, unthought of," said Robinson. "Every president I've ever known or watched or observed in or reported on, every administration has been very extremely meticulously careful with Top Secret information, with classified information."
The key point, Robinson stressed, is that at least with regard to documents marked as Top Secret or SCI, there is no way this is something Trump could have done accidentally, or casually.
"Now administrations, governments generally speaking, classify too many things," said Robinson. "There is a lot of stuff they stamp confidential or whatever on that doesn't deserve to be. But when you get to Top Secret, you get to Top Secret/SCI, that most sensitive information, that stuff doesn't lie around in the White House. It doesn't lie around in the Oval Office. It doesn't lie around anywhere, much less in the basement of Mar-a-Lago. It just doesn't. It's handled very carefully, and it's looked at and examined and talked about, and then it's tucked away into secure carriers and taken back to whatever vault it's kept in. It just doesn't happen. And this is another way in which, again, everything else aside, the Donald Trump administration was like literally no other administration in the history of this country, because no other administration would have and certainly no other administration did treat classified information like this."
Watch below or at this link.
Eugene Robinson on Trump's removal of classified information www.youtube.com