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|E! Brooklyn ebklyn.com: U.S. Navy divers swim with stingrays at @nyaquarium 5:40 PM 5/24/2017|
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|.@FleetWeekNYC: U.S. Navy divers swim with stingrays at @nyaquarium http://ow.ly/H9kq30c16HT pic.twitter.com/lwClvSvABu|
|Your Guide To Ramadan 2017 In Brooklyn http://ow.ly/xbjW30c12sl pic.twitter.com/8792ItI0en|
|Bad Russian intel influenced Comey’s handling of Clinton probe|
Then-FBI Director James Comey’s controversial handling of the agency’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server — seen by many politics observers as having played a key role in Donald Trump winning the race — was influenced in part by bad intelligence provided by Russian sources, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The report of the bad intel is the latest indication that Russia attempted to meddle in last year’s election.
According to The Post, Comey received a Russian intelligence document last year that ultimately played a large role in his July decision to close the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server without involving his Justice Department superiors.
That document, The Post reported, described an alleged email that claimed then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch had “privately assured someone in the Clinton campaign that the email investigation would not push too deeply into the matter — a conversation that if made public would cast doubt on the inquiry’s integrity.”
And it contributed to Comey’s decision in July to hold a rare press conference in which he announced, without notifying Lynch beforehand, that he was closing the probe into Clinton and not recommending charges but took the unusual step of criticizing Clinton as “extremely careless.”
He also, in a departure from protocol, revealed details of the investigation’s findings, including ones pertaining to Clinton’s email habits — many of which, according to the investigation, violate her own statements about her behavior.
Comey did so, sources told The Post, he worried that if Lynch were to have made the announcement that no charges would be brought, and if the document were to be leaked, “the legitimacy of the entire case would be questioned.”
His announcement — as well as his decision to reopen the probe in October, just days before the election — have long prompted many Democrats to suggest he inadvertently influenced the outcome of the election.
But the document at the heart of his decisions actually ended up being bad intelligence and may have been totally fake information, The Post reported, throwing another wrench into the ongoing saga of potential Russian influence.
The document described an email allegedly written by then Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) to Leonard Benardo, an employee at George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, in which Wasserman Schultz made the claim about Lynch having communicated with Clinton staffer Amanda Renteria.
Wasserman Schultz and Benardo told The Post they did not know each other. Renteria and Lynch also said they did not know each other.
|One Of NYC’s Loveliest Pocket Parks Could Soon Be Plunged Into Darkness http://gothamist.com/2017/05/24/greenacre_park_darkness.php pic.twitter.com/IiD3rnqj8N|
One Of NYC’s Loveliest Pocket Parks Could Soon Be Plunged Into Darknesshttp://gothamist.com/2017/05/24/greenacre_park_darkness.php … pic.twitter.com/IiD3rnqj8N
|Your Guide To Ramadan 2017 In Brooklyn http://ow.ly/xbjW30c12sl pic.twitter.com/3tgGH01v25|
|Joe Lieberman no longer front-runner for FBI director|
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|Bill de Blasio defends NYPD funds to fight opioid-overdose deaths|
The city’s decision to dedicate a large portion of new funds for reducing opioid-overdose deaths to an NYPD initiative to arrest more drug dealers is justified because of the potency of the drug fentanyl, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in response to questions Monday evening. But those who want the city to move away from the war on drugs and toward a public-health approach to drug use aren’t convinced.
“I thought we had more or less established over the last 40 years that you don’t deal with drug addiction by trying to choke it off, that that’s kind of a losing game,” said NY1 anchor Errol Louis,
remotely from his studio Monday evening.
Responding in front of a tropical backdrop at the Bronx Zoo, de Blasio first skirted the issue, pointing out that the city is also investing in increasing the availability of the overdose-reversal drug naloxone and promoting the addiction-treatment options that are already available. He plugged the city’s behavioral health hotline, 888-NYC-Well, before addressing the issue at hand.
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“The NYPD piece is important because the presence of heroin is a discrete and specific problem,” said de Blasio. “Remember, fentanyl has really supercharged the situation. It’s this chemical added into heroin, and that has to be interdicted by the NYPD and other partners because it’s really profoundly dangerous and deadly.”
Elected officials frequently use new drugs to justify old policing tactics, said Kassandra Frederique, New York director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which promotes policies that reduce the harm of drugs rather than criminalizing them.
“Fentanyl is indeed a very powerful opioid, and it makes the heroin situation a bit scarier,” said Frederique. “What that means is we need to be more aggressive in getting public-health interventions out there.”
The city is taking steps in that direction. For instance, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene launched an outreach campaign last week that aims to educate drug users about how to reduce the risk of overdosing on fentanyl.
“We really do appreciate the funding and work going toward this,” said Jeremy Saunders, co-executive director of the advocacy group Vocal-NY. “But that doesn’t take away from the criticism of criminalization. As always, this is an example of politics getting in the way of good policy.”
During the NY1 interview, the mayor contested the suggestion that the NYPD’s efforts to track down drug dealers by investigating overdoses would deter people from calling 911. “I think it’s been very clear in the approach the NYPD has taken that they’re not after the individual who tragically is addicted,” said de Blasio. “They’re after the person selling the drugs in large quantities.”
That distinction is hard to make, however, because many dealers are users who are selling to support their addiction, said Diane Arneth, executive director of Staten Island operations at Brightpoint Health. She also echoed the concern that arresting dealers in association with overdoses could have a chilling effect on potentially lifesaving 911 calls.
These are issues Arneth said she has raised with law-enforcement officials as they have worked closely to set up the HOPE Program on Staten Island. It diverts people arrested for misdemeanor drug possession from jail to treatment.
“I think the HOPE Program is a model for how we should work together,” said Arneth. “If you’re going to make an investment, you want to make an investment you think will have the best outcomes across the board.”
|First Ever Russian LGBTQ Parade Last Weekend at Brighton Beach|
Over 200 people rallied at the Brighton Beach boardwalk in support of Russian LGBTQ pride, last Saturday, May 20. First Russian American pride parade in underway in NYC Brighton Beach with slogans like “Shalom Brighton ” and “we are queer, we live here” pic.twitter.com/M6Jj0f7bps — Taly Krupkin (@TalyKrupkin) May 20, 2017 The parade was organized […]
|Brooklyn Bridge Photography: The Brooklyn Bridge Turns 134 | Brownstoner 10:57 AM 5/24/2017 The Brooklyn Bridge bklyn-ny.net|
|Brooklyn Bridge Photography: The Brooklyn Bridge Turns 134 | Brownstoner|
It’s hard to imagine Brooklyn without its namesake bridge, but 134 years ago the Brooklyn Bridge was a sparkling new engineering wonder. Opened to the public on May 24, 1883 — after 14 years of construction — the bridge united Brooklyn and Manhattan and quickly became an iconic part of the waterfront skyline.
Brooklyn Bridge is now a must-see for tourists, a heavily used pedestrian pathway and, of course, one of the most photographed symbols of the borough.
In celebration of the anniversary, we’ve looked through our @brownstoner Instagram feed for the 10 most popular Brooklyn Bridge images we’ve ever posted.
|Happy birthday to The Brooklyn Bridge|
1883: Happy birthday to The Brooklyn Bridge
President Chester Arthur, and Governor of New York & future President Grover Cleveland, presided over the ceremony. It was the largest suspension bridge ever built to that date.
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|Historic terra cotta images on display in Coney Brooklyn Paper|
By Caroline Spivack
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The king of the sea is re-surfacing at the People’s Playground!
The Coney Island History Project’s latest exhibit, “Neptune Revisited,” opening on May 27, will showcase weathered clay images of the oceanic deity and other nautical figures from the early 1920s. The artifacts once graced the walls of the historic, recently-restored Childs Restaurant on the Boardwalk, and the mini museum will offer visitors a unique, up-close look, said the project’s executive director.
“We have a small space, so it’s an intimate look at some of the original pieces that were beyond repair after a century of exposure to salt water air. They’re extraordinary craftsmanship,” said People’s Playground historian Charles Denson.
When the Childs Restaurant opened in 1923, it sported numerous nautical terra cotta images along its facade. Many of those clay creations crumbled over the last century, and the building’s new owners, who re-opened the space last week as Kitchen 21, worked to restore what they could. But some pieces that were irreparably damaged had to be replaced by painstaking replicas, and Denson finagled an indefinite loan of the original, weather-beaten artifacts for his exhibit at the Coney Island History Project, where they hang alongside a photographic timeline of the rise, decline and rejuvenation of the Childs building.
The terra cotta pieces include vivid beach scenes, an intricate tangle of sea creatures, and a vibrant portrait of the restaurant’s facade. But the show’s main draw is a striking ceramic medallion of King Neptune himself rising from the sea, holding a trident dripping with seaweed.
“King Neptune is the symbol of Coney Island. He’s kind of the guardian of the Boardwalk watching over us,” said Denson. “It’s an iconic image and he’s sort of the centerpiece of the show.”
The size of the hulking works will surprise visitors, said Denson.
“When they’re up on the building you can’t see the scale, but when you’re up close you see how massive they are,” he said. “So you can really get a good look.”
“Neptune Revisited: Terra Cotta Relics from the Childs Building, Last of Coney Island’s Boardwalk Palaces,” at the Coney Island History Project [3059 W. 12th Street, between Bowery Street and the Boardwalk, (347) 702–8553, www.coney
Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspiv
Posted 12:00 am, May 24, 2017
©2017 Community News Group
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|Brooklyn Today May 23: From Belgorod to Brooklyn | Brooklyn Daily Eagle|
~FROM BELGOROD TO BROOKLYN, IN SEARCH OF A COMMUNITY THAT SAYS NYET TO HOMOPHOBIA: Last Saturday, about 200 people marched on the boardwalk for Brighton Beach Pride, which was billed as the world’s first Russian-speaking pride parade. While NYC is often viewed as a refuge for the LGBTQ community, many LGBTQ Russian immigrants complain that southern Brooklyn breeds the same anti-LGBTQ attitudes that they were fleeing. For many immigrants, the area offers the comforts of language and traditional foods, but “It was almost like I’d never left Russia,” one marcher told the NYT.“Being gay around here is a constant danger.” (via the NYT)
|PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos: PBS NewsHour full episode May 23, 2017|
Tuesday on the NewsHour, an alleged suspect is named after a bombing kills more than 20 in Manchester, England. Also: Former CIA director John Brennan shares concern over Russian election meddling, deep cuts to social programs in President Trump’s proposed budget, previewing a presidential visit with the pope and shifting education dollars to school choice.
PBSNewsHour’s YouTube Videos
|More Corporate Sponsors Abandon Puerto Rican Day Parade|
The decision by parade organizers to honor a nationalist militant, Oscar López Rivera, led AT&T to withdraw sponsorship and Coca-Cola to scale back.
|CBSNewsOnline’s YouTube Videos: Ex-CIA Director: Russia “brazenly interfered” with 2016 election|
Former CIA Director John Brennan revealed for the first time Tuesday that he contacted his Russian counterpart about the country’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. CBS News chief Congressional correspondent correspondent Nancy Cordes spoke to CBSN about what Brennan revealed.
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|(6) Coates Wont Say If Trump Asked Him To Deny Collusion – Full Hearing – YouTube|
Published on May 23, 2017
Daniel R. Coats, director of national intelligence, and Marine
“I don’t feel it’s appropriate to characterize conversations with the president,” Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coates told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
Coates was called before the committee to discuss worldwide threats, but the first question – from Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — dealt with the latest leak to the Washington Post intended to undermine the Trump presidency.
|Video – Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt|
Former CIA Director Brennan: “I shared classified information with the Russians while I was Director of the CIA.” Full video here: http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt
|Former CIA Director Brennan testifies on #Russia before @HouseIntelComm LIVE on C-SPAN3 http://cs.pn/2rMhwLt pic.twitter.com/Xjw0iCSkLp|
|Trump retains Marc Kasowitz as private attorney for Russia probe: Fox Business|
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|Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians Were in Contact With Trump Campaign Associates|
WASHINGTON—Former CIA director John Brennan testified Tuesday that contacts by Donald Trump campaign associates with Russian officials last year raised concerns that the Kremlin could try to cultivate people close to Mr. Trump, shedding light on why federal agents began a full investigation.
Mr. Brennan also disclosed that the intelligence community’s alarm about Russia “brazenly” interfering in the 2016 presidential election prompted him to warn his Russian intelligence counterpart last summer to stop meddling in U.S. politics.
In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Brennan explained the basis for the Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence investigation that was opened after the election, which is looking at potential collusion between the campaign and Russia.
“I encountered and I’m aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign,” said Mr. Brennan, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency under former President Barack Obama.
Mr. Brennan said he didn’t know if these contacts by people tied to the campaign amounted to “collusion” with Russian officials, but said that a common Russian intelligence technique involved cultivating Americans as either witting or unwitting intelligence assets.
Mr. Brennan said he was concerned because of “known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals.”
He said that the contacts picked up by U.S. intelligence justified the opening of an FBI investigation that has overshadowed Mr. Trump’s presidency.
“I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials,” said Mr. Brennan.
Mr. Brennan declined to discuss the specific information that his assessments were based on in the open hearing, saying that much of the information was classified. The House Intelligence Committee subsequently continued the hearing with Mr. Brennan in a classified, closed-door setting.
Mr. Trump has denied that he or his campaign coordinated with any foreign entity, and Russia has denied meddling in the election. Mr. Trump has said continuing questions about his campaign’s Russia contacts amount to a “witch hunt.”
The FBI investigation is now being overseen by a special counsel, Robert Mueller, after Mr. Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey raised questions about whether the president was trying to quash the probe into whether his associates had contacts with Russians.
Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey to end an investigation into his former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, according to people close to Mr. Comey. Mr. Trump has denied he made the request.
In a separate hearing Tuesday morning, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declined to confirm or deny that Mr. Trump had asked him to publicly state there was no collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government in response to a Washington Post report.
The Post reported that the president asked Mr. Coats and the National Security Agency director, Adm. Mike Rogers, to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion between the campaign and Russia.
Mr. Coats said it wasn’t appropriate to comment about the topic in his public testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“We discuss a number of topics on a very regular basis,” Mr. Coats said. “On this topic, as well as other topics, I don’t feel it’s appropriate to characterize discussions, conversations with the president.”
Mr. Coats was asked if he had discussed with Adm. Rogers any request from Mr. Trump regarding collusion. Mr. Coats responded: “That is something that I would like to withhold, that question, at this particular point in time.”
Mr. Coats was also asked if he knew of any efforts by the White House to interfere in other aspects of the Russia inquiry, including allegations the president asked Mr. Comey to ease off investigating Mr. Flynn. “I am not aware of that,” Mr. Coats said.
Mr. Brennan, the former CIA chief, said in his testimony that the intelligence community determined by last August that there was a “very aggressive” effort by Russia to intervene in the 2016 election.
Mr. Brennan described a previously undisclosed warning he made to his counterpart in Russian intelligence, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Russian FSB service, not to interfere in the U.S. election in an August phone call. According to Mr. Brennan’s account, Mr. Bortnikov denied any attempt to intervene and said Moscow is routinely and falsely blamed for such efforts by the U.S. government.
|Security sources identify suspected Manchester attacker|
|DOJ says special prosecutors office up and running|
Special prosecutor Robert Muellers office is now operating from an office in Washington, beginning its work of probing the impact of Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election, Justice Department officials said Tuesday.
The special counsels office is up and running now, Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Lofthus told reporters at an annual briefing on the Justice Departments budget. What its total staff size is going to be is something that Im not aware of. I just dont know yet and thats in the hands of the special counsel, not here.
A Justice Department spokeswoman said earlier Tuesday that Mueller and his team are working out of a privately-owned office building in downtown Washington. The building also houses offices for other Justice Department units.
The office of Special Counsel budget is not something thats part of the FY18 budget, Lofthus said in response to questions from POLITICO. Its something that obviously needs to be done now because the special counsel is being stood up now.
Lofthus said the special counsel will be funded via a permanent and indefinite appropriation at the Treasury Department that is separate from other Justice Department accounts.
Theres an appropriation and were going to make sure the special counsel is funded and its out of that appropriation, Lofthus said. We work with them on their expected estimates. Thats all underway.
The man who appointed Mueller to the post last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, opened the budget briefing with a statement, but declined to take questions from reporters. He said he had to go to another meeting.
At the outset of the session, Rosenstein joked about how hes suddenly found himself in the spotlight after more than two decades at the Justice Department.
With everyone present seemed well aware of his role, he identified himself as the deputy attorney general, before quipping: Its a low-profile middle management job.”
|Former CIA Chief Brennan Says Russians ‘Brazenly’ Interfered in U.S. Election|
Former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan said Tuesday that Russia brazenly interfered in the 2016 presidential election despite a direct warning to a top Kremlin official in August 2016 to stay out of U.S. politics.
|(6) Coats won’t answer Trump – Russia question – YouTube|
Published on May 23, 2017
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats gave a non-answer when directly asked by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) if the Washington Post reporting that President Trump asked Coats to publicly say there was no collusion with the Russians was true.