White Supremacist Dylann Roof Guilty, Obama Vows Prompt Retaliation For Putin’s ‘Personal’ Involvement in Hacking, Syrian President Hails Liberation, Japan-Russia Ties + More. #SUBSCRIBE
President Barack Obama on Friday defended his early response to suspicions that the Russian government attempted to influence the 2016 election and appeared to threaten retaliation against those plotting cyberattacks against America.
“Our goal continues to be to send a clear message to Russia, and others, to not do this,” he said, adding “Because we can do stuff to you.”
He urged that U.S. investigations of cyberattacks should not become a “political football.”
“I think we handled it the way it should have been handled,” he said during his final scheduled news conference of 2016.
The FBI is now backing the CIA’s assessment that Russian hackers sought in part to tilt the election in favor of President-elect Donald Trump when they breached American political institutions resulting in the theft of a trove of sensitive communications, a U.S. official said Friday.
President Obama, meanwhile, indicated Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin must have been aware of the cyber attacks.
“Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin knowing about it,” Obama told reporters Friday. “This happened at the highest levels of the Russian government.” Obama said he was awaiting a complete review of the matter by intelligence and and national security officials before he leaves office next month.
Putin and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wrapped up two days of talks on Thursday with numerous economic deals but no big breakthrough on a territorial row. Rather, the two leaders agreed to launch talks on joint economic activities on the disputed islands, the two sides said in a joint statement.
A jury in Charleston, S.C., has found Dylann Roof guilty on all 33 counts of federal hate crimes he faced for murdering nine people and attempting to kill three others in the basement of a historically black church.
As the sentence was read, Roof stood emotionless, reported Alexandra Olgin of South Carolina Public Radio, who was in the courtroom. The charges included murder, attempted murder, damage to religious property, obstruction of religious belief and weapons charges.
Federal prosecutors are seeking a death sentence. Roof has asked to represent himself in the penalty phase of the trial, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 3.
Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that the hacking attacks carried out by Russia against her campaign and the Democratic National Committee were intended “to undermine our democracy” and were ordered by Vladimir V. Putin “because he has a personal beef against me.”
ut hypocritically, the U.S. hasn’t applied this philosophy to itself – it only applied it to countries that it wanted to democratize. It believed this philosophy should be used only on non-democratic regimes making a transition to a “normal” country ― and they must be open to the “right” outside influences. But as it turns out, the Kremlin can reverse-engineer America’s strategy of influencing foreign elections.
On Friday morning, the evacuation of civilians and rebel fighters from eastern Aleppo was unexpectedly suspended following the imposition of a cease-fire that would grant the Syrian government’s forces control of the city. From the Wall Street Journal:
Rebel leaders and residents in opposition areas waiting to depart Aleppo said Iranian-backed Shiite militias allied with the government of President Bashar al-Assad had blocked the route out of the northern Syrian city.
Syrian state media claimed rebel groups attacked the vehicles carrying out the evacuation with sniper fire and artillery. It said rebel groups had breached the ceasefire agreement by trying to smuggle heavy weapons from Aleppo into opposition-held territory in the countryside outside the city.
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